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(Topic ID: 249458)

El dorado weak flippers and ball count buzz


By dgAmpGuy

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by goingincirclez
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

I feel fortunate to be down to 2 minor issues with our barn-find El Dorado.
Everything is operational and the game is playable.

However, even after a full rebuild of all 4 flippers, they seem weak. There isn’t a lot of “snap” to the ball sending it up top. I did the PBR kit - sleeves, EOS, new links, bushings, and plungers. Is this just the way it is unless you get the stronger coils or hi tap it?

2nd issue is the ball count unit. My other 1 player wedge heads have a nice “clack” sound on each increment. This game has a noisy buzz. I’ve tried realigning the step up coil and the limit bar, but nothing has improved it.

Thanks for any ideas.

Dave

#2 1 year ago

Make sure your flipper EOS switches have plenty of tension when they are closed. Gap them 1/8" to open. For that game I would install Orange Dot coils from PBR, that's what I had on my target Alpha and was very happy with the choice. Also I never have to high tap any of my machines, as they play fast when properly shopped.

2nd issue check the switches in back on the Ball Count Unit to make sure they are gaped and clean correctly.

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

I feel fortunate to be down to 2 minor issues with our barn-find El Dorado.
Everything is operational and the game is playable.
However, even after a full rebuild of all 4 flippers, they seem weak. There isn’t a lot of “snap” to the ball sending it up top. I did the PBR kit - sleeves, EOS, new links, bushings, and plungers. Is this just the way it is unless you get the stronger coils or hi tap it?
2nd issue is the ball count unit. My other 1 player wedge heads have a nice “clack” sound on each increment. This game has a noisy buzz. I’ve tried realigning the step up coil and the limit bar, but nothing has improved it.
Thanks for any ideas.
Dave

I'm sure you know that El Dorado and its AAB, 2P & 4P sisters boast the longest distance shot to the top PF of any EM (from the lower flipper), so you really need the extra power to drive the ball that far. I avoid high-tapping: I've seen the damage it can cause over time on every machine I worked on that had it. You can check resistance on the 4 flipper coils against spec, but I would replace them with more powerful ones from PBR. Orange dots are certainly an option, but I've found the yellow dots are a better choice. They give you enough power for the long shots but with less risk to the PF components closer to the flippers.

For the BCU, you should be able to operate it manually with smooth, definitive pulses through all positions and reset. If not, you need to get it working that way. Make sure the unit is clean and undamaged. Check spring tensions -- a common GTB stepper issue. Clean contact pads and points.

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from fixintoplay:

I'm sure you know that El Dorado and its AAB, 2P & 4P sisters boast the longest distance shot to the top PF of any EM (from the lower flipper), so you really need the extra power to drive the ball that far. I avoid high-tapping: I've seen the damage it can cause over time on every machine I worked on that had it. You can check resistance on the 4 flipper coils against spec, but I would replace them with more powerful ones from PBR. Orange dots are certainly an option, but I've found the yellow dots are a better choice. They give you enough power for the long shots but with less risk to the PF components closer to the flippers.
For the BCU, you should be able to operate it manually with smooth, definitive pulses through all positions and reset. If not, you need to get it working that way. Make sure the unit is clean and undamaged. Check spring tensions -- a common GTB stepper issue. Clean contact pads and points.

Color correction note: Yellow dot coils are the higher power. Orange dots are a little less. Had those reversed in my post. Color blind.

#5 1 year ago

You might want to check the voltage at the flippers. The playfield power goes through the tilt relay so make sure that it is clean.

#6 1 year ago

Thanks for all of the suggestions.

I resolved the ball count unit buzz - that came down to the limit adjustment on the stepper arm. It was shorter than the coil stop and caused the buzz. Once I gave it just a hair more travel, I got the same clack that I get on my other games. All other operation of the unit is smooth and correct.

I also checked out the path of the flipper voltage through the kick switch, and the S and R relays. I cleaned and adjusted them all for solid contact. At this point, with good technique, you can get the ball to the top of the machine. I’ll have to get a set of the orange dot coils to at least try an experiment. I’ll follow up with my results.

Thanks
Dave

#7 1 year ago

One more thing you can do to get more power out of the flippers is to move the rest stop back a bit.

I am speaking of the angle stop that has slotted holes and one fixed screw to lock it into position. No one really takes this into account as an available adjustment. For that long ass shot from the lower left flipper to the far right upper drop target I suggest you move the L bracket stop to allow the rest position to be further from the flipper coil. You will have to adjust the crank mount to the flipper shaft to allow the flipper bat to align properly. This adjustment will give the flipper plunger a longer stroke and more power. You should not be able to pound that longest drop target shot. So some trial and error is required to get it the right balance of power.

This approach allows you to fine tune your game without having to purchase hot coils.

#8 1 year ago

I did the adjustment suggested by MikeO and that seems to have given me that “little bit more” that was needed I may still try the orange dot coils at some point but things seem very playable now.

Thanks to all for the input.

Dave

5 months later
#9 7 months ago

Holy cow!
MikeO you're a genius! I had the same trouble with my El Dorado. I made that adjustment you recommended last night, and I can't believe the difference! THANK YOU! Pinside is the greatest thing for a rookie EM mechanic like me. Today I'll lock down the rest stop with the other hole for the fixed screw. You just saved me $30 in orange dot coils I don't have to buy now!
Jim

#10 7 months ago

For what it’s worth, I did end up going with the orange dot coils on el dorado. I did my best to rebuild and optimize everything else first. I’m preparing to do the same thing with our king pin machine because I’ve been through all the same steps.

Dave

#11 7 months ago

I just did this bracket adjustment on my Gottlieb Double Action and now the ball gets further up the playfield that I'm happy with. Thanks for the tip!

#12 7 months ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

For what it’s worth, I did end up going with the orange dot coils on el dorado. I did my best to rebuild and optimize everything else first. I’m preparing to do the same thing with our king pin machine because I’ve been through all the same steps.
Dave

The orange dot's are really well suited for El Dorado's lower flippers. It's a long way from the left flipper to the far right upper targets. Being able to easily make this shot is imperative for a good score on this game. I'll have to look at the bracket adjustment trick too.

2 weeks later
#13 7 months ago

This L bracket adjustment will work on any Gottlieb before 1976 with the older flipper mechs. Makes the machines a lot more fun. It can also be done on the newer ones with 2 inch upper flippers as they are running the old mechs.

#14 7 months ago

Wow, I wish I found this thread a year ago. I just moved the brackets on my El Dorado, AND replaced the flipper switches (cabinet), and the difference is like night and day. The game is SO much more fun now! Difficult, but not nearly as frustrating. I think most of my problem was the flipper switches, as I was getting inconsistent power even with fresh mechs. But whereas my best shots before had that "will or won't it" borderline strength for the far right target, now there's no question every time. Brackets gave a little more power, flipper switches gave solid consistency. And the upper flippers are no longer useless! Stock 5141 coils BTW.

Oh this game used to tick me off to no end... But first round after the adjustments, I cleared the drops for a reset on BALL ONE! The heck? I couldn't tell you the last time that happened in an entire game, let alone my first ball! THANKS for the tips!

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