(Topic ID: 300397)

Williams Police Force wire gate sticking issues

By jrebs

4 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 10 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by slochar
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 4 days ago

I've got a problem with a couple of the wire gates on my Police Force (1989) table. The two key problem spots are the middle ramp entry gate (that causes the drum-roll to invoke) and the other is the metal gate at the top of the playfield where you shoot the right orbit and wrap around to the G.U.N./TOP COP area. I've included clarifying images of each.

Quite frequently (at a guess maybe 25% of the time overall, maybe more) a ball that is hit very cleanly into the middle ramp will get stopped dead by the metal gate. When I test it with my finger I'm unable to reproduce it, so I'm not sure what exactly is malfunctioning. It seems that the gate must be getting bound on something, maybe the ball is hitting it high or something? And instead of swinging open it just punts the ball back. The metal gate up near the top of the playfield is a similar problem but it much more pervasive. I'd say that well over half the balls that get sent up the right orbit wall get rejected by the gate. Again, it moves when probed with the finger so I'm having a hard time understanding what is happening under play conditions that makes it deny entry.

I have tried the obvious of lubricating the gate hinges with some machine oil, but it hasn't fixed the problem. Perhaps the metal gets need a slight adjustment in their shape or something, but I don't want to mess with that before I see if someone else has been through this trouble shooting process and has a hot tip on what's likely needed.

Thanks.

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#2 4 days ago

Have you tried the police force group? I would check mine, bit it's in storage.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/police-force-club-we-enforce-the-law-of-the-jungle

#3 4 days ago

Thanks. Will head over there.

#4 2 days ago

When was the last time you replaced the balls in the your machine?

#5 2 days ago

I have the same issue with the upper gate that lets you get top cop. About 50% rejection. Haven’t had any success in making it better.

#6 2 days ago
Quoted from Shogun00:

When was the last time you replaced the balls in the your machine?

Never, but it's a new machine to me. That being said, the balls look very nice and clean, not scuffed up, no rust. I do have a set of new-in-package balls just so I have them for the future, I could certainly see if that makes any difference, but I'm doubtful based on the shape of the current ones.

Quoted from Meri-cah:

I have the same issue with the upper gate that lets you get top cop. About 50% rejection. Haven’t had any success in making it better.

Well, I guess it's good to know it's not just mine. That gives me hope that someone somewhere has toiled with this and come up with a solution. Given that the only function of the top gate is to allow the ball through without allowing it to return (and I think there are no switches involved), it might just be that another gate entirely could be the solution, if made to fit in that position.

#7 2 days ago

I'm guessing your air balling the first one and maybe the plastic is catching the second one.

For the ramp, if you have a modern smartphone, take some slow motion footage of the shot. You should be able see if it's jumping or not.

For the second one. If it's happening that often you should be able to reproduce it by hand. Just try shifting it left and right then lifting it up and see if it ever catches on anything. Keep in mind, it's not an easy shot to hit top cop. You almost have to backhand it or get a pass that rest on the left tip of the flipper. I don't think you can consistently hit it from a cradle.

I took some pictures of my game to see if you could notice anything different as I don't have those issues. Though I couldn't get a good picture of the back one without removing a ramp.

Good luck.

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#8 1 day ago

Thanks for the input, explosiveegg. I'll investigate the jumping issue. My phone is a potato, but I have wondered if the ramp entry was maybe a little too steep initially anyway, so if I make some adjustment to smooth out the ramp entry it shouldn't hurt even if it doesn't solve it.

As for the back gate, that one is a real PITA to access. I haven't removed it yet because I wasn't sure what I'd be getting into with removing the ramps to get at it. I'll probably leave that for the last fix on the table and then pull that gate right out and give it a really good examination, cleaning and lubricating.

PS: Thanks also for the reference photos. I can use those to look for any marked difference in the gate shapes.

#9 1 day ago
Quoted from jrebs:

Thanks for the input, explosiveegg. I'll investigate the jumping issue. My phone is a potato, but I have wondered if the ramp entry was maybe a little too steep initially anyway, so if I make some adjustment to smooth out the ramp entry it shouldn't hurt even if it doesn't solve it.
As for the back gate, that one is a real PITA to access. I haven't removed it yet because I wasn't sure what I'd be getting into with removing the ramps to get at it. I'll probably leave that for the last fix on the table and then pull that gate right out and give it a really good examination, cleaning and lubricating.
PS: Thanks also for the reference photos. I can use those to look for any marked difference in the gate shapes.

Make sure that little white plastic washer is there and on the correct side, otherwise the gate will shift.

#10 1 day ago
Quoted from jrebs:

I'll investigate the jumping issue. My phone is a potato, but I have wondered if the ramp entry was maybe a little too steep initially anyway, so if I make some adjustment to smooth out the ramp entry it shouldn't hurt even if it doesn't solve it.

IME this is usually what happens on ramps that have the gates up them - people see that spring steel at the entrance and they torque it down as much as they can, this causes airballs. It's supposed to be tweaked down 'just enough' so there's a smooth transition from the playfield to the ramp. Some games have foam underneath to help cushion the the flap. Extremely common when people replace ramps for this to happen, or just shopping out the machine and being misinformed as to how the ramp transition is supposed to be.

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