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(Topic ID: 52939)

How to Rebuild EM Flipper


By Rando

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by Rando
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

Let's pretend that I only have a rough understanding of pinball mechanics, and suppose that even though I've searched on the topic and reviewed several "how to" documents that I really still don't get it and am hesitant to dismantle my flipper mechanism for fear of never getting it back together.

Now supposing this was true, what would you point to as the simplest most basic instructions on the topic?

Facts:
- I've got a 1969 Williams machine that I've done some basic work to but nothing overly complicated
- Right flipper is ok but not awesome
- Left flipper is weak and impacts gameplay
- No matter how long I stare at or poke it, no improvement

Help?

#2 7 years ago

Start with basics.

Flipper button and EOS leaf blade switches need to be filed clean and smooth. The EOS points need good tension holding them closed.

If yours are beyond hope, when getting new ones be sure and get high power ones.

Move each flipper by hand, do they both move freely ? If one isn't, take apart and see if it needs cleaning or wants worn parts replaced.

LTG : )

12
#3 7 years ago

I happen to have a technical video covering the basic operation of a typical EM flipper:

#5 7 years ago

Steve FTW!!

#6 7 years ago
Quoted from SteveFury:

I happen to have a technical video covering the basic operation of a typical EM flipper:
» YouTube video

Great Vid Steve

#7 7 years ago

Nice video, Steve!

#8 7 years ago

Great video Steve!

#9 7 years ago

Return spring tension is also a killer if too tight and not adjusted properly. Check that as well and loosen if needed. The bushings could be loose or cracked. Check and change those if needed. Is there just a slight bit of vertical movement of the shaft through the playfield? Coil sleeves are probably pretty dirty. Change those or clean them with alchohol while waiting for new ones.

Dan

Post edited by MrWizzo : originally referred to the bushings as pawls

#10 7 years ago

Return spring tension and in my opinion the EOS switch is the number 1 culprit for weak flippers.

It has to break exactly at the "End of Stroke".

If it is even just a little early you can lose a huge percentage of your power.

After making sure everything is clean and moves freely that's what I would mess with.

Good luck.

Bert

#11 7 years ago

Thanks all,
So far I've cleaned all my contacts and checked to ensure that movement is happening as it should. All looks ok but still weak. I've placed an order for new coil sleeves, bushing, plunger & link, and stops. I'll dismantle the left one while I wait for arrival and practice putting back together.

Hopefully all will come apart as intended and I don't snap anything important.

#12 7 years ago
Quoted from Rando:

Thanks all,
So far I've cleaned all my contacts and checked to ensure that movement is happening as it should. All looks ok but still weak. I've placed an order for new coil sleeves, bushing, plunger & link, and stops. I'll dismantle the left one while I wait for arrival and practice putting back together.
Hopefully all will come apart as intended and I don't snap anything important.

Wow,

Buying all that, you might as well have bought an entire flipper rebuild kit.

You might want to check the coil resistance. Could be that it's on its way out. You would need to disconnect it from everything to make sure you get good readings. Remember that there is 2 completely separate coils in a flipper coil housing.

The Power Coil - Give the flipper its power and zip

The Hold Coil - Activated at End of Stroke to hold the flipper up. If the Power coil was used to hold the flipper up it would overheat and burn up in no time at all.

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from SteveFury:

I happen to have a technical video covering the basic operation of a typical EM flipper:
» YouTube video

once again, a thumbs up for steve. You are the man!

#14 7 years ago

We're all a friendly team here at Pinside.

#15 7 years ago

First off, thanks all.

Second, I rebuilt my first flipper! Was touch and go there for a bit, but I layed down a towel below flipper area to catch any falling screws which worked out well. I didn't have to desolder/solder anything which was a plus, and the metal coil sleeve came out pretty easily. The bushing was indeed broken so I replaced that, the sleeve, the plunger stop, and the plunger & link. the only issue I had was getting the screws tight enough to prevent the flipper itself from loosening and moving on it's own, but after some added twisting and testing it looks and works good.

Vast improvement, and the left is now better than the right which I thought was working okay. So I'll rebuild that one tonight and enjoy the new action.

Have some people coming over this weekend who enjoyed it with the lame flipper, so I'm looking forward to their feedback.

Thanks all!

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from Rando:

The bushing was indeed broken

That will draw the snap of a flipper away^^no doubt,yeah tightening the screws on the flipper shaft and trying to keep them aligned is probably the hardest part of a flipper rebuild.

#17 7 years ago
Quoted from Rando:

The only issue I had was getting the screws tight enough to prevent the flipper itself from loosening and moving on it's own, but after some added twisting and testing it looks and works good.

If your flipper set screws work loose again then this thread might be helpful:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/em-flipper-set-screws-working-loose

#18 7 years ago

Great thread Steve,
Thanks! If they loosen (oh well, more testing!) I'll take a look at the screw heads and raid my daughter's Hello Kitty nail polish selection.

To those who didn't check Steve's thread, my sentence makes, sense, I promise!

#19 7 years ago

Rebuilt the second flipper last night, all went well and was easier the second time around.

Used what I learned about the set screws to fix an issue on my newer Spy Hunter machine as well.

Newsflash, flippers make the game!

Learn something new every day...

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