(Topic ID: 334150)

Jacks Open drains down side

By Copyhead

1 year ago


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  • 23 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by ChipS
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 1 year ago

So I'm pretty new to pinball, and just got a Jack's Open. I am having trouble with the ball draining down the side when it's in the outside lane. When I watch videos of people playing it seems to roll to the flipper 50 percent of the time, but my game drains 90 percent of the time. Front legs are down all the way and back are up about 3 inches. Not sure of angle as I'm still waiting on digital level. The game doesn't seem to play well. Seems sluggish and the ball drains down the middle constantly. Any help is appreciated.

#2 1 year ago
Quoted from Copyhead:

So I'm pretty new to pinball, and just got a Jack's Open. I am having trouble with the ball draining down the side when it's in the outside lane. When I watch videos of people playing it seems to roll to the flipper 50 percent of the time, but my game drains 90 percent of the time. Front legs are down all the way and back are up about 3 inches. Not sure of angle as I'm still waiting on digital level. The game doesn't seem to play well. Seems sluggish and the ball drains down the middle constantly. Any help is appreciated.

Lol

Sorry, not really laughing at you here. All I can say is welcome to EM games. If you want high speed and less drains EMs are not for you.

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from Copyhead:

So I'm pretty new to pinball, and just got a Jack's Open. I am having trouble with the ball draining down the side when it's in the outside lane. When I watch videos of people playing it seems to roll to the flipper 50 percent of the time, but my game drains 90 percent of the time. Front legs are down all the way and back are up about 3 inches. Not sure of angle as I'm still waiting on digital level. The game doesn't seem to play well. Seems sluggish and the ball drains down the middle constantly. Any help is appreciated.

First off, congrats on being a Jacks Open owner! It's a very fun game (when set up properly) and is my favorite EM due to its unique progressive drop targets rules set.

Sounds offhand ("seems sluggish") like you may not have the game playfield slope set steeply enough. Regardless, I would recommend experimenting by varying the slope (a simple change up or down) and seeing how the ball action responds accordingly.

My other advice is - if you're not already aware of it - learn and practice the art of ball nudging. This is particularly essential when playing EMs.

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Sounds offhand ("seems sluggish") like you may not have the game playfield slope set steeply enough.

I'm going to give the opposite suggestion here: I think you likely have it set TOO steep. Gottlieb recommends their games be set with a 3.5 degree downward slope. That is usually achieved by setting all the leg levelers are the same level (the game is essentially set up at 3.5 degrees at the factory). In practice, I've found you need to raise the back legs just slightly - perhaps half an inch - to achieve a 3.5 degree slope. (I check mine with a digital level I bought off Amazon.)

The steep slope is likely the cause of constant outlane draining. Think about it: the steeper the slope, the greater the force of gravity, and the less likely the ball is to "jump the gap" and continue to the flipper. Mine is set at a 3.5 degree slope and I get about a 50-50 split on balls rolling to the flipper.

Many people, especially those who have grown up on the newer games which are set at much steeper angles, feel that EMs are "too slow." That's an argument for another time. But Gottlieb designed the games for more side-to-side action, and that East-West action is best achieved with the 3.5 degree slope.

I would also HIGHLY recommend that you wax your games regularly. It makes a HUGE difference. Some recommend waxing them every 100 games. I recently bought an Atlantis with a Wade Krause repro playfield. First time I played it I thought it was good. But cleaning and waxing it, and setting it at the proper slope, DOUBLED the speed of the ball. I now wax it every 100 plays and it is the fastest EM I've ever played. Is it as fast as any game from the last 30 years? Nope - not even close. But no EM is - as EMsinKC said.

Jacks Open is a GREAT game. It's a bit different than other classic Gottlieb wedgeheads in that it has two distinct sections - the top third with pops and rollovers and then the bottom 2/3rds with the drop targets. It is very difficult to get the ball back up to the rollovers, so you spend most of your shots trying to nail the drop targets, and because they are straight across the playfield they are very dangerous. Good luck hitting the red queen without it coming SDTM. But when you get the Royal Flush lit, and knock those five targets down a couple of times for specials, it's a great feeling.

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from ChipS:

I'm going to give the opposite suggestion here: I think you likely have it set TOO steep. Gottlieb recommends their games be set with a 3.5 degree downward slope.
...

You are correct. Although I used to collect and play nothing but EMs, my pinball preferences have been more with modern games for a number of years now and I forgot that their recommended slope was so comparatively flat.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from Copyhead:

So I'm pretty new to pinball, and just got a Jack's Open. I am having trouble with the ball draining down the side when it's in the outside lane. When I watch videos of people playing it seems to roll to the flipper 50 percent of the time, but my game drains 90 percent of the time. Front legs are down all the way and back are up about 3 inches. Not sure of angle as I'm still waiting on digital level. The game doesn't seem to play well. Seems sluggish and the ball drains down the middle constantly. Any help is appreciated.

1. The starting point is the bottom of the cabinet is level. Adjust to more slope per your preference.
2. "waiting on a digital level" We used to call this "mark it with chalk, cut it with an axe and measure it with a micrometer" Don't bother.
3. If it is going in the outlanes too much, consider moving the posts on the outlanes to the "liberal" adjustment. There are usually two sets of holes, you are probably in the "Conservative" hole with the larger opening. Move the posts to the holes with the smaller opening. There may just be a dimple on the playfield or a whole other hole if it has been used in the past.

Jacks Open is a keeper. Get the 3 of the 4 top rollovers for best scoring.

#7 1 year ago

With 3" levelers on the back legs that are all the way up, while the front levelers are all the way down, I also wondered if maybe the game is set up with too steep a playfield angle to play as it was intended.

There are a pair of miniposts located at the base of the outlanes with rubber donuts on them. There are two general diameters of those donuts available, one small and one large. You might try installing fresh rubber donuts on the minipost to get a better kick toward the middle when the ball comes down the outlane with some velocity.

Fresh coat of wax was a good suggestion too.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

Lol
Sorry, not really laughing at you here. All I can say is welcome to EM games. If you want high speed and less drains EMs are not for you.

The term “it’s a game of skill” truly came from way tougher games.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from newmantjn:

3. If it is going in the outlanes too much, consider moving the posts on the outlanes to the "liberal" adjustment.

This isn't the problem that Cwillits59 is describing. It's not that the ball is going down the outlane, it's that it is draining at the gap in the outlane. (See photo)

Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

There are a pair of miniposts located at the base of the outlanes with rubber donuts on them. There are two general diameters of those donuts available, one small and one large.

Runbikeskilee - I did not know there were two sizes of these rubbers! I recently refreshed the rubber on my Atlantis (with a rubber set from PBR) and in the left outlane, where there are two sets of posts, the ball was having trouble squeezing through the #5 lane with two posts. I thought it was because the rubber was too fresh, so I replaced one with the old rubber, which was much smaller in size.

Do you have to specify the size when ordering from PBR?

Jacks Open_Outlane gap (resized).jpgJacks Open_Outlane gap (resized).jpg
#10 1 year ago

06951B17-E94F-4164-8111-30C912AEE770 (resized).jpeg06951B17-E94F-4164-8111-30C912AEE770 (resized).jpeg

Good App, may help.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from ChipS:

...
I did not know there were two sizes of these rubbers! I recently refreshed the rubber on my Atlantis (with a rubber set from PBR) and in the left outlane, where there are two sets of posts, the ball was having trouble squeezing through the #5 lane with two posts. I thought it was because the rubber was too fresh, so I replaced one with the old rubber, which was much smaller in size.
Do you have to specify the size when ordering from PBR?[quoted image]

There are two different minipost rubbers:

A-15705 27/64 dia (7/16 OD) used on Jack's Open (outlanes)
A-14793 23/64 dia (3/8 OD) used on Atlantis (left outlane and 5 other places)

MiniPost (resized).jpgMiniPost (resized).jpg
#12 1 year ago

I agree on setting it to the factory 3.5 slope. Plus that makes those outlane rubber posts even more 'saveable' via a little shaking 'n nudging (that's the great thing about them!) Just watching the ball go down the outlanes and hoping for the best is not the way to play it.

The online computer version of the game plays with WAY too high of a slope IMO, it's too damn fast. I sold my JO years ago, but I kept it for about 25 years and loved the hell out of it and I wouldn't have if I'd felt it was a drain monster. I never measured the slope I had it on but I never crank the rear levelers way way up on my EMs.

You'd be surprised how changing the slope even just a little bit can tweak how the ball reacts around drains and other spots, can keep the ball alive longer etc.... not just making it play faster or slower.

#13 1 year ago

Fast draw, quick draw, jacks open and it’s AAB version and import were the only EM machines I know of that had a drop target dropping feature . Does anyone know of any others?

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from DaMoib:

There are two different minipost rubbers:

A-15705 27/64 dia (7/16 OD) used on Jack's Open (outlanes)
A-14793 23/64 dia (3/8 OD) used on Atlantis (left outlane and 5 other places)

Great to know! Thanks for this info!

#15 1 year ago

When I was a kid, we went to Ocean City, Maryland every year - which is where I became exposed to pinball. In the mid-late 70's, there was an arcade on the boardwalk at 9th Street that built a wide, sturdy ledge along one wall. That's where the pinball machines lived - ON that ledge, with the legs removed. That's right - with the legs REMOVED. Gottlieb games (not sure about Bally/Williams) had that 3.5 degree slope built into the playfield placement in the cabinet. So there was no need for the legs. (And the ledge height was the same as the legs.)

I hated the setup in that arcade, mainly because there was no way to nudge the game effectively. But it demonstrates that the legs/levelers main purpose is to level the game on an uneven floor, not to give the game an extreme slope.

#16 1 year ago

Thanks Damoib. Good info and saved me from having to dig out one of my Gottlieb parts manuals.

Quoted from DaMoib:

There are two different minipost rubbers:
A-15705 27/64 dia (7/16 OD) used on Jack's Open (outlanes)
A-14793 23/64 dia (3/8 OD) used on Atlantis (left outlane and 5 other places)[quoted image]

#17 1 year ago

Over the years I've gone from steeper is faster and better to setting my games to the 3.5 degree slope and playing the games as they were designed and enjoyng them more. And you have to play the same game many many times to get skilful and truly "know" and master the game.

#18 1 year ago

Those side lanes often need just the right nudge also. And make sure the table is level side to side at the top and bottom of the playfield.
That can make a big difference as well

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from DaMoib:

There are two different minipost rubbers:

A-15705 27/64 dia (7/16 OD) used on Jack's Open (outlanes)
A-14793 23/64 dia (3/8 OD) used on Atlantis (left outlane and 5 other places)

Yes, the Atlantis parts list clearly calls for 7 of the A-14793 mini post rings. I would not have realized the difference until I replaced the rubber. I used a set purchased from PBR and the bag did not include a parts list. So I simply used what was in the bag, and when playing it, realized that the ball would not fit in the #5 rollover. I assumed it was because the rubber was new. But now I have to believe that they gave me seven of the A-15705 rings instead of the A-14793 rings. Easiest solution was to simply substitute one of the old rings so the ball would fit through (the ring on the far right post).

Not going to make a big deal about it, but next time I'll have to specify that they include the A-14793 rings.

Atlantis Left Outlane (resized).jpgAtlantis Left Outlane (resized).jpg
#20 1 year ago
Quoted from ElectroMagnetic:

[quoted image]
Good App, may help.

I've had pretty consistent crashing issues with this app for years, and now I have a phone with protruding camera lenses on it so I've been hesitant to try it again since my phone wont lie flat anymore

1 week later
#21 1 year ago
Quoted from Copyhead:

So I'm pretty new to pinball, and just got a Jack's Open. I am having trouble with the ball draining down the side when it's in the outside lane. When I watch videos of people playing it seems to roll to the flipper 50 percent of the time, but my game drains 90 percent of the time. Front legs are down all the way and back are up about 3 inches. Not sure of angle as I'm still waiting on digital level. The game doesn't seem to play well. Seems sluggish and the ball drains down the middle constantly. Any help is appreciated.

Hey Guys, thanks for all the replies. I'm still getting used to this site, so not sure if all will get this reply. The main fixes here were polishing the playfield with novus, and lowering the pitch. the comments were great...thanks for the help.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from ChipS:

I'm going to give the opposite suggestion here: I think you likely have it set TOO steep. Gottlieb recommends their games be set with a 3.5 degree downward slope. That is usually achieved by setting all the leg levelers are the same level (the game is essentially set up at 3.5 degrees at the factory). In practice, I've found you need to raise the back legs just slightly - perhaps half an inch - to achieve a 3.5 degree slope. (I check mine with a digital level I bought off Amazon.)
The steep slope is likely the cause of constant outlane draining. Think about it: the steeper the slope, the greater the force of gravity, and the less likely the ball is to "jump the gap" and continue to the flipper. Mine is set at a 3.5 degree slope and I get about a 50-50 split on balls rolling to the flipper.
Many people, especially those who have grown up on the newer games which are set at much steeper angles, feel that EMs are "too slow." That's an argument for another time. But Gottlieb designed the games for more side-to-side action, and that East-West action is best achieved with the 3.5 degree slope.
I would also HIGHLY recommend that you wax your games regularly. It makes a HUGE difference. Some recommend waxing them every 100 games. I recently bought an Atlantis with a Wade Krause repro playfield. First time I played it I thought it was good. But cleaning and waxing it, and setting it at the proper slope, DOUBLED the speed of the ball. I now wax it every 100 plays and it is the fastest EM I've ever played. Is it as fast as any game from the last 30 years? Nope - not even close. But no EM is - as EMsinKC said.
Jacks Open is a GREAT game. It's a bit different than other classic Gottlieb wedgeheads in that it has two distinct sections - the top third with pops and rollovers and then the bottom 2/3rds with the drop targets. It is very difficult to get the ball back up to the rollovers, so you spend most of your shots trying to nail the drop targets, and because they are straight across the playfield they are very dangerous. Good luck hitting the red queen without it coming SDTM. But when you get the Royal Flush lit, and knock those five targets down a couple of times for specials, it's a great feeling.

Great advice, waxing playfield and lowering slope were the main fixes. also tightening down various playfield posts.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from Copyhead:

The main fixes here were polishing the playfield with novus

Cwillits59 - Good to hear your Jacks Open is playing better. FYI - Novus is NOT a wax. It will remove dirt - along with paint if you scrub too hard - from your playfield. But wax will both protect the PF and increase the speed.

There are as many theories on cleaning and waxing playfields as there are people on pinside. But I highly recommend Vid's Guide to Cleaning and Waxing:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cleaning-and-waxing-pinball-machines-vids-guide

He talks about waxing on page 2. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cleaning-and-waxing-pinball-machines-vids-guide/page/2

There are many different kinds of wax. Vid recommends Blitz Wax, which unfortunately is expensive and difficult to find. PBR does not carry it. Pinball Life is where I bought mine. https://www.pinballlife.com/blitz-carnauba-paste-wax-12-ounce-jar.html The good news is that a 12-oz jar will last you for many, many years. I wax my games very often and after three years still have 2/3rds of it left. It works incredibly well.
blitz_12oz (resized).jpgblitz_12oz (resized).jpg

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