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Reassembled Mac SE case doesn't *quite* fit...


Well-known member
I spent the weekend disassembling my Mac SE for a thorough cleaning -- clean and retrobrite the case, remove a small amount of rust on the chassis, clean dust from the Logic Board and Analog Board, et cetera. (Everything but recapping, which will wait for another day.)

When reassembling it, I find the case doesn't quite fit at the bottom, and there's a gap of just a few millimeters between the case and the ports on the rear. If I press on it, it will fit at the front, but it flexes back when pressure is released. (It seems to fit properly at the top.) I tried removing a few components I thought might be getting in the way -- I ended up removing everything except the CRT, and then reassembling everything, but I still haven't spotted the source of the problem.

I'll go through the process of disassembling and reassembling it, step by step, to try to spot the error. But I was hoping perhaps someone had encountered a similar issue with a compact Mac, and might have useful advice.


Well-known member
Sure -- this should give you a better idea of what I'm referring to.

I was thinking perhaps the Analog Board might not be properly seated -- but the gap seems to be evenly distributed on both sides.


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Well-known member
Are the little tabs on the logic board's metal bracket "ears" (that the screws go through) seated in the corresponding slots on the metal chassis?


Well-known member
Lets see some photos of how the chassis looks, and the analog board fit. One of those is why the case isn't closing.


Well-known member
Yeah, one of the two boards isn't sat in the little board slot things at the front properly. Or if you have an expansion card in the rear opening, its catching.

Yep. I believe the Logic Board is properly seated.
Given it doesn't fit, I strongly suggest checking. Very thoroughly.


Well-known member
Another idea (I had the same problem with my SE) is that a small shielding inside the rear housing can crumple and stop it from closing.
Worth a look


Well-known member
More photos! I appreciate the input on this.

The power button and power outlet seem to be properly positioned -- this tends to make me think the Power Supply and / or Analog Board is not properly positioned. But the Analog Board seems to be where it is supposed to be. Logic Board is also right up against the Front Case (and indeed, that it seems low would lead me to think it is where it needs to be).

I haven't had a chance to look into this, but is it possible the Power Supply is somehow not properly positioned, and is creating the gap? I'm not sure how that might have happened, though.


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Well-known member
Any chance that there is a gap between the metal main chassis frame and the front bezel? If that wasn’t flush, it would leave a gap between the rear case and the front bezel and possibly make you think the rear isn’t going down all the way when in fact it’s the front bezel. Just a thought.


Well-known member
I took everything apart again this morning, and I might now have an idea. Having removed everything except for the CRT, I still wasn't seeing as good a fit as expected. I know the Rear Housing will be pulled forward when attached to the chassis, but still, it didnt seem to sit right.

What I did not mention -- and, in hindsight, probably should have -- was that this is the Rear Case from a second Mac SE. I had thought them to be practically identical, though the plastic around the outliet housing and switch on the Power Supply is off-white, rather than black. The Rear Housing from this Mac SE fits that second model perfectly.

It seems unlikely, but I'm wondering if there wasn't a slight alteration made to one or both of the Case parts during the time this model was in production, something that wouldn't have involved significant retooling, but enough to keep them from being completely interchangeable? The Service Guides I have access to didn't mention this, and the Rear Housing and Chassis part numbers are identical for both the SE and SE 30.

In any event, over the weekend I'm going to begin work on the other Mac SE, and one way or another I should have an answer.


Well-known member
It could be that there were some slight modifications done over the years, but the bucket should fit with either the Astec (gray plug and switch) or Sony (black plug and switch) power supplies. I'd look at the area around the switch and plug on the second SE bucket to see if there's something that needs to be clearanced. Alternatively, move the guts of the SE you're working on to the second machine, then use the second machine's bucket on its chassis.


Well-known member
One issue I had was a slightly warped back casing which was due to a previous owner leaving a screw loose (insert obvious joke here). I had to flex opposing corners of it to get it to pop into place in the front piece. Likely not what you're dealing with but I had to mention it.