For anyone familiar with the subject game, I am curious about a few aspects of game play, which could relate to setup and/or maintenance.
After initially launching a ball, only on rare occasions does the ball travel the full upper arc and come out of the chute and pass by the upper flipper. More often than not, the ball goes down the chute just before the last chute. I have not been able to figure out what determines whether or not the ball will travel the full arc. All things being equal, it seems like the ball should always make it through the full arc.
I can see a number of things that would affect this. If the playing surface angle is on the low side, that would favor the full arc. If the playing surface angle is on the high side, that would tend to inhibit making the full arc. A weak spring on the launch plunger would also inhibit chances of making the full arc. Any idea what the original design intent was with this aspect of the game? Should the ball always go the full arc, or should it be intermittent as I now experience it?
With regard to setup, the playing surface should be between 6° and 7°. To the best of my ability to check, I have it set at 6.5°. With regard to maintenance, this is an old game and probably needs some new components. I noticed that the rubber bumper on the launch plunger looks a little ragged. I'm sure even that can affect how well a ball launches. This is my first pinball machine and I am only now really getting into maintenance. I've had the machine for a number of years now. Any pointers as to what to look out for and/or replace will be appreciated.
There is another thing I'm curious about. Every now and then, and after hearing the "Don't Flip!" warning, the magnet will not capture the ball. This is somewhat rare, but maybe it should never happen. I have cleaned the playing surface, the exposed tip of the magnet and the balls themselves, but it still happens. Could this indicate that the magnet needs to be replaced, or is it normal that occasionally the ball won't get captured? Also, after the magnet captures the ball, the ball will continue to vibrate a bit. If I flip before it settles down, there's no chance of the ball making it up "The Wall." If I wait too long, the magnet releases the ball. This is another situation in which sometimes the ball will go through the full upper arc and pass by the upper flipper again, and sometimes not. Aside from the vibration issue, should the upper flipper always make the ball travel the full upper arc after magnet capture?
So much to learn, so little time...