Introduction: How to Reball Red Ring of Death Xbox 360

in this instructable im going to show you how to repair a xbox 360 that has the red ring of death using a bga reball machine

Step 1: Parts Needed

these are all the tools and materials needed to fix a rrod xbox 360

  1. red ring of death xbox 360 (hard to fix one if you dont have one)
  2. soldering iron (a temperature controlled iron isnt necessary but makes cleaning the boards a lot easier)
  3. liquid no clean flux
  4. kingbo tacky flux
  5. torx bits T-8 and T-10
  6. K-type thermocouple
  7. heat proof kapton or aluminum tape
  8. bga reball machine
  9. reball jig with stencils for xbox 360
  10. 0.6 leaded solder balls
  11. thermal compound (artic silver is a very popular brand)
  12. goof off or other cleaning solvent and 99% alcohol
  13. xbox 360 opening tool

Step 2: Taking of the Top and Bottom Covers and Faceplate

  1. on top of the 360 were the hard drive goes there will be a plastic cover with a tab push the tab and pull up and this part should slide right out
  2. now to take the face plate off take your pry tool and created a gap in the face plate you should be able to grab it and pull it off theres only a few small clips that hold this in place
  3. now that the face plate is off we can take the top cover off take your pry tool and slide it between the gap shown in picture 4 there is a tab on both sides that you have to pop loose
  4. once the tabs by the hard drive are loose you should be able to pull up and keep it from locking back down there are 3 tabs on each side take your 360 opening tool or a pick and slide it through the vent hole were the tab is look at picture 6 for reference pop all 3 tabs loose while applying upward pressure and the top cover should come loose
  5. flip the xbox upside down and apply the same technique used on the top plate to remove the bottom plat this plate also has 3 tabs on each side

Step 3: Using the 360 Opening Tool to Open the Back of the 360

here you need to grab your xbox 360 opening tool

  1. you will see that one side of your tool has 2 prongs look for your power port on the 360 and you will see that the tool and the holes line up
  2. insert your opening tool into the 2 hole and wiggle it back and forth you should here a click and see separation like you do in picture 4
  3. flip the 360 over and look at your av/hdmi port you will see 4 holes here and your opening tool will match this pattern insert your opening tool and do the same as you did in step 2 and the back side should be fully seperated

Step 4: Removing the Case

  1. make sure you keep the back separated or you will have to pry it open again
  2. there will be 4 tabs on the front of the 360 take your pry tool and loosen the 4 tabs
  3. once the tabs are loose remove the top shell of the 360
  4. take your pry tool and place it as shown in picture 7 and remove the eject button

Step 5: Removing the Case Pt2

  1. now that you have access to the screws you will need your T-10 torx bit
  2. in picture 2 i marked in red the screws that need to be removed
  3. after removing the screws flip the xbox over and remove the white case
  4. now you can see the guts of your machine

Step 6: Removing Your Disc Drive

  1. if your xbox has never been opened before there will be a seal on your disc drive that needs to be cut as shown in picture 1
  2. lift the drive up
  3. remove the wires connected to the disc drive from the motherboard

Step 7: Removing the Fan

  1. there is a white fan housing that you must remove to get to the fan simply lift this up and it should come out fairly easy
  2. there are to tabs holding the fan in place use your pry tool to loosen the fan and pull it back away from the housing
  3. now that you have your fan removed unplug the fan cable from the motherboard

Step 8: Removing the Power Button

  1. you have to remove the white plate over the power button in order to access a hidden screw the plate clips off very easily just lift up on the top tab
  2. now that you can see all the screws grab your T-8 torx bit and remove all the screws
  3. with all the screws removed pull the board towards you and it should slide right out

Step 9: Removing the Motherboard

  1. to remove the motherboard you have to remove the rest of the screws on the bottom i have marked all the screws the need to be removed in black
  2. the 8 screws that are on the two Xs are T-8 the rest of the screws are T-10
  3. now that the screws are removed flip the xbox back over and lift the circuit board out as shown in pictures 2 and 3

Step 10: Removing X-clamps and Heat Sink

  1. ive found the easiest way for me to remove the x-clamps is a hooked pick people have used screwdrivers or anything else they have to get leverage and pry them loose
  2. if you do have a hooked pick slide it in between the post and the clamp and pry it loose
  3. once the 2 x-clamps are removed flip the board over and remove the 2 heat sinks

Step 11: Removing Thermal Paste

  1. you want to make sure you remove all thermal paste from the 2 chips and from the heat sinks
  2. use your goof off or other cleaning solvent and clean your chips
  3. after your chips are clean use your 99% alcohol to finish cleaning your chip you dont want goof off on your board while your heating it up
  4. the thermal paste on your heat sink will normally be hard and pretty dried out i use a scrapper to remove the majority of the thermal paste then i clean it with goof off then with 99% alcohol

Step 12: Setting the Board on Your Bga Reball Machine

  1. if you have a 3 zone reball machine you will have a hot air heater on the bottom in the middle of your infrared plates you want to make sure the chip you are removing is centered ontop of the hot air nozzle if you only have a 2 zone machine go to step 2
  2. now that your board is aligned adjust your clamps as shown in picture 2 and 3 then tighten everything down

Step 13: Preheating Your Board and Removing Silicone Adhesive

  1. you will notice silicone adhesive holding the chip in place i colored them red you can see in picture 1 these are extremely hard to remove when the board is cold so we are going to preheat the board to remove these
  2. get your K-type thermocouple and your heat proof tape and tape the end of your thermocouple down as shown in picture 2
  3. now find the bottom ir controll on your machine and set it to 110 Celsius and turn you lower ir plates on
  4. keep a eye on your thermometer once you reach your desired temperature remove the silicone adhesive as shown in the picture
  5. i personally like to let the board sit at this temp for 5 or more minutes to bake the board and remove any moisture that might be on the board

Step 14: Lifting the Chip From the Board

to lift the chip you will have to run your profile this is by far the most time consuming part of this project it took me almost a week to get my profile right im not going to go over the profile because there are so many variables such as your machine, your climate, time of year(is it hot or cold), your elevation, and humidity. no 2 profiles are going to be the same i would highly recommend going to they have a lot of experience there and some great tutorials for setting up your machine and getting your profile tuned in.

  1. you want to grab your no clean liquid flux and apply it to all sides of your chip
  2. now you run your profile and sit back and wait while keeping a eye on your thermometer
  3. for my profile and thermometer my chips are ready to be pulled at around 220-225 Celsius
  4. to make sure your chip is ready to be pulled and all the solder is liquid you want to perform the nudge test i personally use a pick but anything small and long should work
  5. to perform the nudge test you want to nudge all 4 sides of the chip you dont want to push it out of position and on to the board you just barely want to touch it and see if it moves
  6. if the chip moved during your nudge test i personally wait another 5 seconds just to make sure all the solder is in a liquid state then turn your machine off and grab your suction pen and remove the chip

Step 15: Cleaning the Board

you want to remove all the solder while the board is still hot and you want to use the biggest soldering tip you have the bigger the tip the more heat transfer you have

  1. add a good amount of your tacky flux to the board i dont think its possible to use to much but the more you use the harder it is for cleanup so you want to find a good balance of having enough to clean all the old solder off and not spending to much time on cleanup
  2. now that the board is fluxed at a blob of leaded solder to your iron and drag the ball across the board to remove most of the old solder if your dragging your ball of solder and it starts sticking to the board wipe your tip clean and finish removing the old solder
  3. since most of the solder is removed wicking wont be as bad take your solder wick add some more tacky flux and remove the rest of the solder on the board
  4. grab your rag and goof off and clean up all the flux from the board then go over it with your 99% alcohol
  5. after the board is clean visually inspect the board and run your finger across it should be nice and smooth if you feel any bumps you need to go over it with your solder wick until its completely flat and smooth

Step 16: Cleaning the Chip

cleaning the chip your going to follow the same steps as cleaning the board make sure you use plenty of flux make sure its nice and smooth with no left over solder on the chip and clean it well with your cleaner and alcohol.

im using a homemade jig for this i just took a piece of wood and a dremel and etched out a square the size of the chip to hold it in place. you dont have to have a special jig for this but the chip does get pretty hot during cleaning and trying to hold it by the corners will burn your fingers after burning myself one to many times i went ahead and built this little jig in less then 5 minutes its well worth the time lol.

Step 17: Setting Up Your Stencil

  1. get your reball jig and place your chip in the jig as shown in picture 1
  2. now find the correct stencil for your board and put it in the jig as shown in picture 1 and 2 when you put the screws in dont tighten them all the way because you will need to adjust it to align up with your chip
  3. now place your stencil over you chip and align it as shown in picture 4 and 5 now that you have it aligned press your thumb in the center of the stencil to hold it in place while you tighten the 4 hex screws to hold it in place
  4. on your reball jig there are 4 hex screws that set the height of your stencil turn them down till the stencil touches the chip then bring them up just a little so your stencil is sitting just above the chip if you set it to low you will get flux on your stencil and the solder balls will stick to your stencil and not the chip if you set the stencil to high you will have 2 or more balls falling through the same hole.

Step 18: Adding Solder Balls to the Chip

  1. now that your stencil is aligned properly take the stencil off
  2. you want to add just a little bit of tacky flux to the chip just enough to have a light coat across the entire chip if you put to much on when you go to heat your solder balls to the board they will move to much and merge into each other
  3. put your stencil back on and add a good amount of solder balls to the stencil
  4. pick up the entire reball jig and carefully shake it back and forth most of your solder balls should drop into place
  5. if you look at picture 6 you will see that i dont have a solder ball in every hole at thist point you have to hand set the solder balls that are missing check and double check that every hole has a solder ball in it and that you dont have extra balls sitting on top of each other

Step 19: Heating the Solder to the Chip

  1. now that you have all your solder balls set in your stencil carefully lift your stencil off the reball jig
  2. now set the chip on something flat that can take some heat it can be your desk a block of wood or anything else that is flat and can with stand 400 Celsius/ i have to do this because my reball jig only supports the board on 2 corners if i tried to heat the solder balls to the chip in my jig there is a good chance i would warp the chip and it wouldnt work anymore they do sell jigs that support the chip on all corners and is probably a good investment
  3. grab your heat gun and set it to the lowest air speed possible if you have to high of a air speed you will push the balls around the chip and have to reset all the balls in the reball jig again
  4. you want to turn your heat gun to around 400 Celsius double check its on the lowest air setting and start out 2-3 inches above the chip going in a slow circle around the chip dont let it sit in one place it shouldn't take long before you see the solder balls start to move and sit into the pads on the chip when this happens lower your heat gun to about a inch above the chip and follow the solder balls as they drop into there pads
  5. now make sure you dont have any that merged together and make sure they have all set properly

Step 20: Setting the Chip Back to the Board

  1. add a small amount of tacky flux to the motherboard again just enough to cover all the pads if you use to much you will have solder bridges
  2. get your heat proof tape and tape your thermocouple down next to were the chip is going to sit
  3. align your chip to the board there should be one side of the chip that has a extra solder ball to help you align your chip most chips have some way of letting you know how it sits ps3s have a triangle of missing solder balls
  4. now all you have to do is run your profile and pay attention to your thermometer and the temperature should be lower for putting the chip back on since we are using leaded solder to reattach the chip for my profile and thermometer this is around 205-208 so when you get to that temperature you will do the nudge test again and i like to give it around another 5 seconds just to make sure every ball properly attatches

Step 21: Applying Thermal Paste

  1. grab your thermal paste and apply just a little bit you dont need much
  2. take a scraper a old credit card a putty knife anything with a flat edge and smooth the thermal paste evenly across the chips
  3. grab your heat sinks and put them back in place
  4. now put your x-clamps back on

Step 22: Testing

  1. take the chip with the on button and slide it back in place
  2. reconnect your cables
  3. turn it on and see nothing but green lights

you dont have to fully reassemble the xbox to test it but you have to make sure your heat sinks are back on with new thermal paste or it will almost instantly red light with 2 light indicating that its overheating.remember this is just a quick test to make sure your reball was successful if you try to play a game while it is like this or just leave it on it is likely to over heat because it dosent have the rest of the case to help dissipate heat and the fans are not connected

Step 23: My Experience

in the beginning this is very time consuming and i recommend you have a few spare consoles to practice with i personally used the old xbox 360 arcade machines that dont have hdmi you can normally pick those up pretty cheap at flea markets, ebay, and pawn shops. please dont try this out on a customers machine for your first time.

i highly recommend anyone wanting to get into the reballing business to read through the forums at they have a lot of information there and it will give you a good idea of some of the problems you can expect to come across. they also have great information on bga reball machines to help you make sure your getting your moneys worth.

any questions or comments are welcome

if you have any questions or need some advise please shoot me a message and i will respond as soon as possible thank you for reading my instructable hope you enjoyed it.

Step 24:

Green Electronics Challenge

Participated in the
Green Electronics Challenge