Rebuilding a Funhouse

Left slingshot doesn't fire,
but game makes the sound effect

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.

[broken link] 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.

[unhooked, no spring] 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 move it.

[coil removed from crank] 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.

[core with roll pin out] 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.

[new link and parts] 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.

[going together] 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.

[all done!] 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 working properly...

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last twisted 9/14/97 by tom