(Topic ID: 256248)

Non Working Triple Action


By Md2020

4 months ago



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  • 35 posts
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  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Md2020
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#1 4 months ago

“Long time listener, first time caller”
Hi all, I’ve been lurking here for a while and finally decided to join and buy a pin. I (overspent, I now know) bought a non working 1973 Williams 1973 triple action for 350. It wouldn’t power on When you hit the power switch. I figured out that the machine will run. When switched on, you have to hit the start button and then the whole machine comes to life. Not really sure if that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Well, after running it for a minute, I freed up some PF scoring contacts that were touching causing the machine to endlessly score.
Shortly thereafter though, the machine now won’t start, but the lights will come on when you hit the left flipper button.

This is a lot of word vomit, I know. But my question for all you is where should I start with this machine? Since I spent 350 on it, the least I think I should do is get it running

This machine is nasty inside (I’ll try to post pics). I’ve been working on it best I can with a vacuum and compressed air.

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#2 4 months ago

I’ve been tracing out the wiring, and it looks like the ground wire has importance in this game. Looks like the dc side ground meets up with the ground coming from the wall ac plug, which is missing. I’m going to start by replacing the cord. I also found some DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY connectors. By some I mean all, so maybe I’ll clean those too.
I’m attaching photos to show overall condition, if you guys think I’m wasting my time, let me know. All the plastic is here and intact. Back glass is in pretty good shape, but I do see some separation about to happen with the white paint.

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#3 4 months ago

That game is in fine shape by my opinion.
I’ve recently brought one back from the dead, so I can probably help.
There are lots of good general EM pinball pages that will help you out with the basics.

http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm

First, rotate that credit wheel in the back, so you’ve got some credits. You’ll see a number through the window in the backbox. Odds are that your start button will work again. If not, then. It’s time to dig through the schematic. I know that one is on ipdb.org. So is the operating manual.

Don’t panic. That’s not an awful price for a machine with good cosmetics and all the pieces in place. It is a fun game too, very fast action and a high scorer. I’d love to have a backglass that looks as good as the one you got.

Good luck,
Dave

#4 4 months ago

Is that the one that was listed at $450 in Puyallup?

That vintage of machine was designed to use the left flipper button to turn on the machine. If credits are on the credit unit, then simply pushing the start button will light up the machine and start a game.

Playfield looks to be in excellent shape to me. This is a fun game.

The original backdoor key was a single bit Fort Lock # 288 as the machine was shipped from the factory.

#5 4 months ago

It looks better than two of my project games for the same $$$. You didn’t over pay. You just need to learn how to fix it. Welcome to the fun.

#6 4 months ago

Thanks you guys. Yes, this is the one from Puyallup. It’s definitely in need of a good cleaning. I wire brushed most of the harness connectors. Thanks for the tip on the credit indicator reel. It was stuck at 26 credits, so that switch was closed. I don’t think all the steppers are resetting to zero. Honestly I think all those mechanical units need to be pulled And cleaned. The replay unit looks pretty nasty, pics attached. Right now, all the machine is doing is the score motor runs infinitely, like something isn’t resetting. The ball count unit just keeps clicking and not moving. If I help it move, it doesn’t do anything
Where’s a good place to start?

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#7 4 months ago

Dont be tempted to begin dismantling things just yet. The steppers will likely free up just by you advancing and decrementing them by hand, at least enough to get you running.( if you do strip and clean, then buy some new spring kits from Pinball resource as they will really help) Do that and then see where you are. The machine needs to have key things happen before its start cycle is completed. Read up on the William's start sequence on Pinrepair and go though that, stage by stage.

#8 4 months ago

There are several good YouTube videos and web pages showing stepper unit cleaning and rebuilds. The key ones in that game are the ball count, spinner, and advance unit.

The game can’t start if it can’t count the ball numbers up and down. The advance unit needs to be able to get back to zero as well as the spinner unit. The score reels must also be clean enough to get back to zero. I went through all of this with our game.

The Williams steppers are not too bad. Usually they just need to be taken apart, cleaned with alcohol and/or simple green, and reassembled. There’s much debate over lubrication. I use the super lube stuff, on the contacts and metal to metal surfaces. If the arms that are activated by the solenoids are moving smoothly, sometimes you can get away with cleaning just the disc and checking the reset spring (for resetting steppers). The better job you do cleaning, the less likely you’ll have to return to that unit later.

There is a satisfaction in taking a dirty, gummed up, stepper that barely moves and getting it to click up and down (or reset if it’s that type) like a clock after you’ve cleaned it up

The other stuff that you might have to deal with is anybody that came before you. I’ve had steppers with the parts rotated so that the limit switches are on the wrong side of the stack, reset springs wound too tight, and makeshift springs.

Once you get this game going, you’ll know the basic steps for all of the Williams games of that era, and the same concepts for Gottlieb and Bally.

Dave

#9 4 months ago

Hey guys. Tonight, I "rebuilt" the ball count unit (took apart in situ, and cleaned the moving parts. Cleaned the fingers and wiper board). I think I need new springs though. I got the machine to run and count to 5 by stretching the spring out so it was able to pull the ratcheting arm back. It counted down from 5, then the spring flew off lol. I guess one thing down ????? to go. The credit unit needs the same treatment. And what I believe to be the match? unit. Someone butchered the coin box wires, would be nice to figure that out so I dont have to go behind the machine every time to give myself credits

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#10 4 months ago

I doubt it needs new springs unless they’re rusted or bent up. You do need to grease the contact plate. The rewind spring should be 3 turns. Sometimes you need to move where the spring is attached to the round gear by one stop one way or the other to make sure it has enough tension to return to zero but not so much tension that it can’t step up.

Congrats, you’re on your way

#11 4 months ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

I doubt it needs new springs unless they’re rusted or bent up. You do need to grease the contact plate. The rewind spring should be 3 turns. Sometimes you need to move where the spring is attached to the round gear by one stop one way or the other to make sure it has enough tension to return to zero but not so much tension that it can’t step up.
Congrats, you’re on your way

Thank you! What do you mean by Contact plate? The gear? The machine wouldn’t ratchet unless I had the spring pulled up significantly tighter, but I see what you’re saying. Once I get home from work tomorrow, I’ll give it a whirl. I think I did 4-5 turns on the return spring, otherwise it was slow to go back to place

#12 4 months ago

There is a zero switch on the credit unit. You’ll want to adjust it so the machine thinks it always has credits (never indicates zero). Read Clay’s guided www.pinrepair.com/em he describes how to put a game on free play.

#13 4 months ago
Quoted from Md2020:

Thank you! What do you mean by Contact plate? The gear? The machine wouldn’t ratchet unless I had the spring pulled up significantly tighter, but I see what you’re saying. Once I get home from work tomorrow, I’ll give it a whirl. I think I did 4-5 turns on the return spring, otherwise it was slow to go back to place

I’m talking about the fingers and copper traces on the left side. 4-5 turns is way too much tension. I’m surprised it can step at all.

This is the lubricant I use: https://www.super-lube.com/multi-purpose-synthetic-grease-with-syncolon-ptfe-21030

You can get it at the local hardware store, Lowe’s, etc.

The same stuff should be used on the metal to metal points on the right side - on the shaft, gear, etc. you don’t need much, it’s slippery stuff and you don’t want to attract dirt.

#14 4 months ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

I’m talking about the fingers and copper traces on the left side. 4-5 turns is way too much tension. I’m surprised it can step at all.
This is the lubricant I use: https://www.super-lube.com/multi-purpose-synthetic-grease-with-syncolon-ptfe-21030
You can get it at the local hardware store, Lowe’s, etc.
The same stuff should be used on the metal to metal points on the right side - on the shaft, gear, etc. you don’t need much, it’s slippery stuff and you don’t want to attract dirt.

I’m picking some up today! For the cam, I used a Teflon/graphite lube that dries immediately. I hope that is ok. Otherwise I’ll be pulling the assembly again.

#15 4 months ago

Sounds good.

See how well it turns when you put on the superlube. Might be OK. Also, don’t crank the heck out of the nut that holds the spider on. It should turn nicely when you have all the springs off and there’s nothing engaging the gear.

#16 4 months ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

Sounds good.
See how well it turns when you put on the superlube. Might be OK. Also, don’t crank the heck out of the nut that holds the spider on. It should turn nicely when you have all the springs off and there’s nothing engaging the gear.

Thanks for the tip! I didn’t crank it down too much, just to about where it was when I found it. But, It’s likely it was too tight to begin with.
Oh man, This forum has been the best one I’ve joined in a while. It’s nice to know when I start to “dig in” there’s somewhat of a safety net!

#17 4 months ago

It came with a “set of prints” by the way. It’s taken me more time to put this puzzle together then I’ve been able to work on the machine lol.
I tried to print the one off of ipdb, but I think I toasted my printer

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#18 4 months ago

So, I got the ball count working, but I think I created an issue with “tilt”. Looking at the diagram now. When I trigger a tilt, it locks up unless I reset the ball count to game over.
I thought that when it went to tilt and the ball returns home, that it would subtract a ball and continue. Even if I turn the machine off and back on, it’s still on whatever ball I “tilted” it on and won’t restart a new game. Any suggestions?

#19 4 months ago

Pinball Resource sells the manual and schematic.

#20 4 months ago

Tilt loses you the whole game on that machine. There’s no way to make it just lose the ball.

It should let you start a new game with the replay button, assuming that there are credits. If it’s not, then you gotta hunt down the switches in that path on the schematic. For example, if the replay button works when you stepped down to the last ball, then I would be checking the switch on the Game relay that is wired in parallel with that switch on the ball count unit. Switch “C”, on the game relay, schematic location D-3.

The tilt light vs game over light just means the game stopped before the last ball.

The schematic and manual are on IPDB. From your photo, it looks like you got the schematic

#21 4 months ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

Tilt loses you the whole game on that machine. There’s no way to make it just lose the ball.
It should let you start a new game with the replay button, assuming that there are credits. If it’s not, then you gotta hunt down the switches in that path on the schematic. For example, if the replay button works when you stepped down to the last ball, then I would be checking the switch on the Game relay that is wired in parallel with that switch on the ball count unit. Switch “C”, on the game relay, schematic location D-3.
The tilt light vs game over light just means the game stopped before the last ball.
The schematic and manual are on IPDB. From your photo, it looks like you got the schematic

Very very strange. I left the machine on for a while last night while I was doing a visual on all the relays. I tried tilting again, and all of a sudden the machine would subtract one ball on a tilt and resume the game. I did it 5 times in a row and it would subtract all the way down to a game over.
You’re telling me a tilt should cost a person an entire 5 ball game? I guess the punishment fits the crime if true, lol. That also means I’ve got another intermittent problem on my hands

#22 4 months ago

I’m going by the schematic right now. All the tilt switches pull the game over trip coil. It sure sounds like you’ve got some misadjusted or dirty switches to deal with. I know that I have a minor gremlin where turning the machine off doesn’t trip game over. It shoots the ball out and picks up where you left off...

Our machine is in a different location right now and I won’t be able to try any experiments until next weekend.

#23 4 months ago

I saw that ad and almost jumped on it, but I didn't need another project. That's a decent price for a project Triple Action in the Seattle market, you didn't overpay. Also, it sounds like you are having fun with the challenge of bringing it back to life. There are some great local EM guys that could help in the Spring once the pinball repair parties start up again before the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show, but it looks like you are going to get through it way before then. Tim Meighan did a great presentation on EM restoration at the show a few years ago that's worth watching:

#24 4 months ago

I agree that you didn’t overpay. I used to have a Triple Action, it’s a fun game with the spinning posts and chance for triple bonus. Your backglass looks much better than mine did. And, perhaps most importantly, you bought a hands-on education course in EM repair. The repair aspect itself can be a very satisfying part of the hobby.

I also agree that it’s a good idea to read through the EM section of Clay Harrell’s website pinrepair.com. After I went through the whole thing I was much better prepared to work on EMs.

Just beware, these things are highly addictive and they multiply like rabbits!

#25 4 months ago

Thank you for the moral support, everybody! Nwpinball, awesome video! I plan on getting deeper towards a more full restoration with this machine systematically. I guess I’m kind of putting my toes in the water with this being my first machine. I’m a tinkerer of sorts and I’ve always been into pinball. I do building automation for a living, so wiring and reading schematics is fairly normal for me. As a side note, I have an old Hammond m3 (which is essentially a EM instrument haha) which I did some mods on/restored. So I know it’s important to not just rip something apart without knowing all the intricacies of what it is I’m working on. Step by step, I suppose.

What blows me away is that someone came up with something like a pinball machine to start with. I imagine that was years of r and d, hence Williams cabinets essentially containing the same basic components. That’s my guess at least.

I’m hoping to meet Local pinball hobbyists and players to hang out with and play pinball, shoot the shit, kick back beers etc.. I already know that This will not be my last machine-I figured that out as soon as I picked this one up haha.

I guess that was an introduction of sorts lol. Anyway glad to be here.

Does anybody know where I can buy these female plugs? I found one broken one, do not want to hack it. (Been looking at the hacks post for a few laughs n shit)

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#26 4 months ago

You can find people parting out wiring harnesses. I’ve scavenged a couple for that purpose. Sometimes you can find an unused pin on the connector and move the wire there.

#27 4 months ago
Quoted from Md2020:

Does anybody know where I can buy these female plugs?

Search ebay for
pinball jones plugs

#28 4 months ago
Quoted from Md2020:

I’m hoping to meet Local pinball hobbyists and players to hang out with and play pinball, shoot the shit, kick back beers etc.. I already know that This will not be my last machine-I figured that out as soon as I picked this one up haha.
I guess that was an introduction of sorts lol. Anyway glad to be here.

There's a local mailing list called WPC, Washington Pinball Crazies. We definitely do repair parties at people's houses, arcade nights, and most of the local people volunteer in some way to put on the yearly show. Cheers, welcome to the hobby!

#29 4 months ago
Quoted from HowardR:

Search ebay for
pinball jones plugs

I took dgampguy’s advice and removed some unused ones.
It was hurtin me to lean over the machine so I pulled the bottom board out.
Waaaay easier!

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#30 4 months ago

Still having an issue with the machine locking up on tilt. After putting everything back, it did the same “subtract a ball” on a tilt. Now it just locks up. I’m pretty burned out, so I’m gonna call it a night. I’ll look at the schematics tomorrow. If anyone has some suggestions, let me know

#31 4 months ago
Quoted from Md2020:

Still having an issue with the machine locking up on tilt. After putting everything back, it did the same “subtract a ball” on a tilt. Now it just locks up. I’m pretty burned out, so I’m gonna call it a night. I’ll look at the schematics tomorrow. If anyone has some suggestions, let me know

It’s running again, but it’s definitely not right. If there’s credits, and you score points, you can hit start and it will start a new game even on ball 5. Don’t know which relay is which. I imagine there’s got to be a stuck one somewhere

#32 4 months ago

That goes back to the C switch on the game relay that I mentioned before. That’s the one that prevents the replay button from starting a game while one is going on. I’d start there.

Dave

#33 4 months ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

That goes back to the C switch on the game relay that I mentioned before. That’s the one that prevents the replay button from starting a game while one is going on. I’d start there.
Dave

thanks for the starter, Dave. The switch appears to be ok. Looks like that ones open when the game relay is latched. I found nails holding down some of the switch stacks on the score motor, not sure what to make of it. I’m gonna see if I can pull those and make a repair

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#34 4 months ago
Quoted from dgAmpGuy:

That goes back to the C switch on the game relay that I mentioned before. That’s the one that prevents the replay button from starting a game while one is going on. I’d start there.
Dave

Turned out to be the "Advance Unit" was all jammed up. Took that apart and cleaned it up. That fixed THAT issue.
Now I'm getting a stuck scoring issue in the 1k area. I'm looking at the reels, probably will clean those up even though I know thats probably not the issue.
I mean the 1k reel's solenoid is getting stuck on and gets HOT. I mean HOT HOT HOT. It's feeling HOT HOT HOT. lol.
Before I know it, I'll have ripped this whole thing apart.
I just want it to be playable and, when I'm not around, my daughter can play it without the machine catching on fire.
Basically, I'm trying to get this table route ready.

#35 4 months ago

So, I basically have it running reliably. There was a stuck pop up, causing the 1k solenoid to get stuck. Still though, I can start a new game with credits on the reel on ball 5 as long as it hits one of the top scoring switches upon launch.
I was reading about not falling into temptation with fixing the coin mech. Do you all feel the same way? I guess once I figure out the replay issue, I’d probably start trying to get the coun box to work. I’d put quarters in as kind of a piggy bank. Although I know it’s a slippery slope

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