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(Topic ID: 177240)

The Definitive Twilight Zone Lock Shot Fix Thread


By kpg

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 54 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by longwetsocks
  • Topic is favorited by 40 Pinsiders

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TZ2 Back (resized).jpg
TZ1 Front (resized).jpg
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TZ Lock Entrance Reject Fix 4 (resized).jpg
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There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
11
#1 3 years ago

Does your TZ lock shot have you down?

Frequent bounce outs?

Have you tried many solutions found online that never seem to work 100%?

Frustrated to attempt the lock shot, right when it matters most- and it bounces out, even if it was a perfect shot?

Look no further. The solution is here!

The lock shot had me down and in the dumps after many repeated failures and bounce outs. The fast lock mode was almost pointless as it would only make the lock shot 25-30% of the time. That is unacceptable, and had to be fixed. A lot of searching on the forums left me with solutions that either didn't work, or required disassembling the machine to the point I didn't want to screw anything up.

With the below solution, I can tell you it works 100% of the time. Yes, 100 out of 100 lock shots will work, and never bounce out. I have tested this, and it works.. no disassembling anything, and about 3-5 minutes of your precious time.

You will need the following:

1) Scissors
2) Flexible Magnetic Tape - found on Amazon here http://amzn.to/2iQAsn0
3) Ceramic Bar Magnet - found on Amazon here http://amzn.to/2iQH84s
4) Double sided mounting tape - found on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2hFmKHq

The steps needed to fix the lock shot:

1) Cut the flexible mounting tape to size, and line the insides of the lock shot (shown in below pics.) For the back part that curves, it was hard to get to with my hands, so I used a telescoping magnetic extender tool to reach back there and stick it on.. this is the one I used: http://amzn.to/2itHYrq

2) I then placed some mounting tape on the back of the bar magnet, and attached it to the metal roof under the right ramp/top of lock shot as shown in the pics

The way this fix works is the ball will travel inside the lock shot, and the magnetic tape will slow the momentum of the ball enough for the magnetic tape to assist the ball to curve around the lock shot's back wall. The magnetic force from the strong bar magnet sitting above will help pull the ball around and allow it to consistently drop inside the lock shot hole.

If installed correctly, this completely fixes the shot and you will never have a bounce out again.. period.

Pics below:

2016-12-31 14.23.47 (resized).jpg
2016-12-31 14.24.03 (resized).jpg
2016-12-31 14.24.15 (resized).jpg

#2 3 years ago

Oh my, if this works I'm gonna be a happy dude. Thanks for posting!

#3 3 years ago

The method I came up with years ago was to break the weld (may have been 2) that secured the "floor" of the U-turn weldment to the "walls". I could then reform the floor lower to just almost touching the playfield. Factory has it maybe 1/4" above the playfield surface? Bending mine down eliminated bounce outs. I don't remember the last reject I got...

[Edit] I should probably state that the floor is not completely loose after breaking the forward weld. It still has 2 or 3 welds in place.

#4 3 years ago

Holy jeesus.

#5 3 years ago

I mounted one of those flat round magnets suggested to be used on the ball diverter on the flap above the lock to fix this almost every time myself. I have it taped to the backside of the flap with heavy duty double sided tape (the foam gray kind)

#6 3 years ago

I never knew this was an issue.

#7 3 years ago

Pretty neat ... guess it won't help if the powerball happens to be in play.

-Rob
-visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or for my Williams system 3-7 sound board potentiometer solutions

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from rkahr:

Pretty neat ... guess it won't help if the powerball happens to be in play.
-Rob
-visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or for my Williams system 3-7 sound board potentiometer solutions

It actually does I've found! I think the magnetic tape creates some type of cushion when it hits the back of the lock shot, so it doesn't smack bare metal and bounce out. I haven't hit the lock shot with a powerball much, but I don't recall it bouncing out either.

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

The method I came up with years ago was to break the weld (may have been 2) that secured the "floor" of the U-turn weldment to the "walls". I could then reform the floor lower to just almost touching the playfield. Factory has it maybe 1/4" above the playfield surface? Bending mine down eliminated bounce outs. I don't remember the last reject I got...
[Edit] I should probably state that the floor is not completely loose after breaking the forward weld. It still has 2 or 3 welds in place.

I read that fix as well, but this method is much easier

#10 3 years ago

Nice job with this fix, I'll give it a shot as Ive got bounce out issues. Are you lining both sides with magnetic tape or just the left side of the channel? Hard to tell in the pics.

I wonder if that magnetic tape would also help with bounce outs from the rocket switch?

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I wonder if that magnetic tape would also help with bounce outs from the rocket switch?

The best fix for that is to replace one of the screws for the ball guide with a mini post. It settles the ball and seats it into the rocket every time.

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

Nice job with this fix, I'll give it a shot as Ive got bounce out issues. Are you lining both sides with magnetic tape or just the left side of the channel? Hard to tell in the pics.
I wonder if that magnetic tape would also help with bounce outs from the rocket switch?

I line both sides with the magnetic tape

#13 3 years ago

KPG, fantastic job getting at this issue and correcting. I did this fix today, though slightly different, with the same 100% result.

I got the magnetic tape and the magnet from home depot (see pics) for about $8. I must have thicker magnetic tape because when I lined both sides of the entrance, the ball couldn't pass through at the hairpin turn. As a result, I only lined the outer (left) side of the entrance and it worked just fine. I also didn't need to go all the way in and instead ran the tape basically as far as my fingers could get in there and then pushed on it with a long screw driver to firmly adhere it to the metal channel (see pic). The magnet tape does not have good adhesion so I lined the back with 3m double stick tape (lining with tape increases the thickness of the tape, which is another reason why i likely could not line both sides. cleaning the metal with alcohol improves adhesion of 3m tape.

Thanks again KPG!

20170106_121048 (resized).jpg

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20170106_120637 (resized).jpg

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from mario_1_up:

I never knew this was an issue.

Neither did I. Out of all the issues my TZ has, this isn't one of em.

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

Neither did I. Out of all the issues my TZ has, this isn't one of em.

If your game still has the spacers in it, or you put them back in when you took your lock cage out, ten you don't have this issue.

#16 3 years ago

Played 5 more games, no bounce outs, but that magnet above caught the ball once. I think it's too strong. I removed the magnet so all I have is the magnetic tape on the left inside rail and still no bounce outs, so that may be all that's needed.

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

Played 5 more games, no bounce outs, but that magnet above caught the ball once. I think it's too strong. I removed the magnet so all I have is the magnetic tape on the left inside rail and still no bounce outs, so that may be all that's needed.

Awesome !! Glad this is working for you.

My magnet caught it once, but if you secure the magnet with 3M double sided tape it spaces the magnet out enough to not be strong enough to catch it. But either way it sounds like the magnetic tape was the solution for you! I think some games might be better than others with bounce outs, so your results may vary- but at least this is a guaranteed fix !

#18 3 years ago

Never had this problem. The only magnet I installed is on the diverter going to the mini playfield. There was a lot of bounce there and the magnet fixed 90% of them.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

If your game still has the spacers in it, or you put them back in when you took your lock cage out, ten you don't have this issue.

What spacers are you referring to?

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

I read that fix as well, but this method is much easier

Well, I'm shopping my zone right now so I shot some pics...

You do have to remove the Lock entrance welded assembly.

The red line shows the original position of the "floor" of the lock shot. The yellow circle is the weld to pop with a drimmel cut-off wheel.

TZ Lock Entrance Reject Fix 2 (resized).jpg

As designed this floor is 'uphill' until it gets past the middle of the U-turn, so when the ball enters and rattles it loses momentum and just rolls downhill, which is back out the entrance.

With the topmost weld popped, you can easily cinch a crescent wrench on the floor plate and bend it downward along the dotted yellow line until it's at the level shown, which is about 1/8" off the playfield.

TZ Lock Entrance Reject Fix 3 (resized).jpg

This makes everything past that dotted yellow line downhill toward the locks instead of downhill toward the entrance.

TZ Lock Entrance Reject Fix 4 (resized).jpg

So then, the ball can rattle around that entrance all it wants, it cannot defy gravity and roll uphill. Permanent and 100% effective.

IF your method (or others) doesn't satisfy, this will. Yeah, it's not a 1 on the difficulty meter, but it's a 10 on results.

I had terrible luck trying to fix the cup bounce-backs (on the right ramp wireform) with magnets, so I came up with a physical correction for that flaw as well.

If all else fails, this can be the "Parachute Fix".

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from Ferret:

What spacers are you referring to?

I missed this question, and I'll share the link.. Start reading here -
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/a-newbie-restores-twilight-zone#post-2032446

..If you're going to take the lock cage out *anyways*, this is a lot safer than breaking welds, or sticking something to it, IMHO..

--Mike

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

I missed this question, and I'll share the link.. Start reading here -
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/a-newbie-restores-twilight-zone#post-2032446
..If you're going to take the lock cage out *anyways*, this is a lot safer than breaking welds, or sticking something to it, IMHO..
--Mike

Great info! Do you have a source for these spacers?

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from alveolus:

Great info! Do you have a source for these spacers?

No; unfortunately. They're not even listed in the manual, which is the biggest inconsistancy with my game (and the other non-sample TZ I had) having them. But, right now I have locknuts on my posts - at the next re-waxing, I'm taking them off and going to use a regular nut. The locknut is too high, and causes balls to not pop out the entrance, but *fly* through the lock and auto-eject into the spiral. Oops.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

No; unfortunately. They're not even listed in the manual, which is the biggest inconsistancy with my game (and the other non-sample TZ I had) having them. But, right now I have locknuts on my posts - at the next re-waxing, I'm taking them off and going to use a regular nut. The locknut is too high, and causes balls to not pop out the entrance, but *fly* through the lock and auto-eject into the spiral. Oops.

This is why I went with my method, it works 100% of the time and takes literally 1 minute to do.. and you don't even need to lift the playfield

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

No; unfortunately. They're not even listed in the manual, which is the biggest inconsistancy with my game (and the other non-sample TZ I had) having them. But, right now I have locknuts on my posts - at the next re-waxing, I'm taking them off and going to use a regular nut. The locknut is too high, and causes balls to not pop out the entrance, but *fly* through the lock and auto-eject into the spiral. Oops.

Did you try the low-profile lock nuts?

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

Did you try the low-profile lock nuts?

I.. never heard of those. What are they?

#27 3 years ago

Has anybody figured out a way to make the shot harder? Easy is a four letter word in my game room.

#28 3 years ago

http://www.albanycountyfasteners.com/Nylon-Hex-Jam-Nut-304-Stainless-Steel-p/130000.htm?1=1&CartID=0

Like this one. They are like 1/2 the height of the normal lock nuts.

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Has anybody figured out a way to make the shot harder? Easy is a four letter word in my game room.

Leave it uncorrected.

It's not a matter of easy or hard, it's a matter of hitting the shot perfectly only to see it dribble back out and drain SDTM. It is a design flaw in the welded assembly that causes rejects on direct shots when there shouldn't be.

#30 3 years ago

interesting, may have to try that..

Quoted from kpg:

This is why I went with my method, it works 100% of the time and takes literally 1 minute to do.. and you don't even need to lift the playfield

Once the right size is there, it works 100% of the time. The last tear-down I had, I lost my last spacer and had to improvise. Washers fall off too easily, and even the spacers don't stay on well (likely why they got lost over the years?), so I thought a lock-nut would stay on and stick.

But yeah, if you're not taking the thing apart, then stick with this if it works.

#31 3 years ago

Meh, you guys are no fun. Bounce-outs are part of the TZ experience!

I actually just made a few strategic bends to the entrance to the lock area's roof and now bounce-outs are down to a bare minimum. I don't want to fix it completely, can't make things too easy now!

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

Meh, you guys are no fun. Bounce-outs are part of the TZ experience!
I actually just made a few strategic bends to the entrance to the lock area's roof and now bounce-outs are down to a bare minimum. I don't want to fix it completely, can't make things too easy now!

And I would be OK with up to maybe 1/3 - 1/2 bounce outs...IF THEY DIDN'T DRAIN STDM ALMOST EVERY TIME from a reject! WITH EXTRA BALL LIT AND YOU'RE ON BALL 3 AND THE FREAKIN DOORKNOB IS LIT!

Oh, ahem...pardon me. I hope you understand and can forgive my flipout.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

And I would be OK with up to maybe 1/3 - 1/2 bounce outs...IF THEY DIDN'T DRAIN STDM ALMOST EVERY TIME from a reject! WITH EXTRA BALL LIT AND YOU'RE ON BALL 3 AND THE FREAKIN DOORKNOB IS LIT!

Oh, I feel your pain brother, I do. It's what made me rip the damn thing open to fix it in the first place.

I'm not normally a nudger when it comes to pinball, but when I do get a bounce out, thankfully the ball passes by those two 5 MIL targets close enough that a small nudge will make it tap them sending the ball safely over to the left flipper.

1 month later
#34 3 years ago

Wow! I cannot thank you guys enough for this thread. It took me five minutes and a couple bucks to get the lock shot dialed in. I simply put the magnetic tape on the left side of the metal guide.
Seems to be locked in. Didn't bounce out once after application.
Thanks again!!

IMG_4312 (resized).JPG

1 week later
#35 3 years ago
Quoted from CyberNinja24:

Wow! I cannot thank you guys enough for this thread. It took me five minutes and a couple bucks to get the lock shot dialed in. I simply put the magnetic tape on the left side of the metal guide.
Seems to be locked in. Didn't bounce out once after application.
Thanks again!!

Awesome !!!

Glad it worked for you. Mine has also been 100% working, haven't had a single bounce out since doing this.

#36 3 years ago

Nice. I am doing it. I have the magnetic tape. Did you put the bar magnet on the metal flange? Did you need to take anything off to install the magnetic tape? Thanks for the pics.

#37 3 years ago

It's super simple my friend
I purchased 3/4 inch magnetic tape from lowes. Even though it said it had adhesive, I added a tape I have that is used for trophies. It's super thin and super strong double sided tape. I applied the magnetic tape only to the left guide, and only worked it back as far as I could reach. I didn't take anything off and I didn't prep the metal guide before applying the magnetic tape with added double sided tape.
Having the lock/extra ball shot locked in makes an already awesome game to play even better!

#38 3 years ago

Thanks very much. I am going to add that to my TZ this weekend.

1 month later
#39 3 years ago

This deserved a bump and an update. I finally got around to doing this and the shot is 100% now. Thanks very much!

#40 3 years ago

Just did the magnetic tape on the left side fix today.
Simply amazing results.
Before the tape, the ball would stay in the lock about 1 in every 4 attempts.
After the tape fix so far it is 100%!!!!
I lost count after 15 straight locks. That would have never happened before.

2 months later
#41 3 years ago

Awesome. So all you did was put the magnetic tape on the right side of the lock and the problem is fixed?
Thanks

#42 3 years ago

No, left side all the way around the bend as far as you can reach.

#43 3 years ago

Excellent. Thanks

#44 3 years ago

Excellent info guys! Thanks!

4 months later
#45 3 years ago

Tried bending the overhead guide but still had bounce backs (which, IMO, is not part of the game experience as it's already a difficult shot) but this seems to solve the problem assuming you don't add the spacers as mentioned above. I would, however, recommend removing the Battle the Power ramp so that you can clean the sides of ramp and properly apply the magnetic tape. It's a few screws and gives full access to the lock ramp.

What a great pin TZ is!

#46 3 years ago

Interesting . I have a bar magnet on Battle the Power diverter . Looking in to this . How thick is the magnetic tape in inches or metric mm ? Thanks

#47 3 years ago

Wow this sounds like a real improvement, gonna try this! Thanks for posting

#48 3 years ago

Yes it works. I did the magnet tape on both sides of the lock entrance and the bar magnet on the metal flange with 3M tape. No bounce outs anymore.

8 months later
#49 2 years ago

I'm having trouble seeing the magnet in the photo, and so am not exactly sure where to mount it. Does it go flat (parallel to the floor) stuck up under the roof of the ramp, or is it vertical (parallel to the back of the machine)? I tried using just the magnetic tape on just the left side of the lock ramp, but it didn't help much, and in fact, seemed to slow the ball such that it didn't make it back far enough to fall into the hole. Tomorrow, I'll try lining the right side of the ramp, and then experimenting with where to put that magnet.

BTW, here's a tip on how to deal with uncurling that magnetic tape. Open it up and then unroll it and leave it flat against a big enough piece of steel, and leave it that way for a day or two before using it. Your fridge would probably be perfect, as would be a filing cabinet or the side rails of your pinball machine. When it's time to use it, you'll see that the curl is almost entirely gone.

1 month later
#50 2 years ago

Bounce-out Solved! I just purchased a second TZ as an upgrade and it has the lock bounce-out problem. The ball never bounces out of the lock on my first machine.

The previous owner of my first machine claimed to be a TZ whisperer and said he made many functional improvements.

I can see he made a complex bend to the metal deflector, probably when the game was torn down.

I think the key is he raised the lowest point at which the ball hits the deflector by bending the flat section (after the angled section) up.

TZ1 Back (resized).jpg

He also lowered the angled section of the deflector but this wasn't necessary on my second game. You can see how the front edge is just above the ball guide.

TZ1 Front (resized).jpg

After removing the red plastic piece that covers the deflector plate (first removed the clock), I could only get enough leverage with my fingers pushing from the bottom and pulling on the rear edge of the angled section. This raised the the flat section of the deflector adding about a 1/4" of space between the back of the deflector plate and the ball guide. The inclination of the angled section may have increased slightly in the process. I was unable get enough leverage to lower the front of the deflector and still maintain the added height in the flat section, but results were good without it.

TZ2 Back (resized).jpg

Results:
Before - Most well hit balls bounced out.
After - Zero bounce-outs from well hit regular or power ball.

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There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

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