Removing CCFL from iMac 20in LCD CCFL assembly

Member-Contributed Guide

Member-Contributed Guide

An awesome member of our community made this guide. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

CCFL removal procedure.

  • Author: Richdave
  • Time required: 60 - 75 minutes
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This guide will show you how to remove the CCFL tubes from the CCFL assembly.

Tools (continued)
Relevant Parts
  • CCFL - 446mm x 2.4mm (4), QTY There are 4 CCFL in the LCD assembly, 2 top and 2 bottom. You may not need to replace all but if going to the trouble of replacing 1, suggest you do all 4 Buy it

Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Access Door  ¶ 

  • Loosen the single Phillips screw in the center of the access door.

  • This screw is captive in the access door.

  • Remove the access door from your iMac.

Edit Step 2 Glass Panel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • The glass panel is fixed onto the front bezel with fourteen magnets around its perimeter.

  • Stick two suction cups to opposing corners of the glass panel.

  • To attach the suction cups we sell, first position the suction cup with the movable handle parallel to the face of the glass panel. While lightly holding the suction cup against the glass, raise the movable handle until it is parallel with the other handle.

  • If your suction cups refuse to stick, try cleaning both the glass panel and the suction cup with a mild solvent such as Windex.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Gently pull the glass panel straight up off the iMac.

  • The glass panel has several positioning pins around its perimeter. To avoid shearing these pins off the glass panel, be sure to only pull straight up during removal.

  • Be meticulous about cleaning the LCD and the inside face of the glass panel before reinstallation, as any fingerprints or dust trapped inside will be annoyingly visible when the display is on. Placing the glass flat, inside face down, on a fresh aluminum-foil surface is a good way to keep it clean.

Edit Step 4 Front Bezel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4 Front Bezel  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 12 screws securing the front bezel to the rear case:

    • Eight 13 mm T8 Torx.

    • Four 25 mm T8 Torx.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the microphone cable connector, removing tape as necessary.

  • For the front bezel to sit properly, be sure to tuck the microphone cable and connector into the void next to the camera board.

Edit Step 6 Display Panel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6 Display Panel  ¶ 

  • Pull the LCD temperature sensor connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.

  • If necessary, de-route the LCD temperature sensor cable from behind the logic board.

  • When you remove the LCD, check the routing of the LCD temperature display cable. On reinstalling the display, be sure this cable does not block one of the bottom screws for the front bezel.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 5.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the data display cable to the logic board.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use the attached black tab to pull the data display cable connector away from the logic board.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the eight 12 mm T8 Torx screws securing the display panel to the rear case.

  • Lift the display panel from its left edge and rotate it toward the right edge of the iMac.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • With the display panel still lifted, disconnect the four inverter cables.

  • During reinstallation, place the four inverter cable connectors in voids between components attached to the rear panel so the display panel will sit flush.

  • During reassembly, the order of the inverter cables is interchangeable within each socket.

  • If you are replacing a hard drive and have an extra set of hands, it is possible to reach in and remove the drive without disconnecting anything but the LCD temp and display connector in the previous step with the LCD in its propped position.

Edit Step 11 LCD Backlights (CCFL)  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11 LCD Backlights (CCFL)  ¶ 

  • The rest of this procedure should be done in the cleanest possible work environment to avoid dust getting BEHIND the LCD (I learned this the HARD way!)

  • Once the LCD panel is removed you need to peel back the black foil from the top edge of the LCD to reveal the clear plastic PCB protector.

  • Now gently peel the clear plastic PCB protector off the top edge. Make sure you don't damage the flex cables attached to the PBC you are exposing.

  • There are a total of 8 flex cables along the top edge

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use a sharpie or similar, mark the side brackets on either side of the LCD panel before removing screws as they are different

  • Use a T10 Torx driver to remove the 2 screws from each side bracket (total 4 screws)

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Stand the LCD panel on its TOP edge and locate the lock tabs along the BOTTOM edge. There are 5 along the length of the bottom edge

  • Use a flat blade driver or metal spudger to Gently pop the bezel off the lock tabs.

  • Locate the lock tabs on either side of the LCD panel. There are 2 on each side

  • Use a flat blade driver or metal spudger to Gently pop the bezel off the side lock tabs.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Now gently separate the metal bezel from the main body of the LCD panel

  • Lay the LCD panel down on with viewing side UP and remove the metal bezel

  • Make sure you are careful when removing the bezel from the TOP edge as you will be exposing the 8 flex cables mentioned in step 1.

  • Note the 3 flex tabs on the left edge

  • Do not damage any of the tabs or flex cables as these are the Row and Column Drivers. Damage to these will will cause faults like vertical/horizontal lines or white screen etc.

  • WARNING - Once the bezel is removed the LCD is LOOSE in the black plastic frame - only held in by the small gasket underneath.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Using a plastic spudger or pry tool, work GENTLY around the edges of the LCD to loosen it from the gasket below - use GREAT CARE so you don't crack or chip the panel as it is only a couple mm thick

  • Once the LCD is loose you need to HOLD it in place in the black plastic frame and GENTLY flip the entire assembly so the LCD is flat on the work surface

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Remove the tape securing the LVDS cable

  • Press IN the 2 silver spring loaded catches on either side to release the cable and gently extract it from the connector

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Peel the back Black foil and clear plastic PCB protector to fully expose the PCB that runs across the top of the LCD assembly

  • Remove the 2ea Philips head screws from each end of the PCB

  • The PCB actually has a 3rd screw hole in the centre of the board. Perhaps my assembly is missing a screw

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Gently flip the PCB over 180deg so it is off the aluminum back panel.

  • Be CAREFUL not to damage the 8 flex cables

  • The PCB may be attached to the aluminium by some adhesive near the LVDS connector. IF so use a plastic pry tool or spudger to GENTLY lift the PCB up

  • Now lift the the back panel off the LCD separating the LCD from the back light assembly

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Disassembling the back-light assembly is a little fiddly as there are a number of parts that all want to come apart at the same time

  • Remove the 6 Philips screws from the rear of the back light assembly

  • Removing the white tape from the CCFL cable.

  • Un-clip the CCFL cable from the black plastic surround

  • There are 2 CCFL cables and the process is essentially the same for each

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Separate the black plastic surround from the aluminum back plate to access the CCFL tube assemblies

  • Start by un-clipping the tabs along the top edge of the assembly. There are 4 tabs along the top

  • The top CCFL tube can be seen and CAREFULLY removed

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • The bottom of the black surround can now be un-clipped and the entire surround removed

  • There are 4 tabs along the bottom of the assembly

  • Once the black surround is off the rest pretty much comes apart with the bottom CCFL tube being able to be removed in a similar manner to the top

  • The centre of the back light assembly is made up of 4 main parts. A perspex sheet with white plastic coating, 2 opaque matt plastic sheets, and 1 Pearlescent matt plastic sheet

  • The plastic sheets are polarisers so need to be kept clean and free of dust and scratches

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • The CCLF tube assemblies are made up of a U shaped reflector with 2ea individual tubes inside. The entire assembly is 457mm long and 7.6mm wide. There are no part numbers on the assembly however there is a S on the end with the wires attached and an 18 on the other end.

  • The 2 CCFL tubes are held together with a figure 8 rubber band in the middle of the reflector so both tubes must come out at the same time.

  • The individual tubes are 448mm long (excluding the terminals - standard way to measure is end of glass to end of glass) and are 2.4mm diameter.

  • The CCFL are soldered to the wires so not a simple plug in replacement

  • The CCFL are EXTREMELY fragile so ensure you dont break them when installing them.

  • The CCFL reflectors are a tight fit over the sides of the perspex sheet and the other layers of plastic. Patience and a plastic spudger or pry tool should get you there

  • The closest I can find to my CCFL measurements are either the 446mm x 2.4mm or the 450mm x 2.4mm so I'd suggest the 446mm is used

  • See the Removing CCFL from iMac 20in LCD CCFL assembly guide for details

Edit Step 23 CCFL assembly  ¶ 

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Edit Step 23 CCFL assembly  ¶ 

  • Remove the white tape from either end of the rear of the CCFL assembly.

  • Carefully remove about 15-20mm of heat shrink from the CCFL cable to allow the end cap to be removed, making sure you DO NOT cut or nick the wire insulation.

  • The wires have a HIGH VOLTAGE applied during operation and the insulation may break down if damaged causing a short

  • While holding the assembly, slowly and gently pull the THICK wires up and out of the slots in the white rubber cap.

  • Pull the wires one at a time ensuring you don't flex the CCFL and break it.

  • This will reveal the pins and solder joints.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Gently push the THIN wires through the rubber end cap to create a bit of a loop on the rear of the assembly.

  • Using a plastic pry tool you can pop the rubber end cap out and then lift the thin wires out of the groove in the rear of the CCFL assembly

  • Note the thin wires are held in the groove by a small amount of adhesive.

  • Run the pry tool the length of the assembly and free the wires all the way to the other end cap

  • gently pop the rubber end cap out of the assembly

Edit Step 25  ¶ 

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Gently pull the rubber end cap off the CCFL to expose the pins and solder joints

  • The CCFL are FRAGILE and will easily break

  • Now its a simple task of un-soldering each wire and soldering in the new CCFL

  • There is a little figure 8 rubber band tying the 2 CCFL together at their centre.

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

For more information, check out the iMac Intel 20" EMC 2133 and 2210 device page.

Required Tools

Heavy-Duty Suction Cups (Pair)

$14.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

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Phillips #1 Screwdriver

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Plastic Opening Tools

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Flathead 3/32" or 2.5 mm Screwdriver

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Comments Comments are onturn off

isn't it actually pc2-5300s ?

grze, · Reply

At this stage and later handling the LCD I found thin cotton gloves helped to reduce smudges

john31, · Reply

My GPS unit's car mount suction cup worked nicely here - couldn't find any at the store and didn't want to wait for mail order!

Two cups would make it easier but one is fine if you place it in the center and are careful to pull the panel straight out.

Mathew Hendry, · Reply

Why use suction cups when some finger nails will do the job nicely, though a plastic spudger might work too. Start at a top corner. Prize the glass away from the case and leave finger nails in. Move the other hand along the top edge and then with finger spread peel the screen cover away. Be careful not to twist plastic I suppose, but I've had no difficulties.

damianwise, · Reply

3M Command Strip hooks in opposite corners is another fabulous option when suction cups are not available!

Adam McCombs, · Reply

Tape works fine, here. Search for a YouTube video for a simple look-see.

Richard, · Reply

I didn't have any suction cups, but my pencil sharpener (the kind that suctions to the table) worked great. I put it on the middle and lifted straight up.

Lisa Mac, · Reply

For a quick 'n' dirty alternative "tool" for this step, take a look at IKEA's Stugvik suction hooks: they provide an excellent adjustable grip. Just used it to take apart an EMC2133. Cheers!

hadderakk, · Reply

In order to avoid unnecessary smudges and what not I covered the LCD itself with some plastic wrap while doing the hard drive upgrade. When I reinstalled it all I needed to do was blow off a few dust particles.

robgendreau, · Reply

While you are at it, it is worth cleaning out dust within the case to help with cooling - particularly around the fans and vents.

For the screen I used a lens cleaner from my camera bag. These have very fine fibers and won't leave detritus.

Mathew Hendry, · Reply

Note that the front glass panel is quite light. When reassembling I found it impossible to get the LCD free of dust with the computer lying on its back. I had success with standing the computer up, tilting the LCD down as far as it goes, holding the glass panel upright in front of the computer (about 1 foot away), lightly spraying both the LCD and the back side of the glass panel with compressed air, and then attaching the glass panel (with the computer upright). It took me 5 tries before it was completely clean of dust once the front glass was on.

axel, · Reply

On the 24" EMC2134 there are 3 screw sizes: 6x13, 4x20 & 2x30mm, particular note should be made of their location.

john31, · Reply

Note for the less experienced.. the case is plastic and the metal coarse thread screws will easily cut a new thread in the hole if you don't line up the screw in the original thread. Do this a few times and the hole will be stripped and the screw no longer tightens.

TIP:- place the screw in the hole and rotate BACKWARDS/counter clockwise (for RH threads) until you hear/feel it click/drop into the original thread then tighten the screw down. rotate it a couple times to get the feel of things. If there is any significant resistance you probably don't have the original thread.

This trick also works on the fine metal thread screws and can help avoid cross threading them.

HIH

Richdave, · Reply

On the 24 inch iMac Model A1225 EMC #2134, the two T8 Torx screws in the middle are the longer of the four total bottom 25 mm screws. Just a note for reassembly.

bhoffs, · Reply

I avoided this step by just flipping the housing over and having it lay flat on the table. The tape on mine was on really tight, and I risking ripping the wires out of the connector if I messed with it (I didn't have some really small scissors which might have helped removing it). I would suggest either securing the body of the iMac and the housing to the table you're working on, or somehow securing the housing to the body, so that it doesn't move around accidentally, since it's only hanging on by a very thin wire at that point.

robgendreau, · Reply

Make sure you do not pull this apart by the wires. Have a firm grasp on the plastic parts. Do not force back together. It only goes back together one way. Also, it is crucial when placing the aluminum bezel back in place that this wire is out of the way. It often gets in the way and is easily damaged.

Kyle Freeman, · Reply

CAUTION - To disconnect the cable, you'll need to support the bezel while you carefully extract slack microphone cable which is tightly tucked within the iMac. (I didn't have this guide's 'notes on' and missed robgendreau's warning - then inadvertently shifted the bezel and busted my microphone cable in this step.)

dagnew, · Reply

Don't forget to pull the microphone cord out before you put the panel back on. Otherwise you will have to go back and remove screws to find that microphone cord

Melvin Hines, · Reply

This was the most confusing step, because the video shows MJ just tilting the monitor open, and I had a ribbon cable hooked up to it. Finally figured out that the ribbon cable was connected to the LCD temp sensor cable, and it was neatly tucked under the adjacent fan. Had to pull it pretty hard to get it out from under the fan, and then could tilt the LCD. Instructions are not completely clear about this, only that you may have to reroute the cable around the motherboard.

d3nn151950, · Reply

My Torx 6 driver purchased from ifixit didn't fit the screws well and potentially would strip them. Had to purchase a better driver to fit better in order to loosen these screws.

kakisback, · Reply

reinstalling these screws requires extra care to be sure you don't drop it and loose it under any of the other components.

kakisback, · Reply

Make sure not to drop the screws.

ulan, · Reply

Removing these screws was the most difficult part of the whole job. They were tight and felt as if the heads were about to chew up. I had to press really hard and jerk the screwdriver counter clockwise to loosen them. Despite others' warnings, I managed to drop a screw when reinserting.

kevinp, · Reply

The only tool I needed to buy was the T6 Star Bit - the first auto store I went to had it. These screws are tiny so you have to be careful not to drop them!

James Miles, · Reply

When reinstalling these tiny screws, consider placing the iMac upright. That way when you (inevitably) drop these tiny screws, you don't lose them in the guts of the computer where they are likely to fall into a fan.

stown1211, · Reply

Yes, this step is very difficult. I finally used a magnet to magnetize the torx driver, and that helped immensely...however, that was AFTER I lost the right one inside the computer. You really only need one screw to reattach the monitor connector, however.

d3nn151950, · Reply

Argh! I dropped my right screw into the bowels of the iMac. I can't find it anywhere and am loath to leave it rattling around as well as to tear down the machine any further.

steven macfarlane, · Reply

Well, I followed the instructions for right-speaker removal and optical drive fan removal and still couldn't find the right screw. I couldn't hear it rattle either so figured it was wedged somewhere. Using an inspection mirror and flashlight, I finally found it. It had fallen down and wedged between the PCB and the plastic housing (below the ports). I was able to slide it toward the right until it came to the void left by the right speaker where it fell out into my hand.

steven macfarlane,

It's true, these were super tight. I only had a T5 which worked on the first screw, but the second wouldn't budge. Ended up filing the tip off the T5 bit - presto! - instant T6.

marcintosh, · Reply

I Think the real screw size is 3.5 mm T6 Torx, not 5.3 mm

raul, · Reply

Dropped those little bastards like 2-3 times into the deeps of my iMac. The right one is really tricky. If you drop it: better get yourself very thin tweezers and gently shake your mac. :(

Popelnase, · Reply

Note that just below where you are working is the PRAM battery. If you have never replaced this, now is a good time so you won't have to open the machine up again in the near future. The battery is a CR2032.

mattgauntt, · Reply

I was able to disconnect the two connectors to the front easily. With those off, I just rotated the LCD out of the way to expose the hard drive. Again, make sure it's stabilized if you do this so that when you yank on something else you don't send it flying.

robgendreau, · Reply

I did a HD replacement on my 24 inch iMac. It's basically the same, but it does not have disconnectable invertercables. Instead, there's just one cable that's can't be disconnected. It sits too tight to rotate the display to the degree that you can lean it against something, so the only way to get the job done was to call in an extra set of hands to hold the display while I took out the hard drive.

Marijn, · Reply

On the 2134 model, I found that the LCD must be lifted from the RIGHT (not the left as per the 2133 guide) - the connector wires are covered in nylon housing and it's way easier just having someone hold the LCD vertical whilst you replace the HDD, unless you have small fingers and feel like disconnecting completely ...

simon, · Reply

During reassembly, make sure that the data and temperature cables will reach their sockets before inserting the eight screws.

kevinp, · Reply

Make sure to not squeeze the inverter-cables between the superdrive and the display when putting the display back on !

epzzky, · Reply

This was the only step different for my 2134 - it is just one cable that connects to the monitor - disconnect the monitor end rather than the motherboard side.

Jim Laredo, · Reply

There is no need to discnnect the inverter cables if display is positioned against a wall or something of the sort. Make sure it doesn't tumble over !!!

info5825, · Reply

For 24" iMacs, a single power cable is attached on the left side of the screen. To remove the cable, lift the screen from the right side and rotate it to the left. Remove the black plastic protector on the back of the screen and disconnect the cable.

Matt Stichnoth, · Reply

Make sure you squeeze the two ends of the inverter cable together firmly - if not you will get yellow areas on your screen. One of my cables had not quite been clicked together, and I had to unscrew everything all over again.

Philip, · Reply

So does it matter which ones are connected to which?

That is, at each end there are two connectors (one pink/black the other light blue/dark blue on the "male" side). The "female side appear identical. Does it matter if the pink/black "male" one is connected to the wrong "female" one?

Mark Gibson, · Reply

Mark, did you ever get an answer about the connectors?

Mike,

Managed to avoid this step just lifting the lcd panel and holding it with my... head ;)

Antonio Bernardini, · Reply

I'm trying to find some information on replacing the power supply temperature sensor cable. Mine broke during removal of a bad power supply.

Mike Overholt, · Reply

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