Quoted from Grandnational007:
hmmm, I wonder if this is why mine has been acting up recently...
Every so often, from a full plunge, which I rarely even do at this point, the ball will ricochet off something and go right into the pops instead of climbing the spiral.
I suppose I may have to tear mine down this weekend and take a peak. I need to replace a bumper skirt in there as well (similarly to yours). Fun times ahead.
That could be from a worn plunger plastic bushing not hitting the ball dead center. See how much the metal shaft wiggles side to side. That wire should have been a lot beefier if you ask me, it takes a hell of a beating.