This past weekend I installed the chest mod and it’s working great! Thanks to everyone who made this fantastic mod come together! All in all, the install took me about three hours, but I tried both types of lid brackets, so that added extra time. Here’s my suggestions for anyone else who’s planning to install this mod…
1) I removed the Black Pearl. This is not necessary but I think it made the install easier. Also helps if you’re adding other mods to the Pearl such as the window behind the gold targets and new stickers on the spinners and standups.
2) Remove the clear plastic shield over the coil behind the chest. This makes it easier to install the chest cover bracket. Also, you may want to modify (cut) this plastic to clear the bracket arm (see pic).
3) Installing the bracket to the chest cover may require multiple adjustments, and these can’t be done with the cover attached to the chest. The bracket itself allows shifting the cover forward or backward, and the hinge can be adjusted in all four directions. I would suggest attaching the bracket to the cover (don’t over tighten the screws) and leave the hinge lugs lose. Then test mount the cover to the chest (fit the hinge over the threaded mounting studs), hold the hinge tight to the back of the chest, and use tape or a marker to tag the position of the hinge/cover so that the cover aligns nicely with the arch on the front of the chest. Remove the cover, tighten the hinge nuts on the bracket, check for fit, and repeat if necessary. When you’ve got it right, add the nuts over the studs on the back of the chest and secure the cover in place.
4) If you’re using the newer bracket style, it’s easier to thread the rod to the ball-end swivel connector before you permanently attach the cover/hinge in place. For the final mounting of the cover, slip the rod down the slot in the playfield. Or you can remove the ball-end swivel from the bracket (remove the small screw/axle) and then reattach with the rod after the cover is in place. Btw, I used the metal rod from the original kit rather than the plastic slip style rod.
5) The main bracket under the playfield is very easy to install. All I’ll mention here is that I swapped the brass barrel connector from the outside to the inside of the servo arm (see pic). This allows the rod to align more closely with the chest bracket above the playfield. The only thing tricky about doing this is getting the tiny friction lug off and then back on the brass barrel connector. I removed the arm from the servo and used a small needle nose plyer (apply pressure with both tips to get the lug back on. Also, if you’re going to swap the barrel connector from outside to inside, make sure you do it after you’ve powered on the servo one time so you know where the start and stop positions are, otherwise the barrel connector could hit the servo motor enclosure. Lastly, if you’re using the new plastic slip style rod (rather than the metal rod), you don’t use the barrel connector so in that case this step is irrelevant.
In regard to the two different types of chest brackets; With the original design, the pull/push rod is attached to the bracket arm through a simple hole with a lock-nut threaded to end of the rod. When the rod pulls down the lock-nut hits the bracket arm, pulling it down (opening the cover). In reverse, when the rod pushes up, the weight of the cover allows it to close. The advantage with this design is that the lock-nut can be moved up or down to adjust how much the cover opens. The disadvantage is that the rod/nut combination can bind a bit on the bracket arm (bending the rod per the instructions helps with this). Also, this design allows the chest cover to swing open when you lift the playfield into the vertical position which can be troublesome if you turn on the power. Regardless, since the connection is not articulated, the design seems less elegant. But it works just fine. I’ll also mention that if you’re using the optional lighting mod, you can see the LEDs through the clear plexi bracket when the chest is open. I found setting the brightness lower helped with this.
With the newer chest bracket, the rod is attached with a ball-end swivel connection. A small machine screw acts as the axle. This is definitely a more elegant solution and there’s no binding and no issue when the playfield is vertical. Also, the LED shield diffuses the lighting which is nice. The only downside, you don’t get the flexibility to adjust how far the cover opens (unless you alter the software driving the servo). Given a choice, I preferred the new bracket design over the old.
That’s it. Hope this helps.20191028_214850 (resized).jpg20191110_164442-edit (resized).jpg