Permanent solution to the weak Key Shell problem!!

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by rph74, May 30, 2010.

  1. rph74

    rph74

    Messages:
    209
    I'm sure many of you here have had problems with their OEM Toyota Key Shell breaking on them. It is due to an inherently bad design. In my case, the metal portion of the key broke out of the plastic shell. My Toyota dealer wants $350 for a completely new key. No way!

    My solution was twofold. As many others have done over the years, I ordered a replacement key shell for $12 and transferred the keyless entry portion into the new shell. But, the inherent problem still lurks-a weak plastic shell! The constant twisting and turning to start the car eventually breaks the new key shell.

    So my solution to this problem was to go to True Value hardware, and have them cut an all metal key for me. I use the metal key for starting the car. No programming is needed, because the keyless entry transponder contains the chip. The only thing necessary is that the transponder is NEAR the ignition while cranking the car. As long as the 2 keys are on the same key ring, the car will start fine! You can test this with your broken key if you'd like- Try the key without the transponder in it, and the engine will crank, but not turn over. Simply wave the transponder near the ignition, and it will start.

    The key True Value used was TR-47, made by Hillman. It is listed as a "service key". The guy thought I was crazy, and thought it wouldn't work, but it does. You can get a plastic coated key, but I opted for all metal, so as not to confuse with the Key shell key. Now I'll never need another key shell again! I use the key shell as my remote keyless entry, and my metal key for the ignition. In fact, you could skip buying a new key shell, remove the key portion, and use the old key shell as a remote fob if you wanted to! So if you don't mind 2 keys on your key chain, this is a permanent fix. I grew up on old GM and Ford cars (1 key for door, 1 for ignition), so carrying 2 keys is nothing new to me.

    Oh, and it cost me $1.71 per key (that includes having it cut).

    Pics of the key
    toyota 007.jpg toyota 008.jpg
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  2. SC4Hundred

    SC4Hundred

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Rowland Heights, CA
    wow the best solution to the weak key shell design
  3. lshobie

    lshobie

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    3,042
    I'm still looking for the buttons on it.
  4. FullyLitLED

    FullyLitLED

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    3,321
    this might be a dumb question, but where did you get the duplicate? Home depot? Lowes? etc..
  5. arbetrader

    arbetrader

    Messages:
    754
    Location:
    Abbotsford
    That's a good solution! One that worked for me which I like better because it eliminates two keys is this: Crazy glue. Paid $1 for it, and have fixed both my keyshells with it (just glued together). If you're worried about it opening to change batteries, I have successfully done it with one of them. The nice thing about the glue is that it bonds WAY stronger which eliminates the twisting torque applied to both sides of the plastic pulling them apart. I just stuck a new battery in a few months back, and reglued. Now it's good for YEARS! I did it carefully, and you can't even tell it is glued. Only one key now, and no more fuss!
  6. rph74

    rph74

    Messages:
    209
    I had the all metal key done at True Value hardware. I imagine that Home Depot or Lowe's can do it also. Just tell them you are looking for a standard Toyota Key, with no need for programming. They'll likely tell you that it won't work, but tell them to do it anyway. Mine was listed as a "service key" for Toyota's 1993 and up.

    If you're asking about the push button key shell, I got that on e-bay.
  7. rph74

    rph74

    Messages:
    209

    My spare key was super glued (and partially melted!) by the original owner. 8 years later it is still holding-however we have only used it a handful of times over the years. I used it for about 2 weeks, while waiting for new key shell to come in last week. It is beginning to get slightly loose now, but still hangs in there.

    So yes, super glue would work too, and I've gotta say that the metal key really takes the worry away if 2 keys is not a problem for you.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  8. KY Longhunter

    KY Longhunter SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,446
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    Some years ago I bought a Toyota blank with the transponder chip in the key. It has a black rubber grip but no buttons for remote.

    Sounds hokey but the guy who sold it to me gave me instructions on how to program the transponder in the key. I had to turn to ACC position, press brake pedal 10 times, etc. Cant remember exactly how it went...but it worked on my 98 100.
  9. Never had a key break but why not use the valet key and keep the other key in your pocket for remote locking etc. ?
  10. rph74

    rph74

    Messages:
    209

    I don't have a valet key. Only 2 key shells came with my LC. Both are broken. Seems like a common problem on this board. For $1.71 this is a simple, cheap solution even if you had a valet key.
  11. shinckley

    shinckley

    Messages:
    2
    Great solution. I have one broken shell and one about to break shell. Did you order the Shells from Toyota? The last time I talked to my local dealer they did not give me that option.

  12. rph74

    rph74

    Messages:
    209

    I ordered mine from ebay.


    98-07 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER REMOTE KEY REPLACEMENT SHELL: eBay Motors (item 110539832777 end time Jun-28-10 15:42:03 PDT)

    When you go to your local hardware store or home depot/lowe's have them cut an all metal key while you are there having your shell cut. True Value did mine with perfect results.
  13. uHu

    uHu Shamowang

    Messages:
    1,116
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I thought the problem was that the key breaks when in the pocket, not by turning the ignition.
    On my 2000, which I bought new in 2001, the key is even longer. But up to last year, we never managed to break a single key.

    When I bought a 2004 last year, it came with both main keys broken....
    So, I guess it depends on how they are handled.
  14. bkgee

    bkgee

    Messages:
    566
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    I just got back from our local locksmith and he charged me $8 for two keys (he used "Ilco X217/TR47".

    1) I've taken the electronic unit out of the key shell, and have temporarily taped it up near the key cylinder (its tough enough, no shell required), truck starts no problem. After a little convenience testing, I will remount it using velcro, this way it becomes a "kill switch". I have the option to take it with me, stash it, or leave it mounted (discretely).

    2) now that I have two steel keys, I will finally hide one. I will also hide my other master key electronic unit somewhere inside the truck. Now I will never be stuck outside the truck, and no one could conceivably drive it away.

    This is why I love this forum :)

    Edit: I guess one of you mudders could conceivably drive it away... drats!
  15. Butch1979

    Butch1979

    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Stafford VA
    This works! Used this tip today. True value can also make a transponder key for $75 if you prefer that method.

    Thanks for the tip!
  16. APKhaos

    APKhaos Unfixing the unfixable

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Northern VA
  17. 61Redfish

    61Redfish SILVER Star

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    ATL, GA
    APKhaos, Thanks for the link, I just picked up 4!
  18. Anthony.L

    Anthony.L Looking for the end of the road... SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,676
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA
    Yeah I got two new eBay shells when I got my 2004 two years ago. Now the shell I've been using is starting to break again, still have the second spare. Off to eBay for another pair of shells!

    I'd rather just keep buying cheap shells than carry two keys on my keyring...
  19. 61Redfish

    61Redfish SILVER Star

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    ATL, GA
    My 4 shells arrived and look great. Even have the Denso part # sticker on them! Shipped from China, at that price I assume they are ignoring copyright from Denso...... Off to dealer to get them cut. Bad luck at non dealer in the past.
  20. playdrv4me

    playdrv4me

    Messages:
    89
    This is at best a workaround, not a solution. The problem is merely being circumvented and additional bulk created in the process. As far as actual solutions go, that's about the worst one ever. As a workaround, it's acceptable.

    One of the primary advantages that the Europeans and Japanese have had over the occasionally idiotic domestics for years is efficiency of design. It absolutely blows my mind that our '08 Escalade *STILL* has separate keys and keyfobs. To date, I still don't think GM has rectified this. Worse yet, the Escalade keyfobs fall apart anyway. Adding a separate key to the mix essentially GM-izes your keyfob.

    I've never had a Toyota key break on me... Knock on wood (I'm sure it'll happen tonight).
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012

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