Replacing Top Panel and Belt Clip on Kenwood TH-D74

I’ve enjoyed using the Kenwood TH-D74 for the last four years or so, and despite its regular use and fragile design, it has survived that period without any major damage. However, a couple years ago, a small crack started to develop on the back of the case next to the belt clip. I don’t recall dropping the radio ever, so I assume this must be from bumping into other stuff when traveling with the radio in my backpack. I filled the crack with some glue to try to stop it from growing and that seemed to mostly work, although I was still concerned about water ingress. I’ve tried to be careful since and haven’t had any issues.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I’m out hiking with the D74 to test APRS with a new antenna. As I go to clip the radio on my pocket, the belt clip snaps in half. I didn’t use the belt clip too often, but the plastic must have just weakened over time. I noticed that the spring is quite tight so that even when snapped in half, there is enough pressure on the clip to close it all the way to the radio body as you can see in the first photo above. Perhaps a poor design, but in any case, I needed to fix this one.

I started searching for a way to fix both parts, and quickly came across a video from Don, W6GPS, showing how to disassemble the radio (side note: Don has many excellent videos on the D74!). Turns out the back part of the enclosure that cracked is a single piece that is quite easy to replace and held in place by the belt clip, rotary encoder, and antenna jack.

After a quick search, it turns out you can buy just about any part for the D74 from PacParts.com. I bought the belt clip (881M96-7431-92) and the top panel (881D3F-7719-77). With shipping, the total for both parts was just under $20, and it took about two weeks to arrive as they don’t appear to stock these parts. Still, I was pleased with the experience and fair prices for the parts and shipping. If you’re looking to make a fix like this for your D74, I’d recommend doing so sooner than later as I don’t know how long parts will remain as available with the discontinuance of the radio.

UPDATE: In response to this post, Patrick, WD9EWK, tweeted that he replaced the stock belt clip with the KBH-11 belt clip that Kenwood uses on its commercial radios. It fits the radio the same but is more rugged and reliable. If you’re replacing a broken belt clip, you may wish to use this one instead. Thanks Patrick!

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