What do you do if someone was dumb enough to WD-40 their flipper coil?

(Topic ID: 194239)

What do you do if someone was dumb enough to WD-40 their flipper coil?


By DashingDaryl

11 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 51 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 days ago by Marvin
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 11 months ago

    The flipper coil on my Williams Hot tip doesn't return to it's normal position. It goes back about 85% of the way. I think it's because someone shot some WD-40 or lithium greese, or something into the coil.

    Do I need a new coil cleeve, or can I clean out the gunk somehow? Is it a problem that involves more than a coil sleeve?

    I could be wrong about the wd40, so if you have any suggestions regarding a sticking flipper coil, I am open to hearing them.

    And if anyone can tell me the best way to test the return spring, that would be great.

    #2 11 months ago

    I would change out the sleeves and polish the plungers.

    #3 11 months ago

    Just rebuild them, it'll be easier in the long run.

    #4 11 months ago

    I'd just rebuild them. The flipper is the most important part of the game.

    If you just want to mess around with it, take it apart, mineral spirits will de-40 it

    #5 11 months ago

    WD 40 the other flipper. Everything will match that way.....

    Or, prolly just rebuild the one flipper

    #6 11 months ago

    Well the coil windings shrink over time essentially choking the plunger, just replace the coil and sleeve at least man there like $10 at Marco!

    #7 11 months ago
    Quoted from gmkalos:

    Well the coil windings shrink over time essentially choking the plunger

    Not quite. That only happens if the coil locks on for a period of time and the coil overheats.

    #8 11 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Not quite. That only happens if the coil locks on for a period of time and the coil overheats.

    I remember hearing something about the plastic sheathing on the copper wire over time shrinks from the heat, basically tightening up the windings on the spool? But that would make sense heat in general.

    #9 11 months ago

    I think it's hit or miss, I've played on original flipper coils on well taken care of games from the 70's and back. I always cringe when someone holds a ball taking there sweet time lining up a shot even tho I know that eos is there lol.

    #10 11 months ago
    Quoted from gmkalos:

    Well the coil windings shrink over time essentially choking the plunger, just replace the coil and sleeve at least man there like $10 at Marco!

    LOL wut?

    #11 11 months ago
    Quoted from gmkalos:

    Well the coil windings shrink over time essentially choking the plunger, just replace the coil and sleeve at least man there like $10 at Marco!

    If that were true, every transformer on earth would be an hourglass.

    Not plastic sheathing, enamel.

    #12 11 months ago
    Quoted from gmkalos:

    I remember hearing something about the plastic sheathing on the copper wire over time shrinks from the heat, basically tightening up the windings on the spool? But that would make sense heat in general.

    No, it doesn't shrink over time.

    #13 11 months ago
    Quoted from gmkalos:

    Well the coil windings shrink over time essentially choking the plunger, just replace the coil and sleeve at least man there like $10 at Marco!

    Nope. Maybe on a sub-atomic level, but not measurable in the real world. No need to replace the coil, just the sleeve. The sleeves after many, many years just get worn out, brittle, crack, get dirty from age and repeated use.

    Quoted from gmkalos:

    I remember hearing something about the plastic sheathing on the copper wire over time shrinks from the heat, basically tightening up the windings on the spool? But that would make sense heat in general.

    The wire in a coil has no plastic insulation on them, just varnish. Motors and transformers have has this on the windings since like...forever. Some are still in operation and are still the same size for the past 100 years and haven't shrunk.

    Quoted from gmkalos:

    I think it's hit or miss, I've played on original flipper coils on well taken care of games from the 70's and back. I always cringe when someone holds a ball taking there sweet time lining up a shot even tho I know that eos is there lol.

    Yes, the EOS is there to turn off the high power winding and turn on the low power hold winding. Unless the person traps the ball and then takes an international phone call from a lost family member, I think the coil will be fine. Yes, if your EOS is not adjusted properly and doesn't open at end of stroke, you'll have issues; but usually within 10 seconds and you'll definitely smell the problem.

    #14 11 months ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Yes, the EOS is there to turn off the high power winding and turn on the low power hold winding. Unless the person traps the ball and then takes an international phone call from a lost family member, I think the coil will be fine. Yes, if your EOS is not adjusted properly and doesn't open at end of stroke, you'll have issues; but usually within 10 seconds and you'll definitely smell the problem.

    On SS yeah, but EM coils get hot enough even with the EOS correct that I get concerned sometimes.

    #15 11 months ago

    Think about it. They oiled it because it was sticking. It will either need to be cleaned and adjusted properly with a new sleeve or completely rebuilt.

    I once had a flipper that was oiled. The sticking was caused by a stressed coil that swelled and put pressure on the plunger. The proper fix should have been a new coil and sleeve.

    #16 11 months ago

    Just wait until you get a game from a "greaser"

    #17 11 months ago
    Quoted from brenna98:

    Think about it. They oiled it because it was sticking. It will either need to be cleaned and adjusted properly with a new sleeve or completely rebuilt.
    I once had a flipper that was oiled. The sticking was caused by a stressed coil that swelled and put pressure on the plunger. The proper fix should have been a new coil and sleeve.

    Or perhaps the plunger end was mushroomed and filed off but the plunger could still be swelled and and binding in the sleeve.

    #18 11 months ago

    I remember a guy on the BYOAC forums used to yell until his face was blue that you should be using WD-40 on your pinball machines...on top and under the playfield. Yes, he cleaned his pinball machines with WD-40 and used it on all coils and mechs. The guy was a nutjob.

    #19 11 months ago

    WD 40 if you want to see it burn!

    #20 11 months ago

    FIRE (resized).jpg

    #21 11 months ago

    YUP, there it is!

    #22 11 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    On SS yeah, but EM coils get hot enough even with the EOS correct that I get concerned sometimes.

    LOL what are you doing, taking a dump while holding the flipper button in or something?

    Yeesh.

    #23 11 months ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    LOL what are you doing, taking a dump while holding the flipper button in or something?
    Yeesh.

    Have you ever felt the coil after a good game? EMs get really warm during just normal play (and I don't trap often). Almost as bad as DE/Stern single sound flippers. Other SS you could duct tape the button and the coil would never get warm

    #24 10 months ago

    After first bitch slapping the person with the WD40, I would rebuild the coil. Chances are it was sticking because either
    a) the coil sleeve got warped, or
    b) the coil overheated and warped, or
    c) the end of the armature mushroomed from banging on the coil stop, or
    d) all of the above.

    None of which will be fixed by WD40.

    Btw, WD40 is only mildly a lubricant. It was originally designed to keep things from rusting. The WD stands for Water Displacement and it was the 40th formulation tested. If you want lubrication, use the proper product for the correct application, light machine oil, white lithium grease or KY Jelly.

    ken

    #25 10 months ago

    "KY" on the plunger would help.

    #26 10 months ago

    WD40 made in Edgerton WI.

    I found it works well as a cheap tumbler additive. Keeps the dust down and helps shine up metal parts. I think it works better than flitz.

    #27 10 months ago
    Quoted from Playdium:

    KY" on the plunger would help.

    #28 10 months ago

    I've ungreased and un w-d 40 d more coils than I can count. Sometimes I get the feeling at one time the factory might have tried some kind of lube on them because I find it in coils that look like they were never apart. Every one on the machine. I know it goes against everything we know now, but I've found that black gunk in too many to be just random. I'm talking 50s and 60s Williams.

    But anyway after taking them apart and cleaning it all off, I find plungers, stops, and sleeves that look like brand new and now work that way.

    #29 10 months ago
    Quoted from brenna98:

    WD40 made in Edgerton WI.
    I found it works well as a cheap tumbler additive. Keeps the dust down and helps shine up metal parts. I think it works better than flitz.

    A company in town (I.K.I.) produces it. Under contract I believe. Along with a bunch of other aerosols and chemicals. My old neighbor is the maintenance guy there. I have quite a few cans lying around that he gave to us. It's handy for some things but doesn't have much use near a pinball machine. As a tumbler additive may be worth trying.

    #30 10 months ago

    I was going to say go with post #2, but it is a good point that others have made that a binding coil may be the reason they tried WD40 in the first place. Get a new coil w/ sleeve, rather than just the sleeve. If it turns out the old coil is still useable, then you have a spare on hand for when one burns.

    Depending on the state of the rest, if it looks like the flipper mech has seen a lot of use, it would be a great idea to do a full rebuild, new plunger, spring, switches too. Springs fatigue and break, or start to unwind. The doohickey on the plunger fatigues and breaks too. If you're already spending on shipping, may as well spend a few extra bucks for the rest of the parts to rebuild rather than spend twice or more on shipping as additional parts wear out.

    #31 10 months ago

    So I took apart the flipper and cleaned out the coil sleeve. It wasn't that bad. Then I checked all the links and made sure the flipper wasn't dragging.

    I played a couple of games and it seemed fine.

    A couple of days later it quit retracting all the way again. It seems like the spring isn't snapping the flipper back into place. Should I try pulling on the ends of the spring to make it a little more "tense." I don't mind buying a new spring or other parts, but like Evan said, there is nothing more annoying than to buy a part, pay for shipping and then buy more parts next week and pay for shipping again.

    #32 10 months ago

    Swap parts and see if the problem follows?

    #33 10 months ago

    Rebuild the flippers

    #34 10 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Rebuild the flippers

    Best advice all night ! If only one thing on your pin is going to work perfectly, It should always be your flippers. Your only physical connection to the game. You can cheap out on other aspects of your games but never the flippers !
    Just sayin !

    #35 10 months ago
    Quoted from DashingDaryl:

    So I took apart the flipper and cleaned out the coil sleeve. It wasn't that bad. Then I checked all the links and made sure the flipper wasn't dragging.

    You didn't say that while you had the flipper plunger out of the coil sleeve you checked the end of the plunger to make sure it wasn't mushroomed or had a rough ridge. Check that and file smooth as needed and see if your problem vanishes.

    #36 10 months ago

    Thanks for the tip. I didn't see any mushrooming or rough edges, but I will check again. That was the first time I ever took apart a flipper and was really focused on what I did and getting it back together right.

    Quoted from RoyF:

    You didn't say that while you had the flipper plunger out of the coil sleeve you checked the end of the plunger to make sure it wasn't mushroomed or had a rough ridge. Check that and file smooth as needed and see if your problem vanishes.

    #37 10 months ago
    Quoted from Travish:

    Swap parts and see if the problem follows?

    EXCELLENT IDEA!

    #38 10 months ago

    20245429_10154606986321817_7326196313440564757_n (resized).jpg

    #39 10 months ago

    Apparently Williams did use some kind of graphite lube on their solenoid plungers.

    New $#!T has come to light!

    #40 10 months ago

    Quit messing around with it, and just completely rebuild both flippers.

    It will be the best $25 you ever spent in pinball.

    It's the most important part of a pinball machine, they need to be strong and react instantly.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers

    #41 10 months ago

    LOL this thread has some really humorous theories and silly information. Just rebuild the flippers and be done with it! If you want to play now for a temp fix pull the sleeve and the plunger and clean them with alcohol and make sure the flipper bat isn't too tight against the playfield... and beware the shrinking coil windings, stick to the roads and avoid the moors...

    #42 10 months ago
    Quoted from homebrood:

    beware the shrinking coil windings

    Usually it's the plastic spool that shrinks a bit isn't it?

    #43 10 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Usually it's the plastic spool that shrinks a bit isn't it?

    Yes the spool and subsequently the sleeve. From my experience the spool gets meleted to the sleeve and it all shrinks tight around and sticks to the plunger. And the coil itself shorts cause the varnish on the windings get melted too and it's all toasty!

    #44 10 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Usually it's the plastic spool that shrinks a bit isn't it?

    Just like filing end stops instead of replacing, you could probably just bore the plastic spool out a couple thousands.

    #45 10 months ago

    I'm still trying to figure out the correct graphite grease to use as a replacement on older Williams coil plungers.

    Perhaps Steve Kordek took that knowledge with him.

    #46 10 months ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Quit messing around with it, and just completely rebuild both flippers.
    It will be the best $25 you ever spent in pinball.

    If you rebuild the flippers right now, you will most likely never have to mess with the flippers ever again.

    Nothing like playing pinball with flippers that are factory fresh.

    Otherwise you are just wasting your time.

    10 months later
    #47 6 days ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Williams did use some kind of graphite lube on their solenoid plungers

    That's right. Here's an extract from the Williams Fun-Fest manual that recommends putting flaked graphite on solenoid plungers.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/need-help-captain-fantastic-always-going-through-all-4-players#post-4445638

    #48 6 days ago
    Quoted from HowardR:

    That's right. Here's an extract from the Williams Fun-Fest manual that recommends putting flaked graphite on solenoid plungers.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/need-help-captain-fantastic-always-going-through-all-4-players#post-4445638

    It does not recommend that as a matter of course. The first part says no lubricant of any kind.

    If they're sticking, you did something wrong in rebuilding them.

    #49 6 days ago
    Quoted from HowardR:

    That's right. Here's an extract from the Williams Fun-Fest manual that recommends putting flaked graphite on solenoid plungers.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/need-help-captain-fantastic-always-going-through-all-4-players#post-4445638

    It specifically says solenoid plungers should not have lubricant of any kind?

    #50 6 days ago

    Man, this reminds me of a sale gone wrong a few years ago. I sold an absolutely beautiful CFTBL to a guy on CL. Everything went well with the sale and pick up. About a week later I get a call from him saying that one of the flippers is ''lazy''. OK, then he proceeds to tell me that his kids have ''been playing the devil out of it''. Alright, so I give him a name of a fellow I knew in the area who can come & fix it. He refuses and says that he has his own guy that ''fixes coin-op equipment'' and he'll have him look at it. I agree to that and offer to pay 1/2 the bill (I didn't need to do that, just thought it'd be the right thing to do).
    Long story even longer, he says his tech SPRAYED THE ENTIRE UNDERSIDE with WD-40 to free up the mechanicals. At this point I'm terrified of what else his ''wonder tech'' had done! I told him that is not the way to fix any pinball, period. He took an attitude and wanted a refund. Mind you, if he didn't do the WD-40 thing I would've gladly taken that pin back-no problem whatsoever. Now it was garbage and I told him so. He dropped off communications after a while but I still wonder to this day whatever became of that pin.

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