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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is a guide to repairing your first generation ('01-'04) R50/R53 "Clamshell" style remote key. I have posted this guide elsewhere, but noticed that several MINI2 members have tried this without a guide and have ended up almost throwing away their immobilizer chip. Follow the steps below and you will have a successful key repair, or you can determine if you might need some help with it.

First- does your key look anything like the one below?



If it does, you are in need of a new case. However, you are in danger of knocking the actual switch buttons off of the circuit board. Steps below show you how to pull the key apart. You should take your board out and put it in a safe place until you can get a new case.



If you take the circuit board out, your key will still work, you'll just have to lock and unlock with the key.




Pry the back open with a larger blade screwdriver. You can then gently pry the circuit board out with a small screwdriver or it will probably gently fall out if you turn the key over.




Here is the key with the circuit board removed. You can see the immobilizer in the back cover; here is how to gently pry it out. It's a sealed unit and you probably won't hurt it but be gentle anyway. Put it in a safe place as well- you DO NOT want to lose this.



Since your key is around 10 years old by now, it might be time to renew the battery. It is a CR2032 type, readily available. The small screwdriver comes in handy for this as well. Supposedly you have 30 seconds to change the battery before the key loses it's programming but one member at North American Motoring had theirs out for 5 minutes and their key still worked. Suffice it to say you should do this as quickly as you can.




There is an eBay seller by the name of "artiway" who sells high quality replacement shells if you are doing this yourself. I have used them for several keys I have repaired. This is a picture of the new shell and what they look like opened. Note the space for the immobilizer chip.



Once you have that new shell you will need to remove your old blade. At first I tried drilling it out from the front and that wasn't too successful.





What worked better was cutting away the plastic from the roll pin holding the blade in place. The blade with the pin just pulled right out. Save the roll pin- you'll need to reuse it.



I put the blade in the new case and pushed the pin in. I tried a vise to push the pin in but it was difficult due to the curved shape of the case. I recommend putting the case on a flat surface and using a philips or "cross" screwdriver (or a tiny punch) to push down on the pin. You should only need light taps from a hammer if you need a hammer at all.




Then re-install the immobilizer chip and the circuit board, and snap the case back together. It will take a firm push to snap the case together, but that's OK. Just make sure the circuit board does not ride up and get pinched between the two halves of the case.



Finished key! PM me if you have questions or need help repairing your key. I have done several so far and would be happy to help you. I will add to this thread some pictures of keys that were even more damaged, and what I did to fix them.

Val
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's an invaluable link with lots of information about these keys, as well as the Land Rover Discovery II and Rover 75 keys as they are very similar:

https://sites.google.com/site/miniandlandroverremotekeys/

There's lots of technical information about how the system works and how to re-program your key or program a remote you might get from eBay.

Val
 

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Hello! Great guide! I have a query if you can help me though. My key looks similar to that in the first photo; however my switch button has actually been knocked off! Does this mean my key cannot be repaired as per the thread?

Thanks,

Bailiff
 

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Trying to buy a new case

Hi. I need to buy a new case. I tried to find "artiway" on ebay as suggested by Valvashon, unsuccessfully.

Any updated information please on where I can get a new case (Mini 2002) to buy?

I also saw on ebay the flip key case and 'upgrading' from the 'old style' to the 'new style'. Has anyone done this? Is it recommended?

Thank you!
 

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Hi. I need to buy a new case. I tried to find "artiway" on ebay as suggested by Valvashon, unsuccessfully.

Any updated information please on where I can get a new case (Mini 2002) to buy?

I also saw on ebay the flip key case and 'upgrading' from the 'old style' to the 'new style'. Has anyone done this? Is it recommended?

Thank you!
Around 12 months ago I modded my gen 1 r53 key to one of the "flip" style https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-MINI-COOPER-R50-S-ONE-2-TWO-BUTTON-REMOTE-FLIP-KEY-FOB-CASE-CONVERSION-KIT/222828595424?hash=item33e19e88e0:g:z0cAAOSw7NNULdo6

it's very easy to do you just have to remember to swap over ALL of the components from the original key ( circuit board and the separate imobilizer chip ) , about the hardest part for me was finding someone to cut the blank key for me , I ended up going to a locksmiths .

I have not had any issues or problems with it since doing so and have been very happy with it so far .
 

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Great thread, thanks all.

Today on a Group/Forum I was amazed to find out that you can recharge the key - out of the car. An electric tooth brush charger does it!!!! You just balance/lodge the key on it and it will charge it. Probably useless info ....... but I liked it.
 

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I had the same problem. But the replacement (from Ebay) had a plastic surround at the top of the key blade.

I removed my old blade by destroying my old fob.

Then I had to move the surround to my original blade. I managed this using pliers, a hammer and brute force and ignorance. The final result is still not satisfactory.
Try to find the type with a plain key blade. Then you can follow Valvashon's instructions.

N.B. when I had sorted out the key blade, changing the circuit board and chip were a piece of cake.
 

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Hi everyone I actually managed to repair my r53 key replacing the shell with an original valeo key, and also managed to remove the key blade without damaging the shell... all because I wasn’t happy with the aftermarket eBay quality ... I hope the video helps cheers
https://youtu.be/X3fckTXL6RM
 
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