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(Topic ID: 274911)

Williams drop target plastic repair/replacement


By Martinh

70 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 65 days ago by Martinh
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 70 days ago

Hi all,

We have a Williams Grand Prix 1976 EM machine which I have been restoring back to its former glory

As part of the refurb, I gave the flippers the once-over and adjusted the EOS switches to give the flippers the correct amount of power i.e. EOS switch opens right at the end of the flipper travel. The game is now transformed as the ball now flies around the play field as it should.

It was all going well until one of the drop targets broke in half during a game. I guess that the old plastic is now brittle and can’t handle the power from the newly set up flippers. The right hand target looks like its already been replaced at some point.

My questions:

- Can i fix the drop target plastic by gluing or other method?
- I can’t seem to find Plastic spares anywhere - Maybe I can make new ones, if i can find the right type of plastic.
- Anyone made their own replacement plastic parts and if so, what type of plastic is best?
- Maybe i should reduce the flipper power a bit to minimise any chance of further damage?

The drop target still works fine, so could be left as it is. It’ is a bit annoying though.

What do you think?

Martin

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#2 70 days ago

Pinball Resource manufactures drop targets in house. The one that you find for sale on Marcos site and on EBay come from Pinball Resource. I suggest that you also buy springs for your drop target banks.

Look up the part in their site and email them to place an order.
pbr@pbresource.com

#3 70 days ago

Last I knew, those style of drop targets aren't available anywhere. When I had a Grand prix, I put it on location and the C+D both broke like that within a few months

#4 70 days ago
Quoted from bluespin:

Pinball Resource manufactures drop targets in house. The one that you find for sale on Marcos site and on EBay come from Pinball Resource. I suggest that you also buy springs for your drop target banks.
Look up the part in their site and email them to place an order.
pbr@pbresource.com

Thanks bluespin - I just checked the Pinball resource site and they are listed as out of stock

I just emailed them but i don’t hold out much hope.

Cheers,

Martin

#5 70 days ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Last I knew, those style of drop targets aren't available anywhere. When I had a Grand prix, I put it on location and the C+D both broke like that within a few months

Thanks zacaj,

I think that you may be right about them being unavailable.

The C+D targets take a lot of abuse, as they are directly in the line of fire, as are the 2 metal posts that protect the spinner switch Linkage. Those 2 posts are constantly bent over with the force.

I just found a post about making replacements from red plexiglass - looks pretty straightforward except for maybe finding new rivets to attach them to the drop arm.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-70s-drop-targets

Not sure if plexiglass is the best material to use, but it’s readily available.

Cheers,

Martin

#6 70 days ago
Quoted from Martinh:

except for maybe finding new rivets to attach them to the drop arm

Maybe try McMaster-Carr?

https://www.mcmaster.com/rivets/rivet-type~hollow/

#7 70 days ago

Another option although it would be a bit of work is to adapt a standup target face to the arm. You'd have to remove the arm from the game which you'll have to do anyway, get your alignment correct and drill a new hole for the target face. Then rivet it on.

They make a million standup target faces. It won't be original but at least it would be in one piece.

#8 68 days ago

Hi Catch86,

Thanks for that - I'm not in the US, but have found something similar from a local supplier.

I guess that the head of the rivet or screw needs to be flush with target surface to avoid damaging the ball surface?

Cheers,

Martin

#9 68 days ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

Another option although it would be a bit of work is to adapt a standup target face to the arm.

That's a god idea - although I've just seen a red plastic crate in an outbuilding here, which looks like it could be a perfect donor for new targets. The material is like a polyethylene - stiff but a bit flexible which means it shouldn't shatter. Gonna chop a bit off to see how it looks.

Cheers, Martin

#10 68 days ago
Quoted from Martinh:

Hi Catch86,
Thanks for that - I'm not in the US, but have found something similar from a local supplier.
I guess that the head of the rivet or screw needs to be flush with target surface to avoid damaging the ball surface?
Cheers,
Martin

If you look at the game now the rivet is not completely flush with the surface of the target. It doesn't stick out like a screw would but it does have some bow in it.

The guy in that thread who is making them looks pretty good. Flippers.com does have them as Lee posted but you get the whole arm, not just the target face. That brings the price up a bunch.

I doubt that PBR ever makes them. I guess you could ask them but that is a hot stamping deal and if he doesn't have the die then the cost probably exceeds the return on investment. Put it this way, if he's not making Gottlieb lockdown bars which have a pretty good demand he's not likely to make these target faces as Gottlieb is still his main business.

#11 68 days ago

Someone should 3D print these. If you have a 3D printer or know someone who has then you could print them yourself? Could also design a countersink into it to accommodate the head of the rivet if it bothers you I guess. I picture it as a 3D print in any material. Then sand it smooth and spray with a krylon or automotive spray can to the color closest to what you need. Anyway, that’s what I would try.

#12 67 days ago

it’s funny that you say about the 3D printing, as my brother in law just arrived here yesterday and said “i can print some new ones”

I think that he can print them directly in red plastic and also incorporate the bulls eye pattern into the surface so that it can be painted easily. I could get him to slightly countersing the rivets too.

I’m gonna measure up the targets in a minute so he can do his stuff.

#13 67 days ago
Quoted from Martinh:

it’s funny that you say about the 3D printing, as my brother in law just arrived here yesterday and said “i can print some new ones”
I think that he can print them directly in red plastic and also incorporate the bulls eye pattern into the surface so that it can be painted easily. I could get him to slightly countersing the rivets too.
I’m gonna measure up the targets in a minute so he can do his stuff.

If he can do it I'll be happy to buy some off you. I'd love to have some extras around as the lower ones especially can take a beating.

#14 66 days ago

I’m gonna measure up the targets in a minute so he can do his stuff.</blockquote

Sweet.

#15 66 days ago

Here's my sketch for my brother in law, with hopefully all the details he needs to make a few units.

I haven't put a countersink on the rivet positions, as this might weaken it. The originals didn't have any, just dome head rivets.

He's going to show me the software for the printer later, so maybe I can learn something new

Cheers, Martin

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#16 66 days ago

Tres bien, monsieur.
I am curious as to what type of plastic the specific 3D process will use. I hope it works out and proves to hold up to the stress of a steel ball hitting it repeatedly!

I see you're down the coast not too far from Calais. I spent some time in Calais about 20 years ago now. Enjoyed it.

Lee

#17 66 days ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

Tres bien, monsieur.
I am curious as to what type of plastic the specific 3D process will use. I hope it works out and proves to hold up to the stress of a steel ball hitting it repeatedly!
I see you're down the coast not too far from Calais. I spent some time in Calais about 20 years ago now. Enjoyed it.
Lee

Hi Lee,

Yes, this is my concern too - there are mainly 2 types of plastic used for 3D printing, PLA and ABS. The ABS is apparently a bit more flexible and therefore resists impact better. If this doesn’t work we always have plan B which is my piece of scrap plastic, a saw and a file!

My brother in law is going to try to print the white plastic into the grooves of the main target front face to create the bulls eye effect - we’ve now created a 3D model and a printing file on his laptop. See image and video below:

Yes, I’m staying in a little village on the coast between Calais and Boulogne sur Mer, very close to the beach - it’s a really lovely place to be. Was your visit for business or pleasure?

We come here to stay with my parents in law (my wife is French) about 3 or 4 times a year and we live in the south of England. The Grand Prix pinball machine has been here for about 35 years and we only play it when we are visiting - we usually end the day with a 4-player tournament, which is great fun and pretty competitive. It’s a great game for multiple players. My daughter managed to get a score reel roll-over of 1,056,000 points earlier.

The machine fell into a state of disrepair and was unusable until I started to work on it last year. She’s now working pretty much 100% percent now, which is very satisfying. Each time I come here, we do a bit more on the restoration and fix any issues that crop up. The 3D printed targets wont be ready to fit until the next visit in October or Christmas now.

Cheers,

Martin
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#18 66 days ago
Quoted from Martinh:

there are mainly 2 types of plastic used for 3D printing, PLA and ABS.

In my experience ABS is more flexible, which is probably good. There's also PETG now, which I've heard is much stronger than PLA. I've got a spool here but haven't had a chance to use it yet

#19 65 days ago

Hi Martin, Great story; sounds like a pleasant visit.

I guess you could say my visit to Calais area was for pleasure. In my younger years, I used to race a lot of multisport, specifically duathlon (triathlon without the swim leg). Back in 2000, I managed to qualify for the Age Group World Championships held in Calais that year. I can still clearly recall riding my bike west along the beach road and screaming downhill off the bluff into Escales, and then hanging a right toward Wissant, and then back towards Coquelles and Calais center of town. I didn't finish very highly in my age group, but I wasn't near the last either. Great experience all around.

Anyway, keep us posted on the target production. Grand Prix is a cool game. I had a front drop target face shatter last year and ended up replacing it with one I ordered from flippers.com. It did the job perfectly, but wasn't cheap.

Lee

#20 65 days ago
Quoted from zacaj:

In my experience ABS is more flexible, which is probably good. There's also PETG now, which I've heard is much stronger than PLA. I've got a spool here but haven't had a chance to use it yet

Hi zacaj,

Thanks for the info - we need to buy a spool of the red plastic, so will check out the PETG as well.

Martin

#21 65 days ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

I can still clearly recall riding my bike west along the beach road and screaming downhill off the bluff into Escales, and then hanging a right toward Wissant, and then back towards Coquelles and Calais center of town. I didn't finish very highly in my age group, but I wasn't near the last either. Great experience all around.

Ah, yes that is the point known as Cap Blanc Nez ( Cape White Nose)- it a beautiful place indeed. I often go along the coast to that area to fly model gliders from the Cap and surrounding slopes. Those hills must have been a killer!!

Martin

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