Go with the Re-Flow

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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This is one of my favorite threads on the HardForum and I have been watching it since 2009. Many folks have found that using a home-brewed re-flowing method to fix dead video cards often works. The quick explanation is that reflow soldering can reconnect broken connections on an old card, or other electronics as well. However, this is very much one of those Try It At Your Own Risk sort of scenarios. And I would I highly suggest doing this while your significant other is out of the house and I would suggest you have a fire extinguisher on hand as well.

This is the 1,150th post in the thread from today.

My 37" flat panel TV is STILL hanging in the workshop and kicking ass after oven baking. From 2009!
 

matt167

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I've often wondered if this will work with Subaru clocks. The ones they used in the Foresters from 1998-2002 and then in the Impreza from 2002 until 2007. They are always dead, and it's usually one of a few resistors that need repair, but sometimes more.

I know someone who used a toaster oven to fix a Volvo TC/ABS/ESC computer and it worked until the rods went knocking after he put nearly 100k miles on his hundred dollar car ( sold cheap due to said issues )
 

Vaulter98c

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2009
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It's legit. I had to bake one of the eye modules from an old Virtual Boy, they were notorious for going out because the solder was god awful. Worked like a charm and saved me a ton of money Vs buying a fully working Virtual boy. Did a few video cards back in 09-10 with mixed results, over half worked though I think
 

Mugato

Muh Feelz!
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You guys can PM me if you would like a board reflowed in either convection or vapor phase. Assembly would be profiled (if needed) before hand to minimize cold solder joints or tin whiskers. Do not remove connectors, we have solder suckers and nozzles on the SS machines for that. All ESD emvironment. Will not cost an arm and a leg, I promise lol. Hey, it's for dah community!
 

thesmokingman

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Nov 22, 2008
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I've often wondered if this will work with Subaru clocks. The ones they used in the Foresters from 1998-2002 and then in the Impreza from 2002 until 2007. They are always dead, and it's usually one of a few resistors that need repair, but sometimes more.

I know someone who used a toaster oven to fix a Volvo TC/ABS/ESC computer and it worked until the rods went knocking after he put nearly 100k miles on his hundred dollar car ( sold cheap due to said issues )

First thing I did to my subie, or one of the first things was to toss the clock out and throw in a 3 gauge pack. The aftermarket double din nav unit has a clock. Socal has been in the middle of a big storm and its so fun to drive a boosted awd car right now!
 

Riccochet

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I baked 2 Xbox360's and a 8800GT back to life. One xbox didn't last very long, the other is still kicking and in my living room. Vid card still works as well.
 

Gweenz

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Dec 18, 2003
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This absolutely does work. Had a GTX570 that needed to be baked, had a friend who had to bake his on the regular because he was too poor to buy a new one. I've also baked laptop motherboards back into working condition.
 

DooLocsta

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I tried this method on the A board in my Plasma and it did change what was happening but the set still doesn't work :( No real loss seeing as I can't seem to source a new board from anywhere anyway.
 

Unter Dog

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Apr 12, 2016
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I've often wondered if this will work with Subaru clocks. The ones they used in the Foresters from 1998-2002 and then in the Impreza from 2002 until 2007. They are always dead, and it's usually one of a few resistors that need repair, but sometimes more.

I know someone who used a toaster oven to fix a Volvo TC/ABS/ESC computer and it worked until the rods went knocking after he put nearly 100k miles on his hundred dollar car ( sold cheap due to said issues )
Older automotive designs used larger (1210+) thin/thick film chip resistors. The solder joints on these larger resistors don't hold up well to long term thermal cycling due to thermal expansion differences between the resistor ceramic substrate and the board (also board material and location dependent).
 
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Dekoth-E-

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Mar 23, 2010
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I've baked a few PS3's and video cards over the years. Actually I have a PS3 right now that I need to reflow and just have been too lazy to do it since I have another.
 

lcpiper

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Jul 16, 2008
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Woman had one of those HP all in one desktops and the video was flaking out. I opened it up, cleaned out the dust bunnys and took a hair dryer to the heatsink with the board laying level. Worked perfect for a couple weeks, then had to do it a second time, this time, I added a DIY fan to the back of the case to help out the heatsink. Never complained again.
 

IcePickFreak

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I've done it on FICM/Fuel Injection Control Module for a Ford Powerstroke diesel with success.
 

DrBorg

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I do a lot of prototyping, with modern circuitry.

Reflowing a board doesn't require an oven, and that's really too much heat. :)

I know how to solder modern stuff; Everything has gone SMT in the last 15 years.

What was .4" thruhole is now 0805 SMT; 1/4W resistors are common in both sizes. :)

I had to learn how to hand solder 0201's under a microscope, so I can replace values on circuits I've designed.

I do most of my soldering these days under a stereo microscope, using solder paste in a syringe with a small dispense tip to both hold the parts in place and provide solder, and I use a heat gun to solder everything.

That's if I don't have a solder stencil that matches the PCB...


To reflow a board, I'd put 350°C color changing marker lines on it, cover it with flux, and reflow it with the heat gun, from one end to the other. Walk the color change with the gun, don't go but barely past the melty point.

You can use thermocouples taped to the board if they're easier to do than the markers. You want to go barely over the melting point, then cool off slowly.

Look up solder profiles. Also, look for a RoHS marking; that means lead free solder, so it has to be heated higher. :) And is probably the problem. :)

Reflowing without flux added is a waste of time; and you Will have to clean it after, use Flux-off, not alcohol. Alcohol will waste your board, it forms salts; unless you want to use $50 worth of everclear, that should work fine, but don't dilute it, use full strength. :)
 

criccio

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Mar 26, 2008
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That thread got me to try that probably 4 times since it started. I've had success only once on an HD4890 that still works to this day.
 

bbenz33

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Dec 8, 2004
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403
I recently used a heat gun to reflow my dead LG G4 so I could back it up. The first time it only worked long enough to power on and start a backup. The second attempt it was still going fine when I packed it up to ship it back.
 

matt167

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Dec 18, 2016
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First thing I did to my subie, or one of the first things was to toss the clock out and throw in a 3 gauge pack. The aftermarket double din nav unit has a clock. Socal has been in the middle of a big storm and its so fun to drive a boosted awd car right now!

I would do the same, except my 2001 Forester has the clock in the OHC. Gauge pod goes where the center cubby is.. I have a complete JDM EJ205 w/ 4.44 trans in the garage ready for it, just need time to install it, and wire it
 
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