Fix Stripped Notebook Monitor Hinge

About: I have been working with and fixing computers and electronics for 15 years. I own operate a local repair and custom build shop in Fort Worth, TX. We also deal in other kinds of electronic projects including ...

I came across a job here recently that required a little ingenuity. Now while I'm not one to commonly "rig" a repair, sometimes it's what the customer needs. In this case the screws that held the monitor hinges in place had all stripped out and the casings cracked. The tension caused the top to completely pop out and yanked a bunch of cords out of place. The computer would technically come on, but it was unusable.

The correct way to fix this problem really would be to order a new case, or shop the internet for a non working notebook of the same model and switch the cases out. however not everyone has the money to do this, or is really worried about the job being nice and neat when they are done. In this case it was a school laptop that needed to be fixed ASAP, and the customer didn't really have money to invest in a new case or spare parts. So I proposed a cheaper solution that would work just as well and cost pennies on the dollar. The only down side is a few cosmetic changes. 

For this project you will need. 
1. (6) #4-40 x 3/4" bolts with nuts. 
2. Screwdriver
3. Power drill with a 1/16 bit
4. Needlepoint Pliers

Step 1: Drill Your New Holes

First disassemble your laptop to the point of removing the screen. This should be right after removing the keyboard and top bezel on most notebooks. Check all the spots where the monitor bolts to the bottom of the notebook. Note any spots where there is still good bite on a screw. Avoid tampering with these, the less modification you have to make the better. In this case, all the screws were stripped, so I had to replace three on each side. 

Use the bit to drill all the way through the case where the screws would normally go. You may have to remove the metal tabs that the screw is supposed to thread into. If the chassis is cracked they are useless anyway.

Use compressed air to remove any debris from drilling.

Next, put your monitor back in place and run your bolts through the holes. You may have to lightly thread the bolts through the plastic. Use this to your advantage and go slow, do not try to over tighten using just the case plastic. Thread them down just far enough that the bolt sticks through the other side of the case. 

Step 2: Secure Your Bolts

Turn your computer over, or on it's side. Gently tighten the nuts on the bolts until the hinges of the monitor are perpendicular to the bottom of the case. Do not over tighten!! Since the plastic was cracked to begin with if you tighten too much the hinge will become uncentered and your other screw holes will no longer line up. Make sure the bracket is in it's natural position.

If the bolt and nut are not snug simply dab a little bit of lock-tight on the nut so it wont back out. If you followed instructions so far the bolt shouldn't wiggle because it's threaded through the plastic. If you managed to strip the hole though simply pack the underside of the old screw chassis with a bit of Bondo or some resin, in a pinch you could put some Lock-Tight in there, but if you ever have to take the monitor off later you are going to run into some problems.

Step 3: Sometimes There's a Third Screw...

On this Toshiba there's a third screw that was also stripped, and man is it a pain to replace. It is a case screw that comes up through the bottom and screws in to the top part of the case. I simply quadruple checked to make sure there were no wires or components in the way and I drilled through that hole through the whole case while it was completely assembled (minus the battery of course). After that I threaded a final bolt through and repeated steps 1 and 2. This time I was able to apply a little bit of torque to the bolt/nut and used a bit of lock-tight again to keep things solid. 

Note: One of the screws did have a pice that set above a speaker. I didn't want to risk hitting that with the drill so I slightly dog eared the path of the bolt. It's slightly off center, but doesn't look any worse than the other one. 

When I was done I simply stuck some of those felt feet that go on furniture on the bottom to keep the bolts from scratching a table up. 
Other than the bolts on the bottom, and the two screws now neatly placed by the speaker grills above the keyboard. Everything works just fine, lid opens and closes without any issues, and the customer was happy. 

Total work time was about an hour of labor and a quick trip to the supplier to get the right size bolts. 



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3 Discussions

I have a broken hinge with my Lenovo Z580.
There is metal foil around the hinges (just like jreal07), but it's not attached anymore.
How worrying is this?

And is there any electric danger with the bolts sticking out of the bottom?


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Well the owner said they didn't do it, but it looked like maybe the laptop had been dropped or maybe the lid was opened to far and the housings cracked from stress.