Repairing your own iPod? Take this advice

By far the most common mistake someone makes when repairing their broken iPod is damaging another part during the process. The iPod is a well designed gadget but presents many opportunities to mess things up during the take apart and reassembly.

We are posting these tips for those of you deciding to make your own repairs. If you don’t have experience with small devices or are all thumbs when making technical repairs by all means give Denver Mac a call to handle your beloved device repair.


Getting the device open is not as easy as many online resources would have you believe. Particularly, one needs to be aware of the way the glass is married to the midframe held in place by small metal tension clips. If the touch screen glass is what you’re repairing, this is far less of a problem than replacing another internal component, say, a headphone jack, home button, or LCD display.


Provided that the digitizer glass is already cracked you only need to be aware of what is beneath it and make sure that tools are not inserted too deeply during the removal process. Standard shipping ‘spudger” tools reduce the risk of component damage due to their small semi flexible tips. The other side of this coin is the inherent uselessness of those same semi flexible spudger tips.
They barely have the force to release the midframe and screen from the attachment clips and wear out rather fast during the process. Most professional shops shun these soft tools opting for harder metal tips and experience developed through numerous replacements that turn hone a surgeons touch when making these moves. On most iPod devices, the tool is inserted “shallow” just under the glass, the metal tool giving greater grab and leverage when releasing the clips. To get the same force from the plastic spudger tool, deeper insertion is needed or using two in tandem sometimes gives an edge.


Never slide the spudger alongside the midframe. It is useless proposition because first, the retaining clips merely spring back after the tip slides over them, and you run the risk of hitting a connecting wire or worse yet creating pressure against the delicate LCD screen underneath your glass. It doesn’t take much to crack the LCD screen especially with the tight tolerances.


The bottom line is this: When removing the glass make sure that you do not insert your tools too deeply. The best option is to manage your project in steps. Release each clip holding the midframe one at a time and work outwards from the first one released. Its recommended to use two tools; first the soft plastic spudger that you insert deeply to create a separation between the clip you’re working on and the midframe. Then leave that tool in place and use a metal tool such as a thin blade to lift upwards on the midframe/glass assembly. Again, this is paramount, DON’T insert the metal blade deeper than two thicknesses of the digitizer glass or you risk doing damage to the device.


Of course if you can avoid using metal tips and stick to the plastic spudger you lessen your risks and it is strongly advised that self repairers stick to plastic for the first repair attempt.


Denver Mac is presenting these tips as instructional viewpoints and does not advocate either repairing your own device or following non traditional methodologies during the repair process. We accept no liability for any mishaps made during a user initiated repair.


C 2011 Denver Mac