Need advice on opening 2003 iMac G4 17" USB 2.0

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by akator, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. akator macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2016
    I'm trying to clean and upgrade my G4 iMac. Following the iFixit guide, but I'm stuck on step 5. The bottom housing simply won't come loose from the front. Pulling harder is flexing the bottom too much, so much that area with the Airport card and memory flexes and separates from the rest of the housing.

    Shining a light in there it almost looks like the heat pipe isn't separating from the upper housing. Is this even possible?

    Anyone encountered something similar? Any advice? I'm worried about pulling any harder because the flexing really doesn't look healthy.
  2. akator thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2016
    It took a while but I figured it out. It really was the thermal paste, it had somehow completely glued the upper housing to the heat pipe. I managed to get some needlenose pliers in there and used them to expand and crack the old thermal paste loose.

    It took an surprising amount of force to get them separated. I have never experienced or even heard of this happening before. I've seen thermal paste get gummy or solidify, but never create a bond like that.

    All's well that ends well. The iMac is cleaned and upgraded with max RAM and a 240GB SSD. It has been running a few hours now as I reinstall software. It doesn't appear that there was any damage during the struggle to separate the top from bottom. (knocks on wood)
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    This is sadly becoming more common as the black paste stuff that Apple used is starting to reach 15 years old in some iMacs.

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