Acer 1690 - screen housing cracks

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Any experience out there with the base of the screen housing beginning
to crack at the left and the right outboard hinges?

We've 2 in this house - great PCs; both cracking within the year - and
worrying to think of using an oft-maligned support system.

Should we just carry on, as cracks don't impede emails, or Excel?


Re: Acer 1690 - screen housing cracks

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These are in fact quite normal.  It is caused because the screen hinges are
too stiff or, more usually, because their is unsufficient strength in the
plastic housings.  Once they completely break away, the screen will close
without any effort, but the hinges will be left sticking out.  There is no
way to prevent this from happening, but once the break occurs it is
sometimes possible to effect a repair by drilling two holes through the
hinge and whats left of the screen and install a couple of countersunk
screws (from the inside), and put a couple on washers and nuts on the
outside.  If carefully done, it may be possible to fill the gaping hole with
epoxy.  How permanent this repair is depends very much on the strength of
the remaining material.  If this has occured within the one year warranty,
then a warranty claim should be made, but the problem will most likely

Before actually attempting the repair, it is first necessary to ensure that
there is nothing in the way of the proposed holes.  Cables and parts of the
screen electronics are a particular hazard here.

Re: Acer 1690 - screen housing cracks

PFO wrote:
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Bad design is certainly an issue.
But there's also a manufacturing problem.  If you get ANY water in the
plastic when it's molded, it gets brittle.  Once had to recall a whole
shipment of plastic cased instruments because they didn't dry the
plastic.  INstead of nice pliable cases, they were extremely brittle.

Once had Compaq replace the case on a laptop that was known to have this

Most likely, they'll deny any responsibility, unless you've got enough
company to file a class action suit.

Depends on the exact plastic composition, but I've had limited success
with the stuff they use to glue plastic water pipes together.
There's a universal version of the stuff.  It softens the plastic so it
can flow together.  Put a bead along the closed crack.  Stress it to
open the crack and suck in the glue.  Wait a few for stuff to soften.
Stress it back to close the crack and prop it that way overnight.
Needless to say, if you get a drop of the stuff on your finger and touch
the screen, you'll be VERY unhappy with what happens.

You can also do some interesting stuff with plastic welding.
But you use a lot of heat and have to remove the plastic part
completely.  And if it's the water/brittle problem, it will crack
again next to your weld.

Some laptops have a bar running up each side of the display to absorb
the stress of opening/closing.  It's bolted to the hinge piece.
Over time, that screw can come loose letting the two parts flex
relative to each other.  If nobody can tell you if it's made that
way, you'll have to open it up.

Are we having fun yet?

Re: Acer 1690 - screen housing cracks

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I had considered making up a suitable glue for this task.  Normal glues
don't work because the plastic is a type of plastic known as self releasing
plastic.  It is formulated to have its own built in release agent so that it
releases from the mould without difficulty.  Unfortunately, this also makes
it not stick to most types of glue.  The ideal glue would be a solution of
the plastic itself in a suitable solvent.  Again, unfortunately, the most
suitable solvents are particularly hazardous and therefore not easy to get
hold of.  Chloroform is one of the most suitable solvents and will disolve
most plastics, but is extremely toxic to use.

As a second best, a solution of a different plastic in a solvent that also
disolves the target plastic may do an adequate job, and your plastic pipe
glue sounds like just such a glue.  I had tried polystyrene cement (similar
idea), but with very short lived success.  I might try the pipe glue, next
time I encounter the problem.

BTW, have you tried drilling a couple of very small holes to allow access to
the inner part of the break and injecting glue with a hyperdermic from the
inside to the outside?  The excess glue can be easily removed as it hardens.

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