Digitizers lift back off after replacement

I own a computer repair shop and have alot of experience working on mac's and pc's. I recently started offering phone and tablet repair services. I dont really have any issues with any other device. But I have worked on 3 difference Ipod touch 4th gen devices and every time I install a new digitizer the top left hand corner starts to seperate from the casing, its like the adhesive isnt strong enough to hold it there, Ive read forum after forum.

I remove the old digitizer, re-install everything test fit the digitizer, clean the digitizer frame with alcohol. apply the adhesive according to the guide. Then press the screen into the frame. then the top left hand corner separates every time. I have disassembled the devices and checked to make sure everything is in place, but there is either something out of place pushing the digitizer's back up or I am continually getting defective 3m tape. Is there a better adhesive I should be getting?

I'm assuming this is something small and stupid I have simply overlooked. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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When you put the screen on hold the ipod with the top to your left and long ways. Take the glass and tilt it up from the bottom about 15 degrees. Push the top in first and work your way gently down to the bottom. You should feel the screen "snap" in place.

When your first starting out, do this several times, without the adhesive on, to get the right feel. At this point you can check the iPod, if there are any issues, you can easily remove the screen, fix the problem, and re-check. Once everything runs ok, lay down your adhesive and insert the screen as described.

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I had similar issues... I later discovered it could be one of three things:

  1. Slightly warped screens (defective LCD digitizers) that won't sit flush no matter what you do.
  2. Thicker LCD digitizers - Apple depth specification for LCD digitizers is between 2.95 mm - 3.00 mm. I measured several original digitizers with a micrometer, the max depth was 3 mm but most of the LCD digitizers available on eBay & Amazon are thicker than 3 mm.
  3. The metal that holds the volume button (top-left hand corner covered in black) if not well secured after lifting the logic board will push against a thicker LCD digitizer thus the lift you see on the top-left hand corner.

With the issue you have described, it is more of #2 and #3. I hope this will help you with your repairs.

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Dan, Thanks a lot. I was able to completely disassemble the iPod. It was easy! And you're absolutely right about your original instructions - makes it possible to achieve a screen that sits flush. And thanks for GoUnlock.com - they have just about everything at reasonable prices plus videos! I really appreciate your input. You're the best!!!

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Dan,

Thank you for the information you gave concerning LCD/Digitizer replacement. I have not totally disassemble an iPod touch before but I plan on doing that sometime today. I have three questions for you:

1. Can you recommend a good LCD/Digitizer seller online like eBay or Amazon?

2. Have you ever had to replace the metal back plate when they are damaged beyond repair that a new screen will just not fit? If so, please recommend a good seller.

3. And do you know of stronger adhesives other than the 3M adhesive tapes?

I am trying to get the contact information for the company that makes the boxes for USPS. The adhesives that they use on the boxes are insanely strong - stronger than the original black adhesives on iPods! I want to know if they can sell or manufacture adhesives for my repairs.

I will post on here if I have any question with total disassembling of the iPod Touch. I came across a couple of videos on Youtube that I believe will be helpful.

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To answer your questions, firstly, try Gounlock.com, search "ipod 4th", screens are reasonably priced and I know from experience that they fit properly and sit tight every time I use them. I only have experience with black and white, although a variety of colors are available, try these at your own risk. I use 3M tape and it works fine if you take all the steps that I listed in my other post. The big thing is to make sure the casing is not bent out of shape, and preserve original adhesive. I have used pliers and large screwdrivers to fix bent casings, it's just metal. It will ALWAYS bend back into shape if you are determined enough. If the original tape is messed up, go with 3M two-sided adhesive. If you need something stronger, as someone else suggested, go with crazy glue.

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Glad you mentioned those tips Kabiyesi. I had an iPod touch the other day and I always seat the glass to check for proper fitting before going back and putting on the adhesive. When it fits without the adhesive, then doesn't with it, your exactly right about the thickness of some screens. If the thickness of off a tiny bit you won't hear/feel the glass "snap" into place. This is something that can keep one going around in circles for sure. I check replacement screens with a digital caliper and have since stuck with a single source for my replacement screens for consistency.

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I have replaced LCD/Digitizer assemblies on 4th gen iPod Touch's over 300 times in the past two years and it took a while to get it down to a science. If the glass was not shattered too badly to begin with, I use heat to carefully remove the glass and preserve the original adhesive, clean with alcohol and toothbrush when you are done picking out the shards, and be sure to keep track of which screws go in which positions. Install new screen and reassemble.

If I do the above method and still have that top left corner raising on its own, I disassemble the iPod and remove any extra thickness wherever I can.

  1. Remove the foam/adhesive from beneath the WiFi antenna (it's still sticky after ^^)
  2. Remove the bushing under the top screw of the volume keys
  3. Remove the transparent 2-sided tape from beneath the metal plate that raises it off of the motherboard where the volume flex connects.
  4. Remove the black tape on the top of the volume flex screws.
  5. Ensure the metal casing is not dented on the back, and that the corners are not bent.
  6. If they are, bend them back.
  7. Last resort, blame the parts and super-glue it in place.

I only replace the adhesive if the existing stuff is full of glass fragments and dirt.

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Hi Robert,

I have replaced several digitizer/LCD-units and sometimes, but not always, I had the same problem.

I always check out if there is something stuck in the clamp holder of the metal clamp and if it really "snaps in". But it seems, that in your case, everything is clean and works.

I recently "switched" to super glue to avoid that metal clamp/bracket to get loose or to move, even slightly. It seems to me that the adhesive that I used was sometimes not strong enough to hold down the digitizer/LCD-unit permanently. With super glue, however, the problem seems to be solved. I would Just put a few dots on the back of the metal bracket and let it dry.

But there is one disadvantage: Once you use super glue, the metal plate can not be removed again in case of a (later) replacement of the digitizer/LCD-unit.

I hope I could help.

Steffen

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Are you cleaning any old adhesive and glass from the wifi cable and surrounding area? Also, after you fit the new screen, I always heat up the screen adhesive areas to soften it, then clamp down the screen so it can cool and create a strong bond.

Are you transferring the metal bracket? I know its on the opposite side, but it seems to make the top area seal better.

Hope that helps.

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robert will be eternally grateful.
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