Sprint 2 Steering PCB Repair Log

Sprint 2 developed a problem on player two (the black car) where the steering operation was intermittent. Upon closer inspection I traced the issue back to the actual steering wheel assembly. I was able to deduce that the problem was located in the steering PCB.

Attached to the steering wheel assembly is the opto encoder PCB (part number 000614) that senses the movement of the steering wheel and transmits a signal back to the game PCB.  This PCB is common to the many Atari driving games such as Gran Trak, Lemans, Sprint 1 and others. It is easiest to remove this PCB from the rear of the cabinet by removing the molex connector, taking off the toothed wheel and unscrewing the two #2-56 Phillips screws that hold the PCB in place.

Once the PCB was out I thought there would be cracked solder on the molex connector header pins causing a faulty connection.  However, the connections looked just fine.  Upon closer inspection I noticed some serious cracked solder (red arrow) on the actual legs of the encoder assembly that surely were causing the intermittent steering operation.  Simply reflowing solder over the old solder is never the correct repair for this issue.  All of the original solder was first removed with my de-soldering gun and then fresh/new solder was applied to make a perfect connection. 

It is also a good idea to clean the molex connection with electronics cleaner before reinstallation of the opto encoder PCB.  With everything reinstalled the black car steering wheel was back in business and ready to compete against the white car again!