Flaws in Apple's iMac Pro VESA mount fueling new episode of repair anxiety [u]

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 53
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,614member
    tmay said:
    These are absolutely not zinc screws.

    They are either alloy steel, with zinc plating or a black oxide coating, or they are stainless steel. If they are magnetic, then they almost certainly alloy steel.

    Personally, I would purchase my own screws; why take a chance?

    https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-socket-head-screws/=1d2ka2h

    Get either a Torx grade 8 or a Torx 18-8 stainless steel, and don't use any thread locker, unless you have a speaker, or woofer adjacent to the computer. Even then, I would avoid it. If you aren't going to use a thread locker, put a little oil, grease, or even better, anti-sieze compound, on the screw threads; to prevent metal galling;

    https://www.fastenal.com/en/72/galling

    Finally, I would hope that the material is at least a 6061-t6 grade of aluminum, rather than a die cast aluminum or zinc alloy.



    It's really easy to say that one can purchase their own screws, but that doesn't negate what Apple did.  Put it some real screws and not the soft stuff, whatever it's made of.  
    avon b7
  • Reply 22 of 53
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I wonder why Apple doesn't design their own monitor arm. It seems like the kind of physical, mechanical object with lots of opportunity for cleverness that industrial designers would love to have a crack at.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 23 of 53
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 616member
    isidore said:
    Well, I'm not an auto mechanic but I do have a PhD in Materials Science and a lifetime in engineering. The Rolls Royce solution (as in aircraft design, not fat luxobarges) would be to use a helicoil insert in the alloy body for the screw to screw into because any thread in an alloy part will gall, especially if it is assembled more than once. A cheaper alternative would be to use screws precoated with an appropriate lubricant, but zinc screws into alloy? That's something that even Ford would- or should- be ashamed to do. An Apple own goal I'm afraid.
    Exactly my thought. Helicoils have been the go to solution for hard screws into soft alloys forever. Why this was not chosen here, on a system that costs this much is the real question. A Helicoil would have allowed them to use a SS screw. Poof no failed screw.
    aylktmaywillcropoint
  • Reply 24 of 53
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,614member
    chris b said:
    First time poster here, long time reader. Owner of exactly that same combination, hadn't gotten around to installing the adapter just yet. Posting here for two reasons - First, Snazzy Labs made a false claim, and you guys are regurgitating it and, second, the screws failed for not the reason he claimed.

    First, the screws are made of steel. I used a magnetic bit holder for my drill/driver and did not even have to touch the fasteners, the bit holder picked the screws with a small air gap. Second, the screws were difficult to remove because they have blue threadlocker on the first several threads; heat is required to soften blue threadlocker before attempting to remove the fastener - I'm not sure which variant of blue threadlocker was painted on the screws.

    Interesting. However, I'm a bit puzzled about your insistence that heat must be applied to blue Threadlocker on disassembly.  I know for a fact that on RED loctite (Threadlocker), heat is mandatory, but on blue it is not.  Only a little extra torque is needed.  I use blue Loctite often when working on my motorcycle motors.  Never once had I had to use heat to loosen a bolt.  Blue loctite merely prevents the threads from slipping via vibration (for the most part).  RED loctite is truly a thread "locker".  Heat of course always helps to get things loose, but even I would not think about applying a heat gun to the back of an iMacPro to loosen screws I suppose unless I could tell they were really stuck.  The guy's video shows the bolts apparently breaking from the most lightest amount of torque.

    From Loctite's own website about their blue Threadlocker:
    For disassembly, shear with standard hand tools and remove with methylene chloride. In RARE instances where hand tools do not work because of excessive engagement length, apply localized heat to nut or bolt to approximately 482°F (250°C). Disassemble while hot.

    http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/t_lkr_blue/directions/Loctite-Threadlocker-Blue-242.htm

    While your screws may apparently be made out of steel, perhaps your kit is different from the others?  Is it possible you received a 2nd-gen kit to address the problem that the blogger and prior people had?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 25 of 53
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,747member
    sflocal said:
    chris b said:
    First time poster here, long time reader. Owner of exactly that same combination, hadn't gotten around to installing the adapter just yet. Posting here for two reasons - First, Snazzy Labs made a false claim, and you guys are regurgitating it and, second, the screws failed for not the reason he claimed.

    First, the screws are made of steel. I used a magnetic bit holder for my drill/driver and did not even have to touch the fasteners, the bit holder picked the screws with a small air gap. Second, the screws were difficult to remove because they have blue threadlocker on the first several threads; heat is required to soften blue threadlocker before attempting to remove the fastener - I'm not sure which variant of blue threadlocker was painted on the screws.

    Interesting. However, I'm a bit puzzled about your insistence that heat must be applied to blue Threadlocker on disassembly.  I know for a fact that on RED loctite (Threadlocker), heat is mandatory, but on blue it is not.  Only a little extra torque is needed.  I use blue Loctite often when working on my motorcycle motors.  Never once had I had to use heat to loosen a bolt.  Blue loctite merely prevents the threads from slipping via vibration (for the most part).  RED loctite is truly a thread "locker".  Heat of course always helps to get things loose, but even I would not think about applying a heat gun to the back of an iMacPro to loosen screws I suppose unless I could tell they were really stuck.  The guy's video shows the bolts apparently breaking from the most lightest amount of torque.

    From Loctite's own website about their blue Threadlocker:
    For disassembly, shear with standard hand tools and remove with methylene chloride. In RARE instances where hand tools do not work because of excessive engagement length, apply localized heat to nut or bolt to approximately 482°F (250°C). Disassemble while hot.

    http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/t_lkr_blue/directions/Loctite-Threadlocker-Blue-242.htm

    While your screws may apparently be made out of steel, perhaps your kit is different from the others?  Is it possible you received a 2nd-gen kit to address the problem that the blogger and prior people had?
    You are correct about Loctite 242. 
  • Reply 26 of 53
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,140member
    ascii said:
    I wonder why Apple doesn't design their own monitor arm. It seems like the kind of physical, mechanical object with lots of opportunity for cleverness that industrial designers would love to have a crack at.
    Because it was a cheapass afterthought.
  • Reply 27 of 53
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,747member

    sflocal said:
    tmay said:
    These are absolutely not zinc screws.

    They are either alloy steel, with zinc plating or a black oxide coating, or they are stainless steel. If they are magnetic, then they almost certainly alloy steel.

    Personally, I would purchase my own screws; why take a chance?

    https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-socket-head-screws/=1d2ka2h

    Get either a Torx grade 8 or a Torx 18-8 stainless steel, and don't use any thread locker, unless you have a speaker, or woofer adjacent to the computer. Even then, I would avoid it. If you aren't going to use a thread locker, put a little oil, grease, or even better, anti-sieze compound, on the screw threads; to prevent metal galling;

    https://www.fastenal.com/en/72/galling

    Finally, I would hope that the material is at least a 6061-t6 grade of aluminum, rather than a die cast aluminum or zinc alloy.



    It's really easy to say that one can purchase their own screws, but that doesn't negate what Apple did.  Put it some real screws and not the soft stuff, whatever it's made of.  
    I'm not yet convinced that it is the screws, per se. The only reason that I would order my own is that I would know the source.

    My instinct is that the bar is a die cast aluminum, or an aluminum/zinc alloy. That's just based on how much deformation there is the image of the damaged part. It's really easy to muck up a thread and bind the screw in a soft alloy, hence why I suggested a bit of a light lubricant as a safety measure to prevent binding and breakage. I also am quite aware that people have a propensity to over torque small screws. 

    I machine 6061-t6 practically every day, and form tap 2-56 holes in large numbers for most of my parts. My customer almost never has an issue during assembly due to using torque controlled screwdrivers. 

    No matter the cause, it is certainly the case that Apple hasn't figured out a process for repair.
  • Reply 28 of 53
    All I know is that it's a scary story and I have to question Apple's support of the iMac Pro. I honestly can't believe the heads of screws snap off that easily. I certainly wouldn't tighten them very much since there are plenty of screws to take the weight. I would basically run the screw to the stop and barely do more than finger tighten it. Chances are, I wouldn't have used Blue Loctite and might have gone with silicone grease. Anyway, this is all hindsight. I would have followed whatever assembly/disassembly directions were available.  That hardware is too costly to be just screwing around with.

    Those screws simply shouldn't be snapping if a short wrench was being used. I've never encountered a screw that size having the head just snap off. My GUESS would have been those screws were faulty in some way (unless they were actually designed to shear instead of strip threads). That returned iMac case and stand hardware was an ugly mess. It looked as though someone quite incompetent worked on it. I wasn't there when the work was being done, so I don't know who's telling the truth and what really happened. I'm just saying the story seems frightening considering it should have been such a simple thing to do. Anyway, I won't be changing my iMac to a VESA mount, so it's a moot point for me.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 29 of 53
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,056member
    I'm in total awe of this guy staying so calm, composed, and patient in the face of the massive, protracted bunglefest and total hack job that this Apple Store committed on his brand new $5000 computer. Very amatuerish attempt from someone with Genius in their job title. Glad everything worked out in the end.

    I'm of the opinion that the zinc plated screws used in the mount are simply not the right material and grade for this application, especially if it is considered a user installable option. Sure, Apple could provide a torque spec for the screws and further distance this part from being user installable. 

    I'm not buying the argument that the screws should be self-sacrificing by shearing to prevent damaging the computer case. If that is really a concern the screws heads should start to strip on the drive surface rather than snapping the shaft of the screw. The shear strength of the screws they used simply may not be up to the task of supporting a hanging load, one that may be occasionally bumped, if they screws are so brittle as to break with light over torque. Not worried about dissimilar metals either, unless you're using your iMac in a salt spray environment.

    edited May 2018 muthuk_vanalingamwillcropoint
  • Reply 30 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,581member
    eightzero said:
    lkrupp said:
    Well, Dell was always treated to outrage and condemnation by disgruntled users making the same claims of crapitude as this. Dell haters abound. HP haters abound. ASUS haters abound. Apple haters abound. Samsung haters abound. As the author says, Apple is now one of the big boys and the shear number of devices out there invites this kind of scrutiny. But Apple is a special case. The entire Internet is on a mission to take Apple down so these kinds of things get amplified to infinity. Here is this ONE GUY with a beef and the whole Internet piles on. This story is ablaze on ALL the Apple sites, fan sites as well as hater sites. One frick’n guy with one frick’n problem that was eventually resolved to his satisfaction and suddenly Apple is the source of all evil in the universe. Another day, another frick’n “Kill Apple” rampage.
    "Don't hold your iMac that way."

    Seems oddly familiar....can't quite place it...
    Jobs was correct. All external antenna phones of the day exhibited identical signal attention when death-gripped by a meatbag. Death gripping to induce visible bars drop was just a dumb thing to do. Carrier data (ATT) showed no meaningful increase in dropped calls in the wild. 

    “But doctor, it hurts when I do this!”
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 31 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,581member

    sflocal said:
    So one (1) case of this happening (to an apple-pouty-face video blogger no less) is now cause for "concern", blowing it, an epidemic, etc... Welcome to the internet generation.
    "Pouty-face"?  WTF?  I'm surprised that such a remark is coming from you.

    It's 100% a valid case.  A problem always starts with one person.  If you watched the video, the blogger did state that when he went on an Apple forum, there were other VESA users that experienced similar problems with broken screws.  

    I deal with delicate screws in other areas - my motorcycles use aluminum screws - and it's nerve-racking on how delicate those things are.  This is an area where I think Apple really needs to fess up and own the problem.  The way they treated the customer while his iMP was in the shop also was inexcusable.  
    1) One person or even a few people is meaningless. But this new “outrage” is definitely over one person.

    2) If you don’t know that the “Apple sux!” video blogger face is a meme to sell clicks and win subscribers, I’ve got bridges to sell you. 




    edited May 2018 wonkothesanerandominternetperson
  • Reply 32 of 53
    I'm someone who has a garage wall full of screws, washers, nuts & bolts of all varieties for DIY jobs. I typically use my own screws rather than any included screws when building any "kits" or furniture for example. However I wouldn't even consider replacing out the screws on an Apple branded accessory for an Apple device - We're constantly reminded from Apple about they're dedication to perfection and how they choose the right materials for the job etc. etc. Other than being sceptical of mounting the entire weight of a 2 grand device on two tiny screws, I wouldn't ever have considered that the screws themselves were not suitable (in some revisions of the kit).
  • Reply 33 of 53
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,325member
    Storm in een glas water ...
  • Reply 34 of 53
    LOL...why do people always try to pretend that Apple is new to manufacturing? They've been producing hardware that requires screws and screw threads of various types for decades, and I'm sure they're aware of the various pros/cons in regards to the materials used. This isn't some sort of big mystery for Apple to solve. The guy either got a defective kit or he did something himself that caused the problem. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 35 of 53
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 553member
    ...I really feel for this guy...

    I always use (and highly recommend) independent Apple Authorized Dealers for my mac repairs - I can set up a diagnostic appointment in advance, drop a mac off for an hour or two running errands - no wait, and if needed pick it up and keep using it until parts are in - same deal on the actual repair, usually done in half a day - never ever, ever had a problem...

    ...and on mac tech support, enter the last release of macbook pro, with at least 5 Apple reps (including Applecare) all advising that the TB2-TB3 adapter should run a mDP (Apple Cinema) Display, selling me the dongle with the new MBP - ooops, wrong, and no support ever materialized... 'Buy a new monitor' - really?

    Since Jobs passed the mac has felt like an incremental frog boiling gravy train - less upgradable, less repairable, less sustainable, less flexible, and in the end less functional...?

    I can buy a 2TB Micron (Crucial) SSD for $275 (Apple supplied Micron RAM in sevaeral of my machines), while if I look at the upcharges from Apple for the only proprietary (albeit faster) storage offering (from the mini 1TB rotational) the cost seems around $1,475 or more than a 500% cost differential...

    I've abandoned two hardware upgrade cycle attempts because of what I view as increasingly predatory design, and from this lifer thousnds Apple has lost in sales as a result. Thank goodness the Jobs era hardware is so robust & flexible, as it has allowed me to keep the shop running, at least for now...

    Please give us back our Macs... VESA flexibility seems so ubiquitous and basic, like the Kensington lock slot that was been designed out of the Pro, MBP and even the mini, which is frequently used as a server, and small enough to be stolen easily...

    edited May 2018 icoco3avon b7
  • Reply 36 of 53
    ........
    I can buy a 2TB Micron (Crucial) SSD for $275 (Apple supplied Micron RAM in sevaeral of my machines), .....
    Where are you seeing this pricing?

    I've been watching Crucial for a couple years on replacing my 2TB HD in my 2009 iMac (first of the 27", 10,1), and 2TB is still $499. 

    MX500. CT11373390

    If it was $275, whew.  That would be awesome.
  • Reply 37 of 53
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 553member
    ........
    I can buy a 2TB Micron (Crucial) SSD for $275 (Apple supplied Micron RAM in sevaeral of my machines), .....
    Where are you seeing this pricing?

    I've been watching Crucial for a couple years on replacing my 2TB HD in my 2009 iMac (first of the 27", 10,1), and 2TB is still $499. 

    MX500. CT11373390

    If it was $275, whew.  That would be awesome.
    Only in Canada, eh, using roughly 1.30 exchange: www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179_1229_1088&item_id=120235
    Does 'awesome' translate into 'insanely great'...?
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 38 of 53
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,861member
    ...I really feel for this guy...

    I always use (and highly recommend) independent Apple Authorized Dealers for my mac repairs - I can set up a diagnostic appointment in advance, drop a mac off for an hour or two running errands - no wait, and if needed pick it up and keep using it until parts are in - same deal on the actual repair, usually done in half a day - never ever, ever had a problem...

    ...and on mac tech support, enter the last release of macbook pro, with at least 5 Apple reps (including Applecare) all advising that the TB2-TB3 adapter should run a mDP (Apple Cinema) Display, selling me the dongle with the new MBP - ooops, wrong, and no support ever materialized... 'Buy a new monitor' - really?

    Since Jobs passed the mac has felt like an incremental frog boiling gravy train - less upgradable, less repairable, less sustainable, less flexible, and in the end less functional...?

    I can buy a 2TB Micron (Crucial) SSD for $275 (Apple supplied Micron RAM in sevaeral of my machines), while if I look at the upcharges from Apple for the only proprietary (albeit faster) storage offering (from the mini 1TB rotational) the cost seems around $1,475 or more than a 500% cost differential...

    I've abandoned two hardware upgrade cycle attempts because of what I view as increasingly predatory design, and from this lifer thousnds Apple has lost in sales as a result. Thank goodness the Jobs era hardware is so robust & flexible, as it has allowed me to keep the shop running, at least for now...

    Please give us back our Macs... VESA flexibility seems so ubiquitous and basic, like the Kensington lock slot that was been designed out of the Pro, MBP and even the mini, which is frequently used as a server, and small enough to be stolen easily...

    You do know that Steve Jobs was not a fan of upgradable computers right? Please stop with this if Steve were here shit. Its getting really old from you and pissing and whining continuously about the Mac on this forum isn't gonna fix it. You don't know if Steve would have went another way with upgradeable parts. Seeing that Steve didn't like upgradable computers (or the ability for anyone to get inside), I'm willing to bet it would have gone this way anyways. Other computers are also going this way.

    Ever since iPod, the Mac hasn't been a priority. I don't know where all of a sudden people are coming out of the woodwork saying Apple doesn't care about the Mac since Steve left. It was before Steve left. Apparently, people either weren't around Apple during that time, or conveniently forget. 
    SolirandominternetpersonStrangeDaystmay
  • Reply 39 of 53
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,811member
    macxpress said:
    ...I really feel for this guy...

    I always use (and highly recommend) independent Apple Authorized Dealers for my mac repairs - I can set up a diagnostic appointment in advance, drop a mac off for an hour or two running errands - no wait, and if needed pick it up and keep using it until parts are in - same deal on the actual repair, usually done in half a day - never ever, ever had a problem...

    ...and on mac tech support, enter the last release of macbook pro, with at least 5 Apple reps (including Applecare) all advising that the TB2-TB3 adapter should run a mDP (Apple Cinema) Display, selling me the dongle with the new MBP - ooops, wrong, and no support ever materialized... 'Buy a new monitor' - really?

    Since Jobs passed the mac has felt like an incremental frog boiling gravy train - less upgradable, less repairable, less sustainable, less flexible, and in the end less functional...?

    I can buy a 2TB Micron (Crucial) SSD for $275 (Apple supplied Micron RAM in sevaeral of my machines), while if I look at the upcharges from Apple for the only proprietary (albeit faster) storage offering (from the mini 1TB rotational) the cost seems around $1,475 or more than a 500% cost differential...

    I've abandoned two hardware upgrade cycle attempts because of what I view as increasingly predatory design, and from this lifer thousnds Apple has lost in sales as a result. Thank goodness the Jobs era hardware is so robust & flexible, as it has allowed me to keep the shop running, at least for now...

    Please give us back our Macs... VESA flexibility seems so ubiquitous and basic, like the Kensington lock slot that was been designed out of the Pro, MBP and even the mini, which is frequently used as a server, and small enough to be stolen easily...

    You do know that Steve Jobs was not a fan of upgradable computers right? Please stop with this if Steve were here shit. Its getting really old from you and pissing and whining continuously about the Mac on this forum isn't gonna fix it. You don't know if Steve would have went another way with upgradeable parts. Seeing that Steve didn't like upgradable computers (or the ability for anyone to get inside), I'm willing to bet it would have gone this way anyways. Other computers are also going this way.

    Ever since iPod, the Mac hasn't been a priority. I don't know where all of a sudden people are coming out of the woodwork saying Apple doesn't care about the Mac since Steve left. It was before Steve left. Apparently, people either weren't around Apple during that time, or conveniently forget. 
    If Steve Jobs were alive he would approve your post… or not. How the fuck do I know what Steve Jobs would think.
    macxpress
  • Reply 40 of 53
    andrusoidandrusoid Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    The "cheap zinc screws" that Apple uses are meant to deform slightly to keep them from loosening and falling out. That's why technicians are directed to use new screws in several different repairs. There is at least a very fair chance that the screw was over-torqued at least once causing it to break. The screw threads actually stretch the core of the screw until it snaps. I get that most folk would not know about the one use prohibition, but I can't say that it is fair to blow this incident up to the "flaw in the Vesa mount" level. 

    Fortunately, this is AppleInsider, and some good reporting included some reasons for using softer metal screws were given. Thank you insider types!
    randominternetperson
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