I finally got around to that tough repair on Wizard of Oz.
My Wizard of Oz is in finally in perfect working order! The game is a Wizard of Oz, 75 Anniversary Limited Edition (WOZ74LE in pinball speak). It has Ruby Red armor, and it has serial number 1939, which is cool because that is the ear the movie came out. There were a few small glitches and a tough problem with the machine, and I figured it would be a good weekend to get it all fixed.
The double doors on the castle were not closing, which means the ball was sneaking past the doors and landing in the saucer behind the doors. This would trigger a ball search after a long delay. It was extra aggravating because the first ball search would just shoot it straight into the doors and trigger another wait and a second ball search. This is what the doors looked like before the repair. See that right one isn't quite closed.
I thought I repaired this once before, but as I learned, this was a slightly different repair. Since this involved the coils under the upper playfield, the upper playfield had to come off. Thanks to Jersey Jack's Pinball's excellent documentation (it's coffee table quality,) the clear instructions were on page E-2.
First, you move the monkey down!
You move the monkey down, so you can reach the wire form from the VUK to the upper playfield. Since this is a limited edition, it's the cool sparkly red color. I bought a very shallow and stubby 11/32 socket to reach into this area. It's a tight squeeze under that playfield and above the rail.
Then, you start disconnecting stuff.
Once it's off, I expected the same problem as last time. Last time a set screw was loose on the post connected to one of the doors. I checked, and it was all tight. So, I kept inspecting until I found that the hex screws connecting the coil to the assembly were loose. They are also tough to reach!
Once I found the problem, I got out the purple Locktite. I wrestled with the super awkward angles things are at. The springs popped off, and then are hard to get back in. I probably swore pretty good a few times.
But, the tough job was complete, and off to the first small job. The ball lock after the right ramp was never the right height. It was catching the ball, but not releasing it properly. It needed to be adjusted. So, I used trial and error until I had it low enough to catch the ball, but high enough to let the ball go when it was activated.
I was overthinking this one, wanting to bend the arm. As I looked at it, it was really easy to bend the housing with my needle nose pliers. A few adjustments, and it was time to test. First test was bad. It was too high. The ball wasn't getting caught. So, you work through a coil and switch test to double check. All of the tests passed, so I adjusted it again. This time it was perfect.
But wait, I only have two machines without Brite Buttons from Brite Mods. So, I got some from Pinball Life, and installed them. It took a while, but they finally came out with an easy install kit for a JJP machine. Installation requires a weird software adjustment to the topper light strength to get proper power, but these went in easily. I kept my transparent red buttons, but used the proper plastic nuts to attach them. That was another small job.
While it was in the middle of the game room, I finally got around to putting on the clear leg protectors. They probably don't protect much, since this is a home pinball room, but some clear leg protectors looked cool.
Now, it plays properly. It has no hangups when locking the ball. There are no annoying double ball searches. And, you can see the brite buttons from space!
So, that was today in pinball repair. I didn't get to some final touches on the Apollo 13 before I stare at the cabinet and decide whether to fix it all the way, or just leave it alone.