Pinball flipper doesn’t work? Here’s a checklist of where to look.

As soon as I thought I had the game operational, I waxed the playfield and got ready to put it back together only to find out one of the flippers was out. This was a rather tricky issue that took a little bit to figure out — not your typical flipper problem, so I thought I’d do a video of it and go through the process of diagnosing why a flipper might not work (on a Bally-35 early solid state game).

Problems with coil stops in newer Stern games

Lately there’s been a bit of a hullabaloo (is that how it’s spelled?) regarding coil stops on newer Stern games. I had it happen to me as well, and I made a video to describe what’s happening. It appears whoever is manufacturing the coil stops for Stern has used inferior materials and they prematurely come apart. I’ve reported this to Stern and will let you all know what they are doing about it. I expect this supply issue to be resolved soon and if you encounter this problem, contact Stern support. They should be able to send out replacement coil stops.

coil stop literally fell apart. There’s a non-ferrous “washer” that separates the stop from the bracket that appears to be made of low quality alloy that disintegrates.

The next day I returned with the right parts. Here are two videos covering the repair.

damaged coil stop can also cause the plunger to mushroom and then damage coil sleeves and get stuck.

Rebuilding pinball flipper assembly (Gottlieb System 3)

Here are two videos of me completely rebuilding the flippers and flipper assembly on a Gottlieb System 3 pinball machine (Waterworld) – many of this information will basically pertain to most flipper systems on other machines like Bally and WMS, Stern, etc. I go through the whole process of replacing all the major wear parts on the flipper assembly even including the base plate and end-of-stroke switches.

Here’s part 2 (sorry I rarely edit these videos so sometimes my camera breaks it into separate files)

Part 3

If the above is too slow, check out this time-lapse of rebuilding the flipper:

Diagnosing and fixing stuck flippers (on a Gottlieb System 80 and other machines)

I got a new pinball machine in the other day and one of the flippers was sticking up. In this video series I go over examining what was wrong and how to address it. There are a number of causes for stuck flippers. The most common cause is a dirty or worn coil sleeve. Also sometimes there can be a hang up with the EOS (end of stroke) switch (more common on Bally/WMS than older Bally or Gottlieb games).

1963 Gottlieb “Slick Check” – Flipper Maintenance

People were complaining that one of the flippers in our Gottlieb “Slick Chick” was not working properly. The metal was fatigued on the assembly and the switch contacts were well worn, so I’ve ordered new switches and am showing how to remove and replace the flipper switches and make your flippers perform much better.

The Great Switch Matrix Wild Goose Chase!

Here are six videos of an 8 part series of clips I shot this past week while working on restoring a Bally Theatre of Magic game.

What’s interesting about this series is you can really follow along with me as I fumble around trying to figure out what’s wrong. This is an all too common path many enthusiasts take which often leads them back to the beginning of the trail and emphasizes a number of common troubleshooting principals.

At this point, I have a working game except for two minor glitches with switches: An opto in the ball trough is not working, and it’s causing the game to kick balls into the shooter lane when powered up, and the EOS switches on the flippers are not being registered by the MPU. The solution to both of these issues was finally found and may or may not be what you expect. Watch the series to find out!

Rebuilding flipper plunger links. Is it worth it?

In this video I show how you can replace a broken linkage in a flipper or slingshot or other plunger assembly. These are notorious for breaking. You can purchase the entire assembly with a link, or you can punch out the roll pin and install your own link. Is it worth it to DIY this? I’ll let you decide.