1. moto4mods

    OP moto4mods Advanced Member
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    Hi all,

    Today I opened my laptop and the hinges broke. When I disassembled it, I found the hinges were secured to plastic encased anchors, and the majority of them broke off. The panel also bent, probably broke some wires, etc. But my main concern for now is repairing the hinges, it being a laptop and all.

    Is there a way to replace the anchors onto the body over the existing plastic, so the screws can screw in again? If yes, could I use all purpose bondo from Walmart? Or what supplies would I need?

    edit: I've been wanting to assemble a laptop in a suitcase using a raspberry 4, but since this happened, may it be better to just scrap the whole body and toss it into a suitcase with some 18650s and extensions for USB,HDMI,etc?
     
    Last edited by moto4mods, Aug 12, 2020
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    We would need to see what goes here. I have seen a few that are hinges with a few posts out of the case and then plastic welded/melted down which might be what you are describing.
    I have seen others that are basically slide in things with hooks holding it down (might still count as anchors), and have seen little brass inserts that also go (and usually crack the little posts there are in after a few years/disassemblies).

    Not sure what wal mart "bondo" will be here. If doing fun things like this (and not having a nice ultrasonic plastic welder to hand) I usually go for the epoxy resin rather than any putty type materials or silicone stuff, however MS polymer (a family of silicone adhesives) does well for some things here (as it normally gets fired out of a caulk gun rather than nice toothpick or whatever action with epoxy it might be more fun here but nothing stopping you from squirting some out and using it as you will.

    My usual concerns are not enough to make a good joint (scuffed up plastic and metal and epoxy usually does well enough, or at least is probably stronger than the thing that broke), overfilling things/squeeze out and not being able to put it all back together (this is why we have rotary tools, needle files and the like, though it might involve further disassembly which is probably not so bad here but when I only expected to be doing a 10 minute screen swap...) or get screws in, wrong angle for things

    Pro tip as it were. Find some screws that will go in the holes to stop them being filled with whatever you use. Depending upon what it is you may want to oil them or something to prevent them from being stuck in there by whatever adhesive before you put the screen or whatever back on.


    "laptop in a suitcase"
    I do like such things. Figure out if you can extend the screen wires/ribbons and go from there.
     
  3. Hayato213

    Hayato213 GBAtemp Guru
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    Depends on the model and brand of the laptop you might be able to do a swap, laptop parts are interchangeable as long they have the same manufacture parts #. When taking a laptop apart always do it slowly don't force it, if you removed all the necessary screw and wires, you wouldn't have broken the hinges, plastic etc.
     
  4. moto4mods

    OP moto4mods Advanced Member
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    Checked eBay and amazon, it has a Pentium n5000 silver, and contains a small aluminum plate for a heatsink, so its a cheap machine. The only intact shells cost more than I can put out, if I may have to deal with this later on, as similar models will also be cheap plastic crap.

    As for the type of hinge, there's plastic studs, (some were actually surface mounted somehow) with brass inserts, threaded internally, rough external to hold still for the screws. A few of those came out, others idk, and the whole thing is a mess. I have such limited space to work with, epoxy isn't possible no ventilation or outside space.

    My intention is to epoxy if I could but I can't so, my plan A is to all-purpose bondo the brass inserts in/on the proper places, which I am sure isnt smart.

    edit: it is still a low power machine though, and a DVD drive replaced with another HDD, the 4 cell 2840mAH lasts a good 3-6 hours in Linux, so with the space to add like a 3s4p battery it would last a pretty long time, pretty cheap with liionwholesale website.

    And the display cable should still be enough length without extension, and with some 3d printing like one of those sites does for cheap, it'll be pretty finished and still lightweight, and it won't thermal throttle since I can throw a fan (its fanless) in there, on top of an actual heatsink instead of an aluminum plate.
     
    Last edited by moto4mods, Aug 13, 2020
  5. moto4mods

    OP moto4mods Advanced Member
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    Also the left hinge broke upon opening the lid for daily use, not opening the body for repair. I'm not a TOTAL dumbass. I only broke it more in disassembly, since it required closing/opening the lid for battery removal and keyboard removal. I wasn't just yanking something I can't afford to replace, apart, just to break down and ask for help. I was just wandering if the very cheap plastic body is possible and worth repairing, or if the body should be scrapped, caused its a terrible physical build.
     
  6. Hayato213

    Hayato213 GBAtemp Guru
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    Usually parts ain't cheap, hinges are hard to do as they connect the top screen to the bottom part of the laptop, probably you are better off getting a new computer than trying to fixing it, with the pandemic going on it is cheap to get parts either. If you did took the time to take all the screws out it would be pretty hard to break it, I recently swap the keyboard of the laptop I'm using for 6+ years , I had a screw that gotten stuck inside the laptop, I decided to take it apart to get the screws out, if you want to take apart a laptop in the future do it slowly.
     
  7. alexander1970

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  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    While occasionally they do come out do check they are not fractured along the post -- if they are levered off it can be the post that goes (and closes back up almost invisibly, only to have it rip right out again after you thought you glued it in) rather than just the friction/minor mechanical interference that glues more easily handle.

    That said waking up to epoxy smell/headache is no fun so I guess alternatives are not the worst choice to explore. If you can find/spring for the 60 second stuff then that might go better.
     
  9. moto4mods

    OP moto4mods Advanced Member
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    Yeah I know parts aren't cheap, hence why I'm asking about bondo and such, not "here's the model number, eBay link plz." cause its also not worth the cost of required parts.

    And again, I was careful and slow when taking it apart. But its a plastic POS body that I have taken very good care of the entire time, its just how plastic wears, if you understood the situation like FAST6191 does to some extent, you probably wouldn't assume I need to take more caution, as if I wasn't already taking caution.

    Some of the brass inserts were surface mounted, as in (mostly) flush with the surrounding plastic, some were inserts in posts, I'm not 100℅ sure that's the only types of brass inserts it uses.

    At least one surface mounted insert came out with an odd shaped piece of plastic that would've been flush. A post or to came off, one cracked half off. Ultimately the left hinges inserts were broken before I opened it, and the lack of support broke inserts on the other side when I opened it. And because the inserts were already broken on the left side (completely clueless how this happened never dropped it), the hinge wasn't AT ALL secured, and broke the crappy plastic face, which is connected to plastic covering the hinges so you don't see them. It snapped that hinge cover on the left side and bent the LCD panel, luckily just the mounting bracket screw and nothing more on the panel, so the screen is pretty much done for without donor parts anyways, after reevaluation.

    I can't get the "frame" for the display cheap enough, don't wanna 3d print from those "kinkos" type of websites cause that's not gonna be cheap for what I need.

    I was considering the 60sec stuff, like the 2tube stuff, or a tub of either all purpose bondo, or plastic metal mondo, but it says for most metal surfaces, and the surface is plastic. In any case I can't really get anything smaller than 4.5OZ and I only need a few grams.

    Plus my budget for the suitcase idea would be far higher than it is for the general repair. My plan was to sell it but that's not possible now.
     
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