About to repair MBA display..which toolkit to get?

whohasaquestion

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
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Initially, I was going to order from iFixit, but read a few not-so-good review on their tool quality. So I browsed Ebay, Amazon and saw a lot of options but really don't know which to get. Can anyone recommend a toolkit? I do have a generic precision toolkit but MBA requires special drivers that I don't have. Anyway, it's a mid-2011 MBA, hope that helps.
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
You want a Wiha #00 Philips screwdriver

You want a utrecht art supply store spatula

You want some good adhesive.

Check my video here for a how-to. Be better than me. Don't mess up the webcam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ADDoFxA-y4

Don't listen to reviews of tools. Most people leaving them get frustrated when they **** up the repair and blame the tool, or the person who sold them the screen, etc.
 

whohasaquestion

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
655
350
Maybe I just happened to read some of the worst reviews on their tools. But I agree that their tool should be decent enough and customer service is impeccable.

I went ahead and bought a cheap chinese set since I don't see myself doing this often...*fingers crossed*. I have a feeling it's the display adapter at fault. I watched the above youtube link, it looks like I will have to take the bezel out (yuck!) to pull off the adapter. Is there another way around this? I am okay with drivers and screws...but sticking a thin piece of metal between bezels just irks me a little...
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
Maybe I just happened to read some of the worst reviews on their tools. But I agree that their tool should be decent enough and customer service is impeccable.

I went ahead and bought a cheap chinese set since I don't see myself doing this often...*fingers crossed*. I have a feeling it's the display adapter at fault. I watched the above youtube link, it looks like I will have to take the bezel out (yuck!) to pull off the adapter. Is there another way around this? I am okay with drivers and screws...but sticking a thin piece of metal between bezels just irks me a little...
Fixing amplifiers is electronics repair.

Fixing Apple products is arts & crafts.

The sooner you come to terms with this, the easier the job will be. Lots of metal pieces you can't bend, lots of adhesive, etc.

I am unsure what you mean by adapter, but if you are hoping that it is just a loose cable.. you will be very disappointed when you find it isn't.
 

TheRealDamager

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2011
1,043
11
Great video - to the OP, be very sure you want to attempt this before you bother buying tools - as the other poster said, this is massively non-trivial. Also keep in mind that the video shows someone with all of the necessary tools to deal with glue, etc. In reading these threads, for every person who does this semi-successfully, there are lots of bad end results.
 

whohasaquestion

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
655
350
Fixing amplifiers is electronics repair.

Fixing Apple products is arts & crafts.

The sooner you come to terms with this, the easier the job will be. Lots of metal pieces you can't bend, lots of adhesive, etc.

I am unsure what you mean by adapter, but if you are hoping that it is just a loose cable.. you will be very disappointed when you find it isn't.
I mean the display cable that connects motherboard to LCD. I was able to re-sit the cable on the motherboard end (the cheap chinese tool works wonder) but as suspected, the problem is probably the cable on the LCD end. I want to re-sit it on that end as well...but don't want to take the bezel out.

How much harder without heating it up?
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
If you don't heat it up, it will be miserable. Even if you have prying tools, the bezel is adhesed to these two cables that attach the screen to its PCB, which you will rip if you don't heat up the bezel. A little heat goes a long way.

If your goal here is solely to reseat the cable, don't bother even taking the bezel off. It will be a waste of time. That cable isn't going anywhere, it doesn't need to be reseated. If it's malfunctioning, you have an issue with the screen or the board.
 

whohasaquestion

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
655
350
If you don't heat it up, it will be miserable. Even if you have prying tools, the bezel is adhesed to these two cables that attach the screen to its PCB, which you will rip if you don't heat up the bezel. A little heat goes a long way.

If your goal here is solely to reseat the cable, don't bother even taking the bezel off. It will be a waste of time. That cable isn't going anywhere, it doesn't need to be reseated. If it's malfunctioning, you have an issue with the screen or the board.
I will re-sit first, if no improvement, I might try ebay for a new display cable. My previous experiences taught me it could be the cable not the LCD panel. The problem is does anyone know what the part number is for the cable? Unlike HP or IBM where they have tag for each component, I don't see it inside the MBA.

Btw, what do you call the heating unit? I might stop by harbor freight after work today.
 

whohasaquestion

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
655
350
Hey what gives! My screen is back! Well, there is still some imperfection but it at least is usable now. This just proves my theory that the LCD is fine...maybe the cable really does need to reseat.