How-To: Crack Open a WRT54G Router

My main goal here is not exactly to just crack open a Linksys WRT54G. As a more noble reason, the real plan is to make an outdoor wireless using consumer-grade (read: cheap) readily-available access points to be used for one of my deployments.

If you are looking for a more descriptive or more technical how-to on the subject, this one from TechRepublic may be a better option. My post is more of a personal account of my achievement for the day — when i’m supposed to do VHDL and not this, haha! Plus, i’m not a good teacher, ain’t I? It’s also been years since i posted wireless stuff around here, it’s just time to break the ice.

Now here goes:

Device: WRT54G v3.1 wireless router
Tools: Screwdriver, strong hands

1. Remove the antennas to make life easier. Just unscrew the two antennas at the rear portion of the router. If you find it hard, try removing the antenna cap first to get a better grip.

2. Push the blue front plate off the device. Make sure to cut off the tamper-proof sticker at the bottom. This may require some force to push especially on the sides (the pair of front-side feet). I honestly can’t do it (i’m just a girl) so i had someone else do it for me.

3. Now you may remove the top cover. Note that it is locked to the rear-side feet, so you may have to slide it off backwards (or towards you if you are facing the LAN/WAN ports).

4. Now you are left with the main circuit board attached to the bottom plastic case. In some cases, you can do with them attached. In all other cases where they have to be separated, just remove the screw located near the LAN ports and a set of inductors. Then slide off the circuit from the case to remove the lock.

5. There you go, a WRT54g cracked open — ready for other hardware hacks or debricking if you must.

  • George

    Good instructions, glad I came here before I fired up the chain saw.

  • Paul

    Yeah. Even though you posted this four years ago, people can still find it useful.
    Thanks for posting this info! It applied to my V2.0 model as well.

  • W4JKJ

    Prior to step 2 and forcing the front panel off, remove the front two rubber feet. You’ll find two small screws that will “release” the front cover. Oherwise, it is harder to do because you’re snapping off the edges of the circuit board where the screws set.

  • Andrew

    Perfect, these instructions worked fine for my WRT54GS (CGN1). Thanks!