I guess I've been in the club for a couple of months now, and just found this thread yesterday. My machine has some wear, but not nearly as much paint is gone as some of the pics in this thread, thanks to the mylar which I think I'll leave on. Polishing it and the wood seem to work pretty well, I can easily (assuming I've lined them up correctly! :p) shoot the orbit all the way around from both sides and hit the ramp from the top flipper. I rebuilt the flippers and pop bumpers following vid's guides, and now they're great. The pop bumpers can really get going now! Having read through all 35 pages of this thread, I think I found some solutions to some of my remaining problems. There are basically three at this point, the ramp acting strange (go figure!), the shooter not making it up the ramp reliably, and the kickback not always working quite right.
On the ramp, I think I'm pretty much committed to cleaning and adjusting the switches no matter what, but the real problem is that sometimes the diverters stick in the closed position, forcing the ball to the left hideout (I do not believe the coil is stuck on when this happens). A good hard shot will pop them back open, but that isn't a solution. If I manually work them back and forth for a bit, it seems to help them operate properly for a while, but eventually it happens again. I think I may be stuck tearing the whole thing down to clean, but is there anything to look for in particular? The coil and sleeve seem fine when I move them by hand, so I don't think they need to be replaced. I do get phantom pops of the left hideout, which I thought was because maybe one of the switches was being intermittently grounded, but now I'm thinking it's more likely the ramp switch just needs adjustment.
I think I may have solution to the shooter issue after reading through this thread, and I think it's multi-faceted. As it is, I can hit the ramp from the shooter about 40% of the time, but sometimes it doesn't have enough power to make it all the way through, or even up to the left hideout. I've got a new red spring and sleeve coming that should help with that aspect. The legs that came with the machine are rusted so that the leg levelers can't be adjusted any longer, so I have new legs coming. I need this because the angle is currently low, and the ball seems like it hits the high side of the ramp entrance more often than anywhere else. I already did a quick and dirty black spray job on the original legs and they looked good, but not being able to adjust them is a problem. But, I also discovered the adjustment for the metal guide in the shooter lane thanks to this thread, so I think between the three of these things, I should be able to get it up the ramp every time!
On that note, one thing I ran across was getting the shooter tip aligned with the ball, and I'm not sure how to do that. The ball seems to sit a little off-center in the shooter lane, and I don't know that adjusting the plunger will ever line them up perfectly (the tip would have to be partially behind the metal guide to align with the ball as-is). I guess I'll see how all these other adjustments go first before worrying about that. I can get the ball up through the whole ramp as it is, it's just not very reliable, which makes multiballs a two-ball affair more often than not
The other problem is that the kickback is somewhat unreliable. I know it's not always going to hit the exact same spot every time, but sometimes it just doesn't get the ball out of the outlane at all. I'm sure it's an adjustment thing rather than a bad coil, since what happens is that the plunger shoots out, but the timing is such that the ball doesn't shoot out, it just rests on the tip. Sometimes this happens, and the coil fires a second time to pop the ball out, but other times the plunger just sits there until the light goes out, then the ball drains. I'm just not sure how to go about adjusting things to prevent this. I don't think that the plunger is hitting the switch, but maybe that's what is happening and I just can't see it well enough. This only seems to happen about 10% of the time, but it's super frustrating when it does happen (usually in the middle of a really good game, naturally). I haven't really been able to tell if it only happens at specific ball speeds, since sometimes a slow ball will shoot out fine, just like a fast one.
I've been an arcade guy for over 15 years, but this is my first pin, and I'm definitely hooked I had HS on NES when I was a kid, so I already kind of knew the rules, and when this came up for a reasonable price (wasn't a steal, but it wasn't a rip off either) while I was looking to buy, I had to jump on it. I still want a DMD game, but I'm really happy I got this.