Thursday, September 12, 2013

Breakshot: making progress on the up/down post and upper flipper!

Armed with a new Capcom compression spring, it was time to have a go at the center Up/Down post.  The hope being that a fresh spring would add more tug and prevent it from accidentally being released.

But in getting in there, I realize that it wasn't the spring that is the problem.  There were 2 compounding factors:
1) the latching metal plate had a bend in it.
2) the white plastic platform had a bit of give, allowing very slight rotation back and forth along the shaft.
Put these two factors together, and I could latch the post up, and by wigglign the white plastic plastform back and forth it could work it's way out of latch and the spring pulls the post back down.

At the top you can see how the plat bends to the right.
3/4 angle doesn't show it as well, but does a good job of displaying the coil and mech that locks/releases, including my shiny new spring in there.
So the spring wasn't the long-term solution.  I can try disassembling the whole mechanism, removing that part and bending it back in to shape.  there's no easy way to get it out though, so that idea might have to simmer for a bit.  In the mean time, I found I can order the part from Australia, so will be good to have on hand.

One thing that annoys me about all of this though is that there is a switch to indicate the up/down position:
I know you know what's UP!
This means that had the game COULD have been programmed to compensate for mechanical failure at the post.  Like a modern Stern that realizes it has accidentally released a ball, it wouldn't be too hard to allow one ball to drain and/or be captured and  keep the other going.   But I've ranted about the lax programming on this machine before.

OH and remember that sticky upper flipper that was critically affecting game play?  The one I am nervous about taking apart and rebuilding?  The one I have an extra replacement coil waiting for me this weekend at the pinball expo?  Well I decided to just try something with it.  Oil.
I was a bit apprehensive about oiling things since there are SO MANY types of lubricants out there and so many warnings that I read while repairing Royal Flush that you best not use the wrong type on the wrong component.   Now that is probably partially due to the high voltages on EVERYTHING in EM games, but still, the lesson sat with me.
So I got out my dental pick (yes, a fine dental pick, super useful) and put a drop of 3-in-1 lubricant on it and put it at the top of the flipper coil's piston, and then put another drop.   Ummm I think it works.  I think that's all that was needed.
I really hope that I didn't use the wrong stuff, but worst case scenario, I do have that extra replacement Capcom coil waiting for me.  Actually, worst case scenario is that the lube causes my house to burn down, but let's not get too fanciful.

Let's update that todo list:
1) tear down mini-flipper to clean in hopes it will operate properly. (lubed, works great, acquired replacement coil just in case)
2) find why machine freezes when at TILT. (found it magnetized against the tilt wall, not a persistent issue)
3) clean and wax (SHINY)
4) level the legs (not pressing)
5) clean outlane switch to better time with kickback, prevent ball resting (bent/adjusted rollover switch)
6) investigate center post spring + ledge for consistent gameplay
6a) replace with new compression spring (DONE)
6b) replace/fix latch on center post locking mechanism (will order replacement just in case)
7) replace beer seal
8) replace dead inline switch
9) install replacement rubbers we received

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