You can change the interface of your 5G ipod to make it similar to the one on the iPod Classic. You can see it over at iPodWizard.net.
I also decided to replace the scratched front face plate. While looking on eBay, I saw that the iPod Classic aluminum front face plate had tabs that looked very similar to my 5G’s, so I bought one.
When I received it, I noticed that the tabs on the Classic face plate were not separated by a gap. I used a Dremel cutting disk to remove the material on the Classic face plate so the tabs resembled the ones on the 5G.
It looked like it was a drop-in fit after that, but when I did a test fit, the screw holes on the cover’s tabs didn’t reach down far enough to line up with the holes on the iPod’s frame. I used a round jeweler’s file to make the holes in the tabs a little oblong and then I was able to screw the cover to the frame.
With the Classic face plate mounted on my 5G iPod, there is a little less than a 1/64″ (~.396mm) gap between the front face plate and the back plate. I may have been able to shorten the height of the Classic’s tabs to get it flush, but I didn’t bother. Also the click wheel is slightly above the front surface of the face plate, but not annoyingly so.
Finally, because the Classic front face plate is aluminum, it is now much more difficult to remove – it doesn’t flex as easily as the plastic one.
It seems like a worthwhile mod if you’re going to replace the front face plate anyway because the mat finish doesn’t show fingerprints like the plastic face plate and it’s less susceptible to scratches, unlike the plastic one.