Changing a battery in a 5th Generation iPod!!!!


I am not the handiest guy.  Never have been.  The thought of tearing apart my several year old iPod in order to replace a battery was almost enough to get me to replace the iPod as “easier” but I refused the urge and tackled the project myself.

It didn’t take long to figure out that batteries WERE available, but nearly as daunting as the actual replacement was the process of figuring out WHICH battery I needed and what the proper directions were to make the replacement.

A quick search online and you’ll find that there are numerous companies that sell iPod replacement batteries.  Most of the ones I found also had their own version of “how to determine which battery to buy” — and most of them seem to involve reading really small print on the back of the iPod.  If you aren’t 20/20 then this may actually be the hardest part of the process.

In my case I have a 5th generation iPod Classic.  I guess there are 8 generations of the classic so mine has clearly lived a decent life and I’ve enjoyed it immensely.  Before we went RV’ing I had the iPod on all the time — I mean ALL the time!  I used it in the studio when I was shooting portraits, I ran it all day long when I was on three or four photo trips a year.  I used that thing hard and it never let me down.  With some 7000 songs and podcasts and whatnot onboard the little 80 gb marvel really was a compact “entertainment center.”

For some odd reason — perhaps the failure of the battery (I can’t remember when the battery started going on it) when we went RV’ing we used the iPod less and less.  It was too much fun to sit in the front seats and watch the world go by at 59 miles per hour.  Those huge bay-window like windscreens invited gawking!  We learned to just take in the scenery and not need the entertainment of the iPod.

Fast forward 5 years and now we’re driving in the car more…. and at higher speeds… and the relief of the iPod returns.

I’m sharing this video which is NOT mine — but it’s one of the ones I used when I did the battery replacement.  And I want to say that just because the video shows certain things happening that doesn’t mean they will occur quite exactly in the same way when you do yours.  And make sure you use the right video for YOUR iPod, and not my 5th Generation video.

What I mean by that caution is that the video shows the iPod being pried apart and separating in a very specific way.  Everything forward from the back cover comes off together.  When I used the same tools, and did precisely the same thing the iPod did not come apart that way.  The front faceplate separated from a central layer that contains circuits, switches, the LCD screen and the twirly dial that does all the selections.

That was a big problem because while I was trying to get the middle layer out of the case the round button in the center of the twirly dial fell out on the table!

Eventually I got all the parts out of the case.  Inspection showed that that button simply lay underneath the twirly dial and with bevelled sides, once in place, the button would stay where it was as long as you didn’t raise the twirly dial off the layer beneath.  My problem had been that whilst trying to get the center layer out of the case I had the iPod upside down and out fell the button.

The entire project took only about 20 minutes — even with my little button problem.  So it’s not like it’s a huge deal.  Parts and shipping were less than $25.00 total.  A lot better than the cost of another 80 gb iPod.  I hope the new battery will give me a long life.

After re-assembly I had a little scare.  The controls seemed to get stuck and cycled between three options and I couldn’t get them to go back to the menu.  In the end I pushed a little harder on the button and on the twirly dial, felt a little snap, and now everything seems to be just fine.

So, it’s another project out of the way and when we drive back to Milwaukee for the wedding in April I’ll be able to listen to tunes all the way.

Thanks for stopping.  I’m not much of a handyman, but even clumsy guys like me have to celebrate a job well done!

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4 Comments

    1. Jim — I suspect it IS possible to get that innards out without having that twirly dial falling out. The battery comes with a kit, two probes and a screwdriver. If my probes were at the large end of the manufacturing range — you use them to pry the case apart — the probe might have got stuck between layers — and result in the problem I had — but it all worked out fine so no sweat.

      Gonna use it today when we drive the coach up to Houston….. sayonara…

      >

      Liked by 1 person

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