(Topic ID: 300397)

Williams Police Force wire gate sticking issues

By jrebs

35 days ago

Topic Stats

  • 10 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 33 days ago by slochar
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 35 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.


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#3 35 days ago

Thanks. Will head over there.

#6 33 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.

#8 33 days 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.

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