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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Titanium hinges

Titanium hinges
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Jan 19, 2004, 02:34 AM
My left hinge broke 1 month after the warranty had expired, thus I was left to either buy a new display, which cost about $888 or use my powerbook with one hinge. Then I found out that you could purchase the actualy Apple hinges from www.powerbookmedic.com, and since I was able to take out the old hinge, I figure for $150 I could remedy this problem efficiently. I bought the hinge and put it in. I know that not all Titaniums have a hinge problem, just the other day I asked a fellow at the library if I could test his hinge and it was fine. Same model as mine too! But I have been one of the unlucky few. One would think that STIFF hinges wouldn't strike two times, but it did for me. The new hinge I put in feels exactly the same as my original.

When I first got my powerbook, I wasn't aware of any hinge problems, and I thought that a stiff hinge was normal b/c it was new, but my heart sunk as I heard my powerbook hinge SNAP unexpectedly. I just wanted to address this issue to anyone who has been in this similar situation. I've always had to open my display with two hands, one to hold down the base and the other to life up the screen b/c the hinges were so tight if I had not, the base would lift up off the table. Now that I'm aware of this problem even with a new hinge I know one day that this thing will snap and I can't justify repeatedly buying a new hinge.

I emailed the guy at www.powerbookmedic.com and I hope that my situation can be solved.

I've read most of the threads regarding this problem and haven't come across anyone who has bought a replacement hinge and still had stiff hinges.

I love this powerbook, it's quiet, relatively light, good battery life, I love the keyboard and I love the way it looks. I thought everything would be fine after I installed a new hinge...my sadness continues. "Woe is me." =)

(I'm still a newbie at posting so please forgive me)
IntelliVince  (op)
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Jan 19, 2004, 04:05 AM
Hello guys and gals! Well, I wonder how many people will actually read my thread. But anyways, still no word from powerbookmedic, but I found a solution to the stiff powerbook hinges. It's funny how solutions just dawn on you sometimes.

I haven't seen it documented anywhere else, but the solution lies not within the lubrication, but with how apple manufactured the hinge in the first place (my hinge was purchased new, so apple had some manufacturing issues with the hinge, maybe the workers that day were lazy or fell asleep during quality control).

If you are able to take a look at the hinge and unscrew it from the main unit, you might notice that hinge doesn't make a perfect 90 degree angle. This means that when you close your powerbook, the hinge doesn't rotate enough to yield a 90 degree angle and you're left w/ the distal end (from the hinge) of the screen not fully flat on the base of the computer W/O adding some pressure. Hope that made sense.

I'll try to clarify further. Close your powerbook. Flip it over and have the back of the unit facing you. When you unscrew half of the the hinge casing off, you'll notice the black piece attached to the LCD and then the other half of the hinge casing. What I'm referring to when I mention 90 degree angle is the black metal, b/c this piece is part of the actually hinge that you order. So when you're powerbook is closed, you will notice that, from the sideview, there should be a 90 degree angle from where the LCD attaches to the unit.

What I did was basically bend the hinge slightly, enough to make the 90 degree angle, and like magic, this also relieves the excessive stiffness of the hinge. I would warn you though to not bend it too much, b/c when it actually looked like 90 degrees to me, it was bent just a tad too much, but it's fine as i don't want to fatigue the metal.

Just PM me if you have any questions as I was quite excited about solving this problem b/c it was REALLY bugging me. I wasn't able to take pictures b/c I was too eager to fix it and forgot about posting (noobie move).

This solution is mainly intended for people who have a stiff hinge. What might be considered a stiff hinge?

In my opinion it's (1) when you have to use two hands to open your powerbook (I can open it with one hand now) b/c if you use one hand the base will lift up along w/ the screen or (2) when you close your powerbook you notice that there's a gap between the unit and the LCD) and (3) also what I mentioned above about how you have to apply some force to close the powerbook (b/c when left alone the LCD will stay open at about an angle of 30 degrees, a rough estimate).

Hopefully many years of use on this baby! (It's only little over a year old)
( Last edited by IntelliVince; Jan 19, 2004 at 04:17 AM. )
Most of the time you gotta do it

Powerbook G4 667
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Join Date: Dec 2000
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Jan 19, 2004, 04:13 AM
it's cool you update your thread while no-one helped you. If you are really desperate for parts, I disassembled my powerbook g4 500 and two of the components I have left are the left and right hinge. They are sandpapered, thus paintless, but 100%.
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Jan 19, 2004, 06:10 AM
I had the stiffness problem with my Powerbook too. As I read that the stiffness of the hinges could cause casebreaks I started to unscrew the covers and drop a bit of oil regularly onto the moving parts.

This made the display open very smooth and easy.

The TiBook hinges get tighter with time.

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