The March 2015 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Pro Retina Display, model A1502, features fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and introduces the Force Touch trackpad.

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Replacing Just the Keyboard with Older model

I spilled nail polish remover on my 13" Macbook Pro Retina early 2015. Everything seems to be working perfectly except for the backlight in some places and a few keys.

I attemted to remove the key caps to clean under them because they were sticking, but it turns out that the acetone melted the clips on the key caps and now I cannot put them back on.

I want to replace just the keyboard which I know will be next to impossible but seems cheaper than the $450 that replacing the whole bottom is going to cost me.

I cannot seem to find a 2015 model of the keyboard online. If i am going to relplace the entire thing, can I use a 2013 or 2014 model?

Thank you!

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Sadly, Apple only sells the full uppercase as a replacement part which is quite expensive! If you look on eBay you'll often find subassembly parts like the keyboard alone. Here's a snap on what I found: eBay 13" MacBook Pro retina A1502 keyboards. As far as I know Apple is still using the same keyboard in the newest model so you should be fine. Make a good inspection on the connector and the location of the ribbon cable it should be the same as yours if not return it.

Now for the fun! Apple glued the battery assembly into the upper case so it's a bear to remove without damaging it.

Before starting things here it is strongly recommended to discharge the battery (run the system down). If you have the battery charged it could ignite if you pierce the battery case!

Also wear safety glasses and a face mask in a well ventilated area (outside in a garage), as the fumes from the battery are not healthy to breathe.

While some techs have mastered the technique needed to remove the battery it does take some skill and I'm sure they have messed up a few perfecting it (I killed two). So you may end up needing a new battery if you mess up.

The trick is to use Ethanol alcohol to soften the glue basically keeping the glued surface wet for a good 8 or so minutes (not flooded). Then using a fishing line drag it under the battery carefully pulling it across acting as a knife as you go add more alcohol so the glue stays soft and wet were you've pulled across already. As soon as you get to the other side carefully lift the battery and make a good inspection for any cuts or pulls in the plastic either could be signs of damage. I would not chance putting the battery back as it could fail not only damaging your laptop but set things afire!

So, given the amount of work and the risks you may want to just buck up and buy the full upper case assembly. Here's the part info: MacBook Pro 13" Retina (Early 2015) Upper Case Assembly - Apple Part #: 661-02361. You might find a used one for less.

In any case here is the IFIXIT guide you'll need to follow to gain access to the keyboard or to replace the full assembly: MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Early 2015 Upper Case Replacement.

MacBook Pro 13" Retina (Early 2015) Upper Case Assembly Image


MacBook Pro 13" Retina (Early 2015) Upper Case Assembly


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Your backlight problem implies you got some remover into the lid assembly damaging the polarizer & buffer sheets. That will likely need a new LCD unit.


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I know this is old, but it might help some people:

If you can afford to purchase a new upper case assembly, just do it. Buy one with the trackpad, keyboard, battery, etc. As much fully assembled as possible. This will save you so much time and hassle and is pretty doable on your own.

On the other side, if you are like me and couldn't afford to basically almost buy a new computer, you can buy the keyboard/led sheet online on Amazon or here. Make sure to also buy the microscopic screws you will need as well.

I would also buy a replacement battery kit from ifixit. Buy it to not only assist you in removing the battery (which you will need to do to get access to the keyboard), but you will have a backup battery if you have screwed up the original one (which you most likely will do. Any sort of bends or anything basically ruins it.).

After you use the guide to basically tear down the computer into a million pieces, you will get to the keyboard that is riveted into the upper case. Yes, like 75-100 little rivets are attached to the case. Apple hates you.

There is not really any great way to pull the keyboard out, you basically have to rip it out using your hands (with a glove) and or some pliers.

The ONE thing I would recommend is do your best to rip out the rivets ENTIRELY. The rivets that end up busted and are still stuck in the holes will have to be removed (to the best of your ability). This is where I was about to lose my cool.

I suggest using nail clippers to take the remaining posts out. Clamp the post and wiggle it slowly out. I don't know how else to describe it. Some of them will still be stuck.

Any that you can't get out with the clippers, angle a flat head against the rivets and give it a gentle tap or two. Hopefully some of them come out and the rest will end up just welded into the holes forever.

Do all of this with extreme caution and know that if you mess up too bad you will probably have to just find a new aluminum case or the full assembly.

I would say roughly ten of the rivets on mine did not come out all the way. Luckily there are lots of small holes and tons of small screws to adhere the keyboard to the case. Some of your keys might end up having a bit more play in them than others... But that's what you get for being cheap. I am a student concentrating in programming and I use my Mac all day all the time and the keyboard has shown no signs of stopping now. Using an external keyboard all the time seriously sucked.

Bottom line: Don't be cheap, buy the uppercase assembly or find one off eBay. If you don't, you will have no one but yourself to blame for the frustration... Well yourself and Apple for literally making it almost impossible for you to fix your computer yourself.

Edit: Also, use an antistatic mat/wristband/whatever you need to make sure you aren't going to ruin your 1200 computer. Buy some static bags for the logic board or other parts. Seriously you will be working on those rivets for a while and best not to risk something stupid like frying your board.

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