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Introduction

How to replace the airport card in a MacBook Pro 15" Unibody late 2008/early 2009.

  1. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement, Access Door: step 1, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement, Access Door: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • With the case closed, place the Unibody top-side down on a flat surface.

    • Depress the grooved side of the access door release latch enough to grab the free end. Lift the release latch until it is vertical.

  2. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • The access door should now be raised enough to lift it up and out of the Unibody.

  3. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement, Battery: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Be sure the access door release latch is vertical before proceeding.

    • Grab the translucent plastic tab and pull the battery up and out of the Unibody.

    • If the latch is depressed it will lock the battery in place.

  4. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement, Lower Case: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following eight screws securing the lower case to the chassis:

    • One 5.4 mm Phillips screw.

    • Three 14 mm Phillips screws.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips screws.

  5. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Using both hands, lift and remove the lower case off the upper case.

  6. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement, Display Assembly: step 6, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement, Display Assembly: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • If necessary, peel the EMI gasket off the camera cable connector.

    • Disconnect the camera cable by pulling the male end straight away from its socket toward the optical drive opening.

    • Do not try to lift this connector straight up off the board. Pull the connector parallel to the face of the logic board.

    • Deroute the camera data cable from the channel in the optical drive.

  7. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the camera cable bracket to the upper case.

    • The leftmost screw may remain captive in the camera cable.

    • Seperate the camera cable bracket from the camera cable and remove it from the computer.

  8. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • Grab the plastic pull tab secured to the LVDS cable lock and rotate it toward the DC-in side of the computer.

    • Pull the LVDS connector straight away from its socket.

    • When disconnecting the LVDS cable, do not pull on the black tab secured to the LVDS cable lock. We recommend wiggling the cable while applying tension to slowly "walk" the connector out of its socket.

  9. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the 7 mm Phillips screw from the LVDS cable bracket.

    • This screw may remain captive in the LVDS cable.

    • Lift the LVDS cable bracket out of the upper case.

  10. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two outer 6 mm Torx screws securing each side of the display to the upper case (four screws total).

  11. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Open your MacBook Pro so the display is perpendicular to the upper case.

    • Place your opened MacBook Pro on a table as pictured.

    • While holding the display and upper case together with your other hand, remove the 6 mm Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

  12. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 12, image 1 of 1
    • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your other hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

    • Remove the last remaining 6 mm Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

  13. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 13, image 1 of 3 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 13, image 2 of 3 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 13, image 3 of 3
    • Grab the upper case with your right hand and rotate it slightly toward the top of the display so the upper display bracket clears the edge of the upper case.

    • Rotate the display slightly away from the upper case.

    • Lift the display away from the upper case, minding any brackets or cables that may get caught.

  14. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement, Airport Card: step 14, image 1 of 1
    • Slide the clutch cover toward the right edge of the display.

    • The clutch cover will move approximately .25" and stop. Do not force it too far to the right.

    • When reinstalling the clutch cover, be sure to slip it over the components protruding from the lower edge of the display about .25" to the right of its final installed position on the display.

  15. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 15, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 15, image 2 of 2
    • Starting at its far left end, rock the clutch cover along its long axis while pulling it away from the clutch hinge.

    • Working from right to left, carefully continue to release and lift the clutch along the lower edge of the display assembly.

    • Lift the clutch cover up off the front bezel and set it aside.

    • When reinstalling the clutch cover, be sure to widen the opening when slipping it over the small black plastic cosmetic cover that fills the open end of the clutch cover when it is in place. The cosmetic cover has very thin and delicate plastic arms that hold it to the right clutch hinge.

  16. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 16, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2008 and Early 2009 Airport Card Replacement: step 16, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the two Phillips screws holding down the airport board.

    • Carefully unplug the two antenna cables and the airport cable.

Conclusion

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

40 other people completed this guide.

Will Budney

Member since: 04/28/2010

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2 Guides authored

One Comment

It was easier than expected, except for putting the plastic hinge cover back on properly, the plastic feels weak, but it’s stronger than it feels!

First time I took apart the screen from the body it took me 20mins being careful, now I can do it in less than 6mins! I’ve it a few times now!

cngdoon - Reply

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