Edit: Looks like I'm not going to wrap up the job this weekend. Stuck staying here for through Monday at least. Damn retrofit killed a day, and then working my way through some build quality problems. Customer won't work Saturday since they already work tens the rest of the week. Can't say I blame them.
Rotten luck but it is advised against shipping computers with a big heatsink attached to the processor. In parts is much safer but then we have the problem of you not knowing how to put it together.
My brother wants to order a new one and talk me through installing it, but that doesn't look like something I am even remotely capable of.
People keep saying this, and it's pretty much true: if you can work a screwdriver then you can do this repair. Just gotta make sure the people on both ends of the conversation - the fixer and the talker-througher - are patient.
Or make a road trip down to southern WI and I'll do it for you. : )