(Topic ID: 112137)

The Lord of the Rings LOTR Journey begins here members club

By skywalker

4 years ago

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  • Latest reply 1 hour ago by drummermike
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Topic index (key posts)

3 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #1907 Service bulletin noting lock down bar change Posted by Jarbyjibbo (2 years ago)

Post #4404 The Valinor Strategy Video Posted by CLEllison (3 months ago)

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#1655 2 years ago

I've joined the club!! 1100 play CUO (Church use only) Standard.....off to Valinor!!!!

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#1661 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinzap:

Wait... what??

Yep, it was a trade-in from a local church who purchased it new. So, not quite HUO, but CUO....LOL!!

Showed up at our local gameroom supply store & arcade last Friday. Saw it Saturday, bought it today.

#1662 2 years ago

Playing my new-to-me LOTR some, doing some adjustments here and there. A Couple of Questions for the collective:

1) What would cause a Mode like Warg Battle just start on it's own without hitting the ring?? Seems like the modes just start on their own, especially after a quick 1-2 hit on both flippers (but not every time).

2) Does anybody have a spare red plastic that surrounds the right yellow flasher dome by the right flipper?? Mine is warped from a flasher bulb that overheated.....

#1664 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

1) What would cause a Mode like Warg Battle just start on it's own without hitting the ring?? Seems like the modes just start on their own, especially after a quick 1-2 hit on both flippers (but not every time).

Quoted from LOTR_breath:

1. Could be the optos at the ring entrance are flakey.

Confirmed: Switch 47 (Ring Made) is showing up intermittently during the switch test, especially when slapping the flippers/cabinet. I can see the red LED on the transmitter Opto stays constantly on without flickering, so I'm assuming it is the receiver opto. I've cleaned the lens with a q-tip & some alcohol with no luck. Also traced the wire back to the opto board behind the back panel and it looks fine. So I figure the next step is to uninstall the optos and reflow the solder, and if that doesn't work replace the optos.

Big question: looks like the easiest way to get to the optos to remove them is to remove the playfield from the cabinet to get at the back of the back panel. I'm open to suggestions from you LOTR owners who have done this before if there is an easier way.....

#1672 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Confirmed: Switch 47 (Ring Made) is showing up intermittently during the switch test, especially when slapping the flippers/cabinet. I can see the red LED on the transmitter Opto stays constantly on without flickering, so I'm assuming it is the receiver opto. I've cleaned the lens with a q-tip & some alcohol with no luck. Also traced the wire back to the opto board behind the back panel and it looks fine. So I figure the next step is to uninstall the optos and reflow the solder, and if that doesn't work replace the optos.
Big question: looks like the easiest way to get to the optos to remove them is to remove the playfield from the cabinet to get at the back of the back panel. I'm open to suggestions from you LOTR owners who have done this before if there is an easier way.....

For posterity purposes and to help the next person trying to figure out how to do this:

1. Power off the pin, remove the lockbar and playfield glass, and pull the playfield all the way forward.
2. Remove the 6 red mode screened plastic from the backpanel by removing the two locknuts.
3. Using a makeup mirror (or any small magnifying mirror on a stand) set the mirror in the back bottom of the cabinet
so you can see the ball trough on the back of the backpanel in the mirror.
4. Remove the rear ball trough by removing the two phillips pan screws on the top of the trough that attach it to the backpanel.
5. Hang ball trough out of way over the top of the panel.
6. Reposition mirror to see back of magnet and ring assembly.
7. Remove the two screws holding the two brass magnet brackets.
CAREFUL - Magnet can and will fall once brackets are removed. Unplug and set magnet aside.
8. Unplug the two opto wires from the opto PCB on the back of the backpanel, taking care to note where each opto plugged in.
9. Remove full ring assembly from front of backpanel.

You now have access to disassemble/assemble the whole ring, i.e. optos, funnel, and the gold ring itself. Reassemble in reverse order.

In my case the optos were good, the mounting screws on the black receiver opto had worked their way loose, so with any cabinet vibration the opto would start to flicker. Solved that issue by using some blue Loctite on the screw threads and remounted the optos.

1 week later
#1687 2 years ago

libtech Where did you get those instruction cards? I've looked and found several online, but not those.....

#1690 2 years ago
Quoted from libtech:

Dont really remember sorry, thats one thing I wish I was better with photoshop, as there are no cards that I love for this game.

Thanks, agree with you on the cards thing: found one good single card I liked, but no pair that was great....

#1694 2 years ago
Quoted from latenite04:

You might have seen these but this is my favorite set so far. The quality is great and I think the colors fit well with the machine.

Like those, with one exception: I can do without the Pinball Boy logo........

#1695 2 years ago
Quoted from horseflesh:

If you are card shopping, here are the ones I made.
Hmm, looks like the forum resizes the files... I can find another place to post them if anyone wants.

Nice!!! If you could post them original size or on a share site I'll give those a shot!

#1706 2 years ago
Quoted from Djsandoz:

? The return of the king multiball does it last extra long ? Because even when the shoot again stops flashing it keep lunching balls and the whole time your playing rotk multiball you can hear the kicker trying to launch balls into play ? Only happens in rotk multiball

Are you hitting the Palantir while it's lit during the multi ball?? If so it does an add-a-ball.....

#1711 2 years ago

Sometimes it's the simplest things that make a big improvement....

Lockbar before:

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Lockbar after:

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Side rail before:

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Side rail after:

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#1713 2 years ago
Quoted from pudealee:

Nice! I'm In north Shelby. LOTR has been on my list for a while. I may go with. SW Premium if my search fails.

Cool, you ought to come join us at the Star Wars Pinball Party at Bumpernets tonight, it will give you a good taste of what a SWPrem may play like....

#1718 2 years ago

I know this mod will not be to everyone's liking, but the one thing I never liked about the LOTR cabinet package was the two-toned gold/black trim. Changed it out today.....

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1 week later
#1754 2 years ago
Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

I have an LED OCD installed and a pinsound board on the way. It seems they go in the same place. Will let you know how it goes whenever it comes in. And in the meantime, if anybody has any creative mounting solutions I'm all ears

Please let us know, I was the one who originally asked the question in PinSound Whitestar thread where someone had installed Pinsound and was customizing the sound. I have LED OCD on the shelf waiting to be installed in a couple of weeks, and after seeing the Pinsound LOTR youtube videos it has moved onto my soon to be purchased list as well.....

#1758 2 years ago

could the clear funnel in ring be broken or have a piece of debris in it? have you felt the inside of the funnel to see if it is smooth? if not maybe the magnet is not turning off....

1 week later
#1797 2 years ago
Quoted from Gunnder:

Joined the club last week. Game is a blast! But have encountered two issues so far:
1) The two flipper coils and the right tower coil, buzz like crazy. At first I though it was coming from the speaker, but it is def. coming from the coils themselves. I have taken out the coils, cleaned any residue on the coil and sleeves but still buzzing. I have read that early Whitestar games have this buzz, but it shouldn't be this loud should it? Turn up the volume and check out this video: » YouTube video

2) The sound quality is very poor. When on the lower sound settings, a lot of crackling, static, and just plain old low quality sound. Again I read that due to the amount of voice and music in the game, they had to lower the sound quality for it to fit. Is there any way around this? Turn up the volume and check out this video: » YouTube video
Appreciate any input. This is the 2003 version (oddly enough manufactured October 2005, so probably near the end of the run)

1) Stern Whitestar pins flipper linkages and coilstops can cause a lot of buzzing when worn. Replace both, i.e. rebuild the flippers. Several threads on here about this.

2) Unfortunately perfectly normal for a stock LOTR. Good news that PinSound now supports Whitestar pins and that some LOTR fans are already working on PinSound files for LOTR, both stock and custom. Several threads on here about this.

#1813 2 years ago
Quoted from fnosm:

Looking for the following ramps for my LOTR refurb.
If you are willing to part with one or more of these please let me know.

Parts reference:515-7319-00-80

Parts reference:535-9344-00

Parts reference:515-7319-00-80

Good luck with that......mostly unobtainium last I heard, especially the ring ramp...

1 week later
#1827 2 years ago

Shop til you drop.....

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After disassembly

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Polished and waxed!

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#1845 2 years ago

I've been looking for the same plastic (-15) for a couple of months as well.....anyone please have an undamaged spare?? Used is fine......please pm me


2 weeks later
#1873 2 years ago

Replaced the fluorescent tube in my backbox with an LED backboard using 3528 60 leds/m cool white & yellow LEDs, wired to the 12VDC accessory circuit near the coin box. Backbox looks so much better, more natural and even!!! My iPhone makes it much more blue looking than it is.

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#1876 2 years ago
Quoted from Zippof15e:

Looking at AUKraut's pictures above I couldn't help myself and had to order a speaker light kit, just looks so cool. Think I will stick with the incandescent bulbs for a while, and maybe slowly convert to led. I just really like the warm lighting of the incandescents. To each his own.

Thanks, the speaker lights and 3D ring does look great.

As for the LEDs, do them all at once. Either buy some serious non-ghosting premium LEDs or use regular LEDs with an LED OCD board. Regular LEDs by themselves in a LOTR will give one some serious headaches.....

#1877 2 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

Nice work! We have a version with RGBs and a flasher in the eye so that it goes off when the flasher in the tower goes off. The tube in the back is cheap crap, adding custom. LEDs makes the translight really pop. Lots of labor involved!
» YouTube video

Thanks, it did take most of a Saturday to complete, and the difference is dramatic in person!

#1884 2 years ago
Quoted from Zora:

I would like installing LEDs in my army of the dead figures and connecting them with the green path of the dead lamps so that the LEDs will light together with the respective green lamp.
How do I connect the LEDs with the green lamp? The green lamps are connected with each other, which makes it even more difficult for me.
Has anybody installed this already? Any feedback is highly appreciated.

This will give you an idea on how the connections to the lights are achieved.


#1894 2 years ago
Quoted from pacman11:

Great work!! I'd like to do this to all my Sterns games. Could you show wear the wires are attached too on the driverboard. Thanks!

Thanks! Actually did not pull power from the driver board, I'm pulling it from a splitter board that the 12V/5V connector to the right of the coin box is connected to. I do have a terminal strip and fuse holder installed as well, as the LED strips on the light board are pulling about 1.7 amps. I've installed a 3A FB fuse. I do have the Eye of Sauron flasher kit from PBL installed and that runs to the driverboard as designed.

1 week later
#1923 2 years ago
Quoted from BobC:

What color should the light behind the Plantar ball be? red or blue?

Factory was a 44 with a red rubber sleeve on it. A 44/47 LED RGB Slow Color changer flex looks fantastic behind the factory globe, it is what I had until I finally got Jay's Palantir mod....

#1926 2 years ago
Quoted from BobC:

I'm not familiar with the mod

Quoted from hawknole:

Jay's palantir mod is one of the best mods for LOTR. He only makes a few in each batch and only makes a couple batches a year so they are hard to get. Jay is a good guy and a positive force for pinball in the greater Philly area and pinside.

It is a SWEET mod....here is the thread:


#1930 2 years ago
Quoted from fnosm:

are there any good mods available for the naked bulb behind the Rider at the back right of the PF?

Quoted from DCFAN:

I have not seen any mods for that but note that the bulb should be a red coated flasher bulb rather than a clear flasher.

I used a red LED 906 Flasher that I wrapped in black heatshrink....but yeah, a good mod idea for here is needed......

#1940 2 years ago

I just took a close look at that plastic that holds the red ring wraith flasher bulb. It doubles as the switch mount for the Aragorn ramp. Not much room there due to that, however if that bulb were a group of 2 or 3 mounted lower, more behind and hidden behind the ringwraith to light it up from behind instead of above that would look pretty good. Hides both the bulb(s) and lights up the figure better....

1 week later
#1945 2 years ago
Quoted from fnosm:

In the Manual it calls out that the LOTR has (1) Groove Jewel Plastic Post what I call a star post.
I can't find one on my machine. Where does this go?

Quoted from DCFAN:

I don't believe there is one unless it is under the apron or behind the backboard.

Agreed, just fully shopped my LOTR and did not find a single post like that.....

#1962 2 years ago
Quoted from BobC:

Where do I get it? I looked on Pinballlife and couldn't find it

Mike @ RedShift LED makes & sells them. Great guy, shipping does take a few days longer as he is in Australia:


1 month later
#2008 1 year ago
Quoted from pipes:

So I went into the menu and tried to run a ball clear and it wouldn’t let me. This is what I found. Switch 13 is not registering at all. I checked the connection where the trough connects to the harness with a multimeter and that seems okay. I’m guessing it might be where the harness connects to the board in the backbox? Any idea how i can figure out where exactly switch 13 runs from on the board?

Looks like stoptap pointed you to the correct wires and connectors in the back box. Also be sure to trace the wires underneath the playfield from the trough to the back rear edge of the playfield where it slides along the left rail. My LOTR had two wires that were cut when the wiring harness got snagged along the playfield sliding mechanism as the playfield was lifted and lowered in the cabinet. I stripped and soldered the broken wires, applied some heatshrink, and made sure the harness was better secured away from the slide mechanism to prevent it from happening again.

#2034 1 year ago
Quoted from bcrage88:

Okay I will try this...

Yikes this is a little more extreme, You sure can get it up the ring ramp with these super coils thou you get a ton of rejections. Going to add lightning flippers and big fatties rubber on the right ramp and try the drop dead foam on the scoop and then re-evaluate.
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Lightning flippers???? YUCK!!!! Our local pinball place has them installed on an MMR and ST Pro....and they play like crap now compared to regular flippers......

#2036 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Does anyone have any shopout or top side tear down pictures? This games been routed and I can tell they improvised in certain areas. If I can understand how items are supposed to be assembled I can fix mine. Ideally an album on Dropbox or something

Here are the ones from my top-down teardown about 6 weeks ago, they should be in order.....


#2039 1 year ago
Quoted from bcrage88:

Ha, well just going to try them out my machines are all setup for competition play, just want to see if it hardens gameplay as my games tend to be very long even on three ball with extra as points and the machine jacked and outlines ripped out. Not saying that I will keep them on but if it serv a the purpose then with go with it.

lotr_breath had his LOTR set up for a tournament that was held recently that made LOTR play NASTY without any actual playfield changes except the outlines being wide open!!!! It was a real challenge to get ANY multiball, all done by settings changes. Things like the KEEP lanes turning off when they were rolled over when lit.....Maybe he can share those settings with us????

#2053 1 year ago
Quoted from Gunnder:

Hey guys out of the blue the ring shot just keeps triggering on its own. Just started happening. Basically as soon as you hit the start button one of the modes starts. Something to do with the ring magnet maybe? What should I look for when I look under the hood?

More than likely the opto transmitter or transceiver used to detect the ball going thru the ring, could also be the circuit board, but highly unlikely. I replaced the optos on mine and it solved the problem, ordered them from Marcos. I ordered the board as well, but didn’t need it:

520-5239-01 - Opto transmitter / receiver amplifier board
500-6775-01 - Opto transceiver assembly
500-6746-00 - LORD OF THE RINGS (Stern) Opto transmitter assembly

1 week later
#2102 1 year ago
Quoted from Neal_W:

I used this. It is the kit from the Stern bulletin with second gen Balrog LED bulb and socket, and was cheaper than the bulb they used to stock. Now I have a spare socket.

My LOTR had this bulb in it, but not half as bright as the Cointaker bulb. Cointaker bulb makes Balrog really light up!

#2131 1 year ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I AM concerned about the plastics - it is really clear why so many were broken, this game has a million unprotected edges and plastics just out everywhere. This game also came with a paper-printed Arwen image in between 2 clear plastics.. I assume this is because the original broke.

Buy the Pinbits Plastic Protectors, those will protect those edges from here on. As for the Arwen plastic, also extremely common, with several different protectors and diverters for it out there to protect from the drop from the Path of the Dead. I recommend the protector made by Redshift in Australia, outstanding design that also protects the Shire Hole. Your best bet is to go thru this whole thread, you will find at least 3 other things you'll want to do to yours to improve it....I know I did!

1 week later
#2222 1 year ago

For solenoids the more coils/windings, the stronger the magnetic field it produces, therefore the stronger the movement of the plunger in that field.

.....and yes, I'm bonafide.....

#2231 1 year ago
Quoted from APB_Enterprises:

Remove wire for a stronger coil. Decrease gauge for a stronger coil (IE 30 awg to 28 awg, 28 will be stronger.) There is a point of diminishing returns though, be careful.
The medium ones in specific we are selling now were tested in a few machines for months before we started selling them. LOTR is one of my favorites, so I enjoyed making something for it and testing them. I think we made 8 or so varieties before we found a happy medium. Different gauges and turns. I think the last set we made that we ended up using we were tweaking by around 25 turns or so.
Flipper power is a bit subjective to the user, and obviously the game as well... pitch and PWM settings. Not for everyone, but we have had a fair amount of positive feedback on this specific coil vs. the high power ones (which we also make.) I want people to like them, and welcome all feedback with the caveat about machine variables in mind.
Happy flipping!

OK, you convinced me....ordering now!!!

1 week later
#2270 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

The magnet does not appear to be working, but I can't figure out why.

Is the spinner working??? It must work for the magnet to actuate.

#2272 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

I think it's working. It registers spinner ring points...

OK, does the opto switch in the ring itself work? If you go into the switch test in the service menu under Diagnostics, Switch Menu, then Switch test, when you stick your finger thru the ring itself does switch 47 go off??

Switch47 (resized).jpeg

#2274 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

switch works! I did find tonight that the 50V light is NOT on.....so fuse??

Check F20 on the Power Driver board, rated 4A SB. Specific fuse for the magnet only. If I remember right Stern did later recommend to upping this to a 5A SB.

#2276 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

Have a set being delivered Tuesday!! Wish I could find locally!!

Some Autoparts stores may have some.

#2283 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Has anyone experienced and fixed an issue in their game where the ring return wireform pops out of the sword ramp? I'm thinking about getting one of if those lock washers with the teeth that only allow movement one direction. The right bit pops out of the hole and wont let the balls freely roll down the sword

You are missing two small rubber rings to hold it in place, I believe they are 7/16" outer diameter rings. One per rail:

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#2285 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Nice, thanks. The rubber should do it unless I get an airball that hits it.

Should be fine, they came from the factory that way. Yours was probably forgotten about after a shop job:

Wire Ramp Rubber (resized).jpeg

#2294 1 year ago
Quoted from APB_Enterprises:

Sorry about that, I am not on Pinside much.
We did not make a part number for this coil. If you want some, they are on our eBay store.
Pinside Shop Link: https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1065-apb-enterprises/01414-new-stern-pinball-medium-power-coil-lord-of-the-rings-gnr
LE: ebay.com link
Regular: ebay.com link
Thank you for the business! I hope you liked them.

I got around to installing these this afternoon....

Verdict: Perfect! Just the right amount of strength, does not overpower the flippers as other suggested LOTR coils will do. Best of all was when I got to Destroy the Ring there was no noticeable loss in power like you have with the factory stock coil. Seriously a must have for any LOTR owner!

1 week later
#2309 1 year ago

Either way, with or without a ColorDMD, you want the latest version of the ROMs in order to get all the intended features, modes, and bug fixes. When I got my LOTR it was on V6.0 and ran into several bugs. Upgrade to V10.0 and the improvement was noticeable and the new features were great!

Marco has the game ROM for $10 (http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/EPROM1871) and the display ROM for $10 (http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/EPROM1873). More than likely the sound ROMs on your machine are fine, but you can compare the version numbers of them to the Marco listings.

#2311 1 year ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

I just picked up an absolutely gorgeous HUO or VERY lightly used LOTR. The only problem I'm noticing is that with a few hits of the flipper button, ball in the shooter lane, the ring mode starts. In switch test mode, the ring opto seems to work perfectly. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to test switches with coils activated?? I'm curious if it's a vibration thing or what (although the flippers are an entire playfield length away from this switch).
I ordered a few IR LEDs to replace the opto LED pair if necessary, but has anyone else ever heard of this and is this the solution?

I had a similar problem on my LOTR when I first got it, but I can't remember off hand what all I did to fix it.

I did replace the ring optos on mine which I believed fixed my problem, but just in case the ring optos plug into a PCB board behind the playfield backboard.

I had an EOS wire on one of the flippers that was broken off, resoldered it.

I also had 3 wires broken on the main wiring harness on the back left under the playfield. They looked like they got caught on the slide rail when the playfield was lifted and slid forward/back.

The Balrog wiring harness on mine was broken, had to fix it (that one shouldn't be your issue).

1 week later
#2336 1 year ago
Quoted from C_S_S:

I joined the club just before Expo with LOTR as my first pin. While I'm having an issue with the Shire switch, I wanted to ask something before I order the parts to replace that. I've been having an a nuisance issue where when the ball ejects into the shooter lane, the selected skill shot has been registering without my shooting the ball out of the lane, basically lanes, tower, frozen on flipper. It used to be every once in awhile but its pretty much every time now. Any help would be appreciated.

1) It could be the shooter lane switch is registering incorrectly. In that case it either needs adjustment or replacement.

2) It could also be the small shooter rod spring on the outside of the cabinet. Mine was broken when I got my LOTR, and it caused the shooter tip to stick out into the lane to far, causing false operation of the shooter lane switch.

#2339 1 year ago
Quoted from hawknole:

Unconscious the other night on DTR...


#2357 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Is it normal for the ring to make a loud buzzing noise when it grabs the ball and holds it? Mine does it and it's quite loud and distracting

Yep, that magnet is pulling some amps holding that ball like that.....

1 week later
#2393 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

I have a question and it's probably been brought up before. My Balrog switch seems to be intermittent. A lot of times he doesn't register. I've replaced the switch and wiring, but no change. It activates in switch test. Also Balrog doesn't seem to go all the way back, when it's moving into position to cover the spinner and it's not getting hung up on the wiring. I'm not sure if this is what's causing it. I thought I'd ask before dipping into it to deeply.
I've also played other LOTR's and it seems like this is a common problem. So, maybe it's normal.

There's a relay PCB that Balrog plugs into under the playfield. Reflow all the solder on it. That should help with the position not registering correctly.

#2400 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

Is this the relay PCB?

Quoted from trk12fire:

Looks pretty good

That's the one, go ahead and reflow all those solder joints. It's the next step if you've already swapped out the wiring harness and switch on BalRog.

#2404 1 year ago
Quoted from trk12fire:

Reflowed again and got it working. It's moving back and forth just fine, but Balrog isn't registering at all. Does the PCB control the switch at all?

You said originally you replaced the wire harness for Balrog, did you make your own, buy one, or fix the existing? Pinball Heaven (UK) sells a replacement on ebay.....

#2411 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

Okay...now that my ring is fixed (it was the fuse), now my Sword Lock won't work. So, I can't get the Two Towers MB the traditional way.
Any guidance for me to know if it's the coil? Fuse? The 3 switches just prior to the "ball locker" work.

Can you activate the coil for the Sword Lock in Test mode? Have you checked the switch gate at the bottom of the ramp?

#2418 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

Not sure what the switch gate is....

During gameplay there are two ways a ball can get onto the Sword Ramp: The ramp shot itself or from the Gimli VUK. For the coil to activate correctly during game play the ramp shot switch gate has to register as well as one of the three rollover switches on the sword. If the ramp switch gate is not registering the pin will think the ball came from the Gimli VUK and will not lock a ball.

#2420 1 year ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I just installed a color dmd and this was literally the first game on it. Amazing display, lcd on hires.

Too funny, installed a colorDMD in mine Monday, and the first game with it was fantastic as well.....amazing how much it improves the look & feel of the game!!

Set mine to scan, searching back thru pinside that seemed to be the consensus.

#2432 1 year ago
Quoted from Vyzer2:

Not recommending this either way, but try playing with one ball through the ring instead of two, just to make sure it is working. There is a setting for this in the menu. I also had this problem, prior to installing a more powerful coil. By the time I got to DTR, my flippers were noticeably weaker and I could not generate enough flipper power to knock the first ball through. Flipper coils are another debatable issue for LOTR owners.

I concur, had the same problem with DTR, swapped to one ball with good results. As for the coils, I've recently swapped mine to the APB Medium Power coil and they are perfect. The stock coils couldn't hardly make the center ramp any more but the time DTR starts, and I had tried Pinballlife coils which were WAY to strong. You can buy the APB coils here on pinside.

I have not tried DTR with 2 balls and the new coils, will try that now and report back.....

#2434 1 year ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

Hmmm... this may mean I have to upgrade my ROM set from 5.01.

Seriously.....order V10 ROMs now!! They are a noticeable improvement over the V6 my machine had when I bought it, and you are on uneven older version. Ray J. at ActionPinball can get them for you.

2 weeks later
#2462 1 year ago
Quoted from parsonsaj:

OK so I've only had my LOTR machine for less than a week. So far the only thing I've done to it is to install an NVRAM since I boneheadedly didn't check that the battery pack cable tie was in place and the dang thing fell off during transport. The NVRAM works great, and now I never have to worry about battery corrosion again! Is there any downside in using the NVRAM instead of the original battery design?
Second question... this machine seems to have 9.0 ROMs. Is it worth getting the 10.0 ROM instead? Seems to be a low-cost item, but not sure whether there are enough changes between the 2 versions to justify even the small cost of it.

Looks like there was a service bulletin with V9. I would read below and the service bulletin as well to check:

CPU Release 10.00
Date October 28, 2005

Game ROM 1M U210 $84FF 10.00 lotrcpua.A00
Game ROM 1M U210 $9DFF 10.00 lotrcpul.A00

If your game shipped with version 9 software, then please read service
bulletin #157: http://www.sternpinball.com/SB/ServiceBulletin_157.html
If your game is affected, please update your sound OS before installing
this code update, or the problems will get worse.
- Fixed a bug with entering initials for Destroy the Ring Champion when it
was earned during a ToPS Tournament game.
- Cleaned up some hacks related to Sound OS problems (the 9.0x releases, not
in 9.00).
- Fixed a bug where Palantir might try to add-a-ball when all balls were
already on the playfield during multiball.
- Fixed a bug where the game would show the FOTR MB Lit display effect AFTER
you had already started it (this happened if Pippen was the last person to
be collected).
- Russian (& other country) coinage/tournament settings added.

DISPLAY Release 10.00
Date October 28, 2005

Display 4M Rom 0 $1669 10.00 lotrdspa.A00
Display 4M Rom 0 $B8CE 10.00 lotrdspf.A00
Display 4M Rom 0 $EDB4 10.00 lotrdspg.A00
Display 4M Rom 0 $57E7 10.00 lotrdspi.A00
Display 4M Rom 0 $3D2B 10.00 lotrdspl.A00

- New adjustment/display effect support added.
- Russian (& other country) coinage/tournament settings added

#2467 1 year ago
Quoted from parsonsaj:

Thanks for the info! Do you know if there's anywhere else other than the Stern site to read that service bulletin? The link to Stern seems to be non-functional...

google brought up this: http://www.sternpinball.com/upload/downloads/sb157.pdf

1 week later
#2485 1 year ago
Quoted from OU182:

Just replaced the three AA batteries on the circuit board, can't figure how to secure it. Cut the tywrap. Leveling the machine is a problem also. Still a great machine.

NVRAM it and lose the batteries. Never have to worry about them leaking or needing to be changed

#2503 1 year ago
Quoted from ryandimx:

When you guys change out the coils are you just doing the flipper coils or the vuk and others too?

Usually flippers only during a rebuild, unless a problem exists on the coil in question.

#2509 1 year ago
Quoted from pipes:

Thanks, I'll do that. I was hoping I didn't have to take the whole thing out.

Really nothing to it. One connector under the playfield, a couple of screws and spacers, and up he comes. Be sure to take plenty of pictures to remember which spacer/screw/nut goes where, otherwise you'll have Balrog scraping a divot in the playfield.

Other thing is it may not be a bad bulb inside him, it may be a broken wire inside the Balrog cable......

1 week later
#2531 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

I'm running 3 LEDs for a Path of the Dead Mod. Going to wire to the 1-2-3-4 POTD lights.
LEDs are 3G 7" pre-wired - 12V applications.
The description says they have built-in resistors and says Input Voltage is 9-16 Vdc.
Do still need to use my own resistors even if the LEDs say "built-in resistors"? I have 100 Ohm Resistors, 1/4 W, 5% tolerance. Where do I attach these? + (red) or - (Black)?
Do I need to use Diodes? I have N4004 Diodes that are rated for 400V DC at 1A. And, do I attach to + (red) wires for each light?
thank you!!!

I used the following LED post lights for my Dead army without using resistors:


If you look at the installation instructions for this kit it should give you the basic idea of how and where to include the diodes:


#2537 1 year ago

The finishing touch: sillyoldelf's art blades for my LOTR!!


Here is the list of things done since the day I bought her last July 4th:

Power Driver Board repair - Done
Ring Mode Opto - Done
Diverter adjustment - Done
Translite lift channel - Done
Replace Backbox lock - Done
Replace Ring plastic - Done
Replace Tiltbob - Done
Replace Palantir Target - Done
Flatten playfield plastic - Done
Replace yellow dome - Done
New Ball Trough - Done
Clean and polish playfield - Done
Refinish metal lane guides - Done

Cliffys Protectors - Done
Titan Silicone Rings -Done
LEDs - Done
LED GIZmo - Done
NVRAM - Done
Pinbits Plastic Protecters - Done
Arwen protector - Done
Path of the Dead Arwen Diverter - Done
Flipper Coil upgrade - Done
Ring cone plastic - Done
Ring Ramp Post Kit - Done
Army of the Dead - Done
Target Decals - Done
Sword Tip Decal - Done
Habitrail Guide Mod - Done
Missing Gimli, Legolas, Boromir - Done
Solid Lock bar and Lollipops - Done
Black T-Molding - Done
Palantir Mod - Done
ColorDMD - Done
Invisiglass - Done
Flipper Fidelity Speakers - Done
Speaker Ring and Lights - Done
Backbox LEDs - Done
Backbox Flasher - Done
Spare Driver Board - Done
Side blades - Done

Well, almost done, been thinking about Pinsound........LOL!!!

#2546 1 year ago
Quoted from hawknole:

Looking good. Gimli, Legolas & Boromir were not included in any LOTR pin, they are mods. You may consider a Sauron figure in the back right. The Uruk Hai back there bothered me because they are not part of Barad Dur but rather Orthanc.

Correct, that's why I have them in the Mod list, since they were missing from the figures included by Stern...

Hadn't considered Sauron, may do that swap.....

#2548 1 year ago
Quoted from ryandimx:

Add links and pin this to the top!

This post here is very close, with links:


#2564 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

Just had the wires the wrong way. Needed to adjust the switch a bit so it would trigger better, but I believe I have it back to normal.....thanks to you all.
Now I have to figure out if I can replace inserts with LED without getting any ghosting...looking like no after I replaced 3 green ones (2 outer lanes) and the green lock light.

Quoted from Lermods:

Lotr is bad with ghosting. Get an led ocd board and it will solve that problem.

LED OCD and GIZmo are a MUST if LED'ing a LOTR!!!! It will look fantastic when done!!

#2566 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

I just ordered the OCD LED board..but what is gizmo?

Basically it's LED OCD for non-color changing GI on SAM/Whitestar systems: http://ledocd.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=19

#2568 1 year ago
Quoted from Morhaus:

Is it okay with just the Ocd board?

I never tried GI LEDs without GIzmo, however just read the Club LED OCD thread for more detailed opinions on it. From what I remember is that it offers a subtle improvement, but some have gone without on some pins based upon how it

#2580 1 year ago
Quoted from dmieczko:

I always thought the GI faded on this game. When I bought my 2nd LOTR it had a full LED conversion with no LED OCD board. The GI in-line near the shooter lane looked so horrible because it was supposed to fade in and out but really just flickered with LED's. I removed all the LED's in favor of incandescent bulbs and I truly love that look on LOTR. The warm glow of old-school bulbs is certainly my favorite for this particular game. I'm now on my 3rd, and it's all incadescent except for the backboard lighting and color-changers in "mode start" and behind the Palantir.

Quoted from northvibe:

I agree. I led all my games, usually in a CT kit so it’s a nice clean look. Except lotr. Looks soooo damn good in incandescents.

IMO it looks just as good, if not better since it's a bit brighter, in LED Warm Whites with LED OCD for the inserts & GIzmo for the GI.....I really need to take some video of it in Attract mode. May do that tonight.....

#2588 1 year ago

Alright, here is a fresh video shot at 1080p60. Dark room, only lighting is from the pin. Stern playfield Invisiglass in place.

Details: Herg's LED OCD and GIzmo
Cointaker LEDs in Warm White and Color Matching Inserts except ORC lanes (Orange) and MB FotK (Green), TT(Red), RotK (Blue)

GIzmo is still hard to capture, but it helps when the GI gets dimmed as it allows a gradual increase/decrease that you can't get with only LEDs

#2590 1 year ago
Quoted from Neal_W:

The 8 lamps along the shooter lane work with the insert lamps and not the GI, so the LED OCD would smooth them.

...and you can see in my video in the post above how well LED OCD does that!

1 week later
#2636 1 year ago
Quoted from HughesDForce:

I've rebuilt the flippers and they're strong enough, so I don't think that's the issue--most of the ramp shots hit the Ring and bounce back. I think they're hitting high and right of the hole, which would be the opposite problem: the ramp aimed too high or the balls traveling too fast. The game is a re-import from Italy, and I've found lots of unusual stuff in it, so figure the ramp might be off somehow.
I'll definitely look at the spinner and the tip of the ramp. Those could both be adding variance

Which coils are on the flippers?? Coils too strong will overshoot the ring all day......

#2641 1 year ago
Quoted from HughesDForce:

I'm using the "regular" coils. I had the PBL extra-hot ones for a while, and my plastics took a beating, so I went back to stock.
The playfield angle is 7.5 degrees right now--the middle of the bubble level. Raising it a bit higher might work, though I'm afraid that might make the left (Legolas) ramp too steep. We already see plenty of balls rolling partway up and then back down.
Thanks for chiming in, I appreciate it!

Middle of bubble would be 6.5 degrees. You should be able to go to 7 degrees, making it less floaty and reduce the velocity going up the ramp.

If you have a iPhone download the Pinguy app and check your readings with it.

3 weeks later
#2682 1 year ago

I cannot recommend the PBL LOTR coil, they are way to strong and will cause air balls galore. Others have experienced the same. The medium power coils sold here on Pinside shops are on my pin now and are perfect for the pin. Seriously, love PBL and their products, but their LOTR coils are not recommended.

#2688 1 year ago

For the Palantir target (or most any Stern target that takes a beating and gets bent backwards), order 535-9823-01 from PinballLife. It's a replacement back plate that will not bend backwards. Put it on my Palantir target and its been rock solid.


#2707 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

My balrog doesn't register all hits. Any thoughts?

Most of the time it's the cable assembly, then the next likely culprit is the switch......

#2710 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Yup, searched this thread and seem the switch is often the issue. How do I access the switch? From the top or bottom of pf? Does Balrog need to be removed?

Page 87 of the manual, the switch is internal to Balrog. Yes, Balrog will need to be removed and disassembled. Remove the Kotter pin and remove from the top, you'll have to unplug the cable from underneath.

#2725 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Can anyone confirm if these are the same as the stock coils?
And, like the factory coils, will these overheat/lose power during a long game?

There are the best coils for a LOTR, perfect strength and do not fade/overheat:


#2739 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

I had 5 gifts, 2 MBs completed, TABA started and failed, and I had a mode started with just fellowship mb to start. The inserts showed Frodo was the only one flashing, but I kept hitting it and nothing!
Does it need to pass through the ring to light Frodo?
Also, after completing fellowship, the inserts go blank (unlike flashing when game starts). Do I have to hit the shots more than once the second time around?
And is it fair to think that if I had started the fellowship MB, completed it, got the 6th gifts, and then started DTR, I would have been at Valinor?

From Keefer himself here on Pinside:

1. Win FOTR (9 Balrog bashes + 8 ramp shots - the 9th bash is the super jackpot/win).
2. Win TTT (survive 4 stages of assault, shoot 1 single super jackpot to qualify as won - yes it is possible to have super lit and drain out and not win it (yet))
3. Win ROTK (I'm pretty sure this is ("only") finish 6 sets of 4 jackpots, then level 7 should be supers - any one super counts as a win)
4. Play TABA (don't have to win it)
5. Collect the "secret" 7th Elf Gift (3 gifts will come from the multiballs, so you need to scrape up 4 more from DTR wins, mode wins, or 2+ multiball wins)
6. After 1-5 are complete, then your NEXT *SUCCESSFUL* DTR will start Valinor. Prior DTR wins/losses have no effect (other than the point bonus at the end)

#2753 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

I bought a set of the medium strength ones sold here on Pinside, and hopefully they won't be as powerful but also won't lose power over lengthy games.

They won't, they are perfect for the game...

#2762 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Can I bug someone to take a photo of where there right orbit ball guide ends, so I can see how close it is to the rubber post.

From my shop job pics:

FB1F6DD6-A207-445C-A615-455D1F73BE99 (resized).jpeg

E7B09AF0-9B28-4DC4-9384-C64C13AF2EBB (resized).jpeg

#2764 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Thank you so much!
And do you recall if the ball hits the slings anytime it comes down from that right orbit lane?

Sometimes it grazes it, but mostly not an issues, straight to the right flipper....

#2777 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballCharlie:

I've received several requests for a video for the Mt. Doom mod. Please excuse the occasional blurry nature of the quick video I took last night; cameras have hella time trying to focus on constantly changing light
So far I've had a lot of requests for the mod. It's time to end that grainy picture of Mt. Doom! That is really the one eyesore (mostly - I'm looking at you cheap looking Orthanc) that needed better representation.
Just a little patience - I want to gather as much info from these first five to make sure a larger run or a Pinside Shop Item will be completely universal (this is really a custom fit on that wireform and I need to see about mfg tolerances from pin to pin).
Thanks for the awesome comments and interest so far!!
» YouTube video

It looks awesome, looking forward to testing this out for you!

1 week later
#2809 1 year ago
Quoted from neoskywalker:

Again, thank you! As a teen I mainly played TAF and TZ religiously at the bowling alley so I partially love stop and go "aim" machines (which is making me consider TSPP).
Is LOTR too similar to a Steve Richie game in the opposite of a stop and go sense or does it have a little bit of both? Star Trek is my adrenaline/fast ramp game, need my aimer along side her. Wish there was only love for one of the two, or they were only like ten bucks.

It's a mix. While the Legolas & Sword ramps and outer loop can be fast, it has 3 VUKs, a bash target, a slow center ramp, the path of the dead, and a top kickout hole that really gives a good mix. The LOTR rules for it are superb, and I like that it's not an unfair layout, i.e. no cheap drains.

#2847 1 year ago

Got my Mt. Doom mod installed yesterday, nice enhancement that really adds to the look of the backboard. It was an easy install, took all of 5 minutes. Nice addition to my already fully modded LOTR.

IMG_6075 (resized).JPG

Suggestion: What would really put this mod over the top is that if the red lighting randomly flickered at different points of the mod, giving it that flowing lava/fire look.

1 week later
#2924 1 year ago
Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

Those look like the "Upgraded" coils i have in my lotr. They weren't a problem until i put in two new flipper rebuild kits. Now i call those coils the plastic breakers. I've replaced the inner ring plastic twice now since i did the rebuild.

Agreed, those are the upgraded ones from PinballLife. Had them in my machine for a day before I ordered the ones sold here on Pinside by APB. The PBL coils are way to powerful, the APB are pin the just right category: more power without being too powerful and they don't overheat under heavy use.

Here is the link: https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1065-apb-enterprises/01414-new-stern-pinball-medium-power-coil-lord-of-the-rings-gnr

#2953 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

I'm going to be doing a full LED treatment on my game. Do you suggest going warm or natural/cool white?

Check out this thread.


I followed all his suggestions with the following changes:

- Changed the three ORC rollover lights to orange
- Changed the three Multiball lights to Green (FOTK), Red (TTT), Blue, ROTK)

Here is how it looks, in person it is stunning.....



#2987 1 year ago
Quoted from ryandimx:

Led OCD in last night. Amazing difference immediately. Does anyone make any changes to the settings or just load lotr in the program and leave it alone?

I left mine alone......it really is an amazing product!

#2990 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Frosted or not for the GI? How about the inserts?

I already posted this link to a detailed spreadsheet with all the bulb infos, including where to use Frosted in post 2953. Here it is again:

Check out this thread.


I followed all his suggestions with the following changes:

- Changed the three ORC rollover lights to orange
- Changed the three Multiball lights to Green (FOTK), Red (TTT), Blue, ROTK)

#3003 1 year ago
Quoted from Junglist:

so I assume he's not glued in then? I didn't want to start pulling on it if it's just going to make a mess and I can't seem to find the details on installing him anywhere.

As with any pin that you need to partially diassemble your cameraphone is your friend. Take tons of closeup pictures around that area, especially each fastener one at a time with you finger in the pic pointing to the screw/nut/fastener location that you are removing. Then once you can get at the switch and replace it you use those same pics you just took in reverse order as a guide to putting things back together.

#3012 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Hmmmmmm... Trying to figure out what to do with that strip of lights.
I'm doing warm LEDs for all clear insets and GI bulbs (frosted for GI) and then green LED for greeninserts, red for red, etc...

I did green over the PotD, Warm white in the middle, Red on the right.

#3026 1 year ago
Quoted from neoskywalker:

HEYO - finally got my LOTR last night!
I want to update to the latest rom. Can someone help point me in the right direction of whats all needed and possibly where to get the stuff?

Actionpinball.com, Ray there is your guy for all the ROM needs, been serving the pinball community for decades.....

1 month later
#3118 1 year ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

Not sure exactly what you are looking for, but these should help.

Those are of the Aragorn Sword ramp.......

1 week later
#3142 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Has anyone installed Flipper Fidelity or Pinball Pro speakers in their game? Just wondering if the upgrade is worthwhile.

I’ve put in the FF kit with 10” sub. I would do it again in a heartbeat, as the original cheap speakers are now 15 years old and never were great to start with.i would not do the 10” sub again, had to install it in the low setting as it is and it’s still just a hair too much. Stick with the cheaper 8” cabinet speaker kit.

2 weeks later
#3174 1 year ago
Quoted from rpageler:

Going to troubleshoot next weekend: the eject from the trough to the shooter lane sometimes takes 2 to 4 times before the ball ends up coming out. Has anyone seen this? Seems like it's just going to be an adjustment to the coil angle unless i'm missing something??? Any guidance is appreciated.

Check the trough scoop cover, the welds crack on it over time and can definitely cause unreliable kick outs.

1 week later
#3182 1 year ago
Quoted from whisper:

Hi guys looking for some help, i apologize if this question was answered in the thread earlier an i missed it, when i start a game my balrog is where his meant to be blocking the ring press start an he swings in to start playing, then later when he pops out in bash balrog after its over he remains out blocking the ring an does not swing in, can anyone help me on what the issue is an where to start looking please? Thanks in advance.

There is a small PCB with a relay mounted to it under the playfield near Balrog. Over time this PCB can develop cold/broken solder joints. Reflow the solder joints on that board and see if that helps.

1 week later
#3191 1 year ago
Quoted from jsyjay:

I have a LOTR incoming, can't wait to join the club. It was on eBay and I put in my highest bid then forgot about it and surprisingly I won! Chatting with the guy selling he definitely isn't a pinball person and having a closer look at the pictures I noticed this. [quoted image]

To his defense, Stern's set up instructions say that the machine is factory set at 6.5 deg on the bubble with all the levelers screwed all the way in......

For me his replay score of 8 mil told me he isn't a pinball guy.......

Looks like a nice low play one........congrats!

#3193 1 year ago
Quoted from jsyjay:

I didn't notice the replay score, good spot!
It is going to be interesting to see how many play it has, I'm guessing less than 500...

I'd also bet on original (old) ROMs........

#3197 1 year ago
Quoted from jsyjay:

Thanks Pin_Guy, I played the LE at PHOF recently and was hooked after that!
I have loads of mods on order: Sillyoldelf art blades, lit Mt. Doom, ryan1234 habitrail mod, shire decal, target decals, gold flipper bats.
I have also ordered an LEDOCD which made a massive difference on my Spider-Man, can anyone share their settings?
It is a shame Jay isn't making the palantir mod any more...

I’d also highly recommend this Arwen plastic protector:


#3209 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Ok guys, now I have a big problem!
While I was trying to fix the leaf switch on Balrog today, I ended up breaking the bulb and the housing (see post above).
When I went to turn the game back on, I'm getting a loud humming sound from the cabinet speaker (much louder than it sounds in the video), and everything along J7 appears to be out (Balrog motor, upper right VUK, sword lock, slings, etc.).
I also noticed that fuse F7 keeps blowing. I've put a few fuses in already and they blow immediately.
Another thing I've noticed is that the Balrog seem to not tuck into hiding all the way. When I push it manually, it just pops back and sort of sits in the middle as you'll see in the video.
I've gone as far as I can with the manual. Looks like J7 goes to a DC Bi directional relay board, but not sure what that is.
Any thoughts on what this might be, or what I should check?

Since you were working on Balrog concentrate on that. The two common failures surrounding Balrog are the relay PCB mounted underneath the playfield near Balrog (cold/broken solder joints) or the Balrog wire harness (broken wires inside the sheath which could short against each other). Additionally you may have caused a short working on the Balrog switch itself. I’d put my money on the latter, the Balrog harness or the switch.

3 weeks later
#3259 1 year ago
Quoted from ruzeo:

There is a clear piece of plastic that covers the arwen piece that will protect it just fine. The potd diverter mod increases the flow of the game but it actually is to your disadvantage. The game was designed to give you extra souls if the ball falls off the potd into the shire so you are actually making the game harder by using that mod.

Ruzeo is correct. The best Arwen protector that also still gives you the gameplay and souls at intended is this one:


I have it installed on my LOTR and it works perfectly.....

#3264 1 year ago
Quoted from MrKegFlex:

Just not sure the few extra souls you get is worth it over the diverter, it's another stop/start process in shooting the POTD.

It starts at 200 souls and increments by 50 each following time, plus you get the Shire mystery award if it's available. It adds up after a few POTD and makes ROTK multiball much more accessible, as intended by the Gomez & Keefer......

1 week later
#3316 1 year ago
Quoted from Damien:

Did you get yours NIB or buy second hand like that?
Also, when your game boots, do you get this screen? Can this be turned off with the dip switches so it is USA and does not show this screen?
And can you guys confirm that this is the latest software?
[quoted image]

That is the latest software, and showing that info can be done by the menu setting for Fast Boot or Fast Restart or something like that....

1 week later
#3336 1 year ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

Stern used a ton of glue on the AOME figures anyway (or a previous owner did)

Previous owner, as Stern did not use glue. Stern used clear plastics and black wireties.

#3338 1 year ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

I don't mean Stern glued the figures down. I was thinking they glued them to keep their joints from moving, or a previous owner did. The stock AOME figures have some joints for posing them. A lot of the figures in my game are glued stiff.

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, Stern did glue the joints, as the AOME figures fall apart easily at the joints. I had to do the same when I built my Path of the Dead Mod and when I added Gimli & Boromir. After just a few games the figures started to resemble Monty Python instead of Tolkien.......

#3345 1 year ago
Quoted from Alamo_Pin:

Can someone please provide a link where I can purchase the Arwen plastic mod that helps deliver the ball from the Path of the Dead? Apparently, I am not good at google.


1 week later
#3357 12 months ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

I was curious to know where to get replacement palantirs, and found references to these:
You'll want the 30mm one. I measured the stock palantir at about 31mm, so the size is pretty close to stock. Even if you didn't do an eye projection onto it, the clear orb looks way better than the one with a screw in it.

Jay's mod Palantir Crystal Ball is much larger than that at 50mm. As soon as I have a little time I'm going to play around and try to make one for a friend of mine who just picked up a mint LOTR, as I have one of the last run of Jay's to use as a guide. He would buy one as well, however the availability of these in any significant quantity has been slim and none in the last year......

#3361 12 months ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

I think that would look too big. I successfully (temporarily) had an image projected onto my 30mm one with a simple printout that was back lit with a flex bulb. It was just taped on and fell off, but I'll eventually make it more permanent.

Like I said, the ones that Jay has sold dozens of over the years is 50mm and looks fantastic!

1 month later
#3438 10 months ago
Quoted from talking_goat:

Welp, just had the best first ball of my life get utterly ruined by my ring magnet. Cleared all shots on Destroy the Ring, got the first ball in the ring, then shot the second ball perfectly into the ring (a DIRECT HIT into the ball held there) and they both got stuck and refused to move. I couldn't find the keys to move the glass in time and it dumped another ball into play, ending the mode. I think I could strangle a horse with my bare hands right now. Is there a way to fix a ring magnet functioning TOO well like this?
Edit: The balls are not magnetized themselves, they don't stick to each other at all. My machine is 100% stock, HUO. Only issue I've had was a disconnected flipper wire that I resoldered and have had no issues with since.

That one ball knocking the second ball thru the Ring to destroy it never has worked 100% on most LOTRs. Most everybody turns Destroy the Ring setting to one ball in the Feature adjustments to avoid this.....

2 weeks later
2 weeks later
#3535 9 months ago
Quoted from Pinkitten:

Can you attach multiple pins to a single Polk external sub? I have 2 subs total. One is attached to Tron and works great. I want to add LOTR to that one, and then use the other speaker on 2 other pins. I've seen comments that you can use 2 pins on each sub, and I've seen others saying up to 4 pins on each sub is fine. Does anyone know from personal experience? Is it as simple as snaking speaker wire into the cabinets and clipping to the existing speakers? Are there drawbacks to that method?
Thanks again.

I don't see how hooking up two or more amplifiers to each other can be a good thing electronically for the soundboards/amps. By hooking up two or more machines to the same subwoofer that is exactly what you are doing. Some others may have done it "successfully", but sooner or later some pin sound board is going to get fried.....

#3538 9 months ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

I don't see how hooking up two or more amplifiers to each other can be a good thing electronically for the soundboards/amps. By hooking up two or more machines to the same subwoofer that is exactly what you are doing. Some others may have done it "successfully", but sooner or later some pin sound board is going to get fried.....

Quoted from Pinzap:

This is absolutely not what’s happening when you hook up separate sources to separate inputs. Of course I agree if you’re trying to stack wires on a single input. But, the inputs on the subwoofer are electronically isolated internally. Otherwise how do you think it would work that it has a left and a right input? With your supposition, the left would travel back up the right and vice versa... and in your home audio system you’d no longer have stereo sound. This is not how subwoofers are designed as long as you keep one source per input. Voltage will not travel back up to the other amplifier.

I went and took a look at the wiring connections of the Polk Subwoofer everyone uses. We are both correct. If you hook up on pin's speaker level output to the Left SW input and the other pin to the Right SW input it will work. If you hook up two or more pins to one SW Input my statement still holds, as at that point you are tying together the 2 pin soundboard/amps by tying them together at the subwoofer input, which could be asking for trouble

#3559 9 months ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

I installed the LED ColorDMD in my LOTR. It looks great. I don't have much exposure to their LCD offerings, so I can't do a comparison, but I really like the LED panel.

While the LED ColorDMD is a great improvement over a standard DMD, LOTR is one of the best games for LCD ColorDMD and really stands out.

#3574 9 months ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

I used all retro bulbs from Cointaker for the GI. All warm white except in the rear I used a couple green on the left and 3 red on the right. Also put a green in the light under the path of the dead.
I'm not entirely sure I like/need the exaggerated green in the rear left, but it certainly looks nice. I have some extra warm white I'm gonna try.
I followed this guide verbatim: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/led-and-rubber-maps-for-lord-of-the-rings
Only different is I used warm white retros in the shooter lane lights. His guide calls for mini 555 but mine are in #44 sockets. Not sure if that was an error or if some machines are different. Either way, it's a great look. I paired it with LED OCD.

Same guide I followed, and found the same error in the shooter lane specs:

IMG_6249 (resized).JPG
2 weeks later
#3654 8 months ago
Quoted from hollywood:

What brand is the silver lid wax you are talking about?

P21S Carnauba comes in Blue Lid (Cheaper) and Silver Lid (More expensive) versions. Carnauba concentrations are supposedly higher in the Silver version.

#3655 8 months ago

Duplicate post.......

#3689 8 months ago
Quoted from red-line:

I feel like the balrog should light up - am I imagining that?

It should, and it could be the light or the wiring harness. Over the years the constant opening/closing of Balrog can cause some of the wires in the wiring harness to break, causing the bulb not to light or the switch not to register.

#3692 8 months ago
Quoted from red-line:

Ahh. Thanks. Is the wiring harness below the playfield?

It plugs in under the playfield, but travels up thru a hole into Balrog. Pinball Heaven in the UK makes a replacement, or you could make your own.

#3694 8 months ago
Quoted from red-line:

Is there an easy way to see if a balrog led kit has been installed? I tried to check last night, and got as far as taking the 2 screws out of the side of the balrog. I couldn't get the toy off from there so I gave up. I was scared I was gonna break it on my first night w the table lol.

Only good way I know of to check Balrog is to uninstall him. Just some screws, posts, and spacers, along with a plastic for access, with the wire harness going thru the playfield. Take your time and plenty of pics, you'll be fine.

#3710 8 months ago

You do NOT want the high powered ones from PinballLife, they are WAY to powerful for LOTR. The medium strength ones advertised here on Pinside are the best all around for LOTR.


#3753 8 months ago
Quoted from monkeyboypaul:

Still can’t decide between brass and black.
Now with matching feet..?[quoted image][quoted image]

Unless the brass is a perfect match to the powder coat, which it’s not, I would go with black bolts and feet....

#3762 8 months ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

Does anyone have contact info for the redshift guy? I want to buy his path of the dead diverter/ protector but his website has had his store "closed until January" since I started looking. No reply to email. Just wondering if he's planning on selling it again or if he's closing up shop for good or what.

Just emailed with Mike earlier, he's fine and his website store will be back shortly. He had some new pinball mods to work on and finish up, as well as some personal business as well.

1 week later
#3786 7 months ago
Quoted from the4Orr:

Hey, thanks for your reply. The plastic piece is installed the only way it can be.
Also @neal_w, thought about it and realized that this has been happening since we got the machine and I installed brand new balls in it immediately when we got it. Can the balls get magnetized within the first few games? I took those ones out anyways and put some others I had in and there was no difference, every single ball down the drain. I don't have any of the "cheap" ones so I'll have to buy some of them and try it out. I am now sceptical about magnetization being the issue but until I try it with some of these other balls I won't be able to say for sure. Really frustrating to finally get a machine I have been wanting and not be able to play it. Thanks in advance for your replies! Really appreciate the help.

It could be that the sword ramp itself was installed incorrectly after a shopping, not having enough slope in it causing the balls to move to slow.....

#3790 7 months ago

Are the sword switches registering correctly in Switch Test??

#3816 7 months ago
Quoted from hollywood:

I have three I am looking at currently.....
What worries me is that I may buy, then Stern announces a Vault. That is why I sold mine 4 years ago. I mean, they HAVE TO make a vault right?

They did, and it was sold as an LE in 2009.....

Quoted from Pinzap:

You have to ask yourself, how would a vault even change your game IF they did make it? If it's an immaculate HUO example, then a vault would not be of greater quality. And no way they'd add figures to a vault, so if yours has those, you're ahead with an original. Only thing I can think of would be a possible upgrade to the audio quality, but would stern really spend the time to re-master all the original clips? Or could they even do this with licensing issues? Maybe it'd end up being like a SMVE with new audio callouts that everyone complains about. The jackpot callout alone is worth it's weight in gold (wait, do callouts really weigh anything? oh well, you get my point). I personally don't think they'll do a vault because finding an original is not very tough... you said it yourself that you're considering three separate ones. Sells would be lackluster at best for a vault. Now, a tron VE is more likely I think (if they can get disney licensing to agree) because of the difficulty in finding these. I'm not worried about that either, because my LE will still be way better than any vault they can release (unless they put Daft punk multiball in the vault, and then I'm gonna go ballistic).
TL;DR - Get the original LOTR now... you won't regret it.

Pinzap nailed it......

1 week later
#3885 7 months ago
Quoted from Jarbyjibbo:

With an LED board and better quality warm LED's you can come fairly close but to my eyes it still isn't the same...... and costs money. For me the math just doesn't make sense to try and come close.

Don’t forget swapping to LEDs also lowers the heat and power demands put on the wiring connectors and boards, which are now 15+ years old.....

Did mine with LED OCD, warm white LEDs, and a few color LEDs on some inserts and to highlight parts of the backboard. Couldn’t imagine going back to regular bulbs....

#3893 7 months ago
Quoted from Damien:

I did LED and OCD in my previous LOTR. I went with 2 SMD warm from Comet, and although it looked great, it doesn't look like stock.
So with 1 SMD, have you found that playing with the OCD settings can get it looking close to incandescent?

1 SMD Warm White with LEDOCD and GIzmo, some color LEDs in inserts and backboard. Lighting effects look perfect with OCD.

LOTR2 (resized).jpg
#3912 7 months ago
Quoted from jetspeedb:

SillyoldElf side art for the win.


#3956 7 months ago
Quoted from jsm172:

Can anyone take a few pictures of the Gandalf area on shadowfax? I am doing a ship job and the plastics and protectors behind him seem bent and posts are leaning. Just want to make sure I don’t have something in the wrong place

Here you go:
0843AE14-6FC0-43B8-A130-8945B88B66CB (resized).jpeg1F2F6E91-11B7-4789-90FC-A946892CFFD0 (resized).jpeg682D3E00-8C8E-42B4-A104-E0BB215DC129 (resized).jpegB2766A20-8B2B-42F6-B1B1-2086513DE723 (resized).jpegD022450C-C83A-4694-99B7-592BA38E3B0B (resized).jpegE71429F1-BCA6-45A7-A4B0-5A9FB087DAD1 (resized).jpegEC0D2799-6BB5-4EC6-9507-236287423B95 (resized).jpeg

1 week later
#4012 7 months ago

FYI - I've made some Palantir Eye of Sauron mods available here on Pinside. For more information please go to this thread:


1 week later
#4094 6 months ago
Quoted from Bigbad:

Does anyone have any information on the ring magnet?common failures they might know about, it seems like it isn’t grabbing the ball properly and as if it doesnt know if the ball is there.

For the ring magnet to grab the ball it uses 2 switches, those need to be checked first: The ring ramp spinner and the optos in the ring itself. Verify correct operation of those two first via the switch test.

1 week later
#4129 6 months ago
Quoted from paynemic:

Nice! Wish my kids played....

Amen brother.....

1 week later
#4147 6 months ago
Quoted from BobC:

Is Lord of the rings one of those pinball machines where the incandescent bulbs have fade and flickering effects that would require an OCD board is switching to LEDs?
I haven't had my Lord the rings at home for a long time and it's about to go on route at The Flipperroom room in Concord and we are trying to get it ready to go.
I saw there was a specific thread on OCD and Lord of the rings, but some people in there were saying they put an OCD on every game they own...so it wasn't clear to me if OCD was a necessity or just an option when using LEDs on LOTR

If you are using LEDs in a LOTR then OCD is a must IMO. I have OCD installed on mine, and in the last 6 months played 2 other LOTRs with LEDs that didn’t have OCD and they did not look right.

2 weeks later
#4194 5 months ago
Quoted from Robertstone0407:

So i got my LE with a path of the dead rhat the person used super glue and acetone to clean it
Long story it was trashed. Had a buddy cut me a new one and etch skulls in it. Love it
[quoted image][quoted image]

Like those etchings, a very nice touch!!!

#4210 5 months ago
Quoted from Robertstone0407:

Also making path of the dead pieces. I can do it without figure mounts as well. One with a river path etched in and one without. Buddys helping me on these and the sword

Thanks looking to paint it
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

NICE!! if you make those available you have a buyer on both of those with me!

2 weeks later
#4283 4 months ago
Quoted from Nihonmasa:

Hey there,
Got mine not long ago and have a question, probably missing something.
Regarding the skill shot, how do you chose between one and another? On my machineI see it going very fastr from top light to bottom and I always end up with the right orbit skill shot.
Would be nice to know how to solve this

Quoted from Pinzap:

The three lights that cycle will stop on whichever one is lit when the ball leaves the switch position at the bottom of the shooter lane (next to the plunger). So you have two options... either 1) plunge at the exact time you need to select the skill shot you want, or 2) do what I do and just bump the plunger with the palm of your hand just enough to make the ball leave that switch when your option is lit. This will lock in that light and allow you to take your time plunging.

Pinzap pretty much nailed it on the skill shot. The other thing to verify is to check which version of ROMs are installed on your LOTR. When I first got my LOTR I had many issues with the skill shots either freezing or running very fast, which were fixed when I installed the V10 ROMs.

1 month later
#4441 3 months ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

May I ask what technique you used to put the sillyoldelf blades on? Did you pull the whole playfield? I've had mine sitting uninstalled for months!

Quoted from red-line:

Sorry, can't help ya. My pin came with the blades on already. I would imagine you have to pull the whole play field, but I'm not the best-equipped to answer.

I installed them on mine, trickiest installs on artblades I've done. As a matter of fact I had to order a second set as I screwed the first one up.

I ended up doing it wet, and while other thicker vinyl blades can be done wet while leaving the playfield installed in a vertical position, that will not work with these artblades (That's how I messed up the first set).

Easiest way is to do it wet with the playfield totally removed from the cabinet.

Next easiest and the way I did it was to rest the front of the playfield all the way forward on the service rails, and then got 2 equal length pieces of wood and supported the rear of the playfield up so that the rear of it was basically about 12" up above the cabinet edge. Then used the wet method on the vinyl to get it in place.

The other thing is the playfield is tight in my cabinet, and having blade protectors from PBL when lowering/raising the playfield is a must IMO.

#4455 3 months ago
Quoted from Chappie101:

I have recently done this to my machine. I used flynnibus guide in this post...https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/led-and-rubber-maps-for-lord-of-the-rings Really excellent guide for all the LED's and rubbers! I made a couple of changes for my own personal liking. I purchased all the bulbs at Cointaker total cost was around $100 also bought the LEDOCD board and couldn't be happier with the result, no clown puke and the colors are rich and vibrant without losing the original effect what the machine was designed for. It's well worth going this route IMO, saves a lot of money over the kits and the effects are awesome! Many thanks to flynnibus for taking the time to put the guide together.

I've got this exact setup as well following the guide, and it looks fantastic. The LEDOCD is a must, LEDs on a LOTR without it is almost painful....

One error on the guide in that article: the nine GI lights next to the shooter lane are 44/47 bulbs and NOT 555. Buy some WarmWhite Frosted Dome 44/47s for those.

1 week later
#4493 3 months ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

I put in a brand new spinner, so I think it might be the ramp. Anyone have suggestions on how to tell if it's level?
Can anyone who has one working well perhaps take a photo with a flat ruler showing where it is in relation to the ring opening.

Is the spinner face angled back at the bottom? If the bottom of the spinner face is angled towards the front it will take some momentum away from the ball.

#4505 3 months ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

Not sure if this photo shows it, but here goes....[quoted image]

Bingo! When your ball hits that spinner it hits it on the bottom leading edge that is angled forward. That will absorb a lot of energy from the ball, making the ramp shot so much harder. Ideally the spinner should be almost perpendicular to the playfield, with the bottom edge just slightly away from the direction the ball will hit it from, i.e. in this case the bottom edge should be just towards the ramp. Adjust the spinner to that, and then the spinner will no longer absorb as much energy from the ball.

#4507 3 months ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

Can you share a photo of yours?

Unfortunately my LOTR is "on location" at a friend's house, but I've made a quick crude drawing showing the spinner in both configurations. With the spinner bottom edge forward it absorbs a lot of the energy from the ball up the face, following that blue arrow upwards.. In the correct configuration the spinner just spins from the ball hitting it.
IMG_0978 (resized).JPG

#4510 3 months ago
Quoted from red-line:

I'm a little confused on how you solve that. Mine isn't always like that but at least a portion of the time it settles in the wrong direction.

Slightest bending of the spinner arms is all that is needed in many cases. This thread got a few other hints:


#4517 3 months ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

So any suggestions on what direction I need to bend the spinner arms?

Leave the spinner in place, grab one of the arms with a pair of needlenose pliers, and slightly push the spinner into the direction you want it to move. Don't force it, those arms aren't very big. Next do the same to the other arm. Lather, rinse, repeat until you have it where you want it....

#4519 3 months ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

I wonder if it will need pushing or pulling based on the current position

you got a 50/50 shot, and if it's the wrong way just redo it in the other direction.

My guess is for your pic is pushing the bottom towards the ramp...

1 week later
#4535 83 days ago
Quoted from Digduglus:

Just joined the club! My machine has been on location, but the playfield is nice, everything works, and no broken or missing pieces. First question: suggestion for color dmds? Lcd or led?[quoted image]

The LCD model of ColorDMD really shines installed on a LOTR, probably the showcase model for ColorDMD capabilities hands down!!

#4552 82 days ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

Where did you guys get those speakers mods with the ring?


1 week later
#4611 68 days ago
Quoted from auspin:

color screen owners with lotr, is there a general consensus the color dmd or the color lcd is better for this game? (as it renders)
Its similar price, will be my first color screen and not sure which way to go.

I'm definitely in the LCD camp for LOTR

#4619 68 days ago
Quoted from auspin:

On the support page for the colordmd ROMs,
It says either:
ROMs for new displays, controller board version: Chroma A1
Support for older displays, controller board versions: 1.2 1.3 1.3a 1.3b
Lotr is listed in both, which one do you download?

That means LOTR will work for those different versions of the board. You download the one for the ColorDMD hardware you bought, i.e. if you bought just bought it new, download the Chroma A1. If you bought used you need to verify the hardware version of the boards which should have that printed or labeled on there.

1 week later
#4682 56 days ago
Quoted from auspin:

I've recently got all the figurines for my LE.
Also got the pinbits LE mounting kit.
I have mounted all the figurines except white Gandalf on shadowfax, I just can't seem to work that one out..
Does anyone have some pics or can explain how to do this one?
The pinbits picture didn't help either as the bottom plastic is a color piece where as on mine it's a clear plastic.
Cheers[quoted image][quoted image]

Here are the pics from when I shopped my LOTR. Unfortunately I can’t take any other pics at this time as it’s on location at a friend’s house....
3057D59B-6EE7-48A5-9C87-AEEDA904ED0C (resized).jpeg61F48CAB-58D7-4C96-8CDE-2EE9BF98E7EE (resized).jpeg81317508-4E0D-4E5A-8080-AB9EBD42B88D (resized).jpeg9ED1B08C-5B35-4D6C-95E4-40439D2994AC (resized).jpegD242AD94-41DA-4E4B-AD9E-991923E9FE3D (resized).jpegD6D16494-33EE-4271-9555-5F7D7C5FBA1F (resized).jpeg
1878F143-784E-4C71-BC10-0CF15D08FA60 (resized).jpeg

#4686 55 days ago
Quoted from auspin:

Is yours a standard lotr? I noticed yours has that pink and purple plastic piece as the base where as mine is clear. Is it the same piece?

Mine is a standard, and I'm not sure of the detail differences between it and your LE. Just thought I'd post my shopping pics to see if they help you.....

#4693 54 days ago
Quoted from paynemic:

So my colordmd randomly went blank in the middle of a game. Rebooted. Still blank. It had power because I was able to get into the menu. Finally, I shut it down for an hour and rebooted. It came up and has been fine since. The only change I have made was to add the fancy new Palantir but i can’t imaging that’s messing with the power

The Palantir mod should not be the issue here, as it ties directly into the existing stock Palantir lighting plug & circuit only. Electrically it uses a Comet 4SMD Wedge bulb and a 1N4004 diode to help prevent any ghosting issues.

One guess at this point that while raising and lower the playfield it ever so slightly pulled on the ColorDMD wiring. I've also seen a ColorDMD on other games (SAM and WPC) randomly do what you described, then start working again without incident.

If it does reoccur ColorDMD's support is phenomenal, reach out to them and they will help diagnose.

1 week later
#4746 42 days ago
Quoted from multibrawlr:

Code version running on mine. Is there another update or is this the most recent?[quoted image]

Version 10.0 is the latest: http://www.actionpinball.com/parts.php?item=ROMS190

1 week later
#4789 35 days ago
Quoted from Ozzy:

Have a question for all the lotr owners. Recently looked at an all original lotr. Low plays, never been shopped, original rubbers, no leds, glass is bad (large deep , long scratches. Whats the value of this? Fair offer etc etc. Thanks for everyones time

Around $4.5-5K unshopped, $5500 shopped and gone over is what I see for one like that on here and FB Marketplace...

#4810 32 days ago

Hey Lazar, please check your PMs....

#4815 32 days ago
Quoted from Ceemunkey:

Just received an amazing topper courtesy of Dan at Tilttopper and the new palantir mod from Frank (AUKraut). Really sets the game off...
This one is everything it's cracked up to be - awesome game I love it.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Awesome!! Your pic really does a great job capturing the look of the Palantir Mod.....Glad to see you are happy with it!!

If anyone else wants to get one, please see the following thread:


#4835 28 days ago
Quoted from Gogojohnnyquack:

This is a very cool mod, however if you have kept your LOTR stock with incandescent bulbs for their more classic feel then AUKraut's Palantir mod may not be for you. It uses a very bright LED that brings a different vibe to the playfield. Basically all the reasons why you haven't changed over to LEDs are all the reasons you may not like it. Super bright, abrupt on/off, flickering, and a cooler color temperature.

If you do use LEDs in your LOTR, herg’s LED OCD is a must. When used with warm white LEDS it gives you the classic look of incandescent bulbs without putting the increased power strain on the power driver boards on incandescents while also giving you a brighter playfield to see better. It is also the perfect compliment to the Palantir mod, giving it the perfect look & feel for your LOTR.

Due to the space limitations, needed brightness, and the lack of an available flat faced incandescent bulb the Palantir mod can only be made with a warm white LED bulb, which I do defuse and rectify to bring it down to an appropriate brightness for this application.

2 weeks later
#4914 14 days ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

The game was barely used when I got it. All coils were like new, so figured I didn't need to upgrade.

The medium coil upgrade is a must IMO for LOTR.....


#4946 8 days ago

I just added an identical clear plastic post right between the other two, looks factory and solved the problem.

#4952 8 days ago
Quoted from Jarbyjibbo:

I'm interested in getting this as well as the mount doom mod but $100 seems a little excessive to me. What all is involved in the mod that brings the cost that high?

Watching the installation video it seems to be well designed, engineered, and crafted, all of which cost time and money to do, yet alone to produce. For what I see the price is reasonable.....

#4971 6 days ago
Quoted from Lostcause:

My palantir mod arrived today and it awesome! Thanks Frank.[quoted image]

Cool!! Glad you like it!

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