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Sidewinder keys first made their appearance in approximately 1980 on some Mercedes models. BMW joined the sidewinder bandwagon in 1988. Volvo, Saab, Infiniti, Lexus, VW, Audi and Mazda eventually had their own versions of the sidewinder.
In the era before transponders, progressive locksmiths bought key duplicating machines such as the Framon Sidewinder and profited from duplicating these oddities.
Things changed in the mid-1990s when sidewinder keys added transponder security. Most sidewinder keys were used in upscale vehicles and, for cars such as BMW and Mercedes, much of the electronic programming is not available to locksmiths. Many locksmiths began finding less use for their sidewinder key duplicators.
Things changed again in 2002 when Honda introduced a sidewinder key system on its CR-V model. By 2003 the same key system had been extended to Honda Civic, Element, Odyssey and Pilot models. All of these vehicles used a combination of sidewinder locks and transponder security. The difference is that electronic tools are now available to the locksmith for either cloning or programming duplicate Honda keys. Machines such as the Framon Sidewinder have come back into popular use as demand increases for duplicating high-profit sidewinder keys and locksmiths have access to electronic machines to do the transponder programming.
The Framon Sidewinder machine is basically a milling table allowing X axis (left/right) and Y axis (forward/backward) movement of the vise jaws. The milling cutter is set vertically on a Z axis and can be adjusted upward or downward as needed. The 'Z' dimension cut into a sidewinder blank is constant, so the Framon Sidewinder allows for a finite vertical adjustment of the cutter which can then be locked in place while duplicating key cuts.
FRAMON CODEMAKER KEYS
A system has been developed so sidewinder keys can be quickly cut by code. Whether you have one of the first Framon Sidewinder machines such as the 15-year-old model shown here from our shop or a brand new Framon model, an original Honda sidewinder key can be made in just a few minutes. Honda still stamps key codes on the passenger door lock, so it is not difficult to obtain the code, but until now sidewinder origination has been a problem.
The system consists of two Honda blanks which have milled sections to accept Ilco 1031 key blanks. One blank is for left side cuts and one blank for right side cuts. A standard code machine such as the Framon 2 is first used to make the needed left and right side cuts on two Ilco 1031 key blanks. Depth and spacing has been changed as necessary so the cuts will be accurate once the cut 1031 key is set in place on the Codemaker blank. Finally, the 1031 blanks are fastened to the Codemaker blanks with a screw mounted through the normal key ring hole.
The two Codemaker keys are tightened in the Framon Sidewinder machine vise jaws and cuts are duplicated as needed onto an Ilco HO01T5 or Jet HD110-N-PHT key blank. After duplication, the new key is ready for use without further modifications. Original Honda keys use a smooth laser cut. It is recommended that all existing tips on the cut 1031 blanks be removed before using the Codemaker keys for duplication. This can be done with a code machine or with a hand file. Your new sidewinder key by code will then have cut contours similar to original keys. Laser cuts provide a smoother operating key and the fragile tumblers used by Honda need all the help they can get.
Codemaker parts for distribution may look different than the prototypes shown in this article. For more information, contact Framon Mfg. Telephone: 989-354-5623. Website: www.Framon.com .
This new manual machine can both duplicate and originate sidewinder keys without the use of any expensive electronic components.