My teenage daughter, like most teenage daughters, cannot service without her mobile communication device. In her case, it is a hand-me-down iPhone 3GS. Through repeated overuse, the top part of the power button had fallen off. She had to resort to using her fingernails and teeth when turning it on or off. She bugged me for weeks to get her phone fixed.
I may not be the handiest guy around but that has never stopped my from trying. I came across the needed part on iFixit's website and the step-by-step instructions. I decided to give it a shot and ordered the part. I figured if I broke anything, the 3GS is so cheap these days that I could easily replace it if I broke it.
My daughter assisted me during the "surgery". As I removed the front glass my daughter's apprehension showed, and it increased as I pulled the phone apart piece by piece.
Everything went smoothly until I tried to replace the actual part that was the problem. The part consists of a rectangular metal swivel, a black plastic piece, and a silver top. When it tried to install it, I couldn't get it to engage the power "switch" that it pushes against correctly. I tried for about an hour but just couldn't get it to fit correctly. It looks identical to the original piece but perhaps it differs slightly to some degree. The rectangular metal swivel is supposed to swivel all the way to a right angle one direction, and about 130 degrees the other way. The replacement part seemed to swivel 180 in both directions but I couldn't see how that affected anything.
After fiddling with it for about an hour I decided to take the silver top off of the replacement part and glue it on the original black base since I still had that. I used a dab of Gorilla glue and clamped it together with a paper clip for about an hour. The original piece went back into place with no problem.
With iFixit's instructions, I was able to put it all back together and got it working like brand new. When my daughter got up the next morning (she went to bed while we were waiting for the glue to dry) she was so excited that her phone was like new again. She exclaimed "It's the best day ever"! That was until the next day when her Grandfather got a new iPhone 4S, passed his iPhone 4 down to her, and she passed the 3GS to her Grandmother. Then that was the best day ever!
I'm not sure what the difference was between the bases on the original part and the replacement part but once I took the silver top off of the replacement part and put it on the original base, the power button went back in with no problems and engaged the on/off switch on the inside with no problem whatsoever.
Anyway, thanks to iFixit, for less than $10 and a few hour's time, I was my daughter's hero again, at least for a day, until her grandfather passed his iPhone 4 down to her. Then he became her hero!