13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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Parts from MacBook interchangeable?

So, I got two faulty 13" macbooks, one from early 2008 (2.4GHz version) which, I was told, has a faulty graphics card; and the other one from early 2009 (2.0GHz) with broken screen and case damage because of a fall.

My question is, can I make from these two broken macs one working? Will the parts physically fit in the other macbook?

Keep in mind it's not just changing the screen of the 09, I also need to replace the case. So I was thinking of putting the parts of the 09' in the 08' (which has a working screen), but will this fit in there?

People say different things, one says it's impossible and the other says it's possible, so I'm a bit confused.

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Chosen Solution

You can not exchange all case parts for this to work. The bottom part of the case is different. These 2 variations of the A1181 use different heatsinks. Click here for the early '09 and click here for the early '08 to see their differences. The variations in the heatsink cause them to mount differently and require mounting holes to be different on the bottom part of the case. Thus you can not mount an early '09 A1181 logic board in a early '08 bottom case or visa-versa.

However, the upper case (keyboard area) and upper clam shell from the early '08 and early '09 are interchangeable. If the bottom part of your case is broken on your early '09, you will need to replace it to make things work. If the bottom case on your early '09 is good, you have all the parts necessary to make a working laptop.

Also, do not forget to apply new thermal compound to the CPU and video chip prior to installing the heatsink. I recommend using Arctic Silver 5, click here for 1 place to purchase it. The old thermal paste will need cleaned off prior to applying the new.

Arctic Silver Thermal Paste Image


Arctic Silver Thermal Paste


MacBook (Early 2009) Heat Sink Image


MacBook (Early 2009) Heat Sink


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