Fixing a 3DSXL with liquid damage.

Discussion in '3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by tigerfrost, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. tigerfrost

    tigerfrost Advanced Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    Hi this is my first post on the forums, i have plenty more fixes to share so i thought i would start with this first.

    3DS XL - Liquid Damage Part 1!

    So trawling through some ebay junk to find a project and found a liquid damage 3DSXL. The description said it all works aside from the A button, looking at the photos everything looked great no scratches on the screens and one or two marks on the lid.

    Today the 3dsxl arrived all on time and everything intact, no previous attempts have been made on fixing the problem prior to me and thats the way i prefer it.

    Firstly i wanted to do a button test and make sure that its not only the A button that has an issue, i found that not only did the A button stick the right shoulder button also was very sticky.

    So off came the back lid and there was some sticky brown liquid most likely coke ( every circuit board nightmare) so plenty of cleaning with electrical cleaner IPA based.

    I cleaned the whole connections around the button pad and re assembled the whole device but the problem was still evident.
    Another attempt to work out why the buttons were not working revealed the issue, if you look at the photo you can see that the buttons have a metallic discs on top of electrical contacts.
    I peeled away the sticker to remove one of these discs and i could see the same brown liquid stuck on the contact obstructing the connection.

    So a good clean with electrical cleaner and scraped away the horrible brown gunk and its all nice and clean making good contact and now works as it should.

    The reason why this is part 1 is the metallic button's are now somewhat not sitting correctly so i have placed an order for some new ones. Ill cover cover that shortly with some more photos and a small writeup.
    3DS XL - Liquid Damage Part 2!

    Ok so after the first part the X button and the Y button were not making great contact to the motherboard due to the unknown residue under the silver caps / gunky connections.

    To fix this issue i had to buy a new set of metallic button stickers, they come in a set and are exact replacements for the faulty part (directional buttons and ABXY).
    I bought the replacements from a company called "Gamers Gear LTD" their website is they are uk based with a quick delivery service. (Thank You Gamers Gear LTD.)

    So i proceeded to replace the faulty part by quickly removing the battery then the screws, a top tip is to keep calm and slow down when you go for the fix since i have broken other parts previously by rushing costing me even more money.

    I was glad to say that the fix went smoothly even though the sticker was pretty hard to affix to the motherboard and as you can see from the photos it is slightly off by about 1mm or so this will not make a difference as the contacts are still being made. If i were to remove the sticker and keep applying it then i would face a possibility of the sticker not "sticking" correctly causing me even more problems.

    Once applied i replaced the motherboard back into the shell making sure the wifi cable is not catching under the charger socket, if you look closely on the shell there is a gap especially made for the cable preventing it from obstructing the closure of the case possibly resulting in a damaged wifi cable ( you do not want this to happen as you will have a new can of worms to deal with being the top screen of the console )

    Once all fitted into the shell i quickly tested the buttons to see if they are making contact with the motherboard making the "clicky" noise and proceeded to tighten all the screws back into the 3DS.

    Another quick tip for anyone doing work handhelds is once the handheld shell is re-fitted check that there is no ill fitting gaps, these are usually a good indication that there is an obstruction somewhere, if you cannot see anything that rings alarm bells replace a couple of screws not all of them and insert the battery.
    The reasons for this is to quickly test the device making sure your fix has worked, obviously it then saves you the hassle of removing the entire amount of screws with possibility of chewing up the phillips head screws due to them being small and rather soft.

    So now after all that i have a working 3DSXL for less than half the price ! :) I have uploaded a few photos from the fix and a short video demonstrating the "clicky" noise of the buttons.

    Feel free to comment and leave any suggestions tips or questions for this type of fix.

    I will be posting another fix next week hopefully if my new project arrives, its Nintendo.

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    If you made it to the end of this post you can find a link to a short video of it working here

    If you like this post please let me know and if there is enough interest in this sort of stuff i will post another.
    Thanks for reading...
    Last edited by tigerfrost, Jan 28, 2016
  2. Luckkill4u

    Luckkill4u 4 guys in a car ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    Jul 13, 2008
    Awesome! I like this post, and I think its cool you fixed a broken 3DS you bought online. It also has some great tips for opening a 3DS and it's kinda inspiring me to crack open my o3DS and hard mod it so I can un-brick it!
    tigerfrost likes this.
  3. tigerfrost

    tigerfrost Advanced Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    Thank you, i was starting to think nobody is interested in this type of stuff! haha
    You should go ahead and open the back lid and have look but make sure you look at ifixit website and look at the teardown to give you some ideas and hints on what your looking at. if you do go for the fix post a thread, i would be interested on reading that !
    Cheers !
  4. Socuine

    Socuine Newbie

    Jan 25, 2016
    Awesome post man. Keep up the good work!