(Topic ID: 66172)

F14 Tomcat Owners Club Fans Also Welcome.

By Hellfire

6 years ago

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  • 4,079 posts
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  • Latest reply 5 hours ago by GRUMPY
  • Topic is favorited by 130 Pinsiders


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#1993 3 years ago

Where did you find those decals? I can't seem to find them anywhere.

#1999 3 years ago

Are the GI bulbs in the playfield 44 bulbs or 555? I haven't had the time to check since I bought the game Thursday and have been working ever since. The original owner put LEDs in all of the playfield areas except the GI lights. Was planning on putting LEDs in there to brighten up the art work a bit since the standard bulbs really pale next to the now bright arrows etc. Any recommendations on having the LEDs being frosted domed, open, or clear cylinder as listed on cointaker in their premium section? I bought their "kit" for my gorgar and loved the way it turned out. Since this pinball is mostly converted, I just need to add a few here and there.

Thank you for the assistance!

#2000 3 years ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

The seller also sells a set for the other side. I bought both. I really think they helps to tell the story of F-14. If you are interested you can also reach out to him on Pinside, username Dreg604. The pop bumper decal is from http://www.metal-mods.com/.

Thanks for the heads up! Just took ownership of this game, and it seems nearly perfect for being almost 30 years old. Mainly since it sat in storage for 26 years! So much faster than my gorgar, but I love them both!

#2003 3 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

Should be regular 44/47. Most people go with warm white frosted in the GI. It has the look of incandescent just a little brighter. They will spread the light better than the clears.

Thank you, and thanks for the help acquiring the pinball! Gwen loves it! Though it is a bit too fast for her, lol.

#2005 3 years ago

Trying to get the rotating lights on the back box operating. My pin was missing the motor and attaching hardware. I purchased a new motor, two pulleys, and 2 belts along with a snap bushing to go into the metal. Is there another spacer that goes between the nylon snap washer and the top pulley or anything between the two pulleys on the motor such as washers etc? Need to pick up some mounting screws for the motor as well since the motor didn't come with any. Any help will be appreciated. The former owner cut and capped the wires previously going to the motor.

#2007 3 years ago
Quoted from cyroute:

Try to run the motor test in the diagnostics without any of it connected to the belts etc.. This will tell you if the motor is working. I know the belts on mine got bound up with the screws when i installed them wrong.

I haven't tested the motor yet, but since I just bought it from marco, I'd assume it is good. I need to see the stack up of the assembly since in my manual, it just lists parts, but with no picture. That's where I'm a bit confused. Just not sure if I have everything to make it work properly. I did see a pic and noticed standoffs for the motor. Didn't see them listed nor for sale per say or Marcos site for F-14 specific parts. Any help would be great. The spacer or standoff I think in the manual is P/N 02-4296-1, but it doesn't come up anywhere

#2009 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Its just aluminum tubing, cut to size. At work right now but I could measure tomorrow for you.

Great, that would be very helpful. Might be able to find some scrap tubing at work or pick some up elsewhere.

#2011 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

They are 13/16 inch long.

thank you! I got some aluminum tubing from work so just need to cut it down now.

#2012 3 years ago

Question, If you want to change all of the flashers in the playfield as well as the backglass to LED flashers on F-14, is there a modification you have to do to make them work? Watching on youtube, TNT amusements said the game didn't like to use LED flashers. I removed the warming resistor to make my gorgar flasher work in the pit with LEDs. Wasn't sure if you had to do something similar with this pinball.
Plus, I just noticed last night that in the backglass area, only two of the flasher stock bulbs work, yet the wires look good as well as all 4 of the bulbs work by swapping them in different sockets. The two sockets that don't work are diagonal from each other. Would this be mainly a socket issue or a board issue? At a quick glance, the wires are all connected to each other and only two wires I think went back to a circuit board with white blocks, resistors I believe.

Again, any help would be great since I new and just learning how to maintain my games.


#2017 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Take a pic of the sockets on the insert board, so I can see the color of wires on the sockets.

It will be a bit since I'm on a work road trip for two weeks.
Plus I have to figure out why the game doesn't put any balls in play once they go up the ramp. For some reason the game isn't kicking the balls into play at either center L/H R/H or R/H side. oddly enough, when you put a ball in play, it goes down the shoot and waits. The game then kicks out another ball at the pull plunger, like the ball was locked for multi ball. Odd since the game was working just fine the previous day. Not sure if my wife's daughter did anything when I had the play field glass off besides unplug the game while it was on from the power strip. She wasn't sure if the game could be on while the glass was off so instead of turning it off, she unplugged it from the powerstrip on as she placed Gorgar. I checked fuses, etc. everything seems fine, but the game just won't kick a ball into play once it drops down from the shoot.

#2020 3 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

I would check and clean the switches. Sounds like it doesn't know where the balls are.

When I get back from Kansas I'll check some more. If I can't find anything, hopefully you'll be able to come over and check. Just seems so odd that is just happened overnight. At least I learned one thing and that is if you don't have all 4 balls in the game, it won't start a game. Handy to know.

1 week later
#2021 3 years ago

I should finally get back from my road trip today and start trouble shooting my pinball. One question I have is the game, on start up, would sound a knocker at times and say adjust switch 12 if I remember correctly. It has done this about 3 times or so of owning the game since I picked it up recently. Could this have something to do with the balls not being kicked out into play once you launch them with the plunger? Plus, what and where is switch 12?

#2023 3 years ago

The right ball trough is the right center area that the ball can drop down on during initial game play from the wire ramps near the top flippers correct? If this somehow got stuck, would this cause the L/H center and the far right area where the wire ramps drop the ball at to fail and not kick the ball out into play?? Since this is my problem all of a sudden. Balls get sent down the wire ramps and don't get kicked into play. I launch one ball and then the machine kicks another out at the plunger like the balls are getting locked for multi ball. Hate sitting at airports but at least I can get all of your great info to trouble shoot when I get home tonight!

#2025 3 years ago

OK after trying various scenarios, this is what I've got:
Nothing appears to be out of place, no fuses seem blown, not sure how to test a slow fuse if that is it though since removed from pinball, the fuses test fine that are under the play field.
After each ball launch it goes down the wire ramp and once it drops to the bottom to be kicked out, the game sees it as out of play and calls for ball two, then ball three, etc. If I take a ball and try to just hit it around, the scoring works etc, but the L/H bottom side kickback is inop. The only kickbacks that do work are the two upper L/H and R/H kickbacks. Doing the solenoid tests per the manual results in only the relays clicking and not the solenoids/plungers firing in faulted areas. No code is given for any switches out of place during the switch test.

I'm stumped. Rest of the game works great, demo mode, game play besides the kickback, etc. There has to be something linking these 4 problem areas that just seemed to fault over night.

#2027 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Did you check F-4 fuse on the power supply?

Which one is that? Is that located in the backbox or under the playfield?

#2028 3 years ago
Quoted from jetmechinnc:

Which one is that? Is that located in the backbox or under the playfield?

OK I found it in the manual. And yes, it ohms out fine.

#2030 3 years ago

Is it just the ball popper 03A I need to look at? I'm not real familiar with the lingo for these items. But I figured this was the solenoid that ejects the ball to the plunger on the bottom R/H of the playfield, and that works fine. I thought I was looking into 05A, 07A, 10, and possibly 13 solenoid since they are inop right now, just the yellow box relay located at each coil clicks when in test mode. It calls out for in note 4 on the solenoid table about a relay snubber board where the relay is mounted. Is this located somewhere else or is it in fact the yellow box relay next to each coil? After I get off work today I'll start checking wires again. Thanks again for the constant troubleshooting ideas. Hopefully I'll find something. I figured It has to be something that connects all of these items since they all went inop overnight. If I need to order a new board, would it be the main large one in the back with all of the chipsets in it? Any ideas on where to look into purchasing one? Hopefully it won't come to that. I hope.

#2033 3 years ago

Unfortunately my normal work schedule here is Thursday thru Sunday. But that gives me 3 days of trouble shooting! Hope to find a simple problem like a busted wire. Is 03a the ball kickout solenoid next to the plunger at the bottom of the playfield? A possible broken wire there?.

#2036 3 years ago

YAY, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU GRUMPY!!!!! There was a broken wire at the 03a solenoid!!!! When you said to trouble shoot there, I thought that was the solenoid near the plunger was but realized with the manual it was the upper right popper! Soldered it back to the solenoid and now all is well!!! I never saw how they were all linked to this solenoid in the wire diagram but so it is!!! Now my game works as advertised!!!!! Again, thank you for all of you help! I''ll have to at least buy you a drink or dinner if you come to NC near me!

#2040 3 years ago

Here is the pic of the back board. As you look at it, the upper right and bottom left flashed, not the other two with the standard flash bulb. I just plugged in LED flashers and now the upper left and lower right are steady on and the upper right and bottom left flash. Since I want this to use the LEDs, should I just cut out the two small resistors on either end of the circuit board, and so on throughout the machine? I'm guessing one of the warming resistors is inop since it didn't make the 2 standard bulbs flash.

IMG_1214 (resized).jpg

#2044 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

If you are going to run LEDs in the flashers then remove the two smaller resistors on that flash lamp board. Since the brown/black flash circuit isn't working with standard #89 bulbs, then with the power off ohm the big resistor on the left. It should be 5 ohms. Also check for cracked solder joints on the board for the resistor. If this all checks out OK then turn on the game and go into solenoid test #9 and lock the advance button down so it stays on #9 test. Then use a jumper wire across the big resistor on the left, don't do too long as it will burn out the bulbs. Does it light with the jumper? If it lights with a jumper then the resistor needs to be replaced. Now onto your other problem, most LEDs bulbs are polarity sensitive and I needed the pic to see which wires are in the wrong place. Your bad luck is every wire is wrong on all four sockets. This will all need to be changed to get the LEDs to light. On the bright side, its good soldering practice.

Yay, my luck! I guess I'll have to check to see if the wire diagram shows me the correct connection for these bulbs.

#2045 3 years ago

OK, Grumpy, not seeing the wiring for those flashers in the manual, any hint on the correct soldering would be appreciated. It looks OK to me, but you are the expert.

#2046 3 years ago
Quoted from Lemank:

Just joined today. Cl score for me. She needs love but that's alright

Welcome! this has been a great source of info for me so I'm sure any help you'll need, you'll find it here!

#2049 3 years ago

Once I get back from work today, I'll try to get to desoldering the wires. Both of the large resistors ohmed out at 5 ohms a piece. The smaller ones, the ones Ill be cutting off, ohmed out at 160 ohms a piece.

1 week later
#2069 3 years ago

OK I seem to have everything working, LED flashers etc except for the two flashers in the back box due to the fact my NEW weller soldering iron melted the tip in half while I was soldering connections for another project and haven't tried to swap wires around. Lowes doesn't carry replacement tips but at least the iron came with two other tips that look like small spoons, will have to order from weller.

My next job is the rotating beacon. Never worked since motor was MIA when I bought it a few weeks ago. Fabricated standoffs at 13/16", installed new belts, new bulbs in beacons #1683, with new motor and pulleys. Connected wires to motor that were cut off earlier sometime from the quick disconnect connector, but I'm not sure if it matters which one gets connected to either motor wire since nothing was marked and I can't tell if the motor is polarity specific. Checking voltage at either connection reads 18volts when the game is turned on so I say the slow blow fuse is fine. I thought I read that it requires 28volts to operate the motor and light the bulbs but nothing seems to happen. I tried the light system test and nothing happened, any help would be great. Not sure when they come on, I'd assume during attraction mode and multi ball, but nothing seems to happen if I just let the game be, it does all of the speech and flashes on the play field, just not the rotating beacons on the back box.

#2078 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Dark blue with black legs?

That would be a great tie in color to pick up the back glass

#2079 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

This is AC power so no polarity issues when connecting the motor. Turn this on in coil test and retest with meter set to AC volts.

Had 14 VAC the whole time. Never heard anything click when at solenoid test 16 for the dome lights/rotating beacons.

#2081 3 years ago

With the jumper in place, the lights came on and the motor rotated but very jittery, maybe lack of voltage? I installed male and female connectors on the wire/motor. Could help it move a bit, maybe binding through the hole, not sure.

#2083 3 years ago

I don't have my needle inserts for the wires, but by putting one connector of my fluke on either side of the relay circuit board those two white and blue wires go to, I get 30 VAC

#2084 3 years ago

U10 PIA failure just popped up on the screen after turning on the game, no idea what that is. Restarted it it was fine.

#2085 3 years ago

Looked at the board and U10 seems fine, odd, first time I saw that. Tried to push it in, no idea if it moved.

#2087 3 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

That's good.

Does it have a socket, if so its been replaced before. Now to fix the beacon transistor Q-6. Do you have a logic probe?

No. just a fluke volt meter. Not sure if the avionics shop at work has one either.

#2088 3 years ago

Can always order one. Seem cheap online. maybe batteries plus has one?

#2090 3 years ago

Never have so Id say no. My specialty is grease monkey on aircraft with limited spark chasing beyond running wires and adding environmental splices and using a voltmeter.

#2092 3 years ago

So you think I need to replace Q6? Not the relay at the circuit board below the motor? I think my friend Travis is good at soldering, etc. He has rebuilt several games and pinballs. I can ask him.

#2095 3 years ago

OK great, I'll first see if my friend Travis has them, otherwise I'll order some TIP 102 from Maro. Have to get creative on other things to order so I don't just pay $10 ship for $3 in parts, lol. Thanks again for the help and Happy Thanksgiving!


1 month later
#2118 2 years ago


If the playfield mylar bubbles up in areas, can you just take a heat gun to it to reapply? I don't want to really undo the entire thing since it will mean new stickers etc, but in some areas, the factory mylar is bubbled up and if you push it, it just doesnt' restick itself.

1 week later
#2155 2 years ago

Very SciFi looking with the green. Pretty cool

#2159 2 years ago

BOOF-ED, you did an amazing job bringing that pinball back from the brink of a landfill! Great job! I thought about selling mine, but then finally got on the leader board of my own game at 3,860,000 and don't want to let it go! Haven't yet gotten the number one spot of over 4 million, but I'm trying!


#2162 2 years ago
Quoted from BallyBallerton:

Just got my F-14 recently! I was a casual pinball fan, really wanted an aviation-themed one for my game room (spouse and I both pilots). Honestly thought I'd tire of it after a few days, but I am an even bigger fan now, kind of obsessed over it actually! Machine is in great shape, very clean. Sometimes a flipper sticks, but no other real problems. I realize I'm going to have to learn a lot about maintaining them because getting it in my basement was a major pain- don't want to do that again anytime soon!
Anyone else have the kicker causing the ball to hit the glass near the drain? I don't know if this could actually crack the glass, but it sure is loud!

I don't know about the kicker hitting the glass, but bouncing off other items has made the ball hit the glass, but its tempered so it should be fine. I have even had the ball jump OVER the flippers after rebounding from the targets right in from of them and go down the drain!

Very fast game as you know.

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