Indiana Jones Backbox Removal and Installation


This web page is designed to assist those of you who need to remove and re-install your Indiana Jones backbox.


When I moved into a house in early 2001 we discovered that the door into the basement was too narrow for the machine without removing the backbox. I quickly removed the backbox without any thought to building this web page. As I prepare to re-install the backbox, I've decided to create this web page to help any of you who need to remove your backbox to fit through narrow doorways.

Disclaimer: This web page only explains the steps that I did to remove and install my backbox. If you choose to do this, please do it at your own risk. I take no responsibility for your machine if you do something wrong and destroy something. If you make a mistake, I'll be happy to help you through it over email. The primary reason that I wrote this web page is to help those of you who wish to do this yourself and not pay an experienced technician to do the job for you.


I would like to extend a special thanks to Mike H. for helping me move my IJ into my basement. He's a fellow Indiana Jones owner who lives in the same city as me! J


This section is written from memory. I did not write down what I did but here's the basic idea of what I did. It took about 15 mintues for me to remove my backbox.

  1. BE GROUNDED. It is a good idea to be near something that is grounded and touch the grounded item once in awhile. It is easy to kill electronic circuits by walking across carpet and then touching a circuit board or a bare wire connector that is wired into a circuit board. You may end up having to plug in the machine and remember to touch the grounded metal edge of the machine while working on it. If you choose to use the machine to be grounded, make sure it's plugged in and turned OFF.

  3. Open backbox and remove all wire connectors. You might find it a good idea, at this point, to take a black marker and mark all connectors that are bare, with no connectors on them before you start pulling connectors. This will greatly help when putting the connectors back on. I did NOT do this and will have to figure out which connectors are unconnected by reading the diagrams in the back of the manual (see installation below).

  5. Unplug all of the molex connectors that plug into all of the circuit boards. It will look like a mess, but it must be done. Do not unplug the flat ribbon cables that connect between the circuit boards. You will also find it is necessary to unplug the molex connector going to the replay solenoid, and also there is a single wire on a single molex connector which eventually goes to the backbox lights. You'll need to unplug this one also.

  7. Disconnect ground strap. In the area behind the left speaker, there is a bunch of ground straps that come together at a nut. Remove the nut and remove the ground straps. The strap that goes into the main playfield cabinet is the most important one that needs to get undone here.

  9. Shove ALL of the wire connectors that come from the main playfield cabinet into the main playfield cabinet. This won't be pretty, but it needs to be done. Just push everything down and take a close look that when you remove the backbox, there are NO wires that are feeding into the main cabinet that will hang up the backbox removal. I had to cut some plastic zip-ties to free the wire bundles in order to shove them into the main cabinet. It is also to temporarily remove some of the flat ribbon cables in order to achieve this, but reconnect them afterwards.

  11. Remove main playfield glass and pull out the playfield into the "pulled out and latched" position.

  13. Remove the allen nuts that hold the backbox to the main cabinet. There is one hex nut on each side, so 2 total. Unscrew the hex nut from the inside of the cabinet and push the carriage-bolt-nut out of the hinge. You should have 2 hex screws and 2 carriage bolts total. See the photos below during re-installation for a description on these nuts and bolts.

  15. Unlatch the back of the backbox if it is latched.

  17. At this point the backbox should be totally free from the main cabinet. It took me 2 people, one in each side, to safely remove the backbox from the main cabinet. Carefully remove and set aside.




This installation process will be written as I actually install my backbox. Much like the "shop-out" web pages. If you follow along, step by step, you shouldn't have any trouble.


Well, I got my machine into the basement and here is how it now looks…


  1. Physically put the backbox onto the main cabinet. This might take two people to do safely as the backbox is heavier than it looks.
  2. I have to admit, I was able to do this by myself. You must be VERY CAREFUL to not scratch the side of your cabinet. You might want to remove the metal brackets on the bottom. I took my time and did not scratch my cabinet with those metal brackets. Here are the photos of the process of me installing the backbox and trying to take photos at the same time.

  3. Now we need to install the carriage bolts and hex nuts. Remove the playfield glass and pull out the playfield into the "pulled out and latched" position…
  4. Now we'll install these carriage bolts and hex nuts.

    Push a carriage bolt into each side, here's a photo of the right side carriage bolt installation.

    Now we'll install the hex nuts on the inside of the cabinet and screw them into the carriage bolts previously installed. Be sure to do these steps to both sides, I'm only showing photos of the right side, but I did both sides in this step.


  5. Now remove the backglass and speaker panel. I noticed the metal hinge brackets which we just finished bolting to the cabinet were a little loose where they mount to the backbox itself. I used a crescent wrench and tightened the nuts in the backbox which hold the bracket. I also installed the latch on the back side of the backbox at this point. For transportation, I had removed the back hinge (and legs and power cord, etc). Here I put the hinge back on and latched it. I also removed the broken zip-ties which were cut during the backbox removal process.

  7. Pull the wires from beneath the playfield into the backbox. There should be two bundles of wires. The two bundles are joined together with a 6-pin connector which has 3 wires on it. The bundle with the ground strap in it should be on the left side. On my IJ, this bundle was wrapped in a GREY plastic. On the right side the bundle is wrapped in a BLACK plastic. Also make sure that these two bundles are not twisted.

    Look down in the main cabinet and make sure that the left bundle is on the left and the right is on the right. On mine, the two were twisted around and I had to untwist them. It's important to check this now because you can't untwist the bundles when the connectors are all installed!!


    I noticed that there was a wire bundle that's connected to one of the wire bundles. This wire bundle connects at a single molex and it has a bunch of wires on it, you should have something similar.

    I happen to have new zip-ties so I installed new ties to help hold the two wire bundles to the backbox, I installed them were the old zip ties were installed securing the 2 wire bundles to the backbox base. During the connector installation, I discovered that it may have been a better idea to install these zip ties later when the connectors are all installed so that the proper amount of wire can be pulled up through the bundle. The zip tie restricts the amount of wire that can be pulled up from the main cabinet.

  9. Now install the ground strap. It should be in the left bundle. It installs on the left side of the backbox bottom. At this point should be 3 ground wires. One that is stapled down and runs around the backbox. One that goes to the speaker panel and is usually a green wire and not a mesh strap. Lastly, the third is the ground that comes up from the main cabinet and is in the left bundle.

  11. The back of the manual lists the wire connectors for all of the circuit boards. At this point I'm going to mark all of the connectors that are listed as having NO connectors on them. Some of these don’t even have pins soldered to the board, but some do. This will help while installing the connectors to know which ones I don’t need to connect anything to.
  12. Here are the connectors that I marked as having no connector (based on manual pages 3-22, 3-28 through 3-34)

    CPU Board





    Power driver board











    The flipper board, sound board and dot-matrix controller board, and 8-driver board in upper right corner of the backbox are all depicted as having every connector used.


  13. Now the task of installing all of the wires. Note, it is common for the little wires to wiggle out of their connector making am intermittent connection. Pay close attention to every connector. You may even want to push EVERY wire back into it's connector after every connector plug-in. You can push the wire into the connector with a small flat-tip screwdriver. You may find this small step will save you major headaches down the road.


I am choosing to install the wires one board at a time. While doing this it is important to manage the wires properly so they don't get twisted. Try to arrange them so they flow around the backbox in a straight and untwisted fashion.

Based on pages 3-22, 3-28 through 3-34 from the manual, I will install every connector listed for every board. The manual lists the colors for every wire for every connector. In addition, the connectors are "keyed" so that it is difficult to install them incorrectly unless they have connectors keyed the same. The "key" is a blocked hole in the connector which doesn't allow it to plug into the wrong connector since a pin cannot go through the blocked hole.


With the keyed connectors plus the wire color chart listed in the manual, this process shouldn't go wrong. I am going to follow up EVERY connector installation with a small wire re-seat with the tip of a small screwdriver (except for the small connectors which won't allow this such as the connectors at the bottom of the CPU board). Hopefully this will save me any headaches from loose wires that may have wiggled out during the transportation and all of this moving around that I've been doing with the wire bundles.

I will find it necessary to unplug some of the ribbon cables and then re-plugging them in order to route the wire paths up to the upper boards. This is especially true for the ribbon cable that goes from the CPU board to the power driver board. The wire path needs to go under that ribbon.

I am not going to list on this web page the color codes for every connector and even the order of the different connectors that I plug in. What I'll do is plug in the connectors one at a time in the order listed in the manual. If I come across something that may confuse people I'll be sure to make a note of it where applicable. If you do not have the manual, I can send you a scan of the pages that I used during this process. They are invaluable for this and I couldn't imagine doing this without them.




I'll start with the biggest board first. I plugged in every connector as listed in the manual pages 3-32 through 3-34. All colors and pins used in the manual match a connector in the wire bundles.

The following photo is having trouble uploading and displaying properly…


When I got done with the connectors on the power driver board, here are the abnormalities that I encountered which may puzzle you as well:

  1. Note that connector J114 is a standard power supply connector and this same connector is used on all of the main boards with the same pin-out and same key. I may have guessed incorrectly on which of the several connectors went into this connector and may later have to change it with a different one in order to feed all of the boards with this power supply connector. (by the way, turns out I guessed correctly and didn't need to reroute the wire).
  2. Connectors J116, J117 and J118 are identical, they provide a +12 volt source. It should be noted that of the three, J117 is listed to take a connector with 3 wires. This connector takes a heavy gauge wire which goes up to the dot matrix display board.
  3. Connector J125 is listed to have 3 wires on it, however there is a wire on pin 9 as well. I'm not sure where this wire goes, but the manual is in error and should list the wire on pin 9.
  4. Connector J135 is listed to have something plug into it, but it should be unpopulated. The manual prints a connector for prototype machines with lights on the speaker panel, this is where the lights on the speaker would plug into.
  5. Connector J138, same as above. Listed as a connector but only applies to prototype units.
  6. NOTE: during the power driver board connect, I also connected the single-wire molex connector that goes to the backbox lights.



Similarly with the power driver board, I'll just connect all of the remaining connectors the way that they are listed in the manual, I'll connect the remaining boards in the following order:


Flipper board

Sound board

Dot matrix controller board

8-driver board (upper right corner)


Finished with CPU board…

Finished with Flipper board… Note while connecting the flipper board I also connected the replay solenoid right up there.

Finished with remaining boards.


When all of the boards are connected you might have an extra connector hanging. This probably goes to the dot matrix display on the speaker panel.


When all of the connectors are installed be sure to double check ALL ribbon connectors and make sure you didn't mis-plug them so that only 1 row of pins was connected. This is very important.


When they are all done, you might want to try to guide the wires in the plastic clips and make it look neat. I have to face the realization that it will never look like factory and am not going to put a lot of energy into making them look nice, just as long as there is no excess strain on any of the connectors and they are all seated good. Perhaps later when I have some free time I will re-wire the backbox so the wires are more snug and neat.




If you're sure that it's all good then hit the power switch. Be absolutely sure. One wrong wire and you could damage your expensive boards due to a mis-wire. This is my disclaimer at this point that you really need to be sure and recheck all connectors.

I have to admit, when I first powered it up, a ribbon connector was not fully seated and the machine did not power up. After I turned it off, reseated the connector, it powered up!!


Be sure to test out the machine fully. You can either play some games to see if anything is wrong, or exercise all of the tests in the test menu.


Don't forget things like the coin door lights and switches and the German plane blinky lights.


It all set! Thanks for reading, I hope this web page has helped guide you down the right path!! This is some coincidence, I did not plan on the dot matrix display showing the same image in both photos!



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