Author Topic: STEPPER UNIT REPAIRS (Noob warning Take detailed photos before starting this)  (Read 720 times)

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Offline ddstoys

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With most Project Ems i have rebuilt have either stuffed score reel or stepper unit and without these working correctly the game just wont start. So on all ems this is the first thing i do to attempt to get it back to life.  Obviously yours will still be hanging from your machine unless you have enough patience to mark and unsolder all the wires (STUFF THAT) 
 There are a few types of steppers

1. Continuous which has one coil and steps in one direction   (Used mainly on features bonus scores etc)
2. Step up / Step down which has 2 coils one to step it up and one to step it down   (Mainly used for bonus scores etc)
3 Step up  / Reset which also has 2 coils ine to step up and one to reset to the start position  (used for player units and ball count etc)

If a game wont boot id look at steppers with two coils first as features shouldn't stop the game from starting.

Im using a Continuous stepper for the Demo but same rules apply for the reset or step down section as the step up section
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 03:15:34 PM by ddstoys »

Offline Ford Fairlane

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Re: STEPPER UNIT REPAIRS
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 02:38:08 PM »
 #*# will be watching this closely!!! maybe i can ask questions here instead of adding to my massive pro football thread  :lol

Offline ddstoys

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Re: STEPPER UNIT REPAIRS
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 02:52:56 PM »
Here are some photos of the stepper arms these guys do most of the work.

STEP 1 first thing i do is blow the unit out with compressed air or attack it with a dry paint brush to remove any unwanted   
            dust  bugs etc.

STEP 2 any leftover grease hard dirt etc i clean with a toothbrush dipped in metho preferably not your own especially around
            the pivot point

The second photo shows the build up grease that blowing and paint brushing didn't remove third show what a quick hit with motho on a toothbrush can remove
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 02:54:33 PM by ddstoys »

Offline ddstoys

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Re: STEPPER UNIT REPAIRS
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 03:00:17 PM »
STEP 3 make sure all these arms and pivot points move freely if not remove them and clean the shaft and the hole. To test
            these use your finger to gently pull against the spring they should easily move except maybe the ones that move the
            center cog.  This should move freely until it hits a cog on the wheel if this makes sense?

 Second and third picture show the arm removed from the shaft these are usually removed by removing a C  clip i like to call them a f**k clip as when they shoot off that what i usually say again clean the shaft and the hole metho on a cotton but works well for the hole and toothbrush or rag on the shaft.   Notice the Nylon bush on the arm don't lube these its not needed
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 03:14:19 PM by ddstoys »

Offline Extra Ball

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Re: STEPPER UNIT REPAIRS
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 03:05:58 PM »
ty for posting this, I am back in the land of the EM (await news of my next purchase  %$%) and will need to know this stuff.
 #*#

Offline Ford Fairlane

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Re: STEPPER UNIT REPAIRS
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 03:08:46 PM »
excellent stuff so far, please make sure you tell us (me) how to adjust them too  :lol

Offline ddstoys

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Re: STEPPER UNIT REPAIRS
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009, 03:10:26 PM »
STEP 4 If these don't move freely and they are metal on metal a small drop of machine oil should do the trick but dont lube any  
            non metal on metal parts these shouldn't need any oiL

      In the photo show where lube is ok and where it is not some steppers may be different but this one has a nylon bush over
      the shaft so no lube is needed

Offline ddstoys

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STEP 5  By now all pivot points should be moving freely  *%*  So now we will turn to the other side of the unit some steppers dont need to be pulled apart to be cleaned. But this one i find easier if apart.  If its a stepper with 2 coils step it back to the start position and mark the Wipers or disk with a mark on the frame.

  Couldn't get a photo of the lines matching up without the flash bounsing back but hopefully you get the point

Offline goodolddays

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Great work so far Daniel .
 For those reading this not familiar with EM's it can't be stressed enough how important it is to have all steppers moving freely .
I have found it is well worth the effort to take the time to overhaul all stepper units in any game you purchase (unless you know the machines maintenance history) because it is almost a sure bet they have never been cleaned since the machine was built.
I need more room ! and more $$$

Offline ddstoys

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As goodolddays pointed out well worth doing on all machines as its amazing the crap people spray squash or squeze on these to try get them going (BLOODY DRONGOS SOME PEOPLE)

Step 6  Remove the wiper plate or fingers whichver you have this is usually done by either removing the screws or a nut holding the wiper in place.  When taking these apart i set them beside the unit as i remove them so i know where they all should go

Offline ddstoys

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Step 7   Clean the plates with metho on a toothbrush then a rag once that dries steel a Scotch / Jex pad thingy from the Kitchen
              i usually cut these into finger wide strips so i can see whats going on while im using them but you can use the whole thing if you really want. Then gently rub all of the Brass buttons or copper PCBS untill they are nice and bright \ shiny

The first photo shows how the unit started
The second photo shows half the plate cleaned and the other as it was found (this step is not needed only done to compare)
The third is how it should look

Offline ddstoys

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Step 8  Now its time to do the wiper disk or fingers as above clean the parts with metho and once dry use the green pad to 
            shine up the brass contacts with the steppers with the long copper fingers be very careful not to bend them.

Offline ddstoys

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STEP 9  Now on the steppers with the spring fingers jsut double check that these move in and out freely  if they dont clean inside as best you can until they do

Offline ddstoys

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Step 10   On the units with the spring if not already done i like to solder a wire from the top of each finger pair just incase the   
               original housing loses contact. 

Hopefully in the photo you can see the black furry coated wire should be added if not already there (Also good to test for continuity if wires are already connected just to be sure)

Look at the base of the pins and you can see the original link which used contact with the casing on the finger to conduct but 30 years plus of use this may not work as well as it used to

Offline ddstoys

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Step 11   Now line up your marks you made earlier (You did mark it right?  *%*) and screw or bolt back into place