MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Left Clutch Hinge Replacement

Replace the left clutch hinge in your MacBook Pro 17" Unibody.

Does your display have a hard time staying upright? Nobody like a floppy display. Use this guide to replace the left clutch hinge.

Sections

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the following ten screws securing the lower case to the upper case:

    • Three 13.5 mm Phillips screws.

    • Seven 3 mm Phillips screws.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Wedge your fingers between the lower case and the vent, and lift upward to release the clips holding the lower case to the upper case.

  • Remove the lower case.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits.

  • If present, grab the plastic tab attached to the battery connector and pull it toward the front edge of the device. For Late-2011 models the battery connector will not have a tab and is simply a plug that inserts straight down into the motherboard--to remove pry the plug straight up.

  • If the plastic tab is missing, use a spudger to pry the connector up from its socket.

  • Pull the tab parallel to the face of the logic board.

Edit Step 4 Display  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 4 Display  ¶ 

  • Before disconnecting the camera cable, a small plastic retainer stuck to the logic board must first be moved out of the way. In late-2011 models you can skip this step because there is not a plastic retainer on the camera cable connector.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to push the small plastic cable retainer away from the camera cable socket for enough clearance to remove the camera cable.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Pull the camera cable toward the optical drive opening to disconnect it from the logic board.

  • The camera cable socket is very fragile. Do not apply any upward force to this socket, as it may break off the logic board. Pull the camera cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Carefully pull the Bluetooth cable toward the fans to disconnect it from the Bluetooth board.

  • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the optical drive.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to peel the thin plastic cover off the top and sides of the Bluetooth board housing. For late-2011 models check out the other picture because the connector location is in a totally different location.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the Bluetooth antenna connector up and off its socket on the Bluetooth board.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • If present, remove the small piece of EMI foam near the Bluetooth board.

  • De-route the camera cable from the slot molded into the Bluetooth board housing.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 7.1 mm Phillips screws securing the camera cable retainer to the upper case.

  • Remove the camera cable retainer from the upper case.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Lift the black plastic flap attached to the display data cable retainer and rotate it toward the DC-In side of the MacBook.

  • Pull the display data cable out of its socket.

  • The display data cable socket is very fragile. Do not lift the connector upward as you disconnect it, as the socket may break off the logic board. Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 7.1 mm Phillips screws securing the display data cable retainer to the upper case.

  • Remove the display data cable retainer.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the two outer 6.8 mm T6 Torx screws from each of the two display brackets (four screws total).

  • We purposely have you leave one screw attaching each display bracket to the upper case to aid in future steps.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • 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 left hand, remove the remaining T6 Torx screw from the lower display bracket.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Be sure to hold the display and upper case together with your left hand. Failure to do so may cause the freed display/upper case to fall, potentially damaging each component.

  • Remove the last remaining T6 Torx screw securing the display to the upper case.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 17 Clutch Cover  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 17 Clutch Cover  ¶ 

  • Grab the clutch cover as shown and slide it toward the right side of the display.

  • It should move about 1/4" and stop. Don't force it beyond this point.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Lifting the left edge of the clutch cover, gently rock it back and forth on its long axis while pulling it away from the display.

  • Remove the clutch cover from the display, minding any cables that may get caught.

Edit Step 19 Left Clutch Hinge  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 19 Left Clutch Hinge  ¶ 

  • Remove the three 5.2 mm T6 Torx screws securing the left clutch hinge to the display assembly.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Remove the left clutch hinge from the display assembly.

  • Remove the plastic hinge guard as well, making sure to not lose it.

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

For more information, check out the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 42 In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Magnetic Project Mat

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

$59.95 · 50+ In stock

Anti-Static Project Tray

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Popular Device Products

Unibody Laptop Dual Drive

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive

$119.95 · 9 In stock

PC3-8500 4 GB RAM Chip

$49.95 · 36 In stock

Arctic Silver Thermal Paste

$8.95 · 50+ In stock

Arctic Silver ArctiClean

$7.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

important to reassemble the "lower case" successfully: the threads of the seven 3mm phillips screws are drilled at an angle :-/

mysterioes, · Reply

Very important note; this guide is NOT correct for the Macbook Pro 17" A1297 late '11.

The A1297 has an assembly adjacent to the optical drive, identifiable by 4 antenna connectors, 1 usb cable (with very small connector) and one PCI-e flat cable running across the optical drive.

I did not take pictures, but found one on the web. I'm very new to iFixit and have no idea yet on how to create a guide, but here's the picture showing the assembly on top (this pic only has 3 antenna wires, the A1297 has 4, but at least you'll know what to look for.

- carefully undo all connections and 2 screws

- remove the assembly and flip it over

- again carefully remove the shielding tape

- undo 3 tiny screws

- gently pry the airport card from the assembly (the flat cable will be a bit of a pain)

- reverse process with replacement card.

image can be found here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2446...

Remon, · Reply

It helps if you mark the holes where the long screws go so you can easily find them when the time comes to button things up. Also, a little dish or custard cup to hold those tiny screws is essential.

Human, · Reply

I recommend using anti-static protection, i.e., wearing a ground strap, or at least touch metal chassis inside the computer before unplugging cables. Otherwise, you might create an ESD discharge into your RAM and have to replace it like I did!

d68ef792, · Reply

This step is a little difficult in reverse, that is, when re-attaching the battery. It helps to tilt the laptop up so you can see the edge of the board that accepts the plug. It may look like there are two slots for it, it goes in the bigger slot that is further away from the board.

yary hluchan, · Reply

Is this step really necessary? It is not part of the instructions how to replace the HDD in Apple's User Manual of the 2011 17" MBP.

Tobias Hahn, · Reply

As it says in the step: "Whenever working near the logic board, it is always wise to first disconnect the battery to avoid short circuits." It is not required, but it is simple insurance to avoid a $1000+ repair should you accidentally short components on the board with something metal.

Andrew Bookholt,

There was no tab on my model. Battery is affixed to board and screws must be removed.

bhodges2, · Reply

Mine also, and looks as if removing connector could damage motherboard.

Stephen,

* There is no tab on the A1297 (late 2011) model's battery connector. Be careful with the connector, it chips off the edges easily! Otherwise the same as bhodges2 & Stephen's notes.

** (Pleas also include the exact Model and Part numbers like P/N: MD311D/A; Mod.: A1297 in the comments and notes for your MBP)

Pinguman, · Reply

Why are there no guides for the Late 2011 17" MacBook Pro A1297 (2.4GHz i7 quad core, MD311LL/A)??? I just replaced the RAM in mine and discovered that not only is there no tab on the battery connector, but the connector pulls straight up, perpendicular to the logic board, rather than parallel. I almost ripped the wires out of the connector by trying to pull it out parallel to the logic board like this guide instructed! After finally getting it out, my advice to those with the Late 2011 model is to use a spudger to loosen the edges of the connector then lift the connector straight up to get it out safely.

Dave, · Reply

I replaced the display on my late 2011 model and noticed that it was quite different than the tutorial given here so I detailed all the differences to help others with late-2011 models on my blog: http://johnfixesstuff.blogspot.com/2014/...

jmueller,

I think I should have a photo of the plastic retainer as there may be more people like me who were afraid to take the part.

Cassio Machado, · Reply

I viewed a YouTube video showing this process. There was a warning about the stripping of the Torx screws being common on this mid-2009 model MBP. Is that something you have come ever across? It's the only thing holding me back from attempting this myself. TY in advance!

s0mvh, · Reply

Taking those hinge screws out can be difficult (they are fat, and they resist turning). In my first attempt I destroyed the Torx screwdriver bit (soft metal, I discovered, so the bit twisted into a corkscrew before it snapped off). After buying the ifixit screwdriver set I found that the driver bits were tough enough, but the screws still would not budge! So, I used a small mole-grip wrench to hold the metal part of the screwdriver, and GENTLY turned until I felt the screw give way with a click. Luckily, the threads did not strip. However, if you find that even with that extra torque from the wrench, it is still resisting in a big way, go one more step and try a very tiny drop of thread-loosening fluid on it. (That last suggestion, however, is risky, so be careful.... do not let any fluid get anywhere except the screw, and then give it time to work).

rpwl,

What's the url to the youtube video you mentioned?

David Fear,

I just did this now (11:21 am, Sept 18 2014) A tip for removing glass bezel on the frame if you don't have a heat gun. I used a very sharp but super thin razor (the one for shaving) and slice the adhesive. Be careful not to hit the lcd. After slicing all around, get any thin plastic card and slide it all around the bezel until the glass comes off. I have a mid 09 macbook pro 17" that had a broken lcd and a 2010 macbook pro i7 17" that had a logic board problem but good lcd. Both A1297. I did it twice using my method.

J A N Marquez, · Reply

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 1

Past 7 Days: 13

Past 30 Days: 87

All Time: 3,734