Very important note; this guide is NOT correct for the Macbook Pro 17" A1297 late '11.
The A1297 has an assembly adjacent to the optical drive, identifiable by 4 antenna connectors, 1 usb cable (with very small connector) and one PCI-e flat cable running across the optical drive.
I did not take pictures, but found one on the web. I'm very new to iFixit and have no idea yet on how to create a guide, but here's the picture showing the assembly on top (this pic only has 3 antenna wires, the A1297 has 4, but at least you'll know what to look for.
- carefully undo all connections and 2 screws
- remove the assembly and flip it over
- again carefully remove the shielding tape
- undo 3 tiny screws
- gently pry the airport card from the assembly (the flat cable will be a bit of a pain)
- reverse process with replacement card.
image can be found here: