(Topic ID: 54503)

Black Knight Club...Members Only!

By mof

6 years ago

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  • 209 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 hours ago by BlackxDragon
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#630 3 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Has anyone experimented with setting # 37?
(reaching) Extra Ball difficulty

I've had mine set up that way for a while. Otherwise, it's plunge/lock ball 1... Plunge/lock ball 2... Plunge/lock ball 3... Multiball! Too easy. It forces you to take the risk of sending the ball to the lower pf, shooting the u-turn (a risky shot to boot), then managing to get the ball back up top for locking. When i discovered that feature, i gladly enabled it. I'll turn it off when having parties though, most of my friends aren't pinheads and i prefer to make my games at least a little more approachable for them.

The lock memory is another feature that can be tweaked in conjunction with that to make it even harder if you really want a challenge.

5 months later
#678 3 years ago
Quoted from Antennaejim:

Send your board for repair. Williams is your best option

Agreed. Those boards are solid once they've been gone over by a seasoned tech--many of whom can be found here at pinside. Plus, further repair services and parts should continue to be available for years to come, where aftermarket boards may not be as easy to fix or source parts for. I cringe every time i see someone with tech problems on a game with aftermarket boards. It makes troubleshooting considerably less easy than with a game possessing its original boards, in my experience. As long as the original boards are capable of being fixed, i say fix them. Chris Hibler is a repair tech that springs to mind, who's a resident expert here at pinside. Good luck whichever route you take! But don't throw the old boards out if you replace them. They still have some value even in non-working condition.

1 week later
#699 3 years ago
Quoted from Ashwood486:

I just picked up a BK that's been neglected and sitting in a warehouse for years, it's missing the main mpu board and back glass, any ideas on the best place to get this stuff so I can get started putting everything back together. Thanks

Try Mayfair Amusements for the backglass. As far as the mpu, maybe try a wtb ad here for an original or go with Rottendog if you want a new one (though i personally recommend getting an original mpu, better parts and repair availability)... Good luck!

#704 3 years ago

Do the magnet buttons register in switch test? They're also on the same column as the outlanes. Check the switch matrix diagram--make sure all switches on the same columns and rows as the problem switches are working.

#707 3 years ago

Looking over the switch matrix, i see both the right outlane switch and outhole switch are on the same row. I would very carefully examine *all* the switches on that row, including the *right coin switch*. Test all the switches on that row (row 4), do any other switches work?

If any of those switches has a white-yellow wire or diode that's not firmly attached, you can get weird behavior/lack of response from other switches on the same row.

Check switch gap if everything else looks ok. In order to clean the switches, take a business card or folded up piece of paper and gently squeeze it between the contacts and drag it through to wipe the dust etc on the contacts. Do not use a file, that can damage the gold plating on the contacts and make them less reliable/stop working. A file can be used on higher current switches, such as the flipper button switches and flipper end of stroke switches.

Switch matrix diagram for reference:


#712 3 years ago

You want to make sure your have continuity from the white-yellow wire on every switch on row 4 to the connector at the mpu. Also check the diode for every switch. To be clear, i mean check from the white-yellow wire on the outhole, right outlane, right coin switch, left ramp rollover, and the pop bumper *scoring* switch. Note the pop bumper has 2 switches--an activation switch that ball closes by rolling over the skirt/platter around the base of the pop bumper, and the scoring switch that gets activated when the pop bumper coil fires. I believe that's the switch you want to look at. You'll know which one to check because it'll have a white/yellow wire going to it. If all the wiring is definitely good and all the diodes check good (i presume you're removing one leg from the switch to test the diodes), check the switches in question for continuity. If the switches themselves have continuity when activated with your meter on the lugs as the same leaves as the contacts, it may be a board issue.

#715 2 years ago
Quoted from hawknole:

Found it! Disconnected wire at the pop bumper. Thanks everyone for their help, especially frunch. Woot woot. BTW, the horse gallop noise is valid in all 4 lanes.

NICE!!! This was tricky because the pop bumper has 2 switches, one of which could be easy to overlook. Add to that the fact that the pop bumper worked for all intents and purposes (just didn't score)...

I had a problem on my BK a while back where the start button wasn't working. I checked so many things until i finally looked at the switch matrix and realized i had to check every other switch on the same column and row as the start switch. Sure enough it was the ball-roll tilt on the left side of the cabinet had a wire broke off (same row as start switch). That's when i finally 'got' how the switch matrix works, and perhaps more importantly: how to troubleshoot it.

Good job!

1 month later
#736 2 years ago
Quoted from hepgeek:

For any of you who have done CPR playfield swaps into your BK: did you sand/polish the CPR clearcoat to glass before installing? My CPR PF has slight raising around the inserts, and while it's not noticeable, I'm worried it'll be a locus for wear down the road. Just worried that the clear on the rest of the PF might not be thick enough to get everything perfectly level. Thoughts? Opinions? Experience? Just install the damn thing and stop obsessing over minutia?

I installed mine years ago (approx 10 yrs ago), noticed similar raising of the clear above the inserts. It hasn't gotten any worse, and i don't think it's ever been enough to alter the balls path when playing. I'll take a closer look when i get home tonight. Congrats on snagging one of the repros. They came out very nice, imo.

#740 2 years ago

Yup, there are plastics that can go there, but from what i understand they were printed upside down. Personally, i kinda like the steel look anyway. I have 2 sets of those plastics if you're interested in a set.

Congrats on your BK, it's a great game! (and pretty difficult)

#755 2 years ago
Quoted from TicTacSeth:

I wish I could tell, I can't get the game to boot, it just flickers a "0" digit inside on the battery board, and on the scoreboard when I turn it on with a loud humming sound. The 0 digit happened when I bought it, and the reason I got a deal (I hope), I'm not sure if it had the humming sound though.

Have you checked for correct voltages at the power supply board and CPU boards? Game won't boot with missing/incorrect voltages.

#757 2 years ago
Quoted from TicTacSeth:

I'll try to check tonight, I'm still learning so I might have questions on how to do that, but will google first to not bog down the chat.

If you need help, you can always start another thread in the solid state tech forum (or PM me, I'd be happy to help watch you thru it)

#759 2 years ago
Quoted from TicTacSeth:

Awesome, thanks Frunch. I caught a few fuses that were quite a bit different than they should be. Not that it will fix things, but I'm interested to at least see if a few more things get going. I also found someone that is more experienced and bulletproofing the boards, so might do that as well. Not sure yet, I might turn back to my Black Pyramid and finish that up so I can free up some space (and cash) to go at Black Knight.

Any time, man. If you need pics, advice, etc let me know. I think you've got the right idea giving the boards to someone experienced who can bulletproof them for you. These old boards are still perfectly good, they often just need some attention/refreshing (especially the 40-pin connectors, certain chip sockets, etc)... Let us know how you fare!

Good luck!

3 months later
#819 2 years ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

A problem has arrived. Three drop targets, all in different banks function fine, however the score isn't registering. Why could this be? Cheers.

I'd clean the switches with a folded up piece of paper or business card, and also check the wiring and diodes to all the problem switches and switches adjacent to them. Give each wire and diode leg a gentle tug to make sure they're all connected firmly to the switches.

#820 2 years ago

Here's a problem I'm sure others here have run into: when there's no balls sitting in the upper lock trough, at least 50% of shots to it sail right through and don't sit in the trough too be locked/scored. I've tried playing around with some brackets and stuff, but no consistent solution has come about yet. Anyone have any suggestions how to fix that?

#822 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

What angle do you have the playfield at? I only get that maybe 1 in 20 shots to it (while empty). I've also got a metal plate above the lock to protect the plastic, not sure if that would affect it.

I just measured the pitch at 6.8. My game didn't have the metal protector when i got it, and I've never been able to track one down.

#825 2 years ago
Quoted from mnrocketry:

Cliffy is making these. I bought one from him a few months ago. He hasn't added them to his web site yet.
BK-PLATE, Black Knight upper kickout plastic protector plate, $9.00

Awesome, good to know! In the meantime i Frankenstein'd a couple brackets and came up with a working solution (for now at least):


1 month later
#861 2 years ago

No reason you can't ask here! Do none of the targets register on the upper playfield or just certain ones? Did the problem just happen or has this been an issue for a while?

#863 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I'd assume you've got a row or column of the switch matrix out...

Yup, looks like column 5 on the switch matrix. All the upper playfield drop targets and the pop bumper are on that circuit. There will be a green/black wire going to each of those 7 switches. Check that wire (or pair of wires, as they Daisy chain from switch to switch) at each switch, give it a light tug to be sure it's firmly attached. Do the same with each diode on each of those switches as well. Sometimes they're hanging on by a thread, just enough to cause trouble. I'd start there, most of the time you'll find a wire/diode just isn't attached somewhere. Good luck! Let us know what you find.

#866 2 years ago

To narrow down if it's the driver board or playfield: disconnect the switch columns and rows connectors on the driver board at connectors 2J2 and 2J3 (upper right on the driver board). You can run a jumper between any pin on the column header pins and any pin on the row header pins to test the switch circuitry on the driver board. Pin 5 of the column connector (2J2) is for column 5, so you can try running a jumper from that pin to any pin on the row connector (2J3). If the switches respond when using the jumper, the driver board should be ok (though it would still be worth re-flowing the solder on the headers for the switch matrix if you haven't already)...

1 week later
#869 2 years ago

Those are the correct connectors.

Are you familiar with the diagnostics for the game? You have to use the switches on the coin door (open the door, you'll see 3 push-button switches on the 'back' of the coin door)... If you have the manual, you can follow the instructions from it. If not, the manual can be downloaded for free at ipdb.org (search for Black Knight). Basically, you push the middle switch into the down position (it will stay down until pushed again, which will pop it back up), then push the 'advance' switch to the right of it. That should start the display test. Push the middle button again so it pops back up. Now, pushing the advance button again should begin the sound test. Pushing advance again starts lamp test. Pushing it again starts the solenoid test. Push the switch again for the switch test. If any switches are being activated, the number of the switch(es) will appear in the credit/ball count display (refer to switch matrix diagram in manual to decipher which switches it detects are closed).

I would start the switch test, then run the jumper between a column pin and row pin and check the display to see if any number appears. I'd probably try a working column first, and make sure it registers a switch closure (a number will appear on a display) when the jumper is on any row pin. That way you'll know you're doing the test correctly. Then try running the jumper from the pin for column five and see if it registers a switch closure when the jumper is on any of the row pins. If no numbers come up, then we know the chip Schwaggs mentioned (IC18) is the most likely culprit.

Good luck!

1 week later
#890 2 years ago
Quoted from mjvancam:

The clouds have lifted! Schwaggs & frunch - thanks a ton! I managed to replace the hex inverter 7406 and voila, she's good as new (or refurbished).

That's great, man! Thanks for following up. Enjoy your game!

3 months later
#961 2 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

Once the pop bumper light sockets start failing just change it. You will be messing with it forever probably.
Better yet change it to a 555 bulb base. You'll be happier in the long run.

Agreed. This is the one i use in my games: https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1245

#963 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinstein:

Im new to this club and have been looking for a replacement CPU but I cant seem to find one. Does someone produce these?

The only ones I'm aware of are the rottendog MPUs, but they've been having trouble working properly on BK. If you still have the original mpu, it may be worth sending it out for repairs. The original boards are pretty reliable once they've been gone over by a good tech.

1 month later
#1008 2 years ago

I checked the manual (you can download it at ipdb.org) and here's what it says:

1 month later
#1095 1 year ago

You can go higher with voltage rating without any trouble. Just don't go lower!

#1098 1 year ago

If you disconnect the solenoid connectors to the driver board, does the fuse still blow?

#1100 1 year ago

Looking at the schematic, 2J11-pin 5 is the ground for the lower-left 3-bank drop target reset coil. Have you checked the coil, diode, and associated transistors for that?

1 week later
#1135 1 year ago

I have a pair of those ratcheting crimpers, but i can't seem to figure out the trick to making them work right. I've had a 1026-CT crimper i bought from GPE years ago that I've continued using instead. Any chance someone could school me on how to use the ratcheting crimpers, or point me to an instructional site or video?

#1137 1 year ago
Quoted from northvibe:

From the reviews, it sounds like you have to mess with the pressure setting screw and you run a handful of test crimps to find the right setting for your size wire.

Good call, I'll give that a shot. Thanks!

#1141 1 year ago

Thanks for the video link! Looks like I've been using it correctly, just gotta play with the adjustment until it's working to my satisfaction. Can't wait to finally be able to use them! Would have come in handy for my most recent project where i must have done over 200 crimp terminals, lol

3 weeks later
#1198 1 year ago

Have you tried running the solenoid test? Gotta make sure the outhole kicker solenoid is still capable of firing. If it works in the solenoid test, I'd verify the game is seeing all 3 balls in the trough using the switch test.

#1199 1 year ago
Quoted from RichPundit:

Haven't played for several months cuz have epilepsy & the flashing lights are a problem.

If the flashing you're talking about is coming from the general illumination, you may be able to disable the GI relay so that the lights are always just on--no flashing. Just a thought!

#1242 1 year ago
Quoted from epeabs:

The gray prototypes fit absolutely perfect. Screws thread in perfectly. Roll of red ABS on order to do some finals.

This is awesome! Keep us posted!

1 week later
#1266 1 year ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Also, my lower lock insert is red for some reason.

That is odd. Though i will say my BK playfield had orange inserts for the 3 Lock arrows on the upper playfield. An explanation i was given a while back is that they may have run out of green inserts for that area and opted to use whatever they had on hand instead. Not sure if that's exactly what happened but it makes sense, i suppose.

2 weeks later
#1313 1 year ago

I dealt with the same problem on my BK at some point, SpaceAce. The solution was exactly what chaskett said--make sure that nail on the metal guide rail is firmly pressing the guide rail into the wood next to it. Just like he said, a good whack with a nail punch might just be the solution. Good luck!

One other thought: you said you pulled the game out of storage recently. Has it been properly leveled since? I'm wondering if maybe the playfield is flexing a little bit or something due to an unleveled stance. That's more of a shot in the dark though.

2 weeks later
#1402 1 year ago

The rottendog mpu doesn't seem to get along well with Black Knight for some reason. I've read numerous threads where folks were having trouble using that mpu with bk, though the board seems to work ok for other compatible system 3-7 games.

Do you have the original mpu and driver boards? May be worth fixing them up instead...

1 week later
#1432 1 year ago
Quoted from chaskett:

New personal best and high score set tonight!


Is that set to 3 or 5 balls?

2 weeks later
#1465 1 year ago

Have you verified that the credit button (aka start button) is working in switch test? It's switch 3 on the switch matrix chart:


#1476 1 year ago

Happens with mine too. Once in a while i can save it, but most of the time it's going sdtm.

1 month later
#1573 1 year ago

Sounds like you may have a coil locking on when you turn the game on (due most likely to a bad transistor on the driver board). Listen carefully for the sound of a coil activating and humming when the game is turned on, and prepare to turn the game back off shortly after to hopefully spare the fuse. Zacaj is right on the money as usual, pull the connector he mentions and see if the problem persists. One other tip: knock down drop targets from each bank just in case if the coil that's locking on is one of the drop target reset coils. If any banks immediately reset when you turn the game on, you'll know it's the corresponding drop target reset coil that's locked on. That's exactly what happened to my buddy's BK, and it was a matter of replacing the driver and pre-driver transistors and the diode on the drop target reset coil to fix it. Good luck!

#1582 1 year ago

Also, while I'm not sure if this could possibly have any bearing on your problem Moses_1592, I'd also recommend checking the wiring to the pop bumper switch. The pop bumper switch also has an electrolytic cap and resistor. Make sure the wiring and the leads from the cap or resistor aren't touching anything they shouldn't be. If they're original parts, you may want to change them out too...

#1604 1 year ago

Where are you guys getting those trough protectors for the lock trough on the upper playfield?

#1606 1 year ago

Awesome, thanks for the link!!! It's been a while since I've shopped out my BK, this is a very good reason to finally get to it.

2 weeks later
#1619 1 year ago

You may want to consider having the boards checked out before replacing them. Replacement boards have been produced, but they aren't always that easy to find. Your original boards may have years of life left in them after getting refurbished by a good tech. I had my boards repaired nearly 15 years ago and have had surprisingly few problems since. If you consider going the repair route, a couple well-known repair guys:

Chris Hibler https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/chrishibler/contact

Clive/Coin-Op Cauldron: http://www.coinopcauldron.com/

If you're interested, Clay's Williams system 3-7 guide had written this specifically about reversing those connectors on a Black Knight pinball machine:

Oops! I Mis-Connected the Plugs and Turned the Game On!

If the plugs were cross-connected, and the game turned on, there are some likely things that could happen (this example is Black Knight; what blows exactly can be game specific, and may also depend on how long the game was powered on). First the obviously broken stuff was:
General Illumination lights.
Score displays unlit.
Flippers permanently energized and stuck on.
Drop target reset coil energized and stuck on.
Sound board wouldn't even do self test.
Blows fuses.
In this Black Knight example, here's what fried, and what survived:

Power supply board was OK.
Sound board Amp IC blown (flipper was being energized through this IC).
CPU board needed IC7 (7404) and IC5 (7402) replaced, as these were shorting +5V and ground through them (these are connected to the memory protect circuit and diagnostic switches). It also needed IC12 (7408) replaced to get the CMOS RAM working again (until this was replaced, the game always came up in test mode).
Driver board needed IC17 (7406) replaced to fix a bunch of switches that wouldn't read. Also needed IC11 (6821 PIA) replaced to fix some row inputs that were stuck "on" (surprisingly, the 4049's CMOS chips survived)

#1638 1 year ago
Quoted from northvibe:

Is there a ground strap for each side?

There's just one white/red wire for ground that gets screwed down with the ground strap in the backbox.

DC voltage for the magnets and flippers (what the schematic is calling (flipper B+) runs from the power supply board at connector 3J3 at pin 4 and 5. The female connector has a blue wire for pin 4 that provides 28VDC to the left flippers and magnet. Next to it at pin 5, there's a grey wire carrying the same DC voltage for the right magnet and flippers. Even if it doesn't fix the problem, i highly recommend replacing the header pins and female connector at 3J3. On both Black Knights I've worked on, replacing those header pins made a notable gain to flipper strength. In one case the flippers weren't working at all and it was just worn out header pins on that connector. I remember the pins had a sort of dull appearance compared to others. Seeing how much more work the flippers perform than the other coils, i suppose it shouldn't have come as a surprise.

Thinking in a different direction, have you verified the magnet button works in switch test?

1 week later
#1643 1 year ago

Yup, normal behavior. Nothing to worry about!

#1650 1 year ago
Quoted from pinaholic:

Cleaning up nice

Wrong club, lol! Nice looking High Speed though!

1 week later
#1688 1 year ago

Each time you complete a bank of targets, you get an arrow lit next to the bank. To get EB, you have to complete all three arrows for both of the top 2 banks (6 arrows total), or the bottom 2 banks, or all 4 banks (depending on eb difficulty setting).

#1690 1 year ago

Doh! Read that too fast. Special is obtained only during the "bonus ball" in multiplayer (winner of the game gets an extra 30 seconds of unlimited multiball)... During the bonus ball you have to knock down all 4 banks of targets once--that lights the u-turn Special. Very hard to light it, and even for the amount of times i may have lit it, I've only ever *collected* Special maybe 2-3 times in 15+ years on my game. I don't play nearly as much multiplayer as i used to when i first got the game though.

#1692 1 year ago

Inlanes and outlanes advance 2 bonus. A successful magna-save advances 5 bonus. The rollover at the top left of the upper playfield advances 1 bonus. Knocking down a bank of targets advances 3 bonus. I think that covers all of them...

1 week later
#1709 1 year ago

The 2's will scroll on a couple displays when 2-ball multiball is going on. Same with 3's during 3 ball multiball. It sounds like this has something to do with the lock trough switches on the upper playfield and/or the main ball trough switches at the bottom of the main playfield. If they aren't adjusted properly the game might be getting confused as to how many balls are locked/in play and cause weird behaviour like that. That's where I'd start--fairly common issue on this game.

1 week later
#1741 1 year ago

Coil stops are replaceable on BK, i did so when i bought mine years ago. Of course, it's more than just the coil stop--it's the whole flipper bracket with the coil stop built into it. Pinball life has them for $14 each.

Left side: https://www.pinballlife.com/willilams-flipper-mounting-bracket-and-coil-stop-assembly-for-system-6-7-machines-left-side.html

Right side: https://www.pinballlife.com/willilams-flipper-mounting-bracket-and-coil-stop-assembly-for-system-6-7-machines-right-side.html

3 weeks later
#1762 1 year ago

I think there's another company running new BK playfields soon, Mirco possibly? Hardtop may also eventually become an option as well.

3 weeks later
#1800 1 year ago

Chris Hibler here at Pinside has a good reputation here as a board repair tech.

The Coin-Op Cauldron does good work, as well.

I definitely recommend having your original boards repaired instead of buying new 3rd party replacements. Some are good, but original boards are usually quite reliable once they've been gone through by a good tech.

1 month later
#1897 11 months ago

Williams System 7 games have numerous quirks that typically need to be worked out to be reliable, including new 40-pin connectors between mpu and driver board, chip sockets often go bad on the mpu, 8a slow-blow fuses need to be added to each of the 2 backbox-mounted bridge rectifiers, new caps and connectors on power supply, etc etc etc. Check out Vid's guide to bulletproofing Williams System 3-7 games, he covers everything in great detail: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-bulletproofing-williams-system-6

Congrats on your BK, it was my first pin and will never leave my collection. Not only for nostalgic reasons, but because it is just an awesome game through and through. The art, the gameplay, the sound of the lit spinner blasting off from a good shot, the magnets, the Knight, and of course the hordes of drop targets! You'll be up and running in no time with the help of the folks here. Good luck!

1 month later
#1978 10 months ago

Speaking of the coin door, does anyone know what goes in the center slot on this one? Is there a particular insert or decal or something for that space? There's a spot for a gi lamp behind it, so i figured it might have had some sort of insert like the "Quarters" signs that go in the adjacent ones.

#1980 10 months ago

Good to know! Anyone know where i might find one of the Williams logo plates?

In my case, it looks like the provisions are there for a 3rd slot, it just wasn't used (and mech removed seeing how the switch wires are taped off)

1 month later
#2020 8 months ago

Wow, thanks for the detailed post! That looks great!

4 months later
#2120 4 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Repin all the connectors in the chain, can often help. Replace cab switches, replace fuse holder, etc. You'd be surprised how strong they can be without any hacks

Agreed, i had 2 Black Knight's that both benefited greatly by doing new male and female connections for ground at the driver board and for flipper power at the power supply board.

In one case i replaced nearly everything in the chain. (cab switches, eos, coils, driver board connectors) and didn't get anywhere until the new connectors for the flippers power (28v i think?) were installed on the power supply board. That got the flippers not only working, but working nice and strong to boot.

After that i went to my own BK where i always felt the flippers needed a bit more power. I had already rebuilt everything except for the that same connector on the power supply board. Since rebuilding that connector, I've had shots rocket up the left spinner ramp with flippers that were last rebuilt nearly a decade ago.

Worth a look!

1 month later
#2140 3 months ago


Edit: transformer in backbox, system 6 power supply board as well


2 months later
#2204 23 days ago

Put the game in switch test (reset drop targets and remove the balls first), test each drop target manually and see which number gets displayed for each one. The manual shows the number for each switch on the switch matrix diagram.

1 week later
#2249 10 days ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

Note: if you change the plunger to the top kickout to the medium size length,
( kickout that is used on Adams Family), it saves a lot of the wear and tear on the playfield.

Do you have a part number for that plunger? I was looking in the Addams
Family operators guide and there's a few different kicker/kickout assemblies on it. Is it the one for the electric chair?

Edit: would a higher resistance coil be an alternative solution?

#2251 10 days ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

Ball Shooter Lane Feeder
pg. 2-18
item #5.
A-8050-1 Coil Plunger Assy, 2-1/8"


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