Shooter springs come in various strengths. Used games frequently have the wrong spring (operators will substitute what they have on hand to keep a game running).
These are interchangeable between manufacturers, but the “colors” are not consistent. This list might help, although there are some mismatches in source information.
|Williams PN||Gottlieb PN||Stern/Sega/DE PN||notes|
|.026||10-148-6 brown||A-27292||wimpy; as seen on Twilight Zone|
|.028||10-148-7 white||low; Congo, Junkyard, Scared Stiff, WHO Dunnit|
|.031||10-148* black||266-5001-07 blue||old WMS number for -4?|
|.033||10-148-4 green||A-348||“standard”; Addams Family, Eight Ball Deluxe, Tommy|
|.035||10-148-1 silver||A-25877||266-5001-04 green||The Simpsons Pinball Party**|
|.038||10-148-3 blue||A-26028||266-5001-05 orange||Pinbot, Tales of the Arabian Nights|
|.042||10-148-2 red||highest; Black Knight 2000|
** Simpsons Pinball Party: I got the Williams equivalent for this but I didn’t find it strong enough to make the Apu shot, so I went one spring stronger.
A-348 is probably the right choice for any game from before 1990, including classic Bally (sub for SP-200-24), Stern Electronics (sub for 5A-136).
Changes can be OK, depending on the game. On Black Knight 2000 shooter springs are important because a strong spring is required to launch the ball into play; stick with red -2. On other games like Twilight Zone a weak spring is required for greatest precision, and a -6 brown will play better. But on my Simpsons Pinball Party, the documented diameter wasn’t enough and I went to a stronger spring.
One other important question: is the barrel spring on the outside of the cabinet the one you want? There are several, and a couple different shooter rod lengths. They don’t differ by much, but it can matter. On my Twilight Zone, I need the shorter barrel or the rod didn’t impact the ball. Gottlieb A-25878 or A-347, Williams 10-149, or Stern 266-5010-00 may be present on any given game. Not only can I not differentiate between these in my stock, but I don’t think the parts distributors necessarily can, either.
I got most of this from Marco Specialties’ web site catalog but I did compare a few Stern manuals and two other vendors.
- Bay Area Amusements, now known as Planetary Pinball
- Marco Specialties — I like their spring kit
- Pinball Resource — Usually the right option for Gottlieb parts, and always the right option for Gottlieb part numbers. Note that there are several differences from my list on their site.
The manual for World Poker Tour claims 266-5001-07 is green but lists two green springs, so I believe that’s an error. AC/DC says blue for this number. PBR reports blue is -05.
Pinball Resource on their shooter rod page differs greatly from the list above, especially for Data East. I’m not sure which is right. Furthermore, this list can be used to work out some additional cross-references. Good luck!