(Topic ID: 112137)

The Lord of the Rings LOTR Journey begins here members club

By skywalker

6 years ago

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  • Latest reply 2 days ago by attyrhodes
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4 key posts have been marked in this topic

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Post #1907 Service bulletin noting lock down bar change Posted by Jarbyjibbo (3 years ago)

Post #4404 The Valinor Strategy Video Posted by CLEllison (1 year ago)

Post #5383 LOTR documentation for silicone rings and LEDs Posted by Daditude (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#614 4 years ago

For those of you who have shopped your LOTR, what's your sense of the difficulty and time spent on average?

Found the answer to my question earlier in the thread. I still would be interested in hearing what a full playfield teardown takes.

#618 4 years ago
Quoted from DadofTwins:

I did my LOTR last fall. I went slow and methodically taking lots of pictures and notes to make sure I put it back together correctly. I would say I had about 16 hours into it completely. 8 tear down and 8 rebuild. That sword ramp and everything along that side is a real PITA. Glad I did it right though.

I am looking at pictures of the playfield underside and it looks that a full tear down is quite manageable.

#640 4 years ago
Quoted from yoyokopter:

Hi , here my mod , it's personnal insert HP LED , connected to the Balrog flasher

I like this a lot. Is the frame custom made in wood? I can't tell from the picture.
Do you have more pictures of the installation and assembly?

#653 4 years ago

I just got a LOTR and started shopping it. So far it's fairly straightforward.

The very first I lifted up the playfield all the way, I noticed that the bottom end of the playfield was resting not on the flat metal bars with a curved end that are screwed under the playfield (the edge slides), but on the woodrails. Somehow the bars are not long enough. The miniplayfield also endd up hitting the metal rails that are attached to the cabinet, and the very bottom left plastic that sits in the angle got broken as a result. I will take some pics that show the setup. To avoid this, the playfield bars would need to be extended by 3/4 inch or so.

Anyone noticed this as well or this is something that's specific to my machine?

1 month later
#739 4 years ago

I remember reading mixed feedback on the speaker upgrade. It seemed it was not night-and-day. Did I get this right?

#742 4 years ago
Quoted from whisper:

The sampling quality of the original sounds are such that an upgrade of backbox speakers does nothing. Sub upgrade makes a difference though. Get that bass thumping.

Quoted from whisper:

Agree with TimeBandit , was lucky enough to buy his first lord of the rings off him some time back which came with upgraded speakers an the bass is crazy, would never imagine playing the game with out them... Thanks again TB..

Thanks a lot. Sounds like a worthwhile upgrade.

1 month later
#803 4 years ago
Quoted from stoptap:

Does anybody know the part number of the two metal posts either side of the Gollum/Gimli hole ?

530-5332-03 for left and right sides.
530-5012-02 for the rear one.

Better double check with pics and manual.



1 week later
#826 4 years ago
Quoted from multibrawlr:

I've heard it's pretty common, but the Palantir target on my LOTR is bent to the side from repeated hits. I can bend it back to center no problem, but it won't last a couple of games before it's bent to the side again. Anything I can put on the target to keep it still?

I have the same problem and it got bent bad enough that it started eating into the wood. I am planning on adding a small piece of L steel bar in the back. If the fit isn't great, I will looking into the TZ reinforced target http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/A-18530-6R as a starting point.

1 week later
#882 4 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

On my LOTR, Balrog doesn't quite go all the way to horizontal when he comes out and thus also seems to tuck in a little tighter when not out. This can lead to a more frequent ball trap than I care for. Is it possible to readjust the Balrog mechanism angle so it gets fully horizontal? Or is this possibly a manufacturing/installation defect?

You likely need to adjust the switch that registers the horizontal position of Balrog. You can do this without taking out the whole assembly.



#891 4 years ago
Quoted from BeaglePuss:

When you say adjust, what exactly do you mean? I'm having similar issues with my Balrog at the moment and would love to get it sorted.

I would start by slightly untightening the two small machine screws that hold the switch in place and seeing if you can move the switch closer to the gray cylinder. When this is done, the cylinder will need to rotate a bit more to open the switch. If not enough, remove the switch and bend the arm a tiny bit outward.

Then put in the game in test mode and run the Balrog test to verify.

1 month later
#953 4 years ago

Do many of you have mirror blades? At least on my machine, there is very little clearance to install them.

#961 4 years ago

Thick blue rubber makes the left loop a tight shot. Has anyone tried moving it to the right side of the ball guide?

1 month later
#1044 4 years ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

Not really, like fliptronic the software will switch to hold if the EOS is not triggered within a certain timeframe after closing the flipper button switch.

That explains why the EOS switch was broken on one of mine's flippers with no apparent adverse effect.

1 week later
#1089 4 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

First thing i would do is clean or replace the coil sleeves. Second is to make sure the springs are in good order. Third is to make sure your eos switches are gapped properly. When the flipper is at the top of the stroke, it opens the eos switch. Make sure that opening on your weak flipper is the same as it is on the strong flipper. If not, adjust it or replace it. Lastly, make sure the plunger mechanism is operating freely amd your brackets are all secure. Not much else to it. You can also check/clean the switch at the flipper button.

Also take a look at your plunger end. Mine was mushroomed and was scrapping again the sleeves.

#1103 4 years ago
Quoted from brad808:

You do not want the "upgraded" coils. They are too powerful and then eventually fade down to the standard level after a long time of running.
The problem with LOTR has always been heat regardless of what coils you use.
Here is how to get the best experience from LOTR flippers.
1) Rebuild the flippers using all stock parts
2) Zip tie some 12v 120mm silent computer fans onto the coil brackets to keep the stock coils cool for extended play.
3) Plug the fans into the aux 12v plug on the inside right of the coin door.
What this does is give you the correct strength of flipper that never heats up and therefore never fades. Not one that starts normal then gets weak and not one that starts off way too powerful then gets to normal level. Just nice proper strength all the time.
Happy flipping .

That's a great suggestion.

#1109 4 years ago
Quoted from paynemic:

Do you have a picture of the connection to the 12v? Do I need special fans or a special adapter?

If I understand correctly, the power comes out of the printer power port that's used for say, the flipper led lighting that you can see in

You can either make a connector or tap directly into the line using a splice connector.

All nicely described in #78 actually.

2 weeks later
#1139 4 years ago
Quoted from paynemic:

Yeah. Sounds like that is what I did. So, I thought I would do some really clever troubleshooting and take the wires from my left flipper and put them on the known working flipper. Rule some things out. Nope. They wouldn't fire the right flipper coil either. Then I put it all back.
Now neither flipper works. I suck. I suck bad. I just wanna play lotr!! So , what kind of board repair am I talking about?

At most you need to replace two transistors. You can easily check them with a DMM and find out right away if this is your problem.

#1142 4 years ago
Quoted from paynemic:

Yeah. Possibly. But I'm sick of being afraid of these type repairs. I've desoldered and socketed boards. I think I can get this done. I need a good basic 101 on my dmm because it never seems to read what I'm expecting. So give me a quick lesson on testing the transistors. The legs are the wires that connect it to the board. Right?

In my own limited experience, if you have a fried transistor, you should be able to detect it very quickly with three DMM transistor measures between the head and each of the three legs and comparing the results with what you get for a good resistor. I had this exact problem with a dead flipper on a SM. It was super easy to detect without even disconnecting anything. Replacing it took a bit more work.

#1165 4 years ago
Quoted from paynemic:

Ok guys,
I'm prepping for my full flipper/transistor repair. I get the board off and discover this little beauty. I think I'm out. Should I buy a new board to replace this? Or should I look into repair?...

Personally, I would send it to the Coin Op Cauldron for diagnostic and repair. Unless you can do it yourself or find a local resource. Your game game will be down for 8 weeks, but at least it will be fixed right. Or you can buy a new board.

3 months later
#1345 3 years ago
Quoted from Radius118:

So just out of curiosity, what's the current method to prevent wear from occuring due to the plate holding the blue pad rotating?

Thanks for documenting this. This is the blue rubber that's right of the Pippin insert, right?
I don't think you can really prevent any rotation. When the ball hits, even when it's screwed on tight, the whole thing will move a little.
It looks like maybe the bracket holding it got loose and sagged onto the playfield, then scrapped it.

I'd do three things. 1- Tighten the bracket and periodically check it is tight. 2- Add a washer under the ball guide bracket to slightly elevate the assembly. 3- Add a small piece of Mylar under the whole thing, hidden under the rubber assembly. Maybe overkill but you shouldn't have any problem.

#1348 3 years ago
Quoted from Radius118:

Yes.. And I agree.. The design is terrible. Add to that the fact that you really can't crank down on the little screw or you'll distort the shape of the rubber pad. This is actually a very common wear spot for LOTR. If I had my way, I would put a second nut-sert into the bracket so it can't rotate. I am out of time now so I am just going to cut down a clear washer and put it over the wear spot for now. FYI I *always* add washers under post style ball guides to prevent the guide from tightening down and "cutting" the PF.
Unfortunately I did not know about the Cliffy piece until this morning which is a bummer as I would have ordered it along with the rest of Cliffy's stuff for this game so I'd have it to install now.

A small piece of Mylar would work just as well. You could touch up the wear spot, wax, add a small piece of Mylar on top, maybe even double it, and you're good to go.

Do you have close ups of the clear coat in high wear areas? I'd be curious to see the dimpling and level of reflection.

Are you planning on polishing the clear before reassembly?

#1350 3 years ago

I put two washers on my game to be on the safe side. I tried inverting the bracket to have wider Pippin lane but eventually moved it back to be able to replace the rubber. Otherwise the screw head is on the wrong side.

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#1353 3 years ago

No, I just put the bracket upside down. I backed away because I did not want to be in a situation were I could not access the head and either unscrew or tighten the bracket.

#1354 3 years ago

Really nice shine. You did a fine job with the clear coat.

#1355 3 years ago

And the Cliffy's will hide the wear in the VUK areas just fine.

#1365 3 years ago

I have been having some issues with the sword lock. The release often does not work when all three balls are locked. I have put very few plays on the game since rebuilt and the balls are brand new silver jets chromium balls. I'm thinking it could be the balls are already magnetized but it seems awfully quick. Thoughts?

#1385 3 years ago

I'm getting consistent rejects from the left loop -> Barad-Dur shot. Is there something that can help? Foam on the metal deflector?

#1393 3 years ago

I am going to use the same foam tape I use for targets and I got at Home Depot.

#1395 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

I am going to use the same foam tape I use for targets and I got at Home Depot.

I put some foam but that didn't stop the bounce backs. What eventually fixed the problem is the entire removal of the small spacer that's supposed to prevent trapped balls. It is what the ball was hitting.

IMG_3871 (resized).JPG

#1397 3 years ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

really? mine bounce out once in a while too, was'bnt sure what other people were doing for this?

Try it out and see. It is easy to access and remove. Looks like foam was used by others but it took some experimentation and adjustments.

In my case the ball was bouncing back 90% of the time so it was a real problem.

Now I have to figure out how to tame the crazy bounces I get off the Palantir target and also reinforce the target bracket.

2 weeks later
#1414 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Are you sure you have the correct flipper coils installed? Seems like you are fighting a ton of 'too much power' issues. When the game is minty clean things like flying off the ramp is common.. but it settles down. Are you fighting this kind of problem?

Removing the screw and small plastic post fixed the problem for good I have not had a refuse since then.

The flippers are strong and I believe upgraded by the previous owner who had the game dialed in. But that was before I restored the playfield. The game was in good shape but had many dimples. Now the playfield is like glass and at 7.4 degrees. The game is really fast. The Palentir target got hit hard the first few games. The bracket got bent with the end result of the target facing up. That lead to major air balls. I had to bend it back and change the foam. I'm still looking for a reinforced L bracket.

Even with that a few times the ball bounced over the flippers.

It might indeed be a little too much. I still need to fine tuning the game, that's for sure. I never played it elsewhere so I can't tell how it is supposed to play.

#1419 3 years ago

I ordered some balls from eBay that are supposedly carbon steel and should not magnetize. After two games they were severely magnetized. It's amazing how fast it happened and the problems this creates. Balls stuck in the sword, in the Ring's exit hole, stuck together when cradling multiple balls, and also problems in the ball trough.

What are you guys using for balls?

#1422 3 years ago
Quoted from Radius118:

I buy carbon in bulk from Marco.. Last order was 78 cents each for 100.
I run 4 at a time through my Lortone rotary polisher with crushed walnut media and red rouge for a week and they turn out magnificent. Super smooth and shiny. After 300 plays or so I run them through the polisher again. They turn out 99% as nice as the first time through. I get about 3 cycles through the polisher before they hit the recycle bin. So I get about 1000-1200 plays per set of balls.
Carbon balls *will* magnetize although not as fast as chromium.

Turns out the thread I got the ebay seller recommendation from reported similar magnetization problem.

I also tumble rusty balls and they come out very nice. I did it in a vibrating tumbler but I also have a double rotary tumbler and will try it out and see how they come out.

#1424 3 years ago

Game is unplayable with magnetized balls

IMG_3878 (resized).JPG

#1426 3 years ago
Quoted from Radius118:

The secret is the crushed walnut with red rouge... amazon.com link »
IMHO the rotaries work a lot better than the vibratory because of the rolling action and it's a lot slower.
Your results may vary but I really like how they turn out.

Thanks for the link. I started a batch with Flitz. Are you able to remove minor rust off the surface?

#1439 3 years ago

I don't remember there was any adjustment possible with either ramp when I put the play field back together.

#1442 3 years ago
Quoted from MiamiRedSkin:

My balrog is super loose - he moved around a lot during play. I suspect I need to replace the coil stop/sleeve or whatever that plastic part is. Can anyone link the proper replacement part to purchase? I'm having issues finding it at marco/pinballlife.

The looseness can come from a number of different reasons. Have you checked the fit of the axle shaft in the frame? Best check first.
Another possibility is that the steel clutch plates are loose and need tightening.

#1456 3 years ago
Quoted from drummermike:

The bottom of my spinner is forward and I have no trouble making the ring shot. I do have the stronger flipper coils.

Same here.

1 month later
#1503 3 years ago
Quoted from Maken:

my LOTR is basically unplayable with the current center ramp.

What's the problem with your ramp?

1 week later
#1523 3 years ago
Quoted from MiamiRedSkin:

Can anyone do me a huge favor and post a picture of the diverter coil wiring? I want to ensure I'm hooking up my new coil correctly. Thanks!!


3 weeks later
#1565 3 years ago
Quoted from joeraptor2003:

We now have animated LOTR PowerBladez if anyones interested...
» YouTube video

The idea and technology are very impressive but the colors seem off to me. I would have liked a warmer / redder / more orange feel.

1 month later
#1632 3 years ago
Quoted from hawknole:

OK Middle Earth folk, I got my LOTR last weekend and I made a couple custom decals. To me, the palantir is not always an eye, hence the inviting palantir target decal; the first time I saw the Shire hole it felt like it should be a hobbit hole. So here you go:

Nice one. How do you make the decals printing wise?

6 months later
#2296 3 years ago

I changed the shire Y switch which was working 80% of the time with the pinball life ST one and it works perfectly now. I had to bend the tip though so it just clears the tip of the plunger home without touching the plunger. It’s straightforward.

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CC8F29A1-262E-41DA-81C1-EA2E58D6D51D (resized).jpeg

1 year later
#3593 2 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

I still believe it is likely the wrong balls being used. Carbon core is what should be used. Otherwise the ring magnet will magnetize the balls within a game or two.

I second this.

#3600 2 years ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

The Gimli VUK is driving me a little crazy. I don't have issues with the actual kicker power, but the switch. What drives me nuts is it always works perfectly when I go into the diagnostic menu and activate it with my finger or a ball... But then during games -- AT THE WORST POSSIBLE TIMES -- it won't register and I have to wait for the ball search to come on.
I cleaned the portion accessible from the top with alcohol, that didn't really help much. I haven't taken the whole thing apart yet, but any advice? Should I just replace or disassemble and clean the switch?

I went this route and I haven't had a problem since.


#3604 2 years ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

It isn't clear to me what is going on there and why it works. You cut the fork off and then bent what is left under itself? Don't you want to bend it upward so it puts more leverage on the switch?

What drummermike said and bending the end of the switch. Something like this:

Capture (resized).PNG
#3607 2 years ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

Right, I get that... But the suggested switch from ST works the same way...

I suspect that the Y switches are more prone to failure. The ball hits a much wider area, the metal arm is thinner and extends further out. This means a heavier load.

3 months later
#4176 1 year ago

I see the left ramp right side wire either inside (as in the picture) or outside the stainless ball guide. Mine's inside and I was thinking about moving it outside.
Has anyone tried both and seen the outside setup help with the shot?

Capture (resized).PNG
#4186 1 year ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

Crap, how do you do a line through text?
I messed up my post, I meant to say that I did on the inside, in error. And when I did that the ball would hit the end of the wire form and play not right. I moved it to the outside and it plays as I think it should, and which I believe to be the correct way to "mount" the wire form.

Interestingly, there does not seem to be a consensus on what's the right set up. I took the glass off. When the wire is on the inside, the ball hits it. On the other hand, when it is on the outside, I can see how the additional speed would send the ball flying off the ramp a lot more often.

#4188 1 year ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

I'm pretty sure that's why that ball guide has a "wedge" cut out of it to help put the wire form on the outside of it.
As for the ball flying off the wire form, there are different fixes in this thread for that. Obviously, if your game is freshly waxed it'll happen more. But, there are, relatively, easy plastic pieces you can make to help prevent issues.
Here is a pic of one:
[quoted image]

I like this solution! I'll give it a shot.

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