Librem 14 hinge failure after 12 months

i have a couple librem 14 machines here, where one was kept as a cold spare and the other was used as my primary machine for the past 12 months. for the past several months, my now-former primary machine was experiencing a steadily worsening issue where the plastic cover along the hinge was separating from the back of the screen, which was accompanied by rattling and play in the hinge.

since i’m prone to disassembling laptops, i decided to take this machine apart to figure out what was going on with the hinge. after removing the 2 sets of 3 screws, screen cable, and wifi card to disconnect the screen, i then removed the plastic trim cover between the hinges and peeled back the adhesive-attached cover around the screen itself. what i found was a similar configuration to the lower hinge assembly - 3 screws on each side, but with each screw anchored to a set screw anchored in plastic. note that i have never had a problem with the screen on this machine, only the hinge.

what i found was that either 3 or 4 of the 6 (female) set screws securing the hinge to the screen assembly had broken free of the plastic they were embedded in. as a result of my disassembly, i could no longer use the librem 14 in question and had to switch to my cold spare.

since i adjust my laptop screen with a high frequency, a few takeaways are

  • the librem 14 hinge is notably less durable than any version of thinkpad hinge i have used from T4xx series
  • to compensate for the weakness in the screen-side hinge anchors, i recommend using both hands (one on each corner of screen) to adjust the hinge or to use one hand in the middle of the top of the screen, to more evenly distribute the load across both hinges

since it is only the screen bezel/backing that has failed, i am unsure what my options are in terms of repair. is it possible to obtain just the bezel and to transplant the rest of the working components into a new bezel, or can i only get a full replacement screen assembly?


You should contact Purism with such questions. They usually suggest to repair your laptop (you have to send it to them) or send you appropriate replacement parts.

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while i do plan on contacting purism about this problem directly, i think it’s important for this problem to be announced and discussed in public. i will obviously need to contact purism and obtain replacement parts once i figure out what the options are.

this way others can see the problem, see the proposed solution, and hear about how the proposed solution worked out.


The hinge problem you describe is identical to the Librem 13 hinge problem. The L13 hinge has an adjustment nut on the end and, when loosened, avoids the screw inserts from breaking away from the case plastic.
I have not had trouble with my L14 yet, although the hinge is tight.
Can you confirm with a pic whether the hinge has an adjustment nut on the end?
Note that there exists an old thread of mine with photos of my broken L13 hinge.


I have my L14 for a couple of years where I use it pretty sparingly. The laptop itself works flawlessly with qubes, but from the get go it was obviously not built for any sort of firm handling. The build quality is not great, and as this post demonstrates, the screen and hinges feel very cheap and liable to break. I’m glad I don’t use it as my work laptop for example as for sure at some point I’d have this problem. Take that issue away and its a great machine. The hinge issue is long-standing and its surprising it hasn’t been remedied.

I have this problem after 1 month with the L14 but it s probably due to the plastic dissolving in WD-40. The nuts anchored in plastic are at both ends of the hinge, not just the top or the bottom. I only sprayed the one hinge and it all started falling apart. But I did fix the snapping sound. I recommend super glue to fix it, works really well, aside from the fact that it is very visible on black if you get it on the aluminum paint, and the screw on the bottom does not go in anymore so it sort of sags a bit, but it’s at the bottom so I don’t notice. I almost got in contact with them about the repair but I also didn’t have time to spare or a backup machine like you did.

my experience with wd-40 is that you should always read the manual and use the proper lubricant for the scenario at hand.

the hinges do appear to have a roughly 4 mm diameter nut on them on the inner side.

got any advice on how much to loosen it so the lid behaves properly, e.g. 1/4 turn?

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The symptom appears identical to the L13v4, but the root cause may be different.

The L13v4 brass anchors were ~1mm smaller than spec in the last 1-2 batches shipped to Purism from the factory. It changed without notice from the factory, and without Purism noticing in time. The discrepancy was enough where the looser anchor fitment flexed the plastic posts with use, eventually causing them to fail. My personal L13v4 was from the defective batch; unfortunately, there’s no more stock for replacement, and I’ve had limited success with epoxy.

Exactly - my impression is that people consider WD-40 as a fix-all lubricant. I’ve found it more effective for rust prevention and moisture displacement, whereas penetrating oils and wet lubricants are more effective at doing one thing and doing it well.


I also start hearing a plastic “click” noise coming from one hinge after a couple of months that I bought the L14.
As I was going to RMA the device for a problem with the battery/charge controller, I asked to fix the hinge and it came back with no noise anymore, even if they never told me what they did, so I don’t know if there was a problem and what it was.
Therefore, thank you for your recommendations about using two hand or one hand in the middle of the top of the screen to open it.

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