Posting here incase someone can help.
We bought a lowish-priced 1992 Williams Fish Tales from a vintage arcade shop. It’s our first pinball machine and it’s in relatively good condition, but missing a fish topper (which I was intending to try to make). We’re in London, UK.
It’s supposed to be in full working order, but - after several games - we noticed that the ball was getting consistently jammed between the left slingshot and the mini-post (see picture). It’s getting REALLY jammed. As in, every time the ball goes between the mini-post and left slingshot, you have to switch off the game and manually free the ball.
Yesterday, we tried lifting the left slingshot rubber to play pinball, but that knocked out the top multi-coloured LED under the plastic slingshot cover (with the fish on) and I had to unscrew the slingshot cover, and repair the bayonet fitting with some pliers (see the bayonet fitting before I put the LED back in).
We’ve spoken to the guy who sold us the machine and I’ve posted on the Fish Tales forum. We’ve also tried a bunch of ‘debugging’ fixes.
So, so far, we’ve:
1. Levelled the machine with a spirit level incase the ball wasn’t moving fast enough when it got to the cover;
2. Checked the online manual and measured the rubber size on the mini-post;
3. Switched the small rubber on the left-hand and right-hand mini-posts;
4. Taken off the plastic slingshot cover to see if I can move the small yellow post beneath the slingshot, or the metal mini-post (we can’t from the top of the machine).
According to the Fish Tales manual, the mini-post rubber is a 7/16”. Our rubbers appear to be about 11mm. I’ve now ordered a 3/8” mini-post rubber on the internet in the hope that the smaller rubber fits the mini-post, and gives more space for the ball.
Any more suggestions?
Skills-wise: I’ve got a UK High School qualification in electronics, but it was a long time ago now. We don’t really have experience doing major rebuild or fixing jobs - the biggest things we’ve done involve paint stripping and refurbishing original wooden floorboards (so, not terribly relevant).