i had my 3GS in my front pants pocket at work and just happened to turn a corner too sharp and my phone was in between the stationary counter corner and 220 lbs of quick moving guy (me). after this minor encounter, the mic no longer worked, the speaker has a mind of its own and works less than a DOT employee, and at times the Home button and/or the Power button will not get the display to light up. And even before this, the vibrator was intermittent. Hence, i knew i had some problems.
After doing some online research and watching the tutorials on ifixit.com, i figured it was worth a try to repair it myself - how hard could it be?? i ordered a replacement Dock Connector, Vibrator, and spudger to perform the repair.
I never would have attempted to do this without the help of the ifixit tutorials, and the quality of instructions and photos were excellent. however installing the replacement parts didn't solve my issues, PLUS i couldn't get the phone to charge and the Home button did not work with the new Dock Connector. I opened it back up to check all the connections were in place (they were), and when it exhibited the same symptoms after this, I decided to reinstall the original Dock Connector so that I could at least charge my phone. Being a student and in class most of the time, my phone being essentially an iText worked okay for me - for the short term.
At this point, I have reset my phone via the option in the Settings menu, and since I have backed it up on my iTunes, I have also tried to both restore it as well as restore & update it via iTunes. Unfortunately this doesn't work too well since I am having the typical iOs 5 download timeout issues, and I haven't figured out how to restore my phone via iTunes without automatically trying to update it. The crazy thing is that since I reset it on the Settings menu, it has regained some of its original functionality (but not all) so I am in a quandary about what exactly to do. I am leaning towards reinstalling the new Dock Connector again, however I am concerned that I can't find any guidance about just how much handling the ribbon connectors will handle.
Even though I have a giant toolbox with about 14,382 different screwdrivers and various hex bits, I wish I had just purchased the #00 screwdriver with the rest of the parts, since the two other ones I have since purchased work even worse than my good #0 screwdriver that I initially used. My other concern would be using a magnetic tip to get the screws into place - does this present a problem with erasing any of the phone components? I hope not, because with my big fingers, i couldn't figure out another method to get most of the screws into place (especially the two Dock Connector screws).