Picture of Replace your Nintendo DS Lite Shell
I recently purchased a crystal clear DS lite replacement shell from dealextreme.com for a little over $16.00. You can buy replacement shells from many different places, such as ebay, but dealextreme had the best price and free shipping.

I didn't see an Instructable about how to replace the DS shell so I decided I'd write one up. It's a pretty complicated process and took me about 3 hours to complete, so I figured that a lot of pictures and descriptions of the process would help others. I labeled each section to make it easier to find a specific part of the process.

You WILL need a tri-wing screwdriver for the replacement so either get one off of ebay or if you place an order with dealextreme.com, add one to your order. You will also need a small phillip's head screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, an exacto knife, a soldering iron, some de-soldering braid or solder sucker, and possibly some needle nose pliers.

When taking your DS apart, pay attention to how everything fits. Don't just rip it apart, take notes if you need to. It really helps in the end. When you put the DS back together, the hole will probably not be threaded so it may take some force to get them in there.
rallekralle4 months ago

i'm getting a DS Lite soon, and i might do this.

it looks really nice, and i could probably put some LEDs in it... hmm....

Sheutk5 months ago

what do i do if the loop henge things are to big for the replacement shell? do they come in smaller sizes?

Dandeman321 (author)  Sheutk5 months ago
I'm not sure. It's been years since I've done this. I don't believe they come in different sizes, they sell these add whole kits, not piece by piece.
Just wanna say thank you, very useful guide!
Dandeman321 (author)  XCoreRainbow2 years ago
No Problem!
jimmbobdave2 years ago
amazing instructable, the first real useful guide I've found for the replacement
Dandeman321 (author)  jimmbobdave2 years ago
Glad I helped!
I finished, but when i turn on the unit, the screen just flashes once. Did I fry the unit? Is there anything I can do?
Dandeman321 (author)  marcelnavarro4 years ago
More than likely the LCD isn't plugged in the whole way. Try pushing the ribbon cable in further. Let me know if that fixes it. You could fry the unit if you shocked it with static but that sounds like a loose cable.
musicman5515 years ago
first off, great tutorial. ive been looking all over the web for a legit explanation for ones purchased from dealxtreme.

the only thing im having trouble understanding is why you need to solder/de-solder. all the other tutorials/videos ive seen have/show no mention of this.

could you please explain? thank you
Dandeman321 (author)  musicman5515 years ago
Thank you! Well I had to do it to fully take it apart. I haven't done this is awhile so I can't remember exactly why, but at the time I knew I had to do it to get everything taken apart. It had to do with the wifi antenna I believe.
maybe because you didn't want to fight with it to get it under the ds cart slot?
Great Instructable! It was the best help I found for my repair job. I didn't want to bother with desoldering, so I tied a piece of thread to the wifi wire. I cut the thread and left it in place for disassembly. For reassembly, I retied it and pulled the wire through with little effort.
Dandeman321 (author)  the_kingfish4 years ago
Thanks! Yeah, I've heard of methods being used so you don't have to desolder. Being an electrical engineering major I had all the stuff laying around to do that and that was just quick for me!
cobra2545 years ago
Just to clarify, you do not need to use a soldering iron. For probably the best video tuorial on the web, try http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-replace-nintendo-ds-lite-case-338519/ it doesn't finish, but it shows how to do it without soldering.
poshle5 years ago
Wow! Fantastic tut, by far the best one I've found, great job! I can't wait to try this out :D

But I do have a question; if I'm only replacing the top panel of the DSL (the portion with the little ds emblem) woudl I still have to unscrew the bottom parts too? 

TIA, and again thanks for the amazing tutorial!
zack247 poshle5 years ago
no, you shouldn't. its a separate piece from all the rest, so the bottom doesn't need to be taken apart
ryanlashway5 years ago
For those of you not comfortable with soldering if you angel the Wi-Fi and Mic connectors properly you can slide them out under the game cartridge housing.

It make take some jiggling but I have successfully done this every time I have replaced a case.
erikals5 years ago
It's a pity Nintendo doesn't sell clearcase DSes for the geeks like myself
I would like one.

Great instructable.
Arbitror5 years ago
... Darn. I was going to do this exact same 'ible... Good job though, this is 5 star material! This is way better than all those videos on youtube!
Dandeman321 (author)  Arbitror5 years ago
Your welcome! =) I looked all over the net trying to find a good, easy to follow DS lite shell mod tutorial. All I could find was crappy low quality youtube videos where the "teacher's" hands were in the way all the time...

So then I thought I should make an easy to follow Instructable, which would probably be the first tut on DS case modding with full size clear pics. So then I searched to see if anyone had beaten me to it, and what did I find...

I have another idea though...
JakeTobak6 years ago
I don't know why they don't sell clear versions to begin with.
NYPA JakeTobak6 years ago
Tha'd be AWESOME!
mitzie6 years ago
thanks I'm a 62 yr old grandmother and with your help I have just replaced my granddaughters case lost one of my springs improvised with a spring from my plant peg she is over the moon
Dandeman321 (author)  mitzie6 years ago
No problem! Glad I could help.
Excellent guide, would be lost without it, couple of tips, check the button springs as they are handed, left and right otherwise you will struggle forever to keep the buttons on, also when putting the covers back on don't do what i did and try and force it otherwise you will break something like the on/off switch and make the DS completely useless.Thankyou for this guide!
Dandeman321 (author)  masterofinsanity6 years ago
Thanks! You're welcome. Yeah, the buttons are hard to describe. I was having trouble. My Dad would always tell me, don't force anything, you'll break it. I had to break quite a few things to agree with him ha.
AndyGadget6 years ago
Nice work! Does the clear shell feel as solid as the original?
Dandeman321 (author)  AndyGadget6 years ago
Thanks! Yes it does! It has all the Nintendo printing on it as well.
Joe Martin6 years ago
Very cool! Nice pictures and clear instructions, Well done.
Dandeman321 (author)  Joe Martin6 years ago
Thank you! And the clear instructions are what I was trying to go for. I found other partial guides on different sites that were hard to understand :/