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Old 08-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #140
Ride far to new places...
GSman's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Oddometer: 19
OK, feedback and LESSONS LEARNED from one more successful digitizer replacement...

Symptom: Zumo 550 going “crazy”. Phantom screens popping up at random, impossibility to select a screen at will, incredible delay on all performed commands, screen freezing up, no touch screen buttons working, one touch screen button staying light beige in color and not responding, etc.

Probable direct cause: damaged digitizer sending wrong selection instructions to the central processing unit and monopolizing all the computing power for phantom screen requests.

Probable indirect cause: my Zumo 550 was purchased in September 2009 to be used in a Touratech vibration absorbing mount on my BMW R1200 GSA and endured 53,000 miles (so far), including a trip to Prudhoe Bay, AK; plus about a dozen outings mounted on a KTM 525 EXC in another Touratech vibration absorbing mount, riding the passes in Colorado (Engineer, Imogene, etc.) plus another dozen outings in the Arizona desert. The unit got a few scratches and started to produce phantom screens from time to time after 2 years of use (i.e. 2011), generally corrected by a cleaning of the screen. As the problem suddenly intensified this year I cleaned the screen with Windex and that essentially killed it. I SUSPECT THAT THE DIGITIZER IS SURFACE-COATED WITH A FILM THAT SEEMS TO TAKE ABOUT 3+ YEARS (depending on how much you ride) TO DETERIORATE NATURALLY, PROBABLY DUE TO UV RADIATIONS, AND IT SEEMS THAT CLEANING CHEMICALS (ALCOHOL?) PRECIPITATE CATASTROPHIC FAILURE TOWARD THE END OF LIFE OF THE COATING.

Part used: I ordered the part “USA Shipping -Garmin Zumo 450 550 Touch Screen Digitizer Glass 79mmx 64.5mm Item# 330732224800” from goodsupply0889 on ebay ( for $26.98. I ordered two of them in order to have a spare - which proved providential (see here under...). The order was placed on Monday Aug 6 with UPS ground shipping. The digitizers were received in Flagstaff, AZ on Saturday Aug 11. THIS IS THE CORRECT PART. THE SIZE FITS PERFECTLY THE LCD SCREEN AND THE CONNECTING RIBBON CABLE IS THE CORRECT ONE.

Replacement work: I followed the process outlined by FrankS at the beginning of this thread and it worked perfectly with the following notes:
1- As observed by many others, the proper Torx size is #6.
2- My unit does not have a “black frame” (as described at the beginning of the thread) attached to the LCD display. That second frame - on which the digitizer is glued - is apparently silver in some units.
3- I actually unglued the digitizer from this mounting frame without dismounting this frame from the LCD display as recommended. I am not sure why dismounting the frame from the LCD would make the work easier.
4- To glue back the new digitizer on the frame I used a double sided adhesive product called CONTACT STICK sold at Home Depot in a package of five 1”x3” strips and five 1”x2” strips. You will find this by their Crazy Glue etc. products in the Paint section. The 1”x3” strips are perfect to cut 4 thin 1/8” strips to place on all 4 sides of the LCD screen. This is the ideal product for the job but you better be sure to use sharp and clean scissors to cut it. This thing sticks like crazy...

Mistakes to avoid: I made two mistakes that you can do without (especially the first one!).
1- I am the guy who generally strips the Allen key round while over tightening screws, so I was not content to just press geeeennnntly the new digitizer down on the adhesive strips. I pressed hard with my nail around the perimeter to make sure the glue stuck ... and I cracked the glass of the new digitizer #$%^&!?!?!?!?! Good thing I had ordered two, I guess...
2- I then became over cautious and did not insert deeply enough the LCD ribbon cable before latching it back in its socket. This resulted in an operating screen but without any backlight. I could only very faintly discern that the unit was actually working...

Outcome: the Zumo now operates as new. I used the opportunity to update the Garmin firmware. You can do that by going to the so-called Dashboard at with your unit connected to the computer with the regular USB cable.

Thank you all for the help dispensed in this thread, and especially to FrankS for starting the ball rolling and the superb illustrated “how to”.
2011 BMW R1200 GSA
2011 KTM 990 Adv Dakar
2009 BMW K1300S
2006 KTM 525 EXC
Iron Butt Association - A weekend gets good after 1,000 miles...

GSman screwed with this post 08-11-2012 at 08:12 PM
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