Earlier this week, I replaced my old official Microsoft rechargeable battery packs with the newer tech, LSD (low-self discharge) NiMH rechargeable AA batteries (Sony Cycle Energy). While looking for extra battery covers on eBay, I stumbled across several custom Xbox 360 controller shells. Having two other controllers that weren’t being used (I am assuming partially because of their relatively rough condition), I figured it would be logical to restore them. I ended up ordering a red shell to represent my favorite NBA team, the Houston Rockets. The cost was ~$8 with free shipping (via eBay seller ‘eforcity’).
With the exception of the black “mic trim” (the lower trim of the controller where the microphone is connected to), the rest of the shell was a crisp red, including the back triggers (LT/RT), bumpers (LB/RB), Start/Back buttons, and battery cover. The dual analog sticks and directional pad were black. It also came with the default colored XYAB buttons and a generic neon green ‘Guide’ button. Two things to note: the included ‘Guide’ button did not have the official silver Xbox logo. It also did not come with the rubber pads that are placed between the bottom of the buttons and the PCB. All these parts I reused from the old controller.
It was not a complicated, nor ground-breaking modification, but I wanted to share anyways. The overall process was quite easy; it took me about 20-25 minutes total.
First was removing the seven screws from behind the controller using a Torx T8 screwdriver. The shell was then removed, leaving the PCB and rumble motors exposed. The back triggers were then removed and replaced (you can search a video on how to do this on YouTube; tools are optional). I assembled the directional pad (uses two screws) onto the controller, replaced the analog sticks, and placed the buttons in their corresponding slots with the rubber pads covering them.
The ‘Sync’ button located on the bumper trim was loose (intentionally it seemed). To insure an easier installation and eliminate the possibility of it getting loose or lost during usage, I super glued the end of the button piece to the trim. After everything was in place, I simply reattached the back of the shell and applied the screws.
I was worried that the cheap price would reflect on the quality, but the plastic feels just as solid and smooth as the original. The colors are dark and even. I didn’t notice any defects; visible outer edges were fine. After installation however, the bumpers when pressed are a bit more audible. Also, the plastic clear ring that holds the ‘Guide’ button and lights up when operational, doesn’t really clearly distinguish the number of the player. You have to look at it directly from a top view; any other angle, the light is faint and is spread around the ring. I tried to use the old one, but it was a slight large to fit. Other than that, the controller looks very clean. I was quite happy with my purchase and will probably order a yellow one to complete my Houston Rockets theme.