(Topic ID: 18292)

VID's Guide to Upgrading/Rebuilding Flippers

By vid1900

9 years ago

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Post #6 Get the right EOS switch Posted by vid1900 (9 years ago)

Post #8 Make System 11 Flippers Feel Tight Like Fliptronic Posted by vid1900 (9 years ago)

Post #88 Replace Old Series Coils With New Parallel Coils Posted by vid1900 (9 years ago)

Post #140 Udate Old Solid State Flippers Into Fliptronic Style Posted by vid1900 (8 years ago)

Post #292 List of games with longer/shorter flipper travel Posted by vid1900 (8 years ago)

Post #294 Rebuilding 1967-1979 Flippers Posted by vid1900 (8 years ago)

Post #390 Coil stop differences between system 11 and Fliptronic Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #520 Rebuilding Bally Linear Flippers Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

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#1 9 years ago

Just got back from a collector's house and 75% of his flippers were weak. Games looked good and clean, but he had no idea how to set up his flippers. There were a lot of terrible flippers at the Michigan Pinball Expo a few months ago, too. Finally, NJGecko wanted to know how to upgrade his System 11 flippers to the newer springs of the Fliptronic era.

Some of this is going to be old hat to the more experienced collectors, but clearly there are a lot of people who need a crash course in the basics:













#2 9 years ago

First, what is going to be wrong with your flippers? If you never rebuilt them, probably everything!

The plunger will be worn, mushroomed at the tip, and have a lot of play in the links.

Your return spring will be limp (or if it is a Sys 11, probably broken).

Your EOS (End Of Stroke) switch will be pitted and corroded.

Your Coil Stop will be concave, causing the plunger to become mushroomed.

Your Coil Sleeve will be cracked or worn.

Your coils might well be the incorrect ones.


#3 9 years ago

The Coil Plunger needs to be smooth so it does not drag in the Coil Sleeve.

A common problem is that the tip will mushroom and bind in the sleeve. This will create drag or seize the flipper entirely.

Another problem is that if the Coil Bracket ever became loose, or a plunger spring ever broke, it can chew up the Plunger. This of course leads to the Coil Sleeve becoming chewed up.



#4 9 years ago

The EOS Switch needs to make solid electrical contact, or the flipper will be very weak.

If the contacts are all pitted and corroded, you can't get good contact.

If the gap between the contacts is not correct, you will have weak flippers (more on this latter).


#5 9 years ago

The Coil Stop takes a constant beating. As the plunger hammers away, it becomes concave and helps shape the plunger into the dreaded mushroom shape.


#6 9 years ago

So, how do we fix all these common problems? We throw all that junk away and get a rebuild kit.

I know, there are people who file the mushroomed tips, clean dirty sleeves and re-stretch springs, but the flippers are the most important part of the whole game. You spent thousands of dollars on your game and now you are going to try and save $20 on a kit??? Your game deserves to play at factory (or better) condition.

You can get a kit from Pinball Life, or any other mail order place. Don't expect to get a genuine Bally/Williams kit in the little plastic box. Nowadays, the patents have run out, so you get an overseas made kit.

If you have a System 11 game, get the newer (Williams reference #A-13524-8) kit anyway. It will have the much desired stronger return spring, and only requires a small (one time) modification to install it. Also get a pair of high voltage EOS switches ( Williams reference #03-7811) as the ones included in the kit are for low voltage games:



Before you order, check page 2 of your owner's manual and make sure that the correct flipper coils required for your game are installed. 50% chance if your game was once on route, at least one of them will be wrong. Sometimes the wrong coils were installed at the factory (like many F-14 Tomcats), so you really need to check this.

Finally, you need to order some flipper bushings. These are very important if you want to keep the flippers from cutting into your playfield, or creating unnecessary airballs. They don't come in the rebuild kits, but you absolutely need them for a rebuild.



#7 9 years ago

Start by labeling the wires that go to the flippers, you can use Blue Painter's Tape. Then label the coils themselves. You can write on the coil plastic with a Sharpie (it cleans off with alcohol). Now you can put the game back together again without blowing anything up.

Unsolder your now clearly marked wires with a 25w soldering iron. If you don't have one yet, your going to need one constantly to maintain a pinball game. Don't buy one for less than $20, trust me on this.

If there are any "lane change" switches and wires ganged up with the EOS switch, label and unsolder those too. Unlike the EOS Switches, the Lane Change switches usually do not need to be replaced, only cleaned. Just pull a crisp $100 bill through the held together contacts, until the bill pulls through cleanly. The first pull will be very black with carbon.

Loosen the flipper nut, and carefully pull the flipper bat out from the top of the playfield.

Next, get out a 1/4" nut driver and remove the hex head screws from around the flipper bracket. Take the whole assembly out of the game and onto a well lit workbench covered with newspapers. If you don't cover your workbench, you will soon be sorry as the whole bracket will be covered with black carbon and iron dust.

The dust comes from the metal on metal pounding between the Plunger and Coil Stop. Some more dust comes from the spark that occurs at the EOS Switch. It's filthy.

Unsolder the EOS Switch Capacitor, and put it aside.

Take the old Coil Sleeve out and discard it. If the sleeve is tight, press evenly on the bench to get it out. If it is absolutely stuck, the coil may have overheated at some point. Replace the coil, they are only $10.

Discard the old Coil Stop, the Spring, the Plunger/Link assembly, the Bushing, and the EOS Switch. No reason to save them as spares, because once you play on a game with new flipper mechs, set up correctly, you will never even think of reusing that old junk.

Take the saved parts to the sink and scrub with Fantastic cleaner (or any other degreaser) and a toothbrush. Don't get the coil label wet or it will fall off. Just use the damp toothbrush and clean the coil inside and out.

Don't put the metal parts in a tumbler for too long or with high abrasives. The parts are zinc plated and the tumbler could remove this protective plating. When you see restored games where the hardware is completely covered with white corrosion, you know somebody tumbled off all the coatings. If you, or someone before you already did this, tumble again and spray with a light coating of clear Polyurethane.


#8 9 years ago

System 11 owners update:

Unless someone really took care of your game before you, you have the awful, conical spring that rides around the outside of the plunger. This spring is usually weak, broken and corroded. It is simply a poor design choice as it chews up the Plunger Link and sometimes the Plunger itself.

No doubt you have noticed the "snap" of the newer Fliptronic games and now you can have their superior snappiness too.

You will need to drill a 1/16" (1.5mm) hole in the Capacitor Bracket. Don't drill through the Capacitor itself (you removed it in the last step, yes?).

Measure from the picture below. Use a punch to keep the drill bit from walking around. Once you drill the hole, file off any sharp edges on both the front and back.


#9 9 years ago

System 11 owners update part 2:

You will note that your new "Fliptronic" arms have spring tabs on them. Never again will they suffer with conical springs.


#10 9 years ago

Now it is time to reassemble.

Put the new Bushing in the flipper bracket. All three nuts on the topside have to be tight, or your playfield can become damaged.

Put the new Coil Sleeve in the coil. This is where it helps to have a bag of Sleeves, because sometimes one will fit where none of the others will. If none of them fit, the coil may have overheated and really (I know, you don't want to spend another $10) should be replaced.

The Coil Sleeve protrudes from the Diode side of the coil. Don't put it in backwards.


#11 9 years ago

Make sure the coil gets installed the correct direction. The Diodes or even the Coil Tabs tend to break if you put them next to the Coil Stop.


#12 9 years ago

This is the correct installation of the Coil; Diodes safely away from the Coil Stop. It matters, do it right.

Some Coils were installed backwards at the factory, so you may have to pull a little slack wire from the harnesses to reach the proper position. Don't worry if you have to clip a few nylon Zip Ties to produce the slack you need.

If there is a little plastic nipple on the coil, you can cut it off, or cut a little notch in the coil bracket with a Rat Tail File or Dremel.


#13 9 years ago

When installing the Coil, squeeze the brackets towards each other as you tighten the cap head bolts.

You don't want the coil moving around robbing your game of power. Tight is what you want, no play, no slop.


#14 9 years ago

It's not in your kit, but remember to zip-tie your Capacitor to the bracket.

Now solder the Capacitor to the new EOS switch. The Capacitor has no polarity, that is a fancy way of saying that either lead can go to either terminal of the switch.

The Capacitor helps keep the switch from pitting as much. Yes, you should use it.


#15 9 years ago

Now for the section that strikes fear into the nubies hearts = setting the EOS Switch gap!!!

When the flipper is not energized (in its relaxed state), the EOS Switch needs to have solid contact.

So gently bend the leafs of the switch so that they are nicely sprung together. Not just barely together, but actually making good contact.


#16 9 years ago

Now when the flipper is energized (the plunger all the way into the coil), we need the EOS Switch to open or the coil will overheat.

Press the plunger down all the way till it stops with your finger, and make sure the switch gap opens to EXACTLY 1/8" (3.2 mm). Not more, not less. (there are a few System11 games that want less than a 1/8" gap, check your manual)

You may have to fiddle with the leafs to get them touching when relaxed and 1/8" gap when plunged, but it is a lot easier to do on the bench than installed in the game. You will get the hang of it, take your time and get this exactly right.

A Leaf Adjuster tool makes setting switch gaps and tension a breeze. If you own a pinball game, you should have one in your tool box:



#17 9 years ago

In your goody bag, you got a little Gap Tool (sometimes called a fork or by Williams official name "Flipper shaft end play spacing gauge"). Many people do not even know why they have it.

I'm not sure anyone sells them anymore, but the Williams part number was 03-8194.

I measured a few of them and they are consistently .7mm, so maybe someone wants to make a knockoff.

After you put the flipper mechs back on the playfield, you need to set the gap between the Flipper Bat and the top of the Flipper Bushing.


#18 9 years ago

I'm showing the Gap Tool on the Flipper Bushing NOT installed in the playfield, just for clarity.

I can hear some of you moaning that you did not get a tool with your game. Lucky for us, most credit cards are about .7mm thick. Cut a notch in your card and make your own. Don't cut through the magnetic strip or the embossed numbers, if you ever want to use the card again.

The original Williams instructions show the tool being used between the Crank and the Flipper Bushing. It is much easier to put the tool above the playfield, between the Flipper and the Bushing. That way the tool is far from the under playfield clutter. If it is your first time adjusting flippers, you can rubber-band the tool to the flipper so you don't have to worry about it falling off.


#42 9 years ago
Quoted from williams:

Nice. Do you have any interest in adding this info to the Sys11 section of the pinwiki? I've written the flipper rebuilding section for Data East, and although they are similar there are definitively enough differences. This is very detailed and would be a great addition!

I'll look on the pinwiki and see what it takes to post.

I'll want to add some more pics and make a few wording changes for clarity.

#43 9 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

Great article vid1900. Any interest in posting this on PinballRehab.com? I could post for you and give you full credit if that's easier.

Sure, give me a few days to add a few more pics and edit a few sentences.

#53 9 years ago
Quoted from FatsoPilot:

I asked Terry at PBL specifically about upgrading to the Fliptronics type flipper and posted the question here a few weeks ago:


Terry said it is not worth it and it is a lot of work for nothing, just buy a few extra conical springs. Any other opinions?

It's only drilling one small hole. If that is "a lot of work" to someone, then I'm not sure they are up to the task of a complete flipper rebuild.

The conical springs chew up the Flipper Links and often chew up the Plunger too. The Fliptronic springs are stronger, giving the Sys 11 that same snappy feel.

It's up to you if you want to upgrade, but you paid a lot for your game, it deserves to have the best flipper springs you can give it.

#55 9 years ago
Quoted from RussMyers:

vid1900, this is a great write-up, and I fully concur with doing the spring upgrades to the earlier (i.e. Sys11) flippers, but one thing does concern me - from these pictures you have a low-voltage gold-flashed EOS switch (fliptronics-style) in where the Sys11 design needs the high-voltage EOS switch with the tungsten-contacts.

Like this one:

It is the high-voltage NC switch that also has the stronger spring to hold it tightly closed for good current flow.

The weaker gold-flashed EOS switches (fliptronics-style) are not designed for that application.


Russ you are 100%. Thank you.

That's why I did not want to Wiki this guide until I added a few things.

To get really clear pics I used the low voltage switches I had on the bench, cheating I know, but it gets the point across.


If anyone else has some important details to add, please post them and I'll flesh this guide out in the next few days.

#57 9 years ago
Quoted from vulture:

vid1900, thank you so much for this guide! Question related to the recent posts...
I recently got a flipper kit with conical springs from Pinballife for my Pinbot. I think I'll return it and get the newer kit, and do the mod you described. But they don't list A-13524-8 on their site. Which kit should I get? Here's the Williams flipper kit page: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=172
Looks like the newer kits don't include capacitors. Should I get new capacitors while I'm at it?

Nobody stocks the actual A-13524-8 anymore, because now you get the Chinese knock off kit, rather than the real Williams clamshell box.

So with that in mind, get this kit:


and these flipper bushings (2):


and these high voltage switches (2):



Note that if you already have the new plungers, they sell just the Spring Wings for .75 cents (might be cheaper than sending the whole kit back):


You would already have the high voltage switches in the existing kit, so just add the springs:


Finally, the capacitor usually does not go bad, so reuse it. If yours is burnt up:


#58 9 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

I'm going to check my machines, but I swear to god the coils on every single flipper (2 Sys 9, 3 WPC) that I have, the diodes are butted up to the coil stop, and that's been the case for all prior machines I've owned (3 others, Sys 11a/Old bally SS/Gottlieb System 3) as well.

It seems that sometime around maybe Big Guns and latter, the Williams games started to consistently have the correct coil installation.

Hard to say exactly, because most games have been worked on previously and the coils are usually the wrong size or upside down or who knows what.

It would be fun to check a NIB game and see how it left the factory...

#60 9 years ago

The games that use series wound coils did not have the caps. I think the first game that used caps and parallel coils was F-14 Tomcat (1987), but don't quote me on that.

So, no need for caps on your game. If you ever burn up a coil (or it overheated and you can't remove the Coil Sleeve), you can flip the wiring and use a Parallel coil. This will make your EOS Switch last longer, and you will then add the cap.

(Some Space Shuttles and Sorcerers had EOS Caps, but not all. They are big, black units that were mounted directly on the playfield, next to the flipper mechs)

4 months later
#74 9 years ago

Great find!

How did you ever know they were there? Google sure didn't.

#75 9 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

Great info on upgrading old Sys11 flippers to new style. Any thoughts on replacing series coils with parallel on pre-F14 Sys11s?

If a coil smokes, so you have to replace it anyway, it is not a bad idea at all (you don't have to replace both coils at the same time).

You can then also add a Capacitor, so the EOS switch will last longer between cleanings.

You have to watch the wiring sequence if you switch coils.

If you guys need a guide to this, let me know.

#80 9 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

Is that worth doing proactively? Or not really?

Hard to say.

If you don't mind cleaning the EOS switches, then wait until you cook a coil.

The replacement coils work exactly the same, so the only real advantage is the switch maintenance.

#81 9 years ago

If you are going to switch to newer Parallel Wound Coils:

FL23/600 - 30/2600 would be replaced by FL11630

FL24/600 - 30/2600 would be replaced by FL11722

#87 9 years ago
Quoted from Ranhorton:

It worked out in the end, but the metal bolts are weak. They should definitely use a stronger metal bolt

The patents ran out on that stuff long ago, so the bolts are just Chinese junk.

The genuine Williams rebuild kits came in a plastic box.

#88 9 years ago

If you want to change your old Series Coils out for new Parallel Coils, first label your wires.

The wire(s) that come from the Banded side of the Diode lug is your 50v = make sure you note this.

The center lug goes to your EOS Switch and the non banded side of the Diode lug has both the EOS Switch and the Power Return wires.

Same strength replacements:

FL24/600-30/2600 Series wound = FL11722 Parallel

FL23/600-30/2600 Series wound = FL11630 Parallel


#89 9 years ago

Install your new parallel coil and sleeve. Remember that the lugs DO NOT go next to the coil stop.

The wire you labeled 50v power goes to the outside lug with the Banded Diode (the thick and thin coil wires).

The center lug (with the thick coil wire) goes to your EOS Switch .

The outside lug with the Unbanded Diode (the thin coil wire) goes to the EOS Switch and the power return wire.

The capacitor goes to both sides of the EOS Switch. The capacitor has no polarity, so either leg can go to either side of the switch.


#96 9 years ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Quick question. Will this upgrade work for Data East machines as well? I saw it specify William and SS machines. I need to rebuild the flippers on my DE Batman and wanted to do the upgrade to it as well if it will work.

Yes, it's basically the same thing.

Remember that Batman has early and latter versions of the flippers, so make sure you order the correct kit for your model.

#99 9 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

What is the proper way to set the EOS for a normally open switch as opposed to a normally closed switch?

or maybe a different way to ask this question is, should the swith close just 1/8 inch prior to the peak of the full motion of the flipper? something else??? what is the vid way?

The vid way??? LOL.

We want the 1/8" gap so the high voltage can't arc across as carbon builds up on it, and it gives us a consistent distance to account for the built in slop in the mechanism.

If the switch you have is low voltage, arcing is less of a worry, but closing the switch in the last 1/8" of movement should be fine.

Post a picture if I did not answer your question sufficiently.

#101 9 years ago

Yeah, I've heard that tip too.

Makes sense to me.

3 months later
#114 8 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Had to stop back and refresh.Rebuilding my FH now. Thanks again

Ohhh, shiny and new....

2 weeks later
#116 8 years ago

Sure, you can use either spring.

But the one that rides on the plunger is not as snappy, breaks more quickly.

1 week later
#122 8 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

When servicing the flippers, one person may have properly squeezed that front and backing plates toward the coil so it would not flop back and forth. Or may not have replaced the through playfield bushing. Or may not have replaced the backstop and its mushroomed. Could be most anything.


But more likely than anything, the coil is loose because they did not squeeze the stop together.

#123 8 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

The flippers on my MM seem a bit too powerful. I am running 11629 coils
I was thinking of swapping them out with a set of 11630 coils I wonder if that wold make a noticeable Difference? Also where is the best place to buy coils?

Pinball Life seems to have the best prices.

You can feel the difference in play by switching coils. It is a cheap mod, so go ahead and try it out.

I assume you have the playfield pitch set correctly?

#125 8 years ago

6.5* is fine.

Make sure your flippers have fresh rubber and that the rubber is all the way down against the molded ledge.

Make sure your flippers have good (new) nylon bushings, and that you have the correct amount of gap between the top of the bushing and the flipper itself (use a gap tool or credit card).

1 month later
#135 8 years ago

You can migrate over to the new flipper bases.

Don't forget to label your wires before you take everything apart.

If you need step by step, please ask.

#140 8 years ago


Ok, so you've got an old game like Disco Fever and you want to update to the modern style flipper mechs. This will REALLY tighten up the feel of the game and eliminate that 'bounce back' feel.

First label your wires so you know where your 28v and ground is.


#141 8 years ago

Next pull out all the old mechs.

You might give these away to somebody who is a hard core collector - those guys want everything EXACTLY how it came from the factory.

Here for ourselves, we want the snappiest flipper action we can get.


#142 8 years ago

The first problem is that the old coils are shorter than the modern standard, AND they are 28v instead of 50v.

So we need a SFL 19/400 - 30/750 coil. Often used in games like Black Knight*, the coil is full size, 28v and has plenty of power. Exactly what we need.

You also need a base plate, flipper bushing and a high voltage EOS switch (don't reuse the old one that lacks the "helper" spring leaf).

Terry at PL will actually make the entire assembly for you for only $36:


Here are the options to choose:

z2 (resized).jpg

I know right now many of you are saying "Thirty Six Dollars??? To rebuild my flipper?", but look at it this way:

1. You are getting a completely new everything. Nothing to polish or clean.

2. You are getting that "snappy" Fliptronic feel - the best flipper design ever made.

3. Rebuild kits in the future will only be $21 (instead of $54 for the old style Williams one).

4. You can sell your old mechs and coil and get a few bucks back towards your new stuff.

5. You can use modern flipper bats, so you get all the cool colors, transparent, illuminated......

* Firepower II, LaserCue and Starlight were the first games to switch to 50v flippers.


#143 8 years ago

Find room on the playfield for your new mech.

You might have to spin it 180* to make it somehow fit between lights and wires.

Remember that you have a Right and Left mech, so don't make the rookie mistake of putting them on the wrong side.

Note that the solder lugs for the coil are mounted AWAY from the Coil Stop.

Note where your 28v and GND wire goes in relation to the band on the Coil Diode.


#144 8 years ago

Unless your flipper bats are something special like Time Warp or Disco Fever, just buy new, smooth shaft ones like modern games use:


But if you do have special flippers and need to reuse them, just make sure that the clamp is squarely on the shoulder. If it's not, you won't be able to get a good enough grip on the shaft.

Shave a small amount of Nylon off of the Flipper Bushing to give you the necessary clearance. Normally less than 1mm.

Gently tighten the shaft clamp, but do not crank down on it yet.


#145 8 years ago

I normally set the EOS Gap while the flipper is still on the bench, as it is easier.

Note that when the flipper is at rest, the helper leaf spring is putting strong pressure on the short contact leaf.

You want to be sure that, as the gap is opened, you see that the helper spring is making the short contact leaf follow into the gap.

If you don't do this, one flipper will be weaker than the other - often 10 minutes into the game.


#146 8 years ago

Here you see the EOS Switch gap with the flipper fully extended.

Note that the gap is exactly 1/8" (3.2mm). Not more, not less.

This makes for STRONG flipper action, by insuring that the flipper does not switch to low power until the very last millisecond.


#147 8 years ago

Finally, align the flipper with the ball guide, so the ball has a perfectly straight path, or in the case of Curved flippers (Williams never called them "Bananas" use the flipper Alignment Pin.

The Alignment Pin is the steel hole behind the flippers, often overlooked. Put a drill bit or fat toothpick in the hole and tighten the flippers clamps down while holding the flipper against it.

That's it.

Your old SS game will play super tight with new mechs, and if you've never played Time Warp with tight, snappy Curved flippers - you are in for a treat!


#148 8 years ago
Quoted from Nuclear_Waste:

I notice this kit does not include the capacitors (I think that's what they are- the yellow things) in the traditional kit (http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=976)

Do I just reuse the old ones, or do I want new ones?

You can reuse the old caps, no problem.

Also in the kit, have them swap the gold plated EOS switches for the high voltage EOS switches:


And don't forget flipper bushings:


#153 8 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

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

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

#154 8 years ago
Quoted from Prmailers:

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

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

#159 8 years ago
Quoted from Decat:

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

Are they 30 volt coils?

#160 8 years ago
Quoted from Choggard:

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

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

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

2 weeks later
#175 8 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

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

Replace the plunger and coil stop.

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

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

#176 8 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

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

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

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

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

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

1 week later
#180 8 years ago
Quoted from Pacer:

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

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

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

1 week later
#186 8 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

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

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

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

#191 8 years ago

No lube on flippers, ever.

2 weeks later
#196 8 years ago
Quoted from mof:

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

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

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

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


#198 8 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

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

I assume that is what he is wanting it for.

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

#204 8 years ago
Quoted from Geocab:

Earlier you said to check the coils for the correct ones and that a lot of F-14s have the wrong coils in them. Is this referring to something other than the service bulletin switch off the upper coils?

Depending on the production date of your game, you may need to put the different coils in the uppers.

Quoted from Geocab:

My Sorcerer flippers (lower) look and feel like they have been rebuilt recently, but the upper flipper needs to be done. Should I just do all 3 anyway and upgrade to the new spring? Are the upper flipper parts the same as the other flippers? Same question for my F-14.

Personally, I'd do all three, it's not like it's expensive to do.

Top flipper coil is FL24/600-30/2600

Lower flippers are FL23/600-30/2600

Quoted from Geocab:

Also, my lower flippers aren't in line with the lane guides, but those guides seem rather low, how do I set the proper angle for these flippers?

Same way you do the uppers on F14, clamp flipper and lane guide to a 1x1" strip of wood. Tighten flippers, remove wood.

#225 8 years ago

Not only the same size, but it already has the hole - no drilling required.

#228 8 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

This settup is quite the engineering marvel for it's time,

And to think they did it without CAD...

#231 8 years ago

I'd just get a whole new rebuild kit, and some new flippers.

Game will play as good as new (let alone not slip).


#236 8 years ago

Can you put it in a vise and bend it back to 90 degrees proper?

Is the front bracket squared up?

I think the toothpick will not last, and will cause the coil stop to loosen.

#240 8 years ago
Quoted from mof:

I'd like to try replacing both sets of flipper mechs on my BK. I see a few posts on page three about it. Has anyone tried it?

I have.

#243 8 years ago
Quoted from mof:

I saw the link on page 3, but not sure what mods (from the external link posted) are required to get the upper brackets in.

That Siegecraft site is great.

I'd pull the whole playfield and put it on a rotisserie (or across 2 sawhorses) because the upper has a few hard to reach screws.

#245 8 years ago

You already have the coils (check the manual and make sure they are the right ones), so you don't need a complete build out.

Make sure that you have the new springs and the little tab/arm they connect to.

Don't be afraid to pull the playfield out. It takes maybe 2 minutes. If you don't have sawhorses, then 2 couch cushions will work (and look super ghetto in your required picture postings).

3 weeks later
#250 8 years ago
Quoted from practicalsteve:

What is the technical term for these? I already rebuilt my flippers but want to upgrade from the conical spring to the other one that requires the little tab arm. If anyone wants extra points and can post a part link to pinball life it would be awesome, but name or part number will be just fine.


Flipper Spring Retainer Bracket

1 week later
#253 8 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.

#259 8 years ago

No need for the cap in that era of machine.

#261 8 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 8 years ago

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

#269 8 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":


#273 8 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.

#276 8 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 8 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.

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

#284 8 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.

#287 8 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.

1 week later
#292 8 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:

Addams Family
Black Rose
Docter Who
Fish Tales
Creature from the Black Lagoon
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
Road Show
The Addams Family Gold
The Shadow
Dirty Harry
Theatre of Magic
No Fear
Indianapolis 500
Johnny Mnemonic
Who Dunnit
Attack from Mars
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Scared Stiff
NBA Fastbreak
Medieval Madness
Cirqus Voltaire
No Good Gofers
Champion Pub
Monster Bash
Cactus Canyon

#293 8 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 8 years ago



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:


#296 8 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.


#298 8 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!


#299 8 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.


#300 8 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.


#301 8 years ago

Now, in no way am I suggesting you do this, but if this was the last Coil Stop on earth, you could (as a temporary fix), file off the turned up edge with a fine file.

Carefully clean up all the metal filings, as they are very abrasive and would destroy the plunger/coil sleeve in no time.

Ignore this post, don't "repair" them, just throw them away.


#302 8 years ago

Here, one of the Flipper Coils looks burned.

It tested OK with a meter, and the Coil Sleeve easily pulled out from it.

I was surprised, usually Coils that get too much heat will melt, making it difficult or impossible to remove the Sleeve.

Since the new Sleeve slid right in, and the meter said it was not shorted, it went back into service.


#303 8 years ago

The Coil Sleeves are a very important part of having powerful flippers.

The old sleeves are made of metal, and thus have more drag on the plunger than the newer Nylon style.

ALWAYS throw the old metal ones in the trash. Don't clean them, don't burnish them, just trash them.

Your new Nylon sleeve upgrade will give your flippers more power, and cause less wear on the plungers.

You of course got new Sleeves in your kit, but it's good to know that they are the same Sleeves that fit most Pop Bumpers and Slingshots.


#304 8 years ago

The Flipper Bushing is what keeps the flipper from dragging on the playfield and ruining it.

When you see games with two "angel wings" carved into the playfield in front of the flippers, you know nobody ever replaced the Bushings.

We, of course, ALWAYS replace the Bushings when rebuilding the flippers.

Even if the flippers are not dragging on the playfield (yet), they will often have too much play because the Bushing holes have become worn.

Remove the 3 nuts and the Bushing will pull right out.


#305 8 years ago

The Bushings are attached to the playfield with 3 Fin-Shank screws, just like Pop Bumpers are.

If your screws are stripped, bent or corroded, replace them before putting the game back into service.

If one of these fails, or becomes loose, the flipper will chew up the playfield in no time at all.

Make sure the nuts are Nylon Insert Lock Nuts, and have not been replaced with standards - the surface of your playfield depends on it.



#306 8 years ago

Here you can see the difference between an old style and modern style Flipper Bushing.

They are NOT interchangeable.


#307 8 years ago

While newer style Pawls grip the Flipper Shaft with a C-Clamp configuration, the older ones have a pair of Set screws offset by 90 degrees.

Each Set Screw has a sharp point that deforms the metal shaft to hold it from slipping.

If you have a Torque Wrench, Williams recommends that you crank the Set Screws down to 75 lbs.


#308 8 years ago

Here in this picture, we can see the differences between the older Flipper Shafts and the modern style.

Note how the Set Screws have dug a hole by displacing the surrounding metal into a mound.

Note the groove/keyway cut near the end of the shaft is deeper than the metal mounds.

This allows the Flipper to be removed, despite the mound of displaced metal.

If you ever put a modern flipper shaft into the older style Pawl, you will NEVER be able to remove it. The mound of metal will cause it to permanently bind, and you will have to cut it out.



Because the shafts get permanent holes in them from the Set Screws, that is why we marked which flipper came from which mech. The Set Screws "find" the old holes as soon as you begin tightening them.


#310 8 years ago

Reassemble the flippers.

Remember to use the Flipper Gap Tool, to set the amount of clearance between the flippers and the top of the Bushings.

If you don't have one, they are only $1 :



#311 8 years ago

After reassembly, it is time to set the EOS Switch gap.

99% of all "my flippers are weak, even after I rebuilt them" complaints are from setting the EOS Switch incorrectly.

When the flipper is at rest (not energized), we need the EOS Switch to be TIGHTLY closed.

We do this by gently bending the two switch leaves towards each other with this tool:


Both leaves should have tension towards each other from bending.


There can be a few other switches ganged together behind the EOS Switch. These need to be separated by an insulator, or you can accidently send 28VDC down the switch matrix, killing it.

If you make a repair to a ganged switch, or lose the insulator - make sure the new insulator is made of something NON CONDUCTIVE.


#312 8 years ago

With your finger, move the Pawl so that the flipper is fully plunged.

The insulated arm of the Pawl will now need to open the EOS Switch.

When fully extended, the EOS Switch gap needs to be EXACTLY 1/8". Not more, not less.

A larger than 1/8" gap will make the flipper weak, by shutting off the high power winding of the coil too soon.

A smaller than 1/8" gap risks that the switch may just arc and not shut off the high power winding at all. This overheats the coil, and burns out the associated transistors.

You will need to play with the adjustment tool and bend the switch leaves a few times to get it perfect.


If ever you find a weak flipper that otherwise freely moves through it's range of motion manually, suspect the EOS Switch. The contacts may be dirty, or the tension/gap is set incorrectly.


That's it.

Now, with your Nylon Coil Sleeves, your flippers will perform better than they did when they came from the factory.


1 week later
#315 8 years ago
Quoted from heni1977:

Ok, starting my first flipper rebuild on my first pin Space Station. This is a great tutorial, and actually makes me feel better about doing it myself. Might there be any more tips to make this rebuild a little easier. Not scared or lazy, just want to do it right the first time. If you know what i mean.

Remember to replace the flipper bushings, even if they are not included in your kit.

Remember that 100 people, many of them total hacks, worked on your game before you bought it. Don't assume anything you see is "factory".

#322 8 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Not accustomed to these flipper switches. Can I swap them out for a newer style so that I can get a better gap? I can't get a gap of 1/8" on them. I want to upgrade the mechs to WPC anyway like I always do, but not a pro on lane-change parts yet. (pls link part in marco if they have it)

Looking at the scale of your picture, I'd say your gap is already 1/8".

If you need more gap, bend JUST the tip of the switch leaf towards the pawl finger. If this makes the switch leaf too short, bend the pawl finger outwards a small amount (or loosen the 2 switch mount screws and pull the whole assembly towards the pawl).

Clean the Lane Change switch by pulling a crisp $100 bill through it a few times while holding it closed, to clean it.

1 week later
#325 8 years ago

Yes, Flip II is opposite the older flippers for the EOS Switch - it is normally open.

No capacitor needed either.

Even if the EOS is broken, Flip II will switch to the hold winding of the coil in a few milliseconds.

So adjustment is not the critical issue that it is with pre-Fliptronic.

Clean the EOS switches with a crisp $100 bill, set them to make contact at the very end of the flipper stroke, and test your work in the switch test of the game menu by hitting the flipper buttons.

1 week later
#330 8 years ago
Quoted from abaxas:

However, away from endstop is best, the guide just needs the addition of info on what to do when you cant do this.

A few pages back I suggested making a notch with a rat-tailed file, or a Dremel:

Quoted from vid1900:

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...

Quoted from vid1900:

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

#334 8 years ago

What game is it exactly?

You never know what parts somebody installed before you bought it, lol.

In latter years, Gottlieb removed the pin that sticks out of the head because it would hang up, so don't worry about that.

Use a punch to remove the roll pin. If you have a mechanical friend, he may even have a "pin press" that pushes them out, no hammer needed.

#335 8 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

Is the orientation of the roll pin important? The slot in the pin should be forward, back, sideways?

I can't think of any reason it would be, but you can always put it back in the direction you found it.

#339 8 years ago
Quoted from abaxas:

Maybe it could be added to the first page?

Soon I will have 10 pages for you to read, lol.

#341 8 years ago

Some advice on Fliptronic:

Swap left and right opto boards and see if weak flipper follows.

Resolder header pins on boards. Look under magnification for cracked solder joints.

Make sure flippers move freely when manually exercised.

1 week later
#344 7 years ago
Quoted from sturner:

Today on my TZ, the right flipper started to get stuck. Basically it flips up fine, but sticks and slowly goes back down to it's position (about 5 seconds). I'm wondering if this is a common problem that would be fixed with a rebuild. The machine probably needs a rebuild anyway of at least the bottom two and if that would solve the problem, I'll get to work on it this weekend.
Little nervous about doing a rebuild but your guide seems straightforward.

Try moving the flipper through it's range of motion with the power off.

Yes, that is a super common problem.

Rebuild all the flippers at once, put new rubber on them too.

Check that your bats are un-cracked before you order. It sucks to order parts for a rebuild and find you need yet more.

Don't be nervous, lots of people here to walk you through your first time.

#345 7 years ago
Quoted from mof:

What's the best flipper upgrade I can do for my 1981 Bally Centaur?

Get rid of the Linear mechs:


2 weeks later
#354 7 years ago

All good advice above,.

..and of course, anytime with a stuck nut, first TIGHTEN (turn right) a bit to break the thread bond, then flip the switch on the wrench and back the nut off normally.

Even with the nut loose, you may have to put a flat blade screwdriver in the slot of the pawl and open her up a little to get the shaft out.

3 weeks later
#371 7 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Is it acceptable/ interchangeable to use an earlier kit in a more recent game?

It would confuse the hell out of an experienced player, but it's your game.

If the plungers and links are in good shape, just swap the coil stops and see if you like the difference in travel.

1 month later
#379 7 years ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Doing a flipper rebuild on my High Speed now. Had to replace the coils, but the new coils are like a mm shorter than the factory ones, preventing me from getting the coil in tight. Any idea what I can do?

Make sure that the coil stop bracket is square (90*) to the base.

Bend it in a vise if needed.

Using a small rat tail file, you could also elongate the mounting holes by 2mm to make up the gap.

#383 7 years ago
Quoted from lordloss:

Isn't high speed a system 11 game? I went to do the mod and didn't see the bracket or a capacitor:

IMG_20140109_190519[1].jpg 442 KB

Wow, that's a mess.

You can get new bases with the brackets:


You will need Capacitors, high voltages EOS switches, rebuild kit with better springs.

That game is going to love you when your done!

4 weeks later
#390 7 years ago

I fixed a Tri Zone where one flipper had much more travel than the other.

Someone had installed 2 different coil stops.


#392 7 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!

It's really nice, isn't it?

Sadly, I see crap like that all the time.

1 week later
#395 7 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

Did you do this on the PAPA website?


#396 7 years ago
Quoted from Jeff_PHX_AZ:

I cant flip my coils around on my High Speed, its not designed like that and after viewing other peoples High Speeds its the same as mine, coil lugs same side as coil stop.

You might have to take the wires out of the plastic restraining loop to give yourself enough slack.

Other games can sometimes require a few zip ties be snipped to acquire enough slack.

Once you find the slack, zip tie the wires so they don't rub on any other moving parts.

#400 7 years ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Came to the conclusion that I'd need new bases in order to update the springs, and new bracket in order to reverse the coil.

If your bracket does not have the notch to match the coil indexing pin, just make a notch with a small Rat Tail File or Dremel.

It will take you longer to find the file than to make the notch.

#402 7 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.

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

If it's too close it might arc.

#404 7 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.

#407 7 years ago
Quoted from mof:

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

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 7 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.

#411 7 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.

#413 7 years ago

Your coils will fit tight.

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

#417 7 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.

#421 7 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 7 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.

1 week later
#427 7 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.

#428 7 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 .


1 month later
#434 7 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


3 weeks later
#439 7 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 7 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.


1 week later
#444 7 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....

1 week later
#450 7 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.


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

#451 7 years ago
Quoted from cheezywhiz:

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?

Is the linkage tight?

If the linkage is free of slop and the coil sleeves are new, then that is as good as the stock mechs are going to get (assuming no prior op has subbed in other incorrect parts).

You can, of course, put in WPC flipper mechs and Williams flipper bats (longer metal shafts), if you want "surgical" flippers installed in your game.

Not only does this give you the ultimate flippers, but parts and rebuilds are 1/3-1/2 the price of the Classic Stern ones.

#453 7 years ago
Quoted from cheezywhiz:

(How do you remove/replace that pin?)

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

roll pin.jpg

2 weeks later
#460 7 years ago
Quoted from J_Cutler:

Your adamant about the lug side of the flipper coil facing away from the stop. So with that in mind, should the pop bumper coils be the same way? Turned around?

Pops don't have the strength of flipper coils, so they tend to fare much better in either position.

1 week later
#463 7 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

I need to know which one to get for my Blackout if I'm going to rebuild it with the new Fliptronic-style assembly.


Get the above, but with the High Voltage EOS:


And SFL 19/400 - 30/750 coil:


(you will need to tell Terry in an email to configure the kit like this for you)

#465 7 years ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

The rebuild kits I've got only included one switch, but the flippers I'm rebuilding have a couple more.

Usually, only the EOS switch wears out, because of the high voltage arcing.

The low voltage switch is cleaned by pulling a crisp $100 bill between the contacts, until it pulls through without leaving any black oxide.

Quoted from Robotoes:

However, I have no idea what they are for. No lane changing here...

Depends on the game, look on the schematics.

1 week later
#467 7 years ago

Try to put the flipper shaft through the shaft clamp from the bottom of the playfield.

If the shaft won't fit when you have it directly in front of you, it sure won't work from the top.

If the clamp hole is too small, pry it open a LITTLE, with a large, standard screwdriver.

#474 7 years ago