(Topic ID: 209850)

Drop targets not staying up


By Burdett1600

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by creepykenny
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

  • Stars Stern Electronics, 1978

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#1 1 year ago

I have a 1978 stars pinball machine by stern and I have a problem with the drop targets resetting and falling down at the start of a new ball or a game. I’m wondering what I can do to make them function properly. I’ve gone through two replacement target sets which are identical to the originals and can’t get them to reset in the game. Any information on this is appreciated.

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#2 1 year ago

Have you checked the mech that lifts your targets... Had a bad lifter plate on my game

#3 1 year ago

how are you drop springs mounted?
can you post a pic of the mechanizem?

#4 1 year ago

Typical problem on Stern drop mechs. The mech seems to work fine when you manually push up the bar. But the solenoid pulls the plunger, not pushes it. The linkages got worn down over the years so there is some slop. Also, the reset bar may be bent down some. The result is the solenoid cannot pull the targets up enough to lock. I have not found a replacement link for these yet.
I superglued a zip tie on top of the reset bar to make up for the slack. It adds that 1\16" to 1/8" needed to push the targets up higher to lock. There are probably other options but this was quick, cheap and works so far.

#5 1 year ago

Without a pic (and even then- may be hard to say why) its impossible to say. However- your best bet is to get in there and use your hands and fingers to trigger the reset and drop them and do this a number of times and basically just watch stuff move and feel how much force it is requiring. You could have a gummed up mech that’s simply not fully traveling- it could be a bent piece- it could be mid adjusted for height. All I can really tell you is that for just 4 targets the reset should be pretty easy and smooth. If your feeling much resistance at all it probably should be cleaned and then adjusted after you reassemble.

#6 1 year ago

All of what the others said, for sure.

It is kind of hard to tell from the pictures but maybe your drop target cage assemblies are mis-located. I have had to relocate several parts on my different Sterns to learn and understand that these machine were not built using standards of high quality and close tolerances. There is/was a lot of sloppy manufacturing.

That said, It is difficult to tell from your pictures, but it looks like the fronts of the targets are riding, or contacting, the play field surface. There should be a gap, at least a little bit of gap between the targets and the edge of the cutout. If there is no gap and the targets are riding then there is possibility they are not resetting properly.

It is a long shot, but as I said, in your pics, it looks like the targets are riding the edge of the cutout. If that turns out to be the situation then you will need to relocate your drop targets assemblies 1/16" or so.

#7 1 year ago

Thanks for all the reply’s here’s some pictures of the mech itself and the bar that pushes up on the targets. I will try super gluing the zip tie to one side to see if it works.

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#8 1 year ago

You have deep impressions on the lift bar that are preventing the targets from being pushed as high as they should.

You can glue a small hacksaw blade across them to nullify the groves, or try something else like the zip tie trick.

#9 1 year ago

do you have 2 sets of holes for the bottom of the springs, looks kind of close to the base of the target?
the spring is what help's pull the top of the target onto the ledge, that hold up the targets.
Also make sure there's nothing down on the ledge that might not let the targets set.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

All of what the others said, for sure.
It is kind of hard to tell from the pictures but maybe your drop target cage assemblies are mis-located. I have had to relocate several parts on my different Sterns to learn and understand that these machine were not built using standards of high quality and close tolerances. There is/was a lot of sloppy manufacturing.
That said, It is difficult to tell from your pictures, but it looks like the fronts of the targets are riding, or contacting, the play field surface. There should be a gap, at least a little bit of gap between the targets and the edge of the cutout. If there is no gap and the targets are riding then there is possibility they are not resetting properly.
It is a long shot, but as I said, in your pics, it looks like the targets are riding the edge of the cutout. If that turns out to be the situation then you will need to relocate your drop targets assemblies 1/16" or so.

It is a long shot, but as I said, in your pics, it looks like the targets are riding the edge of the cutout. If that turns out to be the situation then you will need to relocate your drop targets assemblies 1/16" or so.

agree' looks to close to the wood.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from wdennie:

It is a long shot, but as I said, in your pics, it looks like the targets are riding the edge of the cutout. If that turns out to be the situation then you will need to relocate your drop targets assemblies 1/16" or so.
agree' looks to close to the wood.

Easiest is to remove the drop target assemblies and sort "bench test" them. remove the two screws for the coil stop and remove the coil. Instead of letting the coil hand and add stress to the wire, I like to tie wrap the coil to something that will support the coil's weight.

4 screws and you will have the drop assembly in your hand. See how those targets operate and lock while on the bench.

#12 1 year ago

Take a movie of the action, and then many smartphones let you (edit) and re-save with "slow the action down to .5x" -- this really helps you see what is going on.

tip: put resolution on 480x640 to keep the file size down if you are emailing it to a friend vs youtube.

1. is the drop going high enough?
2. is the drop going too high and bouncing off something

etc...

mof

#13 1 year ago

Ooh. Hacksaw blade. Probably better as eventually the zip tie will get cut by the drop target blades.

#14 1 year ago

i have found that many of the replacement drop targets are warped/curved which causes them not to be secured in the up position or bowed to the point of contacting the playfield when in the up position, since you have several sets use only the straightest of them - you can try to straighten bowed drop targets by heating them in boiling water and bending them back straight, new springs are a must and like others have mentioned install drop target mechanism pushed towards the back of the playfield to maximize the distance between the target & playfield

i wouldn't start drilling holes to move the whole drop assembly tho

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