Chalk up another successful MacBook Pro left fan replacement! 20 minutes as advertised. Nice and quiet now. Yes, detaching/reattaching the fan connector is tricky. Get the spudger for sure!
30 minutes for me too! Piece of cake. One hiccup tho: the “hidden screw” in the instructions was great, but the eyelet tab for that screw on my old battery was broken off but stayed in-place after I removed the battery, such that when I inserted the new battery it interfered with a good fit. Fortunately, I did not force it before I realized that little piece of plastic did not belong there. I know I should have noticed right away, but still just a heads-up that this can happen, especially when the swollen battery case had been under stress. So watch those battery screw tabs!
Another tip on any of the ifixit instructions: Especially for laptops jobs or anything with a million different tiny screws, I print the instructions and then for each screw as I remove them I tape them to the instructions next to the spot in the picture where they go. Never have to worry about mixing them up! Kudos for such an awesome site!
Ben Ruiz is right. Due to its short length, I found no way to sneak this cable under the logic board and attach it. Its not hard at all to remove the PC cage first ( which also mean removing the left speaker housing), then you can plug the cable into the board before you maneuver the board into place, and then plug the cable to the socket exposed by having removed the PC cage. Then replace the PC cage.