Introduction: Replace the Touchscreen on a Garmin Oregon for $20

Picture of Replace the Touchscreen on a Garmin Oregon for $20

Over time my Garmin Oregon's touch screen managed to get a few nicks and scratches, which I mostly ignored. Then I dropped the unit and put a fairly big scrape in the touchscreen.

Recently I discovered that this screen can be purchased for $20 and replaced at home in about 30 minutes.

This works only for damage to the touch screen including scratches and cracks. The underlying graphic screen must still work. If you can still see the screen as above with the buttons and user interface when the unit is on, you should be OK.

Note: This WILL void your Warranty.
My unit its over 2 years old, so I was not too worried.

Step 1: What Is Required?

Picture of What Is Required?
  1. New touchscreen for your Garmin Oregon. I purchased this one on ebay for $19.88 from goodsupply0889.
  2. Torx T7 sized screwdriver
  3. Small flat bladed screwdriver
  4. Box cutter
  5. Shallow glass
  6. Optional - a Magnifier or magnifying glass

Step 2: Start Disassembling the Unit

Picture of Start Disassembling the Unit
Work on a counter or other solid, well lit, and uncluttered surface.

  • Remove the back cover of the unit
  • Take out the batteries
  • If your unit has an SD card installed remove the SD card by sliding the metal holder towards the TOP of the unit and flipping it up
  • There are 6 screws that need to be removed using the Torx T7 screwdriver (see photo)
  • Use the glass to store all the little parts to prevent them from being lost

Once the 6 screws have been removed, the back of the unit can be removed. Wiggle slightly and gently if it doesn't pop right off. Set the back aside for now.

Step 3: Flip Up the Electronics Board

Picture of Flip Up the Electronics Board
  • Remove the rubber gasket from the unit and set it aside
  • Gently pry the electronics board away from the side of the unit using the flat bladed screw driver....GENTLY..These are delicate pieces.
  • Note that the electronics are attached to the screen at the Bottom of the unit, so flip it away from the unit from the TOP near the square ceramic component.
  • When the board flips up, you will notice its still attached to the unit so be gentle. We will remove it in the next step.

Step 4: Remove the Electronics

Picture of Remove the Electronics

There are two cables attached to the electronics. A narrow cable and a wider one. Both are attached using connectors that are meant to allow the cables to be easily removed and replaced.

This might be a good time to use your magnifying source if you have it!

The little connectors need to be flipped UP to allow the cables to be released. The photos here show the cables removed so I could get a good shot. Flip the connector up using the flat bladed screwdriver. See the first 4 photos for before and after shots of both connectors.

Set the electronics board aside for now.

Step 5: Remove the Screen From the Case

Picture of Remove the Screen From the Case

Remove the 4 screws holding the screen to the case. Note these screws are smaller and flat topped compared to the case screws we took out earlier.

The metal shield also has 4 tabs tucked under the edge of the case that need to be gently bent inwards to free them. Use either the flat bladed screwdriver or the box cutter to carefully bend these tabs and free the screen.

The screen also has a rubber gasket. Gently peel this from the old screen. I washed mine and let it dry as I completed the job.

Step 6: Remove the Touchscreen From the Display

Picture of Remove the Touchscreen From the Display

The touchscreen is attached to the display using a very light industrial goop. Yes! Goop is a good term for it!

You need to carefully run the box cutter blade (a fresh blade would be good here) between the touchscreen the the display.

Only put as much of the blade in as needed to avoid scratching the display!

You will need to run the blade all around the edges of the screen, between the display and the touchscreen. Then the touchscreen should just pop off.

Using your fingers only, carefully remove any remaining goop or parts of the "Garmin" sticker that may be still on the display.

Wipe the display clean and lets put the new one on.

Step 7: Practice Putting the New Touch Screen on the Display

Picture of Practice Putting the New Touch Screen on the Display

CAUTION: Practice this next bit a few times before moving on. Really. Once the touchscreen is gooped - if you miss or get it upside down, you can toss it out. Practice.

The word GARMIN goes at the BOTTOM of the display - there is a larger section of metal at the bottom.

Use your fingers on the corners of the touchscreen to bring it close to the display and guide it down. Then carefully lower the other end to down and again use your fingers on the corner to guide the touchscreen gently onto the display. Check that the word GARMIN is at the right end and practice again. The goop is STICKY and once it touches the display it will be impossible to move.

Step 8: Gooping the Touchscreen in Place

Picture of Gooping the Touchscreen in Place

Wipe the display clean.

Make sure to line up the pieces so you don't accidentally put the touchscreen on upside down.

Carefully peel off the backing from the touchscreen and repeat the process (you practiced, right?) of using your fingers on the corners to align the touchscreen over the display.

Gently press the touchscreen onto the display to fix it in place.

Step 9: Start Reassembling the Screen

Picture of Start Reassembling the Screen

Replace the rubber gasket on the screen and put the screen back into the case.

Replace the four screws (these are the smaller flat topped screws)

Flip the unit over and make sure everything looks OK - no bulging gasket and the word GARMIN is the right way around.

Use the flat bladed screw driver to bend the metal shield tabs back under the edge of the case

Step 10: Attach the Cables and Replace the Electronics

Picture of Attach the Cables and Replace the Electronics

Magnification here is your friend!

Make sure the connectors are in the UP position and slide the wider cable in place first. Use the flat bladed screwdriver to flip the connector down. The cable should stay in place given the gentlest of tugs. This may take a few attempts.

If you need to review how the connectors work, jump back to the step "Remove the electronics" and examine the photos.

Next do the narrower cable.

Flip the electronic board down into place.

Step 11: Finish Reassembling

Picture of Finish Reassembling

Carefully replace the rubber gasket

Put the back of the unit on

Screw in the 6 screws

Reinstall the SD card if required

Add Batteries and replace back cover

Power up the unit

If all has gone well, you are almost done. If the unit doesn't power up, you will need to check that the cables are properly in the connectors. Disassemble the unit to that point and check the cables.

Step 12: Calibrate the Screen

Picture of Calibrate the Screen

Find the Setup button, press Setup>Display>Press to begin screen calibration

The unit will display a dot - touch the dot! This may be repeated several times and the calibration will end.

Step 13: Congratulations! You Have a "Like New" Garmin Oregon for $20!

Picture of Congratulations! You Have a "Like New" Garmin Oregon for $20!
  • Easy to do
  • Simple tools
  • Inexpensive
  • Like New!

Thank you!

Comments

gogolindy made it! (author)2014-07-14

Most excellent Instructable! I was able to finish off the replacement of my 450 touch panel in about 45 minutes. I had the most problem getting the two ribbon cables to clamp into place.

One thing that scared me was that there were actually two layers of protective plastic on the backside of the replacement unit -- one flimsy and one rigid just covering the goop. Once I noticed the second layer, all was well. For some reason, the new screen does not seem as bright as the original one. Still testing.

My touch panel was shattered, as opposed to scratched, so removing it was a bit more challenging. Pictures are here: http://web.cs.wpi.edu/~gogo/geocaching/OregonRepai...

Thanks again! Saved me big bucks.

Jean-CharlesB3 (author)2016-05-16

thanks for this stuff... My Oregon 450 looks new ! and becomes usable again ...

My Oregon 450 actually uses T6 Torx but seems I am not alone.

daflee (author)2015-10-27

Used these instructions last night to change the broken screen on my Oregon 550t and found them to be very informative and exactly what I needed.

Thanks

BoinLV (author)2015-08-15

Excellent explanation and pix. Saved me twice, now. Bought new screen from your source 10 months ago; worked great. Suddenly had no image after 6 months of non-use yesterday.Unit (and its data) recognized by PC. So I re-did all of the steps, now works great, again! I think the small cable (from the screen) was not well seated.

My Oregon 450 actually uses T6 Torx bit.

Thanks, again

ColinY (author)2015-03-03

Great instructions many thanks.

price.carson.5 (author)2015-01-04

Excellent Instructable. Everything worked perfectly. I shall try to be more friendly to my new screen!

It may be helpful to note that the two little black plastic thingies (sorry for using such technical terms) on the edge of the board are not attached and could fall off onto the floor or...

Again, thank you. I can't even begin to imagine what Garmin would charge for the same repair!

Kev_MacD (author)price.carson.52015-01-04

Do you mean the seals? Yes, its important to work over a surface... Glad it helped!

BoinLV (author)2014-10-20

Excellent job on this - worked great! My (possibly older) 450 has T6 torx screws (rather than T7). Took me longer to go buy a micro torx set than to complete this whole refurb. Many thanks

Cache Slinger (author)2014-10-17

Very Nice! You gave me the guts to take my Oregon 550t apart. Now my problem is the micro switch / Power button popped off. Didn't know that a couple years ago when it happened, an I cut the rubber button cover off, to have it fall out in my hand.
I heard Garmin charges something like $200 plus to fix them. Can you contact me at bdwatters@gmail.com I'd like to ask for some help. :)

Helen Edley (author)2014-02-03

Easy, simple, inexpensive and VERY well explained! I hope I never have to deal with this, but if I do, this will the place I send my hubby to see how it's done ;). Great work!

SteveRoy (author)2014-01-04

Great Instructable!