How to fix the pivot popping on a ls-32

I was swapping parts around between my ls-32 and ls-40 and damn, I heard that they shared some parts but they’re practically the same thing. It’s like seimitsu told an engineer to design a new pivot, make the shaft longer and put a smaller gate on the 32 and they just shipped the prototype.

As far as I can tell the only reason the ls-40 has pretty much zero activation distance is because the taller pivot changes the leverage - actuator and switches are effectively the same and can be swapped around without changing the feel. I mean if anything you’d think the 40 would feel looser because of the longer shaft, but nope. Also the smaller contact area on the 32 pivot seems to be the only reason it has that deadzone wobble.

So if someone has the tools to make a new ls-32 pivot, make sure it’s the same height or you’ll probably just end up with a ghetto ls-40.

other things
ls-32 pivot in ls-40 housing: works, but the pivot still pops
ls-40 pivot in ls-32 housing: doesn’t pop but it feels terrible, like it would wear out the pivot in a week. No idea why the ls-36 guy thought this was a good idea, the ridge in the housing that people were talking about ITT ruins it.

So good luck to whoever tries to make a new pivot, it sounds really annoying. I’d definitely buy one though :]

I already have a few ideas going. I just need my 32 to arrive. I have several projects on the back burner but the universal gate is most important at the moment. Then a button mod, the pivot, a lever mod, and the washers. Those are all simple and I’ll probably do the button mod last.

I’m gonna feel free to disagree with you on a couple of points…

  1. The LS-32 is at least around 33% wider than the LS-40 shaft… ain’t no way the spring retainer OR actuator from the LS-40 is fitting on the LS-32 without some serious plastic filing; I don’t know how you got the actuator from the LS-40 to fit on an LS-32 shaft… I eyeballed these things and even photographed them. There is NO WAY a stock, unmodded LS-40 spring retainer or stock LS-40 actuator is going on an LS-32 shaft. The plastic wall on the lower part of the LS-40 actuator itself is twice as wide as the plastic in the same area of the LS-32 actuator because the LS-40 shaft IS that much thinner than the LS-32 shaft! The collar thickness and lower area on the actuator work out to almost the same or identical diameters as the LS-32 actuator but you’d have to file almost half the interior wall plastic on the LS-40 part to fit the LS-32 shaft.
  2. The E-clip (replacement for the C-clip that many LS-32 owners eventually throw away) that secures the LS-32 shaft assembly is a lot bigger than the the E-clip the LS-40 uses. LS-40 E-clip is more similar to the JLF E-clip. Again, the LS-32 E-clip is at least 33% bigger. This E-clip is a good 3/8" or 7/16" sized diameter part. That’s pretty darn big where Asian joysticks are concerned. It’s definitely the biggest E-clip on the four or five arcade production Japanese control levers I’ve played with.
  3. The diameter of the LS-32 shaft is what prevents it from using many aftermarket JLF parts (without serious modding) in the first place. The same is true for cosmetic accessories (shaft covers, dustwashers) available for the vast majority of the other LS-joysticks as well. (The LS-40 style dustwashers CAN actually fit the LS-32 but the holes are too wide and they’ll float too far off an uncovered LS-32 shaft.) The plastic walls on the existing LS-40 type shaft covers are just too thin for practical modding to fit the LS-32; you’ll pierce the outer wall before you get the part to slip comfortably over the LS-32 shaft! It’s much more practical to mod JLF shaft covers because they have the right overall diameter to slip onto the LS-32 to begin with and have twice as much plastic thickness.
    This is one of the few things about the LS-32 that was a serious turn-off for me. You can find all kinds of replacement actuators, higher tension springs, and different shaft covers and dustwasher kits for the JLF but there’s next to nothing available aftermarket for easily customizing the LS-32 right now – unless you like modding every JLF or other LS-joystick part to fit the LS-32. The JLF shaft cover mods take the better part of an hour’s preparation as it is.
    For crying out loud, the LS-56 has more accessories available for it and it’s a less popular joystick than the LS-32!

Where I do agree with you is that swapping shaft assemblies doesn’t solve the bigger problems with the LS-32… If anything, from what I’ve read it makes it a worse joystick or at the very least increases the throw and distance to engage the microswitches. That’s not a great tweak to me; that’s ruining a mostly excellent joystick IMHO.
Swapping shaft assemblies may solve the popping problem but it aggravates and perhaps worsens at least one performance characteristic.
It’s a weird situation with the microswitches on the LS-32/LS-40. They ARE the same stock number – confirmed that visually and I had the LS-40-01 and LS-32-01 substrates side-by-side and the distances between the microswitches are identical on the soldered/PCB versions of the joysticks at any rate. They’re very different joysticks despite sharing a few critical parts and having the critical collar part of the actuator being the same diameter.
I still prefer the LS-32 on a number of points. Like many players, I think it’s a more forgiving joystick as far as activation distances go. The LS-40 is a tighter joystick by nature and can be more difficult to get used to. (If you find the LS-40 difficult to use, it’s probably best to stay away from the LS-56 series… those have even tighter activation zones and shorter throws and tighter roll.) I’m more relaxed and comfortable with the general feel of the LS-32. The other thing that I prefer on the LS-32 is the secondary gate. I think in general it’s a more effective gate than the LS-40’s. I’ll never use the two-way restrictor but in practice I found that the LS-32’s four-way restrictor gate is more effective and more comfortable (at least for my use in older games like Pac-Man) than the LS-40’s.

Other random thing I’ve tried: drilled out jlf pivot on an ls-32

Works shockingly well and stops the pivot popping, but makes it feel like some long lost bastard child of the jlf. The kind that’s sat in an attic for ten years eating fish heads.

Went back to the washer method, that solves the problem and still feels like a ls-32.

I wonder is a drilled out LS-40 actuator would make any difference. @Moonchilde.

That is something I was already discussing with a few people in private,
but instead of modding the LS-40 Pivot, to cut on a lathe a new piviot out of derlin with the outer measurements of the LS-40 pivot but the inner hole that would accommodate the stock LS-32 shaft

I really don’t think it would.
I’ve looked at the parts side-by-side. The LS-40 actuator seems to have the same overall diameter as the LS-32 part. The inner wall is thicker…
It appears that basically Seimitsu took the LS-32 part and increased the thickness of the plastic to “pad it” so that it would fit the LS-40’s thinner shaft diameter. They seem to do tweaks like that all across their LS-joystick line. The most exceptionally different LS-joysticks are the LS-32 and LS-33 with parts that aren’t shared by the rest of the line. The shafts of the LS-40, LS-55, and LS-56/-56 subtypes have common upper parts from the ‘pivot lip’ on up so that the LS-40 shaft cover fits all those joysticks regardless of different shaft designs/diameters below the pivot lip.
The shaft cover for sure is an original LS-40 part. Production shaft covers haven’t been available for the LS-32 until this year; the new shaft covers are LS-32 spec since the existing LS-shaft covers do NOT fit the LS-32 diameter. Those appear to be have been designed for the LS-40 from the start and not back-engineered/thickened to fit the thinner LS-40 shaft diameter like a lot of the LS-32 shafts parts were.
I can’t stress this enough; the shaft diameter of the LS-32 is what makes that joystick incompatible with most after-market parts. You have to make your own LS-32 mod parts with files and cutting tools… they’re just not available otherwise. Replacement LS-32 actuators are basically the only after-market mod parts available now.

I’ve been so busy with stuff lately I haven’t really had a chance to look into this. LS-40 pivot will be a no go, I’ve already tried that using the 40 shaft, actuator, and stuff. The pivot housing (or cam housing or whatever) is too shallow to feel good.

I am going to do some work on it when I get some time and we have some good ideas going, but we’ll see. IMO, if you want a “fixed” LS-32, get a 40. They practically identical with the exception of the pivot and the 1 mm taller shaft of the 40.

I have both the LS-32 and LS-40. The actuator on the LS-32 grinded down to the shaft from soul fisting too much. I just took the PCB with all the microswitches and slapped it into the LS-40.
It plays like a dream.

Unpopular gaming opinion #456:

LS-32 is garbage.

Well the LS-32 does have that flaw if you hit the gate too hard you feel the pivot pop.
I can care less about the shaft cover, fix whats actually wrong with the LS-32 Seimitsu!


Tell that to Japanese shooter players and most people like me who started replacing their OEM JLF’s with the LS-32!
Neither is a perfect joystick but I definitely felt in my case that the LS-32 was the most comfortable of Japanese alternatives to the JLF prior to the Hayabusa. The Hayabusa’s king as far as I’m concerned until either Sanwa or Seimitsu actually fix the issues with their joysticks instead of repackaging them with ‘quieter parts’ (the insomniac roommate/‘my girlfriend will kill me otherwise’ solution) or cosmetic changes that don’t address the performance shortfalls.

Popping, btw, was never the problem I had with the LS-32. You learn how to deal with that after a short while unless you’re too strong and have clumsy gorilla hands. As far as the switch/activation issues, that’s a different story. That would require a major redesign and more thought Seimitsu has put into the issue in the last 20 years. The ‘new’ shaftcover business is another band-aid on the design. As Hibachi said in another thread, the PCB/LS-32 substrate was a ‘band-aid’ to the LS-32 design and an inelegant one at that. Still, it’s not a half-bad joystick…

I’m leaning towards thinking that gated microtabs on the LS-32 and other LS-joysticks were a crutch to deal with certain activation/actuator design issues in the Seimitsu LS-series and the choices of microswitch designs. The gate on the JLF definitely gets in the way when it comes to some rapid control input and the problem doesn’t go away whether you swap to an octo gate or not… the square/stock gates are definitely more comfortable on alternate Japanese levers.
The JLF becomes utterly uncomfortable to me after a short while because of the way the actuator and restrictor gate interact. The JLF microswitches may actually work better in ways than their counterparts do on the LS-32 (or LS-40 for that matter) but the bad base part design gets in the way of doing a lot of basic movements.
It’ll be interesting to see in a few years, now that Hori has gone wider-release with the Hayabusa and Kuro, if there’s a change in parts buying and attitude towards the traditional control levers on the competitive/tournament circuit.
I’d predict Seimitsu will lose more market… the question is how bad Sanwa gets affected. I don’t see it impacting them greatly outside of Asia where Hori still doesn’t have a huge presence and much distribution but then again the reviews haven’t been bad on the new Hori parts, either – especially the Hayabusa. The fact that the parts are seeing mainstream circulation in arcade panels on top of replacing the Sanwa equipment in the HRAP’s – well, they’re here to stay regardless of the few naysayers out there think. The arcade market will probably continue to get smaller but I think Hori will still be in a good place…

Sorry to bump this old topic but bought a used ls 32 from someone here st srk at first I though they send me a crappy one, been this my first seimitsu I didnt know the issue, well what I did is I installed an aluminum bat top I had laying around in the process I lost the c clip so I went to my local ace hardware I bought a somewhat bigger and thicker c clip also I got a rubber washer like the one been used installed and VOILA I dont feel anything like before I MEAN nothing at all THE stick is now glowing like never before

Where and how did you install that rubber washer?
What size washer?
And can you provide photos?

Let me know if the pic links aren’t working tiny pic isnt working right for me im also gonna post pics of the description of the washer and c clip I used

Seimitsu has made a new metal pivot bearing that eliminates pivot hopping completely when used with the newly designed LS-32 base.

Within like a year or two they upgraded their joystick base production that makes perfectly accurate and smooth surfaces.
Without taking the mounting plate off the fastest way to tell if it’s a new base is to look at the grease traps around the pivot. If they are straight it’s the old base, if they angle inwards it’s the new base.

The metal pivot also works with the old base but from my testing i have 8 old bases and 9 new bases and on some older ones there was a tiny bit of hop (like 99% less than before though) but there was no pivot hop with the new bases.

The metal pivot is taller so the spring will tighten just a bit.

This of course changes the basic feel of the stick so it basically creates a new joystick and it feels great.

The honest truth is that the original LS-32 is an amazing stick that requires some level of control from the user to not hit the gate and hop the pivot.
What makes it great is the amazing feel from the pivot and the spring, especially on shmups and other games that don’t require hard inputs.
(Yes there are players who use is hard without problems)

The new metal pivot makes it a better general use stick but loses some of that feel that the original gives when moving it just around the neutral position. The new pivot has a linear feel from the neutral to the gate. It still has a great feeling neutral but it feels new/different.

When Seimitsu stress tested the metal pivot bearing, it passed the test that it didn’t destroy the base but they did notice that it gets rid of the grease faster than the older pivot, so if you want to make one base last forever remember to re-grease it once in a while. I personally do it every 3 months for all my sticks. Seimitsu uses Shin-Etsu G-501 and Sanwa uses Shin-Etsu G-40M.

The G-501 is smoother and not so sticky in the fingers and doesn’t have a slight smell like the G-40M. I generally recommend the G-501 for all Seimitsus but if you feel like the pivot is too slippery you can increase the friction by using the G-40M.

Now we can happy that there is an official fix from Seimitsu and we can now choose between the steel pivot and the classic.

Why are you arguing with a 7 year old post?
Everything that was said at the time about the LS-32 was true. And the LS-32 that made now is no way the same joystick.

I wasn’t arguing. And one of the last posts were about a wish for a new pivot and now that it is made i let them know and the steel pivot is a recent product, so i couldn’t comment this 7 years ago. And i also gave the necessary detail so people can make a decision if they want to try it or not.

You can’t say the new one is in no way the same joystick because if you buy a new LS-32 the base is like 98% the same and the pivot bearing is exactly the same. The only thing that has changed was the Omron switch update but that’s old news.

So it’s still the same LS-32 even if they have upgraded the machinery that makes the parts with higher precision and if you have a good condition LS-32 from 1995 and 2021, if you put the same PCB in those you can’t tell them apart in use.