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Fix the Red Ring of Death! (without towels!)

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Step 3: Parts and tools needed

To secure your heatsinks tightly to the motherboard(and the metal case in the process), you will need:
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4 5x20MM Panhead Machine Screws (Keep length between 20 and 40 MM)
4 5x15MM Panhead Machine Screw (Must be no longer than 15MM!)
44 #10 Washers
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And for your English measurements (Thanks to ajmontag for providing these):
***********************
4 3/16" x 1" Panhead Machine Screws
4 3/16" x 1/2" Panhead Machine Screws
44 #10 Washers
***********************

These 5x20MM(3/16"x1") screws will be used to secure the CPU heatsink.
The shorter screws will be used for the GPU, and 15MM is the most you can get into it. The 1/2" fits just fine with room to breathe.
About 44 #10 washers. These will be used to keep the motherboard firmly in one position. Nylon washers aren't necessary, there are no traces or components to be touched around the screw holes. But if you feel you must have them, I will not stop you from purchasing them.

And while you are working with the heatsinks, you may want to apply new and better thermal paste to them. I suggest picking up a tube of Artic Silver 5.

Toolwise, you'll need:
A drill or drillpress to widen screwholes in the metal case(with a 3/16 drillbit)
A torx 9 and torx 6 screwdriver to remove screws from the 360's case
A 1/4 inch wrench or socket to remove the X-Clamp posts from the heatsinks
A phillips-head screwdriver for those machine screws(or flathead if that's what you got)
And a tiny flathead screwdriver to pry off the X-Clamps.

Anything else like tape and steel scrubbers should be kicking around in your house.
 
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ifixitgud1 year ago
ok this does work ive done it 50 times, buuuuttttt ive found it best to not use a flathead screwdriver to get the xclamps off, its best to get a 90 degree small pick from n e hardware store, insert the hook in the clamp u want to release press down on the middle of the clamp and pull the hook away and up from the post, also if u dont have a 1/4 socket u can use needle nose pliers to loosen the posts, ALSO another thing is that u should get 5x10 mm screws, dont drill thru the metal case and screw it to the board not thru the case its actually not the clamps that fail, its that people play xbox all day and the thermal paste drys up and the 360 is equipped with auto shutoff once the chip reaches a certain temp, NYLON WASHERS ALL THE WAY the reason is beasuse over time the nylon will flex and adjust with hot/cold/hot/cold situations and metal will not, fix it yerself save loot! hit me up!!!!
r we crten dis wrks
Bryan34041 year ago
Hey thanks for the great instructable. It worked like a charm. I had to use 1/2'' screws on both the cpu and gpu though, the 1 inch would not work. I also tested mine the same way they did at http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/repair/ring_of_light_x-clamp_fix.htm as too not overhead the cpu. Overall it was a really great instructable.
mbayne12 years ago
The main problem is over heating. Check this out when you take the mainboard out of the case before removing the xclips try this ( press down on GPU heatsink while pressing the bottom of the board not on the xclips and will see that there's a space between the sxclip and the board therefore the heat sink not really doing a good job my fix for that was to add a split washer before putting on the xclip it's going to be tight but make sure the clip fits down properly then you have a snug tight fit of the heat sink.
k4n3b4ll4 years ago
Any Ideas On A Place To Get The 3/16" x 1" Pan Head Machine Screws 
And The 3/16" x 1/2" Pan Head Machine Screws
And The 10# Washers

HomeDepot
jaredmac114 years ago
 1" and 1/2" screws seem super long. I went through all the steps, dropped the heatsink on the screws, and realized I still had 1/2" to go on alot of these screws. Perhaps my xbox is using different heatsinks or I'm reaaaally misreading this.

Anyone else run in to this problem? I'm going to try and run to the hardware store and find some smaller screws and report back. . .
 Also, did anyone try nylon washers over metal ones? What's to stop these washers from doing serious damage to the motherboard through scratching alone? This DIY seems really haphazard.
Yes and it worked for a while then the same problem.
Yah, i read a professional blog on this and it said use nylon.
kflores32 years ago
Back in February I performed this type of fix on my xbox because I was getting sound, but no picture. Like magic, it crawled back from the brink of death and I couldn't have been happier. There were never any issues, but for the past two days, my xbox has started to act up again. I will be playing a game and within 15 or so minutes it will red ring and shut down. I've looked it over and nothing looks to be the problem. The console and power source are in a spot it shouldn't overheat. All the solutions I've found online have to do with the x-clamps, but since I took them out, I have no idea what the problem this time around could be.

Is there anything else that can cause rod other than the x-clamps?
dxjoshua2 years ago
Where did you get your screws from?
ive done everything that he mentions throughout all of the instructions and ive gotten the red ring 4 times already im sorry to say buddy but alot of this stuff doesnt work i find any way
gchace3 years ago
yeah blue man group.... do i need them as well? *chuckle*
Tommy. T3 years ago
You should use 8 screws for the gpu and cpu (replace both x clamps)
Swoop PK4 years ago
Just so I know before I go out and buy all this stuff - I need #10 washers and screws so they fit snugly together? The drill bit should also be this size? It's just the 5x20mm measurements are confusing me as those screws are tiny compared to #10 washers and screws...
dirtyneeds4 years ago
look people a 3/16 screw is a # 10 screw and the 32 part that is confusing you is the number of threads on that particular screw. a 6-32 is a #6 screw with 32 threads per inch. there are different threads for each screw on this planet sometimes 3(usually in metric) BUT a 6-32 is not a 3/16screw, it is smaller than a 3/16. a 1/4 inch screw would be a 4/16 rounded down to a 1/4 inch. oh and Dom_P haha your theory is way fuked up lol.... PLUS i work at ACE HARDWARE so trust me i know what m talking about
 Oh my god! just went to Lowe's today to get the screws. got 6-32 thinking they were the same as the 3-16, but they're not! great so now i gotta make another trip to a hardware store, FUN! Thanks for the info anyway dirtyneeds.
LOL, You wanna know something.
I went to lowes today also...and got 6-32....not the same!! ahah wow, we fail, but i kinda was convinced that it was the same from a fraction view (6/32 = 3/16)
fl_james v1be4 years ago
makingoneup4 years ago
 Just so everyone knows, 3/16 isn't the measurement that most stores, warehouses, or most other places use. 3/16 screws come out to 10 -24 screws, and then you can get your half inch and inch long in that measurement.
123dan1204 years ago
 man i realy hate my xbox for not even a year of it working fine not i soon as i press the power button boom 3 red rings and now i cant play and im sorry way too lazy to do this plus i dont have  the time i realy dont thanks for the advise but im buying a ps3
theres always www.360-pros.com  mail it in (from anywhere in the world) and they will send it back in 2 days.  or if you live near long island you can go there and get it fixed while you wait (actually while you play their xbox360 or ps3
thanks for letting us know that you are too lazy to fix it yourself with tried and tested instructions. what are you doing at instructables, the place where you find instructions to fix and make things yourself by following the instructions that have been carefully and thoughtfully prepared for the benefit of other people?
speedraser4 years ago
I modified the procedure here to be a little easier.  Instead of adding new screws, I used the x-clip pins as screws.  I removed the washer and ran the threaded side of the pin through the board into the heat sink.  So far things have been working well and it's been running for a few hours. If you choose to do this there are 3 things you should do:
1. You will still need to drill larger holes in the metal frame so that the bottom of the pins can protrude through.
2. On the gold heat sink, you will need to bend (VERY SLIGHTLY) the x-shaped bracket to get it closer to the board.  I did this using a crescent wrench.
3. Lastly, when attaching the silver heat sink, the threads of the screws just barely make it.  Don't tighten down too far on the end that sticks out, there are some additional resistors there that look like they could get shorted by the heat sink.  Look closely to make sure there is clearance.
reklis4 years ago
Thanks to Schnuh330 for posting the thread type for the 5mm. I used 5mm x 12mm .80 pitch screws for both the cpu and the gpu. Anything longer is overkill. 10mm's would even work.

To settle any confusion with the washers I used (4) 5mm washers on each screw and that provided the perfec amount of space. Then I used a 5mm grommet between the motherboard and the heatsink to give a snug fit to both processors. This helps with the amount of tension that should be on each screw. I spent hours getting the tension right and the grommets helped once I took it apart and put it back together using them.

All in all thanks for the fix. It saved me $200!
Wolf360 reklis4 years ago
This is for anyone reading the comments wondering what they should do.

I agree with what Reklis said. i did the screws the washers and then a little rubber grommet between the heat sink and the motherboard. tightened it until it touch the CPU/GPU and it worked perfectly.
Schnuh3304 years ago
I used metric 5mm x 16mm .80 pitch and 5mm x 20mm .80 pitch pan head machine screws from Ace Hardware unfortunately they didn't have the washers so I went to Lowe's and got them there. Microsoft may have used different threads on some units. My advice is to take one of the studs with you to the hardware and find the right thread by trying it out with different nuts. then get the screws to match, or bring the heat sink and find screws that fit but they (heatsinks) don't fit as neatly in your pocket when walking into the hardware. Dirtyneeds, from my experience just because you work at a hardware store doesn't mean you know what your talking about, quite often it means the opposite. Dom_P was wrong but no need to poke fun
jbizzle1234 years ago
would 5x16mm work?
mikehedglin4 years ago
the best screws that will fit are M5x80x10 found at lowes or a screw supply store my info came from an engineer they work wonderful
conejito1014 years ago
the radio shack i went to didnt have silver artic 5 in stock so i bought thermal compound, will this work as well?
At Home Depot get "machine screws, #10-32 x 1 and #10-32 X 1/2 they fit great. I only needed 2 #10 washers
I should've seen this earlier, but it was a hassle at Lowe's to find the correct screws, These comments are just as helpful as the actual directions. I got the same exact machine screws
Ruettiger4 years ago
With all this talk of having to get the pressure right on the screws. Why not post what the torque specs should be or even torque angle since I don't think many people have torque wrenches. It would make it much easier to get it right.
ad89904 years ago
Just wondering if the thermal paste is necessary/highly recommended or would it do fine with out?
smyers51205 years ago
Hey Guys....These instructions are for the original x-box 360. If you have the newer x-box elite (black case), microsoft changed the design of the cpu heat sink and therefore you will need 8 x 3/16 x 1/2 inch panhead screws to perform the fix.
Dom_P5 years ago
for the 3/16" panhead machine screws you may find out something interesting like me, i went to lowes and could not find 3/16" x 1" or 3/16" x 1/2" and i just keep rifle though all the panhead screws when i came across 6/32 x 1 and 6/32 x 1/2, now anyone who is remotely decet at math can figure out from grade 6 that if you lower those numbers to their lowest possible denominator without a fraction that 6/32 = 3/16, just to let anyone here who didnt know that so you know the screws may have been right in front of your eyes the whole time you just didnt see them, so hopefully that helps and good luck with your xboxs
over90005 years ago
Just curious, about how much would all of the parts cost in total?
ezrolling5 years ago
Could not find these at Lowes: 4 3/16" x 1" panhead machine screws 4 3/16" x 1/2" panhead machine screws OR AKA: 4 3/16" x 1" Panhead Machine Screws 4 3/16" x 1/2" Panhead Machine Screws
try home depot lol its home depo but still hom de pot
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