(Topic ID: 234127)

Flipper Hop sucks, solutions...


By SDTMinSTL

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 12 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Spyderturbo007
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    Flipper hop (resized).png

    #1 4 months ago

    I thought I would share this in case anyone out there has some solutions that I am unaware of, or if someone has it, and need some ideas.

    Flipper hop is a plague. It needs to be eradicated. We discussed this on one of our episodes of our podcast and I had several people ask for clarification of what it is. For anyone who doesn't know what I am talking about, I have a simple diagram below and some solutions, in order of cost/hassle.

    Solutions:

    1.) Adjust lane guides. This can range from simple, to nearly impossible based on the setup of the machine and the lane guide types. Classic games often had a simple wire lane guide that can get misadjusted over time from balls hitting it at high velocity screaming towards the drain area. Often, a simple bend can fix it. Classic Stern/Bally's and Williams games often had a hole drilled near the flippers that this wire connected to. This can become enlarged over time. A more complicated fix involved patching or filling this hole and either retapping/redrilling it carefully, or in extreme examples, relocating it slightly. Just be sure to move the flipper through its extremes of movement before drilling into your beloved playfield. It doesn't matter a damn to have the transition smooth if the flipper can not travel to its upper most location without hitting the guide. On later modern games, often the screws can be loosened that hold the lane guide, moved, and re tightened. This has mixed results as often the guide will move again after being hit repeatedly. It is the simplest option though.

    2.) Titan thin flipper rubbers. Titan deserves the pinball equivalent of the Nobel Prize for providing these in my opinion. They address the Flipper hop type that results from the flipper being mounted slightly above the lane guide. The thinner depth of the rubber allows for more slightly more clearance which is often enough. It won't help rounded corners on metal lane guides or when the flipper is mounted too far below the lane guide, but 70% of games it seems can benefit from them. It would be awesome if other manufactures of traditional rubber and Super Bands would provide these as well. Found here: https://www.titanpinball.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=33&product_id=52

    3.) Cliffy makes lane guides that supplement the existing guides. I have installed these twice. The most successful being a Gorgar that had horribly rounded corners. They are drilled in a way that offers some adjustment and they are stacked, or layered in a way that prevents Flipper Hop. The only draw back is that Cliffy is too good at what he makes, and the wait time can sometimes be long, and the selection is pretty limited to specific games and eras, but they are a life saver and relatively inexpensive. They can be found here. http://www.passionforpinball.com/FlipFrames.htm

    4.) Lexan. Finally, the most involved but worth it if none of the above works. I recommend Lexan in .093 that can be found in different sizes readily at hardware stores like Menards, Home Depot and Lowes or your hardware store of choice. It is strong as hell and inexpensive. It can be used a lot for different pinball projects including ball jam protectors, but these might be better addressed with a slightly thinner sheet (I'm looking at you Dialed In). Buy a bigger piece and keep the rest for a rainy day. I take off the stock lane guide, and trace it in dry erase marker on the Lexan adding a slight amount to the problem area and then use a jig saw that is fitted with a plastic cutting blade. Cut it out, and sand down the edges to your satisfaction. It can then be drilled or and screwed on, or press fit in some cases, and this will knock out our nemesis. The example below is a poorly done cell phone video of me doing this to a TNA in my collection that suffered from it. The way the mount is attached, it leaves ZERO room for adjustment so this was my only solution. It has helped a ton.

    Flipper hop (resized).png

    #2 4 months ago

    mof spent 45 minutes putting new Cliffy frames on my Time fantasy. I just wanted to play. He got it dead on though and the change was amazing

    #3 4 months ago

    I love the cliffy improved guides but mine keep sliding down over time after the ball hits them enough

    My next flipper hop project is going to be my Speakeasy. Broken plastic guide on one side and bad hop even on the other side. It seems like mid-80s Bally just loved flipper hop and purposely induced it on every game with way too skinny inlane guides...

    #4 4 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I love the cliffy improved guides but mine keep sliding down over time after the ball hits them enough
    My next flipper hop project is going to be my Speakeasy. Broken plastic guide on one side and bad hop even on the other side. It seems like mid-80s Bally just loved flipper hop and purposely induced it on every game with way too skinny inlane guides...

    Yep. I think early Ballys might take the lead as far as incidence of flipper hop. I think it was a combination of ridiculous output numbers and lax manufacturing tolerances with a splash of indifference. These were made to be quarter suckers back then, and they just didn't concern themselves with it.

    #5 4 months ago

    Speaking of early Bally games, mine will flipper hop every once in a while. Not really an issue though. I don't remember games doing that on route back in the day. Not to say they didn't...........

    #6 4 months ago

    option 5 which is even more involved adjusting the flippers. There is sometimes enough play in the bushings and flipper assembly brackets that you can adjust where they are relative to the lane guides.

    if you follow some of the HEP threads he talks about this when he is putting a game back together and adjusting it so this is perfect and no flipper hop.

    #7 4 months ago

    "Lex-in?"

    Whom am I to argue with middle USA dialect

    #8 4 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    "Lex-in?"
    Whom am I to argue with middle USA dialect

    Ha. I am a self admitted salt-of-the-earth hillbilly. Your lucky I didn't drop any Yall's.

    #9 4 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I love the cliffy improved guides but mine keep sliding down over time after the ball hits them enough
    My next flipper hop project is going to be my Speakeasy. Broken plastic guide on one side and bad hop even on the other side. It seems like mid-80s Bally just loved flipper hop and purposely induced it on every game with way too skinny inlane guides...

    You are supposed to file or grind out the original metal stand offs on the old lane guide and install them on the Cliffy lane guide. about half way through the document.

    http://www.passionforpinball.com/FlipFrames/Cliffys%20Improved%20Right%20Frame%20v0.95.doc

    #10 4 months ago

    I've also seen HEP take a a dowel with sand paper wrapped around it and slightly sand the hole where the flipper bushing is installed to allow adjustment of the flipper itself up/down/wherever to help smooth out flipper hop.

    #11 3 months ago

    Great PSA thread!

    Personally, I wish people cared as much about smooth inlane feeds as they did about the next Stern theme or adding expensive mods. Gameplay always seems to take a backseat on pinside.

    #12 3 months ago

    I hate flipper hop and have the issue on some of my games and some of them at leagues. A few of the games are terrible. I tried fixing TWD with the thinner rubber, but that didn't work.

    Why can't manufacturers make them adjustable since they can't seem to get them lined up correctly when they drill the holes.

    Has anyone tried enlarging the holes in the play field in an attempt to make them adjustable?

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