HOW TO: Motorola q9h housing replacement

Discussion in 'Moto Q Hacks' started by ventivent, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. ventivent

    ventivent New Member

    HOW TO: Motorola q9h housing replacement

    For anyone interested,

    I dropped my q9h in a parking lot a few weeks back, and scratched up the housing pretty badly. I ordered a new housing off of ebay, and installed it today. If any of you are planning on doing this, it's not nearly as easy as changing the housing on the old Motorola Q. The new housing was from a seller called "gsm4world." It appears to be an all black OEM housing, and cost $17.99 + $5.00 shipping. It shipped from Hong Kong, and took about 2 weeks to arrive. If you buy from them, realize that they only ship you the front faceplate with the LCD lens and keyboard, not the back battery cover or camera lens.

    Pictured below is the old housing on the left, and the phone transplanted into the new housing on the right.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The basic process is as follows: (You will need a Torx #5 screwdriver and a pocket knife or plastic cellphone opener)

    1. Remove the battery cover. Remove the battery.

    2. There will be four Torx #5 screws, three blue ones and one silver one that will need to be removed.

    3. Then comes the hard part. The top back cover has to be removed. First, use a penknife or xacto knife to take the transparent lens cover off the camera/flash area.

    Then, use a plastic cellphone opener or a pocketknife to carefully pry off the top back cover. There is a small amount of adhesive holding the cover to the unit, so start from the bottom and work your way around. There are about four clips holding the back cover onto the unit, and you should feel them snap open. Be careful not to break them off.

    4. Once the back cover is off, there will be two more Torx #5 screws at the top that you will need to unscrew. Then use your penknife to carefully pry the unit away from the front faceplate. Start at the bottom and work your way around.

    5. There will be a small connector which connects the keyboard to the circuitboard. Carefully disconnect this.

    6. The LCD will likely be sitting pretty tight in the LCD lens; use the penknife to carefully pry it off and then transplant it into the new faceplate.

    7. There is a small metal box-like apparatus up by the top speaker that also needs to be transplanted from the old faceplate to the new one.

    8. Take the old side-buttons and put the in the new faceplate.

    9. Connect the keyboard connector from the new faceplate to the circuitboard of the unit.

    10. Carefully snap the unit into the new faceplate. Screw in the two top screws. Put the top back cover back on. Put the camera/flash lens cover back on. Screw the four bottom screws back in. Put the battery, SIM card, micro-SD cards back in, and put the battery cover back on.

    That's it. I would test it to make sure your speakerphone and vibrate settings are working properly. Also, I would check to make sure all the keys work properly. One thing I've noticed is that the new housing makes the phone slightly lighter than the old housing. Also, the keyboard is not smooth plastic, but rather rough plastic which gives it a much more tactile feel.
  2. Technician

    Technician New Member

    Thanks may make a good post for a sticky.
  3. spec7

    spec7 New Member

    black is pretty slick, i might have to do this.
  4. smiller2076

    smiller2076 New Member

    WARNING!!
    I learned this the hard way with my old phone. If you open the phone casing, it automatically voids the warranty. I'm not sure if the insurance would still cover it, but I wouldn't take the chance.
  5. puckrazy1

    puckrazy1 New Member

    I cracked the screen on mine within two weeks of receiving it. Great info! Thanks!
  6. markLR

    markLR New Member

    How would you rank the quality of your phone case? I'm looking into picking one up too. Is it OEM feeling, kind of OEM, pretty bootleg, etc.?
  7. drait

    drait New Member

    Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I just received my black housing and it's top notch. The keyboard buttons have a different texture than the ones on the stock silver housing, and I couldn't find an easy way to separate it from the faceplate so in it went. They aren't bad, just more of a rough texture instead of the smoother stock ones.

    All in all, the quality of the housing is well worth the ~$20 or so. And the black is much better looking IMO. Not to mention a slimming color ;-) Anything that makes the chunky Q9 appear thinner is A-OK in my book.

    Many props to the OP for this brief how-to. It was very good info for those wishing to do the swap.
  8. zenkinz

    zenkinz New Member

    are you referring to the rubbery texture in the new keyboard instead of the smoother plastic-ky one? If yes, I actually prefer this "rougher" texture because it gives a more 'posh' feeling.

    and I didn't know there's a different material used in Q9h for different region.:wink:
  9. drait

    drait New Member

    I wouldn't describe the black housing keys as rubbery, since they still feel like solid plastic keys. But the surface is just rougher/tackier than the stock ones. It would've been nice had the keys felt like the surface that's on the battery cover.
  10. gazment

    gazment New Member

    Does anyone know for a fact that this housing wouldn't fit a q9c? All of the buttons seem to line up perfectly with the q9c's buttons (albeit the difference in shape of the softkeys. I know that the mic location is wrong but that could be modified easily enough. I hope someone has an answer.
  11. zenkinz

    zenkinz New Member


    interesting, my keypads have the same finishing as the back/battery cover :wink: not sure if its the same as yours (see below)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. tiguy99

    tiguy99 New Member

  13. pw1981

    pw1981 New Member

    So if I order the new housing can I just put the front with the keypad and black bezel onto the existing back?

    I had the little metal Moto logo fall out of the back of my Q9h some time ago so I glued it in and now I doubt it will come out without damage. That part is not included with the new housings.

    Also, that camera lens cover at the top does not seem to be included with the new housings. Where could I get one of those?

    Also, is there a way to preserve the IMEI/SN decals under the battery? Looks like these are destroyed by changing the housing.
  14. CrzyMikeB

    CrzyMikeB New Member

    Hey Vent
    I really appreciate your detailed post. I one of the things I really like about my Q 9h is the keypad. I like the nice click of the keys. I spilled yogurt on a corner of the keys and now they are "sticky".

    Does this new keyboard function as well as the original?

    Thanks,
    CMB
  15. Ymedesigns

    Ymedesigns New Member

    I don't know for a fact, but I'm willing to bet this will not fit a q9c.

    reason: Q9c's use MiniSD slots, whereas Q9H's use MicroSd, meaning the little hatch on the side SHOULD be a different size. I'm sure that's not the only inconsistency, but offhand that came to mind.

    EDIT: actually, alot of thigns are different, including the location of the majority of the keys on the front. So, in short, No, it would not be compatible
  16. ParaCAD

    ParaCAD New Member

    When you say-----
    Does front faceplate include everything from the "split-line up" where the back meets the front. What i'd like to know is that the chrome sides are included in the replacement.

    And thanks for this great tutorial...i could use a new housing...That silver Q can really get scratched when dropped. I'm not the most gently with my phones ..lol

    My silver was "all the rage" when i got it :) but that black looks real slick
  17. ParaCAD

    ParaCAD New Member

    Notice that the words are missing on the Function and caps keys.....Long as everythings located in the same place...its still nice.
  18. naznomad

    naznomad New Member

    Just got the black faceplate to replace silver !

    I just received a new black faceplate,and I was wondering about the correct way to install. It does not come with the surrounding bezel,it is meant to replace just the keypad, D-pad and screen only.
    (By the way,I was interested to see the the CAPS and FN words are present on this keypad,as someone mentioned before that it was missing on their replacement)
    Has anyone changed one just like this? The back of the pieces are not totally sticky,so how are they meant to stick? Do I have to glue them on somehow?


    I assume that I just have to pry off the silver ones from the phone (without having to take the phone apart because I'm not changing the actual housing),and then stick these in their place,is that right? Anything to be mindful of when taking them off the phone?
    thanks
    ps,If anyone is interested,I got it from ebay for $9.99 including shipping(from China) from seller " uk-hitech "
  19. ninjaap

    ninjaap Moderator

    Odered me the black faceplate from cnn.cn. Can't wait trick out my H.
  20. ModelMaker

    ModelMaker New Member

    I'll bet I'm not the only one who would appreciate a report on how it worked out. These old eyes are not diggin the blue on silver combo.

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