Should I Go Ahead With A Creaking Fix???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jack Sun, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Jack Sun macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2013
    I LOVE everything about my new rMBP, my first Mac..........except..........have to say, the growing problem with a creaking, flexing, hollow-feeling back plate is starting to annoy me. Just sounds and feels a little cheap for a $2000 "unibody precision crafted" rig.

    So my idea is to open her up and pop a few little slivers of felt spacer stickers on the battery packs around the middle of the underside (so the felt will be against the backplate once replaced). I'm hoping this will make it feel more solid and reduce the creaking a bit. I assume it won't affect cooling to any noticeable degree.

    Am I wrong? Any reasons why I shouldn't do this, why this might be a terrible idea? I've attached a photo of the felt pads I plan to use and the cool little electronics toolkit I found on Amazon. If I do it, I'll post more pics and a report...

    Attached Files:

  2. Laco macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    If it is under warranty why go through all this trouble just get Apple to fix it for free.
  3. Jack Sun thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Because making it "feel more solid" by propping the backplate from bowing in so flimsily is a personal preference versus a warranty issue, right?

    And others say they take it in for creaking and the Geniuses tighten the screws or something that usually reduces (but doesn't eliminate) the creaking. I can do that myself in a few minutes and save an 1-1.5 hour trip to the mall...
  4. Shmanky macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2005
    Don't strip your screws like I did. I'm worried about putting foreign objects inside the case. I brought in my machine twice to the Genius Bar for creaking and it wasn't fully fixed. Consider returning it.
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    And if you scratch or damage something in the process, your warranty is toast. At least give Apple 1 chance to fix it before taking a screwdriver to a $ 1000 plus machine.
  6. djplaxe2109 macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2013
    Agreed. Let Apple take care of it.
  7. ducatiti macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2011
    Yep. Screw heads to be rounded/stripped. A Genius and myself ended up doing so. I say return it for a new one. Too much of a hassle for a new machine.
  8. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Are those pads at least heat resistant up to ~100 C? And the glue?

    I don't think this is a good idea to try to repair it yourself.
  9. js09 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2010
    mine is creaking too and i hate it. but i am of the opinion that i have 1 year to take it to apple to fix it, so i am in no rush.
  10. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    More often than not - taking the bottom case off, repositioning it and screwing it back on a little less tightly than on the factory solves it.
  11. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland

    I too had the creaking 'issue' with my new rMBP, and did just that. It wasn't noticeably out of alignment, but just seemed like the obvious thing to try. It worked perfectly - no more bottom plate creaking here!

    Give it a go, and be careful with those screwheads!
  12. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    has anyone taking this to apple to get it fixed yet?
  13. Shmanky macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2005
    Yeah I have; but they didn't fix it; they only reduced the creaking.
  14. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    What did they say to you when you told them it's still there?
  15. Shmanky macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2005
    They told me to bring in the machine again. And I did and they serviced it again. And it still creaked. But it creaked less. So it was weird to try to go back because it was hard to reproduce. Then I got an entire machine replacement for an unrelated reason and this one creaks too but very rarely.
  16. Jack Sun, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014

    Jack Sun thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Against most of your advice, I did it! ;-) Also, added some steps from another thread about oiling screws.

    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 fit 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. 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
    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!
  17. Nik macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2007
  18. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    Went to apple, they said this was normal and a part of the design cause of the springs and there wasn't anything they can do about it. Crappy for me i guess.

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