(Topic ID: 72224)

Flipper Alignment Question


By loppydog

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 61 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by wayout440
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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There are 61 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 7 years ago

Hi guys, I am doing a little tweaking on my Family Guy and had a question about the flipper alignment. I have already got the flippers parallel to the lane guides, but it seems that the guides are just too high. I have tried to find an adjustment, but there doesn't seem to be any. Here is a couple pics of what I am talking about:

IMG_3370.JPG
IMG_3369.JPG

Thanks for any suggestions.

#2 7 years ago

That's how align my flippers…
can you take a picture zoomed out a bit?

#3 7 years ago

maybe a little further down too

#4 7 years ago

Thanks Pdx, here is another pic, let me know if it is any better. The ball makes a little hop when traveling from the lane to the flipper. The other side is kind of like that, but not as bad.
IMG_3371.JPG

#5 7 years ago

I run my flippers parallel to the ball guides like it appears you have them.

#6 7 years ago

you don't worry about a "smooth" transition from guide to flipper?

#7 7 years ago

I did find one issues that I just fixed. According to the manual there are 5/8" spacers and 3/4" spacers. The 5/8" go on the bottom of the guide and the 3/4" go on the top, under the plastics. Those were switched. It might be a little smoother now, but still not a perfect transition.

#8 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

It might be a little smoother now, but still not a perfect transition.

That last pic shows your problem. The flippers have alignment holes in the playfield. The flipper *tips* should be aligned *straight* with the holes. Your left flipper is obviously too low. Right is too, although you can only see a little of the alignment hole and the angle is weird. Some Whitestar alignment holes are in a different position, but all SAM games align with the tip of the flipper.

FGY.jpg

#9 7 years ago

Thanks phishrace, I have tried aligning the flipper to the holes exactly, but then the flippers are not parallel to the guides anymore. I am not sure the correct way. I think the first pic really shows the "unevenness" of the guide and flipper. Maybe this is normal....

#10 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

the flippers are not parallel to the guides anymore. I am not sure the correct way.

Pure Pinside myth. Always go by the alignment holes since that is why they are there.

#11 7 years ago
Quoted from sk8ball:

Pure Pinside myth. Always go by the alignment holes since that is why they are there.

But even when I do that, the ball still hops a little at the transition. Its almost like the whole flipper mech needs to be nudged up a little.

#12 7 years ago

I get a little hop on the right flipper of my High Speed, but not on the left, even after my attempts at aligning. I later discovered that the bottom guide of the right inlane is worn down from decades of balls. Could that be your problem?

#13 7 years ago

Could also be a problem with the rubber on your flipper not being at the right level.

#14 7 years ago

My gorgar did that. I then unscrewed the lane guides and held pressure down on them while while re screwing them down. I now have a smoth transition. I hate to play a game when the ball hops to the flipper. Ed

#15 7 years ago

It may be worth a try to loosen the ball guides and re-tighten them while holding the guides as far toward the ball trough as they will stay.

I also noticed in your picture that the flipper rubber is warped.

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

It may be worth a try to loosen the ball guides and re-tighten them while holding the guides as far toward the ball trough as they will stay.
I also noticed in your picture that the flipper rubber is warped.

Yes that is what I did. I meant ball guides, not lane guides. Ed

#17 7 years ago

The more I look at the close-up picture, I believe that new flipper rubber would help the hop problem.

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

bottom guide of the right inlane is worn down

I thought about that, but I would think that would make the guide low instead of high.

Quoted from DocRotCod:

Could also be a problem with the rubber on your flipper not being at the right level

Yeah I check that one, the bats have a nice indentation where the rubber goes, so its pretty easy to get that right.

Quoted from Fast-Ed:

I then unscrewed the lane guides and held pressure down on them while while re screwing them down

I tried that as well. Unfortunately I cannot get ANY adjustment that way. It would be the easiest fix. I appreciate the suggestions.

#19 7 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

I believe that new flipper rubber would help the hop problem.

I have some extra new ones I can try, but if I remember correctly, I just replaced those not that long ago. I thought the same thing, maybe the rubber are a little too thin. But I imagine they are all made the same.

#20 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

I have some extra new ones I can try, but if I remember correctly, I just replaced those not that long ago. I thought the same thing, maybe the rubber are a little too thin. But I imagine they are all made the same.

I can see that the rubber has been re-positioned or is not new from the buldges on the long sides of the bat.

#21 7 years ago

I just took them off to inspect them, maybe I rotated them?

#22 7 years ago

Would it be a terrible idea to lightly sand the guide in order to make it transition better? Or would I risk making it worse?

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

I thought about that, but I would think that would make the guide low instead of high.

In my case, it does make the guide low, which causes the bounce. But looking at your pics again, looks like yours is probably high.

#24 7 years ago

Cliffy fixed this problem: http://passionforpinball.com/FlipFrames.htm

Ye Olde Website says: Over the years the flipper return frames, also known as flipper ball guides or even inlane guides, have become mushroomed and peened over where the frame meets the flipper bat. This wear causes the ball to hop over the flipper or get trapped between the base of the flipper and the frame. For the past several years we've been relegated to scavenging frames from parted games in hopes they will be better than what we have. Failing that we ended up grinding and filing the frames which may make them look better but simply will not fix the ball hop issue. Put that file down, MacGyver!

I ordered one for my High Speed, threw it on, and it fixed 98% of my hop. I'm sure I could dial out the rest with a quick adjustment or two.

steve

#25 7 years ago

So, you are doing it correct. You want them as parallel to the ball guides as possible. Ignore the holes. Once you think you have them aligned, push them both up and make sure they are even together. Then roll a ball down the guide a few times. Is it perfectly smooth? If so, you are done. If not, redo the alignment. The goal is perfect smoothness from ball guide to flipper, otherwise it's horrible to play. Also, make sure to gap them properly with gap tool

#26 7 years ago

Over the years, some owner before you may have switched the guides.

Using a small Rat-tail file or a Dremel, elongate the holes so you can properly align the guides to the flippers.

It only takes a second to do it right.

#27 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Over the years, some owner before you may have switched the guides.

Using a small Rat-tail file or a Dremel, elongate the holes so you can properly align the guides to the flippers.

It only takes a second to do it right.

This is great advice. The only way to eliminate the hop is to physically move the ball guides, and the only way to move them is to enlarge the holes.

#28 7 years ago

On my Flash Gordon.. you can't move the guides because the standoffs have made their own grooves in the playfield :/

#29 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Using a small Rat-tail file or a Dremel, elongate the holes so you can properly align the guides to the flippers.

thanks for the advice Vid1900. The plastic spacers under the guides are sunk into the playfield. So you are saying to elongate the pockets that the spacers fit into? I can take some pics if that doesn't make sense.

Quoted from flynnibus:

On my Flash Gordon.. you can't move the guides because the standoffs have made their own grooves in the playfield :/

I think this is what i am trying to explain . Also, I am worried if I move it far enough to make a good transition, the flipper may hit the guide and cause wear.

#30 7 years ago

Some games just have guides higher than others. If a big deal just grind the guide down so the transition is smooth.

#31 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

The plastic spacers under the guides are sunk into the playfield. So you are saying to elongate the pockets that the spacers fit into? I can take some pics if that doesn't make sense.

The spacers stay in the same location, but you have elongated the holes in the metal guide so that the guide moves towards the apron.

You are not really moving the guide closer to the flipper.

#32 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

but you have elongated the holes in the metal guide

Oh I see. That make more sense. What I meant about clearance with flipper is that if you move the guide straight down(in reference to the flipper), when the flipper is in the up position, it touches the rounded part of the guide. Take a look at the second pic and I think you will see what I mean. It already touches now, but isn't causing rubber wear yet.

I don't think I have the wrong guides installed simply because the guides and plastics match perfectly if you hold them together.

Also, I don't want this to sound like it is unplayable right now. You actually don't notice it when the ball is traveling quickly down the guide. I am just simply trying to get it playing as perfect as possible. I am trying to find out the proper way to dial in the flippers correctly.

#33 7 years ago

If it were mine, I'd just put it to the grinder and give the rubber some clearance.

grinder.jpg
#34 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'd just put it to the grinder and give the rubber some clearance

I wasn't sure if this kind of thing was frowned upon. But if you suggest it then I think I will go that route. I will slightly elongate the holes in the guides and lightly grind the rounded part of the guide if needed.

And just to be clear, my goal is to have a straight edge make a perfect transition from guide to rubber correct?

#35 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

I wasn't sure if this kind of thing was frowned upon.

You are fixing an oversight on the part of the factory.

You can't have a game where the ball hops off the guides to the flipper, so you are doing what you have to do to make it play correctly.

If you have a laser cutter at work, you can cut new guides and store the old ones inside the game; if modifying them bothers you.

#36 7 years ago
Quoted from sk8ball:

Pure Pinside myth. Always go by the alignment holes since that is why they are there.

STRONGLY disagree. On my HS, DW, and GnR the alignment holes do not create a smooth (or straight) transistion.

#37 7 years ago

I have a laser cutter, but unfortunately not the kind that cuts steel.

I have read so many post about this before I posted, and it is interesting how many people swear by the hole in the play field and how many swear by a straight edge...

#38 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

I have a laser cutter, but unfortunately not the kind that cuts steel.

You can cut a bunch of acrylic ones, they won't last as long.

Quoted from loppydog:

I have read so many post about this before I posted, and it is interesting how many people swear by the hole in the play field and how many swear by a straight edge...

Making pinball machines is like making sausage, you don't want to see what's in it.

If the only guides available at the time where fatter ones from some other game, that's what they used. You have to keep the line moving.

#39 7 years ago

Only because I have this pic on my phone, note how this Bally guide delivers the ball to the flipper.

If you have a bench grinder at your disposal, then grinding just the face of the guide may be your most easy option.

Make a template and reference to it often. Scratch your guidelines on the backside of the guides.

super bands.jpg

#40 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You can cut a bunch of acrylic ones, they won't last as long.

Making pinball machines is like making sausage, you don't want to see what's in it.
If the only guides available at the time where fatter ones from some other game, that's what they used. You have to keep the line moving.

Exactly. No 2 games are ever the same.

#41 7 years ago

Yeah in your pic I can eyeball that the guides and rubber line up well compared to mine.

#42 7 years ago

Put thicker red or yellow rubber (the bounciest durablilty) on the game for the flippers, that will help.

#43 7 years ago
Quoted from loppydog:

I have a laser cutter, but unfortunately not the kind that cuts steel.
I have read so many post about this before I posted, and it is interesting how many people swear by the hole in the play field and how many swear by a straight edge...

Guide looks fine to me, just like the one I have at home. I would suggest changing your flipper rubber, aligning the flipper to the alignment holes and just play the game.

Unfortunately, those folks that use a straight edge instead of the flipper alignment holes are changing the shots on the game. This type of alignment can really make a game play differently. Hey, I don't like flipper hop either, though I think dealing with it from the lane guide side/flipper rubber is how it should be addressed.

#44 7 years ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

STRONGLY disagree. On my HS, DW, and GnR the alignment holes do not create a smooth (or straight) transistion.

Where in the manual does it say there should be a perfect transition? Some games may have been designed with "droopy" flipper alignment, makes cradling harder.

#45 7 years ago
Quoted from calvin12:

Where in the manual does it say there should be a perfect transition? Some games may have been designed with "droopy" flipper alignment, makes cradling harder.

Where in the manual does it say there should not be a perfect transition???

I have never heard of any game being specifically designed with crappy flipper alignment. Of course pins were made to be difficult (as all games of skill are), but having a game designed specifically to play poorly would be a horrible idea, as they simply would not sell. Ops would not purchase a game people would not put quarters into.

#46 7 years ago

I didn't realize flipper rubbers come in different thicknesses, I will have to look at that. As far as designing a hop into the transition, I would highly doubt that was their intention, but what do I know

On this game I will set the flippers to whatever gives me free Lois and Chris shots when the post is up Man I suck at pinball.

#47 7 years ago

Hops suck definitely get rid of that.
This I'm 100% sure of

#48 7 years ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

Where in the manual does it say there should not be a perfect transition???
I have never heard of any game being specifically designed with crappy flipper alignment. Of course pins were made to be difficult (as all games of skill are), but having a game designed specifically to play poorly would be a horrible idea, as they simply would not sell. Ops would not purchase a game people would not put quarters into.

These games did not have flipper hop when new and were aligned with the holes. If you are having hop issues it has nothing to do with the alignment. Changing the alignment is only masking the problem and making it less noticeable since you are angling the flipper higher.

#49 7 years ago

I might make a quick video when I get home tonight just for the hell of it.

#50 7 years ago
Quoted from sk8ball:

These games did not have flipper hop when new and were aligned with the holes. If you are having hop issues it has nothing to do with the alignment. Changing the alignment is only masking the problem and making it less noticeable since you are angling the flipper higher.

Lots of games had issues right out of the box, as many OPs will attest. I have mentioned it in other threads, but when I was a teen and worked in a bowling alley, we got a lot of brand new games set up there, and more often than not they had issues (ranging from small to large) right out of the box. (from a non-working TZ clock to a Jackbot with a left flipper than did not have its pawl tightened.) The goal was (and is) to get the games built and out of the factory.

As I said earlier, lots of games simply do not align with the holes (and some games do not have the holes at all. My RS that I sold did not have alignment holes, and required a straight edge to line up) Using the holes (or not using them) is not right or wrong. You need to do what works for your game, plain and simple. There is no blanket statement that applies to every game.

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