(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers

By vid1900

12 years ago


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15 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items. (Show topic index)

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#2801 1 year ago
Quoted from runpatboyrun:

Is there any chance that these parts could be found six years after this post was posted?
All links to Pinball Life are dead and I was wondering where to look for a WPC flipper mech upgrade for a Xenon.

runpatboyrun - Pinball Medics has both rebuild kits and full assemblies, and they have a Montreal location you may be able to pick up at. Regardless, their shipping is lightning fast.

#2802 1 year ago
Quoted from mIkea:

runpatboyrun - Pinball Medics has both rebuild kits and full assemblies, and they have a Montreal location you may be able to pick up at. Regardless, their shipping is lightning fast.

I've already rebuild with a kit I purchased from them. It's time to upgrade!
ç

#2803 1 year ago

I did a flipper rebuild on my Bally X's & O's including the flipper switches as they were badly pitted. I'm getting some sticking of the flippers on the right side. While investigating, I noticed that the flipper switch itself on that side seems to be sticking. I cleaned with alcohol but still happening. Can the flipper switch itself magnetize somehow? I widened the gap a little to see if that would help, but still happening. It seems to start after a few minutes of play, so it builds up over time.

#2804 1 year ago
Quoted from JRC6000:

Can the flipper switch itself magnetize somehow?

No, but the arc can weld them together. You can file a 'crown' onto one of the switches to prevent this. (or both but I usually just do one).

You can also add a capacitor to the switch to reduce the arc.

#2805 1 year ago
Quoted from runpatboyrun:

I've already rebuild with a kit I purchased from them. It's time to upgrade!
ç

They should have WPC mechs/parts as well if that’s what you’re looking for.

#2806 1 year ago
Quoted from slochar:

No, but the arc can weld them together. You can file a 'crown' onto one of the switches to prevent this. (or both but I usually just do one).
You can also add a capacitor to the switch to reduce the arc.

OK, sounds like adding a capacitor is easy enough. Just solder between the two tabs, right? Never done this before, what capacitor do I need? I'm about to place an order with PBResource, so easy to add. There are a ton of things on that page! Any idea which I can use?

http://www.pbresource.com/eleccomp.html

#2807 1 year ago

.1 uf @ 500v (or higher) ceramic disc capacitor

based on earlier posts. I think that's what german games have on them to reduce the sparking.

I've never had to do anything other than shape the contact though. (assuming you don't have something else like something hanging on the PF causing interference)

2 weeks later
#2808 1 year ago

Greetings - Possible to get some insight on my Fathom flipper issue? I am trying to wrap my head around how the two flippers on the right work off of one switch. The normally open and normally closed comments in the schem... Maybe this is easier than I am making it out and a problem between the floor and the machine (me). I am sort of a noob at these circuits and the fine tweak experience is what I lack. Everything is new including the coils.

Lower right flipper works perfect. Upper right is weak and sometimes doesn't kick at all.
All 3 coil windings appear terminated to the solder post and diodes check out. Wiring looks ok as far as I can tell, 85 is black/white on both etc.

Some switch adjustment opinions welcomed. I agree with all Vids comments on the linears IE heavy, sloppy minimal/tangent contact on plungers etc. Will convert them on my PF swap. Just trying to gain a little more insight on this 2 flipper/one switch scenario.

Pics are under power lower right powered, unpowered - upper right powered, unpowered

Thanks

FLIPPER_SCHEM_PIC (resized).JPGFLIPPER_SCHEM_PIC (resized).JPG_1_LOWER RIGHT NO POWER (resized).jpg_1_LOWER RIGHT NO POWER (resized).jpg_2_LOWER RIGHT POWERED (resized).jpg_2_LOWER RIGHT POWERED (resized).jpg_3_UPPER RIGHT_NO POWER (resized).jpg_3_UPPER RIGHT_NO POWER (resized).jpg_4_UPPER RIGHT POWERED (resized).jpg_4_UPPER RIGHT POWERED (resized).jpg
#2809 1 year ago

Use sandpaper to clean the outer switch on the lower right flipper. That switch provides power to the upper flipper. New high power switches (big contacts) can often be oxidized, causing resistance. Can't see the oxidation, but if you measure resistance across the closed contacts, you can measure it. Should be less than 1 ohm resistance. If more than 1 ohm, sand until it's under 1 ohm. 400 or 600 grit works fine on new switches.

Also make sure the switch contacts are meeting evenly when closed. Contacts look a little off in pics, but may be ok once switch is closed.

#2810 1 year ago

My first time rebuilding flippers... Doing it on my recently acquired LOTR, because I wasn't sure of the condition of it. Glad I tore it all down as it was dirty and some things (bushings, eos switch) needed replacing. But the plunger/link assemblies and stops actually seem in great shape, not many miles on them in my novice view. I went ahead and used all the new parts from my rebuild kit, but should I hang on to these for a future pin/rebuild? They are slightly different make, but seem equivalent.

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#2811 1 year ago

Very common for the EOS bracket to break on Stern's, so yeah, hang on to the old parts.

Stern links often wear where the bushing goes. Can't see the wear looking at it, but can feel the excessive play caused by the wear by wiggling the parts back and forth. Once disassembled, you can see the wear in the link hole.

#2812 1 year ago

I have a box of old flipper parts just in case something is out of stock or shipping takes too long.

I generally buy plunger/links, coil stops, EOS, sleeves, and bushings in bulk its much cheaper than buying kits.

Make sure the link has the metal insert washer in it. I've changed out many loose plungers that were metal on plastic. These are also something to have on hand because they are easy to drop when installing.

#2813 1 year ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Use sandpaper to clean the outer switch on the lower right flipper. That switch provides power to the upper flipper. New high power switches (big contacts) can often be oxidized, causing resistance. Can't see the oxidation, but if you measure resistance across the closed contacts, you can measure it. Should be less than 1 ohm resistance. If more than 1 ohm, sand until it's under 1 ohm. 400 or 600 grit works fine on new switches.
Also make sure the switch contacts are meeting evenly when closed. Contacts look a little off in pics, but may be ok once switch is closed.

Thanks. I attached a meter to the upper EOS and although it looked like it was making a good connection, the tension on the switch was extremely light. When the lower flipper actuated, the vibration caused the upper EOS to open early/intermittently. I tweaked the upper (then all the EOS switches) to be more under tension preload and it's all good now. I see why some of the later switches have an additional metal backer leaf on them now as Vid pointed out earlier. Live and learn

2 months later
#2814 1 year ago

I just rebuilt the flippers on my ID4, but now the left flipper seems awfully loose. If I try to dead bounce off the left flipper, the ball will hit the flipper and just lose all momentum and roll down the flipper into the drain. It's like the flipper is a shock absorber or something because there is so much loose play in it. I have rebuilt many flippers before but never had this issue.

Anyone else have this issue before?

#2815 1 year ago
Quoted from Bugsy:

I just rebuilt the flippers on my ID4, but now the left flipper seems awfully loose. If I try to dead bounce off the left flipper, the ball will hit the flipper and just lose all momentum and roll down the flipper into the drain. It's like the flipper is a shock absorber or something because there is so much loose play in it. I have rebuilt many flippers before but never had this issue.
Anyone else have this issue before?

Maybe it is binding up at the bushing, or the return spring is too weak to bring it back to fully down position. Did you replace both in the rebuild?

#2816 1 year ago

Posting some pictures of what my new Motordome’s old lower two flipper mechs are like. Pretty amazing to me that the right one hasn’t busted off (missing screw, loose, spring shot). Will be following the early Vid guide on upgrading these. Now to call Steve and not get yelled at…

Left Flipper
4CD9CADE-5214-46C1-B1D1-260846A858AB (resized).jpeg4CD9CADE-5214-46C1-B1D1-260846A858AB (resized).jpeg

Right Flipper
A11B4113-7AB4-4E93-B0A9-4C7FD78F3C4E (resized).jpegA11B4113-7AB4-4E93-B0A9-4C7FD78F3C4E (resized).jpeg

Right EOS Switches
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Right Flipper
B0F296CC-1B9E-40AF-B0A7-96E38C74E673 (resized).jpegB0F296CC-1B9E-40AF-B0A7-96E38C74E673 (resized).jpeg

Left Flipper
E91F56EF-784B-4976-B4F5-BE67BA225AAD (resized).jpegE91F56EF-784B-4976-B4F5-BE67BA225AAD (resized).jpeg

Upper Right Flipper
B24029C6-00BE-4900-98C8-93B301B84865 (resized).jpegB24029C6-00BE-4900-98C8-93B301B84865 (resized).jpeg

Upper Left Flipper (raised)
C1D5865F-484C-44D2-9BB6-DFAD084F61A9 (resized).jpegC1D5865F-484C-44D2-9BB6-DFAD084F61A9 (resized).jpeg

#2817 1 year ago

^ Dat iz somtink!

Your coil stop mounting holes in pic #2 may be stripped out, especially if someone rammed sheet metal screws into the holes.

Tap the next size up threads into it, or swap the left and right base plates (assuming the threads are virgin on those)

3 weeks later
#2818 1 year ago

Does the flipper build for the 6803 Bally (Motordome) need a capacitor to increase the life of the switch? Also, what do you put on the crank so it's not metal on metal contact? Electrical tape? Is that to avoid wearing the metal switch, or to avoid electrical currents? Thank you

#2819 1 year ago
Quoted from MiniPinHead:

Does the flipper build for the 6803 Bally (Motordome) need a capacitor to increase the life of the switch? Also, what do you put on the crank so it's not metal on metal contact? Electrical tape? Is that to avoid wearing the metal switch, or to avoid electrical currents? Thank you

No cap

You can put shrink wrap on the Crank (the hard plastic-y shrink, not the soft rubber stuff)

#2820 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

No cap
You can put shrink wrap on the Crank (the hard plastic y shrink, not the soft rubber stuff)

Is there something preformed, like I'm seeing on other switches. Or do you have a link to your favorite material? Sorry, I'm really not sure if I'm supposed to be using Glad here, haha. I was thinking heat-shrink tubing for wires, but it's too small.

#2821 1 year ago
Quoted from MiniPinHead:

Is there something preformed, like I'm seeing on other switches. Or do you have a link to your favorite material? Sorry, I'm really not sure if I'm supposed to be using Glad here, haha. I was thinking heat-shrink tubing for wires, but it's too small.

Just get the cheap stuff @ HF

https://www.harborfreight.com/5-16-inch-x-8-ft-black-heat-shrink-tubing-66767.html

2 weeks later
#2822 1 year ago

Is the nylon and the washer in the correct place and direction? They’re hidden in a lot of photos.

6C8A0105-1B94-42B8-9ECE-2AB6D5BAD39F (resized).jpeg6C8A0105-1B94-42B8-9ECE-2AB6D5BAD39F (resized).jpeg

Look away, I’m hideous! (old coil)

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I don’t even want to think about all the things wrong with that coil. Saying “replace” over and over is like word bleach

#2823 1 year ago

The flanged end of the sleeve goes towards the coil stop

I've heard both ways on the spring washer. I put them on the coil stop, reasoning being that when the flipper fires, the coil gets pulled away from the coil stop, so seems like you'd want a solid connection on the other end?

#2824 1 year ago

This way with the washer would mimic how it was originally installed, taking into account Vid’s improvements. Is that acceptable?

07DCE65A-A8CB-472A-B95E-296C448EDAA5 (resized).jpeg07DCE65A-A8CB-472A-B95E-296C448EDAA5 (resized).jpeg

This might be overkill, but if the washer has a slight bend to it, do you want the bend facing the coil or the metal? I was thinking the coil, so the metal takes the sharp edges and not the nylon of the coil.

#2825 1 year ago

Flanged end of the sleeve goes at the coil stop end.

Wavy washer goes on the non-flanged end.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers/page/15#post-2235465

1 month later
#2826 1 year ago

Thank you all for the help and posts, especially you Vid. Finally made one of the modified Bally flippers. Utilized some stainless steel hinges to make the L brackets so they’d be strong and snug, and trimmed some stainless steel machine screws so the switches wouldn’t short out on the crank screws that stick out pretty far. Going the Molex route for reconnecting the wires (much easier for a newbie solderer). Actually enjoyed the soldering part of the process. The annoying part was realizing I needed a vice to enjoy those manly minutes in the garage Vid talked about Thanks again for the Flitz recommendation - cleaned things up nicely

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#2827 1 year ago

Did the second flipper. Read about Loctite 242 / Blue. Utilized that, including removing the first flipper to reassemble and apply it to the screws. Having the Molex made removal of the first flipper a breeze Now onto the third and fourth flipper assemblies

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#2828 1 year ago

Replacing a bunch of the parts on all four flippers on a Paragon I just picked up. I’m discovering the holes are slightly smaller on all the bushings from PBR, and the screws don’t go through them. Can I just drill them out slightly?? Could this affect pawl placement somehow? Thanks…

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#2829 1 year ago

I just did a flipper rebuild on my EBDse, replaced everything but the coil. There was no 'wavy washer' in place prior so there was a bit of play in the coil. I installed a wavy washer with the rebuild and now the coil seems out of alignment just enough to make the flipper stay up when the button is released. a quick tap on the other flipper, or on the side of the machine and it's pulled back down again. What the heck shoudl I do. is it important which direction the 'wave' is facing on the washer or some orientation issue there? I even tried a tighter spring and it helped a bit but the sucker still sticks.

#2830 1 year ago
Quoted from Dakine747:

Replacing a bunch of the parts on all four flippers on a Paragon I just picked up. I’m discovering the holes are slightly smaller on all the bushings from PBR, and the screws don’t go through them. Can I just drill them out slightly?? Could this affect pawl placement somehow? Thanks…

Turns out, yes I can!

#2831 1 year ago
Quoted from Dakine747:

Replacing a bunch of the parts on all four flippers on a Paragon I just picked up. I’m discovering the holes are slightly smaller on all the bushings from PBR, and the screws don’t go through them. Can I just drill them out slightly?? Could this affect pawl placement somehow? Thanks…[quoted image]

I always just screw right into them. I figure the extra friction will act like a nylon lock nut and prevent the screws coming loose again

#2832 1 year ago

Working on a Paragon flipper rebuild, and replacing the EOS and secondary switches on the two bottom flippers. The replacement switches are wider than the ones they are replacing, and now the mounting screws aren’t long enough - even after removing the little metal piece that sits under the screw heads. What options might I have here? Feedback welcomed. Thank you!

#2833 1 year ago

Transplant the new blades to the old stack.

#2834 1 year ago
Quoted from slochar:

Transplant the new blades to the old stack.

Thanks! I didn’t realize that the bakelite came apart that easily! Rather than use the old stack, I removed a few of the spacers, and ended up with the exact same switch stack thicknesses without using the old ones. Thankfully there were multiple thin segments rather than larger single segments, so it was simple to do. And the extra length of tubing through the stack was easily trimmable with an exacto knife. Now all is well.

#2835 1 year ago
Quoted from Dakine747:

Thanks! I didn’t realize that the bakelite came apart that easily! Rather than use the old stack, I removed a few of the spacers, and ended up with the exact same switch stack thicknesses without using the old ones. Thankfully there were multiple thin segments rather than larger single segments, so it was simple to do. And the extra length of tubing through the stack was easily trimmable with an exacto knife. Now all is well.

Keep all the spacers from switch stacks for the next time you may need them.

#2836 1 year ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Keep all the spacers from switch stacks for the next time you may need them.

Yah, I learned awhile back to never throw any parts away, that could someday be useful.

#2837 1 year ago
Quoted from StoneyCreek:

I just did a flipper rebuild on my EBDse, replaced everything but the coil. There was no 'wavy washer' in place prior so there was a bit of play in the coil. I installed a wavy washer with the rebuild and now the coil seems out of alignment just enough to make the flipper stay up when the button is released. a quick tap on the other flipper, or on the side of the machine and it's pulled back down again. What the heck shoudl I do. is it important which direction the 'wave' is facing on the washer or some orientation issue there? I even tried a tighter spring and it helped a bit but the sucker still sticks.

Coil stop or Coil Bracket is probably not square to the base.

Start with the Coil Bracket, and fix up everything from there

Sometimes the bracket is bent, and no longer 90* to it's base tab. Put it in a vise and hit with a hammer to square it up again.

#2838 1 year ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

Someone had done a nice job converting to WPC style flippers, but had improperly wired the return wire to the EOS switch such that when the EOS opened, the high power lug was completing the circuit, not the hold power lug. Never trust previous people's work.

I feel like this scenario is a rite of passage.
I was reading the thread and getting ready to suggest you check that, lol.
Went through exactly this on a machine a few years ago. I still have to puzzle over schematics to remember which is the banded side of the diode, lol. But I check out the wiring specs on any machine I don’t know for sure wasn’t already flipping nicely before I begin working on it.

#2839 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Coil stop or Coil Bracket is probably not square to the base.
Start with the Coil Bracket, and fix up everything from there
Sometimes the bracket is bent, and no longer 90* to it's base tab. Put it in a vise and hit with a hammer to square it up again.

Thank Vid. I guess when I took the play out of the coil mounting with the wavy washer, it aligned to what you suspect is a bent bracked. I'll check it out.

#2840 1 year ago

3/4 Motordome flipper mechs done Sometimes I have to adjust the spring a bit so that I don’t hear the twang sound when it extends and retracts. No need to accept that, as it’s a nuance that can easily be fixed by testing and repositioning the spring.

19514C50-ABC7-46D7-8B4E-738B641468E5 (resized).jpeg19514C50-ABC7-46D7-8B4E-738B641468E5 (resized).jpegD00AE977-B0B1-462B-ABCE-FA40FFC48944 (resized).jpegD00AE977-B0B1-462B-ABCE-FA40FFC48944 (resized).jpegF87CC68D-2149-4D26-8DCE-C10706A98726 (resized).jpegF87CC68D-2149-4D26-8DCE-C10706A98726 (resized).jpeg
#2841 1 year ago

4/4 Motordome flippers rebuilt (3/3 pops, too). Thank you Vid! Couldn’t have done this without you sharing your knowledge

Is there a slingshot rebuild thread?

One thing that the rebuilding experience taught me is that the solenoids are all on the same circuit on this 6803. Not sure if that’s always the case, or an era thing, but good to know.

Edit: finished off the screws and had to switch some wiring.

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#2842 1 year ago

Make sure your baseplates have all 4 wood mounting screws installed.

If the holes are stripped, plug with bamboo skewers and then run the screws in

#2843 1 year ago

I recently picked up a... well loved... Flash Gordon. This is my first pinball machine and I'm reading up on things so I can start freshening it up.

The top right flipper is dead. The contact on the switch is missing, so it appears a new switch is in order. The bottom flippers work, but the mechs look pretty original/rough. As they are the original linear style mechs, I'm considering going ahead and upgrading all three flipper mechs.

Here's my question... how should I decide between fliptronics and the "downgraded" mechs from earlier Bally's? If fliptronics are the "best", is there a downside to going that route? It seems like prices for fliptronics and old Ballys kits are comparable.

Any input is appreciated!

#2844 1 year ago

I'd do the downgraded Bally.

It will keep that "bally feel" and give you plenty of snap

#2845 1 year ago
Quoted from feast:

Here's my question... how should I decide between fliptronics and the "downgraded" mechs from earlier Bally's?

Another vote on using the previous Bally mechs - they will fit straight in.

#2846 1 year ago

Thanks guys, I will get those ordered!

#2847 1 year ago

Would you guys mind looking at my shopping list here... am I missing anything? Again, this is to upgrade all three flipper mechs on a Bally Flash Gordon (using the downgrade/upgrade method in post 523).

(1) Bally rebuild kit - KT-BFLIP-03 - https://pbresource.com/rebuildk/kt-bflip-03.jpg

(1) Additional RH side parts from the above kit for the 3rd flipper

(3) EOS switches - DE-180-5018+ (seem to be same as 03-7811) - https://pbresource.com/rebuildk/de-180-5018+.jpg

(1) EOS to stack on the lower RH - SW-1A-183+ - http://www.pbresource.com/rebuildk/wll-sw1a-183+.jpg

Things I'm unsure about:

(3) extension springs - I couldn't find a suggested model for these... will this one work? - WLL-10-364+ - https://www.pbresource.com/rebuildk/wll-10-364+.jpg

(3) base plates - again, not sure. Maybe these? B13104.1R and B13104.1L - https://www.pbresource.com/rebuildk/wll-B13104.1r.jpg and https://www.pbresource.com/rebuildk/wll-b13104.1lt.jpg

(3) coils - need to look up the coils in manual and check what is currently installed

#2848 1 year ago
Quoted from feast:

Would you guys mind looking at my shopping list here...

Might be easier to buy the complete assemblies from PinballLife:
https://www.pinballlife.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=ASE-1587-10X

Specify the flipper coil types as: AQ-25-500/34-4500

The extra switch required on the lower right EOS switch stack to power the upper right flipper:
https://www.pinballlife.com/bally-secondary-end-of-stroke-switch-normally-open.html
You might need longer screws for the extra switch.

These are both Williams base plates and aren't suitable. You should be able to re-use your original base plates. They are universal left and right so if the coil stop bracket screw holes are blown out you can swap the plates to the opposite side.

The early Bally solid-state parts catalogs are available on PinWiki if you want to see diagrams of the flipper assemblies and their part numbers:
https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php/Bally/Stern#Parts_Catalogs

Quoted from feast:

(3) extension springs - I couldn't find a suggested model for these... will this one work? - WLL-10-364+ - https://www.pbresource.com/rebuildk/wll-10-364+.jpg

The original mechs have the spring around the plunger as supplied in the rebuild kit.

#2849 1 year ago

Thanks for the heads up on the prebuilt assemblies! That would definitely be easier. Also appreciate the idea to reuse the baseplates.

I was taking Vid's suggestion at using the Williams' switches instead of the Bally's, so I'll have to see if pinball life stocks those.

The extension springs were also his mod as seen in the photo/post below, but I realized my current mechs have extension springs, so I can swap those over.

Thanks for the info!

Quoted from vid1900:

The new Cranks have 3 cap head bolt holes in them to grip the flipper shaft.
We are going to hijack one of the holes to mount a little spring wing arm. The arm is just a piece of "L" bracket. This allows us to avoid the junky Compression Springs, and use the much superior Extension Springs.
Compression Springs ALWAYS break. They also scratch up the Plunger Shaft, putting more wear on the Coil Sleeve and transferring less power to the flippers due to the increased friction.
-
Wipe off the waxy protective coating on the new Plunger Shafts with Naphtha so you don't contaminate the new Coil Sleeves with sticky goo.
-
Flip the coil orientation around so that the lugs are away from the Coil Stop. This will keep the vibration from breaking the fine coil wires off at the lugs.
-
Adjust the EOS Switch gap so when the Plunger is fully pulled into the coil, the switch is opened 1/8" . Not more, not less.
-
Now when you play your downgraded Bally, you will have solid flipper control and better than new flipper power.
[quoted image]

2 months later
#2850 11 months ago

Okay would love any advice on this, I've been getting my D&D up and running. It's nearly at 100% but the flipper hold is weak. When a ball moving fast hits the flipper it'll re-energize the high power and sort of bounce / trampoline the ball back up. Makes live catching extra difficult.

Flippers have been upgraded via this guide. So everything in the flipper mech is new besides the coil.
Voltage is measuring correctly at high power and hold lugs around 45.6V or so. Tried swapping to a different brand coil stop.
Tried adjusting EOS switches.
Added .01uf 1k Volt caps to the cabinet switches and EOS switches.
Power Supply board and MPU are both new / Weebly.

Running out of ideas besides changing out the flipper coils (which are on order just in case) and open to trying anything.

Thanks in advance!

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