*whew* just returned from Wednesday's all-day repair stint. Was hoping to keep up the momentum and move on to Skyrocket, knock it out as fast as Rocket III, and maybe hit a few more before the end of the day. Alas...
...ye will now hear the well-known EM-fixer's tale, "The Unexpected Lamentations"...
To begin, I fire up a game of Skyrocket and the right flipper is loose. No problem, right? Tighten those allen screws and done. But tightening the screws has no effect, because the flipper pawl has sheared apart from its "cuff". Someone previously attempted to fix this by using a big solder blob to fuse them together... nuh uh. Too much torsional force in this zone. To fix it, we need welding, not soldering. Had to rob a parts machine for a new pawl. Which doubled the expected repair time.
I played a little more and whenever I scored 3000 points it trapped the game in a 3000-point loop. 3000-ding-ding-ding-3000-ding-ding-ding. Out comes the schematic. Motor switch looks good. Gate open switches look good. Target switches look good. Aha! The 3000 point relay switches are misaligned. I re-gap those... and move down the main relay bank gapping several borderline cases along the way (of which I found many).
By this time I noticed none of the 10-point targets are scoring. The backbox reveals why: The 10-point relay coil is completely gone. Since I didn't have a spare G-30-1500, I subbed a G-31-2000 which is commonly used in Bally relays. Now the 10-point targets are scoring again.
Ah, but what is this new source of smoke? It appears the 10-point relay coil may have been removed because it triggers the neighboring 00-90 match unit... and THAT has a slagged, frozen, crispy black solenoid which miraculously did not melt its adjoining plastic gear wheel. Again, back to the parts machine to steal a match unit coil and install it. After, of course, completely disassembling and rebuilding the match unit and cleaning the slag from the plastic gear.
Are we done yet?!? Not quite. Most of the 10-point playfield targets (including the slingshots) are machine-gunning the score reels/relay/match unit. I manually adjust and polish all of the playfield switches. Which requires more time removing plastics, etc, etc.
Finally... no machine-gunning. But a new problem has arisen: The 10-point and 100-point reels are not rolling over after 9. I test player 2 and the reels completely freeze up! Aaargh! The player select relay is immediately suspect... so I take it apart, polish the contacts, and optimize the switches. Now, scoring on player 2 no longer freezes up the action. But the 10/100 reels still aren't rolling over.
I remove each score reel and clean it carefully with Windex, then optimize the switches. All "9th positions" look OK. Can't see any trouble here.
I move on to the 1000/100/10 relays and give them the same treatment as the player select relay: Disassemble, polish, optimize gaps, reassemble. Boom... 9's are now rolling over to 10's.
Are we done YET?!!! The left pop bumper isn't scoring any points. A quick adjustment of its relay fixes that. But the pops are a little weak. I bless all three of them with a set of new plungers, yokes, and bakelites... and replace the metal sleeves with nylon ones. Better now.
It's 11pm and my ride is calling my name. I still see a number of other things which bug me: Missing bulbs and flaky sockets, center post isn't lighting up, would like a bit more flipper strength, etc. But the day is over and I've only returned one game to service... mostly.
I got unlucky with this one. It started with a loose flipper and just kept throwing problems. At what point does a person back out? I kept thinking, geez, this is taking too long... but I can't quit now... ughhhh.
Tomorrow I will take Nimble's remaining pile of parts and blast them into the games which are working but need a little extra oomph. Mostly pop bumper upgrades, methinks.
G'nite & looking forward to this weekend. First the work and then the fun...