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A1706 / EMC 3071—Released in November 2016, this 13" Macbook Pro introduces the OLED Touch Bar. Features a dual-core "Skylake" Intel Core i5 CPU and four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

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Are the 2016 wimpy-retention ThunderBolt-3 ports still replaceable?

I have a 2016 high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro (3.3 GHz i7, four Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports).

Rather early, all four USB-C ports had their mechanical retention loosen up.  They still make full electrical contact (both charging and data), so far as I can tell, when a cable's plug is fully in, but the cable plugs tend to slip halfway out with little or no provocation, a PITA when you think you’re charging and aren’t, or when you’re doing a backup and get informed that you’ve removed the disc without ejecting it.

I was told, early on, that the replacement of these wimpy sockets was a warranty repair with redesigned ports available to be swapped in.  But I lived too far from an Apple shop and depended too heavily on the machine to do without it for as long as it’d take me to get back to the shop.  Now, not only am I obviously out of Apple care but they tell me that even for a price, the repair parts are NLA.

Is this also true via iFixit?  If the ports are soldered down so it’s a motherboard swap, then I guess I’m SOL.  OTOH if there are compatible modular replacements to be had, I’d be interested.

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Tick-Tock! Time is a constant element of repairability from Apple as well as other hardware makers! Clearly I can't take my grand dad's Model T Ford to the ford dealer to get repaired! Thats the same issue here!

Even still new parts are often no longer being made for the given device so what is out in the wild is all there is! Also some parts run out before others! Then we need to Cannibalize junkers to gain access to the needed part.

Some people make it a mission to gather hub caps for cars! So I can get a good as new hub cap for that Model T still!

So where are we here? Sadly, Apple just added this system on the Vintage and obsolete products listing ;-{

So Apple Stores and Authorized resellers repair shops are not obligated to service your system and they may not have the needed parts on the shelf and can no longer order them from Apple HQ.

OK, so you'er on your own here any ways ... Are you able to repair your system? Do you have a local independent Mac repair shop near you?

The USB-C connector can be replaced sometimes the case springs break which offers some of the tension to the cords connector body. That would require finding a used uppercase shell to swap out the springs or replacing the full uppercase.

Update (08/07/2022)

Here's a picture of the retention springs

Block Image

Imagem de MacBook Pro Retina (A1706 & A1707 Late 2016-2017) USB-C Board


MacBook Pro Retina (A1706 & A1707 Late 2016-2017) USB-C Board


Imagem de MacBook Pro 13" Retina (Touch Bar, Late 2016-2017) Upper Case


MacBook Pro 13" Retina (Touch Bar, Late 2016-2017) Upper Case


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Thanks, I did look at the back and confirm that I've got an A1706.

Oh, I've had Mac laptops open before, so that doesn't bother me, even if parts of the A1706 teardown do look like a PITA -- but my question is whether the parts offered by iFixit will be from the same lot that wimped out before, or whether they represent the redesign I was told about that should address that. (Or was the premature failure a feature of the topcase springs?)

Thanks for mentioning the possible failure of topcase springs -- does the distance I have to tear down to discover those exceed the distance for swapping the USBC modules, by a significant amount?

In case it gives any diagnostic cues, the degradation is recognizable not only by poor retention but by the absence of the firm click that I get with the very same cable ends when I plug them into either of my USBC power bricks (the one for the Macbook or the one for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Do THOSE devices have a retention part analogous to the Macbook's to case springs?


I can't answer what iFixit has for parts, I'm just someone who likes to help others as an unpaid volunteer, trying to help my fellow Mac-heads! Best to reach out to them.

What I can tell you is the USB-C standards group defines how the retention/EMC element needs to work. Each vendor can design their own solution as long as it meets the standard USB Type-C Connectors and Cable Assemblies Compliance Document Revision 2.0

Follow this guide to Step 66 MacBook Pro 13" Touch Bar Late 2016 Battery Replacement to take out the logic board. Once out you can then reach the ports screws and gain access to the springs


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