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2002 ml55
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I dissected one of the valet / mickey mouse keys to look for the transponder.

couple of things :
1. its really tough to cut the plastic open
2. there is rectangular marking which indicates the location (and side of the key) of the transponder
3; it might be possible to stick a small angled pick into the "rectangular marking" and pull the chip out

hope this helps someone that wants to remove the transponder chip and insert into another remote fob.

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2002 ml55
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Excellent show-how-to procedure. Was the band aid a result of cutting into it?
:)

no... but i did go through 4 dremel cutting discs ... only because i wanted to preserve the key plastic so i could illustrate where the chip was for others...

i do think it might be easier and possible to unwedge the chip out after making some strategic cuts (on the underside of where the chip and the slot location are)

ps: the transponder chip seems to be well protected in its own plastic. so i would not worry too much about using some brute force to remove it.
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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2,102 Posts
Quite an operation . Great work doctor !

Alas, my last original electronic key for the 99 fell apart the other day and refused to be resuscitated. So now I am having to deal with the machine-gun locks and quite a few of the mickey mouse keys and non-operative fobs with good keys. Quite a collection actually !!
I must say over the years the two original fobs held their own as long as the batteries were changed regularly. It was a GREAT feature back in the day and it's unfortunate that Mercedes has no answer for W163 owners.

My garage queen is the 2003ML55 with ONE working fob and a couple of the MM variety. I will lock that key up for safe keeping and use the MM for driving it from now on.

The machine gun locks are driving me crazy!! Isn't there a way to disable the automatic locking on the doors by removing fuses/relays/etc ??
 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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1,017 Posts
Quite an operation . Great work doctor !

Alas, my last original electronic key for the 99 fell apart the other day and refused to be resuscitated. So now I am having to deal with the machine-gun locks and quite a few of the mickey mouse keys and non-operative fobs with good keys. Quite a collection actually !!
I must say over the years the two original fobs held their own as long as the batteries were changed regularly. It was a GREAT feature back in the day and it's unfortunate that Mercedes has no answer for W163 owners.

My garage queen is the 2003ML55 with ONE working fob and a couple of the MM variety. I will lock that key up for safe keeping and use the MM for driving it from now on.

The machine gun locks are driving me crazy!! Isn't there a way to disable the automatic locking on the doors by removing fuses/relays/etc ??
F42..... 20 amp fuse
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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2,102 Posts
Bobby, you just made my day !!

I had of course removed that fuse before but the issue was still happening. This morning, I removed it and then started the ML and drove for a few miles and it fixed the machine gun locks ! It was just so annoying for it to happen all the time, particularly when you came to a stop and then accelerated....

Now all is quiet, and I will just have to get in the habit of manually locking all doors and the rear hatch. Little bit of a learning curve, but a very workable solution !!

YOU, my friend, are DA MAN !!
 

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1998 ML320
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301 Posts
i never did... i am lucky to have 2 working key fobs / remotes

i only did the dissection for others to benefit.
I have two working fobs as well, and I ordered a valet key a while ago. I grabbed two 99 fobs from the junkyard yesterday for $10 each - I was considering ordering new cases for them (the buttons are shot) and trying to transplant the RFID chip from my Mickey Mouse key into one of them. The blades of the fobs are held into the metal hinge by a roll pin - I figure the blade of the valet key could be cut off and installed in the old hinge.
 

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2002 ml55
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
right on! :)

it’s cheap to get blank keys and easy to cut them (that’s a non issue). i doubt the mickey mouse key would fit nicely into the flip key of the remote (unless ‘99 are different)

if you do the transplant and get new buttons... please post here for others to see :)
 

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1998 ML320
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301 Posts
As far as I can tell, the blade is the same until at least someplace up inside the plastic of the Mickey key or the metal hinge of the fob. If it’s easy enough to reuse the blade of the valet key, might as well do it.

98s and 99s had the less adaptable “eight keys and you’re done” setup, but it’s also dumb enough that it doesn’t seem to have some of the issues that I’ve read about attempting to repurpose used fobs using valet rfids on later 163s. I guess we’ll see.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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fyi - part # info on the key blades and more
 
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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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1998 ML320
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Doing some experimenting with the two 99 fobs that I recently acquired. The first one I cracked open was very crusty inside, but I will try to clean the board at some point to remove the corrosion. It does not look like any leads are broken, so it may be salvageable. The second one has a nice clean board. The transponder chip doesn't interface with the electronics in any direct way, it just sits against the board in the corner by the key blade hinge, hence the angled spot on the housing. At least for the 98/99 models, I see no reason why the transponder from a valet key would not work just fine transplanted into another fob, after the synchronization procedure is performed.

The 98/99 security system can only cope with a lifetime maximum of eight keys. Does anyone know if there is a limit on the number of fobs that can be synched with it simultaneously?
 

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for some reason my valet key stars the car for a second and stops, look like like the car doesn't recognize the key! solutions? thanks
 

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Outstanding Contributor
2002 ML320, 2003 A160, 2002 ML500, 2018 GLS350d
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4,443 Posts
for some reason my valet key stars the car for a second and stops, look like like the car doesn't recognize the key! solutions?
If your main key starts and runs the car, the only solution is to buy a new valet key, from your MB dealer.
 
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