(Topic ID: 199665)

Do you cut EM springs to increase their tension?


By spinal

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by HowardR
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    Topic poll

    “Do you cut EM springs to increase their tension?”

    • Yes, trim them and tension increases. Problem solved. 14 votes
      48%
    • No, replace them to make sure tensions are correct. 15 votes
      52%

    (29 votes)

    #1 2 years ago

    I'm reading through http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index2.htm in detail and it's suggested multiple times to cut springs shorter to increase tension, even for something as finicky as AS relays:

    "Test the AS relay again. If the movement of the moving arm is still sluggish, remove the AS relay return spring and cut off TWO "loops" off the spring (and then bend the last "loop" of the freshly cut spring up 90 degrees.) "

    On the other hand, I've heard from others that its best to replace with a new spring.

    Cut or replace? What do you recommend and why? (thanks for your votes and comments)

    #2 2 years ago

    I always use whatever parts I have on hand before ordering new ones.

    In the case of that relay it is best to take it apart and clean it all up before doing any modifications to spring tension as that might only be compensating for another problem.

    #3 2 years ago

    I try to clean steppers so that the existing springs do not need cutting. Sometimes though, I'll cut a couple loops off if nothing else is working. I try to avoid buying any unnecessary pinball parts. It is expensive enough without have to pay someone a couple dollars for a ten cent spring.

    #4 2 years ago

    I'd only adjust springs as a last resort. Never seen one with 'wrong' tension (unless it's already been stretched), not sure if that actually happens? The few times I've thought it was, the new spring had the same problem. Cleaning has always worked for me though, never had the need.

    #5 2 years ago

    Over time (40+ years!) springs loose their tension. i'm not big on ordering new springs for a variety of reasons, so cutting a bit off to increase tension seems reasonable. But yes as someone mentioned, only after you've cleaned everything and it in fact actually needs more tension.

    #6 2 years ago

    As a rule, no. But, I have cheated a little on those pesky AS units by bending the spring tab up just a bit to slightly increase the spring tension.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    Over time (40+ years!) springs loose their tension. I'm not big on ordering new springs for a variety of reasons, so cutting a bit off to increase tension seems reasonable. But yes, as someone mentioned, only after you've cleaned everything and it in fact actually needs more tension.

    I've had to do this on some Gottlieb 1970's vintage score reels.

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    Over time (40+ years!) springs loose their tension. i'm not big on ordering new springs for a variety of reasons, so cutting a bit off to increase tension seems reasonable. But yes as someone mentioned, only after you've cleaned everything and it in fact actually needs more tension.

    Yes I have done this all the time. Springs get weak, cutting off 2-3 coils after eliminating everything else not going to hurt.

    Spent $40 getting all new drop targets from my Night Rider pin as not all would stay up during reset... made no difference till I shortened the springs a few coils and now they work great.

    Anyone needs some used drop targets? Slightly worn, nothing wrong with them.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    Anyone needs some used drop targets? Slightly worn, nothing wrong with them.

    I do! Mata Hari needs a set

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    "Test the AS relay again. If the movement of the moving arm is still sluggish, remove the AS relay return spring and cut off TWO "loops" off the spring

    If that AS unit spring is similar to other springs in your ACD (or another one of your games) you could swap it. Just to try it out, to find out if the spring tension is a problem. A spring from one of the relays for the scoring look the same.

    #11 2 years ago

    I confess to doing this often. I don't have a supply of all sorts of springs sitting around, and tend to forget to order the one or two I need when ordering other parts. It's expedient, and if you screw it up, you'll for sure remember to order the real part!

    #12 2 years ago

    I always over order when it comes to something as simple as a spring. Buy a few different springs, coils, sleeves etc. It's not that expensive. It's the annoyance of not having the right part that's frustrating.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    If that AS unit spring is similar to other springs in your ACD (or another one of your games) you could swap it. Just to try it out, to find out if the spring tension is a problem. A spring from one of the relays for the scoring look the same.

    But all have been stretched and sitting for the same 40 years, so chances are, a swap won't tell you anything.

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from CactusJack:

    chances are, a swap won't tell you anything.

    I've never seen springs lose their tension from just sitting. And the price is right.

    #15 2 years ago

    I am so annoyed by those people that tighten springs by hooking them a few loops up, leaving the rest of the spring that I don't cut my springs. It's not evil or anything to cut a spring, just one of my pet peeves, I guess. I have turned one end to add tension, but it's not like the old thing suddenly springs back to life. It is pretty limited how much tension you can add that way.

    Usually a good cleaning solves most of my spring problems. If not, I always try to have some new springs on hand. If a new spring doesn't solve the problem, then I know that there is another problem lurking in the midst.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pecos:

    Usually a good cleaning solves most of my spring problems.

    Yes!

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