Unhinged

My 15″ Powerbook is an 867MHz Titanium – the last model Apple made before switching to the Aluminum Powerbook. Like many other TiBook owners, I suffered a broken hinge- 6 or 8 months ago. The Powerbook has remained usable, but I’ve been worried that the other hinge might break, and then I’d be out of luck.

So I recentlty ordered a set of replacement hinges from eBay. Apparently the originals were aluminum, but the replacements are steel, so I bought the matching set. I paid 125.00 USD plus shipping, which isn’t bad… I’ve seen them much higher. They arrived today, so tonight I replaced the bad hinge.

It went okay. The instructions the seller emailed me weren’t great- in fact, there were two sets, and they didn’t quite agree. In the end, I decided to wing it- I’m fairly adept at fixing things, and it wasn’t too bad. Not exactly for the faint of heart- there’s a bit of prying and bending of the screen’s back coverplate. But the job is done, the hinge is replaced, and it seems to work well. I think I’ll hang onto the other until the original needs replacing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to my digital camera, so I have no pictures of the process. As I said, the instructions I recieved weren’t great, but they did outline the basic steps, and I could find no better via Google. I don’t know the source, so I won’t republish them here, but if you need a copy, drop me an email and I’ll pass them along.

One other tip- work on any Apple laptop requires very small Torx screwdrivers (T-10 and smaller), generally in a few different sizes. I’ve never had any luck finding a set locally- at least until a few months ago. My local Lowes now carries a set of “Task Force” Torx drivers, with sizes T-4 through T-10 plus T-15, for five or six bucks, if I recall. Definately worth having on hand.

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One Response to “Unhinged”

  1. chornbe Says:

    Well, the good news is it’s not shiney and new any more, so it had to be less intimidating opening it now than back when it was still pretty new. It’s funny how having something for a while and perceiving it as “older” makes you less jumpy about things like that.

    You know that dell laptop I have for work? The hinges on that… well, the screws for mounting the hinges… come loose all the time. I turned it in to PC Admin once to get it done and they wanted to keep it for 3 days and have Dell come out and do it. pffffffffffffft. I got out my tools and fixed it right up. I was worried the first time because I didn’t want to void the warranty or the service contract. Since then I’ve had to do it about every 6 months (less now that I hardly ever undock it) and it’s like an old familiar slipper now, doing that job.

    I’ve almost had my iBook long enough to feel OK about opening it up to do the Bluetooth hack… almost. Not quite yet, but soon.