Transferred Space Shuttle Pinball Wiring Harness From Old to New Playfield

I worked some more on the Space Shuttle playfield swap this weekend and reached another milestone! The playfield wiring harnesses have been transferred over from the old playfield to the new one.

First, in preparation for the transfer, I finally made it all the way to the bottom of both the old and new playfields. It took several work sessions to finish disassembling the old one and pre-drill all the pilot holes on the new one. Some of the major assembly brackets such as the flippers and half of the kickers are also installed. Here’s what the new playfield looked like when it was ready to accept the wiring harnesses:


I left out the taller brackets and didn’t pre-drill the ones that need to be positioned with the coils in place, such as the kicker and eject shield coil brackets. The plunger for these coils has to be aligned just right for smooth operation, so I’m waiting until everything can be on the new playfield before positioning the brackets, drilling the holes, and installing them. As for the taller brackets, I pre-drilled the ones I could (drop targets, ball save shield) but they are not installed yet because they would be in the way when transferring the wiring harnesses, as you will see below.

Here’s the old playfield on the rotisserie – every component except the ball through ball guide is unattached and simply sitting on the playfield. Rotating the rotisserie at this point would be a disaster 🙂


To do the actual transfer, I used an old playfield shipping box cut into three pieces – two flaps half the size of the playfield, and one full-size piece. The idea was to slide the cardboard between the playfield and the wiring harnesses, then lift the cardboard up to do the transfer. I figured the less sliding of cardboard the better, so I used the half-sized pieces first, sliding them in from each side. Here’s the first side done:


Then the same thing on the other side:


And finally I slid the full-size piece underneath the two half-size ones, giving extra strength to the whole contraption. Here’s everything ready for the transfer:


I got a helping hand to transfer the whole lot onto the new playfield, then slid out the cardboard pieces very carefully one at a time, and voilà!


That’s how it landed just after removing the cardboard. The alignment is not perfect, but very close! It was a pretty simple matter of tugging on the major arteries of the wiring harnesses to align them with the cable clamps. After that, the individual pieces pretty much fell straight into place! It’s amazing how the wires have memory and seem “happy” to be back in the exact correct position 🙂

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3 Responses to Transferred Space Shuttle Pinball Wiring Harness From Old to New Playfield

  1. BloodyCactus says:

    nice trick with the cardboard, I had not thought of that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You just saved me with your picture of the playfield wiring. I accidentally broke a wire off a connector while working on something else underneath and could not figure out what it came off of until I studied your picture. Thanks!

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