This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Thrustmaster T3PA ("plastic" model) Spring Mod

1 post in this topic

This mod substantially increases the pedal resistance for the $99 "plastic" T3PA pedal units by adding three torsion springs to each pedal (while still using the stock springs).

If you own a T3PA Pro or T500 pedal set (the more expensive "metal" versions), go to this thread: Thustmaster T3PA Pro (T500) Spring Mod

However, before going to that post, be sure to read over this one as it has some useful tips and additional improvements that could be applied to the other mod, such as the pivot pin sleeves, and the machine screw and nut to keep the springs in place.

WARRANTY: This will likely void your warranty. For the best results, holes should be drilled through the sides of each pedal carriage (see photos below).

DISCLAIMER: Make these modifications at your own risk, and understand you cannot hold me liable if you have any problems or cause damage to your pedal unit.

Though the following instructions do not contain step-by-step instructions (or exact measurements), by reviewing the photos and notations, it should be relatively easy to figure out what parts you need, and how to do the modifications.


BE CAREFUL as you're first removing the bottom panel of the pedals. There is a very short cable from the bottom panel to a small circuit board fastened inside the base (top cover). Lift the panel slowly, peer inside, locate where the cable plugs into the circuit board, position the panel so it won't fall (or have a friend hold it), reach in, and carefully unplug the cord.

Unplug pedals: Never work on the internal components of the pedals while they are plugged into your wheel base. This can potentially damage the wheel base or the pedal circuit board.

Measurements: Exact measurements aren't crucial for this mod. When modding your first pedal, you can establish "measurements" by evaluating how the parts will fit into the pedal components and work together (and referencing the photos below). You will do this when cutting the aluminum angle piece, trimming one arm of each torsion spring, as well as marking the drill hole locations. Once you establish these "measurements," you can cut the other sets of parts to match.

One pedal at a time: All three pedals are identical. Therefore, you can cut and trim all the parts you're adding (once you establish the "measurements" when modding the first pedal), then re-install one pedal unit, then remove the next. This should prevent you from mixing up the cables, and helps when checking the potentiometer gears.

Potentiometer Gears: It's very easy to re-install the pedal assembly with the gears engaged at the wrong positions. It's best to check the gear positions before completely disengaging them--which happens when you've removed the pedal assembly and can move the pedal arm beyond it's "stop" position, as limited by the pedal unit base cover. If you do get them out of position, you can compare them to one of the other pedal units that hasn't been removed yet. There are "windows" in the bottom of the metal carriages so you can easily see and compare how the gear teeth are engaged and operate.

Tape Cables: Use some vinyl or electrical tape to secure the potentiometer cables into the base. Red or blue tape will be easier to see.

Don't forget to reinstall the stock coil springs: You will be increasing resistance by installing three additional springs for each pedal, along with the existing stock springs. The FOUR springs will work together, and because the resistance is distributed, they should last longer. If you do forget the stock spring, it will be obvious the first time you depress the pedals, as the torsion springs alone aren't much stronger than the stock springs.

Testing: Once all the pedal assemblies are modded and reinstalled into the base, all potentiometer gearing has been checked and their cables plugged back into the circuit board, you can CAREFULLY reinstall the bottom panel, by first plugging it's larger connector into the circuit board, then placing the panel into position. Then only install four of the 13 small screws for the bottom panel.

If you're sure you securely inserted all four plugs into the small circuit board, plug the pedal unit into your wheel. If you're on a PC, launch your wheel's control panel. If you're on a console, launch a title that displays sliders for pedal movement.

Check the pedal travel, then the upper and lower deadzones. Pay attention to how far you have to depress the pedal before you see movement on its' slider, then see how close the pedal comes to full stop (fully depressed) before the slider displays maximum. You should have "equal" deadzones at both the "top" and the "bottom" of the pedal travel. If there is a lot of pedal travel before you see movement on the slider, the slider is indicating that the pedal is slightly depressed, yet it's in its' full upright position, or the slider reaches maximum way before the pedal reaches it's maximum travel movement, the potentiometers are in the wrong position.

This will take some troubleshooting, but if one or both of the other pedals are working correctly, then dis-assemble the unit, and compare the potentiometers... and you will have to remove the culprit pedal assembly completely from the base to adjust the potentiometer gears.

HOWEVER, if you carefully compared and counted teeth between the pedal assemblies' potentiometer gears (especially to those that had not been removed yet), then everything should work properly.

If everything checks out, then be sure to install all the remaining of the 13 bottom panel screws, and you're ready to start racing again...

with more "realistic" feeling pedals!



Additional part option: You may want to find a nylon or metal sleeve for the #10 machine screw (inner diameter matches the outer diameter of the screw).
When the pedal arms are lowered to their operating positions, the torsion springs' arms are held in place by the screw, and the spring arms slide up and down on the screw as the pedals are operated. You can observe this movement by lowering and moving the pedal arms while watching the spring arms.





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites