This instructable will go through the steps to make an N64 act like it was new.
Old consoles tend to have some issues, but most commonly, these can be resolved by simply cleaning the contacts and inside of the casing.
I will be posting restoration projects for several retro systems and accessories over the next few days, they are very similar projects because they function the same way.
Large 4.5mm Nintendo bitbit (there are 2 sizes, they can be bought on ebay for about $3)
Optional for cleaning the expansion pack: Small 3.8mm Nintendo game bit
Strongly recommended, bin to hold all the parts. There are alot of them.
Step 1: Opening the Console
Open the memory expansion port on the top of the console, and pull out the memory pack or expansion pack, whatever you have in there. Put those pieces in the bin, we will get to them later.
Using the large Nintendo bit, unscrew the 6 screws on the bottom of the console.
Take off the 2 foot pads, and place them and the screws into the bin.
Pull the top half of the console, and put on the side.
To remove the shield from the motherboard, there are 5 different types of screws. I drew different colored circles around them to help you put it back together.
Red= long silver screws
Yellow= long gold screws
White= thin gold screws
Purple= short gold screws
Black = short gold screw with washers
All of these screws can be removed with a Philips screwdriver. An electric screwdriver is not recommended, as many of them are powerful enough to crack the plastic threads.
At this point, you can clean the dust out with compressed air, and then do detailed cleaning with the alcohol. It is pretty amazing what buildup can occur over the years. When I opened mine, there was actually a dead bug that must have crawled in one of the vents (same thing with my SNES, but here I remembered to take a pic).
To clean the game slot where the cartridge goes in, you can use an old credit card with a thin microfiber cloth wrapped around it, that has some alcohol on it. Just slide it back and forth in the crevice.
You are now ready to put it all back together. Do exactly what you just did in reverse order.
Step 2: Optional: Cleaning the Expansion/Memory Pack
Before putting the expansion pack back in, you may opt to clean it as well.
This is usually not necessary, as this does not get moved around much and is unlikely to accumulate dust. However, if you are like me, you like to do things all the way.
The 2 screws are removed with the small 3.8mm Nintendo game bit, and the board itself is easily cleaned with the alcohol.
When you are done, simply place the expansion pack back in its port, and put the cover back on the console.