(Topic ID: 197719)

Playfield Swap Question


2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by mbaumle
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 2 years ago

Hi All

Considering a playfield swapnon my F-14. I understand this is an endeavor but seems straightforward enough is one is methodical. To me, I would take the topside down and start moving things over and then when the connections are loose topside start the bottom side. Am I missing something? Would appreciate any advice from those that have done this before.

Thank you

#2 2 years ago

It's not to hard. Get a plan together beforehand and order up your parts. You won't be happy with old parts on your new playfield.
Once you start take plenty of pictures then take 100 more. Take your time. Don't rush. Clean and adjust your switches and stuff as you fasten down.
Don't wait till everything is on then start worrying about multiple things not working.
My last swap I took 500 pictures and had to actually go back and look at 2. I had 1 switch to clean and had to reseat 1 connector.

#3 2 years ago

So, I just finished my first swap. Here's basically what I came away with:

- None of the steps are that difficult by themselves; there are just a massive number of steps. So, it's a marathon.
- You have to take more pictures than you think you will need.
- Take great notes; you'll forget stuff as the weeks pass.
- Not everything will line up perfectly, so, you'll need patience and a little bit or problem solving to help get you through.
- Having the right tools is huge. Mistakes are painful here. Sharp drill bits, the right drivers and non-marring pliers make the swap better.
- Taking it apart is really fast and easy; but don't go so fast that you forget to take enough pictures and take enough notes.

My thread is here, if it helps you: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/taf-restoration—my-first-swap

Good luck!

#4 2 years ago

Strip the topside first.

As you strip, take note of broken, bent and worn items that will need to be replaced.

Resist the temptation to order parts too soon, there is ALWAYS more broken stuff you did not notice.


On the bottom side, check for wear and play in the mechs. Especially the slingshots and pop bumper yokes. Add these items to your order.

Make sure your flippers coils are correct. Williams issued a service bulletin that the upper flippers had to be retrofitted to weaker coils.

Don't try cleaning all the coil sleeves, order a bag and replace them all.

Order extra lamp sockets, some of yours won't survive the transfer.

Order extra flasher lamp sockets if you are going to restore the flasher circuits:


Put the whole harness in the dishwasher:


Replace just the stand up target faces, NOT the whole assembly:


Have fun!

#5 2 years ago

As others have said, it's not that hard if you are methodical. It does take a fair bit of time. Try not to string it out for too long. Recently, I swapped a Silverball Mania playfield out with the help of a friend in 2 days on a weekend. That worked well.

#6 2 years ago

double post

#7 2 years ago

Well I am thinking that this may be something I would do. Thank you all for the insight. Now, does anyone know of an avail F-14 playfield?

#8 2 years ago

I completed my first playfield swap for my Black Knight this Summer. For me it was very rewarding. I removed the plastics & rubber rings then did the bottom hardware. The pictures that you need many angles from are the things that basically fall apart when you unscrew them, ball kickers for sure, slingshots, pop bumpers. I rebuilt all four of my flippers in the process as well. Rebuilt my pop bumper with all new parts. Replaced all plastic posts with new ones. I used a home made rotisserie and that was quite useful. I have read people baking or washing their wiring harness, for me, I just cleaned it all really well. Clean, clean & clean. All screws & metal you are not replacing can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner. Mark the GI ground wire with a pencil on the new playfield as a map. T-nuts need to move early in the process. A spring punch is necessary. Take great care with the top of the playfield & when drilling always drill from the top down, never from the bottom up. Good luck in your hunt for a playfield & the process. I would do another for the right game.

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from GPS:

does anyone know of an avail F-14 playfield?

Perfectplayfields.com. Not sure if Peter has any left though.

#10 2 years ago

Thanks super Don't read German all that well though

#12 2 years ago

If you want that you better jump on it. Anything links vid posts are gone in no time.

#14 2 years ago

Thank you vid and da, I was hoping that PPS would have them but hey now say out of stock. There price is less than going through Germany and given that I don't need this tomorrow, I think I will hang for a bit as I know the playfield is only he beginning of the expenses in this endeavor. Thank you fellas

#15 2 years ago

You can always find someone to have it restored. HSA won't do System 11 playfields, but others do.

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