The keyboard replacement for the macbook 13 white unibody is a tricky one. the keyboard is burried underneath a framed rectangular plate, which seems glued to the plastic bottom surface. once your remove the logic board, the hard drive, the screen from the bottom assembly, you are left with a black frame that runs edge to edge, which covers 1/2 of the total space infront of the battery compartment. This plate, it appears, is glued to the plastic body underneath along the edges at scattered points. i tried to pry it. but it is tough. One way to remove it , and I am very apprehensive about this method, might be to apply a gentle heat gun at the glued points to loosen the grip of the glue. but one must be most careful because one can end up warping the plastic body and do more harm than good.
i finally removed the framed rectangular black plate and the keyboard. As I suspected, the black plate was glued along the perimeter all the way. So, the gluing was thorough and not along certain points as I suspected. But it did come off. And it is made of plastic, not metal. And the keyboard is held to the upper case by plastic mouldings and not screws like Apple used to do it in the older non-unibody Macbook 13 whites.
Before you attempt removing the black plate, remove the touchpad. it is easy. there are 7 screws you have to remove, and the touchpad will drop off underneath.
HAVE PLENTY OF PATIENCE AND OBSERVE AS YOU WORK. ELSE YOU WILL DO UNTOLD DAMAGE.
Start on the RHS, where the USB and ethernet ports are located. . Then carefully pry the black plate along the edges. You can sneak your flathead screw driver through the open ports to pry a small section then leave it there anchored. Use a second flat screw drivers to pry more. i also used a heat gun gently in areas where there are no wires, or clectronic parts. make do not apply heat gun for more than 10 seconds on one part. simply test the heated are with your hand. it should be warm and not hot. then pry in that are. Eventually, it gets easier and easier. It is better to start on So, once you remove the black plate, you are left with a keyboard.
Now, the keyboard is also glued with tiny white plastic glue to posts. there are about 105 of these posts. The white glue mouldings look like caps covering the top of the posts and are about 3 mm in diameter. Start at the edge and simply use a sharp tiny flathead screwdriver, or an exacto knife to scratch the moulding. Be gentle and do not scratch off the posts because you will need to reeuse them. Pry the keyboard gently out. Then do the same to the next moulding and pry the keyboard. Eventually, you will have enough finger grip on the keyboard, which will allow you to simply pull it. You will hear popping sound. When you are finished, they board will come out. dont lose the the Power Button Cover because you will need to use it again. When the keyboard is completely out, clean up the posts of glued mouldings. Mount your new keyboard. Mke sure all the 105 posts go through the holes of the keyboard frame.
Now that is how far I have come. I will have to buy liquid plastic to use them as mouldings to hold the keyboard firm in the top frame. Otherwise it will be uneven and may cause me problem. But I am confident i will finish the job.
OK, I finally replaced the keyboard. here are some new observations.
The black plate is a platform where most of the laptop's parts are mounted, including other mouting brackets. furthermore, the bottom laptop cover is screwed to it. you do not blue it properly, you will have problems galore wiith fittings and the bottom cover may become lose.
1. I used contact cement to attach the replacement keyboard at 105 points to the top part of the case.
2. You can use contact cement to attach the black plate to the top case. Make sure you clean up the residue glue by scrapping. Then right before you are ready to mount the plate, apply a fresh strand of contact cement along the same track left from the old glue on both the plate and the top case. Put just enough contact cement. Let it dry slightly.
3. Repeat above step on the power switch. no clamp needed Make sure the power button is inserted properly then put the power swtich on top and press it to ensure proper and tight fitting.
4. Gently put the back plate in put the screws back. make sure the you dont burry any of the cables underneath the plate.
5. Clamp the black plate to the case at different points to ensure tight fitting and good contact between the contact cement layers. 30 minutes to 1 hour will do.
The resst is easy. You have to mount the speaker, attach three antenna cables, mount logic board, screen mout brackets, super drive, cpu fan, the battery, etc.
Good luck and sorry for the lengthy instructions.
Unfortunately you have to replace the upper case. Here's how to do it:
Here's the part:
I'll agree that the average tinkerer may not be able to pull this off but if the board is dead then what do they have to loose? That and they now have a good idea of how to do the project via here.
I've ordered a keyboard off of ebay too at $25 with free shipping. Have yet to see a fully working keyboard for under $100. Even the broken ones are getting a fair price by the time the auction ends.
Heck if this works out ten I may just fix the other ones I have laying around (people just don't seem to get the concept of keeping liquids away from the computer) and put them on ebay.
Jamal-Thx for your excellent work!
But i need your help! I can't find any proper glue for fixing PC (Polycarbonate) with aluminum. You wrote: 2. You can use contact cement to attach the black plate to the top case.
Can you provide a link for the cement glue, witch hopefully does not damage the PC?!
Thanks a lot
I attempted this one myself with one of my co workers (I work in a repair shop) and we found that at around 650º-700º Fahrenheit with a heat gun is when the circular glue holds in the black plastic shielding give out. So, use a normal desktop sized P2 flat blade and wedge it in the side of where a circular glue hold has popped and it should be able to walk down the side of the shielding with the aid of a secondary screw driver, which will cut the glue as you go if you're applying heat. Then when you get down to the keyboard, just use a dremel tool to grind the posts down, because f**k scraping each individual one; you'd be there for half an hour.
Hope my research helps.
The Mac Whisperer