Screws on bottom case coming loose
#1
Hello,

I have never taken my Pinebook Pro apart (I've had it since March of 2020) but recently I noticed that the corner screw next to the barrel charger socket had worked loose.

Trying to screw it back in revealed that the female thread had clearly broken.

Can anyone suggest what I should do and what the consequences might be of not repairing it?

Thanks in advance.
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#2
(01-09-2021, 01:56 PM)quadrantids Wrote: I noticed that the corner screw next to the barrel charger socket had worked loose.

Trying to screw it back in revealed that the female thread had clearly broken.

Can anyone suggest what I should do and what the consequences might be of not repairing it?

By "female thread had clearly broken" do you mean it is stripped completely or stripped until it isn't holding the screw tight? If there are still some threading there are thread locking compounds that can keep the screw in place or nearly weld them in place. Purchase the screw replacement kit from the Pine64 store to ensure maximum contact and use a thread locker. In most auto parts stores in the United States and Canada there is a brand called Locktite and their Blue compound is for thread locking. Their Red compound will make removing the screw nearly impossible. Be mindful that Locktite makes a lot of compounds, these two are the most common so take care to read the directions.

My understanding is that the screw mentioned, and it's twin on the other side are critical for helping keep the case together with the lid when opening and closing so not doing anything is not good.
Linux is a hobby. I can quit anytime for good just like last time, I swear!
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#3
The screw was actually coming out. So naturally I tried screwing it back in. It goes back in but just turns and turns without tightening.

I haven't yet tried taking the bottom case off, but I shall do in a few days' time because a while ago one of the rubber feet had sheered off (on the opposite side) and Pine64 advised that I had to buy a new bottom case.

If the screw turns and turns, I am guessing the female thread is completely stripped.
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#4
Or the nut broke loose. I've had mine apart many times now but I don't recall what the nut looks like. Also there have been reports that the screws are very soft, it could be that the screw is stripped.

I don't know why you need a whole bottom case to replace the foot, but it does seem that you need the screw repair kit.

The factory used blue threadlocker which is probably equivalent to Loctite Blue 242. It seemed a little weaker to me. But I could be wrong. Certainly don't use any threadlocker that's red.

FWIW you can buy a whole set of rubber feet for around $2 at your local hardware store.
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#5
Buy a new screw for it. Even if it is stripped, the new screw will be slightly more surface area. Thread locker should work for this size case. Do not try inserting the old screw and further damaging it. There are other options in repair but they require a lot more skill.

When you get the new case cover you will want to pop it in from the stripped nut side first, leaving the screw out of that hole, but inserting and nearly tightening the next longest screw towards the front of the laptop. With the front of the laptop facing you and the lid hinge side away from you that would be #1L in the crude drawing below. Then fit the case cover into the other side and insert the matching opposite long screw (#6L). If the opposite side doesn't fit, don't force it. Go back to the starting side and make sure it is still lined up, use your fingers to apply downward firm but not hard downward pressure on the starting side, in the middle. Rest the rest of your arm over the case and using your forearm near you elbow to apply slight downward force on the opposite side. Using your freehand, carefully pull up on the middle of the case with slight pressure. This slight upward pressure dimples the case enough to make it "suck in" and align with the plastic lip on the outside of the laptop body. Once the cover edge is seated, remove the lifting pressure. Insert a screw on the opposite side #6L and ensuring the case is still seated screw it down but do not fully tighten it just yet. Ensure the case cover lip is seated by both hinges, set those screws then insert and tighten all the screws excepted the one going into the stripped nut. Use the thread locker and place the screw in, ensuring it is seated. Leave the laptop alone, don't even move it, for 2 hours, or as the thread locker directions indicate curing time. Use patience with the case cover. It may take some time to get it to seat correctly by figuring out the trick but DO NOT USE A LOT OF FORCE!

If the thread locker doesn't work, try the stronger thread locker with a new screw. If you don't want to have to buy a new case cover and wait, or to have something until the new case cover comes, there are rubber feet sold at any hardware store that could be used, but they may need to be trimmed or built up a little to work. If it were mine, I'd pull all the feet and use rubber tape or new rubber nipples that match each other.

Screw layout, as the laptop is face down (lid resting on a table/desk/bench surface) with hinge side facing away from you:

 2L 3L 4L 5L
 1L           6L
10S 9S 8S 7S

Where L=Long screw and S=Short screw.
Linux is a hobby. I can quit anytime for good just like last time, I swear!
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#6
Thanks for all the advice.

As for the rubber feet, Pine64 said they don't sell them and that the only solution was to buy a new bottom case.

It still hasn't arrived yet but I hope it will fit without too much hassle.

Your explanation though, about fitting the bottom case, made me realise that the existing bottom case, still in place, is "dimpled" along the back along the hinge, which seems to suggest that it was/is slightly too big and that the screws have been screwed down very tightly.
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#7
(01-10-2021, 10:19 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: Or the nut broke loose.  I've had mine apart many times now but I don't recall what the nut looks like.  Also there have been reports that the screws are very soft, it could be that the screw is stripped.

I don't know why you need a whole bottom case to replace the foot, but it does seem that you need the screw repair kit.

The factory used blue threadlocker which is probably equivalent to Loctite Blue 242.  It seemed a little weaker to me.  But I could be wrong.  Certainly don't use any threadlocker that's red.

FWIW you can buy a whole set of rubber feet for around $2 at your local hardware store.

Hello,
The new bottom case for my Pinebook Pro arrived today. I have managed to fit it but unscrewing the old bottom case I noticed that none of the screws felt tight. I couldn't see any obvious damage to the screws, so I was thinking of applying Loctite 243 blue thread lock to all of the screws (I don't seem to be able to find 242 here in France).

I see that normally one applies a drop of Loctite to each screw, but since the screws are so small, I'm tempted to put a drop in each hole, then put the bottom case back in place and screwing the screws back in.

Would this be the right way to proceed?

Thx.




Would this be right?
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#8
Loctite 243 will certainly work. I wouldn't put it in the hole though, I would use a toothpick to dab it on to the screw threads.

Before assembling though, I would use a new screw to check the threads on all the holes (without putting the cover on). That way if there's something else wrong, you'll find out first.

When applying threadlocker, put all the screws in and make sure the cover is tight and in the right places. This is hard to do with that cover, it's a tight fit. You might have to lightly bend the case when it's all assembled to get the corners to seat. Then, take the screws out one at a time and apply the Loctite.

Be sure not to over-tighten the screws. This may be obvious but I think it is worth mentioning because it would be so easy to over-tighten them.
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#9
Many thanks!
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