Quoted from zaphX:
I recently discovered what a huge difference fresh coil sleeves can make in a game.
I did them at around 4200 plays on Wonka and the flippers became as snappy as new. I did it on POTC (around 3400 plays) and I'm also happy with the result, I can make the chest shot consistently from the left flipper now!
I did all 3 flippers, the Depths VUK and the Tortuga VUK. However, Depths is still somewhat inconsistent. Around 5-10% of the time, it seems to shoot out with too little force, and drain in the I lane.
This is really disappointing when it happens, because it's not a skill thing...you just plain got screwed out of a ball.
I keep the game clean and waxed and the one way gate is not binding in any way.
Has anyone found a cause/fix for these occasional I lane dribble drains?
My Depths has also always been very inconsistent and I finally looked at it last weekend. I think the issue is the amount of play/wiggle of the plunger within the coil sleeve, and that’s causing the plunger to line up just a very slight bit off center when it’s at rest, but it’s enough that the ball is kicked at a different angle and so comes through at a different speed.
I’ve had similar issues with a cannon VUK on my STTNG and with the Tortuga scoop on POTC. They were all super inconsistent in kicking the ball out. My Tortuga scoop would very lightly kick the ball out one shot and then the next could come out like a rocket. I changed coil power up and down but always got the same inconsistency. Then I finally realized that on the ones coming out weak, the ball seemed to hit the deflector differently than on the strong kicks.
So a few weeks ago I checked the Tortuga scoop and realized when base of the plunger came back down to rest, the base was often just a bit off center resting on the bracket - meaning the plunger was just very very slightly not lined up not the same way for its next kick as it has been for the one before. It was only off by the slightest amount of wiggle, but I think it was enough to cause an inconsistent ball exit angle from one kick to the next. That then would lead to the ball hitting the deflector differently and having a different speed on each shot.
So I snipped just a very small amount of foam weather stripping and duct taped it to the base of the Tortuga VUK coil bracket, so the plunger base would have a softer resting spot just a bit higher up and it would line up more consistently each time. The weather stripping had to be snipped just thin enough so the tip of the plunger wouldn’t trip the opto when there wasn’t a ball there. The kick out became INSTANTLY more consistent and has now had every kick out at the same speed for three weeks after having been inconsistent since I got the machine last December.
When I checked the Depths this weekend I found its plunger has A LOT more wiggle than Tortuga, and the plunger is horizontal instead of vertical. So I think the same thing is happening. I think the plunger is resting at just a very slightly different angle for each shot, causing the exit path of the ball to be only just a bit different, but different enough to dramatically alter the ball’s speed coming out. I was going to do the weather stripping to see if it would work but I didn’t have a lot of time to monkey with it and I forget why, but I remember thinking at the time it might not work as well due to the plunger being horizontal instead of vertical like Tortuga. I’m going to try to get to it this weekend.
So, ridiculously long story short, I think I have a plausible theory as to what’s causing the inconsistent exit speed, but I haven’t tried the solution yet. Hope this helps.