A good friend of mine is moving and gifted his Bally Vector to me. It works really well for a couple of hours and then the outhole solenoid (to drop ball in launch trough) begins to lose effectiveness and requires some manual effort to pop the lever from inside the coin door to drop a ball to be launched. The prior owner confirmed this is one of two issues he has had with the machine.
As a new pinball owner, I would appreciate some confirmation to my troubleshooting process and other possible issues I should be investigating before I get my hands dirty.
The solenoid is an AT-27-1300 and looks to be original. The self test (#5) on the solenoid shows it is working, and as mentioned it does work very well for the first couple hours of play and/or machine powered on awaiting someone to play then the power seems to drop and there is not enough kick to eject the ball. Turning the machine off and letting it sit for some time will resolve the issue temporarily until the same conditions above are met.
Based on my research, I should work in this order:
1) Clean the solenoid for dust and other buildup (there is some dust visible on the rod)
2) Replace the solenoid sleeve
3) Replace the solenoid
Cleaning is easy enough and I can do that. Replacing the sleeve is not a part I have laying around and based on shipping from well known pinball sites, it seems cost prohibitive to buy a 50 cent part and ship it for $8. So guessing skip that and jump to option 3 of buying a new solenoid if the cleaning doesn't make any improvement.
Am I on the right path? Are their other things I should be investigating or commonly known solutions for other owners/operators of the Bally Vector machine?
Thanks in advance!