Boiling a Casio G-Shock Mudman




Introduction: Boiling a Casio G-Shock Mudman

About: Brian Green is an avid lightweight backpacker and author of the popular Brian's Backpacking Blog. Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the US for over 14 years, finally settling in North ...

The buttons on the Casio G-Shock Mudman series are notoriously stiff to depress, mine appear to be no exception. Several people online have said that by boiling the bezel for 20-30 minutes you can soften them up. Well I have some spare time and a digital camera handy so I'm going to see if this crazy idea works.

Note: If you do not have the correct tools for doing this I suggest you stop right here. The screws on the Mudman are very small (little buggers) and without the correct screwdrivers you stand the chance of badly stripping the heads. Also, I take *no* responsibility for you doing this at home and ruining your watch.

Step 1: Getting Started

Getting started: This is optional. I am going to remove the straps on my Mudman to make things a little easier. I'm also going to throw them into the boiling water to see if the straps get softer after boiling.

Once the straps have been removed it makes it a little easier to handle the main body of the watch.

Step 2: Removing the Caseback

The next step is to remove the four screws holding the back on. These are very small Phillips head screws so as I mentioned before make sure you have the right sized screwdriver to avoid burring the heads up. Edit: It's been pointed out that I did *NOT* have to remove the caseback in order to get the bezel off. If you do not want to remove it, keep reading through until you get to the point where I remove the two tiny screws on the side of the bezel at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions - Step #3

Remove all four screws carefully and put them somewhere safe. The back cover will not come off yet, there are two even smaller screws on either side-edge of the case that need to be taken out.

Remove the two tiny screws that are on opposite sides of the case body. These can be found at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions. Keep these two screw separate from the others as they are a different size.

Once the final two screws have been removed you can start dismantling the case. The first thing to do is to remove the back case cover. This should already be loose and will lift right off.

Next, lift off the metal case back. Be sure to keep the watch body in the upside down position as shown otherwise the module could easily fall out. Sounds obvious but trust me.

You should now be able to see the full internal workings of the watch. The module is slightly hidden by a soft rubber protective cover - there is no need to remove this.

Step 3: Removing the Bezel and Inner Module

Next up, removing the outer bezel from the internal workings. I found this to be more tricky than I had expected. Take your time and slowly pry open the outer bezel. I found that by opening up the bezel on the square button side and then quickly opening up the bezel on the opposite large button side I was able to slip the workings out from the bezel.

Once you get that first edge out the whole inner module should pop right out. Be very careful not to disturb the small spring sticking out of the back of the module at the top (11 o'clock position in the picture below).

Here is the shot that many Mudman owners, myself included, have been waiting to see. A "naked" Mudman! It's funny, during this entire process I began to really appreciate the quality and craftsmanship (albeit it fully automated) of this watch. No blemishes or flaws even on the pieces you would never normally see.

Step 4: Get the Water Boiling!

Ok, so the Mudman is now full disassembled and ready for the real science experiment. Begin boiling the water.

As I mentioned earlier, I am going to boil both pieces of the strap at the same time as I boil the outer bezel. I've got the water up to a rolling boil and I'm ready to take the plunge. In they go.

I've heard varying times provided for doing this, so I opted for somewhere in the middle - 20 minutes ought to be long enough to discern a difference. What better way to time this than with my atomic, solar Mudman!

While I'm waiting I go back to take a closer look at the "naked" Mudman. It looks pretty cool with its clothes off, but it's a little too vulnerable to be messing around with it. Interestingly I had it set to beep on the hourly intervals and one came and went while it was out of the case - there was no sound because that tiny little spring sticking out of the back of the module was not making contact with the metal case back.

Step 5: Reassembly and Testing

Here is the boiled and reassembled Mudman. The burning questions is: "Are the buttons softer after boiling the bezel?" The answer: "You bet they are!" I'd guess that they are anywhere between 40 - 50% softer than before being boiled. I noticed that the strap was much softer too and incredibly comfortable, not that it was bad to start with.

I'd say this was a great success. I had my doubts but it looks like this really works - I feel just like the Mythbusters. I will definitely being doing this for my atomic solar Muddy.

Well I hope you find this useful and somewhat entertaining. I enjoyed doing this and can attest that the difference is so noticeable that you won't regret taking the time to go through these steps.



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    23 Discussions

    Nice ... Great to hear they work.....I put mine I the boiling water without dissembling ...and guess what...poof! It's gone.... Man your hands are hairy!

    Would this help with scratches on the straps?

    Would this help with scratches on the straps?

    i have an analog watch so no buttons :P, but the other 2 (i have 3) are VERY hard to pull the little knob thing out to change the time, and i font think boiling them would be a good idea.

    3 replies

    NEVER !!!! lol mine is almost fused to my wrist , funny how its water resistant 20 Bar=200 meters i dont wear in the shower , and goes right back on after .

    Surely Cell Phones are phasing wristwatches out...or will they be combined?...but that is another Instructable.

     just got finished doing it it worked perfect at 20 minutes

    this probably occurs as the heat canses the rubber to expand and enlarging the pores. the gas bubbles enter the pores making it springy, thus more comfortable... this is just a hypothesis

    This is a truly unusual idea. Whoever thought to boil the rubber / plastic parts? I wonder though.. I used to have a rubber/plastic watch and after about 2 years, the plastic strap broke. Just like that. I had to have it replaced. What a pain. Do you think the boiling process would lessen the lifespan? Also.. the pictures look like it has changed color from Black to Gray after boiling.... is that right? Perhaps the same thing could be accomplished by leaving it in the sun for a few hours on a very hot day? Just curious.. and impressed....

    2 replies

    The watch bezel and strap didn't change color at all. The watch that was boiled is dark green. However, I used my other G-Shock Mudman (the black atomic one also shown in one of the pictures) which might be what is confusing things. I wouldn't recommend leaving it in the sun and doubt that will bleach it much. Interestingly, a common trick to modifying G-Shocks is to strip them down and boil the plastic parts in water with Rit dye added. Since doing this instructable, I have boiled the parts again and dyed them jet black, I've also stealthed the bezel to remove the paint - so it looks amazingly black :)

    Leaving it in the sun will most likely create cracks in the plastic....same thing happened when i left a rubber band in my pocket for a few days.

    Since it's water resistant to 660 feet, most likely they make the buttons stiff so that they won't depress at depth if you scuba dive with the watch. When you dive with a watch the inside of the watch stays at surface pressure while the external pressure increases drastically. Soft-touch buttons could be pressed in by water pressure alone, or even break and let water into the watch. If you're a scuba diver, I don't suggest this mod!

    I use my g-shock for diving, and I wouldn't suggest this mod either. I agree with EljfeUno. I believe WW 2 depth charges were rigged to go off at certain depths by varying the spring rate on the detonator switch. Interesting instructable, though... even if it is for the digitally (as in fingers) weak.

    Agreed 100% - I would think that would be common sense, but like those crazy disclaimers we see on the sides of all our products it's good to state out loud :)

    Well I don't think they sit around a table and plan to make buttons that are hard to push. My guess is that G-Shock have an extremely long life span and tend to get used a lot and treated very roughly - unless you're a sissy and try to keep them immaculate :) So I imagine that the designers used materials that would be highly durable for a long time. That might make the plastics used a little stiff to begin with but soften up in time and with use. The purpose of this instrucatbe is to cheat time and soften them up quickly. Over time they will get softer but this just speeds the process up!