New Keys for the 159/Brera/Spider - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 299 Old 21-11-13 Thread Starter
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Thumbs Up New Keys for the 159/Brera/Spider

Like most of us on here my car keys are flaking badly and look tatty and worn. This seems to be a common issue to all of us and bad design and/or manufacturing on the part of Fiat/Alfa.

As always I was not content with the obvious option of having to replace my damaged keys for main dealer new ones at a cost of nearly 300 a key, I decided there had to be a better option!

First I tried to paint them, and it didn't work out well, the paint wouldn't ad hear regardless of what type I used or how I primed them, so I turned to a friend of mine who is an expert model maker. I gave him a spare key and said what can you do.

Here is what he has come back with:

He can cast a replacement key end out of white metal and it can then be electroplated in either copper, or chrome and will last up to 5 years! He is doing one for me as a proof of concept, and will send me some photos to use on here for you all, but he has said he can make a batch of these for others for a nominal fee.

All you do to repair your old key is buy this replacement end, remove the pin that holds the end on, prise the old one off and replace it with the new metal one and replace the pin! Job done!

Key-Explanation.jpg

In the above picture the Plastic end cap sits over the Key Blade and Holder. The Metal release button is part of the Key Blade and Holder also. The part that is being replaced is the Plastic End Cap only. The rest of the key will stay the same. This means, no recoding and no swapping internals from the transponder etc. What you will be doing is removing the cheap plastic end cap that the original chrome plating could not properly bond to and replace it with a metal one that looks identical but that is durable.

The process of making this replacement is white metal is melted down and moulded in a mould. Then it is prepp'ed and electroplated in copper. This initial stage is because the chrome will not properly bond to the metal directly and could fail much like the original key did. The copper bonds 100% so forms a primer layer. Then its electroplated again in Chrome which bonds 100% to the copper. So it will be visibly no different although perhaps a few microns thicker when done! It will for sure be much more durable than the original plastic end cap.

Estimated cost will be 45 per key, for a newly manufactured durable (metal not plastic) replacement end cap. This is a direct like for like upgrade to the current chipped, peeling plastic end of the key that was originally chrome when you bought the car, and is now probably a mucky off yellow colour like mine!

He needs to do the electroplating in bulk so I am here to gauge interest. If you want one or a set of these, let me know and I will add you to this post:

Current Interest:
- JabawokJayUK - 2 Keys
- NicQ - 2 Keys
- 1878 - 2 Keys
- McTavishh - 1 Key
- adamcot - 1 Key
- Kayjey - 2 Keys
- Havocwreaker - 1 Key
- ffedele - 2 Keys
- Leagle - 2 Keys
- Gezc - 1 or 2 Keys
- Speenvark - 2 Keys
- Mackem - 2 Keys
- Emdalziel - 2 Keys
- charliealfamike - 1 Key
- Pdw16396 - 1 Key
- faldo22st - 1 Key
- Amir - 2 Keys
- elmason - 2 Keys
- cockspur - 1 Keys
- Texonifer - 1 Key
- Greener123 - 1 Key
- BoroBrera - 1 Key
- Lowmpg - 1 Key
- Chilled - 1 Key
- W1NST - 1 Key
- Stansfield - 1 Key
- Danman - 1 Key
- Kev444c - 1 Key
- minimoo - 1 Key
- Red10 - 2 Keys
- Craigo - 1 Key
- simon_wilson - 2 Keys
- Bad Dad - 1 Key
- Nixal123 - 1 Key
- KennyMccabe - 1 Key
- Martinhaustorp - 2 Keys
- C17NER - 1 Key
- steve.66 - 1 Key
- Rockinroger - 1 Key
- Prophead - 2 Keys
- juventino - 1 Key
- Dickhilt - 1 Key
- jamezm - 1Key
- Marshall147 - 1 Key
- TJ JTD - 1 Key
- alcooker - 1 Key
- 427scr - 2 Keys
- Kroftman - 1 Key
- Biggles146 - 1 Key
- H8AOC - 1 Key
- HKou - 2 Keys
- Alfadisiac - 1 Key
- Bradus - 1 Key
- Kris_lee - 1 Key
- alexb911 - 1 Key


2008 159 TI 2.4 JTDM QTRONIC
My Car Details______http://www.jabawoki.com/2014/07/07/alfa-159-ti/
Project Halo Wiki____https://projects.jabawoki.com/index.php/Project_Halo_UK
Project Halo Page____https://www.facebook.com/ProjectHaloUK

Last edited by JabawokJayUK; 04-01-14 at 16:31.
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Out of interest will a metal key affect the signal range for the remote locking?
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Would like to see some pictures of the result before I decide! How much for sending it to the mainland?
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- 1878 - 2 keys (so long as my car all gets repaired ok!)
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Out of interest will a metal key affect the signal range for the remote locking?
I doubt it as the radio transmitter is inside the black part of the key, this is only to replace the silver part that is attached to the metal key itself which is removable from the key.

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Would like to see some pictures of the result before I decide! How much for sending it to the mainland?
No idea, but it would be a very small padded envelope so I cant image it would be expensive!

I will get pictures up as soon as I can.
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Yep, I'd have a couple for my scabby keys.
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Thanks Nic, your names on the list.

None of this is a commitment to buy of course! just a gauge of interest before we spend money on further aspects of development!!!
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Originally Posted by 1878 View Post
Current Buyers:
- JabawokJayUK - 2 Keys
- 1878 - 2 keys (so long as my car all gets repaired ok!)
Added!
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I want a replacement for both parts of my key! The icons and Alfa logo have worn off the black part of my key.

What's the possibility of getting another used donor key (if in good condition) and swapping over all the gubbins? Is this easy to do or is it a complete no-no? I really could do with a spare key. Only got one with the car and it makes me nervous to say the least. The spare key options seem so damn expensive - it's crazy...
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(Post Link) post #10 of 299 Old 21-11-13 Thread Starter
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If you can find a donor, its easy to swap the internals & the key blade. I stripped my spare key down which was dirty and soaked all the the plastic & rubber bits in a bowl of hot soapy water and then cleaned them up that way. When it went back together it looked pretty good. But you cant do that sort of thing to the silver/chrome plastic end if its peeling as it needs to be replaced and that is the most common issue with these keys.
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I updated the initial post with a picture of the bit that would be replaced to explain a litter better.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unkle Munkle View Post
I want a replacement for both parts of my key! The icons and Alfa logo have worn off the black part of my key.

What's the possibility of getting another used donor key (if in good condition) and swapping over all the gubbins? Is this easy to do or is it a complete no-no? I really could do with a spare key. Only got one with the car and it makes me nervous to say the least. The spare key options seem so damn expensive - it's crazy...
So, I had a quick look and...

1 x set of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2x-Key-Fob...item41792d56c9

and 1 set of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alfa-Romeo...item232d508f7a

+ the end caps as stated in post #1

New keys
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I'd have one
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And one for me please sir

Mj
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Depending on what my keys are like when i pick it up on saturday i could be interested =)
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I'd have one
#added

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And one for me please sir

Mj
#added

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Depending on what my keys are like when i pick it up on saturday i could be interested =)
let me know if they are in decent nick or not and I'll add you in if needed!
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I'd hold on the orders until it's confirmed the RFID chip inside the key will still be readable by the car. The antenna that the car uses to read the RFID chip is located around the ignition barrel and the metal end will likely be (partially) shielding the transmission between the chip and the antenna. If the car can't read the chip, it won't start the engine, which seems rather an important feature to me.
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I'm in! Just 1 for me please.
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Interested (2 end caps), but need shipping to Belgium and I'll probably forget to look here again, so please PM when ready... Please?
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I'm interested in an end cap.
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Keen to see the finished product, so pencil me in for two.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhizzMan View Post
I'd hold on the orders until it's confirmed the RFID chip inside the key will still be readable by the car. The antenna that the car uses to read the RFID chip is located around the ignition barrel and the metal end will likely be (partially) shielding the transmission between the chip and the antenna. If the car can't read the chip, it won't start the engine, which seems rather an important feature to me.
There is zero chance this will effect that.

The antenna is part of the circuit board that is located in the other side of the key in the plastic bit. Your welcome to wait and see, but I'll stake my reputation on this having zero effect as there is no connection between the circuit board and the key blade section.
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I'm in! Just 1 for me please.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayjey View Post
Interested (2 end caps), but need shipping to Belgium and I'll probably forget to look here again, so please PM when ready... Please?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Havocwreaker View Post
I'm interested in an end cap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffedele View Post
Keen to see the finished product, so pencil me in for two.
All added!
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I am interested! Please put me down for 1, but if the cost comes down (due to volume) and if they look good, I'll take 2!

Last edited by Gezc; 27-11-13 at 15:25.
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Add me for two as well thanks! They are small so shipping to RSA will hopefully be relatively cheap.
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