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PowerBook G4 Titanium Hinge Fixed With JB Weld

This is actually something that I did a few months ago, but I figured it would be worth it to post it here.

I went to my local university's recycling center to look for some computers to buy. Luckily enough, they ended up having a whole shopping cart full of untested old computers. Among them were 2 titanium PowerBook G4s. Thankfully, they also had a charger handy, so I decided to test them. One of them seemed to be in good physical condition, but it had no picture. The other one, however, was in worse condition, but it seemed to turn on and work fine with the exception of the left hinge being snapped in half.

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The hinge was basically stuck in the position it would be with the laptop open. I assume it was dropped while it was being used.

So I bought the machine. It ended up working great, and even had a hard drive installed still. I was able to install Leopard on it just fine.

powerbook2.jpg


And then I looked into what it would require to replace the hinge. First of all, finding the part would be annoying. After I bought the computer, and even looking now, there are zero left hinges available on eBay. Annoyingly enough, there's a right hinge available for about $20, but no left hinge. There was a set of both available on eBay for about $80, which I thought would be a stupid price to pay. Other websites either didn't seem to have the part available, or were priced similarly. It would also require a lot of work to take apart the entire computer to get to the hinge.

But then I had another idea. I had a perfectly good tube of JB Weld, and if I covered the hinge with that, pushed it into its original position, and let it dry, it would probably be strong enough to hold it together. So that's what I did.

I coated the hinge piece with the JB Weld, rotated the screen to be in the same position that it was in when the hinge snapped, and wrapped some electrical tape around it to keep it in place.

powerbook3.JPEG
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After letting it dry, it worked great! The hinge was restored to full functionality, and it felt completely normal to use.

Here's a video of it working!

After cleaning it up a little, the JB weld is barely visible on the exterior of the machine. I wouldn't be able to tell that it was fixed this way if I didn't do it myself.

powerbook5.jpg


I am super happy with how this repair turned out. This is a very common issue, and it was awesome to be able to fix it very easily for free using unconventional methods.

 
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