Mr. Pinball Tip:

In 1992, after seeing this problem many times, was time for change. I had just shopped out a Xenon pinball playfield, which was in a machine that sat in a warehouse for several years. Both of the flippers stuck up (easy fix), all the rubber rings were shot, and the lower slingshots each had two rubber rings on them. After I shopped it out, only one rubber was installed per slingshot. I was playing the game, when, an ever-popular problem arose. The right sling kicker slipped out of the backside and began to rattle. Naturally, I shut the machine off. Had I not, eventually the coil would've burned, and a driver on the board would've fried. I was getting this game ready for a location, and this problem had to be corrected, and not with a second rubber ring per kicker. This stops the problem with ball going under the rubber and under the slingshot plastic, but makes play of the game terrible and affects the light on playfield around the slingshot. I started by looking for a way to raise the slingshot mechanism, but this would've required major modification. Then I took a very careful look at the actual playfield posts, and noticed the center of the ring does not meet the center of the ball, but just a little above same. So I took the posts (3 per side) to the grinder, and removed about 1/16 off the bottom of each post, and put back on the machine. This caused the ball to hit the center of the ring, and made the overall ring sit lower, which made it almost impossible for the sling to get out ever again. Then, the slingshot plastics sat too close to the sling kicker, which required spacers only on the studded posts. This has also stopped the head screws from being tall enough to wear paint off other plastics, and since have used one bigger washer under the slingshots to keep ball from breaking off the corners. I noticed what Williams did on their later games, installing washers under the sling plastics, to keep ball from breaking them. This removes small amounts of paint off these plastics. Instead of installing the washer next to the plastic, it fits really well on the bottom side of the post bolt, next to playfield post, giving about 1/8 space between the washer and the plastic. After seeing what a difference it made for Xenon, I chose to do every post on the game, and have done many games entirely. But who wants to do all that work?

Just think how much time was saved as there were less service calls for ball stuck and kicker coil burnout as well as driver board damage. In addition, it makes the whole game play faster. You can leave a playfield extremely clean and fast and not be afraid of a ball getting stuck or parts coming out. Reliability and performance are the rule here.

Dan Tiemeyer
Amusements & Games
Wichita, KS
since 1989

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