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.

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

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Firmly press the battery tabs on top and bottom of the battery and slide out the battery. Firmly press the battery tabs on top and bottom of the battery and slide out the battery.
  • Firmly press the battery tabs on top and bottom of the battery and slide out the battery.

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If gimbal lock is still on, remove it from the drone.
  • If gimbal lock is still on, remove it from the drone.

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Using a T8 screwdriver, remove the eight Torx screws from the plastic shell. Using a T8 screwdriver, remove the eight Torx screws from the plastic shell.
  • Using a T8 screwdriver, remove the eight Torx screws from the plastic shell.

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Using a T6 screwdriver, remove all eight screws on the grey gimbal assembly. Using a T6 screwdriver, remove all eight screws on the grey gimbal assembly. Using a T6 screwdriver, remove all eight screws on the grey gimbal assembly.
  • Using a T6 screwdriver, remove all eight screws on the grey gimbal assembly.

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Using a plastic spudger or pick, gently pry the gimbal assembly from the drone.
  • 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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Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the gimbal bracket. Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the gimbal bracket.
  • Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the gimbal bracket.

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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 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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Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the antenna bracket. Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the antenna bracket.
  • Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws and the antenna bracket.

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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.
  • 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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Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws located on the white plastic tabs. Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws located on the white plastic tabs.
  • Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, remove the two screws located on the white plastic tabs.

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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.
  • 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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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.
  • 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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Using a T8 screwdriver, remove the 3 screws that attach the shell and motors together.
  • 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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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.
  • 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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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.
  • 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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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.
  • 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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Using a small screwdriver, carefully pry up the motor and LED cables where they are glued down to the shell.
  • 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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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.
  • 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.

Would heat shrinking the wires back together if you cut them be better than soldering?

Justin White - Reply

If you cut the wires you should twist and solder them back together to insure you have a good and strong connection. Heat shrink is what you use to cover that connection instead of using something like electrical tape. So what you do is put on a small piece of heat shrink on the wire first, then solder the wire together, then slide the heat shrink tube over the joint, and then you hit it with some heat to shrink the tubing over the connection.

GotMac -

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. 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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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.
  • 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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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.
  • 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.

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GotMac

Member since: 08/16/2013

164 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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