(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers


By vid1900

7 years ago



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#401 5 years ago
Quoted from nedreud:

I'm not imagining things, am I? That right-hand flipper has the high-current NC leaf switch permanently closed shut with some electrical tape and a zip-tie? If anyone were to hold some balls on that flipper during a multi-ball, or the like, then that is going to be toast pretty quick!

You are correct. It actually worked a little.

Its sad because the guy I bought it from never opened up the pin, so he's never had a good game on it.

#402 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Just got my first Gottlieb machine, Black Hole. Wondering what the EOS gap should be... Seems like the stock behavior is about a 1/16" gap, if that.
-mof

Once you clean the switch, you might open it up a little bit.

If it's too close it might arc.

#403 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Once you clean the switch, you might open it up a little bit.
If it's too close it might arc.

I meant to say I put new switches on, and when I compare them to the behavior in all the old ones, it appears the same -- that Gottlieb is set up to only open at 1/16" or less. Does the 1/8" gap rule still apply here? If so, I can try bending something to cause it to happen.

-mof

#404 5 years ago

The higher the voltage, the more likely the arc.

If you can open your gaps up a little over that 1/16", you should be fine.

#405 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The higher the voltage, the more likely the arc.
If you can open your gaps up a little over that 1/16", you should be fine.

Can you say more about the arc and what the goal/concern is?

-mof

#406 5 years ago

So what about the upper flipper in High Speed, would it benefit with a spring upgrade? So Iam gonna get the rebuild kit that you linked for the flippers, gonna get the high voltage EOS switches you linked, the brackets as well you linked for High Speed. I decided not to do the capacitors, only because the type of coil on High Speed dont require it. The EOS is no big deal to clean. So is my list of things to get sound? Thanks

#407 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Can you say more about the arc and what the goal/concern is?
-mof

As conductive carbon builds up on a switch, the distance between the contacts grows smaller.

If the gap between the contacts grows too small, electricity will simply arc across the gap, even though the switch is being held open.

If this occurs (lets say by trapping a bunch of balls during multiball), the arc will keep the high power coil engaged, melting the coil.

As coil voltages went up in latter years, the arc could jump across bigger gaps.

That's how your 20,000v Jacobs Ladder can jump a 10" gap....

jacobs ladder.jpg

#408 5 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

So what about the upper flipper in High Speed, would it benefit with a spring upgrade? So Iam gonna get the rebuild kit that you linked for the flippers, gonna get the high voltage EOS switches you linked, the brackets as well you linked for High Speed. I decided not to do the capacitors, only because the type of coil on High Speed dont require it. The EOS is no big deal to clean. So is my list of things to get sound? Thanks

It's not as important to change the spring mech on an upper flipper, although, for the tiny amount it costs, I usually do it just so everything has the same feel.

#409 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

As conductive carbon builds up on a switch, the distance between the contacts grows smaller.
If the gap between the contacts grows too small, electricity will simply arc across the gap, even though the switch is being held open.
If this occurs (lets say by trapping a bunch of balls during multiball), the arc will keep the high power coil engaged, melting the coil.
As coil voltages went up in latter years, the arc could jump across bigger gaps.
That's how your 20,000v Jacobs Ladder can jump a 10" gap....

Ok -- I finally get it, this is about future-proofing against one day holding the flipper button down, and still having a current pass through and frying the coil.

I would say then that I should attempt to bend every single flipper switch I have in this Gottlieb, and try to increase the gap. They sure are tiny in this game -- more like 1/32".

-mof

#410 5 years ago

Hey Vid, I ordered everything for High Speed's flipper upgrade that you suggested, but have a question about the coil stops in the flipper rebuild kit you linked for the upgrade. You mention to get different EOS switches (I did), but what about those coil stops as they seem that photo you showed with the system 11 coil stop up against the fliptronic coil stop. We need to change out those stops correct?

Also on the lane change and eos switch stack on the factory base plate bracket there is a metal spacer between the lane change switch and eos switch, and the new base plate brackets you recommend ( I ordered 3 by the way, 2 rights and 1 left.) do not have that metal spacer there. Can you explain why the factory has this metal spacer in place, and do I need to do something to the new base plate brackets when I get them in the mail? Thanks Vid, cant wait to experience the difference in play, oh and I'am doing the upper right flipper the same as the 2 lower. Jeff

#411 5 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

but what about those coil stops as they seem that photo you showed with the system 11 coil stop up against the fliptronic coil stop. We need to change out those stops correct?

Early Fliptronic were shorter like the Sys11, the last ones they made were taller to give less flipper range of motion and cradle ability.

Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

Also on the lane change and eos switch stack on the factory base plate bracket there is a metal spacer between the lane change switch and eos switch, and the new base plate brackets you recommend ( I ordered 3 by the way, 2 rights and 1 left.) do not have that metal spacer there. Can you explain why the factory has this metal spacer in place, and do I need to do something to the new base plate brackets when I get them in the mail?

Post a pic of the spacer.

#412 5 years ago

Vid, I'am going to be using the same coils I have in the machine now (theres nothing wrong with them at this time) will they be in tight on the new base plate brackets? Thanks

#413 5 years ago

Your coils will fit tight.

Remember to squeeze the coil stop/ coil/ bracket sandwich together as you tighten the coil stop bolts.

#414 5 years ago

Its close to the base plate on High Speed, almost the same. www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=709 See the small spacer tab where the stack switch (EOS and lane change) goes?

Here is a picture of my LEFT side flipper assembly currently on my High Speed, look where the metal spacer tab separates the lane change and EOS? How am I gonna mount this on the new base plate brackets? Thanks1797335_10201309980141275_124244106_n.jpg1797335_10201309980141275_124244106_n.jpg

#415 5 years ago

Vid, were we suppose to buy these for the new mounting plates? http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=368 They don't show these in the pic on pinballlife. Let me know?

Just called Terry and he said that to use the bracket that's on my current base plate and just transfer it to the new mounting plate. He said he was 99.9% percent sure its gonna work. He said what you see in the pic. on his website is what you get, and I didn't see the coil mounting bracket is why I asked.

#416 5 years ago

So, it has been stated that the normal flipper travel is 2-3/8" What is correct flipper travel for the games that use the long coils stops and have reduced travel?

#417 5 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

Vid, were we suppose to buy these for the new mounting plates? http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=368 They don't show these in the pic on pinballlife. Let me know?
Just called Terry and he said that to use the bracket that's on my current base plate and just transfer it to the new mounting plate. He said he was 99.9% percent sure its gonna work. He said what you see in the pic. on his website is what you get, and I didn't see the coil mounting bracket is why I asked.

No need to buy an extra bracket, just transfer it over to the new base.

If it's bent out of square (no longer 90*), just put it in a vise and hit it with a hammer.

#418 5 years ago

Hey Vid, Do you have any Data East flipper instructions? My Tommy needs a rebuild. I have a broken flipper link on a pawl, and as a quick fix before that, I wanted to just replace the link. How would you remove the metal piece that connects the link to the pawl?

#419 5 years ago

Ok, thanks Vid! You mention something about aligning the flipper and you said to clamp a piece of wood down to hold flipper in place. I'am not understanding exactly where you would do this, where you would clamp, pictures always help. Also, on the gap gauge tool that goes between flipper bat and bushing, do you have to cut the credit card just like the gap tool or can you just stick the card up under there, tighten down, and pull it out. I also posted a picture like you requested showing that spacer tab and I like to see what you think on how the mounting of the switch stack goes on the new mounting plates without this spacer there?. Thanks, Jeff

#420 5 years ago
Quoted from RacerRik:

So, it has been stated that the normal flipper travel is 2-3/8" What is correct flipper travel for the games that use the long coils stops and have reduced travel?

Anyone know the answer?

#421 5 years ago
Quoted from mulder2010:

I have a broken flipper link on a pawl, and as a quick fix before that, I wanted to just replace the link. How would you remove the metal piece that connects the link to the pawl?

There is a roll pin that you tap out with a punch.

roll pin.jpg
#422 5 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

You mention something about aligning the flipper and you said to clamp a piece of wood down to hold flipper in place. I'am not understanding exactly where you would do this, where you would clamp, pictures always help.

I don't have a picture, but just make sure that the flippers align in a straight line with the lane guide that delivers the ball.

Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

Also, on the gap gauge tool that goes between flipper bat and bushing, do you have to cut the credit card just like the gap tool or can you just stick the card up under there, tighten down, and pull it out.

It's much easier to cut a slot in the credit card - that way it stays put with no hands needed.

Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

I also posted a picture like you requested showing that spacer tab and I like to see what you think on how the mounting of the switch stack goes on the new mounting plates without this spacer there?.

I looked at that picture, but did not see the metal spacer tab.

Basically, just reassemble the switches in the same stacking order on the new base that they were on the old.

If you take out any spacers, you will mess up the EOS stroke distance.

#423 5 years ago

Thanks VID, I'll update when I get her installed. Parts will be in Wed. or Thurs. next week.

#424 5 years ago

Just a quick heads up for those upgrading with the retention spring and having to buy new mounting plates, well you may not need the new mounting plates at all and all you need is the taller bracket with the hole for retention return spring, here http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/01-9375 Its to late for me (3 new mounting plates already been ordered) but others can just get the bracket and save abit of cash.

#425 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

There is a roll pin that you tap out with a punch.

roll pin.jpg 3 KB

Thanks!

#426 5 years ago

Okay this Guide saved me as a newbie and rebuilding a fire damaged Indiana Jones. I followed -everything- in completely rebuilding the flippers, including new flippers and rubber so everything from the bare mounting plate on out was brand new. Played the game for about 10 hours with absolute delight but now the right (blue coil marked Williams came with the kit) flipper low side is being spastic (holding up for a second, then twitching twice and then dying) and everything I can find says the coil is bad. Can this be with a new coil or is there something I haven't found on the forum that I missed? Thanks for your input.

#427 5 years ago

Odd Service Call:

An operator says one of his games has a super weak left flipper. His service guy has replaced the EOS Switch, the coil, the sleeve and the bushing, but the flipper still has no strength.

I tell him that the EOS Switch is probably maladjusted, but he swears his tech "knows his shit".

I get there, game is BK2000.

Left flipper has almost no "knock" to it at all.

Good voltage at coils.

Flipper manually moves freely through it's range of motion.

EOS Switch gap looks good.

Using alligator clips, I jumper the EOS Switch closed. Flipper kicks like a mule!

I burnish the EOS contacts, re-tension the switch leaves and reset the gap. Flipper still weak.

EOS Switch, although touching, just seems to not have that "snap" when the gap closes.

Removing the 2 mountings screws shows that the switch has fallen apart. Even though it is a brand new switch.

eos-1.jpg
#428 5 years ago

Not only has the switch fallen apart (the two insulator pegs have no grip), the contacts look like the moon surface - and this is after I made a few passes with the burnishing tool (emery stick) . Total piece of crap.

I replace the EOS Switch with one from Pinball Resource and the flipper is flipping full strength.

So keep an eye out for crappy switches if you are rebuilding your flippers and have trouble with their strength soon afterwards .

eos-2.jpg

#429 5 years ago

Vids guides are the best!

1 week later
#430 5 years ago

Ok, I got the rebuild done on all 3 flippers on High Speed. I played first game and wow, flippers were strong and snappy, but after 15-20 min. the left flipper got real weak and barely hit the ball mid field. I pulled the glass and lifted up the playfield and felt the left coil a lot warmer then the right one and both coils are loose in the bracket. I tried squeezing my hardest but it wont sit tight. Not sure what to do, as I don't think the loose coils are the problem as I mentioned the right and upper flipper are excellent in strength. Upper flipper coil is tight in bracket, all coil brackets seem square. Thinking of c-clamping both ends while I tighten the hex bolts on the coil stop. This has beemn a frustrating adventure. I only done one other rebuild on this machine 4 years ago and did it in 30 min. and had no issues. I'am now maybe 15 hours total trying to get this setup to work. Also the right flipper has about 1 1/2 play up and down movement and the left one has about 1/8-1/4 of a inch of play up and down, upper flipper has about an 1/8th of a inch also, but like I mentioned the right and upper flipper are performing strong its the left one giving me all sorts of problems. I assembled all three flippers the same way, so not understanding why all 3 have different play. What am I doing wrong here? Yes I did make a gap tool out of an old credit card, yes I inserted it between the flipper and flipper bushing, I pushed the bat down on top of the gap tool and tightened the pawl a little and then aligned the flippers, and tighten down to hold flipper in place. This just has not gone as easy as my first rebuild. I also had difficulty in putting in those small return springs in those holes and kinda stretch the springs some getting it in the holes. Still have the snappyness and the spring snaps the flipper back to the resting spot, but there has to be a better way to install these springs, yes I used needle pliers and they stretched the damn spring at the ends. On this rebuild the I had to use system 11 coil stops ( good thing I ordered them) as the ones that come with the kit did not fit and are longer then the system 11's, also had to use the old hex bolts for the coil stops as the new ones did not want to go in. Sorry for the long post, I just trying to give you an idea on what I did, and whats going on to see where my problem is. Vid1900 you mention using a rat tail file to elongate the holes so the coil tightens in the bracket, what holes are you referring too and what is a rat tail file? Thanks.

#431 5 years ago

Rebuilt all 3 flippers on Whirlwind using this guide. The game plays 100% better. Love the snappier feel of the newer style flippers.

1 week later
#432 5 years ago

Hey all ,
Vid1900 thanks for your time, effort and shared intelligence.. i had many problems and questions before reading your guide and the Q's and A's following it and now i don't..
i've just finished a semi restore on a Gottlieb Sys 3 Street Fighter 2 and realised there's as many 'tweaks' as there is actual settings when it comes to flipper strength and alignment.
though i have now self harmed my machine .. i had three wobbly and weak flippers before my efforts and now i have 2 cracking strong flippers and one wounded .. i've somehow managed to get 50v across both terminals on the coil of the upper left flipper instead of 50v on the outer and 1v on the centre.. making the flipper try to move but it stutters and stops which is cooking my coil..
all wires have been replaced correctly and there's no shorts visible to me. i havent tracked the voltage back yet but have read something about Q relays that might be a problem ..i know where they are but i have no idea what they do .. i have spent many hours and fuses trying to fix this but i'm calling for help now as i have to get the machine out of the workshop soon.
any help will be appreciated ..

2 weeks later
#433 5 years ago

Howdy,

Trying to replace the flipper bushings on an Addam's Family, but they appear to be stuck fast to the flipper base plate... Any suggestions?

Have removed the bolts underneath, but screws are not turning - various screw drivers are just ruining the screw posi/Philips head...

Cheers.

#434 5 years ago

So you removed the lock-nuts from the backside of the plate, and now the screws will still not turn CCW?

Heat the screws up with a big solder gun or micro torch - someone may have used Loc-Tite on them.

Turn the now ruined screws with a pair of Vice-Gripsvise-grip.gif

187470-i.jpg

#435 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

So you removed the lock-nuts from the backside of the plate, and now the screws will still not turn CCW?
Heat the screws up with a big solder gun or micro torch - someone may have used Loc-Tite on them.
Turn the now ruined screws with a pair of Vice-Grips

187470-i.jpg 39 KB

Hello,

Yes, locknuts removed ok, but screws not turning and ruining the heads. Haven't tried vice grips on them, may give that a go.

Thanks.

3 weeks later
#436 5 years ago

Here's a snap of my flipper rebuild/restoration using this guide. Flipper is from a Bally Paragon:

FlipperRebuild 002 800.jpg

Fitted a lot of new parts (most noticeable is the plastic bush) and all the metal parts got buffed, even the screw heads! I completely stripped and rebuilt the leaf switches as the contacts were in pretty good condition and only needed a light burnishing (also these old Bally switches are difficult, aka expensive, to get hold of in the UK). Operation is so much smoother!

I also made my own gap tool using an old store card. Simply drilled a 1/4-inch hole near the edge then snipped up to it with a pair of scissors:

FlipperRebuild 001 800.jpg

#437 5 years ago
Quoted from nedreud:

I also made my own gap tool using an old store card. Simply drilled a 1/4-inch hole near the edge then snipped up to it with a pair of scissors:

How do you use that?
cheers
/Micael

#438 5 years ago

The only question is how to get just the right (verified) card ? ))

Greetings from Croatia

#439 5 years ago
Quoted from cro_pinman:

The only question is how to get just the right (verified) card ?

As long as the card is .7mm thick, it will be fine.

Most credit cards I've measured are the correct thickness.

#440 5 years ago
Quoted from mima:

How do you use that?

Hold it to the underside of the flipper with a rubberband so it leaves the proper gap after you tighten the shaft.

31483-i.jpg

#441 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Hold it to the underside of the flipper with a rubberband so it leaves the proper gap after you tighten the shaft.

31483-i.jpg 20 KB

Ahh, thanks for clarifying that it was the clearance gap. I was all into eos gap somehow and did not get the gap-tool application
/mima

#442 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

cro_pinman said:The only question is how to get just the right (verified) card ?
As long as the card is .7mm thick, it will be fine.
Most credit cards I've measured are the correct thickness.

Thanks Vid, but question was a joke

1 week later
#443 5 years ago

Just rebuilt my first flipper ever using this guide and it went smoothly (thanks Vid!) though I have a concern since I'm getting a hum/buzz on hold.

I rebuilt because the right flipper on Gorgar started chattering and I saw the coil was broken at the plastic. Not sure if it had always been like that or I broke it at some point. I replaced the coil and all parts of the mech. I took it VERY slowly, labeling wires and moving most connections one at a time on a bench. Connections seem solid though I am no expert with the soldering iron.

The flipper works and seems strong and responsive but I get a slight hum/buzz when holding. How normal is that? It's not very loud and I've noticed it on Flash before. I checked the other Gorgar flipper and it does it a bit though not as much. I don't mind the noise but want to makes sure there's no problem. My concern is that even though the EOS is gapped properly and I can watch it open, is it possible I'm never switching to low power? I can post pics tonight if needed. Thanks!

#444 5 years ago

Just make sure that everything is tight and there is no play in the brackets that hold the coil.

If the coil has play it will buzz for sure, but some coils have a slight buzz in the windings themselves....

#445 5 years ago

Thanks, that's reassuring. I'll check it again but I think I tightened it up pretty good according to your instructions (and also moved the diode side away from the coil stop since the old one was in backwards).

1 week later
#446 5 years ago

Great thread. I'm struggling with a weak left flipper on F14 though. What has been done;

New bushings fitted.
New coil sleeve
New links fitted
Any slight wear to end of coil plungers and end stops filed off ( was next to nothing )
Flipper gap tool used to set gap between flipper and bushing
New springs although still system 11 conical springs fitted.
Correct coils are fitted ( red 11630's )

I haven't changed the eos switches or capacitors ( yet ). I noticed the weak flipper eos switch arcs every time it's fired and was going to change it until I read one of the posts above which says shorting out the eos switch with a crocodile clip made the flipper kick like a mule so I tried that but it hasn't made any difference.

Coil resistances are equal between left and right flipper ( 4.8 ohm/168 ohm ).
Diodes have been replaced although they seemed to measure fine anyway.
Voltages seem fine, measuring about 74vdc at coil terminals ( Seem high but I'm told that will drop under load? )

Where do I go from here? Eos switch seems likely but haven't I eliminated that by jumpering it with a crocodile clip?

#447 5 years ago

Never mind, I did some further testing and started getting some strange resistance readings from the coil. Replaced the coil with a spare I had taken off another machine and all is good now.

#448 5 years ago

any recommended upgrades for classic stern? I purchased a kit from pinball life but I have not installed it yet.

#449 5 years ago

Couple questions about flippers on an early Stern solid state machine.

I had a flipper that had too much wiggle which made dead passes impossible. Ball would hit the flipper and just roll off and drain. I replaced the bushing which fixed the problem, but the flippers are still not as solid as newer games when dead passing. Normal for old flippers, or fixable?

Sometimes when holding the flipper up, a fast ball will strike it and cause the flipper to pullback a bit then rebound (which launches the ball up rather than letting it bounce off harmlessly). I suspect the force exceeds the power of the coil at the EoS position, the flipper snaps back until the EoS switch disengages which then launches it forward at full power. Again, is this normal for old flippers, or is it fixable?

#450 5 years ago
Quoted from pinballlizard:

any recommended upgrades for classic stern? I purchased a kit from pinball life but I have not installed it yet.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers/page/6

This is older Williams, but it is almost the same (near the bottom of the page).

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