(Topic ID: 129562)

Repairing Ball Guide Brackets - Vid's Guide


By vid1900

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by vid1900
  • Topic is favorited by 29 Pinsiders

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There have been 15 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

vec9.jpg
image-5.jpg
vector flyer.jpg
machine post.jpg
wood screw post.jpg
transfer-punch.jpg
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#1 4 years ago

With some games you see the same problems happen again and again.

Bally Vector had a post that protected the ramp entrance, but instead of being machine threaded with a nut or T-nut on the back of the playfield, it was simply threaded into the wood. Because this post was a direct shot from the flippers, it never took long for it to break off.

Once the post was gone, the ball would then damage the entrance to the ramp, and eventually break off the mounting bracket.

As a bonus, the loose guide then chewed up the playfield.

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Many games have the same kind of brackets, so you can apply this guide to just about any brand of pin.

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Here you can see the repeted ball impacts have broken the tab off of the mounting bracket.

1.jpg

#2 4 years ago

First we need to remove the broken bracket.

The bracket is attached with two 1/16" rivets.

Drill these out with a BRAND NEW 1/8" drill bit.

Just drill the back of the rivets off, do not go further into the bracket.

2.jpg

#3 4 years ago

Next, dig through your box of metal scrap and find a 1.5" to 2" length of steel. It's length can vary depending on the brand and era of machine.

Brackets are normally hidden from view, so you don't have to be too picky about it.

Put the strip of metal in a vise.

3.jpg

#4 4 years ago

Bend 1/2" of the metal over by hitting it with a hammer.

This will become the "foot" of the bracket.

4.jpg

#5 4 years ago

The holes in the bracket that attach to the guide have to be drilled EXACTLY ( the foot is not as critical).

We want to transfer the holes from the old bracket to the new one.

For this we use a Transfer Punch. A Transfer Punch fits tightly in a hole and when hit with a hammer, it "transfers" the exact center of the hole to another surface. A whole set costs $10 at Harbor Freight.

Stack the broken bracket on top of the new bracket in a vise, and hit the punch with a hammer.

Do the same thing with the "foot" of the bracket.

Now that the Transfer Punches have given you dimples in the new bracket, you know that when you drill the holes, they will be exactly in the correct place.

For this bracket, the long side that attaches to the ball guide was a 1/16" hole, the foot was a 3/16" hole.

5.jpg

transfer-punch.jpg
#6 4 years ago

A fine toothed hacksaw will quickly cut away any extra length of the new bracket.

Use a metal file to knock off any sharp edges - you don't want to scratch up the playfield during installation.

6.jpg

#7 4 years ago

Now we need to rivet on the new bracket to the ball guide.

Here I used 1/16" Pop Rivets (also known as Blind Rivets).

You could also use a Rivet Press if you have one, but I sure don't carry one around in my service tool box.

Make sure the back of the rivet ends up on the back of the bracket - so make sure the Pop Rivet goes through the face side.

Stick an un-popped rivet in the second hole to keep the bracket aligned as you work.

7.jpg

#8 4 years ago

The face of the rivet goes on the face of the ball guide, so the ball can't hit the rivet as it rolls around it.

8.jpg

#9 4 years ago

The back of a Pop Rivet forms a bulgy ball when it expands, so we want that on the back side of the bracket.

That way the ball does not hit the bulge, and the "ugly side" of the rivet is hidden from view.

9.jpg

#10 4 years ago

Any tips for keeping the new bracket from breaking?

#11 4 years ago

Stormbringer says he uses small screws rather than rivets to do repairs like this.

That is fine, but I'd rather use rivets because they never vibrate loose over time.

"Use whatever gets the game back earning " we used to say in the route days.

#12 4 years ago

Another great guide!!! I just picked up the transfer set at H.F. today. Joe

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

Any tips for keeping the new bracket from breaking?

Yes!

Put a machine threaded post back in front of the ramp, and secure it with a washer and locknut on the underside of the playfield.

I don't think a T-nut will fit because of the drop target mech right next to it.

Replace this:

wood screw post.jpg

With this:

machine post.jpg

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from joe2012:

I just picked up the transfer set at H.F.

You will wonder how you ever lived without them.

Enjoy.

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Yes!
Put a machine threaded post back in front of the ramp, and secure it with a washer and locknut on the underside of the playfield.
I don't think a T-nut will fit because of the drop target mech right next to it.

I like to put a washer on the top side too to keep the post from being pulled into the wood.

#16 4 years ago

JohnDC says he does not believe that Vector had that guard post at all from the factory.

It's on the flyer, so I'm believing it's a factory post.

vector flyer.jpg
#17 4 years ago

Where did you find 1/16" pop rivets. I have never seen any smaller than 1/8" diameter.

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

Where did you find 1/16" pop rivets. I have never seen any smaller than 1/8" diameter.

I just steal them from work, I believe we get them from Fastenall.

3/32" is also available everywhere and will work, but they are a little tight and have to be "walked" into those holes.

#19 4 years ago

Conventional rivets (that need a press or hammer to set) are here:

http://www.rivetsinstock.com/rivets/semitubular-rivets.html

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

JohnDC says he does not believe that Vector had that guard post at all from the factory.
It's on the flyer, so I'm believing it's a factory post.

If you're talking about the ramp to the upper playfield when you plunge the ball then I dunno....ipdb pics from a couple different owners show no post there and it doesn't look like the playfield was drilled for one. I wonder why it's different.

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I wonder why it's different.

Maybe Bally added it once the test games started getting battered?

In this pic from IPDB, note that the metal post is missing, so someone put a plastic post in it's spot and a bigger rubber ring:

image-5.jpg

#22 4 years ago

You're right, that is in the same spot. The post in the other image on ipdb is not though, it looks like the flyer sans the metal post. It's really hard to tell because you can't zoom in that much, but it doesn't look like it's drilled for one.

Anyway, sorry to interrupt the guide. Please continue.

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

The post in the other image on ipdb is not though, it looks like the flyer sans the metal post. It's really hard to tell because you can't zoom in that much, but it doesn't look like it's drilled for one.

You can see the metal ramp damage in the pic because of the missing post.

Also note the 2 blue posts (rather than 2 metal ones) and the missing plastic that is supposed to be mounted above them.

Prototype? Early sample? Repaired over the years?

No sign of a hole for the missing post.....

vec9.jpg

#24 4 years ago

eeek.

#25 4 years ago

Never even thought about that. I have to do this for my Wh2O. Excellent guide!

#26 4 years ago

Thanks vid. This helped solve an unrelated problem on my d&d. I have a missing post and another that 's blown out the threading into the playfield. Seems like such a no brainer to put in the long thread stud and washer\nut the bottom now that you've brought it up.. Thanks vid great posts JUST LIKE ALWAYZ!!

#27 4 years ago

I have found the Gottlieb System 3 brackets to be the worst offender so far. Half as thick as other brackets... Thanks Vid! I cheated in the past and robbed brackets from scrap ball guides. I appreciate all the time you put into these helpful repair guides.

#28 4 years ago

I've made my own guides completely from scratch by using 1" stainless strips from Grainger, and then just drilling and adding brackets.

Just remember to place your rivets above and below the ball path, so the ball rides between them.

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