How do I open the Wii Remote without breaking the cantilever tabs?
The Wii Remote is held shut by four screws in the battery compartment, and two "cantilever tabs" at the top, near the d-pad. I have opened two remotes for repair, and both times, I broke one of the tabs in the process.
Once reassembled, the Wii Remote can remain closed with one of these tabs broken. However, the two halves are held weakly in place, and it's possible to bend and pry the plastic apart using your bare hands. The remote is useable, but clearly damaged.
According to the iFixit instructions,
Next use a flathead screwdriver or maybe even your finger nails to pry apart the two pieces. There is a clip on either side of the d-pad which require the base piece to be squeezed inwards.
Despite my best attempts to do this, both times I was unable to open the remote without damaging one of the tabs. Even once the two halves are already separated, the tabs don't appear moveable. As far as I can tell, they're solid, brittle pieces of plastic that do not bend or yield at all.
I've watched several teardown videos on YouTube, and these seem to have the same issue. From what I can tell, the tabs are either already broken, or broken in the process of opening them.
This page suggests that opening the remote without breaking the tabs is possible:
Once the four screws are removed, two plastic cantilever tabs are what keep the top and bottom from coming apart. To disengage these clips, the tabs must be pushed inward.
Disengaging these clips in the original controller proved quite difficult without the help of a pry tool. Both the thickness of the tabs and their hidden placement are great design choices that ultimately make it difficult for young users to access the internal electronics unless truly necessary.
Can someone please explain how to do this? I want to repair more Wii Remotes, but I want to do so safely in a way that doesn't permanently break the tabs.
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