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Rick Rawlings

Thrustmaster T16000M Trigger Repair

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My not-all-that old Thrustmaster T16000M main trigger recently stopped working and rather than fork over $80 for another (if you could even find one!) I thought I would try to do a repair myself. So I am going to provide a tutorial for this repair if anyone else has the same problem down the road. Also for me if I ever have to do it again and forget how!

You will need a soldering iron of medium wattage and a reasonably small tip, some solder, needle nose pliers, a hammer and nail or other appropriate tool and the correct 6x6 mm momentary switch. A solder-sucker and/or de-soldering braid and some sort of "helpful hands" noseclip holder setup would help immensely.

To start with, you will need to remove the small metal pin that holds the orange plastic trigger on:

Pin small.jpg

The ways that I have seen to do this are to use a hammer and nail and drive it out that way. You will need to brace the back of the joystick against something like a tightly wadded up towel or sweatshirt to have something to hit against. What I ended up using instead of a nail was one of the little screwdrivers they always include in one of those iphone repair kits. It was the perfect diameter and the back of the handle gives you something nice and relatively large to hammer on. Hammer the pin halfway out and use the needle nose pliers to pull it the rest of the way. Place the trigger and the pin in there own ziploc sandwich baggie.

That's actually one of the hardest parts of the project. The other hard part is everything else!

Handle Screws small.jpg

Next we need to disassemble the top part of the joystick. Please read through all the instructions before starting as there are some small parts inside you will not want to lose. I have already removed all the "handedness" components such as the side plates and bottom of the grip. Place all of those parts in one ziploc baggie. Then remove the indicated screws on the picture above. They should go in a separate baggie. Don't forget the little one on the trigger or you will have a frustrating time wondering why your joystick won't come apart. You should now be able to wiggle and carefully pry the whole grip assembly apart. When you do, the back thumb button will probably fall off:

Back Trigger small.jpg

In the picture above, to the left of the back thumb switch is the little rubber button indicated by the arrow. There are three of those total in the grip assembly and you don't want to lose them. They act as both the spring and contact point for the back buttons so pull the grip apart in an area where things will not easily be lost. To replace it, simple flip it over and stick it in the little opening just like it looks like you should.


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As you pull the the halves of the grip apart, you will end up with two of these:

Side Trigger small.jpg

You'll notice another one of those little bastard rubber buttons again! They like to fall out, especially when you are trying to reassemble the thing! A good way to replace them when they fall out is to use needle nose pliers to position them and a flathead screwdriver to seat them. Expect this to happen a few times, so don't get frustrated!

Here's what we are dealing with:

Top Pads small.jpg

The big black button is obviously the hat switch and the arrow indicates the four solder pads you will have to melt to remove the old switch. There's not a lot of spare wiring in there, so it is a bit tricky working with all the weight of the joystick flopping around on the other end. The gold pads are the contact points for the little rubber pads of the back thumb buttons I have been complaining so much about...

Broken Button small.jpg

This is the other side where you can see right down into the very core of the broken button. It only took me a moment to grab this shot, but I was probably exposed to so much radiation it will shorten my life by twenty years. You're welcome.

Anyway, you will probably want to hold onto the button with some pliers and pull once you have melted and removed the solder on the other side. I had to keep working back and forth, which is why having some kind of stand that will hold the circuit board while you work is so helpful!


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Here's the button you need:

20210503_171612 small.jpg

It's a 6x6(x6) momentary switch They were $7 on Amazon for 1, or $9 for 200(!) Obviously, if you have a good electronics store near you you should be able to get one for next to nothing. I wasn't sure of the height, so I got the assorted box:

20210503_181321 small.jpg


I ended up using the 6mm height one, but probably 5 or 7 would work, it would just change how soon the trigger engages the switch...

Incidentally, the hat switch is actually four of these buttons placed around a central shaft:

Hat Switch small.jpg


Edited by Rick Rawlings

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Soldering the new button in place is one of the easier parts once you have cleaned up the post holes. Be careful not to overheat the board, but make sure to get good solder flow. As you can see, I melted a bit of the hat switch housing in the tight confines:

Melted small.jpg

No worries as it all still works fine! Here's the new button in place:

20210503_172605 small.jpg

Now just reassemble everything carefully, making sure those rubber pads on the side are in the proper place before putting the screws back in and I would definitely make sure everything works before replacing the trigger pin! It did take me a couple of tries to make sure those thumb button pads were in place as I tried to put it all back together, so keep with it!


Here's a pretty good disassembly video (not mine!) of the joystick, that might help!


Edited by Rick Rawlings

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