VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers

(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers


By vid1900

6 years ago



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There are 2248 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 45.
#101 6 years ago

Yeah, I've heard that tip too.

Makes sense to me.

#102 6 years ago

I assume the problem if the contacts meet up too soon in the overall flipper range of motion is that a fast ball coming down on a raised flipper (i.e. when cradling another ball during a multiball) could potentially knock the flipper down slightly (into the high power range) and it would pop the cradled back up? does that make sense? is that true?

3 weeks later
#103 6 years ago

Necro bump with a relevant question...

Anyone ever seen screws with diamond shaped heads that go all the way through the bushing and are screwed into the playfield wood!?! This HAD to be a field hack...am down to replacing the flipper mechs on Shuttle's backside and noticed these two screws I can't easily remove because they require basically a square peg bit.....

Odd. As. Heck.

#104 6 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

Necro bump with a relevant question...
Anyone ever seen screws with diamond shaped heads that go all the way through the bushing and are screwed into the playfield wood!?! This HAD to be a field hack...am down to replacing the flipper mechs on Shuttle's backside and noticed these two screws I can't easily remove because they require basically a square peg bit.....
Odd. As. Heck.

Can you post a picture? From your description I can't tell if it's a square headed bolt, a square drive screw, or a diamond shaped something else.

#105 6 years ago

Square drive screw. I can post a pic if you're really interested when I get home. I have them set to the side in my solder/wire/crap catcher tray. Looked goofy as crap.... two huge holes in the playfield under where the bracket was!

I am 100% sure they're a hack. Just a very odd choice.

#106 6 years ago

I've seen square drive screws, but never on a pinball game. Probably left over from someone building a deck. A diamond shaped screw had me curious.

#107 6 years ago

Thanks very much for the photos and info, vid. I'm new to working on pins vs. just playing them but I used your recommendations and not only was it much easier than I expected it to be, but now I've got a good strong flipper instead of a weak one!

#108 6 years ago
Quoted from rancegt:

I've seen square drive screws, but never on a pinball game. Probably left over from someone building a deck. A diamond shaped screw had me curious.

Yeah. They were huge. They actually tore up the screw holes in the bracket. I was able to make do, but I found some spare brackets in a box of parts the other day.

2 weeks later
#109 6 years ago

Very good write up.

An alternative to labeling your wires / color codes is to snip the wire off and leave a small amount attached to the coil lugs. If you leave enough to see the color / stripe its pretty simple to attach your new coil and wires correctly when you have one in your hand as a guide.

Also I believe on system 11 games the cabinet switches had high voltage / arcing on the tungsten contacts. You can safely file or sand tungsten contacts. NEVER sand or file gold plated contacts.
Once you take the time and effort to rebuild your flipper mech. make sure your cabinet switches are doing their job and working correctly as well.

1 week later
#110 6 years ago

Thanks Vid! This will be one of the first steps I take after buying a pin. Rebuilt my NF flippers last night and it makes such a huge difference.

#111 6 years ago

Hi,

Some WPC goodie bags are for sale right now on ebay Belgium, with the most wanted gap tool included ! In case of someone would be interested by those.

http://www.befr.ebay.be/itm/WPC-goodie-bag-/251202158074?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_123&hash=item3a7cd0bdfa

#112 6 years ago

One of the Best topic posts of the year in my opinion
- thanks vid1900

1 month later
#113 6 years ago

Had to stop back and refresh.Rebuilding my FH now. Thanks again

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#114 6 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Had to stop back and refresh.Rebuilding my FH now. Thanks again

Ohhh, shiny and new....

2 weeks later
#115 6 years ago

Vid help me out ,tell me whats the difference?

Picture_068.jpg Picture_069.jpg
Can either be used?

#116 6 years ago

Sure, you can use either spring.

But the one that rides on the plunger is not as snappy, breaks more quickly.

#117 5 years ago

Thanks again Vid! I just did this on my WW using the new style springs and there's a huge difference in flipper feel and play.

#118 5 years ago

The old style conical springs chewed up the plastic link.

#119 5 years ago

Riddle me this ?

What makes some flippers so much more quiet than other? And to clarify ,on the same type,model game. For instance My JM has loud flippers compared to one I played elsewhere. I have bumpers installed and still cant figure it out.

#120 5 years ago

The flippers on my MM seem a bit too powerful. I am running 11629 coils
I was thinking of swapping them out with a set of 11630 coils I wonder if that wold make a noticeable Difference? Also where is the best place to buy coils?

#121 5 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

What makes some flippers so much more quiet than other? And to clarify ,on the same type,model game.

When servicing the flippers, one person may have properly squeezed that front and backing plates toward the coil so it would not flop back and forth. Or may not have replaced the through playfield bushing. Or may not have replaced the backstop and its mushroomed. Could be most anything.

#122 5 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

When servicing the flippers, one person may have properly squeezed that front and backing plates toward the coil so it would not flop back and forth. Or may not have replaced the through playfield bushing. Or may not have replaced the backstop and its mushroomed. Could be most anything.

Yep.

But more likely than anything, the coil is loose because they did not squeeze the stop together.

#123 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

The flippers on my MM seem a bit too powerful. I am running 11629 coils
I was thinking of swapping them out with a set of 11630 coils I wonder if that wold make a noticeable Difference? Also where is the best place to buy coils?

Pinball Life seems to have the best prices.

You can feel the difference in play by switching coils. It is a cheap mod, so go ahead and try it out.

I assume you have the playfield pitch set correctly?

#124 5 years ago

Vid,
Im set at 6.5 Degrees right now, i went steeper and seemed to get more air balls.
What are your thoughts on playfield pitch and flipper strength? also do you think 6.5 Degrees
is a good place to be on MM?

#125 5 years ago

6.5* is fine.

Make sure your flippers have fresh rubber and that the rubber is all the way down against the molded ledge.

Make sure your flippers have good (new) nylon bushings, and that you have the correct amount of gap between the top of the bushing and the flipper itself (use a gap tool or credit card).

#126 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

6.5* is fine.
Make sure your flipper have fresh rubber and that the rubber is all the way down against the molded ledge.
Make sure your flippers have good (new) nylon bushings, and that you have the correct amount of gap between the top of the bushing and the flipper itself (use a gap tool or credit card).

Vid
thanks! i will check these things.

2 weeks later
#127 5 years ago

I'm curious if anyone has found a good combination of plunger/crank and coil stop to put in System 3-7 machines?

My biggest gripe with the original style is setting the crank, those two set screws are a horrible design... The clench type is a lot more effective and easier to set. The problem is, most of those plunger assemblies have the larger plunger. Since that would seriously limit the travel of the bat, I don't know if I'm better off just sticking with what was in there..

#128 5 years ago

Hey guys in the midst of a flipper rebuild an I want to replace my old flippers. What's the secret to removing the old one. I have took the flipper bolt out and I still can't get it. Haha call me a dummy bit I never done this before. Am I missing a step or do I need a hammer to whack it through!!!!

image.jpg

#129 5 years ago

Yes, the metal still has a "bite" on it. You can gently tap on it from the underside with a hammer and have your other hand on the top side ready to catch it so you don't scratch up the PF.

#130 5 years ago

Or stick a screwdriver in there to separate the bite a little and pull it up from top of the playfield

#131 5 years ago
Quoted from Sc1f1:

Or stick a screwdriver in there to separate the bite a little and pull it up from top of the playfield

+1 that's what I do, big flat blade screwdriver, either tap it in the slot as a splitting wedge, or twist it.

1 week later
#132 5 years ago

Thanks, I think you've helped me identify my problem with my loose flipper..

#133 5 years ago

Hey Vid! I have Firepower and Black Knight. I want to rebuild the flippers (all 6) but want to get away from the coil spring. Does the early WPC flipper with the tab and rebuild kit work in my machines? What would you recommend before I buy parts?

#134 5 years ago

Pafasa, that should work fine for Black Knight except that you will need new flipper brackets as the older ones do not have the tab where the new spring attaches. $20 for the pair, but you will also gain replaceable coil stops (the System 7 era brackets have the coil stops integrated).

For Firepower I'm not sure if it was still using the older flipper crank with the screws... if so I have not personally replaced one of those brackets yet but someone else suggested in a thread where I was asking about it that it might not be exactly the same size. Check first to make sure.

#135 5 years ago

You can migrate over to the new flipper bases.

Don't forget to label your wires before you take everything apart.

If you need step by step, please ask.

#136 5 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

Pafasa, that should work fine for Black Knight except that you will need new flipper brackets as the older ones do not have the tab where the new spring attaches. $20 for the pair, but you will also gain replaceable coil stops (the System 7 era brackets have the coil stops integrated).
For Firepower I'm not sure if it was still using the older flipper crank with the screws... if so I have not personally replaced one of those brackets yet but someone else suggested in a thread where I was asking about it that it might not be exactly the same size. Check first to make sure.

Quoted from vid1900:

You can migrate over to the new flipper bases.
Don't forget to label your wires before you take everything apart.
If you need step by step, please ask.

So maybe buy the entire assembly from PinballLife? Or buy rebuild kits and bushings and new style plates (where? Can't find them at pinball life)?

#137 5 years ago

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=259
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=260

I think you'll also want a couple of the grommets http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=276

It'll be cheaper to get the rebuild kit plus the bases and bushings than to buy whole new assemblies

#138 5 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=259
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=260
I think you'll also want a couple of the grommets http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=276
It'll be cheaper to get the rebuild kit plus the bases and bushings than to buy whole new assemblies

Couldn't find just the bases at PinballLife. Thanks!

Figured it would be cheaper to get the parts separately because I don't need the coils.

Sorry, I haven't looked further into this so forgive my ignorance. Will these bolt right in place of the old brackets? Is there any difference in the upper flippers on BK I should know about?

#139 5 years ago

F-14 Tomcat -

If I purchase the rebuild sets recommended (to switch to the better springs) http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=983&parent=172

I notice this kit does not include the capacitors (I think that's what they are- the yellow things) in the traditional kit (http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=976)

Do I just reuse the old ones, or do I want new ones?

Thanks!

#140 5 years ago

UPDATING OLD SS FLIPPERS:
=
=
=
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Ok, so you've got an old game like Disco Fever and you want to update to the modern style flipper mechs. This will REALLY tighten up the feel of the game and eliminate that 'bounce back' feel.

First label your wires so you know where your 28v and ground is.

Sys6-flipper.jpg

#141 5 years ago

Next pull out all the old mechs.

You might give these away to somebody who is a hard core collector - those guys want everything EXACTLY how it came from the factory.

Here for ourselves, we want the snappiest flipper action we can get.

2.jpg

#142 5 years ago

The first problem is that the old coils are shorter than the modern standard, AND they are 28v instead of 50v.

So we need a SFL 19/400 - 30/750 coil. Often used in games like Black Knight*, the coil is full size, 28v and has plenty of power. Exactly what we need.

You also need a base plate, flipper bushing and a high voltage EOS switch (don't reuse the old one that lacks the "helper" spring leaf).

Terry at PL will actually make the entire assembly for you for only $36:

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=172

Here are the options to choose:

z2 (resized).jpg

I know right now many of you are saying "Thirty Six Dollars??? To rebuild my flipper?", but look at it this way:

1. You are getting a completely new everything. Nothing to polish or clean.

2. You are getting that "snappy" Fliptronic feel - the best flipper design ever made.

3. Rebuild kits in the future will only be $21 (instead of $54 for the old style Williams one).

4. You can sell your old mechs and coil and get a few bucks back towards your new stuff.

5. You can use modern flipper bats, so you get all the cool colors, transparent, illuminated......

* Firepower II, LaserCue and Starlight were the first games to switch to 50v flippers.

3.jpg

#143 5 years ago

Find room on the playfield for your new mech.

You might have to spin it 180* to make it somehow fit between lights and wires.

Remember that you have a Right and Left mech, so don't make the rookie mistake of putting them on the wrong side.

Note that the solder lugs for the coil are mounted AWAY from the Coil Stop.

Note where your 28v and GND wire goes in relation to the band on the Coil Diode.

4.jpg

#144 5 years ago

Unless your flipper bats are something special like Time Warp or Disco Fever, just buy new, smooth shaft ones like modern games use:

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=915

But if you do have special flippers and need to reuse them, just make sure that the clamp is squarely on the shoulder. If it's not, you won't be able to get a good enough grip on the shaft.

Shave a small amount of Nylon off of the Flipper Bushing to give you the necessary clearance. Normally less than 1mm.

Gently tighten the shaft clamp, but do not crank down on it yet.

7.jpg

#145 5 years ago

I normally set the EOS Gap while the flipper is still on the bench, as it is easier.

Note that when the flipper is at rest, the helper leaf spring is putting strong pressure on the short contact leaf.

You want to be sure that, as the gap is opened, you see that the helper spring is making the short contact leaf follow into the gap.

If you don't do this, one flipper will be weaker than the other - often 10 minutes into the game.

5.jpg

#146 5 years ago

Here you see the EOS Switch gap with the flipper fully extended.

Note that the gap is exactly 1/8" (3.2mm). Not more, not less.

This makes for STRONG flipper action, by insuring that the flipper does not switch to low power until the very last millisecond.

6.jpg

#147 5 years ago

Finally, align the flipper with the ball guide, so the ball has a perfectly straight path, or in the case of Curved flippers (Williams never called them "Bananas" use the flipper Alignment Pin.

The Alignment Pin is the steel hole behind the flippers, often overlooked. Put a drill bit or fat toothpick in the hole and tighten the flippers clamps down while holding the flipper against it.

That's it.

Your old SS game will play super tight with new mechs, and if you've never played Time Warp with tight, snappy Curved flippers - you are in for a treat!

8.jpg

#148 5 years ago
Quoted from Nuclear_Waste:

I notice this kit does not include the capacitors (I think that's what they are- the yellow things) in the traditional kit (http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=976)

Do I just reuse the old ones, or do I want new ones?

You can reuse the old caps, no problem.

Also in the kit, have them swap the gold plated EOS switches for the high voltage EOS switches:

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

And don't forget flipper bushings:

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

#149 5 years ago

Thanks for all the pics and descriptions.. Makes things alot more comfortable to tackle some issues.

Nick

#150 5 years ago

Vid, how do you have time to make all these detailed posts? Great stuff, Thanks!!

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