(Topic ID: 260243)

Low Kicker Power

By redrock

1 year ago


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  • 40 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by redrock
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 1 year ago

    My 1976 Gottlieb King Pin is almost done! However the ball return kicker frequently doesn't make it to the shooting lane. I replace the coil and the big spring (coil return); the small spring wasn't available. Also, I noticed that the four flippers -- all rebuilt -- don't have enough power. The only thing that I can think of is try the higher tap of the 25V transformer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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    #2 1 year ago

    I suggest using jumpers to test your ball kicker directly from the transformer / common. You may have a poor connection somewhere in the circuit.

    #3 1 year ago
    Quoted from redrock:

    he four flippers -- all rebuilt -- don't have enough power.

    Check the End-Of-Stroke switches on the flippers.

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from HowardR:

    Check the End-Of-Stroke switches on the flippers.

    Also, clean the plungers and sleeves.

    #6 1 year ago

    I had a similar thing on top card. I cleaned and lubricated the mechanism on the outhole and cleaned and adjusted the score motor switch to make sure there was the maximum duration of a “throw” for the ejector. If you think you have low voltage, I’d check stuff like the slam switches and tilt relay, game over, anything that playfield power goes through.

    Dave

    #7 1 year ago

    Here are switches leading into O (Ball Return relay) to check for cleanliness and solid contact.

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    #8 1 year ago

    The ball return kicker problem is fairly common on Gottlieb games. It's usually caused by that oblong hole. It allows the ball to move too much to the right as it launches to the trough. This makes the kicker hit at the wrong angle.

    I take a small screw and screw it sideways into the edge of that hole on the right side. It doesn't need to stick out much. Just enough to keep the ball from rolling all the way to the right as it kicks. I top off the screw head with some liquid electrical tape to keep it from scratching the ball. A nylon screw would be even better.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from edednedy:

    I take a small screw and screw it sideways into the edge of that hole on the right side.

    Use a brass or nylon (better) screw so the ball doesn't get scratched by a steel screw, which would wear the valuable playfield.

    #10 1 year ago

    As others have stated, you could have a purely mechanical issue. I futzed with mine (Sky Jump, but I assume a similar mech) and what ended working was disassembling and cleaning everything in the fork mechanism that ejects the ball. No issues since!

    #11 1 year ago

    Thanks for all the suggestions. Then I power the coil direct from the transformer, I get solid kick lasting about 1/2 second, 10 out of 10. But during normal play, the coil activates about 1 sec. as the motor turns and the problem arises. I cleaned the sequence switches through the motor. Would an amp meter show a loss of current to the coil through the switches. I might remove the hot wire from the coil and jumper from power through the switches to see any power loss. I'm going to lub the mech, again too. Finally, The Pinball Resource -- and others -- didn't have the A-9758 spring; any suggestions?

    I also adjusted the flipper's break/make switches so they operates at the very end of the cycle. A close look shows the left side (2 flippers) strong but the right side not so. Could the gaps be wrong? Would the spring tension have something to do with it?

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from redrock:

    Would the spring tension have something to do with it?

    It could, you can unwind the clock spring one turn to the next screw and see if it makes a difference. You want the spring strong enough to return the flipper snappily, but not so strong that it robs power.

    When you rebuilt the flippers did you adjust the flipper bats so there is a little up and down player throughout the entire stroke of the flipper? If not and it's binding that robs a lot of the power stroke.

    #13 1 year ago

    Thanks, Slochar, in the next few days I'm going try your suggestions.

    #14 1 year ago

    Working on the ball return kicker. Did the following:
    * The new coil was lose on the metal frame so I added a spacer so there was no play.
    * Cleaned the contracts from power to coil -- again.
    * Ground the screw head that is on the ramp closest to the kicker.
    * Lubed the scissor mech.
    * Removed the two top screws of the scissor mech and pivoted the mech from the third screw so it is centered.

    But it doesn't kick all the time. Since it kicks most of the time with a direct power source, could the motor on for a cycle have something to do with the problem? And does anybody know of a source for the A-9758 spring?

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from edednedy:

    The ball return kicker problem is fairly common on Gottlieb games. It's usually caused by that oblong hole. It allows the ball to move too much to the right as it launches to the trough. This makes the kicker hit at the wrong angle.
    I take a small screw and screw it sideways into the edge of that hole on the right side. It doesn't need to stick out much. Just enough to keep the ball from rolling all the way to the right as it kicks. I top off the screw head with some liquid electrical tape to keep it from scratching the ball. A nylon screw would be even better.

    this is exactly right. It is the same problem I have with my king pin as well. If you remove the apron and watch the ball you will see the issue with the elongated hole. the sets screw is a good fix.

    #16 1 year ago

    I tried a thin piece of cardboard on the right side; little help. But the set screw is a good idea and I will try it. Thanks

    #17 1 year ago

    tscottn, Is this the correct position of the screw?

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    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from redrock:

    tscottn, Is this the correct position of the screw?[quoted image]

    I had to put my screw to the front of the hole. Because the hole was elongated to far forward of the kickout. If you let the ball drop in the hole with natural force like it was coming down the playfeild you will see what I mean. put the ball in and make sure it fits correctly. you dont want it too tight or too lose. Also like mentioned by edednedy, make sure you put something like electrical tape on the head as not to damage the ball. I actually use a rubber grommet. Works perfectly for me.

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    #19 1 year ago

    Redrock, that looks pretty close to where mine are. You may have to tweak it in and out a little to get it where you like it. I don't think it made much difference, just so the ball can't roll too far to the right.

    If you don't have a nylon screw, this is what I put on top of the screw to protect it from scratching

    amazon.com link »

    It's like Frank's Red Hot Sauce: "I put that sh*t on everything"

    #20 1 year ago

    The screw didn't help much, with adjustments too.

    I noticed that the mech is not centered; I was thinking that I might fill the three holes and re-position it. I also noticed that the rivet has play; maybe I should see if I can tighten it up a little (dirtflipper's comment). Finally, the ball bounces or makes an arc before it hits the rank; this must reduce energy and I would say is my problem (again, dirtflipper . Some other ideas from dirtflipper include finding a round plastic ring to eliminate the oblong hole and finding a new spring -- or remove some links.

    But really, I need to replace the whole mech (so everything is tight with correct spring); are they still available?

    If pinside allowed video it would show the ball bouncing.

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    #21 1 year ago

    Fixed!!! I readjusted the screw: parallel and centered to the ramp and the screw head almost touching the ball. I also waxed the ramp. You guys are great with so much experience. But I'm getting there; thanks for all the help. On to the flippers.

    But wait...there's more! The kicker is so fast that it reaches the Trough Switch (ball count) before the motor does one cycle and doesn't increment. If I delay the ball before the switch then it is OK. Is there a timing issue? The schematic shows once the Ball Return Switch is closed, power is available directly to the Ball Count coil.

    #22 1 year ago

    But wait...there's more! The kicker is so fast that it reaches the Trough Switch (ball count) before the motor does one cycle and doesn't increment. If I delay the ball before the switch then it is OK. Is there a timing issue? The schematic shows once the Ball Return Switch is closed, power is available directly to the Ball Count coil.

    #23 1 year ago

    Sorry Redrock, When I said it looked like the right spot, I was looking at tscottn's picture with the red circle. Glad to hear you found the correct location. As to the hitting the trough switch too fast, do you still have the apron removed?

    #24 1 year ago

    Switch 1C on the score motor gets the most wear. Either the contact points need burnishing or an adjustment is needed to increase the switch dwell time. Verify by jumping the switch temporarily and it should remain energized for 1.5 seconds when a ball is placed in the outhole. If that doesn't cause a solid kick, your problem is not with switch 1C.

    #25 1 year ago

    Yes, the apron is off and the 1C is good and the total time, using a stopwatch, is about one second, less than 1.5 seconds. (Is not less then 1.5 sec. better?) For the record see the attached two photos. I see the issues as a timing problem in that the switch position is the key. If the switch closes some time after the ball is in the hole, the motor will start before the kick and there will be enough delay to increment the ball count. This seems works except for the last ball because of the delay the ball doesn't kick until the motor is some point in its cycle and stays in the hole at the end of the game, not in the shooting lane to start the new game.

    So what I'm doing is making adjustments to the switch for 1) the gap, 2) the height if the tip, and 3) the angle of the end that hits the ball. This is where an oscilloscope would be great -- if I had one and knew how to use it!

    If I'm missing something let me know as I play with the switch.

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    #26 1 year ago

    That steel screw is going to scratch the ball and then the ball will wear out your playfield. Use brass or nylon.

    #27 1 year ago

    Put some heat shrink over the screw.

    #28 1 year ago

    I ordered this from Amazon: Gardner Bender 07315001126 LTB-400 Liquid Electrical Tape, Easy-on, Waterproof, Indoor/Outdoor Use, 4 Oz. Jar, Black, Bottle

    #29 1 year ago

    This is the best way of fixing it.
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    Remove the trowl put the brass switch in there and screw it back in works perfect.
    Raff

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from redrock:

    So what I'm doing is making adjustments to the switch for 1) the gap, 2) the height if the tip, and 3) the angle of the end that hits the ball. This is where an oscilloscope would be great -- if I had one and knew how to use it!
    If I'm missing something let me know as I play with the switch.[quoted image][quoted image]

    I'm not sure which switch you are referring to. Your pictures show the outhole switch. I don't think adjusting that is going to help you. There is probably a score motor switch that has to be closed when the ball closes the trough switch. Did you check to make sure every switch on motor 1C was gapped correctly. The 3rd switch would be the one I would look at closely. I don't have a schematic but I did find this.

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    #31 1 year ago

    The ball return kicker is my last problem -- hooray! (I got the liquid tape for the screw.) My issue is the switch in the outhole that activates the kicker.

    I'm confused with relationships of the kicker switch, motor switches that control the kicker, kicker itself, and motor cycle. The kicker has a lot of power (good?) and if it kicks before the cycle is done (too fast), it doesn't increment the ball count. But if I take my figure to slow it after the motor stops, the ball count increments.

    Furthermore, at the end of ball five the motor must not be running, because if it is running, it kicks the ball and the game ends with the ball in the shooter lane. The game will not re-start because there is no ball to kick and increment the ball count to one. If the game ends with the ball in the outhole, the start kicks the ball -- if slow enough -- to the shooting lane, incrementing the ball to one.

    I know I'm confused as I try to adjust the kicker switch gap while also the height of the bent blade that is activated by the ball.

    Hoping an expert can give me some insight.

    #32 1 year ago

    You're probably going to need to post a copy of your schematic, so we can see which specific switches you need to look at.

    #33 1 year ago

    Match Area Schemaric (resized).jpg In other words, the "O" replay stays active for the motor cycle and during the activation, the ball count cannot increment. Once the motor stops and the "O" relay stops, the ball count can be incremented.

    #34 1 year ago
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    #35 1 year ago

    The ball kicking out after ball 5 is most likely a miss alignment of your ball count unit. It happened to mine a few times.. Realigning the snowshoes to the contacts was my fix. Also cleaning the shoes and contacts well is important too. If the shoes are just a little bit off, this will happen.

    #36 1 year ago

    I'll work on ASAP. Do you think that the timing issue is also related to the ball count unit?

    #37 1 year ago

    You’ve got 2 different problems.

    Check out the ball count unit as pointed tscottn. It is involved in ending the game by going to the “6th” ball when the ball hits the outhole switch on ball 5. That timing is what’s going to kill the power to O and everything downstream. Check the state of the 6th position switch when the game is done.

    For the ball count not incrementing problem, I’d focus on the score motor switches 1C, 2B, and 4C. These may not be gapped properly, causing incorrect timing.

    The sequence is:

    1. Ball goes in the hole and closes the ball return switch
    2. The O relay energizes, starting the score motor
    3. The ball return fires through the 4C switch, near the end of the score motor rotation
    4. The score motor switch at 2B opens, causing the O relay to drop out.
    5. The ball passes over the trough switch, relying on the score motor being in the zero position, with 1C and 2B closed, and switches on S, A, E, normally closed.

    Hope this helps,

    Dave

    #38 1 year ago

    Thanks, rscottn and deAmpGuy, for the insight. I disassembled and reassembled the Ball Count Unit when I got the machine. It is very clean. Now, I sanded and cleaned the contracts and verify that the spring-loaded wipers are as centered as possible and checked continuity. I verified that the 6th position switch is closed from balls 0-5, and opens at ball 6. I put a buzzer on the "O" relay and it doesn't go off until the balls 1-4 passed the Trough switch, but on ball 5 it is on for a short time, but on long enough to kick the ball.

    The schematic shows that the power to the "O" relay is stopped at ball 6. But this I don't understand: the ball return relay kicks, then a short time later it goes off. (The kicker can't kick unless the "O" relay of off.) I have cleaned, gaped (correctly I have no idea) and stared at 1C (Open circuit to ball return and trough switches), 2B ("O" relay lockin), 4C (Actuates ball return and hole kickers). Assuming E and A and S are open (although the schematic shows normally closed), 2B is first and closed at 115-120 deg. (almost at the end), while 1C closed at 0-15 deg. at the start -- but if 1C closes the switches first then the ball return relay should not let the ball return from kicking).

    So, 4C (95-110 deg) is OK because the ball will not kick if "O" is off. As I said above, ball 5 is on for a short time and then everything shuts down. While the on time is much less on the 5th ball, it still is on long enough to kick the ball. Could the timing of 4C and 2B be an issue because they are so close? That's why #3 above seems it should be first, not last, so ball #5 does not fire. (If the gaps are that important how would I know the correct gap? Jumper wires don't seem to work in this situation.)

    I know I'm missing something and confusing myself but for the life of me I can't see it. But the game is almost done so I no option but to keep trying.

    #39 1 year ago

    I have to wonder if your O relay is sticking. I’ve been reading about “relay bias” on here and have seen it in YouTube tutorials. The idea is that the moving switch blades need to put tension on the relay to open it (help the spring). The coil had plenty of strength to close it but when it releases, you’re relying on the spring on the back and the blades themselves to get it open in a short time. Id look into that. I suppose you could have a magnetized armature. I have not run into that yet.

    I can take some pictures of the score motor switches on our king pin if necessary.

    Keep at it.

    Dave

    #40 1 year ago

    Success -- almost! The issue of the Ball Return kicker kicking too fast, and ball 5 firing the kicker at the end of the game, is not any great insight on my part but pouring over the schematic, especially Motor switches 2B, 1C, 4C, and relay "O." (The Ball Count Relay, again spending a lot of time, had no issues.)

    The gaps, yes the gaps. If pinball switches were like auto valves, I would just adjust using my feeler gauge. But alas, all I did was play around with the gaps -- starting on the right -- with the 2B, "O" relay lockin, remembering that it actuates at the end of the cycle (112 deg. - 120). Then 1C opens the circuits to the ball return and trough switches, when actuates at the start of the cycle (0 deg. - 17). And the "O" relay switch that seems to engage and disengage the relay (parallel to the ball return switch), and finally the 4C, (97 deg. - 120).

    Thanks to all, and Dave for making me focus on this timing issue, i.e., the hardest problem that I encounter. As I suggested before, an oscilloscope would be great on the motor.

    The "almost" part is that the kicker sometimes (1 in 8 times) will kick a 2nd or 3rd time and then the ball doesn't increment. But adjustment for this will be for another day.

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