Quoted from herg:
What I'm calling the search loop is the arrow shot on the castle mini-playfield. When I first got the game, it would reject solid shots most of the time.
Regarding the launch, I tried the downward pressure thing, and it may have helped a little. Out of six launches, two made it to the trees. Normally, I might get 1 of 10 through when I pull full blast.
For those who missed it, fixing the search loop just requires pulling up on the wire guide at the top of the castle pf right loop to bend it upwards a bit. I had a lot of bounce-outs here and this fixed it like a charm.
Regarding the plunger issue, try loosening the nuts attaching the plunger to the cab just a bit, so it is held on firmly but can be moved. Then move it slightly and take some test plunges until you get a clean plunge, and tighten it in that position. (This works for any game that may have an off-center plunger, of course.)