(Topic ID: 344214)

Williams 1988 Taxi - tuning of the shooter lane 'spin out' skill shot

By wayner

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 8 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by PinRetail
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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  • Taxi Williams, 1988

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#1 9 months ago

I have just finished a full resto on a Taxi and conscious of prior postings of the shooter lane skill shot performance issues. I thought it appropriate to introduce my experience. I do so admitting that I probably spent more time on trying to resolve this issue than any other single issue in my previous restos.

The shot after resto was poor occasionally achieving 75k but regularly 25k or 50k on a full plunge. On a full plunge I wanted to be able to achieve over 100k and an ability to achieve 25k (passenger pick up) and 100k by way of shooter skill.

I classify the components of this shot as:

1. the shooter housing;

2. the shooter rod, inner and outer springs;

3. the wireform;

4. the plastic ramp;

5. the ramp microswitch;

6. the plastics.

Dealing with each:

1. I found it critical that the shooter housing be installed in a position that enabled the shooter rod to hit the ball slightly left of and slightly above centre. This I found to be the sweet spot;
Using a new or existing housing made no difference to result;

2. Using a new or existing rod made no difference to result provided the existing rod was clean and free of any friction;
I replaced the outer spring with a new one which was slightly shallower in length to that existing;
My existing inner spring was inadequate. I purchased a number of coloured inner springs (including a red) but none were adequate in propelling the ball. I withdrew the inner spring from my Williams Diner and it proved great. No idea what tension it represents but it is certainly stronger than any I have purchased.

3. The wireform was a critical issue and it showed in my testing. I suspect that at some point mine may have been twisted and that contributes to the install I needed. Also I suspect that the nuts securing the bolts at the foot of the wireform had been over tightened in the past and over time it became more deeply embedded in the grooves within the pf shooter lane.
With these issues I found that the skill shot worked best when the foot of the wireform had no securing nuts along with x2 spacers fabricated to lift the wireform at the foot. I have now attached x2 washers and nuts but with little or no tension;
The alignment of the wireform to the plastic ramp and vice versa is also critical. I cannot be objective about precise alignment but observation from testing various options is required.
4. My plastic ramp was shot as can be seen within the pics. It did not have the original metal protective strip. I roughly repaired it to at least get it working but due to breakage it was difficult to anchor on the x6 pylons.

IMG_4098 (resized).JPGIMG_4098 (resized).JPG

IMG_4097 (resized).JPGIMG_4097 (resized).JPG

I purchased a new replacement ramp on ebay for a good price (still some available). To my astonishment and disappointment upon initial installation I got the same results as the ‘shot’ one. That really prompted my further diagnosis.
As indicated in 3. alignment of the ramp with the entry wireform is critical to smooth travel of the ball.
My existing ramp did not include the original protective shield. I fabricated a shield from sheet metal affixed to the ramp using 3M double sided adhesive tape.

IMG_4066 (resized).JPGIMG_4066 (resized).JPG

IMG_4067 (resized).JPGIMG_4067 (resized).JPG

My assessment is that the shield has the effect of losing one spin rotation each shoot. Also for some reason occasionally the ball thuds against the shield resulting in limited rotations. I am however prepared to accept these two issues to preserve the life of the ramp.
The ramp sits on and is secured to x6 pylons – x2 at the entrance, x2 mid and x2 at the rear of the ramp. I found that the ramp did not sit flat on the pylons by about 1/8in on the right entrance securing position. If secured tightly this had the effect of ‘twisting’ the ramp and adversely affecting ball travel. I placed a spacer at this point which resolved the issue.

5. The ramp microswitch was a key issue. I felt after 35 years of service it suffered from poor contact which required the switch lever to be significantly angled inward which in turn resulted in excessive ball friction during the spin. I replaced the microswitch with a generic one, reduced the length of the lever and set its angle to optimise switch contact and minimal friction on the ball. Immediately I found the ball spun far more sweetly.

6. A good example for me of the impact of small changes to the spin out assembly is my experience with the install of the ramp and wireform plastics. Most of my testing took place without the plastics installed so I could better observe what was happening. When I installed each plastic there was a noticeable drop in ball thrust. I found that rigid install of the ramp plastic seemingly had the impact of 'twisting' the ramp. Loosening the x6 securing screws resolved it. Likewise the wireform plastic, which on my machine was fixed to the inner side rail (lower) and left lower wireform/ramp anchor point. Secured fastening again seemingly twisted the wireform. I placed a spacer on the lower anchor point and changed the forward anchor point which resolved the issue.

IMG_4099 (resized).JPGIMG_4099 (resized).JPG

After all that I am now happy with the result. At full plunge most of the time I will get a 101k shot and occasionally a 105k or 110 k shot. That means to achieve 100k requires a skill shot.
This is a bit lengthy and I assume these individual components could be generic to a specific machine but I hope it helps someone else to resolve their spin out issues

#2 9 months ago

Thanks for the info. I've always found on Home service calls this can be an extremely frustrating and time consuming issue on taxi.s.

I've tried loosening the shooter mech and putting a washer or penny under the bottom of the shooter housing so it faces downward slightly hitting the ball after tightening. I've had great results with this. Once almost 2+complete revolutions consistently.spun like hell lol.

They also sell a magnetic reed switch which negates the microswitch and have heard will add 2-3 spins. I haven't tried this yet.

#3 9 months ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

They also sell a magnetic reed switch which negates the microswitch and have heard will add 2-3 spins. I haven't tried this yet.

And it does.....our MRS' were designed initially for bowls - Creech was the first....as an example I get 12 full rotations in the whirlpool for Creech - so you can expect a 100% increase in spins...or more, if you level the bowl and such....

Matt

#4 9 months ago
Quoted from wayner:

I have just finished a full resto on a Taxi and conscious of prior postings of the shooter lane skill shot performance issues. I thought it appropriate to introduce my experience. I do so admitting that I probably spent more time on trying to resolve this issue than any other single issue in my previous restos.
The shot after resto was poor occasionally achieving 75k but regularly 25k or 50k on a full plunge. On a full plunge I wanted to be able to achieve over 100k and an ability to achieve 25k (passenger pick up) and 100k by way of shooter skill.
I classify the components of this shot as:
1. the shooter housing;
2. the shooter rod, inner and outer springs;
3. the wireform;
4. the plastic ramp;
5. the ramp microswitch;
6. the plastics.
Dealing with each:
1. I found it critical that the shooter housing be installed in a position that enabled the shooter rod to hit the ball slightly left of and slightly above centre. This I found to be the sweet spot;
Using a new or existing housing made no difference to result;
2. Using a new or existing rod made no difference to result provided the existing rod was clean and free of any friction;
I replaced the outer spring with a new one which was slightly shallower in length to that existing;
My existing inner spring was inadequate. I purchased a number of coloured inner springs (including a red) but none were adequate in propelling the ball. I withdrew the inner spring from my Williams Diner and it proved great. No idea what tension it represents but it is certainly stronger than any I have purchased.
3. The wireform was a critical issue and it showed in my testing. I suspect that at some point mine may have been twisted and that contributes to the install I needed. Also I suspect that the nuts securing the bolts at the foot of the wireform had been over tightened in the past and over time it became more deeply embedded in the grooves within the pf shooter lane.
With these issues I found that the skill shot worked best when the foot of the wireform had no securing nuts along with x2 spacers fabricated to lift the wireform at the foot. I have now attached x2 washers and nuts but with little or no tension;
The alignment of the wireform to the plastic ramp and vice versa is also critical. I cannot be objective about precise alignment but observation from testing various options is required.
4. My plastic ramp was shot as can be seen within the pics. It did not have the original metal protective strip. I roughly repaired it to at least get it working but due to breakage it was difficult to anchor on the x6 pylons.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
I purchased a new replacement ramp on ebay for a good price (still some available). To my astonishment and disappointment upon initial installation I got the same results as the ‘shot’ one. That really prompted my further diagnosis.
As indicated in 3. alignment of the ramp with the entry wireform is critical to smooth travel of the ball.
My existing ramp did not include the original protective shield. I fabricated a shield from sheet metal affixed to the ramp using 3M double sided adhesive tape.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
My assessment is that the shield has the effect of losing one spin rotation each shoot. Also for some reason occasionally the ball thuds against the shield resulting in limited rotations. I am however prepared to accept these two issues to preserve the life of the ramp.
The ramp sits on and is secured to x6 pylons – x2 at the entrance, x2 mid and x2 at the rear of the ramp. I found that the ramp did not sit flat on the pylons by about 1/8in on the right entrance securing position. If secured tightly this had the effect of ‘twisting’ the ramp and adversely affecting ball travel. I placed a spacer at this point which resolved the issue.
5. The ramp microswitch was a key issue. I felt after 35 years of service it suffered from poor contact which required the switch lever to be significantly angled inward which in turn resulted in excessive ball friction during the spin. I replaced the microswitch with a generic one, reduced the length of the lever and set its angle to optimise switch contact and minimal friction on the ball. Immediately I found the ball spun far more sweetly.
6. A good example for me of the impact of small changes to the spin out assembly is my experience with the install of the ramp and wireform plastics. Most of my testing took place without the plastics installed so I could better observe what was happening. When I installed each plastic there was a noticeable drop in ball thrust. I found that rigid install of the ramp plastic seemingly had the impact of 'twisting' the ramp. Loosening the x6 securing screws resolved it. Likewise the wireform plastic, which on my machine was fixed to the inner side rail (lower) and left lower wireform/ramp anchor point. Secured fastening again seemingly twisted the wireform. I placed a spacer on the lower anchor point and changed the forward anchor point which resolved the issue.
[quoted image]
After all that I am now happy with the result. At full plunge most of the time I will get a 101k shot and occasionally a 105k or 110 k shot. That means to achieve 100k requires a skill shot.
This is a bit lengthy and I assume these individual components could be generic to a specific machine but I hope it helps someone else to resolve their spin out issues

wayner You should have gotten one of our contactless MRS' for your bowl!!

Matt

#5 9 months ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

Thanks for the info. I've always found on Home service calls this can be an extremely frustrating and time consuming issue on taxi.s.
I've tried loosening the shooter mech and putting a washer or penny under the bottom of the shooter housing so it faces downward slightly hitting the ball after tightening. I've had great results with this. Once almost 2+complete revolutions consistently.spun like hell lol.
They also sell a magnetic reed switch which negates the microswitch and have heard will add 2-3 spins. I haven't tried this yet.

Thanks. Just to clarify to face downwards means you are placing the washer on the outside of the cab?? I ask because a no of previous posts suggest you need topspin not backspin on the ball.

Quoted from Sonic:

wayner You should have gotten one of our contactless MRS' for your bowl!!
Matt

Not sure what you mean 'for your bowl?? Happy to purchase a switch can you provide a link pls?

#6 9 months ago
Quoted from wayner:

Thanks. Just to clarify to face downwards means you are placing the washer on the outside of the cab?? I ask because a no of previous posts suggest you need topspin not backspin on the ball.

Not sure what you mean 'for your bowl?? Happy to purchase a switch can you provide a link pls?

Bowl=Spinout....we make contactless MRS' for a plethora of applications for pins - but in particular pins with 'bowls', such as: Taxi, Diner, Mustang, DE GNR, JY, Creech, Cactus Canyon &Transporter ....you can look in the Taxi forum group - or hit up this restoration link for some pics and testimonial:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/high-speed-amp-taxi-80s-brothers-rebuilt/page/4#post-6260373

To order, you simply send a PM and I'll pass along the PayPal logistics...we have a LOT of customers in Oz...I have two orders in transit as we speak...

Matt & Dan
M&M Creations

#7 9 months ago

I’ve had similar issues on a lot of machines including BK2000. Same with Taxi and found the two “meat curtains” on the apron that the ball rests against can change how the ball reacts too. Moving them forward and back and even tweaking the left and right a little different to get good results.

#8 9 months ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

Thanks for the info. I've always found on Home service calls this can be an extremely frustrating and time consuming issue on taxi.s.
I've tried loosening the shooter mech and putting a washer or penny under the bottom of the shooter housing so it faces downward slightly hitting the ball after tightening. I've had great results with this. Once almost 2+complete revolutions consistently.spun like hell lol.
They also sell a magnetic reed switch which negates the microswitch and have heard will add 2-3 spins. I haven't tried this yet.

THIS.

The consistent problem with games this age is that the shooter rod will hit the ball too high, instead of at the center of the ball. Angling the shooter rod mechanism by putting a washer outside the game, at the bottom of the housing, will properly align the shooter rod with the exact center of the ball.

The guy who was talking about the metal fingers to either side of the shooter rod plunger is correct also. The ball has to rest in the correct spot.

The playfield itself frequently has an eighth of an inch push either way... it needs to be aligned so that the plunger exactly hits the center of the ball. I sometimes will put small 'shims' on the left or right side of the inside of the cabinet that force the playfield when you lower it to fit only where the ball is in good alignment left and right.

Finally, I am a BIG FAN of the magnetic switches. Great product, buy with confidence that you are getting the best stuff that you can put in your pinball.

I'm very interested in the original poster's findings that having the shooter rod just a bit off center up and to the left got a more reliable strike. Maybe I haven't done enough fine tuning, because it's been my experience that a dead center strike is what get's me reliable results.

Largely because the shooter rod housing and sleeve on these pinballs have quite a bit of slop. Turn the rod with the shaft extended and the tip will frequently move several millimeters off of true center. And if that is a couple millimeters either way, putting it dead center in the middle ends up being my best compromise.

This was a great thread. Thanks to the original poster for making me want to look a lot closer at my next taxi shooter rod alignment!

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