Is it possible to replace Unibody shell?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jmdeegan, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. jmdeegan macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    the slipperyness of the unibody, combined with fleece pj pants, has me asking this question. my macbook pro seems to be unusually prone to drops/falls, moreso than any of my other laptops that i've ever had (and i've probably had 10 or 12 by now).

    anyways, the MBP took a dive this evening, and luckily for me it does still function fine--no damage in that respect. however, the lower left corner of my top shell case (LCD) is now severely bent/warped due to the fall. this means that the MBP will not close completely, with a noticeable gap on the left side when closing it.

    so is it possible to have someone replace the top of the unibody shell? i'd rather spend a couple hundred to replace the shell as opposed to 2000 on a new MBP (its a late 2008, but its running fine otherwise). i havent made a trip to the genius bar yet---tho i know they will tell me its going to be outta my pocket, natch because its a drop and also im just out of warranty.

    googled it and searched a while and i didn't come across any replacing of the shell itself....

  2. applebook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2009
    Actually, it's very easy to replace the top casing. Make sure that you have the necessary screws. has a disassemble guide. Be warned that the LCD hinge screws are ridiculously tight and very tough to unscrew without stripping them.
  3. jmdeegan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    cool thanks...ill google that. i found a place that replaces the whole deal for like $175, but doesn't appear to just sell the part itself. i'm keen on the self-replacement myself, all things being equal
  4. applebook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2009
    Is that price including the part itself? If so, then it's a great deal; otherwise, no because you are paying around $50 an hour. You could probably DIY in under 3.5 hours.

    People don't really appreciate how awesome the unibody is until they take apart the system components and see how much simpler, easier, and less frustrating than it used to be when you would have tons of little weird parts here and there screwed onto the case.
  5. jmdeegan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007
    as i understand it, 175 is for the lid and the labor, not sure if it includes round trip shipping but it may also include that as well. have an email out to them to verify.

    i would probably rather do it myself, simply to save the loss of my macbook for multiple days....but so far, i've found no sites carrying just the aluminum unibody screen backing/lid/enclosure, call it what you will...most are selling it as the entire screen assembly (at 700 bucks), if they sell it at all.

    im guessing an apple store price would probably be the same, replace the whole display.

    stupid slippery laptop and comfortable fleece pants.....
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    If a deal is too good to be true, then it probably it is. Heed this warning, waay too many people fall for scams. Not saying this is one ($175), but it's waay too cheap, something is up.
  7. jmdeegan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2007

    the only thing making me think it might be OK, is that its via myservice, and i've seen them mentioned favorably on here and other mac sites i frequent. and per their site, they are an authorized service provider.

    hopefully it's legit. i'll pay that to fix the lid...and then find me a skin or something for the bottom of this thing to make it less slippery....finally
  8. iMav macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2008
    Columbus, WI
    Have you checked with any local Apple-Authorized Service Providers? I've got a great one near me and I wouldn't hesistate to use them.

    I use them instead of the Apple store for warranty repairs as well because their turn around time is ridiculously fast.
  9. SPNarwhal macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    you would really buy a brand new macbook pro over this issue?
  10. coast1ja macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2009
    I would use a Zagg Invisible Shield or something similar. These give it a much 'stickier' finish that is easier to hold on to.
  11. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    You're saying that it isn't frustrating?

    You have to remove the glass. You need a heatgun or a SMD desoldering rework station to heat the glue and a suction cup.

    Then you need to remove the LCD. Plugging it back in is a pain in the ass because the display cable is not long enough to plug it in without shoving it from the other end.

    Then you have to reapply it with no dust getting back in. Unless you have a professional clean room, this is going to drive you ******* insane. One little speck gets much more annoying over time. I have a $400 air filter in a small room dedicated to this and it is still a pain in the ass to get it to be absolutely perfect.

    Don't get me started on wifi/webcam/other ****. Putting all this stuff back on after it is removed is a ridiculous pain in the ass(unless it is included with your new assembly).

    Unless you cannot live with the machine as it is, I'd recommend against doing it. If you're a glutton for punishment, do it.

    I'm not saying this is a pain for purposes of self advertisement, as I offer no services for cosmetic issues.
  12. applebook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2009
    Removing the LCD glass is a major pain, but everything is pretty easy.

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