(Topic ID: 95788)

What have I done? Brought home an EM. (Now with Tech Help needed!)


By canea

5 years ago



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  • 50 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by nagamitsu
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#5 5 years ago

Dude, I just finished my first EM. It's not too bad. No boards to solder. . Just a lot of tedious work cleaning and adjusting switches. Common sense is clear here. When looking at relays, with the coil disengaged a switch should either be closed or open and when the coil is engaged it should the opposite. At least it's a Williams and it's only a one player. I had a four player Aztec to do and each score reel set took me an hour to clean. Williams, IMO, seem easier to work on than a Gottlieb. Just the fact that Gottlieb's use flat head screws instead of phillips really pisses me off.

On the other hand, Gottlieb EM's are typically better lookers and players.

3 weeks later
#32 5 years ago

It looks like your coin door is missing the lock out coil which isn't needed in the home environment. I'd just tape up those cut wires because they do have some voltage going to them and you don't want them touching the metal and grounding out. If any of those cut wires have the same jacket cover they MAY (read: MAY) need to be connected to complete a circuit. If that's the case, I'd just trace the wire to see what it eventually connects to and if it's important to operation, then resolder it. I'm assuming you've checked all your fuses for correct values and if they're not blown? Regarding the burnt coils, one thing I (and many others) do is wait to get the replacements and desolder one wire at a time while removing the old and attaching the new one. Now you took photos so you can refer to them for the correct connections. Yea, like stashyboy said, the coils probably fried due to a misadjusted switch. A sling switch was probably stuck closed and the score reel probably couldn't find home due to a misadjusted switch on its assembly and kept running and running. They're always other possibilities but these are the most common. Like I said earlier, I'd forget about playing it till you've gone through all the switches in the machine. Clean and adjust as necessary. If you don't have one already get a switch adjustment tool. Regarding switches though, like Clay's said before, if you have to adjust more than like 1% of them, you're probably doing something wrong. Unless, someone else had their fat fingers and screwdriver in there a lot. One great source besides pinrepair.com is Clay's video site pinballninja.com. He has over eight hundred repairs on there and several hundred have videos attached to them. Some people learn better with video. To join it you have to donate about twenty or twenty five bucks (one time donation) via paypal to Clay and he'll give you a username and password. You can find more info on his pinrepair website. I'm cheap but it's totally worth the cost.

Oh, and get some green Heavy Duty Scotch Brite pads at Home Depot or Lowes and clean them jones plugs. Though I really don't like recommending these guys (Ray's ok) , this EM repair video has some good info.

#34 5 years ago

That stepper should have two coils. One to step up and the other to step down or completely reset. With the game off, manually engage the coils and see how it moves. If it's sticking the arms are probably binding some due to drying grease. With the steppers, I take the coils out, clean or replace the nylon sleeves. Clean the plungers and coil stops. With the coils out, manually move the arms that they actuate and see how easy they move. If they are just a little sticky it can be an issue. After taking photos, take them off and clean the shaft with a degreaser like Mean Green and clean the holes out on the arm. I have an old gun cleaning kit and the cylindrical brass brushes are great for cleaning. And them use rolled up paper towel to wipe them out.

You may have to take the brass "spider" off to clean the contacts with 90% alcohol and maybe shine up with some 600 grit sandpaper (if needed). Make sure to note where the fingers are before taking it off. The spring wound shaft may need to be removed to. When you disconnect the spring tension make note of how many times you unwind it. Usually two or three times on a Williams going by the 76 Aztec I worked on. When pulled out, degrease the shaft. Regarding lubrication, Pinball Resource Grease or Super Lube Teflon Lube are well recommended. These are used VERY lightly to lubricate the metal shaft for the arms and the center wheel before reinstalling. Also apply a very light amount on the brass contacts that the "spider" moves along. When reassembled, manually actuate the coils and it should step up and down much easier.

1 week later
#37 5 years ago

I think your declination coil (the smaller one) has too much tension from the spring. From the picture it's not resting against the stop. These coils should move smoothly with just the right amount of tension. Too much will cause issues and make the movement sluggish.

After fixing that, manually activate the smaller coil all the way till that peg pushes that switch stack open. That should be the "home" position. Opening that first switch tells the game it's reached "home." While you're at it, observe the switches once the peg moves away from them and returns. Do the switches close and open as they should. EM's are all about the opening and closing of switches. Afterwards, you may, then, have to readjust the spider fingers to match the manual's image.

Also, do you still have metal sleeves in the coils? If so get some nylon ones and replace. The nylon ones allow much smoother actuation. Ever notice a small pile of metal shavings under a coil. That's a metal plunger rubbing against a metal sleeve thousands of times.

#40 5 years ago

Yes, there's always the possibility that someone got the spider out of alignment. Clay Harrel shows in his videos to mark a position when removing it to reinstall it the same way. However, if someone had put it in incorrectly to begin with that won't matter. Once in the "home" position a switch opened or closed (depending on how it's designed) must tell the game it's there to stop firing the coil.

The only time it doesn't matter is on a continuously rotating stepper. Meaning, one that has just one coil and continuously spins in the same direction. Then, all that matters is that the spider fingers are centered on the brass contacts.

Also, I don't know how hard it was for you to get the nut off that holds the spider on but what I do is put the wheel in its "home" position and put on a pair of Mechanix style gloves, grab that metal gear and hold it. This gives me a lot of control and allows me to keep the wheel from moving while removing the nut.

#42 5 years ago

Are you saying that when you put the gear in and move the peg till it just opens the first switch and then attach the spider, neither of the two different ways you can put it on look right? By the way I can't tell from your photo but does that peg have a nylon insulator around it? If it's missing wrap some electrical tape around it. Metal peg touching metal switch is a no no.

The area of missing teeth is where the unit is not allowed to advance any more.

Don't know what to say about that jacked up screw on the back. I don't remember one on the Aztek I worked on but it's been a little while. Anybody else?

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