Comprehensive Creaking/Flimsy/Hollow Backplate Fix for rMBP 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jack Sun, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Jack Sun macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Against most of your advice, I opened up my new 15" and improved the flexy hollow creaking backplate issues. Many people report going to the Apple Store and NOT finding fixes, so I decided to figure it out myself.

    And VERY happy with results.

    Here's the rundown:

    1. Removed screws and backplate (was very nervous about stripping screws after so many reports, but found them very easy to turn after ensuring a tight pairing with pentalobe bit. Maybe my cheapo electronics bit set is high quality after all)

    2. Carefully oiled the rather dry and friction-y springs (these are ON the motherboard, so minimal oil for sure. High quality machine oil. The springs are weird little metal cylinders that double into themselves. I found some of them were very dry, almost sticking, and so a little lube really smoothed them out)

    3. Oiled the two cheesy plastic clips (female side) that hold two cheesy plastic inserts on backplate that snap into clips (what is this, Apple? These plastic snaps seem out of place with the rest of the build quality)

    4. Cut two of my sticky pads in half, added two halves near the center of the computer, on upper middle of battery packs (battery packs already have sticky cushions on them for this reason...mine are a little thicker and so brace backplate better)

    5. Added two other halves stacked on each other on blank area near middle back (under screen, where there is very little support and LOTS of flimsy play in backplate. With the first pads on battery under trackpad, the center of backplate felt MUCH more solid, but the back area under keyboard and especially the screen felt even more wobbly and hollow, really just a surprising amount of play in backplate back there, so I added this stack. I've decided the back plate for the 15" is just TOO THIN for the span it covers, which is why it is so flexy and hollow-feeling. It at least needs some kind of roll-bar braces across it, rather than a silly and inadequate system of springs, pads, and plastic snaps. I guess Apple chose to reduce weight?)

    6. Oiled each backplate screw as I replaced them, since they, the backplate, and the screw mounts are all bare metal (note that the two middle back screws under screen are shorter than the other 8 screws)

    I tightened them very tight, though I know most people say LOOSENING them is what fixes the creaking. I wanted to see if the oil would help. It does. A lot...

    I didn't see any reason to worry about adding the pads, and can easily remove them before taking the machine to Apple Store if need be (in case of warranty-void issues). Overall machine feels MUCH MUCH more solid, less hollow, no creaking, even typing on the keyboard and clicking on the trackpad feels more solid. MUCH better!

    Attached Files:

  2. Jack Sun thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Just want to add, one month later, with lots of use, previously creaky flimsy rMBP is going strong, no creaking, not a squeak. Loving this machine, and very glad I took the time to oil and "mod" it...
  3. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    Apple techs are not stupid, if you did have to take it in they would know you have taken it apart. Goodbye warranty. Think I would prefer for Apple to fix/replace if under warranty. But you could be lucky and have years of no problems.
  4. sekoitus macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2009
    Does this still work for you? Haven't the felt pads caught fire?

    Can you show with red circles or something where did you exactly put the felt pads?



Share This Page