Unibody 15" MBP (late 2011) Keyboard repair - Done :)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Beliblis, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Beliblis macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011

    Just wanted to let you know I have just succesfully replaced the keyboard unit on my late 2011 MBP (15" model). Water-spillage, so didn't even try warranty. That said: none of the liquid sensors had been triggered!

    The keyboard unit I bought off ebay was declared as "100% brand new", however it had VERY clear marks on the back, so defintiely second hand. Still a bargain at US$30.

    Prior to disassembly the biggest question was: Will the keyboard unit be RIVETED or SCREWED onto the aluminium enclosure? Luckily, it was screwed, about 60-70 tiny little screws (all the same size, Philips 000 screwdriver did the job nicely).
    Careful though: I have heard reports about other MBPs being riveted! Not sure which models/years...

    Overall, the repair was fairly straight-forward. The only REAL nightmare was to put the keyboard ribbon cable back into its slot. (Step 17 here:

    The only cosmetic problem I've got now is the backlight display: in the centre it's nice and bright - on the outsides it's incredibly dim.
    Maybe I wasn't careful enough when I put the backlight foil back onto the acrylic backing. (There's tiny little holes in the acrylic for the backlight LEDs).

    Other than that: Very happy to have saved myself from purchasing AppleCare a while ago. And I now know two things:

    1) Disassembly is not as hard as it seems.
    2) Thanks to the backlight display backing, the motherboard is fairly well-protected from water spillages. As long as you turn the laptop upside down to dry out, things should be fine in most cases!

    Hope this helps!!
  2. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Yeah, it's an easy-ish repair - just painstaking with all those screws!!!

    And you're right about the rivets - the non-unibody aluminium MacBook Pro keyboards are held on with a combination of rivets, screws and tape (I swear those machines are held together with tape though!).
  3. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011
    Are you sure it's just the non-unibody machines that have rivets? On eBay I've seen offers for screws only, to replace rivets. Though that would be a REAL pain to drill out all the rivets, then out threads into place... when, really, replacing a keyboard unit on non-unibodys is a piece of cake anyway...
  4. Grahf85 macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2015
    I just replaced my early 2011 macbook pro keyboard. The backlight is behaving the same was you describe on your macbook. Did you ever find a solution?

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