(Topic ID: 213016)

Drop Target bricking and drops upon reset Tips and Tricks


By chuckwurt

2 years ago



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  • 30 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by rollitover
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Early stern drop target assembly (resized).jpg

#1 2 years ago

I have been beating my head against the wall for pretty much the whole time I have been in the hobby for two issues related to drop targets of Bally and Stern early solid state games.

1. The bricking issue. This is when a hard straight on shot to the target doesn't drop. like hitting a brick wall.

2. Upon reset, one or more drop targets fall down.

I know there are various threads on these topics, but it seems there is no sure fire way to eliminate these two issues for good.

My current issue is Flight 2000. The spinner drop targets on the right are dropping upon reset what I have tried:

1. tighter springs
2. shaving a couple MMs of the drop target off to increase the lip that rests on the target housing when up.
3. putting a tighter rubber behind the targets to make sure there is nothing impeding the targets from their up travel on reset.

Here are some things I noticed when tearing them apart:

1. all of the metal arms that attach to the bottom of the drops and run in the tracks that activate the switches on the mech have been beaten in a bit.
2. the metal plate that runs along the bottom of the targets and is the plate that pushes upwards and resets the targets has grooves worn into it from hitting the arms attached to the targets over the years.

Here is my question:

Do you think the issue in this case would be that those worn parts are not allowing the targets to travel quite high enough on some resets, thus they drop immediately? Just want to see if that makes sense to others before I tear these things apart again and try new parts there.

Thanks!

When I get these licked, we will move onto the 1-5 countdown drops as they brick and drop on reset.

#2 2 years ago

One thing that helped me was to take movies. Then play then at half speed. Sometimes you'll see things that will give you ideas.

Mof

#3 2 years ago

Can you post some pictures of the target assembly. I have my F2K target bank tore down right now. I am having similar issues. My reset bar was broken at some point and someone added a big hunk of steel and brazed the bar together. This has caused the side of the target assembly to wear. The reset links are also worn now. I have rebuilt several target banks. I can tell you that all metal parts need to be clean. The metal stern and bally used oxidized and that oxidation causes drag. Lot of times I will tear target down and bead blast it. Make sure the ledge that the target sits on that is pulled by the solenoid is flat. If it is bent the target will slide off of it. Make sure they are clean and no oxidation is causing lip of target to stick to edge of that ledge.

#4 2 years ago
Quoted from JT-Pinball:

Can you post some pictures of the target assembly. I have my F2K target bank tore down right now. I am having similar issues. My reset bar was broken at some point and someone added a big hunk of steel and brazed the bar together. This has caused the side of the target assembly to wear. The reset links are also worn now. I have rebuilt several target banks. I can tell you that all metal parts need to be clean. The metal stern and bally used oxidized and that oxidation causes drag. Lot of times I will tear target down and bead blast it. Make sure the ledge that the target sits on that is pulled by the solenoid is flat. If it is bent the target will slide off of it. Make sure they are clean and no oxidation is causing lip of target to stick to edge of that ledge.

I’ll post pics later today when I open it back up.

But this game has been restored. You can eat off the mechs in this thing.

#5 2 years ago

Pictures still to come but I tried a couple more things:

there was some slop on the long arm that pushes up the targets on reset. I put an extra washer from spares parts from another game on it so there was less side to side play in it. that helped, but not full proof.

Then to test my worn parts theory, I put a long piece of think one-sided tape on top of this arm so that essentially the targets would be sitting up higher when the reset arm made its full travel. that improved things greatly and only got one target that still dropped upon reset (and it was only like 1 out of 5 resets).

So I am going to order new parts today.

Quoted from mof:

One thing that helped me was to take movies. Then play then at half speed. Sometimes you'll see things that will give you ideas.

Gonna try this too today.

Also, do parts guides for these games exist? I cannot seem to find any. I will ask PBR today and report back.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

1. The bricking issue. This is when a hard straight on shot to the target doesn't drop. like hitting a brick wall.

2. Upon reset, one or more drop targets fall down.

I know there are various threads on these topics, but it seems there is no sure fire way to eliminate these two issues for good.

My current issue is Flight 2000. The spinner drop targets on the right are dropping upon reset what I have tried:

1. tighter springs
2. shaving a couple MMs of the drop target off to increase the lip that rests on the target housing when up.
3. putting a tighter rubber behind the targets to make sure there is nothing impeding the targets from their up travel on reset.

(1) The bricking issue: I agree with what Vid said. Wax the lands on the target and wax the metal strap the target rests on and they will "drop like stones". Could the tighter springs you are using be part of the reason they are bricking? How do the targets act when you push them with your finger? Do they drop or seem to hang up? I don't have any of this bricking issue with any of my Sterns so I am just guessing. I don't think using a tighter rubber behind the drops would help with your issue because, IMO, the target land would be pushed clear of the strap and drop when the ball pushes the target backwards.

(2) on targets falling down, I have this issue with one of the drop targets on Seawitch not staying up some of the time. I have not messed with it yet but my thought is that the land on the target has possibly worn a little bit.

With your targets in the up position look at the opening in the play field and make sure the targets are not contacting the play field which could keep them from resetting properly. If the drop assembly is located too far forward, the targets could be riding against the opening which could affect the resetting. If they are contacting the opening in the play field you will need to relocate the drop assembly a little farther back. I would not be surprised if this is part of your problem. I'm not saying you will find drop assembly mis-located but as I continue to learn more about my Sterns, I see that parts location accuracy was not one of Stern's strong points, so don't rule this out.

I'm not sure what you are saying when you say you are using tighter springs. Do you mean you have installed new springs? Stern's Wild Fyre used longer springs but by the time Big Game came around Stern was using a shorter spring and a different way to mount the shorter springs. Steve at PBR sells both long and short springs. If you installed a spring shorter than what he sells then I could see that as part of your bricking issue.

#7 2 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I'm not sure what you are saying when you say you are using tighter springs. Do you mean you have installed new springs?

nope. I cut windings off the stock springs to make them tighter. Then went back to originals when there was no improvement. Anyone know what the proper assembly is for the various early sterns? I found a blow up of a mech on Marco and looked pretty different than my Big Game and also this F2K.

See this picture. Where my games differ is the target springs on on a separate rod that goes through the target bank assembly and do not attach directly to the metal arm at the bottom of each target as seen here:

Early stern drop target assembly (resized).jpg

So I am guessing this assembly was early EARLY stern, and F2K and Big Game were updated to shorter springs. I put an order into PBR and specified F2K so hopefully they can help.

Good tips by the way. I will look into those as well.

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

nope. I cut windings off the stock springs to make them tighter. Then went back to originals when there was no improvement. Anyone know what the proper assembly is for the various early sterns? I found a blow up of a mech on Marco and looked pretty different than my Big Game and also this F2K.
See this picture. Where my games differ is the target springs on on a separate rod that goes through the target bank assembly and do not attach directly to the metal arm at the bottom of each target as seen here:

So I am guessing this assembly was early EARLY stern, and F2K and Big Game were updated to shorter springs. I put an order into PBR and specified F2K so hopefully they can help.
Good tips by the way. I will look into those as well.

Your guess is correct. That type of drop assembly is what you will see on Wild Fyre and I don't know what others. The differences are the way the longer springs attach to a hollow rod that is installed, the switches are located on the bottom instead of the back, and the target landing strap is a much larger piece on metal.

I am going to go out on a limb and say the Big Game type of assembly hit the scene with the MPU-200 pins of which Ali would be the first.

I believe Steve at PBR will know what you want for F2K.

EDIT: The differences are the way the (shorter) longer springs attach to a hollow rod that is installed... "longer" should read "shorter".

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Also, do parts guides for these games exist? I cannot seem to find any. I will ask PBR today and report back.

Yes. Price is rather steep but not out of line with everything else---as the government continues to insist inflation is not happening. Sometimes you can find used ones.

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/STERN81PC

#10 2 years ago

Great thanks. I’m gonna get a bunch of stuff from PBR and keep at it. I’ll report back ASAP.

#11 2 years ago

does this help

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#12 2 years ago

Okay great. Those are the parts I have now. Thanks.

#13 2 years ago

Another thing I've done to help targets drop was to add a little weight to the target. I glued small pieces of thick solder to the targets. This helps push the leaf switches closed.

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#14 2 years ago

Wow! That’s pretty interesting. This issue leads to a lot of home made fixes it seems. Part of what makes it so frustrating. Haha

2 weeks later
#15 1 year ago

Had a breakthrough tonight!

So the flight 2000 was almost always dropping 1 to 2 drop targets above the right spinner upon reset. When I was looking for parts I came across this picture of the really old SS sterns and their first version of the drop targets.

I noticed those springs did not use the bar across the bank to attach the spring but extended all the way down and attached to the arm attached to the bottom of the drop target.

I decided what the hell and ditched my current setup by getting rid of the bar that the springs used to attach to and attached them where they used to go on old models just like the diagram pictured above.

Almost 100% fixed now!!

The only thing that is left is one drop target will drop sometimes on reset but only if all three drops are still standing at the end of the ball. I think I know what this is, but I’ll report back to be sure.

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Had a breakthrough tonight!
So the flight 2000 was almost always dropping 1 to 2 drop targets above the right spinner upon reset. When I was looking for parts I came across this picture of the really old SS sterns and their first version of the drop targets.
I noticed those springs did not use the bar across the bank to attach the spring but extended all the way down and attached to the arm attached to the bottom of the drop target.
I decided what the hell and ditched my current setup by getting rid of the bar that the springs used to attach to and attached them where they used to go on old models just like the diagram pictured above.
Almost 100% fixed now!!
The only thing that is left is one drop target will drop sometimes on reset but only if all three drops are still standing at the end of the ball. I think I know what this is, but I’ll report back to be sure.

Yeah, that early Stern setup uses the longer springs. The later pins used the bar/tube and the shorter spring. Steve at PBR has both longs and shorts.

Thanks for coming back with the resolution.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Yeah, that early Stern setup uses the longer springs. The later pins used the bar/tube and the shorter spring. Steve at PBR has both longs and shorts.
Thanks for coming back with the resolution.

Yep. Here I just used the shorter springs. They seem to work fine for now. We will see long term. I’ll report back.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from oldschoolbob:

Another thing I've done to help targets drop was to add a little weight to the target. I glued small pieces of thick solder to the targets. This helps push the leaf switches closed.

I'm not seeing the utility of this lead weight "solution". Either you need new springs, or you have the incorrect springs or your switches are not adjusted properly.

No way do you need to add weight. The Stern drop targets work well per engineering design.

3a53a942752f0e51a6f11fa75e74537837cdbbf3 (resized).jpg

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

The Stern drop targets work well per engineering design.

Perhaps 30 years ago they worked well. I guess I could have replaced the targets, springs and switches with all new parts and they would have worked like new. But by adding a little weight they drop like a brick now.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from oldschoolbob:

Perhaps 30 years ago they worked well. I guess I could have replaced the targets, springs and switches with all new parts and they would have worked like new. But by adding a little weight they drop like a brick now.

What ever works, I guess. Unless someone has taken a hammer to the switches they should be OK. They are not a high wear item.

#21 1 year ago

I had the same issue with my F2k and i had to make the plunger little bit shorter... after that... no more problem, did you change the plunger when you service hour assembly?

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from Redketchup:

I had the same issue with my F2k and i had to make the plunger little bit shorter... after that... no more problem, did you change the plunger when you service hour assembly?

In my case, a shorter plunger would have the reset arm travel higher which I don’t need. Since when the targets are all UP, and the game goes through it’s reset sequence in between balls, the reset arm is hitting the bottom of the targets that are already up, and it’s causing one or two to fall.

If anything I may need a new coil stop to limit the travel of the plunger just a hair. That might be worn in just enough to allow the plunger to travel too high upon reset.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

In my case, a shorter plunger would have the reset arm travel higher which I don’t need. Since when the targets are all UP, and the game goes through it’s reset sequence in between balls, the reset arm is hitting the bottom of the targets that are already up, and it’s causing one or two to fall.
If anything I may need a new coil stop to limit the travel of the plunger just a hair. That might be worn in just enough to allow the plunger to travel too high upon reset.

I understand, but mine was acting exactly like your... when i did my swap, i change the plunger because it’s was worn... the new one was longer and i have to came back with one

#24 1 year ago

Crazy. Okay well good to know. I’m unsure of the history of the plunger and coil stop. I’ll check with the restorer, but I doubt they are new. Might get a couple of each to have them to try next.

#25 1 year ago

I know you know what the Stern drop target assembly looks like but I'm going to put pics, anyway.

This is out of my Big Game. It has new short springs form Steve at PBR. When I push a target it drops. When I manually activate the plunger it pushes the targets up a little bit farther (about 1/8" / 3.175mm ) beyond the locking blade and as I let go of the plunger it drops down quickly and the targets drop down 1/8" and lock onto the blade.

IMG_6275 (resized).JPG

IMG_6277 (resized).JPG

The only thing I can suggest if for you to get your DT assembly on your work bench and play with it until you get it working. If it works on the bench and goes bonkers when you install it then something must be wrong with the way it is mounted to the play field. I'm sorry for the simple answer; I don't know what else you can do.

I do think if you apply wax to the landing areas on the targets and on the lock blade that it might help with your bricking problem.
************

On my Seawitch I am having problems with the targets in one 3-bank assembly dropping after the plunger drops. I have not looked at it yet but I"m thinking the landing areas on the targets are worn a little. But Redketchup brings up a good point with the plunger being incorrect length so I will look at that.

#26 1 year ago

Three bank on F2K fixed! Attaching the springs to the bottom of the drop targets combined with adjusting the reset arm did it.

Make sure that reset arm is level and hitting the drops evenly. Use the Allen set screws to adjust and get it lined up perfectly so that the arm contacts all the drops at the same time.

Now on to the behemoth 5 bank.....

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Three bank on F2K fixed! Attaching the springs to the bottom of the drop targets combined with adjusting the reset arm did it.
Make sure that reset arm is level and hitting the drops evenly. Use the Allen set screws to adjust and get it lined up perfectly so that the arm contacts all the drops at the same time.
Now on to the behemoth 5 bank.....

That's great. Thanks for posting solution.

#28 1 year ago

Worked on the 5 bank too.

However, the 1 and 4 drops are not falling from the baby coils that fire when they are supposed to. This doesn’t affect scoring or the behavior of the drops or their memory so I’m calling it done. Haha.

#29 1 year ago

Just had a bunch of friends over yesterday and put 20-30 games on flight 2k. Not one single dropped target on reset was reported and I had people looking for it. Seems to be working great! I’ll report back if anything changes.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Just had a bunch of friends over yesterday and put 20-30 games on flight 2k. Not one single dropped target on reset was reported and I had people looking for it. Seems to be working great! I’ll report back if anything changes.

Nice cw, good for you.
Nothing better than a successful remedy.
Hope it holds up.

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