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ThinkPad Hinge Question

T4x series specific matters only
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Callahan
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Location: Huntingdon, PA

ThinkPad Hinge Question

#1 Post by Callahan » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:56 pm

I have a T41 and two T42 ThinkPads. Ever since I got them, I have thought the hinges look like stainless steel to me.

Just to get this cleared up once and for all time ... are the hinges on these ThinkPad models 'stainless steel' or some other metal.

They really do have the look of stainless steel to me and they seem to be holding up very well with everyday use since getting them in 2010. I figure people here will know the answer, especially those that do repair work.

Thanks

onespeedbiker
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Re: ThinkPad Hinge Question

#2 Post by onespeedbiker » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:39 am

I took a look at some hinges and I'm pretty sure they are stainless. The have a weak magnetic attraction, which is consistent with some stainless steels, and any attraction shows the presents of iron/steel.

Callahan
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
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Re: ThinkPad Hinge Question

#3 Post by Callahan » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:02 pm

Yes the hinges have always had the look of stainless to me also ... just always wondered if they really are stainless.

Thanks for your reply ...

kfzhu1229
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Re: ThinkPad Hinge Question

#4 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:10 am

Well one thing for sure from my experience is that those hinges (the exposed metal asthetics part) are not very malleable though. I have two broken 14.1" left hinges from those machines, one of them suffered damage from getting something caught in the lid when the lid is closed (the lid is also cracked from that, but not the screen) so the left hinge is a tiny bit bent up (~1mm). However it really didn't take any more bent than that before the hinge piece started cracking up and split in two. The other broken one suffered from shipping damage. Whether that indicates it as steel or not is a question but it's good to know I guess
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

Callahan
Freshman Member
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
Location: Huntingdon, PA

Re: ThinkPad Hinge Question

#5 Post by Callahan » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:26 am

I didn't mention this in my first post asking about the hinge material. It's not so important to me now in 2019 ... but it sort of was important in 2009 / 2010. I had a NEC Pentium 3 notebook that I had bought several years before 2009, just can remember the exact year anymore.

Anyway, it got a lot of use, trips to the library mostly for the 'free WiFi' back then ... but over 3 or 4 years with the lid being opened and closed a lot ... one day the plastic around the hinge metal cracked and it was hard to close the lid after that. It also got worse with more plastic cracking. I tried to repair the lid with super glue to get more mileage from the NEC.

However, as has always been the case with me using super glue. Only a little is needed but I always use too much and the plastic around the hinges started to melt or soften up. So the damage was done with the super glue on my part.

I was searching around for a new computer and Buy.com had refurbished ThinkPads on sale so I ordered a T41 and a T42. I had a liking for the IBM name and I read up on the Pentium M CPU ... which was a nice step up from my older NEC Pentium 3. Later in 2010, I decided to get another T42 from a dealer in Seattle, WA ... a 'like new' 15in T42.

I am well pleased with how my ThinkPads have held up ... although the T41 has seen daily heavy use more than the two T42s.

So I always wondered about the hinges and the 'surrounding material' after the NEC failure. Everything still working OK so far as the hinges are concerned, ten years later.

The Windows XP OS is still OK for me and a fan replacement on the T41 and three Dothan Pentium M 745 (1.8 GHz) upgrades on all three ThinkPads has made a nice computing experience for me. I still have not got tired of these three ThinkPads. They have a nice look and still do everything I need in 2019.
...

kfzhu1229
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Re: ThinkPad Hinge Question

#6 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:48 pm

Callahan wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:26 am
So I always wondered about the hinges and the 'surrounding material' after the NEC failure. Everything still working OK so far as the hinges are concerned, ten years later.
As for the surrounding material of the hinges, at least one screw of each hinge is screwed onto the magnesium frame of the body, and it is welded onto a piece of steel rod that is bolted to the LCD itself and lid by separate set of screws all over. Those surrounding parts are never gonna fail in my opinion unless you throw the entire lid in a paper shredder or something as deliberate as that. It's really the exposed part that will break if it gets too much damage from the exposure.
I even used two of spare T43 14.1" right hinges that I have (after the two left ones broke) as the main support of a catapult project years ago and even there it worked flawlessly.
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

Callahan
Freshman Member
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
Location: Huntingdon, PA

Re: ThinkPad Hinge Question

#7 Post by Callahan » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:56 pm

Thanks for the additional information on the materials. I had read about some older models having titanium and magnesium metal but I thought it was mostly used in earlier models ... older than my T41 and T42s.

It's good to hear about the magnesium frame. Is this still the case with newer ThinkPads? I guess my ThinkPads have a carbon fiber reinforced plastic lid ... it seems to have that feel to me.

Well, anyway the older ThinkPads seem well made ... not sure about ThinkPads made in the last few years, I have never seen or touched one.
...

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