So you've watched the videos and looked at the photos of iPhone 3G disassembly and now you're ready for action. The glass screen is cracked and/or the LCD is broken and you have no intention of spending days without your device and paying Apple $200 or more. Although the do-it-yourself attitude is noble, it could cost you even more money if you're not careful. The tutorials above are a good start, but more details can only help.
Take these tips to heart if you're going to fix the screen yourself. First and foremost don't ever buy the glass alone (typically $20). It's useless. The digitizer can't be detached from the front glass. The next best option is the front glass and digitizer together (around $60). The LCD is mounted with screws behind the digitizer and runs $80-90. Remember, you perform this repair at your own risk, and will render any remaining warranty invalid.
1) Removal of all screws requires a 1.4 mm phillips screwdriver. Be sure the work area is free of dust and debris. One speck of dirt between the glass and LCD will annoy you forever.
2) Use a plastic case opener or prying tool. You must push down on and stretch the black rubber seal that goes between the silver bezel and the glass. Best to damage it in only one spot directly above one of the screw holes near the home button. Razor blades or screwdrivers will not easily fit between the bezel and glass or exert pressure in the right place. It takes some depth to get under the glass and black plastic home button frame to lift it up. The glass can easily be cracked (or cracked worse) with the wrong tools or pressure. This could also result in glass particles flying directly into your eye.3) When removing the ribbon cables be sure that cable number 4 does not accidentally come off.
4) Removal of the LCD from the front glass assembly requires care. Do not use the case opener tool to pry the LCD out of the metal frame after all 6 screws are removed. If necessary pull up with the tool on the metal backing of the LCD to lift it free. The easiest way to crack your LCD screen is to pry between the LCD and the front glass!
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5) When prying the black plastic home button frame from the front glass exert pressure from the inside of the frame to prevent further damage to the black rubber seal surrounding the glass. The plastic frame is attached to the glass and digitizer with adhesive. Be patient. The plastic frame is extremely fragile and can easily be broken along the corners or sides where it's thin.
6) After the parts are disassembled remove all of the packaging materials and stickers from the new parts. Again be sure that all parts are dust, dirt and fingerprint free.
7) Before you begin to reassemble the phone make sure the ribbon cable coming out of the new digitizer is oriented properly. It must be folded down into the body of the phone. There is another small black ribbon on the digitizer that can easily slip up into the SIM card tray slot. Make sure this ribbon is also folded downward into the unit as you reassemble.
8) Some suggest double-stick tape to attach the new glass front piece to the black plastic home button frame. A few dabs of rubber cement will work well if you are patient enough to hold the assembly together while the glue dries.
9) Take care when reattaching the ribbon cables. They are extremely delicate. Don't destroy your motherboard.
10) Another fraction of a drop of glue on the screws will help to keep them from working lose. Mobile devices are subject to a lot of vibration and stress. The blue material on the screw threads served this purpose until the screw was removed.