Broke fan connector pins on 17" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Paul B, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Paul B macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    It happened when I was trying to install my right fan. The plug was too big for the connector and the connector just broke right off the logic board.

    I now see the solder points. They are too small for a normal soldering iron so I can't solder the wires directly on.

    What are my options now? I hope I won't have to replace the logic board considering it's working perfectly except for this one part.
  2. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    Such are the risks of self service, I suggest you get one of these and the iron that goes with it, or a new logic board.
  3. Paul B thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    Argh, it looks like I'll have to get a logic board because it doesn't seem possible to solder the wires on (extremely small solder points, who knows if there's solder this small). Unless someone can provide a really clever way to repair this. Please help me save $1,000.
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
  5. Paul B thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007

    Kind of hard to see in the pic (iPhone camera) but the red circle is where the connector used to be... Now there are just 4 solder points where one could theoretically solder the fan wires directly onto... they're just tiny.

    Given how easily the connector broke off and how often fans are replaced, I'm sure I'm not the first that's ever done this.. maybe someone working at a Genius Bar can chime in with a suggestion.
  6. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009

    Get to work! You broke it, you fix it.

    There's a whole world out there beyond the $7 radioshack soldering iron and its oversized tip.

    Hint: use tape or non conductive glue to hold wires down. Wipe off old solder balls quickly, and lay wire down. Heat wire with solder pad, and add solder.

    If you are not a skilled solderer, this is doomed to failure.
  7. Macconvert1 macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hi -- I was wondering how this turned out? I have the same problem only with a MB pro 15 it has only 2 very tiny connections Hmmmm :-/
  8. saigonA macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2011
    i have this same exact problem on my mbp 13. fortunately the outer 2 pin remain intact. The fan on run constantly full speed. Anyone know if would cause further damage.
  9. billyjo182 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    Fan connector fix!!!

    This is not a huge deal. I just accomplished this feat in less than 30 minutes with a $30 investment in a micro solder tip for my iron and 0.015" solder. You just have to have a little confidence and a little patience.

    If your fan connector breaks off, DO NOT PANIC! You do not need a professional. If you're looking for help on this site, then most likely, you have done small repairs before. So, here is what I did, and I believe if you found this column, you can probably do it to.

    1. Take the bottom cover off your Macbook Pro.

    2. Using a set of helping hands, I clipped the edge of the fan connector in the tip of the alligator clips, and positioned them directly where I needed the fan connector on the board. If you have a decent set and play around with the positioning this should not be a huge deal.

    3. Make sure you have a solder iron with a micro solder tip attached. This will look like a bent tip that comes to a needle point. They can be found at radio shack, that is where I bought mine this morning.

    4. You need 0.015" solder. I would not attempt this with anything larger due to the solder wanting to "jump connectors" when heated.

    5. With the fan connector in place, soldering iron heated up, 0.015" solder in hand; lightly touch the 0.015" solder with the iron just enough to solder the connection, YOU ONLY NEED A TINY DOT! Now, that you have a tiny dot on the tip of your iron, and the fan connector in place, LIGHTLY touch the first connector pin, rubbing in a vertical motion. you will see the solder start to coat the pin and make the connection to the board.

    6. Now repeat three more times.


    1. MAKE SURE YOU ONLY SOLDER 1 PIN AT A TIME AND DO NOT TOUCH OTHER PINS WHEN SOLDERING! This can accidentally bridge your connector pins and your fan will not work properly!!!!

    2. I drank a double shot of expresso prior, HUGE MISTAKE!!! My hands were shaking the entire time, aside from the coffee, I was scared ********! I still managed to pull it off with shaky hands, so, this should not be a big deal.

    3. TAKE YOUR TIME. This was an easy fix. If you don't rush, you should be fine. Feel free to write me if you'd like to see pictures, and a video of my fans working after the repair.

    4. This will save you $700 or more for a logic board replacement.

    5. Celebratory whiskey shot. BOO-YAH!


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