Tight hinge on MacBook Pro 15 retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xxcysxx, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. xxcysxx macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    Hi folks,
    Does any of you guys ever tried to loosen the hinge on your MacBook Pro retina 15 inch?
    I just got one with an ideal and flawless clarity screen and i really don't want to bring it back to exchange just because of the tight hinge. If I can loosen the hinge and make it smoother myself it would be great.

    Thanks for any helpful input folks
  2. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    The hinge is fairly adjustable if you have the right tools- a pentalobe and a Torx T5 (I believe)- but you're running the risk of voiding the warranty by doing that. The Genius Bar will be more than happy to adjust it for you as well.

    I had a hinge alignment issue and I chose a $20 trip to the Apple Store over $30 in tools- usually I'll choose in favor of adding to my tool collection and doing my own repairs but something about this computer scared me. They offered to replace it first, as I was within the return period, but I declined and asked them to just fix the one I had. Took about an hour in the store all told.
  3. xxcysxx thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    Well, I just check out ifixit article about the retina display assembly tear down, and based on my observation on the hinge part, it doesn't look so adjustable, and also it doesn't look like the hinge is replaceable either since the data cable is pass through the hollow hinge. If the hinge is going to be replace, the whole screen assemble will have to be replace.
    Well, this certainly sucks! Look like I will have to deal with a stiff hinge
  4. swerve147, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013

    swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Lucky you, I feel my hinge is slightly loose. I'd love a super-tight hinge that requires a good workout to close. Wanna trade?

    I did bring in my MBP to tighten the hinge btw, they didn't hesitate to do it, it took a Genius appointment and 10 min. However, it still isn't tight enough to my liking. Anyway, maybe if you ask they can loosen it for you.
  5. xxcysxx thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    I just email ifixit on the tight hinge adjustment. Hopefully things will look up. I have the pentalobe and the torq drivers by the way, and I have already take the lid off the retina machine to look around. I'm quite comfortable handling this stuff. I just need a firm thought on the work process to i can plan accordingly without wasting time.

    Sweeve147, was the laptop that you bring in for hinge adjustment a retina fifteen inch?
  6. MacKid macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2003
    The hinge on my rMBP is super stiff, and I couldn't be happier. Not a degree of wobble when typing on my lap.
  7. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Yes it was. The Genius who set up the appointment asked me specifically which model I had because certain MacBook hinges couldn't be adjusted. So they can definitely adjust the 15" Retina.

    Honestly I felt bad asking because my hinge was just about as loose/tight as the models on display at the Apple Store, and the Genius initially said it was pretty tight, but they'd go in there and give the screws another turn anyway. I was very appreciative of that, unfortunately it didn't make a difference (well either that or they thought I was nuts and "tightened the hinge" for me in the back room anyway lol).
  8. theuserjohnny macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2012
    I don't know about you but I'm happy my hinge is tight. No worry of the screen or something being wobbly.
  9. xxcysxx thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    So your hinge was not as tight as you like the first time and had the genius adjust it for you and its still not as tight as you like again. But did it get tighter? Like was there a noticeable heavier resistive feel than before? Or was the adjustment made no difference at all?

    I got another fifteen inch retina and a thirteen inch retina, and they both feel very smooth and they stay put while handling with the screen open. So I have something to reference to, and this one is definitely tight! Or maybe I'm just used to the smooth feel of the other two.
  10. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    A very slight perceptible difference. The store claimed they went in and tightened the screws as much as they could without breaking them.

    My hinge is also very smooth and the lid stays put while handling with the screen open. There's just a little too much wobble for my tastes. But again, like I said I like my hinge super tight. In the end I think I'm probably being unrealistic, it's probably as tight as it can be.
  11. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Every laptop will be different. Same as if you go into a brand new hotel, every door hinge will be slightly different.

    The "guide" for MacBook hinges is that you should be able to open the laptop with one finger and the base should stay on the table, and you should be able to hold it at a 90 degree angle while open (like this ¬) and the display should stay open.
  12. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Yeah I pass both those tests. I'd prefer to pry apart my laptop to open it, but in the end it's fine.
  13. xxcysxx thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    well, ifixit sent me a reply and this is what i got.

    i thought this is the case, because i observe the pictures of the hinges very closely on their teardown and it doesn't seem like the screws have any measurable influences on the stiffness of the hinge. it look like i will have to deal with it now. i'm done here, thanks everyone for posting.

    here are some pictures of the hinge from ifixit to show what i'm talking about.

  14. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Hmm, interesting. So the Apple guys didn't really tighten my hinge? And the hinge is non-servicable in terms of tightening/loosening? That's good to know, thank you for researching this!
  15. jpnous macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2014
    Hinge on 15" is adjustable

    hey guys just did this on my "mid 2012" 15" macbook pro retina. The hinges are adjustable.

    The 2 slot side of the hinge (the screen side bracket) changes the tension. my screws on the screen side bracket were so loose i could see them rattle. Careful, the slightest "fingertight" was plenty tight for mine. Before, my display would bounce up and down if a gust of wind hit it.

    hope this helps. ps. get the spudger from ifixit. the black middle slider between the screen and keyboard is a pita to remove without scratching up your cover.

  16. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
  17. sneak3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    Hey! Im not sure if you are still around but, where did you hear that from? I have a macbook pro mid 2012, 15" which I'm not sure if the lid is 100% fine.

    I performed the 90 degree angle test and the lid fell, but did not close completely. It falls and gradually stops at a 45 degree angle, from the original 90 degree.

    I would like to investigate that further but I haven't found that guide test anywhere else.
  18. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Mine loosened up on the 13" over time.

    I think the 15" is tight to prevent creaking but that's just a guess.
  19. dazz87 macrumors 65816

    Sep 24, 2007
  20. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    If it falls while just being held there, then the hinge is too loose, and you'll most likely need a new clamshell (nobody repairs these hinges).

    If you're under warranty it'll be free. If not, you may as well live with the loose screen. You can try it yourself, but it's not something I'd want to attempt.
  21. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    I consider the tight hinge a good thing. I will losen over time, do not worry about it. A hell of a lot worse if it was really loose.
  22. sneak3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    Technician said there was no problem at all. I brought the machine to them and all he said was that he tightened the screws. It didn't help. My guess is the hinges came loose from factory, like inherently loose.

    There's only one repair center in my state. I can't even think about sending my machine over to another repair center in another state via postal service. Way too risky. And maybe the other guys would argue the same thing.

    My next step is ordering used parts. Got a few friends with 3 year old macbook pros with hinges tighter than mine, so I guess a used set will probably be better than what I have now.

    Sad life.
  23. sachin234000 macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2012
    Same case here, lid is too tight.

    Got my MacBook Pro retina display replaced by apple and the new screen was absolutely fine until i noticed that the hinge was too tight. It got me worried and i gave my machine back to apple service center for repair. After two days, i got my machine back and haven't noticed a difference at all. But it's better to have tight hinge then wobbling loose hinge. The service centre guys were seems to be absolutely clueless.
    I even tried tightening up the hinge screws myself by haven't noticed any difference at all.
    Other than this, the machine is absolutely incredible. Loving every single minute of it. :)

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