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(Topic ID: 277079)

Little Chief Won't Cycle Players and Same Ball Stays in Play


By Galacnor

14 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 20 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Peruman
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 14 days ago

Hello guys,

I finally decided enough was enough after the shame of calling a "pinball guy" to work on my 1977 Williams Liberty Bell, and decided that I should pick up a non working EM on the cheaper end of things and learn how to repair them on a non working one, rather than risk the health of my existing toy.

I came home with a bit more than I bargained for with a barn find 1975 Williams "Little Chief", non working. There were not that many issues with it and no real big issues, mostly a few small parts missing, a few solenoids gone bad, and the right side rail, and backbox cover plate retention hardware gone missing; but, overall, its really been a great experience in learning how to repair EM's and how they work, and I've fixed every major problem I've come across with it so far!

One final major problem I'm struggling with is that when the ball hits the switch under the apron to end the ball, and switch to the next player, it doesn't ever make it to the next person, it hits the switch, the machine adds the points from the bonus like it should at the end of play and puts the ball back out into the shooter lane; but, it doesn't manage to cycle to the next player for some reason, and still considers the ball in play to be ball 1 of the player playing.

If you adjust the player wheel manually in the back, it plays as that player fine, but only if adjusted manually.

It seems that the signal that the round has ended and it should advance to the next player is not reaching the player wheel.

Does anyone have some suggestions on what could be at play here?

The "Match Unit" Armature is damaged, so the match unit doesn't work correctly currently, and I haven't been able to track down a spare part. Is the operation of the Match Unit somehow influencing the movement of the player wheel and causing the malfunction?

Or is there perhaps a power issue? The female end of the main Jones Connector was missing, so I had to replace the Jones Connector with crimp on quick disconnect ends. It seems I got them mostly right, since all 4 player scores function correctly and things seem to be working as required; but, maybe I missed just the one that controls that somehow?

Thanks for your insight guys

Alex

#2 14 days ago

It sounds like your Ball Count Unit isn't getting a pulse through the Player and Coin Units. I'd start by reading through this topic:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-grand-prix-revival
It should give you a good idea how that circuit should work.

/Mark

#3 14 days ago

Clean your coin unit stepper. Pay attention to the leaf contacts ensuring they are positioned and seated properly.

#4 12 days ago

Sounds like it might be an issue with the ball index relay. Make sure the Ball Index Relay pulls in when the first points are scored. Inspect, clean and adjust switches on this relay. If the relay is not working or dirty, it will never advance past ball one.

#5 12 days ago
Quoted from edednedy:

Sounds like it might be an issue with the ball index relay.

Agreed. Problems like this on Williams machines almost always involve the Ball Index and Outhole relays.

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#6 11 days ago

Howdy guys,

I'm still diagnosing the problem; but, I took the advice to clean the contacts, it seems I've made a little progress.

Heres what we have, now. It seems to cycle from player 1 to 2 but then won't cycle further, either up to 3, or back to 1, and the balls still don't count up, either.

Hes a video of whats going on after a cleaning. Should I try adjustment next or are they perhaps dirty inside and I'll need to dismount them for disassembly?

Cheers
Alex

#7 10 days ago
Quoted from edednedy:

Sounds like it might be an issue with the ball index relay. Make sure the Ball Index Relay pulls in when the first points are scored. Inspect, clean and adjust switches on this relay. If the relay is not working or dirty, it will never advance past ball one.

Hey,

I completed an inspection of the Ball Index Relay, and it seems that it doesn't pull in at all after points are scored.

I will try to clean it too, past that, whats my next step to tracing the problem?

Cheers
Alex

#8 10 days ago
Quoted from Galacnor:

the Ball Index Relay, and it seems that it doesn't pull in at all after points are scored.

Inspect and diagnose this circuit with Alligator clip jumper wires
http://www.planetimming.com/Pinball/troubleshooting/EM%20Troubleshooting.pdf
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#features

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#9 10 days ago

I checked continuity through the whole highlighted section of the schematic, and it seems good. I tried jumpering the various components starting at the Tilt Relay>Ball Index Relax>Extra Ball Relay>10Pt/100Pt/1000Pt Relays>Bonus Unit Pin 2, and there didn't seem to be any effect.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Theres not a chance of power failure to that area of the game only, is there? With continuity but no life, I'm a little stumped!

Cheers
Alex

#10 10 days ago

Check the M/B sw. D on the Outhole relay for cleanliness and solid contact. Same for sw. B on the Ball Index.

#11 10 days ago
Quoted from currieddog:

Check the M/B sw. D on the Outhole relay for cleanliness and solid contact. Same for sw. B on the Ball Index.

Hello currieddog,

Always a pleasure to hear from you. You'll make an EM Repairman out of me yet!

I'll give the switches a good cleaning and give you a report.

My greetings
Alex

#12 9 days ago
Quoted from currieddog:

Check the M/B sw. D on the Outhole relay for cleanliness and solid contact. Same for sw. B on the Ball Index.

Currieddog,

My greatest thanks, it seems that a cleaning of the contacts has woken the machine back up a little!

The Ball Index Relay now fires when CERTAIN targets are hit, it seems the ones at the top, mostly, and the outholes, etc-it also seems to want to have the targets that trigger it hit exactly two times before it actuates. I think that seems normalish? Does that sound correct in function? I feel like during actual gameplay such a ball that hit none of the targets that trigger the function of the Index Relay would be nearly impossible in reality, so I assume its back on its feet!

The game now plays as a 1 player game semi-reliably! We're 75% of the way there. The kicker is that we still don't have any reliability in multiplayer mode! This seems to be down to the player unit stepper not moving reliably. It moves from 1 to 2, and then becomes stuck at 2, in 2, 3, and 4 player modes. I have tested its function and it doesn't seem to move so freely.

I have heard that it is wrong to lubricate stepper units, so I have avoided doing such a thing to it; but, is an oil required?

I have heard many people suggest removing it for a cleaning; however, I am concerned about desoldering so many connections and then reconnecting them correctly. Any advice here?

Cheers
Alex

#13 9 days ago
Quoted from Galacnor:

seems to want to have the targets that trigger it hit exactly two times before it actuates. I think that seems normalish?

It should trigger the first time. Have you cleaned all the target switches? Do they always score points?

Quoted from Galacnor:

I have tested its function and it doesn't seem to move so freely.

I think it definitely needs cleaning. I've never had to remove it to clean. Read more here: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index2.htm#steps

#14 9 days ago

It looks like from your video that both the coin unit and the player units are gummed up.
I don’t use lubricant in reassembly of parts to avoid gumming in the future. Some wiper disc assembly’s sometimes Teflon gel lube is used after cleaning.

#15 8 days ago
Quoted from currieddog:

It should trigger the first time. Have you cleaned all the target switches? Do they always score points?

I think it definitely needs cleaning. I've never had to remove it to clean. Read more here: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index2.htm#steps

Hello again Currieddog,

No, I have not cleaned all the target switches yet. They score points very reliably, however.

I've begun taking apart and cleaning the mechanism.

Quoted from pinballdaveh:

It looks like from your video that both the coin unit and the player units are gummed up.
I don’t use lubricant in reassembly of parts to avoid gumming in the future. Some wiper disc assembly’s sometimes Teflon gel lube is used after cleaning.

Your advice was correct on the Player Unit, although it seems to have been a bad spring, not old grease. I've replaced the spring with a rubber band until a replacement arrives!

We are getting very close now, we have the machine running reliably and cycling between players! The last major hurdle is getting the machine to begin a multiplayer game correctly, I will let everyone know of my progress with the Coin Unit

Thanks Everyone,

Alex

#16 6 days ago

Update:

We are now 90% there.

With some adjustment to the mainspring tension, the Coin Unit now steps up reliably! Its getting it to reset to 1 that is still giving us a difficult time!

I have not lubed it yet, once I've cleaned and lubed it, I will report my findings.

Cheers
Alex

#17 5 days ago

Update:

We are now 99% there.

The machine is now running correctly, a spring in the Player Unit, and a spring in the Coin Unit both have gone soft over the years and will require replacements. I will send photographs of the areas the springs came from, hopefully someone knows of some replacements somewhere!

Cheers
Alex

#18 2 days ago

Here are are two springs that were damaged/worn out, replaced with rubber bands.

Does anyone have a source for these springs?

Cheers
Alex

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#19 2 days ago

In your 2nd pic of the coin unit. The white pin on the gear should be below the blade switch not above. Remove 1 of switch screws, turn switch out of the way, push plunger on reset coil, return switch to correct position, reinstall screw and tighten.

#20 2 days ago

Pinball Resource sells the spring kit you need for those Williams steppers. I have a Little Chief, it’s a fun game

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