Archive for December 27th, 2013

Optiplex 980 PCI Card Clamp Cover Repair

The new-to-me Optiplex 980 has a tool-free clamp securing the PCI card brackets to the chassis, with a nice plastic dress cover that really finishes off that side of the case. Alas, it’s secured by five small heat-staked plastic pegs that I managed to shear off as part of a finger fumble that you’ll recognize when it happens to you and which I need not further discuss:

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover - disassembled

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover – disassembled

So I drilled two slightly undersized holes for the tiniest screws in the Little Box o’ Tiny Screws:

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover - drilling

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover – drilling

The two end plates sticking up are the only square parts of the cover, so that thing is actually clamped by the right-side plate and sheer will power. I ran the drill down 3 mm from the top of the post at the slowest manual jog speed from the Joggy Thing and I did not break through the top and did not hit that lathe bit under the cover.

The screw threads and a dab of epoxy hold them in place:

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover - tiny screws

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover – tiny screws

I’d like to say the finished repair looked like this:

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover - in place

Optiplex 980 PCI Clamp Cover – in place

But, alas, the eagle-eyed reader will note that the screws are gone, replaced by two dabs of clear acrylic caulk; those faint threads and epoxy were no match for the snap of that latching lever and the slight distortion caused by the spring fingers applying force to the brackets.

Ah, well, it’s close enough…

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