Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flipper Rebuild

I picked up my coils and the other miscellanious small parts to rebuild my flippers this morning. I had a lot of stuff to do, so it wasn't until 3 PM that I could start on the rebuild. I assembled things and disassembled them at least a half dozen times to get it right... I hope I have it right...

First, the thing on the left is a bushing, the thing on the right is a grommet. I kept calling the bushing a grommet (see previous posts). Don't do what I did. It created unecessary confusion at the supplier.

I started by putting the new bushing in. It takes a little pushing and prying to get in place. I used needle nose pliers to pinch, push, and pull it in place. Then I put in the new stop and last I put the coil in place.

The coil didn't fit correctly. I thought maybe it had something to do with the coil sleeve, but that sleeve came with the coil in that direction. I thought it must be right, who am I to question?

So I did what a guy who used to work in a body shop does. I used pliers and "adjusted" the stop. I figured that maybe it came from the manufacturer a little bent or something. The coil fit a little better, but you can see here what happened.

I put the front bracket in place before I realized that the plunger wouldn't go in with it put together. So I took it apart again. I put the spring and plunger in place and when I tightened it all, the sleeve pushed out of the front bracked about 1/8 of an inch. It was then when I finally realized something was really wrong. I checked the coils I hadn't touched yet and yea, it was backwards.

After I figured out what I had done wrong, I bent everything back the way it was supposed to be and it all lined up correctly... like they meant it to.
I soldered the EOS switch and capaciter (with heat shrink tube on the capaciter) before I put them on the mechanism. Another note, put the heat shrink on before you solder the capacitor in place. I forgot on the first side and had to redo it.
Here it is, all soldered together. I used nice new clean green 18 gu. stranded wire.

I wasn't sure how the bushing screws went in at first. The plate is threaded so I tightened the screws in first, then I used the nuts to lock them in place.

Here it is, all together, correct, I hope.

The next step was to get this new flipper in place.

Here is the underside of the playfield with the flipper post coming through.

I screwed the flipper assembly in place and tightened it just enough so the flipper wouldn't swing around. I adjusted the flipper so it was in line with the ball exit then tightened it the rest of the way.

Before I soldered the wires back in place, I put some cardboard down so I wouldn't drip solder on anything. I used a clamp to hold the cardboard in place against a strong bracket.
Here it is, all done. I fired up the game and it worked great. The bottom left flipper was still weak, but I already knew I would probably have to rebuild it. I played for about 15 minutes and asked my wife if she wanted to try. She did, but before she got to the machine, this happened. I guess I used the last few flips. Sorry hon, gotta rebuild another flipper before we can play.


  1. In your spare time, you may want to consider rotating the flipper coils 180 degrees so the solder tabs are on the opposite side of the coil stop.

    The plunger contacting the coil stop adds a lot of vibration/impact. Rotating the coil will keep the soldered wires further away from the point of impact.

    The manufacturer started rotating the coils down the road a bit for this very reason. Of course, the wiring has to reach, too :)

  2. I was thinking about doing that yesterday when I rebuilt the left flipper. Do I have to worry about polarity or anything?

  3. Gosh, put the sleeve in the other way around. That way, there is not a gap between the coil and the coil stop. If the sleeve sticks out a little bit on the plunger side, that is not a problem. But it is a problem if the sleeve keeps the coil from resting against the stop.

    I cannot tell from your pics if that is what you finally did, but the early pictures are just wrong. If you flip the coil and sleeve around like John says, than it will be right.