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Kickers too close


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  • Kickers too close

    OK guys here is what I have at our ten lane. We use kickers. Our issue is with clearance. When I first started we were going through 6 kickers every week. Now I have it down to one or so a month.

    I am left with four lanes that still have problems. One pair just gets oil on the kickers and then refuses to send balls back. The other one will work fine for a while and then in a few minuts shred the kicker down to nothing.

    I have only found one type of kicker that I can use. It is either the football type or the other vantage ***-080-*** -2 style.

    On the idler assy. that holds the kicker wheel we have no space. I know that I usually have four or so washers in between the assemblies. On these two pairs I have no spacers of any kind and the kicker is nearly against the ball door. How can I get some more clearance so I can use better kickers? Any ideas?


  • #2
    Re: Kickers too close

    If you can move the side plates without getting them ouside the kickback plates, move them.

    It will be alot of work.

    I say put in a humpback.



    • #3
      Re: Kickers too close

      Pat...have you tried the kicker Murrey sells?
      TSM & TSM Training Development
      Main Event Entertainment
      480-620-6758 for help or information


      • #4
        Re: Kickers too close

        Thanks to a severely botched installation of our 1-16 machines, I can definitely sympathize with your problem... many of our sideplates are too close together, making it a lot of fun and games to keep them operating well. Since it just wasn't in the budget to replace our kicker lifts, we had to come up with some very interesting 'mods' to keep the balls coming back.

        Most of the time, kicker wear-down is the problem... when the ball comes in, it squashes the kicker and makes it rub the edge of the sideplate, which rips it to shreds.

        Most of today's "high-tech" designed kickers are molded backwards from the originals (angled UP \_/, instead of the original angled-down / \ design)... these are pretty much useless, because the angle against the already-too-close sideplate is all wrong (the wide area is on the upper edge, right where the clearance is lowest), and they wear off from rubbing.

        Some of the things we've done to control the problem:

        Move the sideplates out if possible... in our case, most of them could not be moved without shifting the whole row of machines.

        Space the kicker assembly as close together as possible... some of ours are running with the kicker pulleys literally only a hair away from grinding against each other... to get adjustment this fine, I use distributor clutch oil seals instead of the standard washers... they're a lot thinner. spring-steel shim washers are even thinner... many auto-parts stores and machinery suppliers carry them.

        Use the "standard-shaped" kickers instead of the inverted ones, then bring the tension up a little by either doubling up the kicker springs (works OK), or (much better), by using the chain/spring mod that has been discussed here before. Vantage had a pretty decent kicker that worked good for us... instead of a flat edge, it had a concave shape that gripped the ball better. The new "lightning" kicker works good, too... but it's a little bigger and can make fitting it in and not having it wear off a bit more of an issue.

        Getting rid of the rubber ramp in the saddle and replacing it with a piece of lift belt did a lot of good in some cases... just cut a piece of old lift belt as wide as the saddle, lay the V of the belt into the groove on the saddle, and use short screws with washers to attach it from the back. Put some contact cement or tire patch glue on the thread to help keep the screws from backing out of the rubber. It makes a wider, slightly lower ramp for the ball to grip on than the rubber block. The urethane "stepped" blocks work better than the smooth ones, too.

        Lower the ball lift SLIGHTLY to grab a ball quicker. You may have to play around with it a bit before you get a 'comfortable' setting.

        Keep the lift belts and kickers CLEAN if you're running them with a heavy oil shot. Wiping them down once a day with regular alcohol works well.
        <span style="font-style: italic">Educatio est omnium efficacissima forma rebellionis</span>


        • #5
          Re: Kickers too close

          A few years ago I was in a center with the same problem.

          I wound up doing some radical repairs considering
          the center had no money for parts let alone to pay me.

          On the 2 pairs of lanes I had with the same problem you have. I wound up taking out the kicker assy and grinding off enough to get the clearance I needed.

          Yes it's crude,But it worked.


          • #6
            Re: Kickers too close

            Thanks for the ideas guys. Hey G-Man can you post a pic of your mod using the ball lift belt. I like the idea.

            Dumb question, because I am at my day job now. Who makes the lightening kicker? Is it a Vantage, Murray, or other? I would like to try a few other designs on these two pairs.

            Thanks in advance.


            • #7
              Re: Kickers too close

              Vantage "Red Lightning" directional kicker... make sure you order left-hand or right-hand as needed... they're not interchangeable.

              <span style="font-style: italic">Educatio est omnium efficacissima forma rebellionis</span>


              • #8
                Re: Kickers too close

                Good kickers the lightning are. We have them in quite a few lanes, no probs with em at all, just gotta remember like "G" said to make sure you put em on properly as theres a LH and RH one [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]
                All I want in life is to turn wrenches and climb around pinsetters/pinspotters again :/


                • #9
                  Re: Kickers too close

                  Wow thanks for showing me the option guys!



                  • #10
                    Re: Kickers too close

                    I am getting that these red blasters work great but how long do they last? Do they hold up or are they like the some others when they get one nick or something they just turn to dust?.


                    • #11
                      Re: Kickers too close

                      They seem to hold up pretty well... since they are eccentric, even as they wear, they may lose the lip that's on them, but the off-center section wears pretty much consistently, keeping it eccentric.

                      As with anything, how long they last depends on your lineage, how much spring tension you run on the kickers, etc...
                      <span style="font-style: italic">Educatio est omnium efficacissima forma rebellionis</span>


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