Introduction

You are probably here because you wanted to get a better angle while you were trying to get that perfect shot and ended up getting a little to close to that tree than you thought.

This guide will give you a step-by-step on how to replace the shell of your DJI drone so you can do it yourself and not have to pay a stranger to touch your valuables.

*Notice, this repair does require some soldering.

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  • Push down and twist the propellers counter-clockwise to release from the drone.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Firmly press the battery tabs on top and bottom of the battery and slide out the battery.

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Image 1/1:
  • If gimbal lock is still on, remove it from the drone.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Using a T8 screwdriver, remove the eight Torx screws from the plastic shell.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Using a T6 screwdriver, remove all eight screws on the grey gimbal assembly.

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Image 1/1: Do not try to pull the gimbal assembly away from drone just yet—there are cables that must be unplugged first.
  • Using a plastic spudger or pick, gently pry the gimbal assembly from the drone.

  • Do not try to pull the gimbal assembly away from drone just yet—there are cables that must be unplugged first.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the gimbal bracket.

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Image 1/1: Using a spudger, unplug the 3-in-1 cable on the right (orange box) by gently prying up.
  • Using your fingers or needle-nose pliers, gently unplug the left (red box) cable by pushing in the white clips on the sides and sliding the cable out.

  • Using a spudger, unplug the 3-in-1 cable on the right (orange box) by gently prying up.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the antenna bracket.

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Image 1/2: Remember the order in which the antenna cables are plugged in, or refer to this step during reassembly. Image 2/2: Remember the order in which the antenna cables are plugged in, or refer to this step during reassembly.
  • Using a spudger, gently disconnect the four antenna cables.

  • Remember the order in which the antenna cables are plugged in, or refer to this step during reassembly.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws located on the white plastic tabs.

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Image 1/2: Be gentle and do not break the clips. You will need to bend them back down upon reassembly. Image 2/2: Be gentle and do not break the clips. You will need to bend them back down upon reassembly.
  • Using a spudger, carefully bend the two metal clips upwards.

    • Be gentle and do not break the clips. You will need to bend them back down upon reassembly.

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Image 1/3: Using a spudger or flathead screwdriver, carefully pry up the underlying sticker. Image 2/3: PRO TIP:  Stick the sticker to the smooth side of the plastic LED cover to keep it clean and from losing stick. Image 3/3: Repeat this step on all four LED covers.
  • Using a spudger or flathead screwdriver, gently pry up the LED cover.

  • Using a spudger or flathead screwdriver, carefully pry up the underlying sticker.

  • PRO TIP: Stick the sticker to the smooth side of the plastic LED cover to keep it clean and from losing stick.

  • Repeat this step on all four LED covers.

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Image 1/1: Repeat this step on all 4 motors.
  • Using a T8 screwdriver, remove the 3 screws that attach the shell and motors together.

  • Repeat this step on all 4 motors.

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Image 1/2: PRO TIP: If you are replacing the shell because your old shell is trashed, don't worry about cracking or damaging the broken shell.  Just go for it. Image 2/2: Do not try to pull the shell completely apart just yet, there are some cables that must be unplugged first.
  • Using a spudger or pick, carefully pry your way around the seam, undoing the clips that attach the shell together.

  • PRO TIP: If you are replacing the shell because your old shell is trashed, don't worry about cracking or damaging the broken shell. Just go for it.

  • Do not try to pull the shell completely apart just yet, there are some cables that must be unplugged first.

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Image 1/1:
  • Using your fingers or needle-nose pliers, gently unplug the cables by pushing in the white clips on the sides and sliding the cables out.

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Image 1/2: Carefully pry up the LED board from the drone shell. Image 2/2: Repeat on all four wings.
  • Using a knife or flathead screwdriver, remove the melted plastic rivets holding down the LED board. Be careful to not damage the LED.

  • Carefully pry up the LED board from the drone shell.

  • Repeat on all four wings.

  • During reassembly use a dull soldering iron tip to remount the LED board to the new shell.

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Image 1/1: Repeat on all four wings.
  • Using a small screwdriver, carefully pry up the motor and LED cables where they are glued down to the shell.

  • Repeat on all four wings.

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Image 1/3: '''''++DO NOT++''''' cut the cables with wire cutters—they are enameled wire and are a pain  in the butt to solder back together and have them still work.  Do yourself a favor and just desolder them from the board. Image 2/3: For reassembly,  note the order of the cables.  While the drone is upside down, black is the top wire, grey is middle, and white is bottom. Image 3/3: For reassembly,  note the order of the cables.  While the drone is upside down, black is the top wire, grey is middle, and white is bottom.
  • Desolder all 12 of the motor wires that connect to the drones mother boards.

  • DO NOT cut the cables with wire cutters—they are enameled wire and are a pain in the butt to solder back together and have them still work. Do yourself a favor and just desolder them from the board.

  • For reassembly, note the order of the cables. While the drone is upside down, black is the top wire, grey is middle, and white is bottom.

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Image 1/3: Carefully remove the brains out of the upper shell. Image 2/3: Carefully remove the brains out of the upper shell. Image 3/3: Carefully remove the brains out of the upper shell.
  • Using a T8 screw driver, remove the four screws that mount the battery bay and brains from the upper shell.

  • Carefully remove the brains out of the upper shell.

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Image 1/2: Using a Phillips #000 driver, remove the three screws that are mounting the board to the upper drone shell. Image 2/2: Using a Phillips #000 driver, remove the three screws that are mounting the board to the upper drone shell.
  • Carefully peel the shielding sticker from the upper shell. Note that you can't remove it all the way until you remove three screws.

  • Using a Phillips #000 driver, remove the three screws that are mounting the board to the upper drone shell.

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Image 1/3: Using a Phillips #000 driver, remove the two screws.  Repeat on all four corners. Image 2/3: Take note on where you are removing the cables from, and install them in the new lower shell in the same way you found them. Image 3/3: Take note on where you are removing the cables from, and install them in the new lower shell in the same way you found them.
  • Carefully pry off the screw covers on the legs that are attached to the lower shell.

  • Using a Phillips #000 driver, remove the two screws. Repeat on all four corners.

  • Take note on where you are removing the cables from, and install them in the new lower shell in the same way you found them.

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Conclusion

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

6 other people completed this guide.

GotMac

Member since: 08/16/2013

137 Reputation

2 Guides authored

3 Comments

**Note that if you crashed your drone and are replacing the body shell, there may be more problems with your drone internally. I replaced my drone shell and kept getting ESC status errors when I would try and take off. I had to send my drone in to DJI to have them fix it. They ended up replacing three of the motors (they were a bit stiff to turn so I wasn't surprised), the ESC board (left), and the left and right landing gear modules. That all cost me $215 USD which was mostly for the two hours of labor, the parts were cheap.

GotMac - Reply

hreat guide but why do you need the heat Gun/shrink?? I'd add a glue gun to secure the motor wires in the arms again...

john racovelli - Reply

Yeah sorry about that @wahoo66, I've removed them from the guide now but I had them in there because I made the mistake of cutting the motor wires instead of just unsoldering them so I used heat shrink tubing and a hot air gun on mine but I don't recommend people doing what I did.

GotMac -

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