(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers

By vid1900

9 years ago


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There are 2684 posts in this topic. You are on page 53 of 54.
#2601 6 months ago
Quoted from JohnTTwo:

I really do not know if ths is the right place to post this, but I watched a cool video from Jersey Jacks on flippers last week and can't find the thread.
I have 2 Addams family games and one played so much harder, I realized the flippers were pointing down the drain like 2 degrees compared to the other machine. Moved the flippers up so little you can hardly notice it and it is like a new game!
What is the best way to set the angle of flippers on a game?

My rule of thumb is to make it a perfect continuation of the angle of the return lane (if present), to prevent any ball hop or slow down. This way the ball whips up or down between flipper bat and lane. The old Williams generally still line up well and don't often require much, though sometimes adjusting said return lane is needed to get it as smooth as possible. Using Cliffy replacement lane guides on my old Bally's like 8BD and Flash Gordon makes it smooth as butter and fast as hell, combined with a modern Fliptronics system with 11630's as described in this thread. My single fave mod of all, thanks to vid1900 and this thread!

#2602 6 months ago
Quoted from pinmeds:

My rule of thumb is to make it a perfect continuation of the angle of the return lane (if present), to prevent any ball hop or slow down

You better not adjust any classic stern flippers... Or a ton of 80s gottliebs. Or Ghostbusters, TWD, etc

#2603 6 months ago

It definitely took a bit of patience to relocate a few things but after about 15 hours of surgery & cleaning, 160.00 worth of parts & LEDS and a 2x4 under the fully extended rear leg levelers... flash is now playing fast as hell.

Thanks Vid1900!

RB

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#2604 6 months ago

Nice. I’m almost done with Laser Cue too.

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#2605 6 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Nice. I’m almost done with Laser Cue too. [quoted image]

I'm glad I only used 2 small screws per plate when I first mounted the new assy's. th e butt end of the flipper bat was a little too high and caused the ball to bounce up as it travelled down the inlanes. luckily there was enough play in the bushing hole to pull both main flippers down to allow a nice fast zip over the flippers.

1 week later
#2606 6 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

I'm glad I only used 2 small screws per plate when I first mounted the new assy's. th e butt end of the flipper bat was a little too high and caused the ball to bounce up as it travelled down the inlanes.

I've done the same thing in the past.

I "spun" the assembly slightly, getting all fresh wood to mount into - and was a little more careful the 2nd time, lol

2 weeks later
#2607 5 months ago

Working on an old Williams EM (1973 Jubilee) and the flipper bats kept rotating no matter how hard I turned the screws. So I did the whole flipper rebuild kit, and bought new flipper bats. Now, one is holding strong, but the other is still rotating slightly down as you play until it's really low. Are there any tricks to get them to stay put? The screws on the new pawls don't really have a point, so they aren't biting into the bats. Should new shafts be roughed up a little? Maybe there is something else I'm missing?

#2608 5 months ago

Jut have to keep cranking away. Maybe try and rough up the spot on the flipper bat rod so that the set screw will bite in easier.

#2609 5 months ago

I think the label used to say "torque to 75 inch pounds", so if you have a HF 1/4" Torque Wrench, you can crank it to the max

#2610 5 months ago

upgrading flash to the new flipper mechs improved the power immensely. This ball is stuck between the plastic and glass on the upper left of the PF. Had to pull the glass down to get it out. Outside edge is working on a hardtop for this game. I have it screaming already. Cant wait to get that.

RB

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#2611 5 months ago

Gottlieb System 3 rebuild tutorial request.

vid1900 , I cannot thank you enough for all your guides. I have learned and applied the wisdom you generously and laboriously shared. I’m a gearhead without a garage, so I bought a cadaver Gottlieb DMD machine and rebuilt the heck out of it with your guides and pinrepair.com (donation made) as my new Haynes manuals.

My flippers are never right. I am constantly tinkering with all four of them.

1. Did you ever post a guide to System 3 Flippers? I cannot find it (or System 1).
2. Is there a way to improve the design? The return springs, for example.
3. What is preventing a swap over to aftermarket Stern assemblies?

Looking at the exploded diagram I have a few questions as what I have in my machine is different (and I forget why).

Q1. Circled green.

I have two bolts (#5) holding the flipper shaft (#4) threaded through the flipper lever assembly (#20). Diagram shows one but there are two threaded holes in the PBR replacement assembly. Those screws drive me crazy crazy crazy as I always experience a shift when tightening. I’ve taken to tightening them alternatively in fractions of a turn.

One would make life simpler, but seems like it would push the shaft out of alignment causing drag. The diagram also says three of that bolt is used in the entire assembly and two of those are on the coil stop.

Q2. Circled blue.

Lugs on coil stop side. Goes against what I’ve read here but there might be a good reason. Your recommendation here would be great.

Q3. Circled red.

Upon dissembling I found two of these spring washers between the coil and bracket. Definitely on both lower flippers. Not sure about the upper ones. Scratching my head on that one. Factory or field repair - adding an extra shim might do something.

I’m doing a second complete PF swap (long story) and will be refurbishing all mechs as necessary (or just for fun).

A write-up would be killer, I can take photos if you need.

Thank you for everything. Thank you in advance. Are you posting again?

- XTN

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#2612 5 months ago

You can swap system 3 gottliebs to williams WPC mechs (just treat it like, say, a T2) without issue as long as they fit. Use the shorter coil stops to retain the gottlieb's high travel, or use a taller one if you want your game harder (makes catching harder and shots 'narrower' due to the angle you can shoot at.

I've also had success improving the action of the original mechs by adding extension springs and using the older style coil stop designed for sys80 games

#2613 5 months ago
Quoted from desiArnez:

Did you ever post a guide to System 3 Flippers? I cannot find it (or System 1).

Every time I fix one, I've never had time to document it.

It takes 4x the amount of time to light and shoot a repair.

Still on my list.....

#2614 5 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Every time I fix one, I've never had time to document it.
It takes 4x the amount of time to light and shoot a repair.
Still on my list.....

A primer on replacing Zaccaria flipper mechs would be good since replacement parts are non-existent.

Possibly using GTB parts?

#2615 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

A primer on replacing Zaccaria flipper mechs would be good since replacement parts are non-existent.
Possibly using GTB parts?

Some of the parts are Bally compatible too

I don't think any of the ops I do service for have any Zac games deployed, so unless I run across one on a homeowner service call, I got nothing right now.

#2616 5 months ago

Is there a preferred method of hammering in the thingy through the plunger?

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#2617 5 months ago

Punch set. I setup on a block of wood and gently start the pin with a small hammer and then use an over sized punch to drive the roll pin in. Then I use the proper size punch to finish setting the pin to the correct depth.

#2618 5 months ago
Quoted from Skidave:

Punch set. I setup on a block of wood and gently start the pin with a small hammer and then use an over sized punch to drive the roll pin in. Then I use the proper size punch to finish setting the pin to the correct depth.

Awesome, thank you.

(Googles punch set)

#2619 5 months ago
Quoted from Mudflaps:

Is there a preferred method of hammering in the thingy through the plunger?[quoted image]

Open the jaws of a vise about 1/8", lay plunger into gap between jaws, tap roll-pin in until it just barely pokes through into the slot.

Now align the hole in the pawl with the protruding stub, and tap the roll-pin through until flush

You need a punch to remove a roll-pin, but only a hammer to install it.

#2620 5 months ago

^^

Thanks, I’m rebuilding all four flippers on Medusa, replacing coils, plungers, links, etc. Fighting a little outside my weight class, but that’s how we learn.

#2621 5 months ago

Squeeze the roll pin in a vice or vice grip slightly. Don't crush and ruin the pin.

Set the part partially onto the squeezed pin so that its set in the hole a bit.

Finish setting the pin by squeezing it in with a vice.

You can also use a drill press or rivet press to get the pins in after they are set in the hole.

Hammering them in sometimes mushrooms the end a bit.

Use a little oil if the parts are dry.

#2622 5 months ago
Quoted from Mudflaps:

^^
Thanks, I’m rebuilding all four flippers on Medusa, replacing coils, plungers, links, etc. Fighting a little outside my weight class, but that’s how we learn.

I just ordered a rebuild kit for my 84 Space Shuttle and I feel the same way. We'll learn.

#2623 5 months ago
Quoted from MusiKyle:

I just ordered a rebuild kit for my 84 Space Shuttle and I feel the same way. We'll learn.

Just go to page 1 in this thread, and follow the directions exactly.

Everyone has to get their cherry busted sooner or later.

Once it's broke, it's no big deal ever again!

#2624 5 months ago

I found this review that documents flipper action, theory, removal, rebuild, and re-installation on an early Williams table. It's a little long (over an hour) but it has a lot of good detail. I apologize if this has been posted already, I haven't read all 53 pages of this thread. I plan to use Vid's guide plus this video to help on my first cherry pop, er... flipper rebuild

#2625 5 months ago
Quoted from MusiKyle:

I found this review that documents flipper action, theory, removal, rebuild, and re-installation on an early Williams table. It's a little long (over an hour) but it has a lot of good detail. I apologize if this has been posted already, I haven't read all 53 pages of this thread. I plan to use Vid's guide plus this video to help on my first cherry pop, er... flipper rebuild

Don't follow that video.

Nobody in over 20 years has used those sucky conical springs on a Williams rebuild, let alone he has the coil backwards.

Seriously, go to page one of this thread, read the first couple pages

#2626 5 months ago
Quoted from MusiKyle:

I found this review that documents flipper action, theory, removal, rebuild, and re-installation on an early Williams table.

I’m glad you found it useful!

Quoted from vid1900:

Don't follow that video.
Nobody in over 20 years has used those sucky conical springs on a Williams rebuild, let alone he has the coil backwards.

Ouch, Vid!

I think it’s easier for an inexperienced person to replace their parts with the same parts that were already there. And I don’t have enough wire slack on my left flipper on Cyclone to flip the coil around, but I do talk about that in the video and why you should do it.

#2627 5 months ago
Quoted from kyle5574:

Ouch, Vid!
I think it’s easier for an inexperienced person to replace their parts with the same parts that were already there. And I don’t have enough wire slack on my left flipper on Cyclone to flip the coil around, but I do talk about that in the video and why you should do it.

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a cock, it's just the truth.

If you already are rebuilding the mechs, it only makes sense to spend 2 extra minutes, and bring the flippers up to top performance.

If you need slack in the wiring on one of the mechs, clip a couple zip ties. They are not sacred. Most sys11 have 6" of slack, if you bring the wires across from the right.

You wouldn't rebuild your old 60s engine and not replace the valves with modern hardened ones, so don't rebuild your flippers with obsolete parts either

#2628 5 months ago

Hey Vid - so, this may not technically be a flipper rebuilding issue per se, but I'm not sure where better to inquire.
I'm working on some classic Stern games, and am finding that the flipper behavior on them leaves me with some questions.
Rebuilding the flippers is a straightforward enough affair, no big problems there, but my questions are these:

The action on Galaxy feels markedly different than on Stars. Not sure quite how to describe it other than that the Galaxy flippers feels almost as though they weigh less - like they have slightly more power behind them than the ones on Stars. In both cases, I have rebuild the flippers using the correct parts, EOS switch gapping is nothing new to me, I've rebuilt flippers maybe a couple dozen times at this point so I'm up on the basic how-to. I replace the old flippers with new "correct" type one flippers in both cases - the ones with a metal plate in the bottom. Cabinet switches replaced on both machines.
Both machines are powered pretty much identically, right? WHy in the world would one feel different from the other? It isn't as though Stars feels underpowered, you can rip the spinner fine if you get the shot just right, but Galaxy feels like it isn't working as hard to send the ball around. I suppose it could just be the difference between a playfield with long shots vs. one with closer ones?

Other question: dead flipper passes don't work reliably on either machine. Like these flipper bats just don't have the bounce that Williams machines from the same era have. Any insight on that? None of this is a deal breaker on game play, but it is different and takes some getting used to. I wouldn't be opposed to even sticking some Williams flipper mechs in there (HERESY!!!) if it was gonna make the games more boundy or fluid, but that seems like a pretty extreme move, and one I wouldn't be in a hurry to make.

#2629 5 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Both machines are powered pretty much identically, right? WHy in the world would one feel different from the other?

The eternal pinball question, lol

#2630 5 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Hey Vid - so, this may not technically be a flipper rebuilding issue per se, but I'm not sure where better to inquire.
I'm working on some classic Stern games, and am finding that the flipper behavior on them leaves me with some questions.
Rebuilding the flippers is a straightforward enough affair, no big problems there, but my questions are these:
The action on Galaxy feels markedly different than on Stars. Not sure quite how to describe it other than that the Galaxy flippers feels almost as though they weigh less - like they have slightly more power behind them than the ones on Stars. In both cases, I have rebuild the flippers using the correct parts, EOS switch gapping is nothing new to me, I've rebuilt flippers maybe a couple dozen times at this point so I'm up on the basic how-to. I replace the old flippers with new "correct" type one flippers in both cases - the ones with a metal plate in the bottom. Cabinet switches replaced on both machines.
Both machines are powered pretty much identically, right? WHy in the world would one feel different from the other? It isn't as though Stars feels underpowered, you can rip the spinner fine if you get the shot just right, but Galaxy feels like it isn't working as hard to send the ball around. I suppose it could just be the difference between a playfield with long shots vs. one with closer ones?
Other question: dead flipper passes don't work reliably on either machine. Like these flipper bats just don't have the bounce that Williams machines from the same era have. Any insight on that? None of this is a deal breaker on game play, but it is different and takes some getting used to. I wouldn't be opposed to even sticking some Williams flipper mechs in there (HERESY!!!) if it was gonna make the games more boundy or fluid, but that seems like a pretty extreme move, and one I wouldn't be in a hurry to make.

Coils are different in the two games; designers spec'd different coils for different games for various reasons (intended ball speed, steepness of playfield, distance of shots from flippers, etc).

Wrong or underpowered coils in the Stars;

Flipper rubbers are different and/or dead on the stars;

The flipper bushings are worn or the flipper shafts on the flippers themselves are worn, causing play in the flippers and robbing the ball of kinetic energy when it dead bounces against an at rest flipper);

The rubber flipper coil stop grommets on the mounting plates are dead or worn, robbing energy from the ball.

#2631 5 months ago

I've rebuilt flippers maybe a couple dozen times at this point so I'm up on the basic how-to.

#2632 5 months ago
Quoted from Grandnational007:

The rubber flipper coil stop grommets on the mounting plates are dead or worn, robbing energy from the ball

Sterns don't have those

#2633 5 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

The action on Galaxy feels markedly different than on Stars.

007 had a bunch of possible reasons, along with:

Sometimes the coil stop has worn out of square (or was even installed slightly out of square) to the plunger.

Sometimes the coil stop is not formed at a perfect 90* angle and has to be bent in a vise

Sometimes the slug in the coil stop is slightly loose from the bracket (you have to peen it over)

Sometimes the plungers are slightly magnetized

Sometimes the coil does not measure the same as it's labeled.

Different batches of springs can have different strengths

Patient: Doc, why does my stomach hurt?
Doc: You could have parasites, an ulcer, or maybe you had lunch at Chipotle.

#2634 5 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Both machines are powered pretty much identically, right?

Not quite. Galaxy has a bigger transformer capable of providing higher current to the coils. Model "16B-6" vs "16B-3" transformer in the Stars. See here:

https://imgproxy.pinside.com/7bMliJ-sZrn6GPaCJIChR3bEfRV_eRGLkg8SIRsJBG0/rs:fit:2048:2048/q:70/aHR0cHM6Ly9vLnBpbnNpZGUuY29tL2IvZDYvMzYvYmQ2MzY5NDdmZjIwY2JlZDBhMTI3MDMwZDA2N2VjNDVjYzY2MTMzMi5qcGc

Also check whether the transformers are tapped for the same line voltage.

Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Other question: dead flipper passes don't work reliably on either machine. Like these flipper bats just don't have the bounce that Williams machines from the same era have.

The playfield should have two pins that the flipper bats rest against. Are they there and are the bats aligned to rest against them?

#2635 5 months ago

I was losing my cool trying to figure this out. Rebuilt my flippers on BSD, and the flippers were pretty weak. Made adjustments, still really weak. Tried troubleshooting some more, cleaning optos, resoldering lugs, etc.

Turns out the cool sleeves in the rebuild kit were just a bit smaller than they should be, and it was introducing some drag. And these came in a rebuild kit from a reputable parts dealer. Going to fire off an email in the morning, and hopefully save some other people from having the same issue.

New sleeve on the left, old sleeves on the right.

coil sleeves (resized).jpg

#2636 5 months ago

Great post. I just had the same issue on a rebuild I did with WPC flippers. Wasn’t the suppliers fault, I grabbed one from my bin that was too short, but same issue.

#2637 5 months ago

Someone who is schematically challenged asked about wiring classic Bally upper/lower flippers. Couldn't readily find something so created this

Revised flipper wiring.pdf
#2638 5 months ago
Quoted from emsrph:

Someone who is schematically challenged asked about wiring classic Bally upper/lower flippers. Couldn't readily find something so created this
[quoted image]

I would love to see a bunch of different “translations” like this.

#2639 5 months ago

Question: So, I see that on Classic Bally and Stern machines, there are two diodes. Are these then parallel coils? Could a capacitor be added to reduce arcing, like they ended up doing on system 11 games?

#2640 5 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Are these then parallel coils?

No.

Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Could a capacitor be added to reduce arcing, like they ended up doing on system 11 games?

Yes, but may not help too much.

#2641 5 months ago
Quoted from emsrph:

Someone who is schematically challenged asked about wiring classic Bally upper/lower flippers. Couldn't readily find something so created this

I've never had a game with more than 1 set of flippers, and I assumed both sets were triggered by the flipper button and fire at the same time... But this schematic seems to indicate that the upper flippers are powered only after the lower set have reached their EOS switch... This probably happens in the blink of an eye, but doesn't this technically mean the flippers operate sequentially?

If I had to guess, this was designed to limit current draw since multiple flipper coils would consume substantial power.

#2642 5 months ago
Quoted from TomKatt:

This probably happens in the blink of an eye, but doesn't this technically mean the flippers operate sequentially?

Yes and this is how it’s always done with lower and upper flippers. Look up flipper staging.

#2643 5 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Are these then parallel coils?

Quoted from GRUMPY:

No.

Yes, but may not help too much.

What is the definition of parallel coil then? I unwound a bally coil a while ago and there are 2 windings, the power stroke in the center against the bobbin and the hold coil wrapped around it. There was no tap into the longer wire like the wms series wound coils are.

I'll have to find a hosed williams parallel wound coil to see how they are wound, I guess the power winding and the hold winding could get wound around the bobbin at the same time ("in parallel") until the power winding comes out.

#2644 5 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

What is the definition of parallel coil then?

A parallel coil has the input power going to both windings at the same time. A series wound coil has power go through the hold winding first and then through the power winding.

Quoted from slochar:

I unwound a bally coil a while ago and there are 2 windings, the power stroke in the center against the bobbin and the hold coil wrapped around it.

Both parallel and series coils can be made the same just like this, all that matters is how the end of the windings are connected together.

#2645 5 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

A parallel coil has the input power going to both windings at the same time. A series wound coil has power go through the hold winding first and then through the power winding.

Both parallel and series coils can be made the same just like this, all that matters is how the end of the windings are connected together.

So there's really a redundant diode on bally/stern flippers then? Nothing to prevent you from rearranging the wiring from the coils themselves to be actual parallel?

#2646 5 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

So there's really a redundant diode on bally/stern flippers then?

No not really, there is a diode for each winding separately. Williams used one diode across both windings together.

Quoted from slochar:

Nothing to prevent you from rearranging the wiring from the coils themselves to be actual parallel?

You can if you like. First pic is a stock wiring. Second pic is for parallel, you need to reverse the hold winding diode. Then move the power wire from lug #1 to lug #2. Move the ground wire from lug #3 to lug #1. Connect the EOS switch from lug #1 to lug #3 instead of lug #1 to lug #2. Piece of cake.

lll (resized).PNGlll (resized).PNG
#2647 5 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

So there's really a redundant diode on bally/stern flippers then? Nothing to prevent you from rearranging the wiring from the coils themselves to be actual parallel?

Just curious, but what are you trying to achieve/fix by doing this?

#2648 5 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Just curious, but what are you trying to achieve/fix by doing this?

Same thing, curious. But also, if there is an advantage to parallel wiring like Williams says you should be able to rewire otherwise perfectly good series wound coils to be the parallel equivalent, mark the wrapper, and save the cost of buying a new coil.

I don't think I've really noticed flipper fade on long games of Bally/Stern games though. It might have always just been marketing hype.

#2649 5 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

you should be able to rewire otherwise perfectly good series wound coils to be the parallel equivalent, mark the wrapper, and save the cost of buying a new coil.

You can but is it worth it? Most people will be confused from the diode and wiring changes and assume it's wrong.

#2650 5 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

You can but is it worth it? Most people will be confused from the diode and wiring changes and assume it's wrong.

To save $10/coil, $20/game (*if* it made a difference)? Sure. I don't even know how you'd measure something like the changes, but the mantra for years since thisoldpinball did it has been "change the series wound coils for parallel for better performance" - on system 11 games with long playing times I can see it. Just wondering if it would make a difference on earlier, other maker games.

If someone somehow acquires one of my games that I've done this on, (this would likely be after my death....) and ignores the notice added to the coil wrapper, that's on them.

I probably will likely never even get around to doing anything with this information/experiment. I have very little time to physically interact with my games right now.

There are 2684 posts in this topic. You are on page 53 of 54.

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