Matt McK took the time to write up this detailed step-by-step guide on how to replace the back casing of the iPhone with a black one. His tutorial follows...

Ever since the iPhone was originally announced I've always wished it was black.

When i picked one up the first weekend they were released I even thought about powdercoating my back to make it black. Luckily, CNN.cn came out with replacement silver and black metal housings to save me the trouble. Well, not entirely, as I'm sure many people have seen already in the earlier thread how the results look, but no where offers a "how-to "do it!

There are a handful of sites that show how to take the iPhone apart, but no one actually shows how to remove all the delicate pieces from the rear housing. I've swapped housings on a number of different phones, but have never run into one as complicated and delicate as the iPhone.

So everyone doesn't ruin their new toy, I'll try to walk you through the process here. I'm going to jump right into the housing assuming that you've already taken it off. If you don't know how to do that, google search and read one of the half dozen sites that show you how (Youtube video). This is the end result:

IMG 4449 vi 500
Parts you will need:

- new housing
- super tiny philips screwdriver. (The one I found at Ace hardware didn't even have a number on it. All I know is that '0' was not small enough.)
- small flat head screwdriver
- adhesive remover
- super glue/adhesive
- pen/paper
- patience!

Once you get the back off you'll be looking at this:

IMG 4423 vi 500

Note the location of screws and where things are glued to. I would suggest labeling all the tiny screws so you know exactly where they go because they are NOT all the same size. I took a lot of pictures throughout the process so i could reference exactly where everything went when i was ready to put it all back together.

IMG 4427 vi 500

IMG 4426 vi 500

IMG 4428 vi 500

Once you remove all the screws and electronic components you'll be left with the metal skeleton of the original housing. Quite honestly, this is the hardest part about the swap.

IMG 4431 vi 500

The skeleton is glued on by some crazy hard cement type glue. I couldn't seem to find anything to take it off so i finally went to Home Depot and picked up the strongest adhesive remover i could fine. This one removes concrete and flooring so i thought it'd do the trick!

IMG 4439 vi 300

Next, pour the solvent on the skeleton ensuring you get it in all the cracks. Let it sit for about 20 -30 minutes. After it's done its job and using the smallest flat blade screwdirver you have slowly pry away the skeleton. Be careful as these parts are extremely brittle. I cracked quite a few parts of it before i got this solvent and realized the 'proper' way to do it.

When you're finished you're left with this:

IMG 4440 vi 500

Actually, i think there are a few pieces missing from that pic, but you get the idea.

The housing will then be stripped bare with nothing left on it:

IMG 4441 vi 500

As you can see, before I went the "super strong solvent" route, I tried prying the crap out of the parts which bent a number of points of my original housing. No turning back now!

Once everything is taken apart, cleaned, and dried, it's time to put it back together. I referenced the photos i took earlier to ensure everything was put back in the proper place. i used superglue, but you could really use anything you wanted to hold everything in place. If you've gotten this far, you should realize how to put it back together.

IMG 4447 vi 500

Then it's simply a matter of putting the housing back on the phone and... Voila! An all black iPhone. For the SIM card cover i sprayed SEM trim black paint so it matched the housing.

IMG 4449 vi 500

IMG 4450 vi 500

IMG 4460 vi 500

Just a few of the many... out with the old, in with the new.

IMG 4469 vi 500

In Hexproject's thread he mentions it took him 3 hours and people balked at him thinking it should only take 30 minutes. Those people have no idea what they're talking about. I spanned this out over two days before/after work and finals. I'm sure it took me close to 3 hours as well. Plus, I had to run back and forth a few times to get the right parts.

The end result is just what i was looking for! I did, however, mess up one part and that was the silent/ring switch. I must not have noted which position it was on when i took it all apart and now it's stuck on vibrate! Frustrating, but i guess i'll have to deal with it. i really don't feel like taking the phone apart again. Anyone know if there's anyway to turn on the ringer another way than that damn switch?!

Other than that, i hope the post was helpful. Comments are always welcome.

Related Forum: iPhone

Popular Stories

iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
top stories 28jan2023

Top Stories: iOS 16.3 Released, iPhone 15 Pro Rumors, macOS Tips and Tricks, and More

Saturday January 28, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Following last week's hardware announcements, this week saw the actual release of several of the new products as well as operating system updates bringing new features and bug fixes across Apple's platforms. This week also saw some fresh rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, while we shared some tips to help you get the most of your macOS experience, so read...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
iPhone 15 General Mock Feature

Kuo: iPhone 15 Models to Adopt Wi-Fi 6E

Thursday January 26, 2023 5:09 pm PST by
The upcoming iPhone 15 models that are set to be introduced later in 2023 will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note about Apple's work on a Wi-Fi chip, Kuo said that the company will upgrade the iPhone 15 to Wi-Fi 6E. Apple is already using Wi-Fi 6E for the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models introduced last year, along with the new Mac mini and...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...