After using the T61p for several years, I realized that the hinges are loose and wobbly. They no longer hold the screen at an angle which I am confortable with. How should I proceed?
The article is a guide on how to change your hinge by yourself. Please note that by doing so, you will void the ThinkPad's warranty / extended warranty. Do proceed with caution and do this only if your laptop is no longer covered under warranty.
Firstly before you begin, it is recommended you prepare a camera / camera phone to take pictures of the location of screws, position of cables and zif cables. It would also help if you label the screws. Also note that the T61p used here is a 15" laptop, so if you are changing the hinges for the laptop which is a 14" screen, there could be some slight differences.
Tools needed to replace the hinge.
1. Phillips head screw driver
2. A blade and a Nylon pry tool.
3. ThinkPad T61p Hardware Maintanace Manual (HMM) - MIGR67980
4. T61p Hinges.
Sample tool pics.
Picture of T61p hinge (FRU P/N: 45N4181)
- Remove AC, battery, hard disc and DVD rom from the laptop.
- Remove all the screws below on the bottom cover of the laptop, except those screws hidden below the battery area, those need note to be removed. (Do remember to take pictures of the screw which you removed, the screws are in different sizes and length so do make sure you label them)
- Once all the screws on the bottom of the laptop has been removed, flip the laptop around and open the latch gently. Once the laptop is opened. Gently pull up the palm rest. (Take note there is a zif cable on the palm rest area for the touchpad and finger print reader.) (Pic below)
- Hold the white part of the zif cable and gently pull it up to remove the palm rest.
- Next is to lift the keyboard and slide it outwards towards you. (Take note that there is another zif cable for the keyboard as well which you would need to remove.) (Pic below)
- Once the keyboard is removed, next would be removing the "speaker cover". Note that there are two small screws on the left side and right side of the speaker cover. (Screws are located directly above the DVD rom on the right side and directly above the headset jack port for the left side.)
- Once both the screws have been removed, do remove the following screw. (There are 2 cables which are attached to the WLAN module which you would need to remove as well. 1 cable is in Grey and the other is in Black)
- Once screws have been removed, gently pull the speakers cover upwards and pull it towards you. Make sure the WLAN antenna cable is not blocking the metal piece.
- Once the cover has been removed, take out the WLAN module as well as there is a white colored cable which is lodged under the WLAN card.
- Next is to remove the screw and release the 3 cables (Grey, Black, White) which are hidden below the speakers. (Pic Below)
- Once the 3 cables have been released, gently pull up the LCD zif cable. (Pic Below)
- Remove the 2 screws of the hinges which are on the left and right side of the hinge.
- Gently lift up the lid and you have successfully detached the LCD from the laptop base.
- On the LCD frame, you will see 3 round stickers and 2 square stickers which covers the screws for the LCD. Gently use a blade / plastic flat head to remove the stickers.
- Once the covers has been removed, unscrew all 5 screws. Note that the screws on the top side of the LCD is different from those on the bottom.
- Next is to use the nylon pry tool to gently release the latches in the screen. (Pic Below)
- Once the frame has been released, you can now remove the screws for the hinges.
- Left side of the hinges, note that there is a small screw of the "arm" of the hinge on the left side which you would need to remove first before removing the hinge. (1 small screw and 1 main screw) - Pic Below
- Right side hinge screw - Pic below
- Once those screw have been removed, you can now change the hinges. Once the hinges are changed, then put everything back in the reverse order.