15 - 30 minutes
My daughter, off to college, downloaded some software to her iPod to help her keep up her workout routine. It had something to do with running around campus, making believe that zombies were chasing you, with the iPod telling you what to do. Well, that's all well and good, except if you're carrying your iPod around in your hand. Eventually, some smart thinking zombie is going to knock that thing out of your hand, leaving you without desperately needed instructions? Do I stay? Do I go? Do I just open my neck and say "have at it, fellas"? And that is pretty much what happened, with the iPod crashing to the ground, leaving us with a functional iPod with a screen that looked like a spider web. Sliding a finger around on that touch screen could go uneventfully, or result in a moment of pain and a finger with a new sparkly personality. Looking at the cost of a new iPod and then looking in her wallet, and finding a, um, "mismatch", we decided to give the repair route a go. I figured even if the iPod gets trashed in the process, we're really no worse off, since the screen was going to eventually fail anyway.
We ordered a replacement screen, and some tools. The information available from iFixit made acquiring the right parts very easy with only a few minutes of research. The parts arrived within a few days (and this was over the Christmas holidays), and I set to work. Following the step by step instructions, as well as the video that's also available, I was able to pretty easily make the replacement and the iPod is now much happier, as is my daughter. We are also going through less band-aids.
Number one, make sure that you have good lighting in your work area. Bright light makes it much easier to see what's going on, and you're going to be working in some tight spaces and with some delicate parts. I personally found the metal spudger to be a better tool for prying out the old screen, and used the plastic opening tools primarily as "placeholders" as I worked my way around the screen. The metal tool, being thinner, got into the space around the front panel easier. Just be careful about how deep you stick in the spudger. The plastic tools by their nature don't go in very far, but the metal tool can get in there pretty far. Just be careful with it and your first couple of "prys" will tell you how far you need to go. You only need to go in about an 1/8 of an inch to get behind the panel to pry it out. The other thing to watch out for is the little cable that goes from the front panel to the iPod circuitry. It actually terminates in a teeny tiny little plug that needs to be undone and then redone with the new panel. The plug basically just pulls straight up and popping it off is pretty easy once you figure out how it's connected. Getting the new one connected was probably the hardest part of the whole procedure ("hardest" meaning it took me about 5 minutes of trying). You can't see the connections very well, and it has to be lined up correctly to engage. I used a pair of tweezers and one of the plastic opening tools to maneuver and push it into place. Once that's done, you just gently but firmly push the new panel into place (it should be flush with the frame with no raised edges), and if things went well, you're done!