Quoted from RetroGamerJP:
EDIT - I managed to find a few copters on Amazon so if you are interested in getting one of these pre-modded and ready to drop into your machine, send me a PM.
Alternate process for Helicopter mod install (no grinding or sanding)
I got my helicopter in over the weekend and decided to install today. Many thanks to the brave souls before me who originally figured this out and shared with all of us... I wanted to see if I could find a way to install without having to grind away the bottom or deform the top in order for it to fit. Good news is, it can be done quite easily, and without having to take apart the copter. (unless you are trying to also do the cockpit light mod.
Basically with a pair of large needle-nose pliers, I grabbed the original rotor and with a couple of rocks back and forth, you can snap it off leaving a perfect guide hole. I also use the same pliers to snap off the lander gears. The remaining part of the landing gears may fall into the body of copter but they will come out later when you drill the larger holes.
Then on my drill press I used a 5/32" bit to go through the guide hole at top and straight down to create guide hole in bottom. Next, using a stepper bit on drill press I make a 1/2" hole through bottom plastic, this is the size of the shaft in the game you will be sliding copter over.
The trick to this method is to go with a larger hole on the top. Using the same stepper bit, I drill out top hole to a 5/8" hole, this allows for the washers and bearing to sit inside of the copter (instead of above it) and gives us the clearance needed without having to grind off the bottom of the copter.
You can see in the final pictures that the copter sits in perfectly with just enough clearance for the blades to spin and all without grinding away any material. You don't need to do anything to secure the copter, it naturally sits in the perfect spot and doesn't move at all. I also decided to remove the remaining hex posts (since they were only there to hold original helicopter plastic) and just put 6-32 nuts in place to clean that area up. I also did as others have done and placed a small dab of hot glue on the rear propeller to hold it in the perfect position to make sure the main rotor misses it during rotation.
Everything spins and functions as it should and it truly looks like it could have come from the factory this way.
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So...started working on this mod. I have two ideas:
1. I didn't want to make a 5/8" hole to have the washers under the blades fit into the helicopter. Instead....I bought one of these for $13.65 shipped ->
Basically....its the same concept that stern used with their 2 metal washers and ball bearing plastic ring. But....its thinner. So, its 6mm interior diameter (same as the sterns), but 12mm outside diameter. The sterns were 14mm. Its the same height (4.5mm). This way....I can just drill a 1/2" hole at the top and the ball bearings will fit inside the helicopter. It should be the best of both worlds ....no sanding and mechanism fits inside helicopter, but the same size hole as mr tantrum's design.
That is...if it works. I should have an update soon.
2. Instead of use comet matrix red LEDs tied to the combo flasher, I bought these ->
I use smaller 0402 leds for various other mods (like light up eyes in AFMr...see here -> https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/attack-from-mars-remake-afmr-owners-club/page/162#post-5406613 ). These are sewing thread thickness stuff. Amazing stuff.
I'm using 0805 LEDs, in yellow, for this mod since I want it to be brighter, but the head is still incredibly small and the wires are still incredibly thing, so I can use the front landing gear hole of the helicopter directly with these wires. Then, I'll tie it into the actual yellow helicopter LED.
When both of these items come in I will give an update!