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Published on Jan 29, 2010
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This is the method I use to reflow an xbox 360. I bought a wagner 1000 heat gun for $20 from the paint department at walmart. It has two temperature settings: 750 and 1000 degrees fahrenheit which is certainly enough and gives you an actual reflow compared to the "overheat method" used by most x-clamp fix tutorials. If you've done an x-clamp fix and still have a red ring this is why.
After removing x-clamps and heatshinks and thoroughly cleaning both cpu and gpu of all the thermal paste, do 1 minute on the low setting over the entire bottom of the board (about a fist-length away). Then flip to the top and heatgun the cpu, gpu, ram, southbridge and hana on high for 4 minutes. Then let the system sit for 30+ minutes. Be sure not to move the system in any way while it's cooling!
After the system has cooled, apply fresh thermal paste and re-apply your x-clamp fixes. The screws I use have a 2mm head so when I use a 1mm thick #10 nylon washer this gives me 3mm total, which is the same height as the standoffs around the chassis. This means drilling is not necessary as your motherboard will be flat and even with the standoffs. Do not use 2mm worth of washers on the bottom! On the top between the heatsink and motherboard you do need to use 2mm worth of washers. Tighten down well but you dont have to torque them down as hard as you can!
In this way you can have your solder fixed as well has having your motherboard lay flat without flexing. I've fixed many systems using this method with a very high rate of success on 1 and 3 red ring errors (and no video) related to broken solder caused by x-clamp flexing. Hopefully it works for you, good luck!
Edit: Some additional tips to help this last longer. You can flush underneath the chips with 91% alcohol, then after all the crap is flushed out, flush again with kester 951 liquid flux (do not use plumber's flux!). There's a video on youtube that shows how to apply the flux. After reflowing after using liquid flux the bond will be much stronger. Make sure you've done your x-clamp fix properly, we know the x-clamp is part of the problem so not fixing it properly doesn't help anything. Either use the method in my description or a professional kit, I wouldnt trust a generic "washers and bolt" bundle on ebay. Leave the 360 laying flat, this helps support the motherboard evenly as well as providing better airflow due to one of the air intakes not being blocked. Lastly, I've had 3 systems 0102 red ring for the first time (prior to this or any fix) watching movies, both video files and DVDs. Not sure why the 360 has difficulty with videos but I'm not watching any more on my 360s again.