(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers


By vid1900

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 2,373 posts
  • 398 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by WizardsCastle
  • Topic is favorited by 1,094 Pinsiders
  • Topic is sticky in its sub-forum

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There are 2373 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 48.
#51 7 years ago

I asked Terry at PBL specifically about upgrading to the Fliptronics type flipper and posted the question here a few weeks ago:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/system-9-fliptronic-style-flipper-upgrade

Terry said it is not worth it and it is a lot of work for nothing, just buy a few extra conical springs. Any other opinions?

#52 7 years ago

Great thread. I've "sticky" this one for my personal Pinside favorites.

#53 7 years ago
Quoted from FatsoPilot:

I asked Terry at PBL specifically about upgrading to the Fliptronics type flipper and posted the question here a few weeks ago:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/system-9-fliptronic-style-flipper-upgrade

Terry said it is not worth it and it is a lot of work for nothing, just buy a few extra conical springs. Any other opinions?

It's only drilling one small hole. If that is "a lot of work" to someone, then I'm not sure they are up to the task of a complete flipper rebuild.

The conical springs chew up the Flipper Links and often chew up the Plunger too. The Fliptronic springs are stronger, giving the Sys 11 that same snappy feel.

It's up to you if you want to upgrade, but you paid a lot for your game, it deserves to have the best flipper springs you can give it.

#54 7 years ago

vid1900, thank you so much for this guide! Question related to the recent posts...

I recently got a flipper kit with conical springs from Pinballife for my Pinbot. I think I'll return it and get the newer kit, and do the mod you described. But they don't list A-13524-8 on their site. Which kit should I get? Here's the Williams flipper kit page: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=172

Looks like the newer kits don't include capacitors. Should I get new capacitors while I'm at it?

#55 7 years ago
Quoted from RussMyers:

vid1900, this is a great write-up, and I fully concur with doing the spring upgrades to the earlier (i.e. Sys11) flippers, but one thing does concern me - from these pictures you have a low-voltage gold-flashed EOS switch (fliptronics-style) in where the Sys11 design needs the high-voltage EOS switch with the tungsten-contacts.

Like this one:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=262&parent=0

It is the high-voltage NC switch that also has the stronger spring to hold it tightly closed for good current flow.

The weaker gold-flashed EOS switches (fliptronics-style) are not designed for that application.

RussMyers

Russ you are 100%. Thank you.

That's why I did not want to Wiki this guide until I added a few things.

To get really clear pics I used the low voltage switches I had on the bench, cheating I know, but it gets the point across.

=

If anyone else has some important details to add, please post them and I'll flesh this guide out in the next few days.

#57 7 years ago
Quoted from vulture:

vid1900, thank you so much for this guide! Question related to the recent posts...
I recently got a flipper kit with conical springs from Pinballife for my Pinbot. I think I'll return it and get the newer kit, and do the mod you described. But they don't list A-13524-8 on their site. Which kit should I get? Here's the Williams flipper kit page: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=172
Looks like the newer kits don't include capacitors. Should I get new capacitors while I'm at it?

Nobody stocks the actual A-13524-8 anymore, because now you get the Chinese knock off kit, rather than the real Williams clamshell box.

So with that in mind, get this kit:

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=983&parent=0

and these flipper bushings (2):

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=270&parent=60

and these high voltage switches (2):

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=262&parent=58

=

Note that if you already have the new plungers, they sell just the Spring Wings for .75 cents (might be cheaper than sending the whole kit back):

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1510&parent=62

You would already have the high voltage switches in the existing kit, so just add the springs:

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=306&parent=154

Finally, the capacitor usually does not go bad, so reuse it. If yours is burnt up:

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=177&parent=62

#58 7 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

I'm going to check my machines, but I swear to god the coils on every single flipper (2 Sys 9, 3 WPC) that I have, the diodes are butted up to the coil stop, and that's been the case for all prior machines I've owned (3 others, Sys 11a/Old bally SS/Gottlieb System 3) as well.

It seems that sometime around maybe Big Guns and latter, the Williams games started to consistently have the correct coil installation.

Hard to say exactly, because most games have been worked on previously and the coils are usually the wrong size or upside down or who knows what.

It would be fun to check a NIB game and see how it left the factory...

#59 7 years ago

Thanks a lot for the links! I think I know what I need now. But check out my flipper assemblies...I don't see any capacitors. Maybe someone cut them out at some point?

flipper_assemblies.jpg

#60 7 years ago

The games that use series wound coils did not have the caps. I think the first game that used caps and parallel coils was F-14 Tomcat (1987), but don't quote me on that.

So, no need for caps on your game. If you ever burn up a coil (or it overheated and you can't remove the Coil Sleeve), you can flip the wiring and use a Parallel coil. This will make your EOS Switch last longer, and you will then add the cap.

(Some Space Shuttles and Sorcerers had EOS Caps, but not all. They are big, black units that were mounted directly on the playfield, next to the flipper mechs)

#61 7 years ago

Vid, Nice job! I think that some of the best people in this hobby are those that take the time to put together tutorials on repairs and troubleshooting techniques. Thanks, Wally

2 months later
#62 7 years ago

Thanks for a great tutorial Vid, I'm finishing up my 1st flipper rebuild.

..........

2 weeks later
#63 7 years ago

Don't know how I missed this the first time but going to link it to another thread now. The sticky idea is a good one.

2 weeks later
#64 7 years ago

Best.
Post.
Ever.

Just finished rebuilding/upgrading my Whirlwind flippers using vid1900's instructions.
Amazingly easy. The instructions were perfect.

Vid1900 - I owe you a beer.

#65 7 years ago

I especially like two aspects of this tutorial:
1) he recommends replacing the bushing that's not in the rebuild kit. Kudos
2) he recommends using the flipper gap tool. A must. Make one from a business card if you don't have one. Double kudos.

#66 7 years ago

Wow, I only thought that I had rebuilt some of my flippers. This is a great tutorial. I picked up several great tips. Gotta go back and apply.

Thank you!!!

#67 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

In your goody bag, you got a little Gap Tool (sometimes called a fork or by Williams official name "Flipper shaft end play spacing gauge"). Many people do not even know why they have it.

I'm not sure anyone sells them anymore, but the Williams part number was 03-8194.

Only place I know of Vid:

http://www.dmspinballs.com/flipper.html flipgau.jpg

#68 7 years ago

Perfect timing for this bump for me. Going to do my first flipper rebuild soon on my DW.

#69 7 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Perfect timing for this bump for me. Going to do my first flipper rebuild soon on my DW.

Side note:
I didn't have a flipper gap tool and instead used vid1900's credit card trick to space the flipper from the brushing.
Worked perfectly.
Added bonus - I used my wife's credit card.

#70 7 years ago

Don't know why I never noticed this topic before, some great info in here!

Stickied in the tech help sub-forum.

Thanks Vid!

#71 7 years ago
Quoted from Ranhorton:

Added bonus - I used my wife's credit card.

But, did you cut it to the same shape as the tool?

#72 7 years ago
Quoted from bleargh:

But, did you cut it to the same shape as the tool?

But of course.
Had to make sure it fit right

#73 7 years ago

Great info on upgrading old Sys11 flippers to new style. Any thoughts on replacing series coils with parallel on pre-F14 Sys11s?

#74 7 years ago

Great find!

How did you ever know they were there? Google sure didn't.

#75 7 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

Great info on upgrading old Sys11 flippers to new style. Any thoughts on replacing series coils with parallel on pre-F14 Sys11s?

If a coil smokes, so you have to replace it anyway, it is not a bad idea at all (you don't have to replace both coils at the same time).

You can then also add a Capacitor, so the EOS switch will last longer between cleanings.

You have to watch the wiring sequence if you switch coils.

If you guys need a guide to this, let me know.

#76 7 years ago

Is that worth doing proactively? Or not really?

#77 7 years ago

Nice tutorial!!! Rebuilding flippers should be the required test to own a pin.

#78 7 years ago

I see there are a couple recommendations from four months ago, but where is currently the best place to buy the full rebuild kit? I need to get three ordered pronto. Thanks in advance.

#79 7 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

I see there are a couple recommendations from four months ago, but where is currently the best place to buy the full rebuild kit? I need to get three ordered pronto. Thanks in advance.

I picked up my rebuild kit from Marco (normally I shop with pinball life but i had to get a few things that only Marco were carrying at the time).

I ran into one issue with their kit.
When i was tightening down the bolt through the clamp that bites the flipper shaft, the bolt snapped.
I was livid and had to disassemble the old flipper plunger assembly and piece the new one back together.
It worked out in the end, but the metal bolts are weak. They should definitely use a stronger metal bolt – especially since you need to tighten it down enough to bend the metal clamp so it really bites into the flipper shaft.

#80 7 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

Is that worth doing proactively? Or not really?

Hard to say.

If you don't mind cleaning the EOS switches, then wait until you cook a coil.

The replacement coils work exactly the same, so the only real advantage is the switch maintenance.

#81 7 years ago

If you are going to switch to newer Parallel Wound Coils:

FL23/600 - 30/2600 would be replaced by FL11630
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=8

FL24/600 - 30/2600 would be replaced by FL11722
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=10

#82 7 years ago

One thing worth mentioning is that if/when you replace the flipper bushing, be sure to put nuts on the other side of the mounting screws. They come this way, but many times people will leave them off when replacing bushings since the flipper plates themselves are threaded and seem to provide a tight-enough grip on the bushings. Without nuts, the screws will start to come unscrewed over time leading to wobbly flippers, or worse, flippers that rub the playfield. I found this out the hard way when I put some games on location and found multiple bushing screws laying at the bottom of the cabinet only a couple of weeks later.

Also, it might be worth adding flipper alignment info to this guide. A lot of people don't seem to realize that flippers should be lined up in parallel to lane guides. Most that I've seen put a straight edge (or some sort of flat/hard tool) against the lane guide and press the flipper up so it's touching the straight edge, rather than keeping an even spacing between the rubber and straight edge, resulting in a flipper that is tweaked slightly upward.

Great job on the guide, I'm sure it has been a huge help to many people!

#83 7 years ago

Thanks Vid. Guess I will wait and just keep an eye on the EOSes.

#84 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If a coil smokes, so you have to replace it anyway, it is not a bad idea at all (you don't have to replace both coils at the same time).
You can then also add a Capacitor, so the EOS switch will last longer between cleanings.
You have to flip the wiring if you switch coils.
If you guys need a guide to this, let me know.

Yes please. I have a HS that just smoked a flipper coil & I'm a tad new to all of this. Your guide is a godsend for some of us & I'm sure I speak for many when I say we'd love to see the sequel.

#85 7 years ago

Yay

#86 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Great find!

How did you ever know they were there? Google sure didn't.

Thanks Vid.

Just been getting the odd item from them for some time now.

Not flipper related, but they also have this part that's a bit of a difficult find too:

http://www.dmspinballs.com/backbox.html

wingbolt.jpg

#87 7 years ago
Quoted from Ranhorton:

It worked out in the end, but the metal bolts are weak. They should definitely use a stronger metal bolt

The patents ran out on that stuff long ago, so the bolts are just Chinese junk.

The genuine Williams rebuild kits came in a plastic box.

10
#88 7 years ago

If you want to change your old Series Coils out for new Parallel Coils, first label your wires.

The wire(s) that come from the Banded side of the Diode lug is your 50v = make sure you note this.

The center lug goes to your EOS Switch and the non banded side of the Diode lug has both the EOS Switch and the Power Return wires.

-
Same strength replacements:

FL24/600-30/2600 Series wound = FL11722 Parallel

FL23/600-30/2600 Series wound = FL11630 Parallel

SERIES-COIL.jpg

10
#89 7 years ago

Install your new parallel coil and sleeve. Remember that the lugs DO NOT go next to the coil stop.

The wire you labeled 50v power goes to the outside lug with the Banded Diode (the thick and thin coil wires).

The center lug (with the thick coil wire) goes to your EOS Switch .

The outside lug with the Unbanded Diode (the thin coil wire) goes to the EOS Switch and the power return wire.

The capacitor goes to both sides of the EOS Switch. The capacitor has no polarity, so either leg can go to either side of the switch.

PARALLEL-COIL.jpg

#90 7 years ago

Thanks vid1900!

#91 7 years ago

Awesome. Thanks vid, You tutorials are great.

#92 7 years ago

Many thanks vid1900, much appreciated.

#93 7 years ago
Quoted from MrSanRamon:

This is what makes this hobby great, someone sharing knowledge to help others.
Thanks for posting this.
Robert

Agreed

Thanks for all the good pictures. And tutorial.

have more thumbs up right here.

#94 7 years ago

Most informative thread that I have read!
Pinside gold metal award, IMO
Excellent tutorial.

Thank you

#95 7 years ago

Quick question. Will this upgrade work for Data East machines as well? I saw it specify William and SS machines. I need to rebuild the flippers on my DE Batman and wanted to do the upgrade to it as well if it will work.

#96 7 years ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Quick question. Will this upgrade work for Data East machines as well? I saw it specify William and SS machines. I need to rebuild the flippers on my DE Batman and wanted to do the upgrade to it as well if it will work.

Yes, it's basically the same thing.

Remember that Batman has early and latter versions of the flippers, so make sure you order the correct kit for your model.

#97 7 years ago

What is the proper way to set the EOS for a normally open switch as opposed to a normally closed switch?

or maybe a different way to ask this question is, should the swith close just 1/8 inch prior to the peak of the full motion of the flipper? something else??? what is the vid way?

#98 7 years ago

Thanks! The picture with the EOS switch gap is wrong. You have to press the plunger itself down, because there is always some play in the plunger/link connection. Even with new parts.

#99 7 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

What is the proper way to set the EOS for a normally open switch as opposed to a normally closed switch?

or maybe a different way to ask this question is, should the swith close just 1/8 inch prior to the peak of the full motion of the flipper? something else??? what is the vid way?

The vid way??? LOL.

We want the 1/8" gap so the high voltage can't arc across as carbon builds up on it, and it gives us a consistent distance to account for the built in slop in the mechanism.

If the switch you have is low voltage, arcing is less of a worry, but closing the switch in the last 1/8" of movement should be fine.

Post a picture if I did not answer your question sufficiently.

#100 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If the switch you have is low voltage, arcing is less of a worry, but closing the switch in the last 1/8" of movement should be fine.

An EM trick someone told me might apply here as well. If you have it close before the full range of movement, say 1/8" before, then the last 1/8" of movement actually gives a tiny bit of lateral motion between the two pads, and acts as a scraping/sanding motion that keeps the contacts clean.

Someone correct me if that is wrong or some kind of myth tho, lol.

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