I bought a Diner machine at a great price, but it is definitely in need of some work. The first item on my agenda was the diverter up the right ramp – it was completely missing! Suffice it to say the game is not really playable without this diverter. Worse yet is the part (Williams no. B-13348) doesn’t seem to be available at any of the usual pinball parts vendors. When all else fails, sometimes you have to make your own parts! 🙂
I started with the shaft of the diverter, which thankfully was still in the game – only the ball guide part of it was missing. The ball guide was clearly riveted on, as the 0ld rivets were still there on the shaft. I took the shaft to the vertical milling machine at my local TechShop and milled out the rivets. In the photo below, the shaft is in a vise and I’m about halfway done with the milling. The white liquid you see is coolant used during milling to preserve both the life of the cutting tool and to protect the part from heat damage.
It was pretty easy to make a new ball guide from sheet metal – I simply used cardboard to first create a mock-up, and when I was happy with the shape I traced it and cut it in sheet metal and bent it by hand. Here’s my homemade ball guide (top right) along with the original shaft with rivet holes freshly cleared out (left):
I used pop rivets to attach the ball guide to the shaft. We’ll see if they hold up – if not, I’ll switch them to solid rivets instead. For now though, the diverter is back in the game and working great! You can see in the two photos below how it moves to control the path of the ball up the ramp.