You'll need to open up the system to see exactly what's broken -- guessing or basing on what someone else has done could easily result in either buying the wrong parts - or more or fewer parts than you need.
once i open it up, how will i know which parts they are? I'm pretty sure it's the parts where the hinge is mounted to.. i just don't know if that is the shell or a piece that mounts onto the shell. I'll definitely need the shell as that's broken but I don't know what else is required to connect the hinge to it.
That's exactly why you need to open up the system to see exactly what's broken. Chances are it's the system plastics -- but there could be other damaged parts. You may have missing screws, or there may be other broken plastic parts in the system.
What I'm asking is.. once I do have it apart, how will I know what the part is that is broken? How do I find a part number for it? Where are the parts listed that I can order from?
If you don't think you'll be able to identify the broken parts (that's how you're making things sound) you may be better off taking the system to a repair shop. Look for cracked or broken plastic, torn-out screw mounts and seized hinges -- and go from there.
All of these situations can be different - you may find broken parts on both the base AND the palmrest assembly - and on some models, even on the display bezel. Wherever you find broken plastic or metal, the parts will need to be replaced.
There is usually a part label on the major assemblies (touchpad/palmrest, base plastic, bezel, etc.). Parts-people.com is a good parts source for Dell systems.
Here is a video on how to replace the upper palm rest. It is usually the hinge mounts that crack. At 1.57 you will see the hinge screws circled in Red. that is where you look for cracked plastic. https://youtu.be/mHRHfXvMnkY
thanks. so I found a couple of the upper palm rest parts but it says it's not compatible with mine.. I have the red version. shouldn't it still fit since it's still a 15-7559 and just a different color?