Vid's GUIDE To Rebuilding Pop Bumpers


By vid1900

4 years ago


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    There are 437 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 9.
    51
    #1 4 years ago

    The only thing that strikes more fear into a new pinball owner's heart than setting the EOS Gap is rebuilding their Pop Bumpers.

    There are always posts about how hard it is, but it really isn't hard at all. Like most complex tasks, rebuilding pops is quite easy, if you break it down into small steps.

    A good machine needs strong Pops for fast action.

    I know I've been many months late getting this guide done, but I'm fixing machines damaged by Hurricane Sandy and finally have some time to kill in my hotel.

    12
    #2 4 years ago

    First label your wires. I know you can look it up in the manual, or even remember the wiring, but sometimes you get back to things much later than you think you will. Nobody ever complained that they took too many pictures or labeled everything too well.

    Next unsolder the coil wires at the top of the bracket, and the lamp wires on the underside of the playfield.

    1.jpg

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    #3 4 years ago

    Next pull the staples that hold down the Lamp leads.

    You can put a sharp Scratch Awl under the staples and give them a light tap. Pull the staples out completely with a pair of pliers.

    If you don't have a pneumatic staple gun to put new staples in, carefully lift the staples just enough to pull the leads through. Then when you put everything back together, pass the leads under the staples, and tap the staples back down securely.

    If the staple breaks, be careful to pull out any remnants.

    There is usually a little piece of rubber or vinyl insulation that keeps the lamp from shorting against the bracket. You can reuse this, or use a piece of shrink tubing or even aquarium air line.

    2.jpg

    #4 4 years ago

    Next remove the two 5/16" nuts (yellow handled nut wrench if you have a mechanic's set) that hold the Ring.

    Be ready to catch the ring if you have the playfield upsidedown on a rotisserie, as it will drop away freely. Don't lose the two small washers that are on the underside of the Metal Yoke.

    3.jpg

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    #5 4 years ago

    Here is the Ring, washers and nuts.

    Can you tell what side of the ring the balls always hit on this particular game?

    4.jpg

    Brand new Rings are not ready for installation right out of the box.

    New Rings have a rough sandpaper surface that quickly chews up your balls.

    1. Sand out any scratches to 500 or 600 grit.

    2. Polish with Green Compound to produce a mirror finish

    3. Polish the shafts too for ultra fast action.

    4. Wax the Rings and shafts.

    5. Install.

    11_(resized).jpg

    Some Ring/Rod porn for you:

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    #6 4 years ago

    oh thank you. This I have to do on my FT...they are out but I have not had time to put them in! Ugh damn things.

    #7 4 years ago

    Next remove the three 5/16" nuts from the Bracket.

    If the whole screw shaft is turning freely in the wood, grab the shaft with Vise-Grips and turn the nut with an open ended wrench. Make note to fill hole with wood epoxy, redrill and pound in a new "Fin Shank Screw" - the fancy name for those screws.

    http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=240

    5.jpg fin_shank.jpg

    #8 4 years ago

    The whole Bracket lifts off and you can see the Spoon, the Switch Stack and the Lamp leads.

    6.jpg

    10
    #9 4 years ago

    From the topside of the playfield, remove the Pop Bumper Cap and remove the two screws at the bottom of the Pop Body.

    Gently lift the whole assembly out, don't scratch the playfield with the Lamp leads.

    7.jpg

    10
    #10 4 years ago

    Now that you have it out, it does not look that complicated, does it?

    #11 4 years ago

    Love your guides vid. Gotta a question, I rebuilt the pops on a lethal weapon 3 and they just don't have that nice fast action. Is there something I can do on a data east game to make it more snappy? The ball just kinda gets batted around lightly. Anyway good thread

    #12 4 years ago

    Now, let's start the rebuild.

    Unless you want the look of yellowed plastic (don't laugh, on older games it often looks best), I'm assuming most of these parts are going to be brand new. They are very inexpensive, so replace them if at all possible.

    First, put down the new Base into the Pop Bumper hole in the playfield.

    Rotate the Base so the large base holes line up with the playfield screw holes.

    10.jpg

    #13 4 years ago

    Next install the Skirt Spring, also referred to as the "Small Spring".

    11.jpg

    #14 4 years ago

    I like the system 11 screws they use instead of the fin shanked ones. They are a philips head on the top side of the playfield and have an upper coarse thread that is actually a reverse thread that holds it into the playfield and then the nuts hold the coil bracket on the bottom are normal thread. Make sure you drill is in forward when taking these out of the playfield!

    #15 4 years ago

    Place the Skirt on the Spring.

    Note the the two widely spaced holes go over the large holes in the playfield. You can't really mess this up once you look at it. The Ring rods travel through those holes.

    12.jpg

    #16 4 years ago

    Next the Body snaps into the Base.

    Note how the larger holes line up with the screw holes and not the Lamp lead holes. Again, you are not going to mess this up, but watch for it.

    13.jpg

    #17 4 years ago

    Here we slide in the Lamp holder through the small Lamp lead holes.

    Push it all the way to the bottom.

    14.jpg

    10
    #18 4 years ago

    If you somehow got stuck with the flexible wire lead Lamp Holders, you have now probably discovered that they won't go down very far into the Body, and tend to fall to one side or another.

    You need to fix this with a Zip-tie so the Holder can go all the way down to the bottom of the body.

    Next time, make sure you buy the stiff wire leads, LOL.

    17.jpg 19.jpg

    #19 4 years ago

    Next you can install the bulb.

    If you are using a LED Lamp, don't put the bulb in yet, as you may have to reverse the bulb to get the polarity right (depending on the game).

    15.jpg

    #20 4 years ago

    The cap goes on with two screws.

    Again, don't put the cap on yet if you are using LEDs. Once you have the game powered up, THEN you will find if the bulb needs reversing (literally pull it out and replace it 180°).

    NOTE: Many System3-7 game where the pop bumper lamps are under CPU control (meaning that they are NOT part of the GI lighting circuit (on all the time)) won't light up simple, single LEDs. You will need more complex LEDs with multiple lamps because they have the little, on board regulator in the base.

    16.jpg

    #21 4 years ago

    Now that the topside of the bumper is completed, we go under the playfield to the Bracket assembly.

    First, take a look at the Coil and see if it is the correct model for your game (usually the required coils are listed on the inside cover of the manual).

    Don't be surprised if you have a smorgasbord of mismatched coils, as most operators only cared about keeping the game working, not how well it played.

    Take the two screws off the back of the bracket and the whole assembly will come apart.

    20.jpg

    #22 4 years ago

    Great work as always Vid. You get an A+ at instructional threads.

    Brian

    #23 4 years ago

    Kudos! You helped with your flipper rebuild guide, and the next time I'm reassembling a set of pops, I will bet it won't take me a half hour of wrangling to figure the first one out like it did last time!

    #24 4 years ago

    Awesome dude! I just used you flipper rebuild thread. Such excellent work. Lets sticky this one too!

    #25 4 years ago

    One question vid. If I just want to resleeve a bumper coil (say it performs fine but I know the sleeves are a decade old) would I first remove the L bracket screws to separate it from the main mounting bracket, then detach that from the playfield?

    10
    #26 4 years ago

    Now that you have the Bracket apart, inspect the Plunger for wear. If it's not smooth and shiny, replace it. If the end is mushroomed, replace the Plunger and the Bracket; as it's probably too worn to fool with. If the Plunger has become magnetized and is covered with metal shavings, replace it.

    Clean any parts you are keeping with Fantastik or any other degreaser using an old toothbrush. Clean inside the Coil too.

    Replace the Sleeve. If it's stuck tight in the coil, press the protruding part down flat on your workbench and push it out. If it is hopelessly stuck, replace the coil (it probably overheated at some point, and could be a liability latter on). Remember that the lip on the Sleeve goes on the diode end of the coil.

    The Bracket has 2 yokes. The metal one is almost always broken, the fiber one is always worn. Always replace them both.

    Make sure both screws are the type with lock washers installed on them. If the Yoke Retaining Bracket comes loose, the Plunger will become damaged.

    When reassembling the Bracket, remember to press the Yoke Retaining Bracket towards the Coil Stop end of the Bracket as you tighten the screws. By doing this you will ensure that there is no slop in the Coil; and thus all the energy will be transmitted to the ball. The Coil should NOT be loose or have any play.

    21.jpg

    #27 4 years ago

    The plastic Spoon on the front of the Switch Stack should be replaced.

    Often the ball will hit the bumpers from one direction and the inside spoon surface will wear in a pattern, or even a straight groove.

    The Switch Stack has some room for adjustment so that the center of the Spoon can be directly over the center of the Skirt Pin. Loosen the two screws a bit so you can just move the Switch around.

    22.jpg

    #28 4 years ago

    Many spoons are translucent plastic, assuming yours are, you can use the following operator's trick:

    Use a strong beam of light to illuminate the underside of the spoon.

    Look at the shadow cast by the contact point between the Skirt Pin and the Spoon.

    A.jpg

    #29 4 years ago

    Move the Switch Stack around until the Skirt Pin is exactly in the center of the spoon.

    Check your work by tapping your finger in the center of the Spoon. If the Skirt Pin is truly centered, there will be no play or movement. If not centered, you will notice the Pin will slightly veer off to one side as you tap. Purposely misaligned the Spoon to learn this effect.

    If you spoon is black or an opaque plastic, use the tapping technique as above.

    Tighten the screws on the Switch Stack and double check that your Pin is still in the center of the Spoon.

    B.jpg

    #30 4 years ago

    Once the Spoon is centered, put your now reassembled Coil Bracket back into place.

    Resolder your Lamp leads and the Coil leads.

    #31 4 years ago

    Clean the switch contacts with a crisp dollar bill. Gently press the contacts together while pulling the bill between them, repeat until bill comes out clean.

    Here is a picture to explain how all of the parts fit back together around the Switch Stack.

    23.jpg

    #32 4 years ago

    When the Pop Bumper is at rest, we want the Solenoid Switch to have a very small gap so that the Bumper has a "hair trigger" (this reference comes from fire arms, where a small amount of force (I guess a human hair) can set off the firing pin).

    On a pinball game, we want the slightest amount of force to trigger the bumpers so they are VERY lively.

    When the game is powered on, pound on the playfield a few times and make sure that the Pop Bumpers do not activate from vibration alone.

    24.jpg

    #33 4 years ago

    The Scoring Switch activates whenever the Pop Bumper fires. The Solenoid drives the Fiber Yoke into closing the Scoring Switch.

    The Gap on the Scoring Switch is not very critical. As long as the contacts touch before the last 1/8" of travel it should be fine. This last bit of travel lets the contacts slide across each other for self cleaning action.

    25.jpg

    #34 4 years ago

    So that's it. Like always, I'll fix any typos over the next few days.

    Once you have done it, figure about 10 minutes per bumper to rebuild them.

    Again, most of these parts are very inexpensive, so don't waste time cleaning or filing old ones.

    Newer Bumper Bodies are much less translucent that the old ones, so a 5 LED lamp may be needed to illuminate as well as the old incandescent 555 did.

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from Kcpinballfan:

    I rebuilt the pops on a Lethal Weapon 3 and they just don't have that nice fast action. Is there something I can do on a data east game to make it more snappy? The ball just kinda gets batted around lightly.

    Check your voltage at the coils to make sure you are getting all the juice they need.

    I assume you checked that the correct coils were installed for your game.

    I assume you checked that the plungers are moving freely.

    I assume you set the Solenoid switches to the smallest gap possible.

    If none of that helps, then you can always install more powerful coils. Don't go crazy with power, just swap out the next stronger value.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

    I like the system 11 screws they use instead of the fin shanked ones. They are a philips head on the top side of the playfield and have an upper coarse thread that is actually a reverse thread that holds it into the playfield and then the nuts hold the coil bracket on the bottom are normal thread. Make sure you drill is in forward when taking these out of the playfield!

    Indeed!

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from NJGecko:

    Kudos! You helped with your flipper rebuild guide, and the next time I'm reassembling a set of pops, I will bet it won't take me a half hour of wrangling to figure the first one out like it did last time!

    You'll be wrenching on pins like a pro in no time.

    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    One question vid. If I just want to resleeve a bumper coil (say it performs fine but I know the sleeves are a decade old) would I first remove the L bracket screws to separate it from the main mounting bracket, then detach that from the playfield?

    Yes. It will be a little bit of a wrestling match, but no big deal. Replace your Yokes at the same time, as I'm sure your metal one is broken by now.

    #39 4 years ago

    Great tutorial! The only thing I would correct is that adjustment of the scoring switch is a bit more critical than you indicated. If the contacts make just barely before the plunger bottoms out, they will have no sliding action which is designed in to these leaf switches as a self cleaning mechanism. You want to adjust the leafs so that the contacts make and then continue to move about 1/8" to 3/16" before the plunger bottoms out.

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from RacerRik:

    Great tutorial! The only thing I would correct is that adjustment of the scoring switch is a bit more critical than you indicated. If the contacts make just barely before the plunger bottoms out, they will have no sliding action which is designed in to these leaf switches as a self cleaning mechanism. You want to adjust the leafs so that the contacts make and then continue to move about 1/8" to 3/16" before the plunger bottoms out.

    Changed it, thanks!

    #41 4 years ago

    Nice vid. You should write this for PinWiki!
    --
    Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
    http://www.Team-EM.com
    http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
    http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from ChrisHibler:

    Nice vid. You should write this for PinWiki!
    --
    Chris Hibler -

    I need to add a few more pics to the Flipper guide too and I can migrate them both over.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Check your voltage at the coils to make sure you are getting all the juice they need.
    I assume you checked that the correct coils were installed for your game.
    I assume you checked that the plungers are moving freely.
    I assume you set the Solenoid switches to the smallest gap possible.
    If none of that helps, then you can always install the next more powerful coils.

    Oh vid, thanks for the tips. I'll check it out.

    #44 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I need to add a few more pics to the Flipper guide too and I can migrate them both over.

    Excellent!
    --
    Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
    http://www.Team-EM.com
    http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
    http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

    #45 4 years ago

    Another fantastic guide, vid! You are an invaluable asset to the pinball community.

    #46 4 years ago

    Great post vid, I've done it before, but always with the playfield in the game still...pops are always at the back of the game usually...so hard to reach ....

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from tomdotcom:

    Great post vid, I've done it before, but always with the playfield in the game still...pops are always at the back of the game usually...so hard to reach ....

    Yeah, I've done it on location plenty of times - not as fun as disconnecting a few cables and plopping it on the rotisserie, that's for sure.

    #48 4 years ago

    these vid guides always get tagged as a 'favorite' for easy reference at a later date.

    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    these vid guides always get tagged as a 'favorite' for easy reference at a later date.

    Ditto. Nice work Vid!

    #50 4 years ago

    Awesome, thanks vid. Your flipper rebuild thread helped me greatly on my first flipper rebuild last weekend.

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