(Topic ID: 84974)

metallica premium snake problem

By dmj1977

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 29 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by freezie
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


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#1 5 years ago

i'm having some weirdness with the snake on my metallica. The main issue is that sometimes when the ball is in the snakes mouth the lower jaw sort of shudders (like the mechanism that pulls the lower jaw down stutters) before the ball is ejected. This is also happening when the game starts and at other times. I've uploaded a video as it is hard to describe see here [


Looking under the playfield it seems like the latch that holds the jaw down (and then releases it) isn't getting pulled out of the way properly when the coil that pulls the jaw down fires. But i'm not really sure how that part should be working so hopefully someone else does...

Any ideas how i could resolve?


Post edited by dmj1977: more tinkering

#2 5 years ago

Hmm I would go into switch test and look for the keep it simple stupid rule. Kiss first.

Open your switch test, then while under your playfield make the snakes (Jaw) move forward and back ( As if it would do when hit by a ball) and see if it triggers the switch (On and Off) If not, then adjust.

Then move the Jaw to open and then close and make sure the switch opens and closes again.
(adjust if need be.

Also you will see there is a screw with a nut tightened to the coil housing frame, make sure that when the snakes mouth is open that there is only approx 1mm or just under of a lip holding it open, so the coil can easily pull the latch in ( otherwise you may need to adjust the screw also)

Hope this helps

#3 5 years ago

thanks Squizz - just edited my post to try to make it clearer and added a video. Will try what you suggest now .Thanks!

#4 5 years ago

Looks to be just adjustments mate.

#5 5 years ago

so two follow up questions if you don't mind mate. Which of the screws is the adjustment screw? (helpfully marked A and B using my advance image editing skills) ;-p

Is the circled overlap the lip you are talking about that should be about 1mm overlap?

Thanks again!

#6 5 years ago

Adjust B screw, loosen the one closest to the bracket and use the 2 nuts that are locked together to move in I think from memory, Just use your fingers to turn clockwise or counter clockwise.

Where your showing the circled lip overhang, correct - make that so it shows only about 1mm.

If you go to shallow, the snake will play up also.
test each time while machine is on and playfield is up.
Only takes a minute or 5 at tops..

#7 5 years ago

thanks Squizz. I did some more adjusting (just loosening the whole lot and repositioning it) and I got it to the point where the jaw mechanism was working OK but then the ball was bouncing out a bit too often and/or not going in as easily. Sort of fixed one problem to create another

I'll try messing with "screw B" tomorrow night. Thanks a lot for all your help!

p.s. i saw someone mention in another thread (http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/metallica-premle-snake-question/page/2) there is a screw which raises and lowers the snake jaw - have you by any chance seen a screw that looks to do that? (a lot of other people seem to be using washers to lower the whole thing and make it a bit easier to hit)

Post edited by dmj1977: added link

#8 5 years ago

No adjustment screw to raise or lower the snake other than washers.

I used 6 slingshot plastic washers, seemed the right size for me. (close to 1mm thick)
lowered the snake to how I liked it.

P.s Like to use the plastic slingshot washers because there isn't a way they can short anything electrical.

#9 5 years ago

thanks mate - seemed to good to be true

#10 5 years ago

Hahaha you will be fine.
That's pinball for ya

P.s Mine is sitting approx where I have the blue lines edited.207644-i.jpg

#11 5 years ago

wow OK - thats a fair bit of adjusting to do - thanks for that.
p.s. do you know if you can buy slingshot plastic washers anywhere online in australia?

#12 5 years ago

You can get them from here.


Otherwise go to Bunnings with your screw and get washers to fit, You just have to make up 1mm in height.

Bunnings might have plastic washers also?

#13 5 years ago

thanks yet again mate

#14 5 years ago

Try using a small rubber as a spacer.

#15 5 years ago

np's - Have you got it working yet?

#16 5 years ago

well the plastic washers are on their way but i reckon i can make something suitable using a stanley knife, a hole punch and a plastic container that I'm happy to sacrifice.
I think the snake is working properly other than that so gonna put something together tonight and see how she goes

Having said that i reckon i'll also try to tweak the latch a bit so that the overlap is smaller as well...

(stupid work getting in the way of my pinball habit)

#17 5 years ago

Hahaha Good to hear that you've got it sorted out.

I always replace those ugly metal Slingshot washers that stern supplies with those plastic one.
Looks so much cleaner in clear.

#18 5 years ago

OK, so i got the jaw working perfectly - tweaked the adjustment screw - worked a charm.
I put some (handmade) plastic spacers under the snake to get it a bit lower and the ball is going into the jaw no problem. So far so good...

but something i did messed up the way the ball exists the snake. I've spent 3 or 4 hours tweaking it but i just cant get the ball to feed to the middle of the left flipper anymore. At the moment its hitting the very tip of the left flipper (it seems in the last few games to have worked its way down from the bottom quarter of the left flipper to the tip of it). Still playable but I'd really like to get it a bit higher on the left flipper.

Things i've tried
- adjusting the screws that hold the lower jaw on the pf
- adjusting the screws that hold the coil and latch mech on the pf
- putting some padding on the bottom of the coil that ejects the ball from the snake (to try to soften the shot)
- moving the target next to the snake (near the bottom of the ramp) to make sure the ball isn't hitting it
- levelling the pf perfectly

It seems like the tricky part is that you can independently change the orientation of the two parts of the snake that screw into the pf and you need to get the combination just right.

Anyone got any experience with getting the ball to eject on the correct trajectory to the left flipper?

#19 5 years ago

Are you sure that you have not adjusted the coil strengths in adjustments?
Seem's a little weird, as you can only move the snake mech maybe about a mm or 2 at tops while t he screws are loose.
I guess you tried that? loosen all screws and try twisting the eject lip towards the middle of your left flipper?
That's all I can think of - Sorry

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from Squizz:

loosen all screws and try twisting the eject lip towards the middle of your left flipper?

This is your solution. Before I did this, the snake spit the ball to the tip of the left flipper.
Loosen all snake screws and twist the entire assembly to one side. Tighten one screw, test, wash, rinse and repeat until you find the sweet spot. It's trial and error. Good luck.

#21 5 years ago

yeah no changes to coil strength. However, i found out that there have been two screws missing from the mech the whole time (you can actually see which ones in the pic above - to the left of my beautifully drawn red circle). Because my machine came this way (i bought an ex-demo model) i just didn't work it out for a while

But i emailed the distributor (cos i got suspicious when I noticed there were marking on the screw holes suggesting there had been screws in there), they were apologetic and are sending the right screws (they have been great, but they replaced a switch before sending it to me and someone forgot to put the last two screws back in).

Sooo, it seems like i probably got it out of line when i was adjusting to fix the other problem and haven't managed to get it back perfect without the screws at the back...

At the moment, i can kind of adjust the lower jaw angle and the eject mech angle separately - i guess this may go away when i get the missing screws in which will probably simplify the process a lot. Anyways, hopefully the screws will arrive tomorrow - I'll post back the results once i get time to mess with it some more so we can all get some closure

Thanks for your help guys

1 week later
#22 5 years ago

I had this same issue (the one shown in the video). Turned screw "B" in the picture. You can adjust it by turning the 2 nuts that are furthest away from the mechanism (i.e. not the nut that the arrow points to in the picture, but the two that are held together further down the screw). I removed the hammer board to get easier access. Mine came just like dmj1977's - there was way too much overlap on the lip. Adjusted it like Squizz shows in the picture (i.e. about 1 mm away, up to the blue line). Works way better now. Thanks to all for this helpful post.

1 month later
#23 5 years ago

hey All - resurrecting this post in case what I've worked out can help someone else. Long story shortish - I've tried every combination of all the possible solutions to the snake problem on Metallica (washers underneath, shifting the angle of the whole mechanism, soft material under the coil etc.). Eventually the local Stern tech (great bloke - Hi John! if you read pinside) came out to take a look and decided to try replacing the main bracket(?) mechanism(?) whatever you call it, the main part, inside the snake.

This has largely fixed all my problems. The replacement part is inside the machine now, so i can't post comparison shots, but as you can (hopefully) see in this image of old part - it was built in a way that it isn't "square" - like it was welded together on a bit of a funny angle. It seems that is the cause of all the problem I've had as installing the new part has made a huge difference. If you look where I've drawn the arrows, the two pieces of metal are not parallel (which they should be).

Anyway, if anyone else is having ongoing problems with the snake - might be worth checking how this part looks on your machine... happy to provide more detail or other photos if anyone wants/needs


#24 5 years ago

There is a local Stern tech in Austrailia? Glad he was able to help you out. Did he let you keep the old bracket? Maybe you can bend that one to proper shape and have a spare...

How long did the tech take to come up with a fix? Did he have to order parts and come back? Glad he fixed you up! Just curious how this works. Seems like it would cost a fortune to have a house call.

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from Rickwh:

There is a local Stern tech in Austrailia?

yes and no, AMD (who i bought the machine from) have a guy does all their repairs around SE QLD (at least thats my understanding)

Quoted from Rickwh:

Maybe you can bend that one to proper shape and have a spare...

yeah i have it - not sure if i could bend it properly and/or without breaking it, but i doubt the new one will develop the same problem. I think the part came the wrong way from the factory...

Quoted from Rickwh:

How long did the tech take to come up with a fix?

took a couple of hours - very hard to diagnose

Quoted from Rickwh:

Did he have to order parts and come back?

AMD ordered the part from stern, and yeah he had to come back

Quoted from Rickwh:

Just curious how this works. Seems like it would cost a fortune to have a house call

covered by AMD under warranty - I'm *very* impressed by Michael and the team at AMD - they handled it really well (i mean obviously i would have preferred not to have wasted all that time trying to diagnose and fix the fault, but they couldn't have been more helpful)

#26 5 years ago

Sounds like they have great customer service! Thanks for answering all my questions!

9 months later
#27 4 years ago

Hmmm, I've had my Met monster for 18 months and I just realized the jaw never worked like it should. I found the effect quite "poor", for sure, the latch was soo poorly adjusted that it didn't work so the jaw could never close but I only understood this today while looking closer at the mechanics, then landed here.
Just the "open" coil made it jerk a little... haha... yet another thing that was not checked at the factory. The screw was not loose, was mis-adjusted from the beginning, and not just a little. Now it works fine.

10 months later
#28 3 years ago

We purchased a new Met Prem in Dec and were finally able to unbox / setup this past weekend.

During diagnostic testing the snake jaw fails to open and stutters the same as in the video found in this thread however it seems to be fine when playing the game (opens, closes, holds / ejects balls etc>.

This is our 1st Stern & unsure if there's an issue with the snake or the diagnostic testing utility? I'm not sure if sometimes the snake may fail during testing but operate fine during / after game play.

EDIT: No problem with the snake - with interlock in closed position it is fine. Great thread though for those wanting to make adjustments to their snake!

1 month later
#29 3 years ago

i have the same issue as OP , im going to have a look at that bracket when i get the chance .

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