(Topic ID: 21158)

VID'S SPACE SHUTTLE Airlock Rebuilding Guide

By vid1900

9 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 13 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by pinheadpierre
  • Topic is favorited by 38 Pinsiders


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#1 9 years ago

The Space Shuttle Airlock is a simple device that occasionally needs attention.

You find the same mechanism on many games. Bally sometimes has them where the ball is returned to the shooter lane instead of the flippers.

When the coil is De-energized, the wire guide keeps the ball from rolling down the outlane.


#2 9 years ago

Make sure the spring is intact on the right hand side.

To remove the Airlock shaft, there are two set screws that need to be loosened. Use a 1/16" Allen Wrench. No need to take the set screws all the way out.


#3 9 years ago

Pull the Airlock Shaft out from the top of the playfield.

Now you can examine the shaft. Make sure it is smooth and shiny. The chrome should be intact and not flaky.

When you reassemble the unit, you need to put a little BLUE Loctite on the set screws, or they will vibrate loose. Don't use too much and get it on the shaft and DON'T USE RED LOCTITE, or you will never be able to service it again.


#4 9 years ago

If the shaft looks smooth, but there is still some hang up, then the playfield bushing is to blame.

Try reaming out the bushing with a small bottle brush. If the assembly still does not turn smoothly, replace the bushing.

The bushing is a standard flipper bushing with the bottom nub cut off.

1. Drill out the three rivets from the back side of the old bushing with a 1/8" drill bit.

2. Sand, cut or grind off the bottom nub from a flipper bushing, using the damaged part as a guide.

3. Pop rivet the new bushing onto the Airlock bracket.

4. Install in reverse order, and tighten cam so when the power is off the Airlock diverts the ball from the outlane. The set screws should fit into the grove cut into the bottom of the shaft.

5. Use BLUE Loctite on the set screws.

6. Do not oil any part of this assembly.


#5 9 years ago

Love your "how-to" posts Vid.

Good stuff!

#6 9 years ago

Nice work, about to kick off my shuttle resto, I'll be using this. It currently has a nail nailed into the PF to stop the airlock from turning too far when its 'closed'.

#7 9 years ago

Another one for the Shuttle bookmark file. On a roll man, lol.

#8 9 years ago

Mine functions fine, but the arm does swing in a little too much (ball still clears, but it would be nice if it were parallel with the guide lane). Once I do my playfield swap, I'm sure I'm going to be dilligent about rebuilding some things (only the flippers have been rebuilt so far).

Nice work writing this up as usual.

2 years later
#9 7 years ago

Very helpful! I still had some binding on mine. It turned out to be corrosion on the metal parts circled. These need to be smooth since the one plate moves up and down against the other plate. I used some steel wool to clean both parts and they are nice and smooth again with no binding.


3 weeks later
#10 7 years ago

Hey Vid , is that a C clip and washer on the airlock shaft on in the first photo ? I pulled mine out and has neither of them. The shaft was just sitting in the sleeve on its own.

#11 7 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Hey Vid , is that a C clip and washer on the airlock shaft on in the first photo ? I pulled mine out and has neither of them. The shaft was just sitting in the sleeve on its own.

Yes, C-clip and washer.

#12 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Yes, C-clip and washer.

Thank you sir .

1 year later
#13 5 years ago

Another potential point of failure is the little screw with the keps washer that holds the arm onto the movable bracket. Mine had wiggled loose, preventing full arm movement. Just remove the coil by taking out the screw on top of the bracket and then tighten the offending screw with an offset screwdriver. Reassemble and you are back in business.


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