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Old 05-08-2011, 11:09 PM   #1
Sir Sam
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Default Deleting Sentry Key System:

This information is mostly just for reference as I've already solved my problem.

I was working on a 01 WJ that refused to keep a programmed transponder key. The key would be programmed, correctly work, and then 24 hours later the key would act like it were programmed. Then if you programmed a new key both the new and the old would then work. I'm pretty sure the problem rested with the SKIM receiver. Thats the little box that has the antenna ring that sits around they key tumbler, reads the key code, and communicates with the ECU via the data bus.

The SKIM unit has a PIN number to accept a new key programming, as well as a "secret code" that is stored in the SKIM that the ECU needs to see as OK. (This is so that you can't just plug in a SKIM with a correctly programmed key to bypass the sentry system, the whole thing has to jive from key to transponder to ECU. This is all very easy to program and replace new parts as the secret code can be read via DRBIII or starscan, put into a new SKIM, and then the key programmed with the vehicle PIN. But if your like me you cannot afford $4000 for a DRBIII.

So since I needed to replace a SKIM module, which meant either finding a DRBIII to use and replacing the parts and doing the work myself, or towing it to a dealer and paying out my arsehole for something that I could easily do myself with the correct tools, or find a early 99 WJ ECU that did not have the sentry key system(or dish out a bunch of money for a new ECU from jeep that would also not have the sentry key system enabled).

Basically the SKIS circuit in the ECU is dormant until the SKIM is plugged into the data bus, when the SKIM module is plugged into the data bus the SKIM circuits are permanently activated in the ECU. No dealer will be able to deactivate them.

So if your like a friend of mine trying to diagnose a weird problem on your GFs jeep and you decide to take out your ECU and drop it in hers, only to realize that since she has the SKIM system you just permanently bricked the ECU for use in your own vehicle.

So that being said after some digging around I found a company that offers various ECU tuning services, including sentry key delete. So I sent in my ECU and $125 and a week later I got back an ECU and dropped it into my Jeep. With the SKIM now removed from the vehicle(actually just unplugged form the data bus for now) the Jeep starts up and runs just like it would if the SKIM system was working properly, or like a Jeep without the SKIS/SKIM system.

So for anyone in a similar boat it may be a most cost effective solution to have the SKIS/SKIM system deleted from the ECU. I paid a mobile locksmith $113 to program the existing transponder key I had, and then $20 the next day for another key he tried to program. (both times the key stopped working within 24 hours).

So had I originally just opted to delete the SKIS/SKIM it would have cost me less in the end.

The company that offers this service is And it sounds like they also offer some cool custom ECU options for guys doing modding or engine swaps.
"Its not about what you can DO with your Jeep, its about where you can GO with your Jeep."

"Nolite id cogere, cape malleum majorem."

"Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American, if he can travel at all, should see."
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:28 AM   #2
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appreciate you writing things up like this. So often when we solve a problem we don't think to share it on the boards, so thanks Sam!
98 XJ on 33's and stuff
13 WRX- the one that will go uphill
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:04 AM   #3
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Precious info for a lot of ppl out there, I'm sure...
Originally posted by Vetteboy:
- "For some people, it's about getting over the biggest obstacle ever. For others, it's about maximizing your vehicle's capabilities as it sits, and always pushing its limits just a little further."

88XJ | 2.1TD | 3" | 31s (Sold)
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:23 AM   #4
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Default Transponder

This is great info, as my son has lost both keys to his (my) 06 Wrangler, and it will have to be towed over to the dealership to have keys programmed. They cut a key for me, but informed me it would only open the vehicle, but not start it. This will save me a ton of money, contacting them now!!!
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