Fixing / Rebuilding Stuck Pinball Flippers on Early Ball/Stern Solid State Games

This is a short video going over the steps to repair/rebuilt/refurbish early solid state pinball flipper assemblies, such as those on Stern and Bally games (but this also basically applies to most pinball machines). I go over the process specifically on a Stern Trident and show the specific style of plunger and assembly they’re using, but most games use similar parts. You can use these techniques to rebuild/refurbish pinball flippers on most games.

Also, there’s another thing I don’t cover on the video that may also be a cause for stuck/sticky flippers, and that’s crud around the flipper button. Sometimes the flipper button assembly can be dirty and the button may stick – that can also cause the flippers to not behave properly, so be sure to check and clean the flipper button regularly too!

Pinball Features: All about FLIPPERS!

For the second installment of my Pinball Features series, I talk about the iconic element that makes pinball, pinball: The Flippers! How do they work? Has the design changed much? What is an end-of-stroke switch and how does that work? What are the parts of a flipper assembly?

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.

https://youtu.be/rWnNejDq-uI

https://youtu.be/dtC6Sg-8tq4

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).