(Topic ID: 102533)

Gottlieb Snow Queen, crazy player sequence

By maestro

5 years ago

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  • 18 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by maestro
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#1 5 years ago

I just picked up a Snow Queen today. I have no pinball repair experience but I know how to use a voltmeter. I can but am not so good at reading a schematic. I have downloaded the schematic for Snow Derby (same game in 2 player version, Snow Queen is 4 player). Here is a link to the schematic http://www.mediafire.com/?qtie4ye5rbba3gh. On to my issue. When I first turned it on the player unit would not stop running. I found wire that had come loose from the player unit at a solder joint. I resoldered it in place, it was obvious where it was supposed to go. Now upon turning the machine on I can start a one player game, drain I hear 3 clicks on the PU and it goes to player 2, drain I hear 4 clicks and player 1 and 4 light up and both score simultaneously while the ball is in play, drain I hear 4 clicks and it goes to player 3, drain I hear 4 clicks it goes to player 1, drain and game over. BTW I have it set for 3 balls. I ran another 1 player game and it went as follows; ball one drain 4 clicks goes to player 3, drain 5 clicks goes to player 1, drain and 4 clicks goes to player 3, drain 4 clicks goes to player 1, drain and game over. I wanted to illustrate it does different things with each game. For kicks I then ran a 2 player game and it went as follows; ball one, drain goes to player 2, drain stays on player 2, drain goes to player 4, repeats this sequence for ball 2, ball 3 player one drains goes to player 2, drains and game over. I hope all of this makes sense. Any ideas?

#2 5 years ago

With the game set for a 1-player game, and after it resets to start at Player 1, Ball 1, if you then manually step the Player Unit (by pushing in the step plunger) four times, does it then correctly advance to Player 1, Ball 2? And then so on, to Ball 3 and then to Game Over? This first test is to ensure that there's not a mechanical alignment problem with the wiper disc.

However, there's enough difference between the Snow Derby and Snow Queen schematic logic on the "Add Player Unit" path that I'd next recommend getting the schematic for Snow Queen. Otherwise debugging a logic issue with any precision will be more guesswork. Pinball Resource has the schematic available (pbresource.com). Can also pick up other basic items (ring kit, switch adjustment tool, flexstone, playfield cleaner, etc.). Takes a bit more time up front to gather these things, but will save a lot of time in the long run.

Otherwise, for a 1-player game, the Player Unit should pulse four times to go from Player 1 Ball 1 to Player 1 Ball 2. If it's not doing that consistently, and there's not a wiper disc alignment issue, then there are possibly dirty and/or mis-aligned switches. Every switch in the path to the "Add Player Unit" needs to cleaned/checked/adjusted, and that's where having the schematic for Snow Queen is needed (as Snow Derby is different).

The stopping and showing two players at once suggests the wiper disc may not be adjusted, so that's a starting point.

#3 5 years ago

Thanks for the reply. I will definitely head over to pinrescue to pick up some of those tools. A rubber kit and bulbs are definitely needed as well. I had also just watched a video from pinballhelp.com where the guy was having problems with his Player Unit and had the armature off and cleaned and lubed it. So, like you said, I got beck there and started to manually work the solenoid with the armature to turn the gear. It was not releasing fully each time so it was not moving the right amount of gear notches. I pulled the spring tighter and what do you know, it works. I'm posting a video of what I did. Now I want to return the spring back to its originally attaching hole. Should I shorten the spring a coil at a time to get the tension right or would I be better off to lubricate the wheel or gear or do both? If I lubricate where should it be applied and what type? Thanks.

#4 5 years ago

The original position of the spring is probably right, my bet is the stepper needs a good cleaning to free it up a bit. Lubing is just a temporary short term fix. Shortening the spring may pull it back, but might also add to much tension to let it always advance as it should.

#5 5 years ago

Shortening the spring and adding lube and such before doing a disassemble, degrease, and clean, is just masking issues. These old EMs really need to be methodically gone through one part at a time and rebuilt to achieve optimal results. Need to get as much of the old gunk off first, then see how it behaves.

#6 5 years ago

Okay, my next concern is that if I take that apart is it going to be crazy hard to get back together? What am I in for? And what parts/ how far down am I to disassemble? I am guessing the stepper is the parts that are moving with the solenoid and clicking into the teeth on the metal gear at the bottom when the PU is laying out on its side.

#7 5 years ago

Here's a picture of the player unit laying out on its side in case anyone wants to take time to maybe use Paintshop to point out parts I should be removing to clean. Or just indicate by a friendly post. Anything is appreciated. Thanks.

#8 5 years ago

First, I would use something to clean any remaining lube off the plastic cam wheels and then re-grease the surface that the switch stacks ride on with a small amount of Super Lube.

Then, I would use a scotch-brite pad to clean the rivet heads. And, if you don't want to disassemble it, also under the ski shoes that ride on the rivets. Make both bright and shinny. Then, follow up with a light coat with the tip of your finger with some Super Lube on the rivet PCB. Unfortunately, the Ski shoes are sometimes so worn down, you really need to remove the wiper assembly and resurface the shoes with a file (rounding the leading and trailing edges). If you do, make some kind of marks on both the rivet board and the wiper board so you can put it back into the same exact position. Take note of where the cams are too since this all has to sync up in the end. If you do not move the ratchet and cams, marking where the wiper came off of would be enough. Just try to do as little at a time as far as taking things off, as you possibly can. When you put the wiper back on, center the ski shoes onto the center of the proper rivet as there will be multiple places that you can screw the wiper down onto the mounting spider due to those slots in it.

Then, locate any of the solenoid ratchet pivot points and put a small amount of Tri-flow on each metal to metal pivot point and work it in. If you also want to put some Super Lube on the ratchet gear teeth, that is fine too.

This alone should get the unit moving more freely without having to totally disassemble it and be worse off then you were before!

#9 5 years ago

If it were mine then I'd follow CactusJack's suggestions. I would not be stretching or cutting springs. Nor would I disassemble the cams. Your issue is very likely old grease in the metal to metal pivot points, which the solonoid moves (such as the ratchet arm etc) which has now became gummy. You may want to put *a drop* of super lube or 3-n-1 oil on the pivots and see if the unit works properly.
Be careful if you choose to disassemble things. There's an arm pivot that's a shoulder screw and has a lock nut on the opposite side of the plate. Some of those shoulder screws snap off if you force them. If it's real tight even after the opposing lock nut is removed then just work a drop of fresh oil in the joint.

#10 5 years ago

Just curious. Is "super lube" the same thing as "brain lube" from Marco?

Btw maestro, hello from just up the street.

#11 5 years ago

I went out today and picked up some scotchbrite pads, small files and other assorted things that will be used in getting this old queen back to par. I've just finished removing the wiper assembly, cleaned the rivets with the scothcbrite pad, filed lightly on the ski shoes, everything is bright and shiney. I did make a mark for reassembly but inadvertently rubbed it off with the scotchbrite pad. Good thing I take pictures. I've got it back together and am pretty sure its lined up correctly. Like you said CactusJack, there was old sticky grease in the board. I wiped all that down with a dry microfiber cloth before cleaning the rivets. Unfortunately there is no Superlube anywhere locally so I'm ordering some tonight and will go back in and lube once it arrives. Wife just brought out dinner so I'm taking a break before I get to cleaning those gears. I'm putting in some pictures of before and after the cleaning as well. Check out how bright those rivets and ski shoes came out.

SPeD66, greetings. Looks like we're neighbors. I just checked out your game room and looks like you have a Taxi and Comet. I am envious. You don't know if those didn't happen to come from Druid Lanes at some point? That's where I cut my teeth on those pins.





#12 5 years ago
Quoted from maestro:

SPeD66, greetings. Looks like we're neighbors. I just checked out your game room and looks like you have a Taxi and Comet. I am envious. You don't know if those didn't happen to come from Druid Lanes at some point? That's where I cut my teeth on those pins.

I don't have a Comet, maestro. Perhaps you meant Cyclone? And no, I seriously doubt any of my games originated from the Martinsville area.
Ahhh... Druid Lanes. So many wonderful memories.... and a few bowling trophies from the 80's in my youth, I'm proud to say. I'm up for bowling or pinball (or both) sometime if you're interested.
Sad to say I'm not much of an EM repair guy & can't offer any useful help in this thread beyond cleaning/lubing.
The one EM I have has worked pretty well without much fuss since the day I bought it. Btw, I was "eye-balling" your Snow Queen on Craigslist but never pulled the trigger. Congrats on your first pin & glad to see your game stayed local!

#13 5 years ago

Oh yeah I meant to say Cyclone. Comet was okay, not as good as Cyclone "Ride the Ferris wheel!". You bowled there in the 80's? That's crazy, you probably remember my uncle George, he used to be part owner of the place around that time. I'll pm you my number. We should do like you said and meet up soon. BTW I milled over the SQ quite a while before I pulled the trigger. Looking at it I knew it was a basket case, and it is. However I only got it 3 days ago and thanks to everyone's help on here as of now it is working perfectly. The issue I was having with the PU is corrected. I haven't lubed it yet. Ordering the Super Lube tonight and will put some on once it gets here but it is working great without it. The basket case part is the cosmetics. The owner at some point had painted the cabinet with red paint, airbrushed there names all over it along with some trees and other stuff, replaced the PF glass with plexiglass, the lock bar is dented to crap, the entire thing is filthy inside and out, the PF has some wear through the paint in a few places, one of the spinners is missing and the one that is there is again painted red (supposed to be checkered flag), all the rubber is dry rotted and some even broken, coin door and legs are rusty, many bulbs are out and many sockets not working (probably just need to be cleaned), the power cord was cracked and even naked in lots of places (replaced that today), flippers are weak and noisy so will get rebuild, the backglass has a very small amount of flaking and the body plywood has many nicks and is cracked in at least one place. I had decided when I went to get it that if it didn't come to life easily I was going to make a virtual pin out of it. However sine its performing so well I'm planning to repairing all the cosmetics and get it super clean.
Thanks for the help guys, you saved a nice old pin from becoming a virtual pin. I'm going to start a thread to document my restoration progress

#14 5 years ago

Of course I remember George, and Joe too! They were such nice guys & I don't think I ever saw either of them frown.
Anyway, happy to hear you're going to restore Snow Queen & I'm looking forward to the resto thread, as well as checking out your game in person sometime.

Post edited by SPeD66: grammar

#15 5 years ago

Btw, if Snow Queen takes a standard size piece of playfield glass, I have a used piece from a system11 you can have if you want it.

#16 5 years ago

We'll have to see if that thing will fit. Thanks Ed.

2 weeks later
#17 5 years ago

check out my youtube videos on em repair. type, airaces1 in the search of youtube. Start by cleaning and ajust all contacts. check and clean all steppers. I never plug a game in til i go over everything in the game, 95% of the time the game fires up and play like it came out of the factory.

1 week later
#18 5 years ago

I'll definietly check out your vids. I'm in the process of taking all the guts out of the head and cab to give the cab a good cleaning then a paint job. At the same time I plan on getting to all the stepper motors and contacts. BTW, my wife aws playing it last week and when the ball drained it shocked her. She said it was a pretty strong shock. She was only touching the rails and flipper buttons at the time. That really prompted me to go ahead and disassemble for cleaning and inspection. Any clue on what's going on there? I installed a new power cord weeks prior to this.

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