(Topic ID: 176240)

F-14 Tomcat playfield swap club

By damageinc55

2 years ago

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  • 210 posts
  • 43 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by stumptown
  • Topic is favorited by 28 Pinsiders


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#12 2 years ago
Quoted from drjbeyer:

Does anyone have a picture of the differences of these? I am curious as to which I have..

Early runs have individually socketed #44 bulbs under the inserts. Later runs had circuit boards with 555 bulbs. Check it out here:

Early: https://thepinballreview.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/photo-mar-29-1-07-23-pm.jpg
Later: http://ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=804&picno=11544

There are other differences as well, but this is the main one concerning the dimples that these new playfields have. Peter used an earlier machine as his template.

1 week later
#21 2 years ago

Anyone start yet? I'm countersunk the holes for the the screws that hold down the wooden rails. I'm hoping to drill some pilot holes and get the GI light stapled in soon. Then it'll be quick moving from there. Mainly waiting on parts.

1 week later
#39 2 years ago

Mine is like damageinc55's playfield. My original was not routed up to the blue, there is a definite gap there. I measured it- it's about 5mm difference, which is a pretty large gap. Mine is also a pretty early production- I have "proto" ROMs and even have the wiring for the flasher bulbs behind the top right targets.

I wonder if Cliffy could make something for the people who were affected. With the metal 6-32 posts on each side of it, and a couple of screws in the ball lock, there are plenty of spaces to hold down a flap or something that would cover that gap. A lot of originals had wear there anyway.

#41 2 years ago

I looked at moving the whole bracket closer, but the slot for the switch and the kicker holes in the playfield don't line up with the holes in the bracket then, and the kicker would likely bash the wood in front of it because it would be too close. I may have to take a picture to explain better.

#48 2 years ago

Anyone making progress? I've just about finished the underside of the playfield swap. Just have the pop bumper coil and the two ball lock coils left to get in. Waiting on getting a few t-nuts and a couple nails for the pop bumper. After that I'll be on to the topside. I'm not sure I picked the best order to put everything in- some things were really tough to get to when screwing them in.

Still not sure what to do about the gap we were talking about last week.

#51 2 years ago

The gap that my new playfield will have is a lot larger than that of the playfield bobukcat posted above(which honestly doesn't even look like a gap at all). It will be an issue on mine, which is like the one damageinc55 posted in post #29 of this thread. I measured it at about 5mm.

#55 2 years ago

Just looked at mine for a while. If I push them all the way forward the arm will not bash the wood. It gets close, but doesn't actually touch, so that's good. The back of the arm, however, won't get to rest as far back as normal because the back of the channel will push it forward a bit, which I'm not sure is a bad thing or not. I'm considering pushing them all the way flush, and just filing a little bit from the channel to make it work. Probably the easiest solution for me.

#59 2 years ago

I used the original ground braid. I just pulled up the original staples and desoldered it. I then stapled in new bulbs and soldered/stapled the ground braid as I went. I used the staples listed above. They're thicker than the originals, but look good. It all gets buried under so much other stuff that you'll never see it anyway.

Just a heads up to others- I'm wondering if the clearcoat might still be a tad soft. I screwed in my flasher sockets and I didn't think I went overboard screwing them in, but after removing one to reflow solder, I noticed it left a very slight impression in the clear. Also, I've also noticed it softens a little when warmed up- I was using some heat shrink tubing on my flasher sockets and shrinking it with a hairdryer when I noticed the clear felt a little soft. So, just be aware that it might not be 100% yet, in my experiences.

#77 2 years ago

Today was pretty momentous for me- I'm done soldering! The entire underside of the playfield is back on, and all of the flashers, coils, and the switch that are on top have been soldered and screwed back in place. I polished and re-assembled the trough and got the apron back on. All that's left are the wooden rails, wire-forms, and the plastics and wire guides. I could finish tomorrow, but I need to order ONE freakin' 6-32 post. I thought I already ordered it, but either it got packed wrong or I ordered wrong because I have an 8-32 instead.

As for that wire guide mentioned above, my best guess is that it was meant to prevent balls from getting lodged behind the rubber there (by preventing the ball/rubber from stretching that far). That's all I can come up with.

#79 2 years ago

Yes, mine has it. Mine is a very early game, too, with the prototype roms in it.

#81 2 years ago

Thanks. Yeah, I'm loving doing the swap. I just go down to the gameroom for an hour or so in the evening when my son's gone to sleep and knock out as much as I can. I think it's really fun.

#91 2 years ago

What am I doing wrong? I installed the spinner, then both roll-under gates/switches in the top loop. Spinner seems to work perfectly, but the two other gates get stuck up in one direction when a ball goes through. They bend the contact underneath so much that it bends all the way until the tip of it gets stuck in the hole. I've tried adjusting, bending, etc., but it still gets stuck.

2 weeks later
#105 2 years ago

They pry up very easily too.

By the way, my swap is nearly complete. I need to order two new posts, and I'll be done. Once the bottom side was done, the top went really fast. I enjoyed the whole process and would definitely get another new playfield someday. Though, I will say, my inserts are already slightly raising on the new one...I guess that's just the clear settling though.

#112 2 years ago

While waiting for my last couple of parts to arrive to finish it off, I decided to take off the back wooden panel with the 6 flashers and give it a good coat of primer and satin black paint. Looks great now. The original was a very flat black on bare wood and it was just looking dull and dusty in comparison to the new playfield. Only took about 45 minutes, start to finish, and looks so much better. Recommend it!

#114 2 years ago

Are all of the clear plastics even necessary? Like the one over the black diverter ramp?

#115 2 years ago

Uploaded a few pictures. Wanted to show off my progress!

f14 (resized).jpg

1 week later
#124 2 years ago

Tom- Are those cabinet decals? Where'd you get yours, and how did you go about clearcoating them? Your playfield is looking great- everything looks so polished.

1 week later
#130 2 years ago

I'm in the same boat. I finished my swap a couple weeks ago, but I can't throw it into an ugly cabinet! This summer the cabinet's going to get some work done to it.

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