Quoted from pipes:
So, I bought a 2003 LOTR a couple of months ago and decided to do a bit of a restoration job on it....
-Installed full cabinet decals
-Full brass armour
-Re-painted the inside of the cab black
-Installed Comet LED kit with LED OCD board
-And a few other things
It turned out great! I'm very happy with the result.
There are a few issues however. When I first got the game it would do a ball search on start-up every single time. Also it wouldn't register drains and kick two balls into the shooter lane about 50% of the time. Did some research and found that it could be the optos or another switch on the ball trough that went bad. Anyways, I decided to buy the entire trough assembly from Marco because I have no patience and figured it would be easier to just swap the entire thing out...problem solved. I finally get everything back together a couple of days ago and right off the bat...ball search on start-up. I was thinking that maybe this is what 'older' Sterns did since I only have experience with their newer games. Played a few games and I'd see a message once in a while on the DMD saying that a ball is missing and now I'm getting two balls kicked into the shooter lane from time to time. It's basically the same issue I was having before....nothing has changed. I'll have a game here and there where there are no problems at all so it's not consistent with every game. The one constant though is the ball search on start-up. That happens 100% of the time.
Check the wires that connect to the ball trough and see if any of them are damaged or not inserted well into the connectors. Also, go into switch test and see if any of the switches are in the incorrect state.