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What is the difference between these screws? Answered

I am trying to fix my RRoD xbox and I can't figure out what kind of screw to use... It might help if I knew what the difference in them were.... I am american and metric makes no scene to me...

5x20MM Panhead Machine Screw
3/16" x 1/2" Panhead Machine Screws
12mm Cheese Head Screws

Bonus points if you can find the kind of screw that Microsoft uses and the diameter and thread count, i know for the x-clamp fix it must be 1/2" in length.  Thanks...



Best Answer 7 years ago

You want to fix the Red Ring of Death on your Xbox. I'll skip the repair since there are a million tutorials out there, for example: http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/repair/ring_of_light_x-clamp_fix.htm
The reason they use M5 20mm long bolts is because they are bigger and longer and let you crank down the modified clamp to fix the RROD.

But let's go for the basic metric you'll need to get a job here in the USA since July 28, 1866. Most cars, electronics, machines have used metric parts exclusively for the last 30 years here in the US. No reason to prefer metric or inches really, but it is nice to get a feel for both.

Panhead screws are flat topped with a rounded-off top. Like a frisbee seen from the side. Or a frying-pan upside down.

Cheese Head screws have thick flat tops and do not have rounded edge. Sort of like a cylindrical cheese wheel from the side at the local deli.

M5 means Metric 5 mm diameter or about 0.1969 inches diameter. The length of 20mm is about 0.7874 inches.

Meanwhile your 3/16 bolt is about 0.1875 inches and 0.5 inches long, so it is are smaller diameter and shorter.

You can buy metric screws and tools at any US hardware store. Stop by and handle them to get a feel for the common sizes.


llamma uses the bigger bolts but will they all thread into the heat sink? That was what I was truly wondering, the best way to find out in my opinion is to take it into a hardware store and say "find me something 1/2" long that treads into this."

Yeah I think you are right. The llama mod says you have to drill out the heat sink to fit the M5 20 mm bolts cause they have a bigger diameter and are longer.

My guess is that they are trying to really clamp down and so are using longer bigger bolts.

Best of luck on fixing the RROD. The Xbox is a great game platform, but bummer to have that happen.

Thanks, I have two xbox's... the day mine broke I went out and bought a slim, but my dvd player broke a week ago (old age) and I figured I'd replace it with my xbox if I can get it working again.

most hardware stores have a 'test rig' with one of every side male and female end metric and imerial -- bring one in and keep trying until it goes in. Don't force it or you'll wreck your existing threads.

Then how come I need both inch and metric to fix my car? The engine parts are metric, the rest inches?

I guess that the Carter was right when he canceled the conversion to metric because Americans were too stupid to handle base 10...

I don't know what holds your xbox together (most likely metric), but I might be able to help with the rest of your question.

A machine screw has a flat nose rather than pointed, and the thread runs for the full length of the shaft right up to the head.

A panhead screw has a head shaped like the inside of a frypan. Flat on top, parallel sides, with the top edge curved.

A cheesehead screw has a head shaped like a big round cheese (or a cake). Flat on top with parallel sides, and a sharp edge on top. Like a slice taken off a solid cylinder.

5x20mm is 5mm diameter x 20mm long from the tip to the bottom of the head. Also known as M5x20. I believe the thread pitch is 0.8. (1 thread each 0.8mm). Cheesehead diameter is 8.5mm. Panhead diameter is 10mm.

3/16x1/2" is 3/16' (4.76mm) diameter x 1/2" (12.7mm) long.

12mm cheesehead screws would be 12mm diameter (close to 1/2") with a flat cylindrical (like a big cheese) head. Also known as M12x?. I think the thread pitch is 1.75. Cheesehead diameter is 18mm. Panhead diameter is 22mm (not sure). A bit big for the xbox.

Hope this helps a little.