Thursday, April 9, 2020

1952 Gottlieb Chinatown trap hole pinball machine repair: Day three

1952 Gottlieb Chinatown pinball

Day three was a busy day repair wise.

I started by laying the playfiel upside down atop the cabinet. I used small pieces of wood (1 x 2) at both extremities rest the playfield on, being careful not to damage anything. With the playfield upside down it's way easier to work on.

Flipped over playfield resting on strips on 1 x 2

Then I removed the ball return panel to inspect the switches for the trap holes. Disaster! Rivets on 5 switch stacks were broken. The switch stack were falling apart, or barely holding together.

Can you spot the busted switches?

I used a roll pin punch and a small ball pein hammer to extract the broken brass tube rivets. Also used a small piece of 2 x 4 with a 3/4" hole to use as a sturdy base to rest the shutter on when knocking out the broken rivets. 

Line up the switch stack with the hole in the base and knock the rivets out.

I used screws and retaining plates from old Williams switch stacks to fix the ones on Chinatown. Thank Zarquon I have lots of parts to pick and choose from while in lockdown.

Williams parts! in a Gottlieb

Shutter switches repaired. Naturally, I burnished the switch points while I was in there.

Fixed shutter switch stacks

With the trip bank flipped over, it gives easy access to the switch blade points. I burnished every contact. That bank is huge so it took many hours to clean all the switch points. I also checked every switch stack to make sure the switches open and close with the proper gap.

Flipper over trip bank

Lots of work

With the trip bank moved aside, I preventively changed the lamp sockets that are hard to access when the bank is in place. Good thing I did, some were falling apart. Also burnished the rollover switch stacks.

Don't know what tools you need for EM Pinball Repair: Check out 5 must have tools

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

1952 Gottlieb Chinatown trap hole pinball machine repair: Day two

1952 Gottlieb Chinatown pinball

Day 2

Day two was more like an evening of work on Chinatown. I still have to show up to work a couple of times a week... 

I concentrated on working on the head and reinstalling the score motor panel. Removing the wood clamps and reattaching all the small parts I had to remove to reglue the cabinet. Ball lift rod, ball shooter housing.

The heads stepper units were in exceptionally good condition. They weren't gummed up like I usually see them, they were mostly free but required a little bit of lubrication on the metal on metal pivot points on the set up and reset arms. Also cleaned off the old contact disc grease, burnished the contact pads with and electrician's eraser and reapplied fresh grease.

Once I finished working on the head, I plugged in the playfield and tried to power up the game out of curiosity. The steppers reset properly but all the playfield switches and trip bank trip relays were unresponsive due to corrosion on the switch points. I have my work cut out for day 3! 

Not very exciting stuff, but necessary. Also not very photogenic stuff, hence no pictures, But enjoy a few pictures of backbox details. Also, an interesting detail for Quebec or Canadian pinball aficionados: There is no Laniel stamp.

Gottlieb Chinatown Backbox inside

Gottlieb backbox stamp detail

Adjustment note stamp

Notice stamp

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

1952 Gottlieb Chinatown trap hole pinball machine repair: Day one

1952 Gottlieb Chinatown pinball

Day 1

Being more or less stuck at home for the moment, might as well take on some project I've kept on the back burner for a few years... Chinatown

Here are a couple of pictures when I first got the machine in June 2018



The first task was to get the machine out... easier said than done. I set the cabinet on my pinball dolly for greater ease.

The machine was a mess. It has some obvious water damage from being abandoned in an old semi trailer with a leaky roof. Fortunately or unfortunately, the mechanics of the machine are in superb condition. The machine was owned by a coin operator until I bought it. I'm probably the second owner. It looks like it was briefly operated and then put away and remained untouched until now,

The cabinet needed re-glue and clamp in one corner. I let it cure for 24 hours before removing the clamps

Added a wood corner for strength

I took out the score motor panel, which allowed me to work work on it with greater ease. Burnished all the points on the relays and score motor switches.

Took apart the score motor to access the actual motor felts to re-oil.

The transformer was replaced at one point. It looked dodgy and it didn't even have a line fuse. I replaced the Hammond transformer with a more recent Gottlieb transformer.  Replaced the line cord also, the old one was dry and fell apart to touch.

Once the cabinet was empty. I vacuumed the inside.

Gratruatist shot of the tilt bob.

Perfect bingo session on Key West

Bally Key West Bingo machine

Being more or less stuck at home for the moment, might as well play some bingo, and pour a few malty hoppy libations to the memory of the father of Bally bingos... Don Hooker

So it starts with a Nickel, then another one and another one...

It was a two hour credit tug o war between myself and the machine. Win some, lose some. Sometimes driven to the brink of zero when a lucky ball scores 8 credits, just enough to keep you going. Playing the odds and moving numbers. Calling numbers and shouting at the machine from time to time (when I failed to hit a 23 or a 25). But eventually I made it past the mythical 200 credit threshold all the way to 220! At that point I turned the machine off. Curious of how many credits I played, I opened up the coin door and was shocked to see only 8 Nickels in the coin box! From 8 to 220. In 1956, that would've been a steak dinner and then some. Perfect game night.

Here are a few highlights. Enjoy!

Key West Bingo
3 in line in Red and Yellow thanks to the spotted 18

Key West Bingo

Key West Bingo
152 Credits, Very a propos

Key West Bingo
4 in Line

Key West Bingo
220 Credits

Key West Bingo
Big win on Key West

Key West Bingo
8 Nickels! Those Ladies seem pleased

Older posts with Key West from this blog

Playing Bally Key West (1956) bingo

Monday, April 6, 2020

Staying at home: Vintage pachinko machine fort ;-)

Pachinko Machine Fort

We have to stay holed up at home.

For me, it's like being locked up in some kind of weird arcade. Despite having tons of pinball machines, I've never played so much pachinko as I did during the past few weeks.

I decided to take out some of the old pachinko machines I put into storage over the years, wire them up and set them up on the ground around the Satomi Hustler Arrangeball.

It looks like a fort made out of pachinko machines.

Satomi Hustler Arrangeball
Pachinko Fort

Show some rainbows and spread hope

Nishijin Power Roulette Rainbow
Power Roulette Rainbow

Stay home. Stay Safe.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Bally Skill Parade: More broken switch shenanigans

Bally 1958 Skill Parade

So it's Saturday morning, I think to myself: I would be fun to play a few games on Skill Parade...

Drop a Nickel at the top... Flick through the first tier of switches... geta a hippo.
Flick through the second tier. Coin rolls over the Jumbo. Doesn't register. That's odd... maybe the switch is dirty.
Flick through the 3rd tier... get the monkey

Bally Skill Parade
Second Switch tier. The red tier

No big loss for that non registering Jumbo the elephant. It wasn't a winning combination anyway.

Play a few more coins, again, at the second tier, hit Jumbo. No trip. No reaction. Nada

That's plain annoying.

Maybe playing games on a lazy Saturday morning isn't a good idea. It's becoming a recurring theme...

Skill Parade playfield back
Back of the skill parade playfield

I open up the back of the game. Use a jumper on the rollover switch... No trip. The switch isn't the problem. I have a look at the Jumbo-2 switch stack on the trip bank. The problem becomes obvious.

Can you spot the broken blade?

Look for the broken blade

Here's the stack from a different angle

Even worse. I can't seem to find the broken switch blade. It could be anywhere inside, possibly even causing a short circuit. Grrr. Eventually I did find it under the up kicker mechanism.

bally switch stack blade
Pesky broken switch blade

I took the time to measure the thickness of the broken blade: 0.01 inch. Pretty sure it should have been a 0.008 inch blade. It's way more flexible. And that's what I reinstalled anyway.

Fortunately, I have a donor Bally 2 in 1 pinball machine with a massive trip bank that has plenty of donor switch parts.

That's EM repair life

Older Skill Parade Posts

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Prevents Pilfering

Here's one out of the 1959 Wico catalog



Ad from 1959 Wico Catalog

Here's a closeup look of the said door guard 60 years later as seen on a Bally Beach Time Bingo. Stainless steel giving added beauty.

Bingo Machine Coin Door
Stainless steel coin door guard

Pilfering... Tee-Hee!

Two coinmen walk into a bar.
First one turns to the second and asks: Why so glum?
Secon answers: My machine was pilfered


Talking of Bally Beach Time...

Bally Beach Time Bingo
Bally Beach Time Bingo Head

I really should get this game up and running. It's been in storage since July 2017 :-(
With Sun Valley, It's the only magic squares moving number game you can move all 25 numbers.

Sienna Beach Time
Bingo in the back of the Sienna with my shadow