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Williams Flipper Rebuild Tips (1979-1985)
NOTICE: For some very important information, please read the Technical Article Notice and Disclaimer, found on our Technical Articles Index page before performing any of the work described below. The information given below assumes you have read the Notice and Disclaimer first.
This article describes some of the aspects of using a later-model (1985-1992) Williams flipper rebuild kit in earlier Williams games from 1979-1985, which were the first to use the one-piece flipper baseplate unit, where everything was mounted on the single flipper baseplate (Firepower and later games). One flipper rebuild kit contains parts to do two flippers- one left, and one right.
This article discusses only a few aspects of the total flipper rebuild process. For a comprehensive overview of flipper rebuilding, please see the marvin3m.com web site, where you will find step-by-step instructions, pictures, and helpful tips on rebuilding the flippers on your game.
The flipper rebuild kits designed for Williams and later Bally games were made for those games that used the single flipper baseplate, but with a removeable (replaceable) coil stop, and taller EOS switch mounting tab that would accomodate the side-mounted plunger return spring.
The early (left) baseplate design had a built-in coil stop (non-replaceable), and a short mounting tab for the EOS switch. The late (right) baseplate design had a removeable (replaceable) coil stop, and taller mounting tab (not shown) for both the EOS switch, and also for mounting a spark suppressor capacitor and side-mounted flipper plunger return spring.
So the two coil stops in the kit will not be used on earlier baseplate designs. In addition, there are a few other parts that may, or may not be used, depending on your personal preference:
The gray plastic link that goes between the coil plunger and the flipper "crank" assembly on both left and right flipper plunger/link/crank units will have to be modified slightly to allow it to work with the early style flipper coils and coil stops. Either this, or it can be replaced with the earlier style tapered link, Williams #03-8050.
If used without being modified, the newer (non-tapered) linkage will not allow the plunger to travel far enough into the coil, and it will not contact the metal coil stop. This results in shorter flipper travel on the playfield (flipper does not go as high as it should), and a considerable loss in overall flipper strength.
To remedy this problem, the earlier 03-8050 linkage must be used, or the newer style linkage must be ground-down on a bench grinder, or with a file, at the end where it attaches to the coil plunger. The two areas sectioned off by the green lines in the picture above ("A") are the areas that need to be removed, or ground off, on both sides of the plastic link, and on both left and right plunger/link/crank units.
With the linkage ground down, the plunger should be able to travel farther into the coil sleeve, and you should be able to hear the metal plunger contact the coil stop at the back end of the coil with a firm "click".
If replacing the newer link with the older 03-8050 tapered link, removal of the roll-pin that holds the link in the coil plunger is necessary. Remove roll pin, remove old link, install new link, and replace roll pin.
If you are using the regular tapered coil plunger return springs around the coil plunger, you can remove and discard the crank side-tab ("B" in the picture above), which is used only for the side-mount return spring used mostly in newer model games. (See above for more info on return springs).
If you need any further help or information on rebuilding the flippers in your game, please see the marvin3m.com web site, which has comprehensive step-by-step instructions, with pictures, on how to rebuild your flippers from start to finish.