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Introduction

Use this guide to replace the motherboard in your Nexus 5.

  1. Power off the device by holding the power button until the "Power Off" popup appears. Tap the popup and wait for the device to turn off. Insert a SIM card eject tool or a  paper clip into the hole next to the SIM card slot, which is located just under the power button. Do not force the paper clip if it is too thick; instead use the head of a sewing needle.
    • Power off the device by holding the power button until the "Power Off" popup appears. Tap the popup and wait for the device to turn off.

    • Insert a SIM card eject tool or a paper clip into the hole next to the SIM card slot, which is located just under the power button. Do not force the paper clip if it is too thick; instead use the head of a sewing needle.

    • Push the tool into the hole until you see the card pop out.

  2. Gently remove the SIM card with your fingers, or a pair of tweezers if the SIM holder does not fully eject.
    • Gently remove the SIM card with your fingers, or a pair of tweezers if the SIM holder does not fully eject.

    • Make sure the chip is facing the rear of the phone when reinserting the SIM card.

  3. Use a plastic opening tool to free the clips on the top and each side of the back cover. The bottom is secured with some adhesive foam. You should be able to finally free the back cover using an opening pick. The "snaps" at the bottom edge are more like hinges, so release all others then swing the back cover off outward from the top, and these fasteners will release without breaking. It's best to avoid prying around the SIM card slot and volume controls, as the plastic in these areas is very thin and likely to break from prying.
    • Use a plastic opening tool to free the clips on the top and each side of the back cover.

    • The bottom is secured with some adhesive foam. You should be able to finally free the back cover using an opening pick. The "snaps" at the bottom edge are more like hinges, so release all others then swing the back cover off outward from the top, and these fasteners will release without breaking.

    • It's best to avoid prying around the SIM card slot and volume controls, as the plastic in these areas is very thin and likely to break from prying.

    • When you replace the cover, there is a snap about even with the flash window that must also be attached (one of three that secure the back cover to the midframe). Qi (wireless) charging may not work if this isn't secure. Apply gentle but firm pressure over the "S" in "Nexus" and slide your thumb up towards the top, and the snap will engage.

  4. Remove the six 4.0 mm Phillips #00  screws that secure the midframe to the phone.
    • Remove the six 4.0 mm Phillips #00 screws that secure the midframe to the phone.

    • Ensure you retain all six of the 4.0mm screws! These hold the midframe securely and closely to the motherboard. The three small snaps on the back cover that attach to the midframe ensure the NFC antenna and wireless charging coil connectors contact securely with the motherboard, and work reliably.

    • To replace the LCD screen and digitizer, remove the additional four 4.0mm daughterboard cover screws with the same screwdriver. You may have to pierce through clear adhesive material to remove them.

  5. Remove the midframe from the phone. Examine the midframe and the back cover and you'll find three very small snap attachment points for the back to the midframe. These ensure that the NFC and wireless charging antenna contacts connect with the corresponding spring connectors on the motherboard. Ensure the snaps are in good condition.
    • Remove the midframe from the phone.

    • Examine the midframe and the back cover and you'll find three very small snap attachment points for the back to the midframe. These ensure that the NFC and wireless charging antenna contacts connect with the corresponding spring connectors on the motherboard. Ensure the snaps are in good condition.

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    • Use the flat end of a nylon spudger to disconnect the battery connector.

  7. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the daughterboard ribbon cable and pull it away from the battery. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the daughterboard ribbon cable and pull it away from the battery.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the daughterboard ribbon cable and pull it away from the battery.

  8. Use a plastic opening tool to pry the battery out of its housing. You may need to use a heat gun to apply a small amount of heat to soften the adhesive below the battery. Do not puncture or bend the battery.
    • Use a plastic opening tool to pry the battery out of its housing.

    • You may need to use a heat gun to apply a small amount of heat to soften the adhesive below the battery.

    • Do not puncture or bend the battery.

  9. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the left antenna cable. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the left antenna cable.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the left antenna cable.

  10. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the right antenna cable. These must be firmly secured during reassembly. Failure to secure the antenna connections will affect your reception and call quality.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the right antenna cable.

    • These must be firmly secured during reassembly. Failure to secure the antenna connections will affect your reception and call quality.

  11. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable that connects rear-facing camera to the motherboard. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable that connects rear-facing camera to the motherboard.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable that connects rear-facing camera to the motherboard.

  12. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the front camera ribbon cable. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the front camera ribbon cable.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the front camera ribbon cable.

  13. Gently lift the motherboard up and out of the device. Gently lift the motherboard up and out of the device.
    • Gently lift the motherboard up and out of the device.

Conclusion

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

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Kyle Libby

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Cal Poly, Team 7-23, Regan Spring 2014 Member of Cal Poly, Team 7-23, Regan Spring 2014

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11 Comments

is the motherboard from the 32gb nexus 5, compatible for the nexus 5 16gb lcd??

Vandalismo Teevee - Reply

It should be, yes. I've chopped and changed loads of Nexus 5 phone around and haven't had a problem.

drunkenmenace -

Thanks for the repy. My Nexus 5 has some bootoop problems and when i go to the boot options, (the hold power and volume down), it says Lock State - LOCKED. so im thinking of replacing the motherboard. or is there a way to fix my problem? Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

Vandalismo Teevee - Reply

My Nexus 5 just switched off while i was recording a video. It isnt switching on now. How to bring it back to life??Any solution will b of great help. Thanks

Jasmine K - Reply

I just used this guide to quickly get at the motherboard to replace a faulty power button. It's tedious but not impossible with a very clean soldering iron tip, solder wick, and lots of flux. The replacement button and covers from iFixit were an exact match (I checked under a microscope).

Mark Renouf - Reply

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