Repairing MacBook Core 2 Duo Installing LCD & Inverter (fast method) A1181

Member-Contributed Guide

Member-Contributed Guide

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

This is the fast method for installing a replacement LCD on a MacBook. It does not involve opening the bottom case.

  • Author: mayer
  • Time required: 60 - 90 Min
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The guide for replacing the LCD and/or inverter on the MacBook is very long and involved. This method is faster with fewer steps but you have to modify one of the clutch cover retainer clips to do it smoothly.

Edit Step 1 Installing LCD & Inverter (fast method) A1181  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Installing LCD & Inverter (fast method) A1181  ¶ 

  • Although not necessary, I've removed the keyboard and battery to reduce weight, preventing the unit from constantly falling over. Here the bezel has been removed.

  • It's likely the clips will stick to the bezel. Remove them and place them back in the metal frame around the LCD. Cover them when prying them off the bezel unless you like looking on the floor for tiny parts.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • There are three Phillips screws to be removed here

  • There are 3 on the left, two on the top and 3 on the right.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Remove more screws

  • The back of the iSight camera comes up without removing screws on either side. Be careful not to lose track of the lens cover. It may or may not stay with the bezel.

  • Third photo here... A blade or better, a spudger here to disconnect the cable here. Pry and slide this connection (towards the top of this photo).

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Photo 3 shows the lifting of the iSight Camera board. Lift this and the other cable connection and the metal frame you've just unscrewed up and tape to the back of the screen case.

  • NO need to disconnect the cable to the camera - lift the whole thing up.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Note placement of cables into clutch cover

  • At this point I tape the cables up to keep them out of the way.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • See Step 7 and come back to here. 3 screws must be removed first. Lift clutch cover up slightly

  • Getting the clutch cover up is going to be the most difficult part. You'll feel like you're going to break it. There are also two little plastic parts on each end of the clutch cover. They're easy enough to remove so you don't use them as a fulcrum. Be careful though - they also tend to fly fast and high when being pried out.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Remove three Phillips screws holding clutch cover in place.

  • Pry up end of cover just enough to gain access to the inverter plug in.

  • Use fingers to loosen cover.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Reveal plug in to inverter board

  • Use small hemostat or tweezers to grasp end of inverter plug in and pull out.

  • The LCD is now free to be removed.

  • To install an inverter just lift the cover up higher and remove it.

  • I was able to leave the left end of the clutch cover 'mostly' in place and unplug both ends of the inverter.

  • When replacing the clutch cover inspect the back. I had both ends 'sticking out' a little and had to break the little plastic tabs to make it flush again - or I could have started over and removed everything to properly replace the clutch cover. On a 5 year-old machine I elected to break plastic tabs off the clutch cover.

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

After completing this - my MacBook display still kept going black after 45 - 60 seconds. An SMC Reset fixed the issue. Wish I'd tried this first. Give it a shot... May save you a couple hours.

For more information, check out the MacBook Core 2 Duo device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

This method works just fine. When you are taking the LCD support frame apart , note the place and the position of the small piece of METAL MAGNET on the left side of the LCD display.

eaksut, · Reply

I've replaced dozens of the LCD's and I don't recommend this method.

The guide itself is poorly written with it's missing instructions (what mod to the clutch cover, how do you get the clutch back on), it's out of order, step 6 shows the clutch cover off and step 7 is taking the clutch cover screws out.

In using this method the Airport wires can become pinched and damaged at the other end. The Display Data cable takes abuse when you try to force the clutch cover back on. I know this because I tried it to see if it was actually possible to avoid the steps in the proper method. The casing on my gray Airport wire was damaged and the DD cable was interfering with every attempt to replace the clutch cover. I ended up stopping at that point, disassembled it properly and replaced the left lcd frame and Airport wires to avoid and further issues.

It only takes 30 min to do it the right way, save yourself the hassle and do it that way.

barmour04, · Reply

This was probably the first guide I tried writing. I'm sure I made some errors and one is the order 7 should be before 6 but I don't know how to change it. You're more than welcome to try to improve it. These things aren't written in stone and most have contributions from many people. I'm done this many times without damaging any wires. You damaged the wires when forcing, I clipped the tabs off so that it wasn't forced, after all the thing is held on with screws.


Because I followed your pout of order and incomplete instructions, I now have spent $100+ and hours of frustration to end up with exactly what I started with - a perfect macbook except for a non-working LCD screen! You mention in your main summary that you need to modify the clutch clips but it is never mentioned again - until someone else pointed out that these instructions should be used with caution and he pointed out your lack of details or any further mention of the modification. It didn't take much of genius to realize the mistake in the order of steps as presented but how was i to know that in order to get that clutch back in place WITHOUT damaging the video cable (which I did - thus the non-working NEW screen!) that one should remove the clips?!!!! I THINK THAT'S RATHER IMPORTANT AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE INSTRUCTIONS NOT DOWN IN THE COMMENTS! Money is tight and I can 't afford at the moment to take this to someone qualified to diagnose exactly what I damaged and if it's replaceable and if I can afford it even! I am so disgusted and angry and surprised at the level of blatant irresponsibility you displayed by submitting these incomplete and dangerous procedures to the myself and the rest of the novice ifixit community that turns to this website for the empowering and gratifying knowledge to fix our expensive and cherished gadgets. This would definitely be classified as an EPIC FAIL both for MAYER's guide and for for allowing substandard content on their site. I don't know if I'll ever be able to fully trust the information I find here in the future. rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! san francisco

^!^$#^ off and $100 poorer and still up a creek, this time not only is there no paddle, the canoe is sprung a leak!

scotthankes, · Reply

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