A common issue with Alien is the left return lane plastics breaking and cracking, in later runs Heighway attempted to correct the issue by changing the design, but it still didn't completely solve the problem.
This is such a long run, the ball builds up momentum and all the force of the impact either hits a thin piece of plastic in earlier designs.. or a post that eventually breaks in the same way. Combine this with fragile Lexan that all games were made with (vs stronger PETG), and this is a much bigger problem.
Fortunately, Cliff and I have been working together on a solution and after a few prototypes and lots of back and forth these are now available, and highly recommend for everyone with an Alien. A large piece of steel, a little thicker than your average cliffy that installs underneath the return lane.. with a small vertical tab that comes up through the ball drop hole. These are $18, and can be ordered by e-mailing Cliff Rinear at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a picture of it installed on my game.
This looks a little different because I have an earlier run game, but was given a lower plastic piece from a later run game, so the top two pieces are missing the post.. but the bottom has a post hole.
Here are a few pictures from the bottom, and one view of the early run (without the front post hole..)
To install, remove all the nylon nuts from the left inlane..
Remove the top plastic, and all of the plastic spacers..
Carefully remove the second layer plastic, and all of the next level of plastic spacers. Then remove the few metal posts loosely placed in the sidewall, as well as the few wood screws.
Remove a few of the remaining posts that keep the plastic in the game.
With the plastic removed, remove the posts with nylon nuts underneath, documenting where they were installed . install the cliffy underneath with the tab facing up.. and reinstall the posts that attach with nylon nuts underneath.
Then reinstall the lower plastic, wood screws, posts, spacers, etc. in reverse order.
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