Introduction

When the L3 and R3 potentiometers wear out, proper de-soldering equipment will be necessary to safely remove and replace them. De-soldering the parts is challenging, but it can be done. Please search eBay to find US replacement parts for this repair.

When purchasing the replacement parts, please choose those for Sixaxis/non-DualShock controllers. The conductive film has a ribbon connector, and the mainboard has a connector port superior to the DualShock 3.

  1. Using the Phillips #00 Screwdriver, remove the four 6.0 mm screws securing the rear cover to the controller.
    • Using the Phillips #00 Screwdriver, remove the four 6.0 mm screws securing the rear cover to the controller.

    • Do not forcefully loosen the screws, as it will amount to permanent damage of the threads, making removal impossible.

  2. Beginning with the left handle: Pinch the left handle of the controller to introduce an opening. Wedge a plastic opening tool into the opening and slide it up towards the joystick.
    • Beginning with the left handle:

      • Pinch the left handle of the controller to introduce an opening.

      • Wedge a plastic opening tool into the opening and slide it up towards the joystick.

      • Pull down on the plier to crack open the casing.

    • Repeat these steps for the right handle.

  3. Wedge a plastic opening tool into the case-splittings and pull down to crack open the casing near the following buttons: Share button Options button
    • Wedge a plastic opening tool into the case-splittings and pull down to crack open the casing near the following buttons:

      • Share button

      • Options button

    • Split the plastic covers of the controller apart, taking note that they will still be attached by circuit board ribbons.

    • Three small pieces are often released from the framework. To prevent loss, maintain a controlled work field.

      • 2 Trigger Springs

      • 1 Grey Reset Button Extension

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  5. Remove the single 6.0 mm Phillips screw found below the battery retainer with the Phillips #00 Screwdriver.
    • Remove the single 6.0 mm Phillips screw found below the battery retainer with the Phillips #00 Screwdriver.

    • Do not forcefully loosen the screw, as it may amount to permanent damage of the threads, making removal impossible.

  6. Gently detach the touchpad ribbon connected to the motherboard using the blunt forceps. The touchpad ribbon is connected to the motherboard by a connector that flips to tighten and loosen. During reassembly, to reattach the ribbon, the plastic tray will need to be gently removed from the motherboard and the flip-lock flipped up. Gently detach the touchpad ribbon connected to the motherboard using the blunt forceps. The touchpad ribbon is connected to the motherboard by a connector that flips to tighten and loosen. During reassembly, to reattach the ribbon, the plastic tray will need to be gently removed from the motherboard and the flip-lock flipped up.
    • Gently detach the touchpad ribbon connected to the motherboard using the blunt forceps. The touchpad ribbon is connected to the motherboard by a connector that flips to tighten and loosen. During reassembly, to reattach the ribbon, the plastic tray will need to be gently removed from the motherboard and the flip-lock flipped up.

  7. Carefully dislodge the motherboard assembly from the front cover. Vibration motors are loosely attached to the motherboard assembly. Provide support at the two ends to ease the separation.
    • Carefully dislodge the motherboard assembly from the front cover.

      • Vibration motors are loosely attached to the motherboard assembly. Provide support at the two ends to ease the separation.

    • When removing the motherboard assembly, try not to tilt the front cover upside down as the buttons and their covers may fall out.

  8. Successful disassembly of the controller will result in the following three parts, respectively: Motherboard Assembly Front Cover
    • Successful disassembly of the controller will result in the following three parts, respectively:

      • Motherboard Assembly

      • Front Cover

      • Rear Cover

  9. Note the Sixaxis conductive film connector is superior to the DualShock 3. De-solder the four (4) potentiometer through hole mounts. De-solder the six (6) potentiometer through hole joints.
    • Note the Sixaxis conductive film connector is superior to the DualShock 3.

    • De-solder the four (4) potentiometer through hole mounts.

    • De-solder the six (6) potentiometer through hole joints.

    • De-solder the L3 and R3 button joints, then insert and solder the new potentiometers.

    • Note this mainboard asembly uses lead solder, likely 63/37 eutectic. A 80W soldering iron is strongly recommended for de-soldering and re-soldering operations, as solder tends to not easily flow with less heat transfer.

    • Also works on Dual Shock 4

Conclusion

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

5 other people completed this guide.

DARKMATTER

Member since: 07/10/2014

203 Reputation

1 Guide authored

One Comment

I’ve been looking for “better” (longer lasting) potentiometers but cannot find any. With the rise in DIY controller mods, I don’t understand why better components don’t exist.

Robert Remington - Reply

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