How to change your Nintendo DS Shell

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The Actual Shell

Replacement Installation

    * Nintendo DS System
    * Nintendo DS Shell
    * Tri Wing Screw Driver
    * Clean Surface To work on
    * Rubber Gloves (To prevents static charge which can damage circuitry)
    * Compressed Air (To rid dust, can use mouth but that could blow saliva as well)
    * Tiny Flat Tipped Screwdriver (like one for eye glasses)
    * Tiny Phillip's head screw driver

My package included the following:

    * 2 Parts of the Top Shell
    * 2 Parts of the Bottom Shell
    * Top screen protective cover
    * Buttons A/B/X/Y, Start, Select, Right/Left Triggers
    * Trigger Springs
    * Rubber Screw Covers
    * Shell Hinge cover
    * Silver Nintendo Emblem for Top Shell
    * Nintendo Proof of Purchase Sticker (For bottom Shell)


(I apologize for the poor quality of the picture)

   1. Remove any DS and/or Gameboy Advanced games
   2. Remove the battery cover and remove battery
   3. Remove bottom 6 tri-wing screws. Note: these are the only 6 tri-wing screws
   4. Remove bottom shell
   5. On the circuit there are 4 Phillip's head screws (yellow circles)
   6. Find the black clamp (red square in photo) and open it. It swings up, and pull out the bus.
   7. Find a brass connector which is connected to a black wire (green circle) pull it off gently.
   8. Unscrew the top hinge cover from the bottom

That will enable you to remove the top screen shell from the bottom screen shell once you dismantle the hinge

   1. Remove the rubber covers on the top shell
   2. Remove the screws on the top shell
   3. Take your small flat screw driver and run it along side the slit across the top shell (it's two parts) and pull off the top top shell
   4. The hinge is made up of two metal cylinders on each side of it. They only come out on certain angles, so just apply constant pressure while you move the DS top shell from open and close. When you feel it move stop and push it out.
   5. Once the hinge is dismantled you must carefully guide the disconnected black wire and bus (the parallel wires you removed from the clamp.) through the tiny slit.
   6. Once you have done this you can remove and replace the bottom shell completely.

To replace the top shell

   1. After all is done above, you simply unscrew the two circuit boards here, remove everything inside and place them where they go on the new shell.
   2. This is the easiest part of the replacement.
   3. Make sure everything is secured and placed in it's proper spots.
   4. Slide the metal hinges back in place nearly the same way you removed them. Place them in the spot and push while moving the top shell until they fit.


   1. After you get the top shell in order, don't place it's cover shell on yet.
   2. Re-guide the bus and wire through the new slot and replace to their points of origin
   3. Be sure to clamp down the bus.
   4. Ensure buttons are in correct places and replace rubber cover.
   5. Be sure to check to see if you placed the power light and charge light plastic cover.
   6. be sure to check your right and left triggers to see if the spring is there.
   7. Once you check everything is in place you can screw/snap the shells back together



Q. Where did you obtain your shell?
A. From eBay, off a sell by the name of kingdom_era. It seems now that he no longer sells the shells. But I have seen many more people who do.

Q. How does the replacement shell compare with the original?
A. The replacement shells are nearly identical to the original shells. If it wasn't for me screwing on the top shell to tightly and creating bumps on the other side I would not know I changed it.

Q. I replaced my Shell and now my DS doesn't work?!?
A. Well, as I state at the end of this page, it is not my fault if you break your DS; however the only advice I can offer is for you to open it up and make sure that every wires you disconnected are securely reconnected. Also you should have removed the battery before doing any opening of the DS. Short circuiting the DS can't be fixed.

Q. The eBay sellers state that their shell can be removed and reattached and is non-stick, it sounds like the description for a Skin rather than a shell.
A. I have read more than 20 different sellers of Shells on eBay, and most of them have this description. Which leads me to believe that people just copy and paste from others. I tend to stick to people who can actually accurately describe their item.

Q. How can you tell if the eBay seller is reputable?
A. Well, that depends. First look at their overall feedback rating. If it is lower than 90%, stay away. However, if it isn't as perfect as you would want it, read the individual reviews. Focus on the actual DS Shell sales by checking the auctions one by one. An informed buyer is a happy buyer.

Q. Can you help me as I replace my shell?
A. This is quite hard, since I work and have school and a life of my own. I can answer most questions I receive, and I answer them promptly. And finally...

Q. Can you do a better instruction guide?
A. Actually, I plan to buy another replacement Shell, this time in black, and will improve the guide and pictures.

At first glance my package was just a cheap paper envelope, with 20 or so stamps. But it's what is inside that counts.

The system was encased in a box, wrapped in a plastic bag and separated by a piece of cardboard to prevent rubbing together. Good move on packing.
After getting down to the actual shell, the paint job is decent. You can tell they only sprayed the top portion of the bottom silver piece because underneath is still white. But that doesn't matter, it looks good.

The top piece's screen came covered with a slip of plastic, which I have yet to remove. I am unsure if it had glue on it or not, but hey, a little rubbing alcohol goes a long way.

There is another small bag containing button pieces, rubber connectors and springs (for the shoulder buttons). It even went as far as to include rubber replacement nubs for the top screen to cover the screw holes. The Nintendo DS logo is right where it should be under the touch screen and they have a Nintendo logo for the top cover.

The only bad thing that I found on this would have to be that the stylus slot is a bit too tight. Not so tight that you can't get the stylus in or out, but tighter than mine. But hey! You'll never lose a stylus due to a loose holder.

Over all I am VERY satisfied with the shell. $21.29 overall (including the tri-wing screwdriver, which wasn't included), but this may change after I am able to replace it, however it shouldn't be TOO difficult, as there is only once place for wires to go to the top screen.

Note: Separating the top screen panel should be done very carefully, since it is snapped together as well as screwed together.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibilities for any action you take on your DS. It is your choice to disassemble it, not mine.
I wrote this merely to guide people through the process. If you are having trouble understanding the guide I suggest you do not attempt this.
You do this at your own risk, when following the directions here you can not hold me responsible for anything.
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