(Topic ID: 97004)

Need Help! - Gottlieb Four Seasons - Game changes player on its own

By dtown

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by dtown
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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#1 5 years ago

My father has a Gottlieb Four Seasons four player. During game play when the group of top hole coils fire sometimes the decline coil on the player unit will also fire. This will then make the game change from player 1 to player 4 and scores will appear there. For example, I can manually put the ball in the top holes over and over again and watch the reverse coil on the player unit in the back box jiggle and jiggle until it finally pulls hard enough to change players.

There's not much to the player unit and I've cleaned the contacts and lightly lubed them with PBR grease. One thing though. The player unit has some very thin wires with black jackets that seem to be jumpers from one contact to another. Some of them are not connected. What are these for?

This issue seems to be some type of bleed over of signal from the top playfield hole kickers and the player unit that causes that coil to fire as well. I've traced wires and couldn't find anything touching. I've also cleaned and checked for misadjustment of the player switches, score switches and score motor switches. At this point I'm at a loss and need a new direction to look. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

#2 5 years ago

Do you have the schematic? The schematic will indicate what feeds that stepper coil, and then it's just a matter of checking the switches on that path. One possibility is that the vibration from the kickout holes firing is triggering a switch that is gapped too closely.

The black, cloth-covered, copper-braided wires are for connecting the spring-loaded wiper contacts together. If they're not connected, then when the pair of wiper contacts are on pairs of rivets on the stationary disc the signal isn't bridged, so the connection remains open (i.e. it's an open in the circuit). This will result in some feature not working. Should not result in firing a stepper coil though.

#3 5 years ago

No schematic. Which switch would tell the player unit to declinate? It's always advancing until game over for one or all players. Vibration is a good possibility because it doesn't do it all the time. Mostly when there's a lot of action at the top of the playfield with the ball constantly going into one of these kick out holes.

#4 5 years ago

Unfortunately, I don't have the schematic for it either, else I could be more specific.

The can be ordered from pbresource.com for about $16. Well worth having for a game.

#5 5 years ago

Wouldn't it be something universal across all Gottlieb's from this era that would tell the player unit to reset? Maybe a too closely gapped switch on the score motor? Isn't that what dictates to the steppers to perform one function or another? And it's running almost all the time so there's a lot of vibration there.

#6 5 years ago

Possibly. I just don't have another 4-player Gottlieb schematic close enough to '68 to go by (and Gottlieb was going through different design changes during that period).

#7 5 years ago

DirtFlpper has a few valid points here. The schematics are an invaluable source of information for trouble shooting a problem such as yours. I would also agree that vibration is actuating a switch, probably on the player stepper unit, however, with a schematic you can be more precise as to which switch / switches are in the circuit to cause the problem, thus eliminating a lot of trial and error or guess work. The point he said also rings true. It seems for a while, every other game or so, Gottlieb was changing the rules so you had to learn how to cheat all over again.

#8 5 years ago

I see what you guys mean as I'm currently working on a 1972 King Rock whose player unit has a complicated grouping of stacks and nylon cog wheels. The one in Four Seasons is much simpler as everything is done through the riveted contact points. The inside has, I believe, just two switches. I did spend a lot of time tracing the striped wire (not the black power one) from this player unit coil and noticed that it had been pulled away from the group at certain points as if someone had looked for this problem before. I'll go over it again tomorrow when I visit my dad's and gap any chained switches a little farther if they seem too close. I'll also go over the player unit again. I may get a schematic if I can't solve this but have heard that EM schematics can be a b!tch to read even if you have some experience with SS ones which I do.

I'm also trying to get him to stop dropping money into this game though. He paid $350.00 for it. It's filthy and I got three games in front of it before I'd even think of doing the full monty on it. Someone robbed its knocker assembly so he wants a new one. The rubber is decent but he wants new stuff even though I told him that it would be dirty in no time unless the playfield was cleaned top to bottom. Sheesh. It's my dad. Whataya gonna do?

P.S. I really don't like the game either...but don't tell him that.

#9 5 years ago

What ever he says - - - just like it always was!

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from dtown:

I did spend a lot of time tracing the striped wire

Your time is worth more than the $16 for a schematic.

#11 5 years ago

Ok. Here's what I found today. I was down at my dad's house and spent many hours checking and cleaning relays. I had four wires come loose while pull testing them. When it was getting close to the end of the day for me and he needed my help with changing a crankcase seal on a lawn mower engine (it's a side business for him) I found a temporary solution until I return in two weeks. I had re soldered a broken wire on the reset bank and had it in the "service" position. Meaning it was flipped open. I started a game and it ran without issue. Meaning the upper hole coils would fire and this would not bleed over to the player unit's declination coil. When I placed the reset bank back in the "operation" position the issue returned. There must be an misadjusted switch or something on this bank that gravity is affecting it working properly while in the "operation" position. Like I said it's gonna be two weeks till I can look at again but, at least, I've narrowed it down to one area. I'll let you know what I come up with then.

I would like to take this opportunity till give a special thanks to Robert Mauger, the proprietor of the Village Acade in St. Peter's Village, PA. Mr. Mauger runs an exclusive arcade dedicated to EM pinball and early gun games. He's about 15 minutes from my dads and was able to hook me up with some Gottlieb relay switches to replace ones that had broken lugs during my pull tests. I don't think he's on Pinside but I wanted to give thanks anyway. Also, thanks to all that responded. If you have any advice regarding where to look specifically on the reset bank, don't hesitate to share.


#12 5 years ago

Check the position of the reset bar when the relay bank is in the service position as compared to when it's in the normal position. When in the normal position the reset bar may be pushing up into the bottom of some switches, or the travel distance of the bar disrupted somehow (e.g., check the stop screws).

2 weeks later
#13 5 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

Check the position of the reset bar when the relay bank is in the service position as compared to when it's in the normal position. When in the normal position the reset bar may be pushing up into the bottom of some switches, or the travel distance of the bar disrupted somehow (e.g., check the stop screws).

Yup. While in the "operation" position the bar was not letting the lone switch running to the reset bank coil stay closed. Adjusting the bar stop brackets fixed that. A 30 second fix took about ten hours to find. Jeez! Thanks all for your help.

#14 5 years ago

Excellent! Enjoy the game.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

Excellent! Enjoy the game.

My father can now enjoy the game without bothering me about any issues. I just put a new knocker in it that someone had robbed the original. The funny thing is it's just about pointless. You can't hear it because the loud as hell bells are ringing when it would announce a replay. But, hey, daddy paid me the 50 bucks for it and he's happy. Now, he wants me to install a new rubber ring kit in it. I told him "let me take home the playfield for two weeks so I can clean it from top to bottom. I will NOT install new WHITE rubber on a dirty playfield. You'll be able to see your face in the playfield when I'm done with it." He told me he'll think about it. You know your dad will always be your dad but I'm putting my foot down on this one.

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