Since I didn't have the keys to the game when I picked it up, I had to play
it for a week or two to see what needed fixing. I noticed that the game made the
sound effects when the ball hit the left slingshot, but there was no motion.
Once I got the hood propped open, I could see the solenoid wasn't hooked to the
slingshot crank, because the plastic link had broken. The solenoid hums a bit
in test mode, so there's power to it, but with gravity holding the core at the
bottom of the coil anyway, nothing moves.
So we start pulling things out - first the return spring comes off, showing
a little better view of what's going on. Either the link was weak to begin with,
or the slingshot got caught on something that was stuck more than the crank could
Here's a shot of the slingshot crank without the solenoid over it. I actually took
this photo for my own reference, to see what order the link and washer and clip
were installed in the first place. The whole thing seems kinda floppy, but once
the solenoid is installed again, it all lines up by itself. Use needlenose pliers
to pull the clip off the pin at the end of the crank, and the old link and washer
will come off.
Here's the core from the solenoid, after I drove the roll pin out, to get the
core ready for the new link. Remember to use eye protection when using a hammer
(quoted from the sticker on the side of the hammer). You don't want to drive the
pin all the way out - leave it in one side or it's a real pain to get it
started back into the core. And since the new link is narrower than the gap in
the core, you don't even need to drive it as far as I did here.
Here's the core with the new link installed and the roll pin hammered back in.
I also showed the old link, washer, and clip, since they didn't show very well in
the other photos.
Here's the whole thing back inside the game, with one screw holding the solenoid
to the playfield. Don't forget to put the spring back on before you get this far!
(I did.) Once the screw is supporting the weight of the solenoid, you can put all
your effort into getting the pin/link/washer combination assembled, and getting that
snap-clip back over the end of the pin before it springs apart on you.
That's it! This game was fairly stiff after reassembly - the old slingshot rubbers
didn't help push back much, and the kicker stayed out. After a few rounds of firing
it and pushing it back by hand, it started to loosen up, align itself better, and
work properly. Darn, I guess I'll have to do more play-testing to make sure it's
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