Need a Parts Source for Bally 1979 Tahiti Bingo Pinball Machine


By ccombs4569

9 months ago


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  • Latest reply 9 months ago by bingopodcast
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#1 9 months ago

Hello everyone, I just bought my first ever pinball machines and am working on getting the first one working (1979 Tahiti). The problem is I have identified a few parts that need replacing and can't seem to find the parts anywhere.

One part I cannot find is the lifter start relay (part# as-2930-38). The plate won't stay stuck to the magnet and it causes all of the balls in trough to be lifted into ball runway. Would this work?: Link to a coil on the Sears website

If that link doesn't work because I am new here, it's Item # SPM9988281620 Model # 20344 on the sears website.

Is there a good source for parts on these old EM machines? I also have a soccer kickoff I will no doubt need parts for.

Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance.

#2 9 months ago

Hi there! Sounds like you may have a different issue than you might expect, perhaps.

Have you ruled out the shooter lane switch as being an issue?

If the lane switch doesn't change state with a ball on it, then the lifter start relay will not disengage.

There are multiple things that could cause all the balls to lift, and I don't think I've ever seen the lifter start relay be the problem.

Here's some basic info on what should happen when you start a game:

1) All balls drop into trough
2) Trough switches (especially trough switch #8) tell the game to lift the first ball to the playfield.
3) Ball #1 is lifted, and depresses the shooter lane switch
4) Timer unit increments to position 1 (through lifter cam switches)
5) Lifter motor returns to home position, ready to lift another ball (through the lifter cam switches).

When the lifter start relay is engaged, the game cannot lift another ball if there is a ball on the shooter lane switch.

If the lifter start relay stays on, the issue is either with a magnetized plate, or with the ball gate switch. This is a normally closed switch which sits under the ball gate cover plate. Removing this allows you to see (with some difficulty) the switch. If this switch is fouled, then the lifter start will remain engaged. If this happens, then if the shooter lane switch is fouled or otherwise not changing state properly, the game will continue to lift.

Especially if the timer is not incrementing.

Bingos have a fairly sophisticated failthrough compensation system in case one of these elements fails. When multiple elements fail, interesting things can happen.

Check those things out before replacing the relay.

One last thing: on the lifter start relay, one of the switches physically closest to the coil will hold power to the relay. If that switch is stuck closed or otherwise broken, the lifter start relay would stay engaged.

If it doesn't engage at all, then the lifter would not work as you described, unless you had other issues.

My #1 suspect with lifter problems is the shooter lane switch. #2 is the gate switch #3 are the lifter cam switches.

But make sure the timer is incrementing. If not, you've got other problems.

You can check this without leaving the lifter powered. Start the game, let it lift one ball, start to lift #2 and shut the game off. Go to the back and check to see if the timer is out of 'home' position.

-Nick

#3 9 months ago

P.S. I am not sure if the coil linked is the correct one without checking docs, but it looks to be the right size and designation from my foggy/fuzzy memory.

You can order from any pinball parts supplier, generally speaking.

As there is some uncertainty about the Johnson Act with regard to bingo pinball, it is best not to disclose the name of the game when ordering parts. This particular coil was used in all kinds of pinball machines from about 1952(ish) to 1980 (at least).

And welcome to the world of bingo pinball!

If you have not already, please check out Phil H's website at http://bingo.cdyn.com - there is a digital copy of the Tahiti manual and schematic available there should you need it, and a wealth of information on care and feeding of your new bingo pinball machine!

#4 9 months ago

Hello bingopodcast and thank you for the reply. The reason I thought it was that relay is because when the first ball enters the shooter lane, I can hear the relay making a buzzing noise. When I looked at it while holding down the lane switch, I can see the plate tries to stick to the magnet, but it doesn't make it all the way. Once I push on the plate, it sticks and then only 1 ball will come up. Soon after it will have issues again and all the balls will come up. I will check the items you suggested later tonight and let you know.

I did read quite a bit on the bingo.cdyn.com site and that is where I found the documents for Tahiti. It really is the only reason I have gotten the machine to this point to be honest. I have zero background in electronics, reading schematics, and pinball machines. After reading the info there I was able to sloth my way through troubleshooting a tilt issue.

Another possibly related question: are the 2 wheels (pulse cams?) on the cabinet door supposed to never stop turning?

#5 9 months ago

Ah! OK, that makes sense. The coil may just not have enough 'pull' to move the switches into the appropriate position and hold them there. Replacing the coil may not work for you because the switches themselves may be out of alignment. I would try adjusting those lifter start switches (and cleaning them) so that they are all closer to the coil. Be very gentle adjusting those switches.

My thought is that the long switches (which you generally don't want to adjust) may have gotten out of adjustment and are pulling the relay ladder away from the coil with more force than the coil can overcome.

Does that make sense?

To your second question: I have never owned a Tahiti and from your description it sounds like they changed the mixer unit to be a bit simpler in this game. Those units probably operate like those in later six card games and operate constantly until the fourth or fifth ball is shot, then will stop.

If you shoot a pic or two and attach to the thread, I'll be able to tell for sure.

#6 9 months ago

Ok, so I tried a few things. In the end, what fixed it was cleaning the contacts on the coil switches and adjusting it as you stated. Ran 30 or so balls through and it never failed. Now, it seems I discovered a bigger issue after reading your start game sequence. The shutter motor does not activate. I rotate the cams for the panel shutter and measured the voltage on the motor lugs. I am getting around 7 volts at 2 points in the cam rotation(bottom and top). At no point does the motor even try to run. If the motor is bad, it looks like a used one is over $100. Before I go any further, what is the most expensive couple of items I need to check so I don't go down a $1000+ rabbit hole? Thanks for your help.

#7 9 months ago

Is the shutter open or closed? It opens when the first coin is dropped and closes when the game tilts or the first ball passes the gate.

The motor should spin freely in one direction only.

Check to see if it operates like that.

It is rare that a shutter motor would be dead.

Expensive parts:

Motors are generally expensive. Relatively anyway.

The mystic lines units are expensive.

Certain buttons are expensive.

Most everything else is relatively inexpensive.

The expensive items rarely fail.

#8 9 months ago

Oh, and the backglass is probably the most expensive piece.

Motors are around, mostly. Some are harder to find than others. Most motors are between 60-100.

You've confirmed (directly) that the lifter motor is working, and indirectly that the portioning motors are working, so that really leaves the shutter motor and the mystic lines motors.

The easiest way to test those is to get the game to register balls. The shutter motor /actually/ closes when the lifter cam switches are actuated on the first ball passing the gate.

If the game doesn't see that switch, then the timer will not step, and the shutter will not close.

You can probably see that most of the game's startup sequence is tied to the trough switches and the lifter cam switches. Once the game is started and accepting more coins, the shutter motor switches (in open position) handle direction to portioning circuits (instead of restart circuits).

The shutter closing puts the game into a different state, where it can hold and allow scoring, but only if certain other switches are pressed properly by the mechanical portions of the game.

It sounds like you're almost to the point that you can play a game. Once that happens, then troubleshooting scoring and features, and you're done.

Congratulations on finding the lifter start problem.

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