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Thread: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

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    Default Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    Hi all, I recently wall mounted my Powerflash that hadn’t been getting much play. Now it’s getting played frequently I’m noticing an issue popping up more; the left side tulips sometimes get stuck half open, if I manually close them to temporarily “fix” the issue I can hear a ball drop off a seesaw in the back and it pays out. The solenoids work properly though; and sometimes it works perfectly fine and tulips go back to fully closed position. The center and right side work like clockwork and are dead reliable; I want the same for the left side

    I’m aware it may need the rear disassembled and pivot points cleaned/polished and what not. I gave it a basic good cleaning, light restoration polishing up the chrome, cleaning the upper chutes and all when I bough it a few years ago (it was a barn find machine) Tulips are all clean and move freely. Any Powerflash owners come across this and have recommendations where to get started? This machine is a different animal than the “simple” vintages or modern machines I’m used to dealing with, this ones kinda intimidating!

    Here’s a pic of what it looks like when the tulips get stuck open halfway:

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    Are the balls sticking in the tulips? If not open the back and check the alignment of the little metal rods that open and close them. May need a slight bend.

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    Yep . Flashlight and a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers to pick out the little pieces of fluff and stuff.
    When things don't go right the 1st time , Step back ,Take a break and come back renewed. RGS

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    if it is caused by a ball, then the little tabs inside the tulip need adjusting.. adjust a bit and drop a ball in.. if you bend them in to much it will trap balls and cause bigger problems.

    if it happens when the solenoid fires then the wires that close them may be bent a bit and need to be bent more so they strike with a bit more force
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    Default Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    I opened it up, and fiddled around with the plastic linkage that open the tulips. The 2 left side ones (right in the picture) were binding together and not moving freely, I moved them back and forth several times to get them moving easily. So now the tulips are not sticking.

    One question though; I’m not sure if it’s supposed to work this way or if I have another “bug”:

    If all 4 left side tulips are open and I score a ball in the yellow joker tulip; all 4 left tulips close with a snap of the solenoid.

    If ALL tulips are open and ball is scored in left yellow joker left 4 tulips close.

    However if I do the same on the right side (all 4 tulips open, score ball in yellow joker) only the joker tulip closes (I also hear the solenoid “snap”)

    If ALL tulips are opened and a ball is scored in the Right yellow joker tulip the 4 LEFT pockets close.

    I would expect them both the behave the same? is that part of the gameplay that the jokers are “wild” and both can close the 4 left tulips?

    Last edited by lotsoballs; 01-14-2020 at 12:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    I have only had the Thunderbird version, both left and right sides operate independently. I would suspect they would be the same, however think I may have read where either joker closes both sides on the chinaman. Perhaps a wire came off and was reattached to a wrong terminal or a jumper wire missing?

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    If the Joker is closing, the solenoid must be working, as the mechanism moves up and down and affects all of the tulips on the side. Weird problem.
    I've restored both types of machines, so if you'd like to FaceTime with me, maybe we can get it fixed for you. (No Charge!)
    Dan
    Magic Pachinko Restorations
    (585) 760-9104

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    Quote Originally Posted by Tink View Post
    I have only had the Thunderbird version, both left and right sides operate independently. I would suspect they would be the same, however think I may have read where either joker closes both sides on the chinaman. Perhaps a wire came off and was reattached to a wrong terminal or a jumper wire missing?
    on the "china man" there is a white jumper wire between the solenoids that should close all tulips.. there has been several old post about cutting that wire so the machine operates independently left and right..

    sounds like a good cleaning is needed.. i have seen these where lube was added between the brown bits of plastic so they ride smooth.. like all pachinko it collected dust and then was a mess.. it needs to operate smoothly.
    Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, .......... /........ If your not going to stand behind our troops
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    Default Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicDan View Post
    If the Joker is closing, the solenoid must be working, as the mechanism moves up and down and affects all of the tulips on the side. Weird problem.
    I've restored both types of machines, so if you'd like to FaceTime with me, maybe we can get it fixed for you. (No Charge!)
    Dan
    Magic Pachinko Restorations
    (585) 760-9104
    I’ll keep you posted I may take you up on that offer.

    All 4 solenoids do work; a ball in the top pocket opens all 10 tulips, I’ve seen all 4 the plastic linkages snapping up and down while manually testing various tulips. Just not sure if scoring in the right side joker is supposed to close left side tulips; or if it’s supposed to close both the 4 left and 4 right. I’ll watch some YouTube videos of other chinaman powerflashes and see if I can understand expected behavior.

    If there is an issue, it’s probably related to those plastic linkages possibly binding/not moving freely, I’ll fiddle around with the right side linkages too and make sure they have a full range of motion and not binding. No sign of any lube so that’s good... based on cobwebs, bugs and what not (machine was inoperable when I bought) I’m pretty sure I’m the first to dig into it for troubleshooting/repairs. Or maybe those little metal wires that open/close the tulips not making good contact to close tulips is my hunch.

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    Default Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    I found a very helpful/informative video of how it’s supposed to operate; I do have a “bug” because it appears BOTH jokers should close all pockets (Tink was correct); the right side isn’t getting closed via joker hit (either left or right joker) no wonder this one pays out soooo much! It should be harder to win since jokers must be avoided at all costs. More to come once I’m home and have time for more troubleshooting.


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5IVYNpSg1fI


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    Last edited by lotsoballs; 01-14-2020 at 02:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    [QUOTE=lotsoballs;600653]I’ll keep you posted I may take you up on that offer.

    Anytime! I'm retired and have nothing but time on my hands.

    I am on EST so just keep that in mind when you call.

    Dan

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    Default Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    It’s fixed! Now both jokers close all tulips. Turns out the right side was same issue on left side (plastic linkage binding) which caused the solenoid to sometimes be unable to fully close the tulips as there was too much weight/resistance trying to close all the tulips. The biggest/heaviest linkage of course had the worst issues and was causing the solenoid to struggle to do its job.

    Also a couple tulips needed “tweaked” with the needle nose pliers as they were slightly harder to close from the rear than others; also cleaned all the tulips real good with q-tips. I made a small modification, I noticed there’s a lot of play on the linkage pin than connects the arm on the solenoid to the plastic main linkage arm for the tulips; and it was binding a bit and not aligned in the proper 90 degree angle due to loose tolerance also caused the large plastic linkage below for the tulips to drag/bind slightly. I needed some very tiny washers or spacer of some sort so found a little rubber spacer left over from my kid’s erector set. it keeps the linkage aligned and prevents binding believe it or not. Not the most professional fix but, it works now 100%!

    Ideally it needs a full strip down/cleaning but I’m not sure how to take those linkages off and fear they’re too brittle for me to fool with much since now everything works good don’t want to jinx it and break something disassembling it!

    Last edited by lotsoballs; 01-14-2020 at 10:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    I restore pachinko machines. I’ve done a number of Power Flashes. If you are ever interested in having you machine fully restored, just let me know. Would be happy to provide that service for you.
    Dan
    Magic Pachinko Restorations

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicDan View Post
    I restore pachinko machines. I’ve done a number of Power Flashes. If you are ever interested in having you machine fully restored, just let me know. Would be happy to provide that service for you.
    Dan
    Magic Pachinko Restorations
    Thanks, funny you mention I was jealous of the shiny new playfield on that fully restored one in the YouTube video I found! Just curious how much does a typical Powerflash restoration cost? I’d assume more than a “regular” vintage?

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    Default Re: Powerflash left side tulips “sticking”

    Quote Originally Posted by lotsoballs View Post
    Thanks, funny you mention I was jealous of the shiny new playfield on that fully restored one in the YouTube video I found! Just curious how much does a typical Powerflash restoration cost? I’d assume more than a “regular” vintage?
    There are a number of different levels of restoration and different fees. I consider a full restoration one that includes a new playfield. To accomplish that, everything is removed from the main board in order to take off the old playfield. It’s not that hard to do, but very labor intensive.
    With the Power Flash machines, I also completely tear down the solenoid system to insure it is clean and functioning properly.
    its not a cheap job for sure, but if you are serious about having it done....Call me.
    (I do offer a discount to anyone on a the forum.)
    Dan

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