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Nintendo DS Lite Housing Replacement Guide.

Disclaimer:  Attempt at your own risk!

I will not be held responsible in any way, shape, or form for anything that happens to your DS System while you use this guide or our housings.  Please note that doing this will void the warranty of your DS system and you will not be able to send your DS system to Nintendo for repairs even if you pay for them (it'll be cheaper to just get a new one anyway since they charge you about $85 + shipping to do anything). You should be pretty good at working with small, delicate parts and have steady hands. DO NOT use excessive force. 

This is not for everyone. Some will find it extremely easy while others may find it impossible and there are people all in between. So again, please proceed AT YOUR OWN RISK! Don't be shy to ask for assistance.

Now that that's out of the way, this guide will walk you through in the disassembly of your DS Lite system.  If you have steady hands and are good at working with small parts, this will be a fun and enjoyable project.  It should take you between 30 minutes to 3 hours to complete this guide.  The important thing here is to have fun and enjoy the new housing!  DO NOT RUSH IT!  Always take your time!  I suggest you read through this guide before you begin and if at any point you feel you are not comfortable to proceed, STOP and seek a professional.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO FOLLOW:

It is a lot easier if you pre-thread the screw holes in the new housing before putting everything back.

Supercharge your free screwdriver! Guide here.

Use the same length screws and pre-thread each hole before the actual install. Remember, when pre-threading, the screws do not have to go all the way in. Turn them until they are about 3/4 of the way in and you're fine.

When installing the bottom cover: Be sure to align the power switch and the volume switch with the switch positions on the system board. Also note the shoulder button springs. Use needle nose pliers or tweezers to get those into position.

It is best to reuse the original screws as the spare screws aren't as good looking as the original screws. Remember the screws have different lengths. DO NOT use long screws anywhere you're suppose to use short screws.

If your screwdriver is slipping when trying to remove the screws, it means your screws may have "bonded" with the plastic. This usually happens with older systems which the plastic has stretch and shrink with varying temperatures. If this is happening, try tapping on the screwdriver lightly to loosen it. If that still doesn't work, some customers have used a drop of olive oil to loosen the screws.


Instructions in GREEN are for the installation process.

Things you must have:

1 x Tri-wing screwdriver (provided)

1 x #00 Phillips screwdriver (provided)

1 x Something flat and thin like a small flat head screwdriver or a x-acto knife 

Things that’ll make your work a lot easier:

1 x needle nose pliers

1 x pointy tweezers

1 x screw holder

A clean, wide, brightly lid area to work

Grounding yourself before you begin:
Just touch the back of your computer case where there are metal parts, the power supply is best. This is connected to the ground terminal of your wall outlet. This should release any static electricity in your body.

Identifying the screws:

# 1, 2, 3, 4 = Tri-Wing

# 5, 6, 7 = Phillips



Note: Screw # 4 is under the game cart. I forgot to remove it when I took the picture above. A picture if it is here.

+ For this screw, I find that on some housings, the screw may stick out a bit and may scratch the cartridges. You can leave this out if you want. It's not important.

+ That's it! If you have any problems or questions, feel free to let us know!



Remove the Slot-1 cart (if any), remove the Slot-2 holder, remove the stylus, remove the battery cover (by loosening the Phillip screw on the battery cover), and finally, remove the battery.

On the back of the DS, there are 2 rubber pads covering screws 5 and 6. Remove them with a small flat object. I used a small flat head screwdriver. Place them upside down on the table away from your working area.

Now remove screws 1 to 4 with the tri-wing screwdriver and remove the rest with the Phillips.

Notice screws 5 and 6 are longer then 7. I suggest you place the screws on a flat surface the same way they are laid out on the back of the DS for easy remembering.

+ At this point, I do suggest you use the spare screws provided so you don't need the tri-wing screwdriver if you decide to reopen the system.

+ Double check everything and power the system on to make sure everything works. If everything is good, then you're ready to put the rubber parts in.

+ There are 2 rubber feet on the bottom, 4 screw covers for the top LCD, and 2 side bumpers for the top LCD as well.

+ Lastly, you can put the frames back in. For the top LCD, be sure to clean the LCD before installing the cover. There may be protective films on the cover so remove them before installing.

+ The lower frame is pretty simple.




Lift up the back of the cover slightly and run something flat along the opening to the front to release the tabs holding the front part down. I used my finger nail.

+ Be sure the front tabs are locked in.



Lift up the back cover slowly to reveal the DS Lite’s guts. Here, the DS is placed upside down with the Slot-1 Facing you. Remove screws A and B with the Phillips screwdriver. These are the shortest screws.

+ Now, install the screws A and B. Be sure to use the SHORTEST screws for A and B! If you use the wrong length, it will go through the housing!

+ Now it's time to put the bottom cover back on.  Again, it may be a good idea to pre-thread the holes first.

+ But first, look at the battery compartment of your new housing where the screw goes to lock the door.  If you don't see a small metal plate there, you will need to transfer that from the old housing (or use one that's provided in the new housing). Simply look at how the old one is installed and you should be able to figure it out.
 
+ When putting the cover back on, be sure to align the power switch and volume switch when putting the cover back or you can break the power switch!




Carefully remove the L and R buttons along with the pins still attach. The pin holds the spring between the hinges. Don’t worry if it falls out, but just don’t lose it!!!

+ Now install the L and R buttons. Place the button, pin and spring in first, then use tweezers to place the spring back on it's holder.

+ If you're having problems with the L and R springs popping out of the fork, you can try cutting a small notch on where the spring sits on the fork. Install the springs, then look at where they are contacting on the fork. Then use a x-acto knife (hobby knife) to scrape a small notch. Do it very lightly. Just a very small notch will do.



Now lift up the black and white cables out of their sockets, and then slide the black cable out from under the Slot-1 socket. Do not use excessive force while sliding. Gently wiggle the cable out if it seems stuck on something.

+ On install, the white cable goes under the green board, the black goes  under the slot-1 sleeve.

+ It may take a few tries to thread the black cable under the slot-1 socket. Straiten it out and face the connector up. Then slowly and lightly thread it through. If you feel it hit something, back up a little and wiggle it left or right and push forward again. With a little luck, it will go though.



Using my trusty small flat head screwdriver, lift up the tab that’s holding the touch screen cables down. It’s very small so be very careful. This step is optional but strongly recommended to prevent the delicate cable from breaking.

+ When reinstalling, make sure the cable is all the way in like the picture, then flip the tap back down. AGAIN, BE CAREFUL OF THE CABLE AND THE TAP!  IT CAN BREAK VERY EASILY!

+ See the white cable?  That's where it exits from under the system board.



The touch screen is attached to the system board via a ribbon cable on the other side of the board so you have to detach the LCD and the system board at the same time. Place a finger on top of the LCD while holding the white edge of the case and press. It should pop loose. The LCD is attach to the case via some sticky stuff so you’ll have to use a little force. DO NOT REMOVE THE STICKY STUFF!

If you are replacing a case that has the same frame color, we suggest you keep the old frame as it is very difficult to remove. If you must replace the frame, be very careful when removing it. The touch screen can be damaged easily if you rip the frame out along with the touch screen itself!

If the old frame seems too hard to remove, we suggestion you just place the new frame over the old frame. I do not really have any good suggestions on removing the frame as it is stuck on the touch screen very tightly. The way I did it was lift from the inside and slowly peel away little by little. If you try to lift and peel from the outside, you might take the touch screen with you!

+ (Scroll up)



Once loose, flip the system board and the LCD over. Be careful with the top LCD’s ribbon cable as it is easy to tare!

+ Reattach the lower LCD if you removed it. You may want to attach the touch screen cable now if you've disconnected during removal.

+ Put all the buttons and rubber contacts into the cover as seen in the picture. All buttons are keyed so you can't put it the wrong way.

+ Route the WHITE cable as seen in the picture. Then flip the system board over into the housing.

+ If you've removed the LCD frame, save it till last to install the new frames.



Use the small flat head screwdriver to lift up the black tap to release the top LCD ribbon cable.

Now it’s a good time to remove all the rubber pads, X ,Y ,A , B, Select, Start buttons, and control pad from the case.

+ Get the system board and start by attaching the top LCD cable.

+ When reinstalling, make sure the cable is all the way in like the picture, then flip the tap back down.



Here is where most hinges break.

Remove the 2 longest screws from the right hinge and remove the light indicator hinge cover. Inside the hinge cover, there's is a transparent piece of plastic for the power light to transfer. Remove it with tweezers and install it inside the new hinge cover. Most of our cases come with a new piece but use the original is better if you have it.

(Not pictured) Using pliers, slide the right hinge mechanism out of its socket. It's a round metal piece that's black and silver. DO NOT LOSE THIS! If you found that you do not have this, we have one available here.


+ Now, on the other side. Insert the hinge mechanism into the top LCD housing. It may take some force. Then get the old hinge cover piece (where the power light shines) and remove the old light diffuser and transfer it to the new one. Most of our new housings come with spares but I like using the original better.

+ Insert the hinge cover over the hinge and lock everything down. Be sure that everything is sitting flat. You can see in the picture there are 2 keys on the left. Make sure those have threaded though. Lock it down with the 2 longest screws.



Next, slide the cable through the slit. Be very careful and slow while doing this as to not to damage the cable.

+ I've got it half way through here. Just carefully pull it though at this point.



Carefully slide the cover away from the 2 cables to remove it.

+ This part is a little tricky. Get the inner lower cover (part with the button holes) and thread the mic and wifi cables through the hinge first. Then use the open slit to slide the LCD cable through. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE THE CABLE!



To remove
the left hinge ring, pay close attention to the opening in the ring and use it as a exit for the cable. You can turn the ring while it's still inside so that the opening aligns with the cable.

I was noted that some rings don't have the opening. If this is the case, you can skip this step and remove the cable without removing the ring.

As you can see, this part is easier to do with needle nose pliers.

Remove the ring and place it in a safe place.

+ On install, if you have the ring with no opening, simply install the ring first before pushing the cable through. Roll up the cable and thread it through the closed ring.



Next, remove the 4 square rubber covers covering the LCD screws. Don't worry about messing these up. The new housing comes with all new rubber parts. But some found it better just to reuse the old ones if the color is the same. That's up to you.

Then remove the 4 Phillips screws underneath.

+ You can save this part last after everything is finish. You may need to open the cover back up if something is not working.



Remove the rubber pads on the sides. There's one on each side.

+ Secure the top LCD with the 4 short screws (use originals if possible). ** Did you remember to pre-thread the holes?




Now this is a little tricky. Hold the LCD with both hands like the picture and slide your thumb down. If done correctly, the result is the picture below.

+ Slide UP to lock.



The two plates will slide slightly apart like so. Do not force it any further! This is how far it should go.

+ Then slide both pieces back together to lock it in.



The back looks like this.

+ Align the top covers like so.



Now lift the covers apart with your nail or flat screw driver and the top part can be removed.

+ Before you close, it is a good idea to pre-thread the 4 screw holes. Take a look at one of the original screws. Then use one of the spares of the same length to pre-thread the holes.

+ With everything in its place, we're ready to close the top part up.



Lift the right speaker out of its socket and carefully slide the cable out from the white flexible cable covers.

+ All the moving around, your speakers may fall out of place. just put them back in.



Here, is the rest of the speaker cable coming out.

+ Speaker wires go into the LCD gutter provided.



Remove the top LCD from its housing by lifting it from the outside with your fingers. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO USE TOO MUCH FORCE!

You can also do this with both hands lifting both corners at the same time.

The LCD is stuck on the housing again by some sticky stuff.

You might need to loosen it all around the LCD before it'll come loose.

+ If you don't remember how to route the wires, keep scrolling up and see the pictures.



When you have the LCD loose, remove the right speaker and the wifi antenna (the green board in the picture).

Slide the black cable through the LCD cable and remove the antenna.

+ With the mic and wifi and speaker cables routed and secured, lay the LCD down into the housing.



Here, you can see I'm about to remove the microphone and cable and with the speaker and LCD flipped over.

In the picture, I'm pulling it towards the right.

If you need to replace the top LCD screen cover, remove the old cover carefully, leaving the black sticky stuff on the LCD. Do not peel the black sticky stuff off! Again, if you don't have to, I suggest you leave the original on there. If you did remove it, install the LCD back into the new housing first, then clean the LCD and then install the new LCD cover.

+ Thread the mic and wifi antenna cables back through the hole and route the cables in the appropriate gutter/forks.

+ If you've removed the old frame, don't install the frame until you've closed the top LCD portion.



Next remove the speaker seal ring and transplanted to the new housing. The foam pad in the picture can be left out if you want or you can try to transplanted as well. Though when I tried, the glue got stuck on the original housing. It does not affect the DS Lite in any way so don't worry about it.

+ Put the soft speaker seal back in. Transfer the foam pad if you want. It's not really necessary.



Here comes another tricky part. Removing the LCD cable from the loop.

Curl the cable enough so that you can push it through the hole.

Be extra careful!

+ Grab your new top LCD over and begin by threading the cable through the hole by rolling up the cable.

+ If you have the metal ring without the opening, then install ring first before pushing the cable back through the hole.



Here I have it though the hole. After this step, you are ready to replace the housing!

That's it. We've removed everything from the old housing. Now, follow the GREEN text and work your way up this guide for the install process!


Some important notes:




More notes
:
It is a lot easier if you pre-thread the screw holes in the new housing before putting everything back.

Use the same length screws and pre-thread each hole before the actual install. Remember, when pre-threading, the screws do not have to go all the way in. Turn them until they are about 3/4 of the way in and you're fine.

When installing the bottom cover: Be sure to align the power switch and the volume switch with the switch positions on the system board. Also note the shoulder button springs. Use needle nose pliers or tweezers to get those into position.

It is best to reuse the original screws as the replacement screws aren't that good looking as the original. Remember the screws have different lengths. DO NOT use long screws anywhere you're suppose to use short screws.

Quick screw reference:
Two screws holding down the system board (A and B) are short.
Screws #7 is short.
Screw #4 is black.
Screws 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 is medium.
Screws for the right hinge is long.
The four top LCD screws are medium.