So, I am closing out on this project. I ended up getting the game fully working except the bonus count on a ball drain comes up 1 short occasionally. I have a basic idea where the problem is and will trouble shoot when I feel like getting into this game one more time. I also need to clean vacuum out the cabinet bottom. I decide to list all my big lessons learned so I (or some other Nubie) can review on my next project:
1) Search the Internet for your problems.You are not the first one in history in pinball to have this problem A lot of great ideas there. I solved several problems that way.
2) If you do not have, get a schematic! Worth it and once you get the hang on the info they contain, gets you through the problems. Again, tutorials on how to read on the internet/YouTube. Start from the voltage supply and work your way to the coil/light. Do not allow the schematic to intimidate you. Just remember the current must get from point A to Point B. The current must get to the coil to actuate. Work one contact at a time. If something else in the game is working that is common to a contact , the contact is most likely working. A jumper wire with alligator clips on each end helps a lot. It gets much easier when you are used to using the schematic. Little logic issues can be resolved quickly when you get the hang of the schematic.
3) Do not start "winging" it! methodically go through the machine , step by step to get electricity from point A to point B. If you make an adjustment and it does not work, Put it back before going to the next step! Otherwise you will be back tracking later to put back your adjustments (big lesson here!).Again, good trouble shooting techniques on you tube.
4) Get a switch leaf adjuster tool. Learn how to adjust switches. Tips are on line. Small feathering is better than large adjustments. Those relays do not move a whole lot to open/close their respective contacts.
5) Exercise switches, steppers, etc. gently by hand, before you adjust contacts. Gently clean metal to metal contacts if you think they are dirty. They are designed to be self cleaning. Lots of good info on line. No WD40! Read about this on line before you even think of putting on lubricants to "grease" stuff up. Gently clean coil plungers and sleeves.
6) Use common sense on what is supposed to happen! Just thinking about how the logic should work helps one understand. So, begin with the start up sequence when you push the start button , scoring reels reset, ball counter stepper goes to ball 1 for counter up or ball 5 to count down, bonus steppers reset, ball goes from outhole to shooting lane, etc. Solve one step at a time. Start at the beginning (pushing the start button) and work your way through. Once the game resets you are going down hill .
7) If a mechanical device does not have enough power to accomplish its task (say the reset bar for multiple coils) check the respective coil "feeder" contacts to make sure they are making good contact. This solved two problems for me. Once with the reset bar, the second was getting stuck on the number 9 on one scoring reel.
I used the find the faulty contact with "the lights off" twice. In the dark, the poorly performing contact sparked on opening/closing. Easy to identify with the lights off. Adjust / clean to stop the spark
9)Wire colors are your friend. Use them to figure out which contact you are looking for on a relay stack. Again info on the schematic.
10) Non working/Flickering lights are a pain. Buy several boxes of #44 lights. Start with Fresh bulbs. Corrosion is the first issue ( inside the socket and on the back side of the socket). Using a cleaning stick from PB Resource helps a lot. Make sure you have good metal to bulb contact when snapping the bulb in place. had a couple of cold solder joints (wire to socket) and lastly in the socket looks really bad, just change it out!
11) Really important contacts for the game logic are associated with the out hole, the AX/CX (start sequence reset coils), the EOS contacts behind the steppers and the scoring reels. Mine were all messed up when I started on the game. I guess previous owners tried tweaking them and got them way out of position. When theses were adjusted/cleaned correctly, a lot of problems are solved.
Lastly, the biggest lesson: This will take some time! The motor will continue to spin the drum until you figure out what is wrong.The game could have been sitting for years, mechanical stuff sticks, others may have tried to make adjustments, etc. Start at the beginning: Pushing the start button and go from there. It can get frustrating. The best thing to do is take breaks when stuck. It is amazing how after a break, the right path pops up in your mind. Write down problems as they come up and keep a list. Strike them off as you solve. Search the internet and have some fun. I can say the first time you get through a complete game it is very rewarding.
I apologize in advance if , I have listed something wrong here. The really good Pinside EM mechanics will correct me and I will learn something new (again) .