Madcatz arcade PCB disassembly help

My Madcatz arcade stick arrived today. I have just removed the PCB and now it looks like this.

I have the button mapping from the pad hacking thread, but before I go any further I really need some adivce on how to remove some of the more secure components, (thumb conrol, joystick mount, spinner wheel etc).

Are there any parts that I definately shouldn’t remove, e.g. trigger boxes on back (think thats what they are) or white ribbon connection? For the parts that are soldered on (rumbles and white ribbon strip) do I need to desolder them, snip them or just pull them away.

I would really like to remove parts without breaking anything. I figure the more I have to force things, the more likely I am to damage the PCB. I paid nearly $40 AU for this one and I think they are discontinued now.

Really appreciate any help as I have never attempted anything like this before.


the rubber d pad, just pull off
the joystick. it requires a lot of tugging and twisting and it will come off a little forceful
spinner wheel stays as is.
cut off the rumble feature along with the little button.
leave everything else in place.

Both the analog sticks can be removed by twisting with pliers, then pulling off. It’s much easier than just tugging. The spinner wheel can be removed as well–the plastic bit, not the pot.

OK, I’ll see how i go with a pair of plyers. I was just afraid of applying to much pressure in the wrong place and snapping something.

Cheers for the advice.