Tech: Bally Drop Targets won't drop when hit hard

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m6onz5a

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Jan 2, 2008, 6:04:49 AM1/2/08
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This is on my '84 Spy Hunter Pinball. If I hit the targets lightly, or
a medium speed the targets fall properly, but when hit hard they don't
budge. Is this a weak spring issue?? Everything is moving free with
no binding.

Thanks in advance,
Chas

seymour-shabow

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Jan 2, 2008, 7:16:41 AM1/2/08
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AAAHHHH, the Bally bricks!

It might actually be too STRONG of a spring - what's happening is that
the ball hits the target and bounces off the slot/rubber behind it - the
spring is exerting too much forward force and it pulls the target back
to the lip.

I played around with this similar problem on a machine over the
Christmas holiday week - the part that's causing the problem is the stem
on the drop target hits the playfield slot. You can cut a bevel on the
bottom of the playfield to reduce this problem or modify the drop
targets themselves.

Downsides: Cutting the PF...... hard to do neatly. Getting rid of the
target reinforcement will reduce the life of the target.

You need to give the target the maximum amount of room behind it to
move. Sometimes this requires moving posts, rubber, the bank itself.
Bally's are the worst with this problem. WMS targets of similar era
have issues also but not caused by the same thing. Stern targets some
have it and some don't. Gottlieb's NEVER have it, because they have 2
springs instead of one..... one to pull the target forward on reset, and
one to pull it directly down on hitting.

-scott CARGPB#29

Mombo#5

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Jan 2, 2008, 8:22:10 AM1/2/08
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Those remind me of the old Rodney Dangerfield beer commercial where
him and a bunch of guy were bowling and Rodney only needed 1 pin...
lol

Tim

bill....@2kgeneral.com

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Jan 2, 2008, 9:20:41 AM1/2/08
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Hi Scott:
You mentioned WMS target drop issue is not caused by the same thing as
Bally targets. The upper PF 4 target set on My Grand Lizard is doing
the same thing. Not dropping when it takes a hard shot from the upper
PF flippers. Those flippers are only about 10" away from the targets,
so the targets really get nailed on a direct hit!
Anyway, part of the problem was someone had installed a 3.5" ring
behind the targets, the manual calls for a 2.5". Because the 3.5"
ring was not streched as much as it should be, the ring material was
thicker behind the target, not giving the target room (or time I
guess) to drop when the target is hit hard. About 90% of the time the
target took a hard hit, it would not drop. Changing to the correct
diameter ring helped, it now drops about 50% of the time at a hard
hit. So I'm about half way there!
What other suggestions do you have to to convince target to drop like
it's supposed too?
BTW, the targets are not all gummed up with old grease / oil, they
drop & reset smoothly.

Thanks,

Bill

seymour-shabow

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Jan 2, 2008, 9:26:45 AM1/2/08
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bill....@2kgeneral.com wrote:
> Hi Scott:
> You mentioned WMS target drop issue is not caused by the same thing as
> Bally targets. The upper PF 4 target set on My Grand Lizard is doing
> the same thing. Not dropping when it takes a hard shot from the upper
> PF flippers. Those flippers are only about 10" away from the targets,
> so the targets really get nailed on a direct hit!
> Anyway, part of the problem was someone had installed a 3.5" ring
> behind the targets, the manual calls for a 2.5". Because the 3.5"
> ring was not streched as much as it should be, the ring material was
> thicker behind the target, not giving the target room (or time I
> guess) to drop when the target is hit hard. About 90% of the time the
> target took a hard hit, it would not drop. Changing to the correct
> diameter ring helped, it now drops about 50% of the time at a hard
> hit. So I'm about half way there!
> What other suggestions do you have to to convince target to drop like
> it's supposed too?
> BTW, the targets are not all gummed up with old grease / oil, they
> drop & reset smoothly.
>

The ring makes a big difference I've found also. At any rate, check the
metal bar that runs behind the target bank (on the underside of the PF)
and make sure it's not too tight. These get overtightened a lot because
the boss they screw into is plastic so people make it super tight.
Needs to be snug, not tight. I've actually loosened some a bit and they
have some play in them. They still hold in place but they drop so much
better.

Hopefully your copper spring on the target hasn't been mangled too much
either - that can affect the drop.

-scott CARGPB#29

bill....@2kgeneral.com

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Jan 2, 2008, 10:17:29 AM1/2/08
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On Jan 2, 9:26 am, seymour-shabow <seymour-sha...@excite.com> wrote:
> -scott CARGPB#29- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

I didn't check the bar tightness, since the targets dropped nicely, I
didn't touch that. But that does make sense, the bar being a little
"loose" may give the target room to drop. And since the screws are
into the plastic boss, if I loosen them a little they should stay &
not loosen more from vibration. The copper leaf springs weren't too
bad. The target having the most problem dropping did have the most
"beat up" spring, I "smoothed out" and moved the beat up spring to
another target to see the effect. Not much change so I don't think
that's it.
I'll try the loosening the bar trick.

Thanks,

Bill

m6onz5a

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Jan 2, 2008, 1:32:04 PM1/2/08
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On Jan 2, 7:16 am, seymour-shabow <seymour-sha...@excite.com> wrote:

Thanks for all the advise. I'll give it all a try.

Chas

MIKE PAYNE

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Jan 2, 2008, 2:41:24 PM1/2/08
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Real common problem on early Ballys when not installing proper drop
targets. If you intall the ones with the lip instead of flat ones.

seymour...@excite.com

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Jan 3, 2008, 9:06:28 AM1/3/08
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MIKE PAYNE wrote:
>
> Real common problem on early Ballys when not installing proper drop
> targets. If you intall the ones with the lip instead of flat ones.

Looks like this changeover occured between Star Trek and Paragon - Star
Trek has the 'chichlet' and paragon has the flat tops. Spy Hunter in
'84 would have flat tops.

I know the repro targets from PBR for stern machines are very, very,
slightly different - the target's reinforcement ribs, reset ribs, and
the flat top itself are slightly higher, slightly higher, and slightly
wider respectively. It might be enough to cause this problem. It's
possible the Bally targets are the same; I will look later today and
compare to an original.

The bally original targets do this too, on my Mystic I did not buy the
replacement targets are they were all in good shape, and half the time
the center bank does not drop with a solid hit. The problem also seems
to occur with a 90 degree straight on hit more so than not. Oddly, in
line targets rarely have this problem.... they always seem to drop
despite having less space to do so.

-scott CARGPB#29

Dallas Overturf

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Jan 5, 2008, 1:36:51 AM1/5/08
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Those "Flat tops" are called "Inline drop targets" and while they may
otherwise appear the same as the others, they are not; and won't work.
Inline drop targets are designed to sit flush to the Playfield when down
(covering up that big hole)so that the ball can hit the next target in line
be hind it. Think: Paragon, Future Spa,, Dolly P, EBD, and others. Simple
DT banks used a standard thin DT like those on Night Rider and Star Trek.

Regards,
Dallas...

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Home Page: www.geocities.com/d_overturf/index.html
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seymour...@excite.com

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Jan 5, 2008, 8:12:07 AM1/5/08
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Dallas Overturf wrote:
> Those "Flat tops" are called "Inline drop targets" and while they may
> otherwise appear the same as the others, they are not; and won't work.
> Inline drop targets are designed to sit flush to the Playfield when down
> (covering up that big hole)so that the ball can hit the next target in line
> be hind it. Think: Paragon, Future Spa,, Dolly P, EBD, and others. Simple
> DT banks used a standard thin DT like those on Night Rider and Star Trek.
>

.....except when Bally stopped using the thin ones and started using
flat tops on everything. Stern did, too, and they never used inline
banks. I did compare the repro targets to the original Ballys and they
are exactly the same except there is a reinforcement pair of ribs on the
back of the target. Not sure if that makes the repros not drop....
maybe. I think they went to flat tops everywhere so the ball wouldn't
sit on the target bank.

Gottlieb never really had this problem though and they were thins for
the whole time period..... hmmm...... I've often thought of putting in
GTB target banks for machines that depend on the drop targets working
100% like Mystic.

Or did you mean there are 2 types of flat tops?

-scott CARGPB#29

m6onz5a

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Jan 12, 2008, 1:26:44 AM1/12/08
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On Jan 2, 7:16 am, seymour-shabow <seymour-sha...@excite.com> wrote:
> m6onz5awrote:

I finally got time to look at the bank of targets. Upon inspection of
the back of the targets I see a 1/16" or so lip from the target
housing hanging over the playfield (unable to adjust unless I modify
mounting holes of unit). If I press my finger against a drop target
and hold it, I figure the target should slide up and down while I'm
holding it against the rear of the bank w/o binding. It appears that
the lip has gouged the back of the targets just enough to hold the
target up when hit hard. I gently filed the back of the targets so
smooth the gouge out a bit, and it's now much much better. Still not
100% though. I'm afraid of taking too much off of the target so I
won't weaken it.

NOW for some reason the #4 drop target only registers maybe 60% of the
time. If I knock down the first 3 and leave #4 standing, it'll reset
the bank. Would a bad diode on the leaf switch cause this? Otherwise
the switch is working fine.

Again thanks for everyones help.

Chas

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