Quoted from Burley9043:
No. It has always been a problem since I got the game. There does not seem to be any solution. Adjusting the shooter lane guide works for a while, then it doesn't. Wax does change things - but not always for the best. I am afraid of trying to do anything more without really screwing something up. For me, the inconsistency/randomness of the auto-plunge has become part of the game and I just play on and not let it prevent me from enjoying an otherwise awesome pinball machine.
Perhaps a defeatist attitude, but it doesn't appear that Stern is stepping up to find a solution that is a permanent fix.
I keep messing around with this and think the autoplunger puts some topspin variability into the launch. I think this may explain why adjusting the upper part of the shooter lane doesn’t hold up. Tonight I took everything apart and reassembled it with millimeter adjustments of the top of the shooter lane. It’s either good on the manual plunger or on autoplunger but not both. So I tried making the autoplunger Mech smoother where it contacts the ball...no better. Then I put furniture floor protectors on the inside of the autoplunger where it contacts the ball, using a razor to cut it down. Now both work perfectly, adjusting to the manual plunger. I’ll keep watching to see if this is the solution, at least on my game, hopefully others too!