Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Corvette shop job has begun!

It has begun! The ginormous Corvette shop job has started, only to be interrupted for a week of vacation.
Williams released bonus service docs specifically for removing and repairing the 2 big toys, the racetrack and the LT5 engine.
In tearing down Corvette the first thing is of course the race track on the right, and this comes apart readily for relatively easy maintenance.
The racetrack has one main connector at front and some easily accessible ones at the back, and minimal screws.  Very easy to remove.

But for me the big thing is getting the LT5 engine out. I had spent about 200 on a loaded replacement ramp and was eager to get it in.

The old ramp was busted at the entrance left side, although mostly hidden by a makeshift piece of metal, and busted at the upper right. The upper right break meant that there wasn't anything to secure the top gate to, so a prior owner had connected it to the pit stop upkicker wire frame with a cable. It was a bit messy but mostly worked.

So I started the steps for taking out the Lt5.  If you check the IPDB page, there is a PDF there called "Unit Disassembly For Repair #16-9887", and it is a cool document because it has the step-by-step instructions for taking out the racetrack an the LT5.  The instructions for the racetrack worked out great for me, so I thought "OK, let's get to these LT5 instructions!"

As it turns out, things weren't so straightforward for the LT5.

Here is the engine unit from below.  A number of connectors to be removed, and at the top left you can see the dedicated control board.  The two bolts at the top secure the whole unit to the playfield.

With the engine plastic removed you can see the large unit.  To the left you can see how it goes behind the back ramp.  On the right you can see how the gate had been somewhat attached the VUK wireframe for stability.

One step was to remove the pit upkicker wire form, but that involved removing it from the left wireform, which is connected by an inverted bolt that is nearly impossible to get to, so best take out the upkicker wireform and the attached left wireform.

Here is that annoying bolt, seen with the wireform flipped over.  So annoying to remove these as installed, so I just take out both wireform parts and leave the bolt connected.

both the left and right ramps connect to the slings, so be ready for the whole thing to need to come apart.
One other thing the manual neglects is that you have to detach this spring that connects behind the back of the playfield.  This controls the back gate on the LT5.

One instruction was then to take 2 screws off the ramp that runs along the back.  You know what?  That is nowhere close to enough.  You CANNOT get out the LT5 unit with the ramp along the back!
But then on close inspection, you notice that the back ramp is a single piece of plastic with the right ramp!  It's a huge thing.
BUT, you cannot get that plastic going anywhere unless you take off the right wireforms, which, LUCKILY, come apart rather easily after you take down a few screws and the right sling parts.
Once loosed, both wireform parts can be wiggled out of position with a little elbow grease.

That leaves us in this position:
both wireforms have been removed

Next up, to get the big plastic away you have to remove the diverter (in upper right) by detaching the pin underneath the playfield.  There are a few connectors to also remove.  One problem is one connector is fed beneath that far-right Skid Pad ramp, so you need to remove three screws to loosen that ramp to get the connector out and the major plastic assembly out.

With the major plastic ramps gone, we can FINALLY remove the LT5!  (There is no reason really to remove the Skid Pad from the playfield)

LT5 unit remove, with the ramp detached from the mechanism

closer look at the mechanism, which balances and aligns via 4 solenoids and a control board, plus optos.

New ramp on the right with many of the pieces already transferred over.  The left's entrance is broken, shielded by the makeshift piece of metal. Also that upper right post plastic is smashed off the old one.

While we're here, best to take a moment to install a Cliffy on the pit hole:

wear all around the hole

most of the damage is hidden by the cliffy

What else?
One minor thing to work on was taking apart the exhaust pipe kickback, cleaning it, and adding LEDs.
Oh yeah, I was replacing all lights with LEDs as I went and here is to hoping I NEVER have to do this again!  ;)
This part is really easy to access with the left wireform off.

And one last thing I noticed, there was a tragic accident in applying the Skid Pad decals, I assume from the factory.
Alas, trying to take this off and redo it is not a job for me.  This machine needs new decals on the side of the cabinet, perhaps a new decal at the back, and someone who does that can take care of this.  :)

can you see the issue?


So that is how it sits!

I found that the the left up-kicker wireform had a single weld that had come loose.  That has now been sent away for re-welding.
As well there are new plastic tubes for the engine, but some of the grommets are missing, so a makeshift solution for that will be required as well:
only the left hole has a the black grommet here...

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