Quoted from pinballinreno:
When you grab the apron and lift, you have keep the playfield straight and level.
If you pull to the left or right, the blade protectors will bunch up.
You only have 1/8" sideways clearance, so you have to have everything straight.
As you have seen it can come off the rails.
If it goes crooked, lower, and straighten the entire playfield, yes it actually moves sideways a little. It's not locked in or on rollers or anything like that.
Then lift again, pull towards you.
Its heavy, dont pull at an angle.
Dont tip it left or right.
Lift it up so that the yellow metal rails will clear the front edge.
Pull it out forwards past the front of the game and set it down on the yellow rails.
Pull it out very straight inline with the cabinet.
The yellow rails have feet bent into them that fit into the silver metal channel along the front edge.
Do this and post a picture.
I think that was the issue. The left protector was tight, and jammed, so I had to force it more than I'd imagine without the protectors on. The left plastic inset and maybe another piece, make that a tight fit on the left side.
When I then pulled forward, it got stuck, and wedged in. That was nightmare part one. Then when I got it freed, I felt I was home free, minus possible protection on the sides. Then I raised it, and it clunked down. So I imagine interference with the protector helped jam and shift things.
I guess I just don't understand why there aren't locks above, below, and behind the rails, to keep them in, akin to a rollercoaster.
I can try again tomorrow, and post. Trying to coax it back in and up, and then hitting some interference, and not being able to slide it back down, the yellow rails, freaked me out again.
I've been cautious in this process, and not rushed it, and yet still somehow it went fubar. This being my first owned game, it's pretty alarming. But u guess that's life.
I'll see if I can get on tomorrow when people like yourself see around, before dipping my toes in again. Everything seems functional, same as before, but this damn left flipper is still flipping me off, which isn't really acceptable for me. It entirely hinders gameplay and "easy" successful shots on the right side of the field. I wonder if there's a mechanical defect involved.
Thanks again to everyone that read or replied. This was a genuinely pretty horrific experience, after years of playing, and then finally jumping into a dream, after never fahtoming I'd own one.