Nintendo 3DS Wi-Fi Antenna Replacement

Nintendo 3DS Wi-Fi antenna replacement.

Fix internet connectivity issues with a new Wi-Fi antenna.

Edit Step 1 Back Cover  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Back Cover  ¶ 

  • Unscrew the four Phillips #00 screws along the top of the back cover.

  • The screws are held in place by locking washers, and will not come out of the back cover.

  • The comments section is full of unlucky souls who will tell you that the screws here through step 4 will strip incredibly easily. Press down fairly hard, and go slow.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Hold the device in one hand and turn it over.

  • Grab the top edge of the back cover with your opposite hand so that the cover does not fall back into place.

  • Flip the 3DS over again so that the back cover is facing up.

  • Pull the back cover up and away from the rest of the device to remove it.

Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Battery  ¶ 

  • Insert a plastic opening tool into the notch in the lower case above the battery.

  • Pry the battery up with the plastic opening tool.

  • Grab the top edge of the battery and lift it out of the lower case.

Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the nine 6.3 mm black Phillips screws from the lower case.

  • Remove the 2.4 mm silver Phillips screw above the game cartridge slot.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Lift the bottom edge of the lower case off the rest of the 3DS.

  • There are still two ribbon cables connecting the mother board to the case, so be sure not to pull the lower case all the way off.

  • Use a plastic opening tool to pry the shoulder button ribbon cables off their sockets on the motherboard.

  • Remove the lower case from the device.

Edit Step 6 Circle Pad Joystick  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6 Circle Pad Joystick  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 7.7 mm Phillips screws securing the back of the Circle Pad to the motherboard.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the back of the Circle Pad off the motherboard.

  • Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard and lay it on its back so that the ribbon cable connector is accessible.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the Circle Pad ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Lift the Circle Pad joystick off the motherboard.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • To decrease the chance of losing it during repairs, you may want to remove the two thin pads underneath the Circle Pad joystick.

  • Use a spudger or screwdriver to lift the pads up and remove them from the device.

Edit Step 10 SD Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10 SD Board  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 4.5 mm Phillips screws securing the SD board to the motherboard.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the SD board ribbon cable connector off its socket on the motherboard.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Insert the flat end of a spudger between the SD board and the motherboard.

  • Run the spudger along the sides of the SD board to free it from the adhesive pad holding it in place.

  • Once completely freed, lift the SD board straight off the motherboard.

Edit Step 13 Wi-Fi Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13 Wi-Fi Board  ¶ 

  • Slide the flat end of a spudger under the corner of the Wi-Fi board, and lift it away from the motherboard.

  • The Wi-Fi antenna cable is still connected to the Wi-Fi board, so you cannot completely remove the Wi-Fi board yet.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Lift the Wi-Fi board off the motherboard and rotate it so that the bottom side is facing up.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the Wi-Fi antenna cable connector off its socket on the Wi-Fi board.

  • Remove the Wi-Fi board from the device.

Edit Step 15 Motherboard Assembly  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15 Motherboard Assembly  ¶ 

  • Grasp the microphone ribbon cable near the microphone with a pair of tweezers.

  • Pull the microphone straight up out of the upper case.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the speaker assembly ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, NOT the socket itself. Damaging the socket or cable will result in a 3DS that will blink its power LED when you press the power button - and do nothing else.

  • Disconnect the speaker assembly ribbon cable with a pair of tweezers.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the camera ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • When reassembling, note that the gold contacts face toward the motherboard (as opposed to the camera cable's gold contacts facing away).

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Remove seven Phillips screws securing the motherboard to the upper case:

    • Four 2.5 mm gold screws

    • Two 3.5 mm black screws

    • One 2.5 mm silver screw

  • Lift the side of the motherboard that sits along the bottom edge of the 3DS.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Continue lifting the motherboard assembly and rotate it until it is resting next to the rest of the device.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the LCD ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Remove the motherboard assembly from the rest of the device.

Edit Step 21 Upper Display Front Panel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21 Upper Display Front Panel  ¶ 

  • Before continuing with disassembly, use a pair of tweezers to remove the clear plastic diffuser for the wireless notification LED. The small piece is likely to fall out on its own, and may be difficult to find if it lands on the floor.

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • De-route the Wi-Fi antenna cable from the bottom of the upper case.

  • This step is not necessary if you are only replacing the front panel; however, the replacement of the upper screen, speakers, cameras, and Wi-Fi antenna require it.

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Heat the edges of the upper display front panel with a hair dryer or heat gun to soften the adhesive holding it to the display bezel.

  • Begin prying the edges of the front panel off with a plastic opening tool.

  • If it is difficult to pry the front panel off, reheat the area you are working on with the heat gun, and then return to prying. Applying excessive force could crack the front panel.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Continue prying the remaining sides of the front panel by sliding the plastic opening tool down each edge.

  • Too little heat will result in excessive bending/breaking of the front panel, and too much will melt and destroy the LCD underneath. Take your time.

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • With all of the sides free, lift the upper display front panel off the display bezel.

Edit Step 26 Rear Display Bezel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 26 Rear Display Bezel  ¶ 

  • Remove the six 3.6 mm Phillips screws securing the rear display bezel to the front display bezel.

Edit Step 27  ¶ 

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Flip the device over so that the rear display bezel is on top and the hinge is on the side opposite from you.

  • Lift the edge of the rear display bezel closest to you and rotate it towards the hinge.

  • Continue to lift the rear display bezel off the rest of the device until it is free.

  • There are clips toward the bottom of the rear display bezel holding it in place. Use enough force to disengage the clips, but be careful not to break them.

Edit Step 28 Upper Display Assembly  ¶ 

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Edit Step 28 Upper Display Assembly  ¶ 

  • Remove the 3D adjustment switch from the front display bezel.

  • This step is not necessary for disassembly, but the switch is likely to fall out on its own. By removing it yourself, you reduce the chance of losing it.

Edit Step 29  ¶ 

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Insert a metal probe into the space above the ABXY buttons with the point touching the metal hinge.

  • Push the hinge towards the center of the upper case. This will require a fair amount of force.

  • Before and after images of the hinge location when looking at the back of the upper display are shown.

Edit Step 30  ¶ 

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Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • Before proceeding, note how the 3 ribbon cables are oriented (what direction the gold contacts face) and layered together (which cable is on top of which). The cables are too short to reach if they are threaded through in any other orientation.

  • Slowly pull the upper display assembly away from the upper case.

  • Make sure that the various ribbon cables are being fed through the slit in the upper case.

  • Separate the upper display assembly from the upper case.

Edit Step 31 Speaker Assembly  ¶ 

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Edit Step 31 Speaker Assembly  ¶ 

  • Carefully feed the speaker assembly ribbon cable through the hole in the upper display bezel.

  • You must gently coil the ribbon cables (similar to an ice-cream cone) to allow them to fit - the cables are wider than the hole.

Edit Step 32  ¶ 

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Remove the 2.5 mm Phillips screw securing the right speaker board to the upper display bezel.

Edit Step 33  ¶ 

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Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the retaining flaps on the parallax barrier ribbon cable ZIF sockets.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the hinged retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Use a pair of metal tweezers to disconnect the two ribbon cables.

Edit Step 34  ¶ 

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Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the left and right speakers out of their places in the upper display bezel.

  • Pry the camera status LED out of the upper display bezel with the tip of a spudger.

Edit Step 35  ¶ 

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Remove the speaker assembly from the rest of the display assembly.

Edit Step 36 Cameras  ¶ 

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Edit Step 36 Cameras  ¶ 

  • Gently roll the upper LCD ribbon cable and camera ribbon cable together and insert them into the hinge opening.

Edit Step 37  ¶ 

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Edit Step 37  ¶ 

  • Use a pair of metal tweezers to remove the black metal hinge ring from the upper display bezel.

  • Carefully pull the camera and upper LCD ribbon cables through their hole in the upper display bezel.

Edit Step 38  ¶ 

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Edit Step 38  ¶ 

  • Peel the camera ribbon cable off the back of the upper LCD.

  • The ribbon cable is held to the back of the LCD housing by an adhesive, so pull on it gently to avoid tearing the ribbon cable.

  • Remove the camera ribbon cable assembly.

Edit Step 39 Upper LCD  ¶ 

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Edit Step 39 Upper LCD  ¶ 

  • Use your thumbs to push the upper LCD from the front out of the upper display bezel.

  • Remove the upper LCD.

Edit Step 40 Wi-Fi Antenna  ¶ 

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Edit Step 40 Wi-Fi Antenna  ¶ 

  • Pull the Wi-Fi antenna cable through its hole in the upper display bezel.

  • De-route the Wi-Fi antenna cable from the upper display bezel.

Edit Step 41  ¶ 

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Edit Step 41  ¶ 

  • Remove the Wi-Fi antenna from the upper display bezel.

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

For more information, check out the 3DS device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Heat Gun

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

this guide is idiotic, i followed it to the letter and all it did was make me realize that there is a much easier and much safer way of replacing the antenna; steps 1-29 (step 30 if you want to, not necessary though) are fine and right on the money, however pushing the ribbons through makes it way more difficult when you could just remove the antenna board, thred just the wire through leaving the ribbons unchanched, and put in the replacement board and thread the wire through, then reassemble the console. this method almost guarantees that the ribbons wont get scratch and you wont get frustrated.

Andrew Clayton, · Reply

#00 screwdriver is too big... probably need a #000

thomascroguennec, · Reply

#00 will work - but you must press down firmly and sort of jerk the screw out a few degrees at a time. If you don't press firmly, the screws strip very easily. Using #000 will strip the screws more easily.

Tai,

I used a #0 without any issues and 0 stripped. I used the #0 for all screws internally and externally. The head was sharp and I applied adequate amounts of pressure when loosening the screw.

Ben Kevan,

The correct screwdriver should be a JIS, or you can get a screwdriver specific for the 3DS from other sites for less than $2

Oscar, · Reply

I used Phillips #000 and it worked like a charm, i need to order a new SD board or do you guys think i should send it. What happened is that it got water damaged and everything works fine when i opened it everything looked fine no signs of water corrosion everything on the 3DS works exept it always give me a message saying the SD card is locked and i know for a fact it isnt locked i already tried using 3 different SD cards and none of them are lock protected and yes they are formatted as well. I need help

Leo Torres, · Reply

david hodson you are incredible. literally all you need to do is heat the screen up and pry it off and you make them take apart the whole thing

melody, · Reply

You've done this?

magykmaster,

I have to ask the same question. If just the glass display is broken, and you're heating it up to remove the glass, is it really necessary to remove everything? Doesn't like like it is necessary

Wade,

I just did it your way and it went fine. didnt even have to remove the battery. This is incredible misstep on the authors part.

patrick,

I used a PH0x50, but it wasn't easy.

John, · Reply

This may be a dumb question but where do I buy the 3DS upper screen?

John, · Reply

eBay... Just do a search for the 3DS Upper screen. $9.49 & it comes with the tools.

Gary Darnell,

The LCD screen I ordered came with all the tools I needed except a pair of tweezers. All in all it was about $14.00 and a little bit of my time.

Gary Darnell, · Reply

Does anyone know where I can find the right bumper button for a 3ds? I can't find it on ebay must of damaged it playing smash bros.

Steven Castro Parrilla, · Reply

Really wish I had read the comments first... How about instead of the warning saying to press down hardly and go slow, you say to use the correct screwdriver size like others mentioned in the comments. I not only stripped multiple screws, even after putting a glove on for more pressure, I bent my screwdriver from pressing down so hard. Granted it's a cheap jeweler's kit screwdriver, but it still would've been nice to not have that problem and be informed of the right size in the first place.

hockeymorgan35, · Reply

Got my tools one day after ordering, as I live a couple hours away from the supplier, Will post again when i try guide.

nintendokakashi, · Reply

Had to give up at this point. Tried using the ifixit #00 phillips screwdriver to take out two screws and ended up stripping them.

Demios, · Reply

Stuck at the same spot, those screws are in there really tight.

John Pasula, · Reply

Ruined my screws because of incorrect head, thanks!

3dsuser, · Reply

I had so much trouble with these screws, I gave up. Unfortunately, I can't accept failure so tried again. I figured out if you turn it right before you loosen it worked. Maybe it was just me, but I turned it right then kept pressure as I turned to loosen. I was surprised I hadn't stripped any screws out.

Nicole Bauer, · Reply

Does anyone have any idea of how to remove these screws. I've pretty badly stripped the screws and I've gone to 20+ pages trying to figure this. I'm considering just prying the !@#$ thing.

Vino, · Reply

use a dremil and make it a flat head

Ralph Prowant,

ruined my screws here too...what the !@#$ nintendo?

trying to survive a nuclear meltdown inside the !@#$ thing

Hamza Jarkas, · Reply

I used a #00 Philips 1/8" bit with no problem; however, the narrow diameter of the counter sunk hole can inhibit making secure contact with the screw head. You can be using the right bit (#00) but if the diameter of the bit shaft is too big you won't get proper contact.

I found this to be an excellent guide. Thanks

Dave W, · Reply

If anyone can point me to a link to purchase the 9 screws, let me know. Contacted Nintendo and they said I'd have to send it in. Email me at xavierfflores@gmail.com

Xavier Flores, · Reply

Unscrewed the nine 6.3 mm screws using the J000 bit from the iFixit 54 bit driver kit without much effort & without stripping the screw heads. Just gotta really position the bit correctly on the screw to have a proper fitting & not strip the screw heads.

STZ9, · Reply

The screws didn't strip but the philips screw driver did? @__@

These are rough either way.

John Zhou, · Reply

I used a "Whia 273 - PH000x40" screwdriver and held it firmly pushing the palm of my hand on the yellow end of the screwdriver and rocked the screw slightly (counter clockwise and clockwise) until it started to move. Then, without letting up on the pressure I carefully backed it out. The screwdriver is excellent because it is hardened (unlike some cheapo's out there) and the very tip is blunt not sharp. If the tip is too sharp, the point will bottom out in the screw and the sides that do all the work, won't be able to fully contact the inside of the screw. This screwdriver fits so well that the screws actually stick to it once they are removed. If the screwdriver moves AT ALL when you initially try it in the screw, STOP and find a better one. Also, start with the screws in the center, somehow they seem a little easier until you get the feel for it.

Paul,

Push down hard and turn counter-clockwise, or push down and rotate 3DS counter-clockwise until screw is loose.

Jonathan, · Reply

Had the exact same problem, even tried the #000 screw driver too. Stripped the screws due to how tightly they are screwed in there and how easy they strip. I am now unsure what to do from here or if all I can do is give up.

Sean Baldwin, · Reply

I second the one who suggested the Whia 273 PH000x40 screwdriver. I had a terrible time unscrewing these screws, and almost stripped them using a cheaper #000 screwdriver. Also tried a 3/16" flathead and destroyed the screwdriver. I bought the Whia and glad I did. It fit perfectly and did not slip at all. DEFINITELY recommend purchasing this high-quality screwdriver. Cost about $10 but well worth it to avoid the hassle.

pbrazis, · Reply

Reinserting this ribbon cable is quite difficult. I found opening the case so that it sits upright at a 90 degree angle helps. The first two times I tried reassembling the top display did not work. Turned out that I was not inserting the ribbon cable in enough. I used tweezers to push this in by gently grabbing the ribbon cable. I was continually inspecting the cable for damage but apparently did not damage it. If anyone has a better idea on how to reinsert this cable I think others would greatly appreciate it.

pbrazis, · Reply

Maybe a dumb question, but how would I go about reattaching the top screen if it's attached to the 3ds by an adhesive? If I have to use more adhesive to put it back on, what would be the recommended kind to do so?

jgonsoski, · Reply

I have the same question/concern that "jgonsoski" has. Is the adhesive on the front panel still usable after it's pried off the display bezel? Or does it have to be removed? If so, what adhesive can be used or is suitable to adhere back the front panel to the display bezel?

STZ9, · Reply

adhesive is definitely reusable. I just completed this step. Please make sure the new display is ready to take the tape as soon as you remove it from the old display.

Xpider, · Reply

Disclaimer: I replaced my front panel entirely, and threw away the old one.

-

If you do not have a replacement front panel, gently removing it (without getting the adhesive oily from your fingers/dusty) and replacing it is an option. The adhesive is incredibly tacky, and while removing the front panel will weaken the adhesive - it will likely be sticky enough to do its job. If not, double-sided tape or small amounts of water based craft glue may help (disclaimer again: I haven't tried these)- do NOT use superglues/liquid cements/epoxies.

Tai,

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