(Topic ID: 93271)

Help: Weak ball return on Sing Along


By heatwave

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by way2wyrd
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#1 5 years ago

Having an intermittent problem with ball return on my '67 Gottlieb Sing Along. Recently restored the game (posted some pics and already received some help from pinside - thanks).

Here is the deal....

Ball return is sluggish and maybe one out of three balls won't make it up the ramp. This despite:

Cleaning ramp when game was apart
New coil sleeve installed
Checked for any binding (none) in the kicker mechanism. Spring on kicker arm seems firm as I heard it should be.
Cleaned and checked gap on hole switch, relay and score motor
Did the 'old leaf switch under ramp' adjustment to make sure ball is seated properly in the hole (as seen on RGP)

I think the kicker is throwing the ball too high, as it does not have as much forward momentum as it looks like it should (watching it work when apron is off), and I noticed some wear marks on underside of apron which indicate rubbing from the ball.

With everything done and the apron off, the ball will consistently make it up over the ramp (but just barely, almost pathetic). With the apron back on, it fails the 1/3 of the time (approximately) I mentioned. I know you can bend play field kickers (usually L and R), not sure how to adjust for more of a forward vs. upward motion with this kicker.

Kind of at a loss. More of a nagging issue than anything else as the game works nearly perfectly except for this.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks

Greg

#2 5 years ago
Quoted from heatwave:

Having an intermittent problem with ball return on my '67 Gottlieb Sing Along. Recently restored the game (posted some pics and already received some help from pinside - thanks).
Here is the deal....
Ball return is sluggish and maybe one out of three balls won't make it up the ramp. This despite:
Cleaning ramp when game was apartNew coil sleeve installedChecked for any binding (none) in the kicker mechanism. Spring on kicker arm seems firm as I heard it should be.Cleaned and checked gap on hole switch, relay and score motorDid the 'old leaf switch under ramp' adjustment to make sure ball is seated properly in the hole (as seen on RGP)
I think the kicker is throwing the ball too high, as it does not have as much forward momentum as it looks like it should (watching it work when apron is off), and I noticed some wear marks on underside of apron which indicate rubbing from the ball.
With everything done and the apron off, the ball will consistently make it up over the ramp (but just barely, almost pathetic). With the apron back on, it fails the 1/3 of the time (approximately) I mentioned. I know you can bend play field kickers (usually L and R), not sure how to adjust for more of a forward vs. upward motion with this kicker.
Kind of at a loss. More of a nagging issue than anything else as the game works nearly perfectly except for this.
Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks
Greg

You've done everything I would have suggested. This was just a nagging problem on Gottliebs. Williams and Ballys rarely had this problem.

#3 5 years ago

Have you checked that the correct coil is installed? (A-1496).

The spring strength and smoothness of the kicker arm throw can have an effect too. If the spring is too firm, there's less 'give' on the arm and the ball can launch up, rather than get a slight 'windup' and launch more forward. PBR has the correct replacement spring.

The kicker should also be a double fork variety for Sing Along (in case it got replaced along the way).

The outhole switch should bend low enough to let the ball rest fully in the kicker arm forks, and not prop or tilt it up.

I'd start with cleaning the kicker arm plates, and have a small dab of SuperLube where they pivot and rub against each other, and then maybe replace the spring (or swap in a less firm one and see how it affects it).

#4 5 years ago

DirtFlipper -

Thanks. I'll double check on the coil #. It is the double fork kicker.

I cleaned and SuperLubed the plates before so I will move onto the spring.

When you mention the spring, are you talking about the one on the arm itself or the one on the plunger? (I think you are talking about arm). I can swap the spring from my KOD and see what happens.

I'll also check the outhole switch, I do think it might be riding high.

Thanks, I will report back.

#5 5 years ago

yes, the spring on the kicker arm, not the one on the plunger.

#6 5 years ago

is it possible that the ball is hitting the edge of the hole when kicked, causing it to go high? is there any hole wear? is the link worn? that link slop might be a problem with proper operation.

#7 5 years ago

Did my checks...........

Coil is the correct one.

Outhole switch was not too high.

I swapped the spring with the one from my KOD and while the springs looked identical, the mechanism did seem a little snappier and so far the ball has made it up over the hole all the time (only about 5 games worth so far). .

Another unexpected difference between my KOD (sample game) and Sing Along. KOD is a single fork on the kicker mechanism.

I looked and I don't think the ball is hitting the edge of the hole and there does not seem to be much in any wear in the hole. Looks like just one of those things were it works just not as crisply as I would like. I'm fine with it thanks for the tips.

#8 5 years ago

Have you tried the old spring in KoD? (Just curious if the problem follows the spring.)

The spring seems to need to be in the 'Goldilocks zone' to get the best operation. If it's too firm, the fork(s) ride with the initial plunge, rather than the spring absorbing some of that and then flinging the ball as the spring releases the tension.

Would be cool to see it in really slow-motion.

#9 5 years ago

Dirt -

Old spring works in the KOD with no noticeable difference (it is a single fork flipper).

I can tell what you mean about the 'zone' with the spring and my hunch is even this one is a bit too firm.

Next time I order from PBR, I will get a new one and then see if I can maybe weaken the current one a bit. I also have a bunch of springs laying around and I might try them. As I said, it works but I think it is still probably flipping a bit too high and the ball is losing some momentum. Definitely need the 'Myth Busters' high speed camera!

Thanks for the help. Just fully rebuilt the flippers with dot coils from PBR (heresy to some, I know) and it plays just how I want. Can make the trap shot up to the #3 target on either side with some power!

#10 5 years ago

If you have a coil to spare, you might try unwrapping a few layers of wire - make it a hotter coil.

Personally, though, I think you are missing something mechanical. From your posts, you seem to be looking at the right things, just missing something.

Interesting to see how this turns out.

#11 5 years ago

I had one where the ball ramp was previously "repaired" and was lifted higher causing the ball to strike the top of the apron and not come out the other side.

Is the ramp mangled in any way?

--Jeff

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