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Modding the MotoRazr
Old Blue Hair
As I mentioned in a previous LJ entry I decided to change the body of Razr v3 because I wasn't keen on the pink/raspberry cover it came with. So I did some searching on eBay and finally settled on ordering a Titanium Metal housing for the phone. A few weeks later I received the package but I did not receive the instructions by email as the seller specified. No problem I figured, I had already seen several disassembly guides doing my preliminary research. I wound up using the this guide.

Mastercraft Precision Tool SetSince I didn't have all the tools necessary to start surgery on the phone, i headed up to Canadian Tire and got myself a Mastercraft Prevision Tool set which included a number of small screwdrivers including the T5 and T6 torx screwdrivers which are necessary to disassemble the Razr. Since I couldn't find a suitable plastic prying tool I wound up using my SIM card as the article suggests. Getting the phone apart was pretty straight forward but I've never been particularly shy about taking apart electronics. I would definitely recommend that anyone else who's going to attempt this work to make sure they have a decent amount of workspace cleared and something to put all the screws and parts into as they are removed from the phone.

I was able to get the bottom of the housing all changed without any issues but it wasn't until I had started taking apart the housing for the top part of the phone that I realized the replacement housing I had ordered did not come completely assembled. Razr Battery CoverBoth the battery cover and the faceplate had plastic mounting brackets that need to be glued to them. I attempted to bond them with epoxy which even after leaving overnight to dry did not wind up being strong enough to hold them together. All it did was make a mess of the mounting bracket. I did my best to remove the epoxy resin with rubbing alcohol and later nail polish remover and then made another trip to Canadian Tire to get some other glue.Razr Front Cover I settled on Instant Krazy Glue which worked wonderfully, Be forewarned that you're probably going to transfer some glue onto parts of the phone where you don't want it. Nail polish remover again does a wonderful job of taking this off the metal parts of the phone but if you get it on the plastic for the front-screen or camera lens protector it's not going to come off. Fortunately the glue I did get on the camera lens protector was off to the side and does not affect the picture quality. The housing replacement kid came with replacements for both of the front screen and camera lens protector (which was especially handy considers I had cracked the front-screen cover the week before). I would recommend keeping the protective film on both of these until the assembly is 100% complete. This should protect it from any errant glue transfer.

The whole glue issue aside there are a couple of other things I would recommend to other modders when replacing the housing on a Razr.

  1. Keep a close watch on the smaller rubber screw plugs in the top part of the phone. They are easy to loose and can fall out if you do not push them in well enough after reassembling the phone. I lost one in my carpet and was miraculously about to find it the next day.

  2. If your keypad doesn't work properly after the phone is reassembled don't freak out. You should first make sure that all the side buttons in the top part of the phone are oriented correctly and not stuck. If these buttons are stuck on it will cause to phone to malfunction. If you still have problems make sure the ribbon cable in the bottom part of the phone has a good connection to the circuit board.

Razr V3 CompleteIn retrospect I wish I had of documented the whole process better, possibly even in video. That's something to keep in mind for next time I'm taking apart something like this. Hopefully some of the information here will be helpful to someone else. Good luck and happy hacking!


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