(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers


By vid1900

7 years ago



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There are 2363 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 48.
#151 6 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

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?

One problem with BK you will run into is that the flipper on the upper playfield will have some clearance issues with the new longer/larger baseplate. But it can be done. I'll look around I remember someone doing a post about it, I have not converted mine yet but it is on my todo lis

Edit: Found it, I knew I bookmarked this. Siegecraft did an awesome job documenting the flipper upgrade to a Black Knight here http://www.siegecraft.us/blackknight6.htm

And seeing on a BK you will need the backplate, may as well just get an entire assembly instead of a rebuild kit. PBL has a good deal on a complete assembly for $36.50 http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=172

#152 6 years ago

Interesting note:

On my FP, neither EOS switch (left or right) has the tensioner leaf, yet the left flipper is stronger than the right.

Both coils are good...

#153 6 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

Vid, how do you have time to make all these detailed posts?

Working on the road, bored out of my skull in the hotel.

#154 6 years ago
Quoted from Prmailers:

Interesting note:
On my FP, neither EOS switch (left or right) has the tensioner leaf, yet the left flipper is stronger than the right.
Both coils are good...

Clean the switch contacts, bend the leafs for best tension.

#155 6 years ago

Maybe a stupid question, but could I do this "upgrade" to B/W flippers on my 1976 Chicago Coin EM? I have had problems finding any rebuild parts (even the Pinball Resourse does not have any) and I would rather have flippers in there that I am already familiar with rebuilding and know parts are available. Thanks. It has the three wire hook ups for the flippers as seen in the photos.

image.jpg image.jpg

#156 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Clean the switch contacts, bend the leafs for best tension.

Thanks, vid. I'm gonna order the correct switches from PBL.

My BK has the ones with the tensioner leaf and a little adjustment made a noticeable difference in flipper strength.

#157 6 years ago

Repaired the left flipper on my Time Warp after smoking a coil during a previous misguided attempt to correct a chattering issue.
Information in this thread was very helpful.
Thanks Vid!

#158 6 years ago

Just bought a HS this week and the top flipper has a little play in it.. Do you think it's because the coil is loose? And just needs to be tighten down with an Allen wrench.. I am on vacation right now but I read through you directions and noticed the part where you said to pinch the coil tighht in postition and tighten down..

#159 6 years ago
Quoted from Decat:

Maybe a stupid question, but could I do this "upgrade" to B/W flippers on my 1976 Chicago Coin EM?

Are they 30 volt coils?

#160 6 years ago
Quoted from Choggard:

Just bought a HS this week and the top flipper has a little play in it.. Do you think it's because the coil is loose?

Could be a lot of things, like a worn linkage.

You will have to dig in and find the problem, or just do a rebuild.

#161 6 years ago

Hey Vid, you got any tips on zipper flippers? Not that they don't work, you just seem to know how to make things better.

#162 6 years ago

Vid, so I'm getting ready to start flipper surgery on my F-14.

Since I'm going to be in here anyways, should the lane change switches be swapped out, cleaned up or adjusted?

There is what looks like a WHT-VIO wire (Which appears to connect to the slam-tilt? What?) that goes to one of the lane change switches. There's a same-colored wire attached to the other lane change switch, but it's not connected to anything. You can see the unconnected end hovering over the right cap in this picture (hey, look! The coils are installed backwards-I'm learning something here!). Where does this go? Does it connect to the right lane switch where the other one connects?

Thanks for all the help!

image.jpg

#163 6 years ago
Quoted from Nuclear_Waste:

Since I'm going to be in here anyways, should the lane change switches be swapped out, cleaned up or adjusted?

Lane change switches are low voltage, low current contacts and just like roll overs and outlane switches can live the life of the game. They are just an extension of the switch matrix (and also why you see a wire to the tilt switch). Let them be.

EOS switches on the other hand are high current, 28-50vdc devices and get abused to crap. Swap them when you do links.

As for the dangling lane change switch, yes that needs to be reattached. On your switch you have 2 wires, one of them is a common between the other switch and as you see the tilt switch. The other is is unique.

Quoted from Nuclear_Waste:

There is what looks like a WHT-VIO wire (Which appears to connect to the slam-tilt? What?) that goes to one of the lane change switches. There's a same-colored wire attached to the other lane change switch, but it's not connected to anything. You can see the unconnected end hovering over the right cap in this picture

WHT-VIO is your ROW 7 line, it goes to both of those lane change switches (real name is Right and Left Flipper E.O.S., as opposed to coil EOS) and also to 'Slam Tilt', 'Right Center Eject', 'Middle Ramp', 'Top Right Loop', and General Yagov. It most likely is supposed to be soldered to the other WHT-VIO on the same switch. Reconnect it. And you most likely will find that with it dangling, one of those others that it goes to is not working right now until you reconnect it.

As for the coils orientation, let them be.

#164 6 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

As for the coils orientation, let them be.

The coils are installed backwards, if you leave them like this the shock of the plunger hitting the coil stop will break the solder joints. The lugs and diodes should be facing inward towards the flipper shaft.

#165 6 years ago

Yeah but twisting them around breaking/extending the wires could cause more problems. I'd fix the switch matrix issue and play it a bit, then when doing a full rebuild go nuts. IMHO.

1 week later
#166 6 years ago

quick question...after reading this post I jumped in and did a (partial rebuild). I had a few minutes so went to work on my RFM. I installed the rebuild kit but didn't have enough time to replace the EOS switches. I wanted some instant gratification and decided to play a quick ball before calling it a night. The flippers are so much better...however....

When I put pressure on the front of the right flipper while it is being activated, it holds hard all the way through the stroke and on the hold. On the left flipper, it gives, like its missing power during the stroke when enough pressure is on it. Is this an example of where the EOS needs to be adjusted/replaced?

Thanks

#167 6 years ago

Go back and replace the switches. The rebuild isn't finished.

#168 6 years ago

I was going to do that for sure, I was just trying to see if that was a common symptum of an EOS switch not working correctly.

#169 6 years ago

Yes, but more to the point, don't debug the symptoms of a job you know you didn't finish.

#170 6 years ago
Quoted from burningman:

quick question...after reading this post I jumped in and did a (partial rebuild). I had a few minutes so went to work on my RFM. I installed the rebuild kit but didn't have enough time to replace the EOS switches. I wanted some instant gratification and decided to play a quick ball before calling it a night. The flippers are so much better...however....
When I put pressure on the front of the right flipper while it is being activated, it holds hard all they way through the stroke and on the hold. On the left flipper, it gives, like its missing power on during the stroke when enough pressure is on it. Is this an example of where the EOS needs to be adjusted/replaced?
Thanks

Most likely the switches. Finish the job and try again.

#171 6 years ago

Turned out great...with pretty gold tipped new switches.

#172 6 years ago
Quoted from burningman:

Turned out great...with pretty gold tipped new switches.

Awesome!

#173 6 years ago

How would you suggest dealing with magnetized flippers? Can that be reversed or should the parts be replaced? If so which part should be replaced, the plunger or the coil stop?

#174 6 years ago

Another question on old flippers... anyone know anywhere to get the old Williams flipper bats with the copper shaft that the set screws screw into? I don't imagine it would work too well with a new style bat since the screws look like they need to bite into the soft copper.

#175 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

How would you suggest dealing with magnetized flippers? Can that be reversed or should the parts be replaced? If so which part should be replaced, the plunger or the coil stop?

Replace the plunger and coil stop.

If you don't the dust will stick around and bind the flipper.

If you already have a tool mag/demagnetizer you could try it, but I would not waste the money to buy one on $10 worth of parts.

#176 6 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

Another question on old flippers... anyone know anywhere to get the old Williams flipper bats with the copper shaft that the set screws screw into? I don't imagine it would work too well with a new style bat since the screws look like they need to bite into the soft copper.

You need that little cut out area around the bottom of the shaft so the expanded metal does not keep it from sliding off for repair.

The set screws displace the shaft metal and cause the metal to flare out, blocking the shafts removal otherwise.

I just saw those old style flippers at the show last week, so they are still around.

Ask and I'm sure someone who had upgraded to the new style will send you their old pair.

1 week later
#177 6 years ago

I've rebuilt flippers a number of times before but have now run into a problem. When I attached the flipper bat rod, I clamped down on the rod fully by making the metal "open" sides of the clamp touch. This would still allow the rod to slip relative to the clamp. I continued to tighten, then check, then tighten, etc... eventually, the bolt sheared. This happened twice.

Am I missing something?

#178 6 years ago

Is the shaft slipping in the clamp or is it possible that the bat is slipping on the shaft? Broken?

#179 6 years ago

That's a good call, I didn't check if the bat was slipping on the rod. The bats are new too. I'll check, thanks.

#180 6 years ago
Quoted from Pacer:

I've rebuilt flippers a number of times before but have now run into a problem. When I attached the flipper bat rod, I clamped down on the rod fully by making the metal "open" sides of the clamp touch. This would still allow the rod to slip relative to the clamp. I continued to tighten, then check, then tighten, etc... eventually, the bolt sheared. This happened twice.
Am I missing something?

Once the "open" gap of the clamp touches, you are pretty much out of the game.

File, use an air cut off wheel or Dremel to grind the gap slightly larger. It won't take much.

#181 6 years ago

The shaft was slipping relative to the bat. The bat was new and I didn't even think to check that until Pafasa's suggestion.

It was exactly what I was missing!

Thanks!

#182 6 years ago

Now you may need to grind the clamp open like vid said. You probably have stretched the clamp a bit and could use that extra turn or two to clamp the new non-defective flipper.

Isn't it amazing how we end up missing things that are right under our noses? I do it all the time.

1 week later
#183 6 years ago

Bump, for all the noobs out there. This thread can be very helpful.

#184 6 years ago

Will be tackling my first flipper rebuild this week, and this is all invaluable advice. Thanks so much to all you guys.

Regarding the coils being installed backwards, on games like my Firepower for example, it's easy to see how that happened. The lug end of the coil has a small plastic tab that fits into a cutout, and originally only the base had that cutout atop the coil stop. Original coil mounting brackets were not cutout, so the coil could only be mounted one way, but the replacements now carried by Pinball Life do have that cutout, so you can flip your coils around (if you have enough play in your wiring, that is).

Question regarding the rubber grommets seen earlier in this thread: I've never seen them mentioned or pictured anywhere before, not even in the well illustrated Planetary Pinball Williams Parts Catalog. Were these normally part of the flipper assembly from the factory? It looks like my Firepower has never had them, as the cranks have worn grooves into the other ends of the base. I would think that adding them would shorten the flipper stroke by 1/8" or so, whatever the thickness of the grommet is, no idea how much that would really affect play though. Thoughts please?

#185 6 years ago

Grommets? Does not ring any bells. Rubber end stoppers (if that is what you are referring to) are common on flipper assemblies so the link does not hit the endstop.

WilliamsFlipper.jpg

#186 6 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

Regarding the coils being installed backwards, on games like my Firepower for example, it's easy to see how that happened. The lug end of the coil has a small plastic tab that fits into a cutout, and originally only the base had that cutout atop the coil stop. Original coil mounting brackets were not cutout, so the coil could only be mounted one way, but the replacements now carried by Pinball Life do have that cutout, so you can flip your coils around (if you have enough play in your wiring, that is).

Rat Tail file is your friend on old coil stops w/o the notch.

You might have to clip a zip tie or two, but I've yet to find a pin that I could not get enough slack to wire the coils correctly.

#187 6 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

Grommets? Does not ring any bells. Rubber end stoppers (if that is what you are referring to) are common on flipper assemblies so the link does not hit the endstop.

Yeah, that's it. Someone had referred to it as a grommet.

Couple more questions: which bolts on the flipper assembly should be Loctited? Which parts (if any) lubed?

#188 6 years ago

I keep all lube away from pins. It only attracts dust. As for loctite, I suppose you can use a dab on the backstop bracket (2x Allen head cap screws).

#189 6 years ago

What about dry lubricant? Especially ones advertised to repel dirt?

#190 6 years ago

That is the purpose of the sleeve and the playfield bushing. To wear/lube. I'd be worried about sling and re-activeness with the other components.

#191 6 years ago

No lube on flippers, ever.

#192 6 years ago

This is great. Thanks.

#193 6 years ago

EM machines need a little lube in the pivot and rotating points of stepper units. Can't think of anywhere else I would put lube of any sort on any pin from any era.

1 week later
#194 6 years ago

What's the best solution with Grand Lizard, or other pin without the tall Capacitor Brackets?
(see pic)

Do I need to buy the $36 assembly x4 for that ?

thanks!
-mof

#195 6 years ago

Good question, i'm interested to know.

#196 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

What's the best solution with Grand Lizard, or other pin without the tall Capacitor Brackets?
(see pic)

Do I need to buy the $36 assembly x4 for that ?

You already have the 50v newer coils, so you don't need the whole assembly w/coil.

You could just get a new base with the capacitor bracket $7.86 :

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

#197 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

What's the best solution with Grand Lizard, or other pin without the tall Capacitor Brackets?
(see pic)
Do I need to buy the $36 assembly x4 for that ?
thanks!
-mof

Are we talking about doing a flipper rebuild using the newer style spring setup? Is this why you want the bracket with the capacitor mount? To use as the spring mount too?

#198 6 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

Are we talking about doing a flipper rebuild using the newer style spring setup? Is this why you want the bracket with the capacitor mount? To use as the spring mount too?

I assume that is what he is wanting it for.

You can screw on a taller bracket to an existing base, but for less than $8, I certainly think that your time could be better spent on other parts of the project.

#199 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I assume that is what he is wanting it for.
You can screw on a taller bracket to an existing base, but for less than $8, I certainly think that your time could be better spent on other parts of the project.

I agree.

I would like to go this route for BK and Firepower. That makes 6 brackets and 3 rebuild kits and 6 bushings. Is there anything else I need and what pinballlife rebuild kit should i get? There are three kits that all look the same to me, but they are labeled differently.

#200 6 years ago

This is an amazing tutorial and I'll be doing this shortly. I did have one question though, is there a good guide of sorts for learning how to solder? I'm new to that and a little worried I'll completely screw everything up. It seems easy but wondering if you guys practice on something before ever doing it on a real machine.

Oh, and is there a recommended soldering iron? I see some people getting those extremely expensive ones. I was just going to pick up something on Amazon.

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