Possibly to replace Macbook air 13 mid 2011 display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by naamankaa, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. naamankaa macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    So, I have a mid 2011 Macbook air 13 with broken display. I'm looking for a way to fix this myself as I have prior experience with replacing laptop displays.

    My question is that is it even possible to replace the display of the Macbook air's with 1440x900 displays? I'm talking about only replacing the display panel not the whole display assembly.

    I found this video from youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHlQ904ft6k I think it's not the mid 2011 model but do you guys think that the prosedure would be the same?

    My second question is that can I replace the mid 2011 macbook air's 1440x900 display with 1280x800 display or do I have to look for 1440x900 displays? Would this one work http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-13-3-MacBook-Air-Replacement-LED-Screen-for-Chi-Mei-N13316-L02-/400252515169?pt=UK_Computing_LaptopAccess_RL&hash=item5d30e8b361#ht_4033wt_986? Or do it have to be something like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LG-PHILIPS-LP133WP1-TJA1-13-3-SCREEN-FOR-APPLE-/110944927598?pt=UK_Computing_Laptop_Screens_LCD_Panels&hash=item19d4d53f6e?

    All help is appreciated :)
  2. radiologyman macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2011
    I have broken Sony vgn-z from 2009 with great 13 inch screen. I would buy MBA or MBP 13 inch if I knew that display transplant would work.
  3. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    Checkout the iFixit guide. Basically, all you can do is replace the whole display unit, not just the screen. Seems to cost $599 for a replacement. Might be better off selling the laptop for parts.
  4. BusterW macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    I am in the process of replacing the LED lcd display in a 2011 A1369.

    The powerbook medic instructional is not the same procedure, that one is WAYYY easier to do. I have done both and i must say the LED lcd is much more difficult to remove since you have to separate the LED display from other film layers without damaging them and damaging the LED Backlight (which i might have done) .

    This is the instructional I watched http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHNtnvzfSzY - It is deceiving how easy they make it look.

    Right now I am at the point where the new lcd is ready to be installed but now the LED backlight is no longer lighting up. From my research I have seen that others have encountered this problem as well.

    I have done other LCD replacements in the past and this by far the most difficult one i have encountered and I can see why many people suggest just swapping out the whole top assmebly. smh. Now I just need to find out why the LED backlight is no longer working and I will be able to move forward.
  5. naamankaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    Is your macbook the one with 13" display? Where did you buy your replacement display? Did you use 1440x900 or 1280x800 display?

    Looking forward to hearing for how it all went :) All tips are welcome as I will have the same procedure facing me as soon as I find reasonably priced replacement display.
  6. BusterW macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    Yes this MBA is the 13 inch display A1369. The lcd i bought was this one here. ebay price is $249. http://www.skyline-eng.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=8726

    Im Still in the process of reparing it. This job has become a nightmare honestly but I have learned alot. I have lost alot of sleep over getting it done the last 3 days.

    I must caution you that YOU MUST DISCONNECT THE BATTERY FROM THE LOGIC BOARD BEFORE REMOVING THE LCD OR REMOVING THE LCD LVDS CABLE from the old lcd. - Alot of people speak of no backlight working after switching out the new lcd. If you don't dis-connect the battery from the logic prior to removal it shorts out a fuse on the logic referred to as the F9800. On other model Macbook Pro Unibodies it is also referred to as the WLED circuit.

    I concluded that it is the culrpit from reading this thread. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=972699

    And this thread by Cmdrdata - http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1163253&page=2

    My next step is to remove the logic board, locate the f9800 fuse and replace it or bridge the connection with solder (which is not recommend because it could later short and fry other components)

    Luckily the user: Cmdrdata lives in the Dallas area (as do i) so my next step is contact him and see if he can help me locate the f9800 fuse and fix it.

    I will keep you updated and let you know if this fixes the backlight issue. And maybe by then I can rest easy!
  7. naamankaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    Have you already found a solution to your backlight problem?
  8. BusterW macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    No i haven't, this repair has become a nightmare. I found what i assumed was the f9800 fuse and jumped/bypassed it with solder. The result was no lcd response, system boot, frozen Macbook Air. It chimes at start up but i can't even boot from an external usb, recognize usb devices, boot normally etc.

    My best advice is to just replace the clamshell - whole top assembly all at once. Make sure you disconnect the battery before anything else. Install and be done.

    Pay the extra money for whole assembly. Its worth every penny to play it safe instead of turning your Macbook into a desk ornament.:(:(:(

    I found whole top shell assemblies on Alibaba.com for $200. Go that route.

    If i find a fix i Will keep you updated. thanks and good luck
  9. BusterW macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    Btw if it means anything I am not a noob to apple hardware repairs.

    I have been buying, selling, fixing, and repairing apple products for the last 3 years.

    Started out with the iphone 3G all the way up to now with the newly released iphone 5. Reviving dead iMac G5's with blown capacitors to teardowns and repairs on A1181 macbooks, mb pro unibodies, lcd's on the Macbook Air's prior to the LED display, to cracked glass on the ipad.

    I repair/refurbish about 3-7 apple products per week.

    This is the first a1369 / a1370 LED lcd replacement I have done. This task has been a drag through the mud and has left me with many sleepless nights.

    If your experienced and know to solder, have an smd rework station with hot air, and have done many adhesive fixed lcd replacements then go for it. If not proceed with caution.

    Buy all the necessary tools and do it right. If your only doing for personal use then just go with the whole top case assembly. Save yourself many hours of heart ache.

    In hindsight I don't regret it, I have learned alot through the whole process, but man has it been a beating.. PM me if u need anymore insight. Thanks
  10. naamankaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    Thank you for your thoughts and I think I will take your advice and try to find the whole display assembly somewhere. Sad that you encountered multiple problems when trying to replace your macbook air display :(

    I have never ordered from alibaba before. Is it safe? I have only made orders from ebay and have had no problems. Do you know any reliable seller on alibaba with reasonable price?
  11. heartofgold108 macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2013
    I have worked on MacBook Air A1369 13" but not on A1370 which is the 11"

    Hey I have something to mention:

    If you really are very careful you can do it. I can say that this is the most difficult repair of all apple macbook/pro/air lcds. I have done A1181, A1267, A1304, A1278, A1297 and others.

    I just wanted to share my experience with you all.

    First of all that youtube which is linked above in one of the postings wasn't really good I would say because:

    1. Dismantling the lcd is not performed that way. First the lcd display assembly should be separated from the lower or the bottom assembly. ifixit.com has nice and clear picture manuals how to do it. This way working to remove the lcd becomes much easier.

    2. Removing the bezel isn't that way as well. I used a thin plastic sheet like credit cards but much thinner perhaps half the thickness, like the ones used in toy boxes. I got mine from a mouse packet from costco or so. I heated the bezel with a heat gun in my case my hair dryer. This way the bezel is not warped or bent but remains flat. Using it to replace back again is no hassle.

    3. Rest were good, I liked how he did it although I would like emphasize that the back light connector or flex cable has a black tape which needs to be removed first.

    CAUTION you don't want to go too far inside because you can damage or scratch the back light screen very easily.

    Removing the display is a tough one because it is very thin and the glue hold them very firmly. So heat the edges often and separate it gently. In my case I had few chips of the lcd that were stuck on the tape so I had a tough time removing them with a fine point tweezers. I was careful not to let those pieces fall on the back light sheet. They could easily leave marks. If you leave any marks they will show blotches on the screen when the back ground it white or black.

    I learned a lot from doing it.


    After reinstalling the new lcd and connected the connections etc, the back light did not turn on. At first I thought I might have broken it but I found out that I had connected the back light connector upside down. I realized this only when I used that lcd on a different assembly. The connector is strange because the ribbon is flipped in a strange way. So mind you all who are doing this repair, DON'T PANIC YOUR BACK LIGHT MAY NOT BE BROKEN, it could just be that the back light flex cable may have been installed upside down like I did once.

    The back light is quite strong. The most attention that you need to pay is the lcd which is really thin and fragile. I am sorry whatever that display is called whether it be lcd, led, wxga or whatever but I know that you know what I am talking about.

    Anyway, I am glad that I was able to do it without breaking any other part or that expensive lcd that I bought from eBay. It was $215 including shipping.

    I was googling last night and some one was worried about their back light so since I found out, I just wanted to post this incase they were still looking.

    Enjoy and pass the happiness we find along so others can share,too.

    This is my first post on MacRumors although I often read the blogs searching for answer to what I need. Of course we all need true happiness. CHEERS!:)
  12. Mark83 macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2013
    Can you give us a Link where you buy your LED? Is there no cheaper option for a LED Display?
    Also my apple logo on the screen is broken, can I fix it with the same logo from a MacBook Pro 13,3" from 2010?

    Thx for help!
  13. jjbar macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2013
    I tore the ribbon cable for the LED backlight - A1369

    Well I was ready to install the new LCD panel ($250) only to tear the
    ribbon cable for the back-light. The back-light seems firmly glued to the
    case as every other piece was. The repair shop says I have to replace
    the whole assembly for $500. So this is one expensive repair!
    Can someone direct me to where the LED back-light can be purchased?
  14. oghowie macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2008
    Wow. Glad I found this thread regarding swapping out the display yourself. Thanks for all the info.
  15. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but thought the question is relevant here:

    Other than eBay and iFixIt, does anyone have any parts supplies they can recommend for getting a replacement top shell / display assembly for a Macbook Air?
  16. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    Get an defective MBA with display intact from ebay for as cheap as possible, take LCD assembly from it and sell everything else.

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