(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers


By vid1900

7 years ago



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1 week later
#252 6 years ago

Oh my god.. you know, you'd think someone that's owned as many games as I have in 2 years would have half a friggin' clue by now...NOT SO MUCH!

Let me tell you, I had a harrowing experience last night, lol. I decided to do a partial rebuild on my Twilight Zone..just gonna replace the sleeves and coil stops, the stops were starting to go concave and I wanted to see if I could get some more juice on these flippers. So I start disassembling everything, and apparently I never messed with WPC flippers when I had my STTNG, but I could've sworn I did..

It's like there's NO FRIGGIN WAY to get an allen wrench in there to torque down the pawl when the flipper is "at rest" and you've got the toothpick in the rubber on the top of the playfield in the alignment hole. Good GOD.. I had to take off the lamp board under the flipper mechs, because my socket wrench wouldn't fit in there. I had to remove the coil stop, let the coils hang down, and STILL you can't get to it in the aligned position, no you have to close the pawl enough to hold the shaft in place, move it halfway through the movement, then finish tighetning it... god I HATE Williams flipper mechs! I never had this issue on Tron....all this trouble just to swap out the flipper bats?!!?

The biggest issue of all, though, was the pawls. Whoever rebuilt them last must've used a 9 foot long torque wrench and a 30 foot long hex key to tighen the pawls down AND put thread locker on top of that, because I had a bitch of a time breaking them free of their prior position. The left pawl is so screwed up that after trying to replace the flipper bat it actually will not even grip the new one hard enough to hold it in place, it's gotta be bowed out from over-tightening. The right side works fine, and seems a lot better action-wise, but the left side is BORKED.

I could have avoided all of this, so let this be a lesson to you all: STOP BEING CHEAP, JUST BUY THE WHOLE KIT AND BE DONE WITH IT. Don't waste your time or efforts with these mongoloid-over-tightened pawls, pitted EOS switchs, and the hacks that other people have done. Just put in the extra 10 bucks and time to do it right, because it's a lot more stress to go through this crap. >=|

#253 6 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

I could have avoided all of this, so let this be a lesson to you all: STOP BEING CHEAP, JUST BUY THE WHOLE KIT AND BE DONE WITH IT. Don't waste your time or efforts with these mongoloid-over-tightened pawls, pitted EOS switchs, and the hacks that other people have done. Just put in the extra 10 bucks and time to do it right, because it's a lot more stress to go through this crap

So true.

#254 6 years ago

Yeah, unless you rebuild a lot of flippers, for just once every few years pay the extra $10 and be done with it IMHO.

But if you're always doing it, then stock up on the parts as the savings do scale.

#255 6 years ago

(solved!)

1. What are the little black rubber pieces called that cushion the arm when it slams into the plate? (solved!)

2. Can I get replacement brackets that hold the solenoid in place with the little divet at the top that helps keep the plastic housing in the solenoid from rotating? What are they called? (solved!) Use a DREMMEL!

I don't have any of these brackets (see #2 above) -- so I (sadly) had to put my solenoids in with the diodes to the back-plate... (no choice) (please please forgive me!)

thanks!
-mof

#256 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

1. What are the little black rubber pieces called that cushion the arm when it slams into the plate?

Williams/Bally Rubber Bumper Plug/Grommet
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=276

#257 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

2. Can I get replacement brackets that hold the solenoid in place with the little divet at the top that helps keep the plastic housing in the solenoid from rotating? What are the called?

Reason you don't find them on replacements is because your existing coil is in backwards.

#258 6 years ago

Hey Vid, I am at my last stages on the underside of my Space Shuttle swap. My flippers did not have any capacitor to switch out. Could you show us exactly where we need to solder this in if it was missing entirely? Do I even need one on a 1984 machine since the kit I got in was for a 1988+ machines?

#259 6 years ago

No need for the cap in that era of machine.

#260 6 years ago

Looking for part name.

Can I get a replacement bracket that holds the solenoid in place with the little divet at the top that helps keep the plastic housing in the solenoid from rotating? Otherwise, I have to put my solenoids in backwards =( and that makes me very grumpy.

What is the part called?

thanks!
-mof

#261 6 years ago

Just cut the notch with a rat tail file.

It will take you longer to find the file and put it in the vise, than to actually cut the notch...

#262 6 years ago

(of course you could cut the notch with a Dremmel too)

#263 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

(of course you could cut the notch with a Dremmel too)

You said the magic word: DREMMEL, I am so there dude...
ty
-mof

#264 6 years ago

What are the diodes supposed to measure (in resistance) on Taxi flipper sols (System 11B)? Thanks.

#265 6 years ago

Vid, great thread. Could you clarify please:

1/ the difference between the B/W rebuild kits for 02/1992 to 04/1993 and then 08/1993 to 10/1998? Is it just a different stop assy?

2/ Flipper Stop Assembly: A-12111 vs. A-12390. The only difference I see is that the A-12390 stop is slightly longer, and might also use a different material for the stop itself which like high speed steel (at least the ones I have).
- In a practical sense, what performance/wear advantage do the longer stops provide?
- If we are reconfiguring an early 90’s flipper assy for the newer spring retainer bracket setup, I'm assuming it's also beneficial to swap the A-12111 stop for the A-12390 stop?

3/ Base Plates: is the current model the B-13104-L/R or 16103-L/R? I’ve seen these are other item codes and can’t make heads or tails of which has replaced/superceded which other.

#266 6 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

What are the diodes supposed to measure (in resistance) on Taxi flipper sols (System 11B)? Thanks.

that's not how you check a diode. Should use the diode setting and should be .4 -.6 one way and nothing the other way.

-1
#267 6 years ago

If your DVM does not have a diode ( ->|- ) setting, and the diode is out of circuit, then with resistance mode you will get an open in one direction and fairly low resistance in the other.

#268 6 years ago

Can I use this new style in my 1978 World Cup, or do I need to order the properly dated rebuild kit from pinball life website?

#269 6 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Can I use this new style in my 1978 World Cup, or do I need to order the properly dated rebuild kit from pinball life website?

Follow the directions about 1/2 way down on this page where it says "UPDATING OLD SS FLIPPERS":

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers/page/3

#270 6 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Can I use this new style in my 1978 World Cup, or do I need to order the properly dated rebuild kit from pinball life website?

I upgraded my flash flippers with new mechs. Should be the same with World Cup.

#271 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

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

Does any wiring change if this is done? What's the value? I didn't catch this tip, so I bought four 23/600's for my Sorcerer to future-proof... oh well.

-mof

#272 6 years ago

Dear Vid:

I went and replaced the old FL23/600's in my 1985 Sorcerer with new ones. Now I'm wondering if I made a mistake...

1) I am wondering if I should upgrade them to newer parallel coils?

2) I also got some pics from other Sorcerer owners, and I see that they have large black Caps attached to each of their flippers. I do not. Should I be concerned about this?

thanks,
-mof

#273 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

1) I am wondering if I should upgrade them to newer parallel coils?

No, wait until you smoke a coil and then upgrade.

Quoted from mof:

2) I also got some pics from other Sorcerer owners, and I see that they have large black Caps attached to each of their flippers. I do not. Should I be concerned about this?

Show me a picture of what you are talking about.

#274 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

No, wait until you smoke a coil and then upgrade.

Show me a picture of what you are talking about.

1) -- Can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not. =)

2) here's a pic. I do NOT have these two black caps attached to the flippers:

-mof

donthavetheseblackcaps.jpg

#275 6 years ago

Dear Vid:

Wondering, can you draw up an explanation on how to properly set the flipper buttons, especially when one button triggers TWO flippers like in WW or Sorcerer? I find it rather tricky to set just right.

thanks!
-mof

#276 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

1) -- Can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not. =)

No, I'm being serious. If you just bought new coils, you might just wait until one smokes before changing over.

But if you want to get the longest life out of your EOS switches, and you have money to spare, you could switch over to parallel coils.

Choice is yours.

Quoted from mof:

2) here's a pic. I do NOT have these two black caps attached to the flippers:

I far as I know, F-14 was the first game with circuity that could take advantage of an EOS cap.

I looked at Sorcerer schematic (pg 17) and it does not show the caps.

EDIT: I have seen several Sorcerer games now that DO have those caps, so apparently some did and some did not.

#277 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Dear Vid:
Wondering, can you draw up an explanation on how to properly set the flipper buttons, especially when one button triggers TWO flippers like in WW or Sorcerer? I find it rather tricky to set just right.
thanks!
-mof

I'll see what I can do in the next few weeks for you.

#278 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I far as I know, F-14 was the first game with circuity that could take advantage of an EOS cap.
I looked at Sorcerer schematic (pg 17) and it does not show the caps.

I'll ask in the Sorcerer Group what's up with that -- I appreciate you checking the spec.
-mof

#279 6 years ago

I've never seen caps mounted to coils like that. A big honking ones too!

#280 6 years ago

Your guide is sweet. Following along, disassembly and reassembly was a breeze. The previous owner of my HS2 had the coils mounted backwards. The springs were also messed up. Got the coils on correctly with new springs. The flippers work great now. Thank you.

Thanks out to Lloyd for the encouragement today. I would not have dug into the flippers had Lloyd not walked me through sources for flipper issues when I dropped by SS today.

UPDATE: Lloyd said the coil can be mounted either way and provide the same performance. Maybe I just got lucky but my flippers clearly work much better than they did prior to flipping the coils.

#281 6 years ago
Quoted from MnHotRod:

Your guide is sweet. Following along, disassembly and reassembly was a breeze. The previous owner of my HS2 had the coils mounted backwards. The springs were also messed up. Got the coils on correctly with new springs. The flippers work great now. Thank you.
Thanks out to Lloyd for the encouragement today. I would not have dug into the flippers had Lloyd not walked me through sources for flipper issues when I dropped by SS today.
UPDATE: Lloyd said the coil can be mounted either way and provide the same performance. Maybe I just got lucky but my flippers clearly work much better than they did prior to flipping the coils.

Does that mean your going to keep it now?

#282 6 years ago
Quoted from MnHotRod:

UPDATE: Lloyd said the coil can be mounted either way and provide the same performance. Maybe I just got lucky but my flippers clearly work much better than they did prior to flipping the coils.

Lloyd also pointed out that diodes and wires on the pawl side is better as when they are on the coil stop side, vibration is more likely to break wires and diodes.

LTG : )

#283 6 years ago

Hi Vid, thanks for the great info. One question - how do you know the flipper bats are in the right position before you tighten them down? Think I read/heard there's small holes in the play field and you put tooth pics in them to align the bats? How do you recommend doing this?

Thanks,
Tslayer

#284 6 years ago

You can use a small drill bit in those alignment holes, or just make the flippers continue in a straight line from the lane guides.

On games with neither (like the upper flippers on F14) you can clamp the flippers and lane guide to a piece of wood.

This will hold them in alignment until you can tighten them down.

#285 6 years ago

Thanks - I appreciate it!

#286 6 years ago

Thanks a lot Vid. Even a dummy like me was able to put in my new flippers!

#287 6 years ago
Quoted from DefaultGen:

Thanks a lot Vid. Even a dummy like me was able to put in my new flippers!

If you put in new flips, you are no dummy.

#288 6 years ago

Hi vid. I just upgraded my Black Knight's lower flippers using late model parts, and although it is an excellent, cost effective way to repair this machine with great action, it seems I have lost about a half inch of travel. I know they had two different kit's during the 90's, I'm not sure which ones I used, as I have had them for a while. What exactly is the difference?
Thanks

#289 6 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Hi vid. I just upgraded my Black Knight's lower flippers using late model parts, and although it is an excellent, cost effective way to repair this machine with great action, it seems I have lost about a half inch of travel. I know they had two different kit's during the 90's, I'm not sure which ones I used, as I have had them for a while. What exactly is the difference?
Thanks

Is there any chance you went from a set without grommets to one with? Just had to ask since if you remove the grommets you get much more range of motion.
-mof

#290 6 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Is there any chance you went from a set without grommets to one with? Just had to ask since if you remove the grommets you get much more range of motion.

Yeah, I just figured that out. I would still like to know what the difference is in the early vs. late 90's flipper kits.

1 week later
#292 6 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

I know they had two different kit's during the 90's, I'm not sure which ones I used, as I have had them for a while. What exactly is the difference?

Games made from 02/1992 to 04/1993 have longer flipper travel:

Getaway
Addams Family
Black Rose
Docter Who
Fish Tales
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Whitewater
BS Dracula
Twilight Zone

=========================================================

Games made from 08/1993 to 10/1998 have shorter flipper travel:

Indiana Jones
Judge Dredd
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Demolition Man
Popeye Save the Earth
World Cup Soccer
The Flintstones
Corvette
Road Show
The Addams Family Gold
The Shadow
Dirty Harry
Theatre of Magic
No Fear
Indianapolis 500
Johnny Mnemonic
Who Dunnit
Jackbot
Congo
Attack from Mars
Safecracker
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Scared Stiff
Junkyard
NBA Fastbreak
Medieval Madness
Cirqus Voltaire
No Good Gofers
Champion Pub
Monster Bash
Cactus Canyon

#293 6 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Hi vid. I just upgraded my Black Knight's lower flippers using late model parts, and although it is an excellent, cost effective way to repair this machine with great action, it seems I have lost about a half inch of travel.

Sorry, I just noticed your post today.

Your old coil stops could have been very worn, you might have used that rubber plunger stop that comes in some kits, or you may have used the late 90s Williams parts.

You can just bend the end of the bracket that has the rubber plunger stop on it with a large pair of Vice-Grips and get your range of travel back. It does not take much bending to make a big difference in range of motion.

1 week later
#294 6 years ago

REBUILDING 1967-1979 FLIPPERS

==============================================================

OK, some of you guys were giving me shit for encouraging people to just install modern flipper mechs in older machines (http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers/page/3).

I still think this is a good idea, as the replacement parts are cheaper, the action is tighter, the return springs are snappier, and you can use any style/color flipper bat you choose......but I do respect someone who wants everything original.

This part of the guide covers the last EMs all the way through the early SS games.

So head on over to Pinball Resource with $46 in hand for a complete rebuild kit, and here we go:

http://www.pbresource.com/rebuildkit.html#KT-WFLIP01

#296 6 years ago

The Williams EM/SS flipper mech is actually a pretty simple, durable assembly.

You have a Coil that drives the Plunger into the Coil Stop.

As the plunger reaches the Coil Stop, the EOS (End Of Stroke) Switch becomes open, switching the electricity in the coil from a High Power Winding to a Low Power Winding. This lets you keep the flipper in the up position to hold the ball, without the Coil overheating.

When you let go of the flipper button, the Coil de-energizes, and the Return Spring sends the Flipper back to the home position.

COIL-PARTS.jpg

#298 6 years ago

Here we can see some typical damage to the flipper mech.

The rubber insulation that engages the EOS Switch is worn all the way to down to the metal. (if we had no choice but to fix this, we could use a piece of shrink tubing).

The Spring is rusty and abrasive. When they get this corroded, they usually just break.

The Link is loose and sloppy. The holes have become enlarged so there is now much play in the system.

The plunger is unevenly worn, so this adds even more play. The tip of the plunger is "mushroomed" from repeatedly slamming into the Coil Stop. This makes the plunger drag in the Coil Sleeve, making the flipper weak.

I know someone is thinking they would just file off the mushroom end, and install a new link. These are the same guys that reuse oil filters in their cars. Don't do it. Just buy new, tight parts!

PLUNGER-WORN.jpg

#299 6 years ago

Start by marking the flippers so you know which one came from what mech (unless you are installing brand new ones). You will see why this matters later in the guide.

Then loosen the set screws and pull the flipper back through the top of the playfield.

Next, remove the Coil Stop screws. There are (or should be) two backing nuts on the backside of the Coil mounting plate. Don't lose these nuts, or let them fall into the machine.

If the nuts are missing, replace them with 8-32 nuts.

You don't actually have to remove the the mounting plate, or unsolder the coils to rebuild the flipper mech.

COIL-STOP-NUTS.jpg

#300 6 years ago

Here is a typical, damaged coil stop.

Note the rolled up edge that causes the plunger to Mushroom.

As the Coil Stop becomes worn, it becomes thinner. When it becomes too thin, the Plunger Link will start hitting the bracket and be destroyed.

Don't mess with trying to fix it, just throw it away.

DAMAGED-CIOIL-STOP.jpg

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