Superglue + USB-C = Ruined (let's see how repairable this thing is)

I’ve made a very foolish and possible catastrophic mistake. I was building a full-size SD card adapter, one of these:

I found an SD card reader that fits - #9 by maybeRui

and as I was gluing the PCB into the printed expansion case, I somehow managed to get superglue into the usb-c port on the card without noticing.

I was rather impatient to get it working, because I needed to get some photos off of my camera for a project I’m working on, so I plugged it in with the glue still wet, which I didn’t think would be a problem because it was supposed to only be on the bottom of the PCB, and wouldn’t escape. I noticed that it wasn’t reading, so in my infinite wisdom I switched expansion ports, nuking both of my left and one of my right thunderbolt ports on the mainboard in the process. I then plugged it into my usb-c expansion card, but realized the issue right then, so I managed to quickly clean the port and salvage the card. My mainboard is still functional, and I managed to mostly clean out 2 of the glued ports, but I don’t trust them, and I don’t want to have to work around this blunder for the rest of this mainboard’s days.

I’m going to take my laptop to a repair shop tomorrow and see what they can do about it, because it seems like it should be a relatively easy fix, I just can’t do any micro-soldering myself.

I’ll update the thread as it goes, the main hiccup is that I need my framework for school, so if the repair would take multiple days I’ll have to postpone it to the weekend, or have them do the diagnostic, take the laptop back, and then do the repair another day.

Once I get it back I’ll build another SD card expansion, because it very nearly worked, and while this one isn’t salvageable, I do need the full-size slot, and I won’t make the same mistake twice.


I feel for you, but why would you not wait until the superglue was dry…I mean it dries very quickly. Rather than risking the same incident again why not just get an SD card dongle? No risk, no superglue, no replacing usb-c ports on the motherboard.

do they work? if they work, I wouldn’t worry about this too much. The failure modes I can see are “it doesn’t work well for high current charging” i.e. one or more VBUS pins are still covered with glue, or “Thunderbolt/USB3/DP doesn’t work”, because some high-speed pairs or SBU are covered. If so, I wouldn’t use these ports for charging or high-speed respectively, but they’re most certainly going to work otherwise. “don’t trust them” isn’t quite meaningful, you gotta see how much of an actual problem this is for you.

As I see it, you either clean the ports from the glue somehow (which doesn’t require soldering), or you replace them (which requires soldering, and also requires having an actual replacement port!). The former is something you can try yourself and also something that a repair shop might have more skills at; the latter is something that you likely won’t be able to do, and a repair shop won’t be able to do quickly until they have the parts on hand. as a sidenote, I’ve been looking for compatible replacement USB-C ports for my own DIY purposes, and I haven’t found any I could buy, sadly.

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I really did think the superglue was dry

Replacing the card is more for self-fulfillment than any logical or usage need, I failed to build a thing that should have been simple, I’m gonna give it another go, and succeed this time.

2 of the 3 superglued ports work, most of the time. I managed to clean out a lot of the gunk, and the laptop can charge.

The repair shop told me what I already suspected, that replacing the ports is actually more expensive than just buying a new board, because of the costs of labor.

I was going to upgrade my mainboard down the line anyways for battery life reasons (intel has to get better at this eventually, right?), so I can just slog through having 3 ports until then.

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Best to only charge from the one port that was never touched. Any of the ports that had glue could have some of the gnd or vbus pins not making contact. Which can leave you with not enough pins to handle the amps.
You could buy a USB-C male breakout board such as this and test that all the gnd and vbus pins are connecting / have continuity as they should.

No repair shop should be charging $700-$800 in labor to desolder and resolder a single USB-C port. Idk if this issue is still affecting you, but try and see if you can get a second opinion from another shop.

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superglue is dissolved with acetone and I don’t =think= anything else on the motherboard should be sensitive to that. You might want to consider a few drops and working it a bit to see if it breaks loose.

Almost all plastics are sensitive to acetone, including plastics used in and around the motherboard. ABS, PS, HDPE, etc. The bodies of the expansion cards are almost certainly one of these plastics. But there’s also the “shell” that surrounds the expansion cards, the liners over the various components, the RAM slots, the M.2 slot, wire insulation, holder clips, ribbon cables, sockets…

This plastic could be “crazed” (top layer dissolved) which is mostly cosmetic but would prevent close-fitting parts like the expansion card channels from working again. But the damage could extend deeper, affecting the plastic’s strength.

Acetone will also very effectively wipe off any pad printing on the motherboard plus any protective layer.

Be very, very careful with acetone around plastics. If it touches, wipe off as much as you can but you’ll have to wait for the rest to evaporate. If you’re unlucky, the plastic top surface will come off as you’re wiping.

Well, perhaps I should’ve at least googled acetone and PCBs before replying!


I didn’t want to single you out, but I just wanted to put this out there as a warning. I experienced this, not on a Framework thankfully.

Interesting that you mention PCBs, I could not definitively find that it will attack the PCB itself (fiberglass-impregnated epoxy). But it will attack many things sprayed on or attached to the circuit board, so it would be best to avoid it entirely.