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How to remove motherboard and PCI-E connectors leaving the pins intact.

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11 replies to this topic

#1
extragonk

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Overview:

When i embarked on my braiding adventures i bought one of those 2 pin motherboard/pci-e molex removal tools, i tried to use this pin tool to remove the pins to no avail, they just went in the header got stuck and the cable didnt come free.

After many a wangling and wiggling and googling to see about how it worked failed to enlighten me, I eventually decided what the best thing to do was to take one entirely apart and see what the pin looked like - to get a better understanding of what i was actually attempting to do with this dual pin tool.

I destroyed a spare pci-e adapter in the process and learnt that little clips/fins on the side of the pins had been crushed by the tool so even if i'd managed to get the pin out i couldnt reuse the pin and would be forced to find replacement pins and recrimp the new pins to the cable ends. A right faff on.

I thought on this further and eventually hit on the idea of just using some house hold staples to replace the tool - the thoughts behind it being that it'll be easier to gauge the insertion of an individual staple than a dual pronged attack tool and it was, in fact it worked like a dream, so much so, i thought i'd make a tutorial about it.

I've seen other youtubes and some picture tutorials of this subject before and either they go to fast or they are not close up and personal enough so heres mine.

Process

To Begin we look at the cable as it is, what a pin looks like without the plastic head round it, and the tools we are going to use to dehead the pins.

Here is our victim, a standard 4+4 PSU cable:

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Here is one of the pins out of its head, notice the tiny little fins sticking out the sides and their alignment with pin joints. The little fins are the things that keep the pin in the housing, its these little fellas we will be carefully manipulating with the staples.

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Here are the staples in question, i just took two standard office staples - nothing heavy duty - and straightened one leg out, one i made as straight as possible, the other worked well slightly curved in - its difficult to see in the picture but really its a very very very slight curve, it doesnt really need to be aimed for, you just need one of them to be straighter than the other.

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Step1
Here you see the header up close and from the front - i've already taken two pins out to prove this process so yours should have 4 in at the start :)
Things to note are the pins inside the header, the gap between the pins and the header sides are the area of interest, thats where our staple tools are going, give the cable a little wiggle left and right to see how the pins move inside the header.

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I've found that its best to start with the pins pushed all the way in, so that they are as much in the header as possible, you'll be able to tell what i mean when you are wiggling the pin by the cable. Doing this push in will allow your staples to push in further, increasing your chances of a successful fin squeeze and pin removal.

Step2
I'm right handed so i always start with the left side then the right side, this will probably be the opposite if your are a lefty, whichever you are, start with your straightest staple and slide it down the side between the pin and the header - do this very slowly.

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You should feel a little resistance as it goes in between the pin and the header - if it just drops in quickly then you've probably missed the gap and have just put the staple down the middle of the pin - remove and try again :)

As it slides down it will stop and resistance will increase, this is it hitting the top of the little holding fins, a tiny little bit of additional pressure and you'll feel and hear the staple pushing down a little bit further, this is the fin being depressed into the pin.

Step3
With the first staple in place it should be fairly secure, take your other staple and going slowly do the same on the opposite side, the staples curve should be pointing into the side of the header - i didnt have much luck trying it the other way, but this way worked a charm for every pin.

You may find that you can't get this second staple into the header, to help you can try pulling the cable at the base left and right to force the pin to lean over a bit - giving you the space you need, if this still doesnt help, try taking your staples out and swapping them round, or straightening them up a little bit more and trying again.

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repeat the step2 procedure, nice and slow till you hit resistance, a little pop more and the staple should be at the same level as the first staple.

Step4
holding the header in one hand either use your fingers or some needle nose pliers to slowly attempt to pull the cable you've stapled straight down. If its been stapled correctly this task should require very little effort, if it doesnt feel its giving at all then try taking the staples out and repeating the process from the start.

I believe its this point that if the fins have not been depressed correctly and too much force is applied that the fins become crushed and thats your pin nuked, so be gentle.

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Step5
Repeat this process for all your pins you need to remove and hey presto you've got it licked.

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#2
stevenm56

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Good guide, are those paper clips?

#3
extragonk

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Just normal staples out of a stapler, i'd read a guide that did use paperclips but he was talking about hammering the clips flat and all that jazz and thought there had to be an easier way :)

#4
Zaragon

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The problem you cited of crushing the pins with the two pin removal tool is often as a result of the way they are used. Often people just hold onto the connector and push the tool into the housing and if it doesn't work just push harder. As extragonk points out the fins sticking out are what stops the pin from being withdrawn. As you slid the tool down them and if the fin is embedded in the housing (or even just friction does it) then the fin just folds and the fin ends just stay where they were in the plastic housing and at which point you are stuffed.

The trick is two fold, firstly to be gentle but more importantly push the wire into the housing and hold it whilst inserting the tool not the housing. Pushing in the wire moves the fins away from the plastic thus enabling them to be more easily eased straight by the tool.

Same thing if you use the staples, extragonk already mentioned pushing it into the housing, but hold the wire whilst inserting the staple otherwise you will tend to push the pin backwards thus 'capturing' the fin again.

#5
fido

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im gonna try this method, cant for the life of me get the pins out using the proper tools, both the sunbeam ones and the generic silver doings.

even tried what you said zaragon, holding the cable instead of the connector. managed to knack one pin doing so :/. maybe i have the touch of an elephant, or its corsair psu's, but they dont wanna come out to easy :/

#6
andybones12

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thanks for taking your time to help other modders.;)great guide for most people.I tried all kinds,like most people and the staple guide,but i found it easier to just cut the wires and crimp new pins on.

Andy

#7
Pablo

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Watchmakers screwdriver has always worked ok for me.

But have done the odd ten thousand or more of theese pins in my time.
(not for pc modding though)

As Andy says, if it means crimping on new pins then so be it,
gives me an excuse to put on some higher rated ones and use goldplated also, but thats just me.

so if replacing pins, do make sure the pins are correctly rated.

#8
Capedkid

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I wonder if tweezers work instead of 2 Staples?

#9
Pablo

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Mate used to use my tweezers to do em.

Grrrrrr, they work, but he ruins my tweezers.....

#10
D-Cyph3r

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thanks for taking your time to help other modders.;)great guide for most people.I tried all kinds,like most people and the staple guide,but i found it easier to just cut the wires and crimp new pins on.

Andy



If I ever feel like destroying my fingers and knocking 10 years off my lifespan again thats what i'll be doing instead. I bought multiple tools (including 2 of those pricey Sunbeam kits), tried the staples and tiny screwdrivers... I barely managed 1 PCI-E cable before I quit and bought a pre-braided PSU off someone over at bit tech forums.#-o
I have a penis and a brain, but not enough blood to run both at the same time...

#11
Pablo

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Dcyphr.

Yep when i used to make up loads and loads of cable looms, we did swear when we put a pin into wrong hole in housing,
Some of them were 48 pole fittings aswell, so 1 out of place could of meant that ALL 48 pins had to come out to be shifted along one.

So if you read drawings wrong and got 48 pins wrong, there was a good chance that the other 99 in the batch, so

100*48 pins to be shifted, well you can work out the anger factor.

However i would usually spot after the first few.

I do hate it most, if you dont push tabs out of way and pull too hard, it sticks into the housing.

Also if i decided to cut pins off and recrimp, wasnt allowed, because it would make the leads / wires too short, so would have to cut off more wire and strip.

#12
andybones12

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Thanks for the very detailed pin procedure Pete.:DI Don't think i will be doing braiding again on PSU.once is enough to ruin your fingers.:)

Andy




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