Introduction: LG Tribute LS660 Digitizer Screen Replacement

Picture of LG Tribute LS660 Digitizer Screen Replacement

As part of our course, DCC 105 at the University of Maryland, we will be replacing the screens on some LG Tributes. This replacement is part of a series in our course on the material aspects of living in the digital age, especially the effects of e-waste. As an intervention to us throwing away old phones and seeing them as disposable, we are going to teach you how to fix your old phones and find ways of extending their life (even repurposing them, as we are doing with these LGs).

Step 1: Remove Back Panel and Battery

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Using the prytech tool or a similar thin wedge tool, remove the back panel and the battery. This is, by far, the easiest part of our process!

Step 2: Remove the Screws

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Using a 1.2 x 30mm phillips-head screwdriver, remove the 8 screws in the back.

Step 3: Pry Off the Bottom Housing Section

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Step 4: Remove Main Housing

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In order to separate the second section, begin by angling the pry tool to get past the screen's “lip.”

Utilize the wedge tools that look like guitar picks to keep sections separated while prying open the phone.

Step 5: Detach Ribbon Cables

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Disconnect the forward facing ribbon cables, rear-facing camera ribbon cable, and digitizer ribbon cable from the motherboard using pry tool.

Step 6: Use Heat Gun to Soften the Adhesive Holding the Screen to the Frame

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Utilizing heat gun set between 200-220 degrees, evenly distribute heat across glass for 1-2 minutes. The surface of the phone should read around 180 degrees Fahrenheit using a laser thermometer.

Step 7: Remove Digitizer From Frame and Clean Off Excess Adhesive

Picture of Remove Digitizer From Frame and Clean Off Excess Adhesive
  • Once heated, use removal tool to gently separate the adhesive from the frame, placing plastic picks in the corners to keep glass separated.
  • Reheat the glass if needed to reactivate the adhesives. Remove digitizer from plastic frame housing.
  • Make sure to remove any excess adhesive on the housing frame before moving forward.

Step 8: Place Adhesive Tape Around Frame

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Begin to place double sided adhesive tape (2mm) around the edge of the frame. Make sure not to cover up the speaker or the forward facing camera and proximity sensors!

Once whole thing is laid down, take off the backing of the double sided adhesive tape.

Step 9: Attach Digitizer to Frame

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When placing the screen on the framing, make sure that the ribbon cable is underneath the plastic housing!

Porter Protip: Place housing on the edge of the table so the ribbon can just fall through! Make sure housing and digitizer are flush with one another.

Step 10: Reattach Motherboard and Ribbon Cables

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Place motherboard back into position.

Connect forward facing camera ribbon, camera ribbon, and digitizer ribbon to the motherboard.

Step 11: Snap Housing Into Place

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Once all ribbons are connected, snap in upper and lower plastic casings into place. Replace screws.

Step 12: Replace Backing and Enjoy!

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Snap on the back cover, power on your device and enjoy your awesome new screen!

These LGs were purchased on eBay for $10 a piece. Like most other LG devices, they use a digitizer/LCD display unit assembly instead of simply a glass screen; these tend to be more costly than simply replacing the glass. These digitizers cost us around $45 a piece and were hard to find. This is not a common LG model and most of the digitizers you can buy for them get shipped from China to the US on shipping containers (thus making their own impact on the environment). We found a Mid-Atlantic vendor who sold us these digitizers from New York.

Joseph looked online and found a pay-as-you-go version of this phone at WalMart for $40 -- that's $15 cheaper than our refurbished phones. So, as we work through this section on repair and e-waste, it's worth examining the value of repair in a culture that typically makes it easier to buy a new one rather than fix an old one. Hopefully, through repairing these items and giving you the knowhow to fix your own broken technologies, we can collectively approach our devices as things that are not easily disposable. Instead, we find value in extending the life of these technologies.


RandyB76 (author)2016-07-14

Do NOT FOLLOW THIS INSTRUCTABLE!! These instructions will destroy your phone. I followed these instructions and the glass did not separate from the LED screen and the screen was destroyed in the process of removing the glass.
Yes, I did use a heat gun to soften the glue. That worked to release the glass from the plastic frame, but the LED screen is fused to the back of the glass.
Very unhappy with this article. I have replaced screens in the past on phones and tablets. Instructions should be written to help users understand how these components are connected.

JasonF24 (author)RandyB762017-05-24

This Instructable shows how to replace the entire LCD, not remove the glass from the LCD. There isn't any moment in the Instructable where we remove the glass from the LCD; instead, we remove the LCD from its frame and replace the entire unit. Please follow along closely!

seamster (author)2015-11-03

Very good instructions, thank you!

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