Ok I thought since I finished this this weekend that I would document it for a little guide for anyone here that might find it useful while I modded the second stick.
If you're doing this you probably have a small bit of modding experience before hand, but if you don't I still think it is doable, my first soldering project was making a Ghostlop cart and I learned as I went along and the first thing I learned was soldering is not that hard. Sure you won't solder like Jeff Kurtz, but you will have working joints. Besides soldering the only other thing you need to know how to do is to take things apart, put them back together, and selectively destroy bits in between.
Like most regular Hori sticks (non-HRAP), this stick is a decent weight, has decent buttons, but has a miserable stick. I had to get it changed out and decided to go with all Sanwa parts, the buttons may not need to be replaced, there is only minimal difference and a lot of work, but I needed my ball top and buttons to match, so they were changed. If this won't bother you, you could save a bunch of work.
Parts you will need.
--Hori Fighting Stick Wii
--Sanwa JLF-TP-8T Ball Handle Joystick, other Sanwa sticks and I've heard that a Seimitsu LS-32 will fit, but keep in mind that this guide was done using the Sanwa JLF-TP-8T, your experience may vary with a different stick.
--8 Sanwa OBSF-30 Pushbuttons, whatever other brand that makes snap in 30mm buttons should also work
--Sanwa GT-Y Octagonal Restrictor Plate, you won't want the 4 way plate that comes with your joystick, so get this or the cornerless GT-0, whatever your preference
--If you want the colors to match as close to the original you want Sanwa's Light Blue color for the ball top and buttons, its a little darker, but goes well.
--16 .110" quick disconnects if you think you can use them, I didn't, I will get to this later
--I got all my parts from www.lizardlickamusements.com I would recommend Chad for all your parts as well, everything was packaged very nice, and he even refunded a small part of the shipping charge that his calculator overestimated. My only complaint is that you may have to watch his site like a hawk to get all your parts in one order. Something will inevitably be out of stock and when restocked another part will be gone. I wish he did backordering but he is likely a small operation so its fine by me.
Tools you will need
--Soldering Iron with Desoldering braid or bulb and some small gauge Rosin-Core solder
--Dremel with a Grinding Stone head to cut screws and shave away plastic, a drill bit was also useful for me.
--Various screwdrivers, pliers, or whatever you have to do the job.
--Wire Strippers would come in handy, I stripped 16 wires with a pair of scissors very carefully because I'm cheap, it wasn't worth it.
Let's get started, Here is what you have.
Turn the stick upside down and remove the 6 small phillips head screws holding the metal plate down. Save the screws and set the metal plate aside.
Desolder the 16 button points on the green PCB board. When that is all done, lift the board gently until they all pop out of the joint. You may have to reheat a few to get them to release.
Now remove the four long phillips head from the joystick body. Save these screws. Then using a flat head screwdriver to hold the stick, twist off the ball top. Save the white dust washer if you're wanting to keep all the colors the same. Unclip the bottom part of the joystick body and remove the joystick leaving just the microswitches and the wires that are still soldered to the board.
Using a flat head screwdriver push in the two clips holding the buttons down. Remove all 8 buttons, they can be discarded.
Now desolder the 8 wires leading from the joystick microswitches to the board. First pick off all the glue you can on the brown side of the board. The glue will probably melt with the heat and make a mess. So once the solder is gone pull on the wire from the other side to get it out. Heat it up a bit if the glue is holding it in. Then clear all the glue out from the hole. I used a needle and thread, stuck it through and twirled it around to push all the glue out that I could.
Now we're done removing parts, everything else is installing parts.
First take your Dremel with the Grinding stone, begin sanding down the two tabs in each button hole. Then you need to make the hole a little bit bigger. Go around a handful of times in a circle widening the hole. Try the button, then repeat, until you can push it in. It will take a bit of force and in my opinion the tighter the fit the better.
Once all 8 buttons are fitted we need to mod the Sanwa joystick to fit.
First remove four screws holding on the metal plate, make sure you get a good phillips head screwdriver to fit or these will strip out easily. Discard the metal plate and screws and black dust washer (unless you want to use it instead of the white one)
Push the tabs in and remove the square restrictor plate on the bottom of the joystick discard if you're changing to an octagonal or cornerless plate.
Set aside the microswitch PCB.
You'll be left with just the upper body of the joystick. If you want, you can remove the e-clip on the joystick to get that out of the way.
Now using your Dremel grind down the two extended sides of the frame so you have a nice square.
Using the Dremel and a cutting head again you need to make the 4 screws we took out of the Hori joystick about 1/2" long including the head or they will bottom out against the overlay.
Now take a drill or dremel with drill bit and you want to sand down the raised posts that the screw will pass through, you also want to widen the hole so that two things can happen, where the joystick meets the case, you want those 4 plastic posts to be able to fit inside the holes you made larger so that the joystick is mounted flush against the case, you also want the other side of the hole to be big enough for the head of a screw to sit recessed inside of it and out of the way of your microswitches.
Screw the four screws down to mount the joystick body, if you removed it, put the stick back in.
Mount the microswitch PCB with the pin connector facing away from the buttons.
Mount the Octagonal gate.
Now move the harness around the top of the joystick through the posts where the controller cable is held in and cut it to length so that the wires will reach the joystick solder points and strip the ends.
The order from top to bottom goes Control Left, Ground, Control Up, Ground, Ground, Control Right, Ground, Control Down. Top in this picture is to the right side.
And if your miscroswitches are oriented like mine, Black is a Ground Wire, Green is Left, Yellow is Right, Orange is Down, and Red is Up.
Solder the wires in from top to bottom, Green, Black, Red, SKIP, SKIP, Yellow, SKIP, Orange.
Now I used to remaining wire from the joystick loom to make 16 small pieces of wire. You can opt to use quick disconnects, maybe bending the pins of the QDs but if you mount them straight up and down they will be too tall for the bottom plate to go back on.
So make 16 equal length small wires strip both ends and solder to the button post first, then starting with the top four buttons get all the ends through the board and solder them down, repeat with the bottom four buttons until everything is soldered.
Go test out the board, make sure everything works properly.
Now put the bottom plate on, don't put the screws back yet. Turn the stick over and just set it flat one a table. Move the joystick around, you should hear it scratch. Do it a little more in all directions so that there is a good mark on the inside of the bottom plate.
You will have to take your grinding stone and thin out the bottom plate in a small square where the stick will make contact it is just a hair too long. You could also grind down the end of the stick as long as you keep the screwdriver slot useable, but I preferred not too and you can get it to fit by just doing the bottom plate.
Now one last thing you will need to do, either coat the bottom metal plate with black electrical tape on the inside, or find some shrink tubing strips and apply them over the joystick and button solder joints. Reason for this is now your board is sort of hanging loose as opposed to being held tight to the buttons earlier. If the solder joints connect with the metal plate they'll ground out and make the button unusable.
Well that's it, there are a few different ways you could do a few things like if you wanted you could drill larger holes for the larger sanwa button pins into the board so they can be soldered in like the Hori buttons without the small wire, but that will be personal preference and minor stuff that you can decide on your own.
This SHOULD work with all the 360/PS3/Wii Sticks out there that are essentially the same non-HRAP sticks, but please double check that everything is the same as you go through as I have only done this on my two Wii sticks.
As always if you Dremel your eye out, I'm sorry but that wasn't in this write-up so...not my fault.
NOTE: Pictures will go up as I finish the second one, and I'll sorta work back through this and edit anything I feel needs clarifying but it is mostly all there. Feel free to ask any questions.