iPhone 3GS Vibrator Replacement

The vibrating part of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 1 Vibrator  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips #00 screws from the dock-connector end of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Remove the metal handle from the suction cup. It's easier and safer to grip the suction cup's base instead of the metal handle.

  • Be very careful when opening the iPhone so that the cables under the display are not severed.

  • There is a rubber gasket between the silver front bezel and black display assembly. A bit of force is required in this step to separate the iPhone's display assembly.

  • Use a small suction cup near the Home button to gently pull up the bottom portion of the iPhone's display assembly.

  • If the display assembly is too damaged to allow the suction cup to adhere, tape with a strong adhesive such as duct tape may be used.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The display assembly is still connected to the iPhone by several cables, so don't try to remove it entirely just yet.

  • Rotate the display assembly up until it is at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Continue to hold the display assembly with one hand, and use your other hand and a spudger to disconnect the black ribbon cable labeled "1."

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Rotate the display assembly up until it is roughly vertical. This will allow easier access for disconnecting the remaining cables.

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the black ribbon cable labeled "2."

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to flip up the white plastic hinged flap holding the remaining ribbon cable in place. The white tab will rotate up 90 degrees, releasing the ribbon cable.

  • This flap may be black or white. Be sure you are flipping up the hinged flap, not the socket itself.

  • Slide the black ribbon cable out of its connector, and remove the display assembly from the iPhone.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Insert your SIM eject tool or a paper clip into the hole next to the headphone jack.

  • Press down on the tool until the SIM card tray pops out.

  • Grasp the SIM card tray and slide it out of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable labeled "4."

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable labeled "5."

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable labeled "6."

  • If you have an iPhone 3GS, refer to picture 2 and use a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable labeled "7."

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel up the small sticker labeled "Do not remove."

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 8 screws:

    • Five 2.3 mm Phillips #00 screws with partial threads securing the logic board to the rear panel.

    • Two 2.3 mm Phillips #00 screws with full threads securing the logic board and camera.

    • One 2.9 mm Phillips #00 screw from beneath the "Do not remove" sticker.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to gently remove the camera retaining clip, (formerly secured by the removed screw) and gently pry the camera up and out of its housing in the rear panel. The camera cannot be removed entirely yet because it's connected to the bottom of the logic board.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to gently pry up the end of the logic board closest to the dock connector.

  • If the board won't lift up, double check to make sure all the screws securing the logic board have been removed.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Slide the logic board towards the dock connector and out of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips #00 screws securing the vibrator to the rear panel.

  • These screws are smaller diameter than all the others. Make sure you don't mix them up with the other screws. On reassembly, only these two screws will fit.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Lift the vibrator up and out of the iPhone.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the iPhone 3GS device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Small Suction Cup

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I also went the route of skipping steps 4-16. If you do this, be careful with the front panel since you have just enough room to turn it while it's connected to give you access to the vibrator assembly. The angled tweezers (Part # IF145-020-5) were a lifesaver for replacing the two tiny screws to the vibrator assembly. Also, you might have an issue vibrate not working after you replace the front panel. I fixed this by pushing on the vibrator assembly a splunger while giving each screw another slight turn. It's barely noticeable, but doing that should allow the vibrator to work without hitting the front panel assembly.

jasonramage, · Reply

can i buy a replacement plastic tab for holding ribbon as mine jumped out when installing new parts if so is there a parts no or price

lestheplumber, · Reply

Following this guide, while trying to "flip up the white plastic tab", it broke (it is the BLACK one that should be flipped) and now I have a 600 EUR paperweight.

On my 3G, there is both a white & black plastic tab; it is the BLACK one that needs to be flipped up 90 degrees...

Normally iFixIt is awesome with the details, but this oversight left me sad, annoyed, and without an iPhone :( :( :(

casemon, · Reply

Quote from casemon:

Following this guide, while trying to "flip up the white plastic tab", it broke (it is the BLACK one that should be flipped) and now I have a 600 EUR paperweight.

On my 3G, there is both a white & black plastic tab; it is the BLACK one that needs to be flipped up 90 degrees...

Normally iFixIt is awesome with the details, but this oversight left me sad, annoyed, and without an iPhone :( :( :(

That's not right, just put my iPhone in parts and on the 3G it's definitly a white plastic which should be flipped!!

Guide worked like a charm!

Thx for this guys!

bg

M R, · Reply

Quote from M R:

That's not right, just put my iPhone in parts and on the 3G it's definitly a white plastic which should be flipped!!

Guide worked like a charm!

Thx for this guys!

bg

Perhaps I wasn't clear; some have white and some have black; consider yourself one of the lucky ones! This oversight can be costly otherwise.

casemon, · Reply

After removing the screen, the vibrator is completely accessible. I stopped after this step, replaced the vibrator, then re-assembled the phone. There is no need to go any further.

mrjohn387, · Reply

I was able to skip steps 7 - 11, then I removed the 5 screws holding the logic board in. This allows enough space that when the screws holding the vibrator in are removed, the vibrator can be carefully tilted up and out and the new vibrator can be tilted in since the contacts are springs. This works great and saves a lot of time and less removal of phone parts. Have a nice set of electronic tweezers to help in grasping parts.

clintd72, · Reply

Replacing the motor, I have just done two phones. One makes a rattly vibrate noise, which I think a bit reminscent to my iPhone 3G when new. The second I used a small dollop of neutral cure silicone between the case and motor (staying away from the rotating mass). The annoying vibration noise is not present on the phone with the silicone, so I will redo the first.

Interestingly, the two phones had different motors. Both iPhone 3G 16GB - one black and one white bought at the same time. One had the motor with coil spring contacts, the other had the bent metal contacts. I decided to replace with the coil spring contacts having read a possible issue with vibration affecting the bent metal contact.

cheongi, · Reply

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