(Topic ID: 66172)

F14 Tomcat Owners Club Fans Also Welcome.

By Hellfire

6 years ago

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  • 4,056 posts
  • 321 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 days ago by FLASHBALL
  • Topic is favorited by 130 Pinsiders


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#1805 3 years ago

Ok ... let me know if this qualifies me into the group. For the "Hobbyist" part of this group, and if you are really bored and have about 50 minutes to kill, I just posted a new video of what I've done in my spare time for the last several months with mods to my F14 Tomcat. I'm by far no professional, as you will see, just a "hobbyist". If/when you get board, skip to about the 48 minute mark for the "after" light shows in dim room light. I learned a lot along the way and I'm still just a newbie when it comes to fiddling with things after 28 years of owning this machine. Maybe something in here will inspire you and show you what to avoid. Check it out:

#1811 3 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

you just have to change the ramp decal like I did.

Ummm ... I got it ... I think. See my video at about 36:20. If that is not what you are talking about, please send me a link so that I can take a look at it.

#1814 3 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

Ahh, not exactly what i mean - look at page 28.
Take a look at post #1365 here in this Topic, there you see the modified "Landing/Lock On"-decal.
You use the plastic-decal from André and on the left side it interferes the "Landig/Lock On"-decal - you now understand?
I also create an new Spinner-decal with the entire MIG and an improved explosion and the "Kill Gen. Yagov" is also new aligned and fit better on the assembly in front of the ramp.
If needed, you can get these decals in corel to print.

Ohhh, ok. Where do I get get those? Can you send me a link?

#1840 3 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

@ KingBW: I tried twice to send you an email, but I get the request that the host refused to talk to arcor-server. Do you have another account or mail address?

I got them ... one of the attempts did get through. Thanks!

2 months later
#1879 3 years ago

You can change the "special" light to be qualified by various settings during multi-ball. Since mine has been setup as HUO with extra ball awards instead of free games for awards, it has not been a real interest for the 28 years that we have had it. Haven't thought about it much. But see the manual section for it below. We probably hit it a few times, but with multi-ball on this machine, you're just keeping balls in play that are rocketing at you.


#1880 3 years ago

As far as the reward itself for the "special", that can be set to different things also. I have mine set for a extra ball. During the multi-ball, I'm concentrating more on getting all the landings.


#1884 3 years ago

I replaced my beacon motor and the rubber belts/bands when I reworked mine. It was sticking a little at the beginning. I messed with the pulleys a bit as my thoughts were that they were side loading a bit and after they were not used for 25+ years, there was likely some dust/dirt restricting it here and there. I pulled on the new belts/bands a to flex them a little so that they were maybe not as tight. That worked, but was still sticking from time-to-time. After it got used maybe 5 times or so, it worked a lot better. Not sure if that will help at all, but I had the same thing happen.

1 month later
#1894 3 years ago

Does anyone have these pinblades installed on their F14? If so, can you post a couple of pics of them installed on the machine? Thanks!

1 month later
#1902 3 years ago
Quoted from damageinc55:

I have an early production machine, and i'm new to this generation of games. Is updating the code on the chip something worthwhile to look in to?

As far as I could see/find, there were no code updates. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

#1903 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballfan:

what is the best looking pop bumper cap?i d ont like original cap.

I like the one from pinballlife.com that has the light up LED cap and that also illuminates the area playfield. There are some adjustments for brightness for your specific tastes. It comes in various colors too if you don't like the red cap. Go to the 35:22 mark in my video link below and I have some close ups of it.

1 week later
#1915 3 years ago

The beacon motor can be replaced fairly easily too - if that is the only problem with the beacons not working and it is not a board issue. But deduct for that anyhow if it is not working.

#1925 3 years ago

Has anyone used these F14 cabinet decals? My cabinet could use a facelift and I'm thinking about restoring it a bit more with these. Experienced input/reviews with these would be helpful. Thanks!

#1928 3 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Hey all, just a heads up on something that only just came to my attention.
My F-14 just blew itself up in an identical way to how it blew itself up about a year and a half ago. Diverter coil overheats, smokes itself before you realize what is happening, which fries the diode, which then lets the current shoot up to the CPU board and fry the transistor, resulting in a board repair job that I'm afraid to do and a replacement coil.
I asked my board guy what the hell is going on, and he dug up this service bulletin from Williams, which was on the IPDB page the whole time:
Turns out the plungers can fail to get pulled into the coil, resulting in rapid overheating. All you really need to do to address the problem is readjust the diverter arms so that they're swung just slightly out when at rest. I wish my guy had known about this a year ago, seems probable that this is what went wrong on mine twice. It's an easy fix, and one that every F-14 owner should take the 20 minutes to make.

Thanks for the info. I will definitely make sure mine is set ok and put this bulletin with my manual.

1 week later
#1938 3 years ago
Quoted from Boof-Ed:


I did mine with them.

Ok thanks.

1 week later
#1944 3 years ago

Stuck with the clear and modded them out with the popular vinyl decals. He sells them for all the clear plastics.
ebay.com link » F 14 Tomcat Williams Pinball Machine Yagov Sticker Decal Mod

2 weeks later
#1969 3 years ago
Quoted from volkdrive:

Is someone willing to provide some up close pics

Look at the photo in post 1960 a few above yours. Looks a little different.

1 month later
#2018 3 years ago
Quoted from jetmechinnc:

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.

See some of the later entries in https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f14-flashers-not-working
I also cover how I did it in the following video, and the beacon lights, and I also added under cabinet LED flashers in the video.

Have fun!

2 weeks later
#2047 2 years ago

grumpy is the master of F14 trouble-shooting. He's helped me before.

#2050 2 years ago

Click on the link to this post to see how it should be wired to make the LED flashers work correctly in the backbox ... in case this helps.

Quoted from KingBW:

ok, I figured it out that the bottom left and top right are flasher 10. The 89 flashers work. The LEDs stay on now. Weird. I can get it to work with the flasher 9s as being LEDs and flashers 10 as 89s. But putting the flasher 10s in also as LEDs and they stay constant on. ???

Note that further in the thread I had discovered that I had to remove warming resistors from boards under the playfield on the same circuit as well in order for them to work. Check those too. (This was under GRUMPY direction too.)

2 months later
#2165 2 years ago
Quoted from damageinc55:

Yep. The kicker usually hits my left flipper then bounces up and hits the glass

Maybe getting a different flipper rubber would help? I just have the "normal" rubber ones (not the silicone) and the ball does not bounce up to the glass, and can't remember it ever doing that. Make sure the rubbers are positioned in the center of the flipper vertically too and raise/lower the flipper from the play field so that the impact of the ball will not hit the top of the rubber. Just a suggestion to try ...

#2170 2 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Also, there is an adjustment that allows "Flight Insurance", so that if the kicker sends the ball straight through the flippers, the game will kick another ball into the shooter lane for you. I like that setting; it always strikes me as BS on a game if the immediate result of nailing a shot is a drain.

I read on ipdb that this was the first pin ever to have that feature. Some nostalgia for you. They have quoted from Steve Ritchie:

"F-14 had a first-ever kickback device that fired the ball straight back at the flippers at very high speed, called the Jagov Kicker. F-14 was the first game with "Autosave", which meant the player could have the ball back if it drained prematurely [at the start of a ball], was shot down between the flippers by the Jagov Kicker, or drained during the onset of multiball, etc."

#2173 2 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Weird thing is, I've only ever known it to activate flight insurance if the ball drains quickly and is the last ball of the game, or if the Yagov kicker shoots it straight through the flippers. Which is fine; it is the character of the game that it isn't just like the later-era version of a ball saver. But I've read that quote before from IPDB and been confused by it.

There are on/off settings for that and you can adjust the timer for it. My wife mandates that the Yagov have a ball saver in case she does not catch it in time. She does great at it, but still wants "the flight insurance".

1 year later
#3567 10 months ago
Quoted from topkat:

I finally
Got mine playing. Now to fine tune.
I am curious when the ball is shot out from the middle right lock, does is it always supposed to kick through the spinner? Mine sometimes does other times hits the post near it?

Mine has always gone through the spinner and loop around.

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