(Topic ID: 213016)

Drop Target bricking and drops upon reset Tips and Tricks

By chuckwurt

3 years ago

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  • 66 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by rcbrown316
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders


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#6 3 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.

#8 3 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 3 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.


2 weeks later
#16 3 years 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.

#18 3 years 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.

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#20 3 years 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.

#25 3 years 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.

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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.

#27 3 years 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.

3 years later
#34 7 months ago
Quoted from Quicksilver1:

Here's a video of the issue. I raised the playfield and tested the coil plunger and it seems to move freely and does reset all four targets evenly when pushed upward manually. At the end of every ball, the targets reset fine every time without issue for the next ball. The issue seems to be happening during gameplay for some reason.

Your builder might not have installed the drop target assembly in a good position. From your video, it looks like the targets might be rubbing up against the play field and dragging.

I just finished with installing both of my drop assemblies yesterday. The dimples that Mirco placed on the play field cannot be trusted. If your builder used the locating dimples, that could possibly be causing your problem.

Put up a couple of pics like these two. One with targets up and one with them down.

Is there any gap between the target faces and the edge of the play field hole?

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#36 7 months ago
Quoted from Quicksilver1:

Hello all, trying to find some answers for an issue I am having with a target reset issue on a new Quicksilver scratch build I just purchased. I have had my "new" Quicksilver for 2 weeks and am running across all sorts of little demons that are popping up randomly since my purchase. I have been able to kind of work my way through each issue so far with help from the builder as well as people here. Unfortunately I am such a "green" pinball owner with not much knowledge of diagnosing and repairing issues. The past 2 days out of nowhere when playing my game, the center bank 4 drop targets are struggling mightily to reset themselves after they are all dropped. They seem to drop fine when hit and reset properly with no issue after the end of each ball, however during gameplay when they are all dropped sometimes it takes 2, 3 or sometimes 4 tries for them to reset to the up position almost like there is not enough power sometimes to push them back up. The arm and reset bar seem to move smoothly. I'm not sure if these pics will shed any light on the matter. I am trying my best to digest info and educate myself on being a pinball owner, but it's not been easy so far. Any help would be appreciated.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

That is an early style drop target assembly. Designed for use with the tombstone style drop targets. I would have used the later model shorter return springs and made another mod to that drop assembly, but either mod would probably not resolve your problem.

I hate to say this but I have to say it: This is some ugly wiring with wires floating around in all different directions. I would suggest doing some tie wrap work so those wires don't start rubbing against the springs.

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#39 7 months ago

The drop targets look OK.

The only thing I can think of is to lift the play field high enough that you can get your hand to the drop target assembly, push the targets and let them fall.

Then manipulate the lift bar and raise them back up and feel for any linkage binding.

The lift bar should raise the targets up smoothly with no drag or binding.

It might be the plunger is binding on the coil sleeve. But I don’t know. I’m guessing. But it should be smooth and free action to raise the targets back up.

1 month later
#44 5 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

Hey Erik,
So three years has passed. Do you still have F2K and if so would you say your solution was the proper fix? I have the same issue with bricking and one or two targets dropping down after rest on galaxy and the f2k 5-bank. I have had the assembly out of galaxy several times. Everything has been cleaned in the ultrasonic and properly reassembled (pretty sure). Since this is only happening on the banks with the pull-in coils I associated the drop down issue with the tabs on those that the target sits on when raised. Those tabs on the suspect targets seemed to be at a slight decline which led me to believe the targets where slipping off after reset. I straightened those so they are parallel which seemed to help. I actually thought i had it solved with that but they started acting up again last night. i also disconnected the pull in coils to rule out the stand up targets (which will also drop those on galaxy) and it made no difference so it definitely seems to be a mechanical issue. One thing I noticed, and it was mentioned when you were going through this before, is when the plunger is activated it seems that the targets are being pushed up too high and lean backwards at the top of the stroke. It seems like they might be missing the landing tabs on the pull in coils. the targets that are giving me problems start to lean back before the others. I need to examine, compare and probably swap in a plunger and coil stop from another game. It seems that maybe either the plunger or coil stop are too short. let me know what you think.

I have been lucky with drop targets acting as they should be acting. However, one drop assembly on this Star Gazer I am building is acting up. Here is what it is going on: Two drop assemblies work perfectly. #3 has two actions happening; During reset after a ball drain, the life action seems to lift the drops too high and 1 or 2 targets always fall down and this can be any combo of the 3 targets. However, during gameplay, when the targets are dropped and then reset, all 3 targets locate perfectly.

When doing my build, I located all 3 drop assemblies in the same manner, however, the assembly that is acting up was "pushed" forward in its location by 2 #47 bulb sockets and at first none of the 3 targets would stay standing. I took a course tooth wood rasp I got from Harbor Freight and have "filed" away some of the wood on the play field from in front of the targets. This helped some but the problem still exists, so I am going file/rasp off a little more wood from in front the the targets ( it is not as bad as it sounds. Several strokes with the rasp does not remove much wood at all.

My first choice would be to fill the holes in the play field and re-locate the reluctant drop assembly farther back by about .020" but the two #47 sockets preclude me from doing that. So, I am reduced to using the rasp.

#45 5 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Attaching the springs to the bottom of the drop targets

Quoted from chuckwurt:

Yes that was the proper fix for drops that fell upon reset. However, they brick like crazy so you have to graze them or hit them softer for them not to brick. Not terrible on that game since you really only need to go for the drops at certain times and there are other switches that spot you drops.

What do you mean with the "bottom of the drop targets"? Stern used two different length of return springs. The long spring was used on the earlier Sterns and the shorter springs with the cross tube were used on the later classic Sterns.

Here is the early style.

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And the later style shorter spring.

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Which way did you go?

#49 5 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Early style. Hence bottom of the drop target attachment instead of the middle. Made the spring tension greater, eliminating the drop down upon reset issue.

Thanks. I have some of the longer early style springs. I will try those as well as trying to stretch out the short springs as you describe.

#53 5 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

I spent all of last night on this thing. Thankfully there is a molex installed as I had it in and out probably 6 times. As I suspected the plunger is pulling in too far which causes the targets to lean back at the top of the stroke and miss the land on the way back down because they are coming in at an angle. As a temporary measure I installed a piece of chrome auto body molding behind them to disallow the lean back. That solved that problem. It does not interfere with the backward movement that allows the targets to drop by hand but its brick-city with the ball. Tomorrow I am going to bend the landing tabs back down to where they were prior to this episode and see if that helps the bricking.

Chuckwurt stretched the short springs to the long spring hookup. The targets stay up but they brick.

I might try clipping a couple of coils off of a short spring and see what that does. Springs are cheap and I bought some extras.

#55 5 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

I did that on all 4 and it made no difference. I think the proper mechanical solution in my case is a longer plunger that hits the coil stop crisply...or a longer coil stop. I swapped in both from seawitch which makes a nice snap when you actuate it by hand in seawitch bit does not when they are mounted on the galaxy plate.

Maybe you could toss a couple of washers on top of the coil stop to make it seem like you installed a longer coil stop. And then see if that helps. If it helps then you go buy longer plungers.

#57 5 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

How would you go about investigating longer plungers?

I don't know. Drop target plungers are larger than the other plungers.

Quoted from rcbrown316:

I will pull it out tomorrow and see it I can secure them in there so it doesnt bind during the manual test.

Since the coil stop is positioned on the bottom in a "facing up" position, I think you could just add one or 2 small washers and they should stay put. You could always secure them to the coil stop button with some super glue as an experiment. When you are done, just dip the stop into some fingernail polish remover ( acetone ) to dissolve the super glue.

#58 5 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I don't know. Drop target plungers are larger than the other plungers.

Since the coil stop is positioned on the bottom in a "facing up" position, I think you could just add one or 2 small washers and they should stay put. You could always secure them to the coil stop button with some super glue as an experiment. When you are done, just dip the stop into some fingernail polish remover ( acetone ) to dissolve the super glue.

I just tried the washer method. Don't waste your time.

#61 5 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

This coil stop on galaxy is at the top of the assembly. Coil pulls the plunger up and gravity let's it drop back down after the targets reset.

Yes. I told you wrong.

#62 5 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

Someone needs to step up and get these things reproduced or find a good substitute. I'm sure the components can be fabricated and I bet someone has looked into it.

"Someone" is closely related to " I don't know why "they" don't fix things". Who is someone" And who are they?

Someone may do that, but you won't like the price.

Stern is already doing it with the drops on the The Beatles pin. If you need a 3-place or 4-place drop assembly, one of these assemblies can be retrofitted easy enough. Just change the coil. And then try to figure out how you will get white drop targets since Beatles drops are black.

But I am reasonably certain that you won't like the price, but 3s and 4s can be had from Stern. With black targets.

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