Author Topic: Replaced the touch screen on my Garmin Zumo 450 (550 lite)  (Read 2457 times)

Offline redbarber

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Replaced the touch screen on my Garmin Zumo 450 (550 lite)
« on: October 22, 2011, 08:26:51 am »
Well it's been an ongoing problem for a while.  The digitizer (touch screen) on my Garmin Zumo 450 has been "flaky".  Worsening over time, it was getting more and more common for a careful touch of the "B" key to result in a "V" or even a "U".  Sometimes, it would react as if I had hit the "where to" button, when I was not even touching the GPS.  Cold weather made it worse.  About a month ago, I failed to properly secure it into it's mount, and it went sailing off onto the street at about 20 mph.  OUCH.  That made it even worse, but to my surprise, the GPS did not die from it's injuries.

I decided not to spend the $150 and lost time having Garmin repair it.  Instead, I purchased a touch screen from an ebay seller in Hong Kong.  Of course, it took about 10 days to get here, but it was less than $20 with shipping.  I figured if I couldn't fix it, I still had the Garmin option, I was only gambling a small amount.

This morning, I got my nerve up, and took the Zumo apart.  Although there were no instructions with the new digitizer, I found some pretty good info on the web.  I'll post links at the bottom of this write up.  For me, (35 years as a computer technician) it wasn't very difficult.  The only part that stressed me was removing the old screen.  I had hoped to preserve it in case the new one was junk, but I cracked it while trying to separate it from the LCD module.  They are held together with some pretty tough double-stick tape.   Only tools I needed were a #0 phillips screwdriver, a T8 Torx driver (to remove the battery), and a razor knife to separate the screens.  Total time, 20 minutes.

I did not intend to do a technical how-to, as mentioned, there are lots of good links out there for this.  I primarily wanted my fellow riders to know that it can be done, and done inexpensively.  Probably the most difficult was re-connecting the two small ribbon cables to the GPS main board.  They use a fold-over ZIF type connection which, if you are not familar with it, can easily be ruined.  If you aren't sure how to release and re-latch the ZIF (zero insersion force) sockets, I'd leave this alone, or recruit some help.

Initial results: PERFECT.  Hasn't worked this well in 3 years.  Will be riding in 40-50 degree weather later today, and then I can start posting status updates regarding how well this solution holds up for me.

One other warning:  Zumo screens come in two different sizes.  Make sure you measure carefully before you order one.  I think one is 76mm and the other (mine) is 79mm wide.

Here are some useful links:

This is a GREAT write up, with step-by-step pictures.  Highly recommend it:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=528905

Garmin Nuvi LCD Screen Removal/Replacement Pt. 7

Garmin Oregon 300 - DIY screen repair

http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/threads/33909-Replacing-Garmin-Zumo-Touch-Screen-Do-it-Yourself
If you take yourself too seriously, nobody else will.  Humor is all around you, make it your quest to find all of it!

Offline redbarber

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Re: Replaced the touch screen on my Garmin Zumo 450 (550 lite)
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 10:04:54 pm »
First ride report.  New touch screen worked perfectly today.  I rode about 4 hours, cool but not cold, maybe 60 degrees F.   Riding again tomorrow, so we'll see how it works when it's a bit colder.
If you take yourself too seriously, nobody else will.  Humor is all around you, make it your quest to find all of it!

Offline redbarber

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Re: Replaced the touch screen on my Garmin Zumo 450 (550 lite)
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2011, 08:02:22 pm »
First long day of riding, out for about 9-10 hours.  Temps started in the high 40s and peaked in the mid 60s (F).  Touch screen behaved perfectly all day.  I used it more than normal just to test it out, and I'm still very satisfied with the result.  I will revisit this for a longer term report in a few weeks or so.
If you take yourself too seriously, nobody else will.  Humor is all around you, make it your quest to find all of it!