Nexus 5X Reassembly after Cleaning

The Amazon Prime truck has delivered the aftermarket replacement battery and a syringe of thermal compound, so it’s time to put the phone back together.

The first order of business is applying a dollop of thermal compound on the frame where it accepts heat transferred from the CPU. Previously, there was a piece of pliable tape sitting in this square depression in the frame, but it was damaged by the alcohol and removed. The gray compound is intended for DIY PC builders to be applied between their computer CPU and its associated HSF (heat sink + fan) assembly. It is designed to bridge only a very small gap, since the CPU and the heat sink of a desktop PC are in physical contact and this compound only needed to fill the remaining tiny air gaps. Here it is asked to bridge a much large gap of almost 1 mm with no physical contact between parts.

Thermal compound

The reassembly went smoothly until I installed the aftermarket battery and found the connector cable is too long by a few millimeters. It is a large distance in the tight confines of a cell phone’s guts. Looking on the bright side, I guess it is better to have a connector cable that’s too long rather than too short.

Too long

With the connector plugged in to the appropriate location on the main circuit board, the cable is bent at an angle that won’t fit under the rest of the phone.

Bent

As much as I hated to do it, I pressed down the cable and made a sharp fold in it. This is a recipe for metal fatigue and the cable won’t last long if I keep doing this. Well, at least the battery is cheap.

Folded

Folding the battery cable allowed the rest of the pieces to be fully reassembled. The phone can power on and launch into Android, so the basics look OK and clear the way for more testing. Let’s see if the phone works well enough to justify replacing the screen assembly.

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