Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Have questions on how to fix your machine or what products to use? This is the place to ask for help.
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Tim's First EM Journey. Fixing a Gottlieb Surfer.

Postby Fifty » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:17 pm

Hi guys,

I need a hand with fixing this pin. I am very close but I'm having issues with the Ax relay.

When I start a game the score motor starts spinning nonstop (it's taken quite a bit of research and learning to get it this far). Ax pulls in but nothing happens. The score motor just keeps spinning. If I press the Ax relay in the start sequence begins, score reels resets and the ball kicks out.

Ax is my problem. It doesn't seem to be pulling in enough. I've checked it multiple times to ensure it is making that famous 'click' and it is. It sounds and feels great. It just needs an extra 1mm of pull to trigger the start up sequence it seems.

I've cleaned the 4 contracts that close when Ax pulls in, made multiple adjustments, it feels good just not enough pull when it energizes.

Any EM assistance would be welcomed.
Last edited by Fifty on Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby amona » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:50 am

So let me get this straight in my head. The relay pulls in but the machince keeps cycling? Then you give the relay a little help and the game finishes the cycle the ball pops out and you play pinball.

You have cleaned the contacts and you can see them closing.

At this point I would check the contacts that are supposed to open. Do they? Next thing I would do is check those contacts that close. While a reset is trying I ne at a time put a flat screwdriver between the blades of the contacts and give it a little twist so that you know you have good connection and you know which one to focus on.

Is what I would do
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:12 am

amona wrote:So let me get this straight in my head. The relay pulls in but the machince keeps cycling? Then you give the relay a little help and the game finishes the cycle the ball pops out and you play pinball.

You have cleaned the contacts and you can see them closing.

Yes, this is exactly right.

amona wrote:At this point I would check the contacts that are supposed to open. Do they? Next thing I would do is check those contacts that close. While a reset is trying I ne at a time put a flat screwdriver between the blades of the contacts and give it a little twist so that you know you have good connection and you know which one to focus on.

Is what I would do
Makes sense. I will try this an report back.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:00 pm

That did the trick! One of the make/break switches was off by a hair. A literal hair! Fickle friggin' relay! I am able to start a game - Thank you!

Now it seems I have a pop bumper locking on. Center pop. Locks on as soon as the ball ejects into the shooter lane. I have cleaned the contacts and verified they are making a proper connection and that the spoon connection is not making contact. I haven't looked into it more than this. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Onwards and upwards!


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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby amona » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:05 pm

The pop bumper has a relay that fires the bumper. So don’t just look at the bumper, check the associated relay. It will be mounted underneath the playfield.

Check the other bumpers as well. Sometimes they are in pairs. Both fire at the same time. If one has a stuck switch the other is on as well. If the other bumpers coil burnt out or a wire broke off and the switch is stuck on then the bumper you are looking at gets stuck on too.

But start at the relay
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby sylvain » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:55 pm

The trick is, for every relay in any EM game:
- make sure the two screws are present and tight on each of the contact stacks - before making any contact/gapping adjustment;
- contacts need to be adjusted so that there is just a tad of pressure/wipe when making the contact, and a visible space gap when opened;
- and, for the interlock relays, their contacts gap is smaller than on other relays, so adjustment is critical.

Note that there are two separate screws on Gottlieb AX and other interlock relays that adjust the mechanical angle/position
of the locking plate, so that needs to be adjusted first, if needed, as it changes the gap of the contacts when locked-in.

Good luck!
-Sylvain.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:13 pm

amona wrote:The pop bumper has a relay that fires the bumper. So don’t just look at the bumper, check the associated relay. It will be mounted underneath the playfield.

Check the other bumpers as well. Sometimes they are in pairs. Both fire at the same time. If one has a stuck switch the other is on as well. If the other bumpers coil burnt out or a wire broke off and the switch is stuck on then the bumper you are looking at gets stuck on too.

But start at the relay

Looking at the schematics it is relay B that fires both pop bumpers. I cleaned the contacts on both pop bumpers and on the B relay. Gap looks good. I tried starting up the game again and this time the pop bumper did not lock on. I actually managed to play my first game. Some switches are not working and some lamps but it was cool to finally get to flip the game.

sylvain wrote:The trick is, for every relay in any EM game:
- make sure the two screws are present and tight on each of the contact stacks - before making any contact/gapping adjustment;
- contacts need to be adjusted so that there is just a tad of pressure/wipe when making the contact, and a visible space gap when opened;
- and, for the interlock relays, their contacts gap is smaller than on other relays, so adjustment is critical.

Note that there are two separate screws on Gottlieb AX and other interlock relays that adjust the mechanical angle/position
of the locking plate, so that needs to be adjusted first, if needed, as it changes the gap of the contacts when locked-in.

Good luck!
-Sylvain.

Thanks Sylvain. Tricky that Ax. Not my first choice of things to work on when learning an EM but I suppose it's better than messing with the score motor.

Some things I noticed during my initial play.
- Some of the score reels are getting stuck. These are just gunked up and need a cleaning.
- Chimes are working but I'm getting a "thunk" sound after it chimes. It appears there is no foam pad in the chime box so I'll have to add some.
- Spinner doesn't appear to be working, but I'm not sure if it is the game or me. I don't remember what activates the spinner in this game.
- Bonus collect worked the first 2 times, but the 3rd time it wouldn't eject the ball back into play.
- Ball 1, and Ball 2 worked fine. When I drained ball 2 it wasn't recognized so ball 3 never came out.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the progress here. I went from EM newbie, with a non-working game (just lights), to being able to start the game and actually play. I'm getting close to getting the mechanical done then I can work on the easier stuff light non-working lights.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby OTTOgd » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:09 pm

Great thread! Love reading about progressive fixing success.

Please post some pics for some of who are more visual learners. :oops:

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby novaguy » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:33 pm

OTTOgd wrote:Great thread! Love reading about progressive fixing success.

Please post some pics for some of who are more visual learners. :oops:

That would be me.lol.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:26 pm

Hmm... I'll post some photos soon. My REPLAY BUTTON has just stopped working. It was working 3 posts ago and now it's not doing anything. It was originally not doing anything and I had fixed it (at least I thought I had). I did just replace my V relay... I wonder if that has something to do with it.

I'll post photos of my old V and new one.

[EDIT]
Here are some pics of the encased relays I was dealing with and the newly installed V relay.
relay.jpg


installed.jpg
Last edited by Fifty on Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Guard » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:52 pm

sylvain wrote:- make sure the two screws are present and tight on each of the contact stacks - before making any contact/gapping adjustment;

This is now the VERY first thing I do when I open a machine,....a High Hand almost fixed itself after I went through and tightened every relay in the cabinet, PF, and back box.
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby sylvain » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:58 pm

Fifty wrote:Hmm... I'll post some photos soon. My REPLAY BUTTON has just stopped working. It was working 3 posts ago and now it's not doing anything. It was originally not doing anything and I had fixed it (at least I thought I had). I did just replace my V relay... I wonder if that has something to do with it.

I'll post photos of my old V and new one.


The V Replay Relay is only activated when ALL of the following conditions are met:
- there are credits on the credit wheel - and its contacts are properly closed on the credit wheel;
- the anti-cheat switches inside the cash door, cabinet, in head, etc. are properly closed and clean (note: these are not the vibration tilt switches);
- the score motor Normally Closed contacts 1C and 2B are making good contact, with the score motor at its rest position;
- a NC contact on the AX Reset Control relay is properly closed and making good contact;
- a NC contact on the CX 2nd player relay is properly closed and making good contact;
- (I think) a NC contact on the W 2nd chute relay is properly closed and making good contact;
- the V relay coil is good;
- the replay button switch contacts are obviously making good contact when the button is pressed;
- good contacts on all Jones plugs Cabinet to Head.

I fit were me, I would go back and tighten all relay contacts stacks if not already done, and check/adjust all contacts with proper wipe/gap.
And make sure all steppers step and reset properly mechanically. This is a must, or the machine will never be reliable in my experience.

Good luck!
-Sylvain.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:53 pm

I will go through and tighten all the relay contacts stacks. I have been tightening the ones I have been adjusting. Basically, if I remove the cotter pin then I tighten the switch stacks, check for proper wipe/gap and then adjust if necessary. I even place a white piece of paper between the switch stacks contacts to help my aging eyes see the gapping. I think I have tighten most of the relay contact stacks except for the lesser used ones but I will go over them all in the morning.

All the steppers are stepping and resetting properly. This was the first thing I did. Some of them are not super smooth, but they function without any binding. None of them are seized. When I first got this pin quite a few things were not stepping properly. The player unit was a mess. I cleaned it up nicely and re-lubed it and it is spinning like a merry-go-round now. :)

I posted for help on Pinside a while back and the people there have been a huge help. They were even nice enough to send me new relays in the mail from the USA. I have more pics and details there. I know I am double dipping, but many people here do not frequent Pinside and I could use your expertise.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic ... needs-help

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:32 pm

Success! I used my DMM to check the connectivity from the replay button. Traced it down to a closed switch on Ax that had no tone across the switch. Tweaked the contacts and voila! Game started! I was able to start a game. Even played a two player game with my son. Now that things are working properly I can start cleaning up the score motors and work on the easier stuff.

My chimes were working at the start of the games I played and stopped chimming midgame. This will be the first thing I focus on. I can't have an EM game without chimes!

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:50 pm

Alright, now that I have the pin going through start up and resetting properly I've started focusing on other things.

1) Chimes. They are sporadic. I removed the chime unit and cleaned it out to make sure it wasn't gunked up. It is clean and smooth now. I understand that there is a "tens" chime, "hundreds" chime, and "thousands" chime. All of them work occasionally, but not the way I feel they are supposed to. For example, the "kickers" are suppose to score ten points. So if I activate a sling with the ball, I score 10 points and a chime should go off. Out of 10 times, I get a chime maybe 5 times. I am getting power at the chimes. I have good connectivity from the "tens" chime to the tens score reel. Where should I check next? This is a very large part of the schematic and I want chimes 10/10 times.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby sylvain » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:54 am

The 10, 100 and 1000 points relays in the head each have one of their Normally Open contact pairs dedicated for their respective associated chimes.
Make sure the contacts on these three relays are tight and properly gapped/adjusted.

Good luck!
-Sylvain.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:54 am

sylvain wrote:The 10, 100 and 1000 points relays in the head each have one of their Normally Open contact pairs dedicated for their respective associated chimes.
Make sure the contacts on these three relays are tight and properly gapped/adjusted.

Good luck!
-Sylvain.

Thanks for the response Sylvain. I traced the wire to the 10 point chime. It is closing well and making good contact. I flexstoned it a bit anyway just to get any crud off. If I energize a kicker, like a sling to count 10 points, the 10 point chime goes off, but it is inconsistent. I'm able to watch the plunger tapping the chime plate. Sometimes the plunger is strong and has no problem sounding off a chime. Other times I see it energize, but the plunger doesn't make it up to the chime to hit it. I see it poke its head out of the coil sleeve, like a groundhog checking for spring, and then it goes back inside it's burrow.

It's almost like it doesn't have enough power to reach up and hit the chime or the contact is so quick on the score reel that it's not closed long enough for the plunger to bother making it all the way up.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby sylvain » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:03 am

Does this also occur on Player-2?
Reason I am asking: If I recall, most of those Gottlieb score counters have an EOS switch on the plunger that is normally closed,
and it open when the score counter's plunger is almost bottomed-out - this is to ensure the counter properly advances,
even if the impulse for the score is short - and it holds the associated score relay ON, until that switch is opened, then it drops that score relay...
If that EOS score counter switch is always opened or broken, it might cause this intermittent issue with scoring or chimes, assuming all other contacts are OK.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:19 am

sylvain wrote:Does this also occur on Player-2?
Reason I am asking: If I recall, most of those Gottlieb score counters have an EOS switch on the plunger that is normally closed,
and it open when the score counter's plunger is almost bottomed-out - this is to ensure the counter properly advances,
even if the impulse for the score is short - and it holds the associated score relay ON, until that switch is opened, then it drops that score relay...
If that EOS score counter switch is always opened or broken, it might cause this intermittent issue with scoring or chimes, assuming all other contacts are OK.

I believe this also happens with player 2. I recall playing that first game with my son and the chimes were not responding during his turn either. I will double-check tonight.

When you say the "EOS switch on the plunger" do you mean the score reel plunger? So when the score reel is rotating from 9 to 0 that plunger?

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby sylvain » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:29 am

Fifty wrote:When you say the "EOS switch on the plunger" do you mean the score reel plunger? So when the score reel is rotating from 9 to 0 that plunger?

The EOS is right at each score counter plunger itself. It opens every time the plunger goes in. This is not the 0 or 9 position switches.
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:50 am

sylvain wrote:
Fifty wrote:When you say the "EOS switch on the plunger" do you mean the score reel plunger? So when the score reel is rotating from 9 to 0 that plunger?

The EOS is right at each score counter plunger itself. It opens every time the plunger goes in. This is not the 0 or 9 position switches.

Understood. I just wanted to clarify. I just de-gunked the score reels. The EOS is opening, but the gap could definitely be tightened up. I will adjust it tonight.

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby sylvain » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:49 pm

Picture from the following website. I circled the EOS.
https://tuukan.fliput.net/emfix_en.html
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GTB_Score_Counter.gif
GTB_Score_Counter.gif (14.36 KiB) Viewed 187 times
Looking for Bally Star-Jet, Capersville or The Wiggler, Williams Magic City, Grand Lizard, Swords of Fury, 1986 Pinstar Gamatron, and a few others.
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:17 pm

Mine is like this;

kt-gstep-05.jpg

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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby sylvain » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:30 pm

Then check this switch that is still activated by the solenoid plunger every time it steps:
(often one blade is broken on the 'often-stepping' Gottlieb score counters, such as the 10 and 100 pts)
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Re: EM help. Surfer

Postby Fifty » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:59 pm

Yes, that is the switch I thought we were talking about. It is the one that I mentioned I flexstoned. I will try adjusting it tomorrow. Unfortunately my kids are in bed by 8PM and it's not possible to work on a EM pinball machine in the house. The sounds resonate too much. Trying to fix a chime issue makes things especially hard to troubleshoot while being quiet. Ha!

I'll try to adjust this switch before they hit their beds tomorrow evening.



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