How To Take Down A Pinball

Check List When Buying A Pinball

Pinball

This page shows you how to prepare a pinball machine to be moved.

The above picture shows what the game should look like when done.

The pictures were actually taken as I was putting the above machine back together to work on it. Therefore, this page can also be used in reverse to put the game back together

 

 

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The first thing to do is remove everything from inside the coin door. This includes the coin box, manual and any other items. We also want to remove the balls so they do not fly around. Open up the front coin door. Use the lever on the right side and move to the left (or the opposite direction of what it was). The example here is for a Bally/Williams game. If you are taking down another game, the instructions will be correct but the placement of the lever, for example, may be slightly different. While holding the lever to the left lift up the lock bar. The lock bar is the large bar at the front of the game that keeps the glass in.

 

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The lock bar has been removed. Put it down safely so you don't step on it or bend the tabs underneath.

 

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Before you remove the glass, close the front door. Otherwise the door can scratch the glass. (This is why a lot of glass has scratches on it since the operators do not give a damn about the cosmetic condition of a game and do not take care when working on the game. I will now step off my soap box.) Once the door is closed, slide the glass down and hold it securely. Be careful, sometimes the glass is rough on the edges and you can get nasty cuts.

 

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Once you remove the glass, put it in a safe place where it will not be knocked down. DO NOT PUT ON CONCRETE, IT WILL IMPLODE. Note that my basement has a concrete floor so I put it on a carpet. When I take the glass off, I pull it down to me and edge closest to me is the front of the game. The edge on the floor is the front edge of the game. The glass facing me as I would look at it standing in front, is the top of the play field glass.

 

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Once the glass is removed, take out ALL balls. Some games, such as this game, has a menu selection to clear all balls. If you use the menu selection and the door is open (on newer games), the cutoff door switch needs to be closed so that the power is working for the coils so they can actually clear the balls. I sometimes use a telescoping magnet to remove balls from the trough. But this game, like others, has balls staged under the play field, so it is best to use the menu selection to remove balls.

 

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The back box is secured (or is supposed to be secured) with one or two wing nuts. To open the back box, the key is either on the key chain with the key for the front door or hanging from a hook inside the door. Of course, my example game was missing the hook and the key was securely held in place on a bolt. But the idea is the same.

Data East, Sega, and Stern use an Allen wrench to secure the back box to the cabinet which is a lot easier. So these games will not need to have the wing nuts removed since they do not use them.

 

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Take the key and insert it into the key hole in the back box.

 

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Move the back glass but gently lifting it up out of the channel and then towards you. Take the glass and put it down in a safe place. The glass should be in a lift channel so the glass will not be directly touching the floor.

 

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Here is the back box with the back glass removed. Some games, like newer Sega and Stern games do not have this wooden door here and simply expose the circuit boards. Note that the display can be lifted up and lowered to get to the bottom of the back box.

The above picture will be referenced a few pictures down. Look at the right side of the white wood. There is a latch holding the door closed. If you look closely, there are two screws that the latch moves up and down. There is also an EMPTY screw hole at the bottom of the latch. Below, when I say to secure this white wood, you will add a #6-32 1/2" hex head screw into the empty hole. This will lock the white wood door in place and stop the door from hitting and breaking the art work.

 

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A close up of the display area.

 

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I lifted up the whole display and lowered it. Do not crush the display board behind the wood.

Note that pinballs have batteries. In the picture above, the batteries are at the bottom left of the back box. If you plan to store this game for a while (six months or more), remove the batteries so they do not corrode. The positive and negative should be clearly marked. If not, use a sharpie and mark it or take a picture.

 

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The display area lowered. Note the two wing nuts holding the back box securely in place. Some games may only have 1 wing nut which is sufficient.

 

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The right wing nut which we will start to remove.

 

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Unscrewing the right wing nut.

 

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Both wing nuts removed.

The display can be lifted back up and back in place. Note that U clips on the left and right. They go over the wood columns at the sides of the back box.

A few pictures above with the white door, I note that you should add a screw to secure the door so it does not move during shipping. Make sure you follow the directions above.

The back glass is then reinserted. Align the back glass with the back box. Lift the back glass into the track at the top of the back box. The key needs to still be in the back box to have the clearance to put the back glass back in. Then lower the back glass into the channel at the bottom.

Turn the key to lock the back glass. Put the key back inside the coin door or the appropriate location.

 

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The wing nuts.

 

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I then remove everything off the back of the game. This area will be the bottom of the game when fully taken apart. I want everything that can scratch a floor removed.

The first item to remove is the plug. On this game, the plug is attached like an old PC. On other games, the plug can be pushed into the game and then use a piece of tape to hold it in place.

This game uses a regular phillips screwdriver. sometimes special star nuts are used and you will need a special tool to remove. Usually Home Depot will have the bit.

 

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Unscrew the 4 screws.

 

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Pull the plug. As you will see in the last 3 pictures, I put all the items I remove from the game into the coin box.

 

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The plug area. Note the slider on the wood to the left of the plug area. I will discuss this below. I ensure that the game has 4 good sliders to help me move the game around in my basement.

 

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Not only are the wing nuts holding the back box in place, but this TEMPORARY clasp is (or should be) on all games. It should always be engaged when the back box is up. But it MUST NOT be the only thing holding up the back box.

On Data East, Sega, and Stern a different locking mechanism is used so this is irrelevant.

 

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Unclasp the latch. There are 4 1/4" hex wood screws that need to be removed.

 

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The clasp and 4 screws removed.

 

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You can see that the play field glass is in the game. Put a blanket or some other protection over the play field.

 

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A side view for the full multi media experience.

 

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Lower the back box. It is hinged.

 

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A view from the front of the game.

 

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Fold the blanket over the top of the back box. If the game has a topper, use your judgment to either remove it or simply cover it.

 

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A side view.

 

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You can use a rachet tie or shrink wrap to wrap the game. I used shrink wrap and usually ask my wife to help me wrap it.

 

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Shrink wrap.

 

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Shrink wrapped.

 

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As I mentioned above, I ensure that all 4 sliders are on the game. You can see that the ones on the left were replaced.

 

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Close up. I replace in a slightly different place because the nail is usually still in the game as shown here.

 

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The next step is to remove the back legs. Usually I hold up the back of the game while someone else removes the legs. Then we lower the game together to save both of our backs.

However when I first started doing this, I had the manual hand fork lift custom built to hold up to 600 pounds and take the forces associated with lifting the game (or lowering it) through a 45 degree rotation.

 

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Here is my manual fork lift holding up the game.

Note the advertising for COINTAKER.COM. I buy a LOT of LED sets for almost every game I restore. They started sending these stickers (similar to the ones I get from APPLE) and I put them here on the fork lift. So here is some free advertising for a great company that I use and highly recommend.

 

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About to lower the game.

 

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The game is lowered. For those that took geometry, you can see how the fork lift I designed needed to handle the weight as it was evenly balanced on the platform. As the game is lowered, the weight is all on one end of the platform and the fork lift had to handle this weight distribution. When I designed this fork lift, I created it so it would stick out 1" more than a widebody pinball.

 

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I then stand between the front legs and lift up the game.

 

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The front legs removed and ready to be stored or moved.

 

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I take all the parts and put it in the coin box.

The bolts here are black but the ones on the game are silver. I added leg protectors and needed the longer bolts.

 

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The yellow piece is supposed to come with games that have the door cutoff for the high power so you can stick it over the door switch and test without having to hold the button in.

 

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All the parts in the coin box.

Virginia Sales Tax

Virginia sales tax is currently 6.0%. Sales tax for in-state orders applies to machines and parts. It does not apply to the delivery or repair services.

Warranty

As of August 1, 2014, we will no longer provide a warranty with our pinballs unless you purchase a separate warranty from us. A 1 year warranty is $500 or pay as you go if you even need it. If you buy it directly from us and take it home yourself, you will be inspecting it to ensure it works. If we deliver, we will ensure that it works 100% when delivered.

Reasons You Should Let Us Deliver Your Pinball (or Another Machine)

  1. We will NOT provide a warranty for the machine since we cannot be assured that a problem did not happen when you transported the machine. (As of August 1, 2014, we will no longer provide a warranty with our pinballs unless you purchase a separate warranty from us. A 1 year warranty is $500 or pay as you go if you even need it. If you buy it directly from us and take it home yourself, you will be inspecting it to ensure it works. If we deliver, we will ensure that it works 100% when delivered.)
  2. We take responsibility for any damage that may occur during the delivery process.
  3. We professionally set up the machine, connect all the connectors, attach the legs, head, etc. and ensure that the pinball works properly. If anything is out of adjustment due to moving the machine, we can fix it in a few minutes as compared to having to come to your house later and charging you a trip fee and repair charge.
  4. If anything major is out of adjustment, we can order parts and repair. This hardly ever happens but it could and you and the machine are protected.

Delivery Options

We are currently set up for local delivery only within the Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, and North-Eastern West Virginia area. If you are interested in shipping the pinball machine, we will contact a shipper. You will pay all crating and postage costs.

If you would like us to deliver and set up within 50 miles of Purcellville, the charge is $300; within 100 miles $475. The delivery charge includes delivery to a first floor or basement level if walk-out.

We will not sell you a game/deliver the game if the only entrance to your basement is an inside the house staircase. They are too narrow. Plus we have to ensure we don't mess up carpet or wood. It just isn't worth it.

You may also come and pick up the machine from our location.