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    Thread: Modify Those Troublesome 80's Bally Linear Flippers

    1. #1
      Autosteve is offline
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      Dec 2016
      Barden Ridge NSW
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      Modify Those Troublesome 80's Bally Linear Flippers

      After playing my Black Pyramid last I was not surprised the brand new parts I put in the flipper are already worn out after only about 300 games.

      The flippers are already mushy especially on the tips allowing the ball to be lost even though the flipper tip hits the ball.

      I was going to swap out the whole assemblies for early Bally non linear ones but I come across this article on PinSide.

      I should of checked to see if the old parts would just fit straight in the linear mount plates myself, ( not at all unusual being able to mix and match pinball parts), but this article proves this can be done anyway and this is similar to the route I will go.


      I'm not real happy with his tension spring bracket, it looks dodgy, but I do want tension springs because they are far better than compression springs so I'll come up with something myself even if I have to weld brackets to the crank myself resembling the original spring retainers used on the linear crank.

      Update...I just had a look at Gottlieb system 3 cranks and they look like might they may just drop straight in instead of modifying the old style Bally cranks and they not only have a suitably placed hole for a tension spring on the crank but also have a better EOS activator arm that would preserve the EOS switch which I will change for the Williams part because Williams have the best designed EOS.

      This is a system 3 crank...

      On having a good look I'm wondering if a later model Williams crank will fit and just swap over the links and plungers to the Bally ones, Those I do have as spare parts to test, unlike spare system 3 cranks.

      Time for the micrometer I think.

      The critical area is the mounting points on the crank not changing or it will adjust the flipper stroke and possibly put the plunger out of alignment.

      Anyway, the point is you can fix those poor wearing and expensive to maintain Bally linear flipper assemblies one way or another.

      I'll post some pictures of what I come up with.

    2. #2
      Autosteve is offline
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      Barden Ridge NSW
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      I worked out I can adapt any of these cranks for this mod.

      The spacing between the flipper shaft and the link location on all these crank types are all the same give or take a mm but certainly not enough to cause any binding issues.

      Unfortunately none are absolutely perfect for what I want as they are have there shortfalls one way or another.

      1st row in the picture are the Bally linear and are the ones I want replace.

      2nd row in the picture on the lower row, ( I only have one side of that part), is the Bally old.

      This part will go straight in but I really want a spring location as part of the crank. (more on this one later)

      3rd row are the Gottlieb system 3.

      These will work and are probably the best way to go because they require the least amount of modification but they need to go in upside down and the EOS bracket needs to be removed and welded in the other side of the crank.

      Not as hard as it sounds actually and these cranks have a neat little nylon bush that spins when they open the EOS switch. This feature really does help to preserve the EOS because it isn't a metal arm on the crank hitting the copper EOS every time they open instead being a piece of nylon that spins on a metal pin.

      4th row on the top is a Williams Bally 90s style.

      Good point is no grub screws that mark the flipper shaft like all the other types instead using a clamp idea but the nylon link isn't as durable or long lasting as the Bakelite link used by all the other types even though they use steel bushings.

      The nylon link elongates the bush holes and the roll pin holes and the steel bush wears creating slack. The bolts through the crank that hold the bush also wear the holes in the crank.

      The Bally plunger link pin hole also needs to be driller larger to suit the larger roll pin used for the Williams link. ( can't use the original William plungers, they are too long.

      What to do aye?

      This picture above shows a Bally old left compared to a Bally linear right with the nylon bush that wears old super fast grinded off to show the difference. The pin hole used to hold the nylon bush is in exactly the same location required for the pin but look how thin they made the arm. The pin is basically the same size as the arm and I think would twist the arm over time if I simply welded a pin in place.

      This picture above shows a way around this. Cut the red line on the left crank, cut the blue line on the right crank and weld the red piece in place where the blue was cut from.

      Pretty easy to cut and weld and I now have a spring location on the crank. The part will now fit straight in as reliable as the old Bally style was but with a tension spring.

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