(Topic ID: 254871)

Grand Prix Brainteasers - Help Please!


By mcguiremade

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 20 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by mcguiremade
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 9 months ago

I just purchased my first pinball machine. My grandma always had one in her garage that we played with so I've been looking for a decent machine for our house that my daughter will grow up playing. It mostly works, but there is one main issue that I need help with. 

The main issue is the ball eject doesn't work at all. So when a ball leaves play the machine doesn't register that a ball has left play so the game never ends and the players never change. I confirmed power is reaching the switch, but nothing happens when you manually trigger it. 

There are a couple of disconnected wires that I don't know exactly where they go and if they are they are part of the ball eject issue. I've included pictures for reference. 

Any troubleshooting tips on how to fix the ball eject issue? 

I'm a complete noob when it comes to pinball machines and I'm just not sure where to start when troubleshooting an issue like this. Thanks for your help!
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#2 9 months ago

When a ball enters the outhole, the bonus unit or units must countdown the bonus before it will kick out the ball.
If you build up some bonus points and then lose the ball, what happens?
Does it just go in the outhole and die or do you hear something counting down and adding bonus points?

#3 9 months ago

Nothing happens when it goes into the outhole. It just goes in and dies. I then manually retrieve the ball to begin playing again.

#4 9 months ago

Hi Ryan, Welcome to pinside!!!

Quoted from mcguiremade:

Nothing happens when it goes into the outhole.

If the Outhole switch doesn't activate the Outhole relay, Inspect and diagnose this circuit with Alligator clip jumper wires
http://www.planetimming.com/Pinball/troubleshooting/EM%20Troubleshooting.pdf
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#features

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#5 9 months ago

This is your outhole switch actuator arm (red circle). When in this down position, your leaf switch is closed, or should be (red square). Take this arm and adjust it so that it goes into the slot next to it, up through the playfield. The leaf switch should open. Manually actuate the arm and make sure that it closes the leaf switch.

To test, start a game, score some points, then use a pencil and with the eraser side, press and hold the leaf switch down. The bonus should count down, then you should hear the ball eject solenoid. Clean the contacts with a business card, crisp dollar bill, or 600 grit sandpaper.
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As far as the disconnected wires, they likely should be attached to a switch and in this particular picture, it looks like a switch on the bonus unit. You'll need to find where it goes and reconnect it. Same with other broken wires. Find the switch that it goes to and reconnect it.

#6 9 months ago

I tried a jumper on the outhole switch (see picture - is this correct?), but it didn't do anything.

I also connected two of the disconnected using temporary clips to the places that they appeared where originally came from. I couldn't see any changes when playing, but maybe they have to do with something related to a bonus or something that happens at a specific time of the game.

One strange thing when I connected the yellow wires to the number wheel. The machine continued to try to reset the numbers and it wouldn't stop until I disconnected these wires. Interestingly thing is that the number wheel seems to work without those wires connected.

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#7 9 months ago

You'll probably need to get some more of those jumper leads.
With that jumper still on the outhole switch locate the "Alternator Relay". Look for a Brown wire with a red tracer, a White wire with a gray tracer, and a Brown wire with a yellow tracer. They should be next to each other in a stack. Jumper the Brown-red to the White-gray and try it. If nothing changes, jumper the Brown-red to the Brown-yellow.

If still nothing happens we'll keep jumpering switches until we've closed that path. Next up would be the bonus unit zero position switches

#8 9 months ago
Quoted from edednedy:

You'll probably need to get some more of those jumper leads.
With that jumper still on the outhole switch locate the "Alternator Relay". Look for a Brown wire with a red tracer, a White wire with a gray tracer, and a Brown wire with a yellow tracer. They should be next to each other in a stack. Jumper the Brown-red to the White-gray and try it. If nothing changes, jumper the Brown-red to the Brown-yellow.
If still nothing happens we'll keep jumpering switches until we've closed that path. Next up would be the bonus unit zero position switches

Is there a different name for an Alternator Relay? I don't see this labeled in the machine, but it might be that I don't know exactly what I'm looking for.

#9 9 months ago
Quoted from mcguiremade:

Is there a different name for an Alternator Relay? I don't see this labeled in the machine, but it might be that I don't know exactly what I'm looking for.

Here's what the Alternating relay looks like:

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#10 9 months ago

It might be located on the underside of the playfield.

#11 9 months ago

The Alternating relay on a Grand Prix is located on the underside of the playfield, near the very top.

It is shown in the center of the photo below and is just to the R side of the Delay relay. Look for a tiny M30-1400 coil in a blue wrapper.

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#12 9 months ago

mcguiremade, What happens when a ball enters the left or the right kickout saucers? Does it score the correct bonus points?

#13 9 months ago

Thanks for helping me locate the Alternating Relay, but I might have broken something else I changed out two dead light bulbs and was cleaning the contacts with some fine sandpaper on the Lock and game over relay and Ball Index Relay and now the start switch no longer works. Before all I had to do to start a new game after turning the machine on was hit the start button, but now nothing happens.

Any ideas of what I might have done to cause the start button to stop working?

P.S. - I did order a pinball care and maintenance book so I can better understand how a pinball machine works.

#14 9 months ago

Are you sure you didn't just run out of credits on the credit wheel?

#15 9 months ago
Quoted from edednedy:

Are you sure you didn't just run out of credits on the credit wheel?

I'll need to check. I was assuming it was set to free play, but maybe it just had a bunch of credits loaded??? I'll let you know what I find out - thanks!

#16 9 months ago

Goods news, I got the game to start again. I added more credits, but I think I tripped the lock/game over relay when I was cleaning contacts. Still, haven't figured out the ball eject issue, but I'm going to keep trying your suggestions.

Also, just received my Pinball Machine Care and Maintenace book in the mail so hopefully, I'll be able to explain my issues for concisely using the proper terms

1 week later
#17 9 months ago
Quoted from edednedy:

You'll probably need to get some more of those jumper leads.
With that jumper still on the outhole switch locate the "Alternator Relay". Look for a Brown wire with a red tracer, a White wire with a gray tracer, and a Brown wire with a yellow tracer. They should be next to each other in a stack. Jumper the Brown-red to the White-gray and try it. If nothing changes, jumper the Brown-red to the Brown-yellow.
If still nothing happens we'll keep jumpering switches until we've closed that path. Next up would be the bonus unit zero position switches

I jumpered the Brown wire with a red tracer to the white-gray wire and the outball eject started working!

What does this mean and how do I fix it permanently?

#18 9 months ago

It means that your switch is dirty or needs adjusted (or both). It is a make/break switch so clean both sides of the switch that you jumpered and make sure that the blades are touching on one side and open on the other. Then press the stack towards the coil and the open side should close and the closed side should open.

You can clean them with a strip of fine sandpaper or a business card. If they need bent, a contact adjuster is best, but if you don't have one, you may be able to use small needle nose pliers. Don't over-bend. It won't take much. Make break switches are touchier to adjust. Clean them good first before you try adjusting any switches. You don't want to make things worse.

You can visually confirm that the switches are touching by observing if the opposite blade moves slightly but the best way would be with a simple continuity tester.

#19 8 months ago

For a switch to work 3 things are necessary:
1) When open, there should be a small space between the contact points (duh)
2) When closing, the long blade's contact point should push the short blade's contact point enough to move the short blade
3) The contact points should be clean, which they usually will be if #2 is happening

#20 8 months ago

Great news! Cleaning the contacts on the Alternator Relay has resolved the outball eject issue! I can't thank everyone enough for their guidance. Looking forward to cleaning the rest of the machine.

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