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MacBook Air 11" Mid 2012 loose screen

Hello internet people,

I have purchased a used MacBook Air 11" Mid-2012 and noticed that the screen hinge is loose. It sits tight and completely fine, but once you open it up to around 120ish degree angle it becomes completely loose. I've tried to tighten the hinge screws but it didn't seem to help.

I didn't manage to find anything in forums and I guess replacing the hinge wouldn't help because it seems intact and once I tightened the hinge screws it seemed to be even more tight up to 120-ish degree angle. Perhaps there's some sort of screen retainer that's broken off and could be replaced? :((

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You'll want to review this IFIXIT guide to make sure you tightened the correct screws on the body: MacBook Air 11" Mid 2012 Display Assembly Replacement. It they are tight you'll need to take the display off.

Carefully slide the clutch cover off (black plastic part between the hinges (once you have the display fully removed is easier) that will get you access the lid side hinges. I would recommend getting some clear nail polish to use as screw seal so they don't loosen up again. Here's a good vid on popping the clutch cover to get to the screws: How to Fix Macbook Air Loose Hinge

If you suspect the hinge clutches are worn (the screws on the lid where tight) you'll need to replace the complete lid assembly - Sorry ;-{

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Always use a bit of locktite on each display hinge screw (,the ones that tighten the slack) so they don't back out again later. If you find the triangle hinge screws tight but still display is a bit loose you can cut a couple pieces if thin rubber to put under that hinge piece on each side and then screw it down. You do NOT have to replace the whole display necessarily as suggested. That's bogus....

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How would would you be able to add the thin rubber as mentioned above? I sort of have an idea but not sure exactly what you mean.

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I followed the link to tighten up hinge screws, but did not make much difference. The lid still falls back towards the end of the travel / fully open. It seems the rotating part of the hinge itself has worn and no longer has enough resistance to hold the weight of the display. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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Did you review my answer above?

While the body side screws maybe tight the lid side maybe loose (watch the vid I posted). If the clutch mechanism is worn then the hinges need replacement which is a big project.

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Hmm. If you're positive the screws are tight then this definitely sounds like the “clutch" inside the top lid assembly is worn out most likely. It's a decent size job so it may or may not be worth the time and effort. Basically depends on your level of expertise and cost of parts vs age of machine. It might be worth just using as is until you can find another machine. Good luck either way.

Here's a link on replacing the top lid “clutch".

https://youtu.be/L05t8gPsf2Q

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Sounds like an issue with the hinge clutches in the top part. Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea how to get to them, but I think iFixit has guides.

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My answer above shows exactly.how.if you're interested/curious. A bit of a job but not that hard if you take it slow and carefully :-)

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@faslane1969 I don't really need them as much since I sold my old 11" back in 2017, but thanks.

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