i was bored earlier, so i decided to take apart my SE stick for the hell of it…just to see for myself the guts of the fight stick.
upon opening up the back cover, you can clearly see that the 4 screws that mount the joystick assembly are covered in a silicone-like, red gel mostly underneath the screw head. my guess is, madcatz smothered the screws to either 1. absorb metal-to-metal vibration during vigorous gameplay or 2. show evidence of tampering which would mean a void warranty incase someone decide to mess around w/ it.
if you are planning on swapping out the stock stick w/ a sanwa, seimitsu, or other stick, it might be a good idea to scrape off the red gummy stuff prior to removing the screws…i personally used a toothpick…it kinda held the screws in snugly against the mounting plate (it was all over the screw threads)…and im guessing that people are using excessive torque to turn the screws since it wont budge, resulting in stripping it.
after this, the screws came off fine, even when i used a flathead screwdriver.
and always remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey.
irrelevant, but i think madcatz fixed the moving washer issue with the newer batches, upon removal of the joystick, it didnt look like the washer was loose or anything.