(Topic ID: 78304)

TZ: Adjusting Rocket Launcher


By bznhvx

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 8 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by bznhvx
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#1 5 years ago

I have 2 TZs. One of them has an issue with the rocket launcher shooting air balls that sometime hit the crossover trough. When it does not clip that, it is a bit random as to where it will land. I checked the coil, plunger, and mechanism... and nothing appears bent or out of place. I compared each part to the "working" TZ that I have, and I don't see much difference. At the end of the "throw", the plastic cup on the end of the arm almost touches the playfield on the bad one, but is back a 1/4 inch or so on the good one. There is no adjustment slop in the brackets, and the parts are mounted in the original holes.

I'm was wondering if the lane switch might be closing too soon due to the wire adjustment and causing the launcher to fire too soon, but I adjusted that and it does not change anything.

The side steering adjustment also does not change the air ball launching.

Has anyone else seen this issue? How are you supposed to adjust this turkey?

#2 5 years ago

Swap the kicking arms and see if the problem moves.

LTG : )

#3 5 years ago

I have a theory: I'm going to check the coil stop and see if it is mushroomed. If the travel of the plunger is just a bit too far, the kicker will over-rotate, pushing the ball down and causing it to ricochet off the playfield and launch upwards. There is some wear on the playfield by the switch insert. With the normal soft ball entry into that area, the only place the wear could be coming from is if the kicker was blasting the ball against the playfield at that point.

...off to check.

#4 5 years ago

I like your approach.
Swap the coil stops between your games - I'm interested in the results.
Been puzzling over the same problem for a few weeks. Have adjusted the kicker, added washers to the mech., etc. but still get random hits on the crossover - or the ball loses momentum at the Lock kickout area.

Never even thought to check the coil stop!! Great idea.

Edit: I presume you're talking about the Auto-Fire Kicker - adjacent/parallel to the shooter lane?

#5 5 years ago

The way you described the differences in the throw of about a 1/4 inch suggests there may not be any coil stop left. Or possibly a shorter than normal plunger?

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from Sheprd:

I'm was wondering if the lane switch might be closing too soon due to the wire adjustment and causing the launcher to fire too soon, but I adjusted that and it does not change anything.

I had the same issue. The ball was firing before it could settle in the rocket guide causing it to misfire. The wire form needed a little adjusting. Works perfect now.

#7 5 years ago
Quoted from Fanatic:

Edit: I presume you're talking about the Auto-Fire Kicker - adjacent/parallel to the shooter lane?

Fanatic, this is not about the auto launch, although I think similar issues could occur. This is about the kicker for the Rocket feature, just below the upper right flipper.

#8 5 years ago

I checked the coil stop, and it was mushroomed just a tad, but probably not enough to cause the whole problem. I am beginning to think that the original hardware may have been attached just a bit off from the factory. Rather than trying to moving the mechanisms 1/8 of an inch, which would be a pain with the existing holes where they are, I added a couple of layers of double stick tape on top of the coil stop, leaving the plastic on the top piece. The tape should stay in place as the plunger is giving it a press with each fire. This in effect shortens the throw of the launching arm.

I put it back together, and wow... no more air balls.

Now it is a matter of seeing if the cushion can hold up to the plunger pounding. If not, I might need to replace it with something more durable, or find a different plunger that is a tad longer. Good for now!

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