Jon Sooy

Mini Cooper HomeLink Universal Opener Mod


Cooper Clubman 2011

I have always wanted a Mini Cooper and I finally found a great one. I bought a 2011 Clubman that only had 3800 miles on it. Because I was looking for a good deal, I used a great app on my Android Thunderbolt called ‘Craigs List Notifier.’ Install this app and enter whatever it is you are searching for and whenever someone posts, it let’s you know by placing a notification on your menu bar. Very cool app. Because Coopers are sort of hard to find in the area where I live, getting the exact dream Cooper was a bit difficult. This Craigs List app would let me know when a Mini Cooper Clubman was listed on Craigs List and when the right one popped up, I was the first to pounce on it! The one I bought did not have all of the features I wanted but I knew I could add the amenities myself. For example, one of the options on this car is a rear view mirror that has an integrated HomeLink remote for your garage and/or gates. Since I have 2 gates and a garage door, this is a great feature for me in that it helps prevent having multiple remotes rattling around. Unfortunately, the Cooper I bought did not have one of these mirrors. I looked for this part online and was stunned to learn that they are $300 – $400!

Because I had done this modification on my previous vehicle (2003 Nissan Frontier), I decided to do the same to my Cooper. You can buy HomeLink transmitters on Ebay for less than $40 in most cases and can usually find them in either a tan or black color. I found a black one for $34 and decided to install it in the center light and sunroof control area.

The control area was easy to remove as the outer part simply snapped into place. Underneath the decorative outer part was plastic piece held in by two screws that held the internal parts all together. Since the lights were in this area, I had easy access to the one electrical requirement: a 12 volt power source that is always on (meaning, even when the car is not running, the power is on). Using a test light, I was able to easily figure out which wire to tap into. I grounded the switch to the bolt that holds the visor in place.

Mounting the HomeLink unit took a little bit of consideration. The HomeLink unit was a tight fit and I needed the buttons to mount to the decorative control piece without any obstructions. I used a Dremel tool to remove some of the structure on the inside of the unit to to allow room. I was very careful to avoid scratching or marring the decorative cover and once I was happy with the position of the unit, I put it all back together.

Programming the HomeLink is very simple and I found a videos on YouTube or follow these instructions.

The complete project took me about an hour and I am very pleased with how it turned out!

Written by Jon Sooy

October 8th, 2011 at 8:47 am

8 Responses to 'Mini Cooper HomeLink Universal Opener Mod'

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  1. where did you get the wiring diagram? Which wire is positive and which is ground?


    30 Nov 11 at 6:55 pm

  2. Wiring is very basic. The homelink unit has two wires (red- hot/positive and black- ground/negative). The red wire needs to be patched into a power source that is on all the time (even when the car ignition is off). The dome light is perfect for this. The black wire simply gets attached to the car’s chasis. Piece of cake!

    Jon Sooy

    30 Nov 11 at 8:03 pm

  3. Excellent…..multiple remotes have been the bane of my motoring existence. May be an old blog but a handy find regardless.


    1 Feb 13 at 2:06 pm

  4. Jon,
    Very interesting – I am doing the same thing. I have purchased the homelink controller, and have looked under the outer cover, but have not attempted to remove the inner plastic housing yet.
    How much of the inner plastic housing did you carve out? I was considering cutting out a hole large enough for the controller to pass through, since I cannot figure out how much space there is between the outer and inner housing.


    23 Jun 14 at 5:13 am

  5. Hi Paul,
    I used a Dremel tool on the inside and carefully removed material until the unit fit snugly inside. Frankly, it was a bit ugly the way I did it, but once I got the unit positioned inside with the cover of the Homelink unit removed, I simply snapped the Homelink cover on and it was done. I may have gotten a little lucky, but it went together nicely on the first try. The unit is still installed and still working perfectly. Good luck with yours!

    Jon Sooy

    23 Jun 14 at 6:08 am

  6. Do you remember what color wire you tapped into for the constant power?


    31 Jan 16 at 9:23 pm

  7. Hi Danny… oh my gosh… no, I do not. Recommend getting your hands on a good test light. With the engine off, check the wires available for constant power. Good luck! I’d go check, but I sold the car late last year.

    Jon Sooy

    1 Feb 16 at 8:21 pm

  8. Thanks Jon I figured it out. My old test light was messing up and I ended up buying a new one the next day. Thanks for all the info it helped me a lot!


    8 Feb 16 at 6:24 pm

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