(Topic ID: 240699)

1974 Big Indian Ball Return Issue

By Rebelkustoms

3 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Raff
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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Gottlieb Outhole Kicker (resized).png
20190414_170343 (resized).jpg
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#1 3 months ago

Hi all, my restored Big Indian has been having a problem lately with the ball return coil firing but not shoving the ball all the way over the ramp to the shooter. The ball rolls back down to the outhole then then refires over and over again. Sometimes it fires 4 to 5 times before it makes it over. I made sure the ramp was in the right place and the mechanism seems to not be binding or anything. I looked at the ball return relay, I am getting an arc in one of the switches. I cleaned and adjusted all of them but I cannot get the arc to go away for anything. Any suggestions, check the videos out for a visual.

#2 3 months ago

The coil is fired thru a motor switch. It will be on the 4c switches. clean them and make sure you have enough gap. I also clean switches on O as the circuit is thru one of them.

#3 3 months ago

Gottliebs are infamous for the ball hitting the underside of the apron. The ball does not sit on the kicker arm because the outhole gets elongated. There's a fix that involves using an old switch blade to hold the ball in place better.

Could also be the mech itself or the switches mentioned above.

Look in there and see if it is hitting the under side of the apron .

#4 3 months ago

Check this circuit, leading into Ball Return (O).

Capture (resized).PNG
#5 3 months ago

Also make sure the sprung arm on the kicker is oiled at the pivot and moving freely and has the correct spring, and has no binding crud between it and the other kicker arm, otherwise the kick will be too hard. And see if you have noticeable wear at the tip(s) on the kicker, which can get hammered and flattened out if the kicker has a megaton of miles on it. If you remove the card holder it’s easier to see if the ball is being launched too high or the kick is weak, etc.

#6 3 months ago

Not one of Gottlieb's better designs. Williams and Bally outhole kicker systems are far superior

#7 3 months ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

Williams and Bally outhole kicker systems are far superior

Ballys, in my experience, tend to have their kicker problems at the SM, which are a bit easier to find and clean.

#8 3 months ago

This was a simple mechanical fix for 2 of my Gottliebs. The ball must rest at just the right position in the hole relative to the kicker prong tips so they can launch it at the correct angle. Same principle as hitting a baseball: hit foul balls all day, or a hit home run every time. Try this: remove the apron and ball; lift the playfield so you can bend the tip of the kickout hole switch blade up at a right angle, about 1/4" from its end. You may have to experiment with the angle and length of the bent tip. Lower the PF, power up and try it. Also observe the ball's movement with the apron removed; sometimes its blocked by the edge of the guide rail and bounces back. If so, bend and/or adjust the rail as needed for the least restricted flight path. Then try it with the apron reinstalled. Persevere. You'll get it.

#9 3 months ago

The GTB design isn’t as ‘smart’ and is much more prone to having issues but once you get them (and what fires them) back up to spec they kick to the shooter reliably. The one in my Fast Draw never fails and gets the ball there quick and smooth every time. But yeah I’ve had many that needed fixin’ up where the ball was hitting the card holder.

#10 3 months ago
Quoted from currieddog:

Ballys, in my experience, tend to have their kicker problems at the SM, which are a bit easier to find and clean.

I've owned four different Bally games, and none of them ever had an issue, other than just the normal dirt that basically all games have under the apron. Even when dirty, they kicked reliably and strong.

The Gottlieb design just has too many moving parts to it. Gottlieb did a lot of things right, and better, but score reels and outhole kickers were two that were not better.

#11 3 months ago

I pulled the mechanism today to clean it up. It is a bit beat up doesn't look too terrible thought. There is a flat spot or two on it. The more I watched it the more it looks like a random mechanical thing happening. I cant quite see it but it seems like some mechanical thing like was mentioned by a few of you guys like maybe it throws it against the top or side. BUT..... now I am having a separate fluke issue. My score reel is fluttering during scoring and play and it is scoring points everytime I hit a flipper . Never had an issue like this on this machine, maybe I bumped a ground or something idk. Any ideas?

20190414_170343 (resized).jpg
#12 3 months ago

Yup the bottom ends of the kicker are pretty bashed, I’ve been able to peen them to get closer to the original shape, ball may not be seated/centered in the kicker as it should be... kicking upward instead of forward, or to one side since the peening there is worse on one side than the other.
Whichever reel is doing false scoring, might just be a scoring playfield switch gapped to close.

#14 3 months ago

Whats the part number for the ball return forks or kicker. Thanks Raff

#15 3 months ago

On the other thread showing the heavy wear where the kicker pivots, maybe a short piece of steel tubing could be brazed or epoxied onto the bottom of the post to both negate the wear notches on the post and compensate for the enlarged hole, and take out the slop... enlarging the hole if needed to match the diameter of the tubing.

#16 3 months ago
Quoted from Raff:

Whats the part number for the ball return forks or kicker. Thanks Raff

Does this diagram from the 1978 parts catalog assist?

Gottlieb Outhole Kicker (resized).png
#17 3 months ago
Quoted from AvidListener:

Does this diagram from the 1978 parts catalog assist?

yep thats it. I am looking to buy one if anyone has one for sale.

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