Repairing your Bally/WMS Slingshot Links


I don't know how many times I've picked up a game with dead slingshots. The coils work, the switches work, but they just don't *kick*. It's nearly always the same thing, a broken link.

I buy too many project games I guess. For the longest time, I just stripped the plunger and link out of parts machines and swapped them out. In home use, they rarely break.

But, I recently hit rock bottom - I *ran out* of unbroken used plungers! Attempting to be cheap, I tried to source just the link. The link and plunger can be as much as $8 depending on the pinball parts supplier you use!

Following is a pictorial describing what I learned in my quest for a replacement plunger link.

This one isn't broken yet, but it's stressed. It's warped. Hard to tell just by looking at this angle.

The link is WMS P/N 03-8085, Armature Link.

Just about every WMS machine in the last 15 years or so uses these. The Indy 500 I'm working on uses 4! But only *2* were broken :)


As I searched for 03-8085, I quickly found out that it is NLA unless you find someone with remaining stock.

However, the Stern Pinball equivalent, P/N 545-5293-00 can be used. It is quite similar.


A bag of 545-5293-00 are pictured. Cost? Well under a buck apiece!

OK, they are blue. That's different. They are under the playfield, so I can live with blue.

Doesn't look too different from this view
Aha, it's thicker. Substantially. That is helpful!

After installing, I verified the extra thickness doesn't cause any binding. It does not!

All I needed to do the swap was a 1/8" pin punch, a hammer and a block of wood. I drilled a small hole in the block of wood so the pin could pass through. Tap the pin out enough for the old link to be removed, then just a hair more since the replacement is thicker. Replace the link and tap the pin back in.

Do *not* remove the roll pin completely if you can avoid it - getting it 'started' again is a real pain.

Notice the original link? It's twisted!

You can also get flipper links and do the same thing, so long as your plunger isn't mushroomed.

The link is 50 cents - the plunger and link is $2.50! Many times, the plunger is not damaged and can be reused.

New style Link: 03-8753

Old Style Link: 03-8050

WMS actually shipped extra links in their pins as part of the spare parts kit.

All of the supplies for this writeup came from Pinball Life. If you aren't familiar with Pinball Life, you might give them a shot at your next pinball supplies order. The proprietor, Terry, has the best prices I've found bar none on common pin parts such as bulbs, flipper parts, rubber rings, Novus cleaners etc.

Terry has been my first stop for pin parts for quite some time now. If he doesn't have it, ask, he might be able to get it.



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Page last updated Wednesday June 13, 2007

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