Arcade Repair Tips - Cleaning A Pinball Machine (Part One)

Uploaded by varcadegames on 22.06.2009

Hi, welcome back to the Arcade Repair Tips Video Series. Today we're going to be looking
at a pinball machine and we're going to do what's called a shop on it. We're going to
replace a lot of the rubbers and the rings and give it a good cleaning and some light
First thing we're going to talk about though is that in order to work on a pinball game,
you're going to need to know how to open it up. No matter if they're 30 years old or brand
new, they all operate a lot of the same ways.
Inside the front door is a lever. You pull that over and that unlocks the lock bar, like
this. So you move this lever and then this comes up. To put it back in, you place it
down and then move the lock bar back over. So again, lever and then remove the lock bar.
Once the lock bar is off, I usually put it up under the machine so I don't step on it
several times. You can slide the playfield glass off. If you're ever replacing playfield
glass, you want to make sure that you buy or get tempered glass. You can get this locally,
but if you'll do a little research on the net sometimes it's cheaper buying it from
some pinball guys and just having it shipped. So a good thing to replace, make sure you
use tempered glass.
We're also going to remove the back glass. The way we do that is there's a key on the
side. On this particular model you turn the key and then you lift up the back glass, like
so, being very careful with this. We don't want to have to repair any more than we want
to. Or have to, I should say.
This allows us to get to the backbox. This is where we find a lot of little bulbs. It
doesn't look like too many of these are out. In a little bit, we'll go into the test mode
and turn all the lamps on so we'll know exactly which lights are out.
Then you lift up the sides here. That gives us access to the motherboards, power supply,
and so forth. This one has been upgraded. It has a newer board in it. But sometimes
the game doesn't come on, which is a very common problem with these connectors up here.
We're going to recrimp and add a connector to that, and add some new pins to that. Anyway,
stay tuned and we'll be right back.
Ok, now that we've got the glass off we're ready to start the actual shopping. One of
the very first things that we need to do is to remove all of the plastic pieces. Number
one, we're going to clean those while they're off of here. The second thing is that a lot
of the lights and stuff are underneath them so that we can actually get to the bulbs.
And then we can replace all of the rubber rings.
We bought our rubber ring kit from Pinball Resource. They will make just about kind.
All I did was told them the game and the manufacturer. I need a Kiss pinball rubber ring set and
they sent us a whole set that has all these and it seems like everytime I get one from
them it's always complete, usually with an extra or two. So thank you guys for doing
So that's what we'll start with now is removing all the plastics. If you're not sure, this
game is pretty simple. We're going to be working on a White Water this afternoon and it's got
a lot of plastics. One of the best things to do is take a digital camera and take pictures
of where everything was. Then you can bring it up on your laptop or you can print out
a page and then you can see. Also you can go to the internet and look at another pinball
game. But by all means, I don't think we'll lose where this stuff is going.
Also, keep up with all your little parts. It's handy to have a little bucket or something
around to put all these parts in. That way, we're going to need some of them when we go
to put it back on.
Now these plastics are in pretty good shape. They do reproduce a lot of the plastics. One
thing I've seen a lot of times is they will be warped. If you do a little research, it's
not really hard, you can actually put these in the oven. I like it on some wax paper,
about 300 degrees and it will take out some of that warping. So cook them for a little
Now that we've got most of the plastics removed, we can look underneath. There's the light
bulbs, here's the rubber rings, and we'll bring out that stuff in our kit.
Ok, now that we've got all the plastics off and we removed lots of the old rubber rings,
some of them looked ok and some of them just fell apart. Just get rid of them. Throw away
all of them. Lets just replace everything while we're in here.
The next thing we're going to do is go ahead and clean it. There are a lot of different
cleaners out there. I've tried many of them. We're going to highly recommend the brand
Novus. You can get this from Happ Controls. Just about all your pinball retailers sell
this. You're not going to find it much local though, so you're going to need to do some
search on the internet.
There are numbers on the Novus. This is a Number 3. It's for really heavy scratches.
And this is a Number 2. I'm feeling the weight of the bottles. We use Number 2 a lot. We
will use a little bit of Number 3. Be careful with it. This stuff is great for plexiglass
also. They also make a Number 1, but to be honest it's basically a glass cleaner. It's
a lot cheaper to buy a can of cleaner at Dollar General or Walmart or somewhere. So we just
buy the 3 and the 2, and usually extra bottles of the 2 because we're going to use that the
It's pretty simple. All that you need to do is put a little bit, kind of drip it on the
playfield. Everywhere you see that, treat this like a wax. On other words, you're going
to really push it in there. Maybe we'll get a close up here in a minute and you can see
this area that I've cleaned. It's kind of a liquid, kind of gritty. But we'll look in
here, especially some of this area right here in this black. Just really rub it in good
and then it will dry and it will harden kind of like a wax. You can come back and buff,
but while it's wet is a good time to just generally do some scrubbing with it.
I'm right now using a terry kind of cloth. You can get this at Dollar General or just
about any place. You don't want a cloth with a lot of strings or something that are going
to get up in there. This terry cloth works just fine for this. Another thing that we
use a lot of is a Magic Eraser. If you're not familiar with Mr Clean's Magic Eraser,
let me tell you it will clean a playfield almost too good at times. You have to watch
that you're not getting too hard on there. Eventually you'll start taking off paint.
Remember this stuff will start to harden. It kind of becomes like a wax. So you need
to watch areas where it's going into so that it doesn't get into the electronic parts and
might make them stick and so forth. If you can zoom in or look right here on the playfield
where we cleaned this area right here. It's looking really black and really shiny, and
then you look up here where it's real dusty and hasn't been cleaned yet.
Very good stuff to use. Like I said, we'll start off with the 3 and then we're just going
to clean part of the area right now. Then we'll come back with this 2. Then a lot of
people use the Novus 1. I just found that glass cleaner works just as well. When I get
through I'll come back and usually do that.
When we get all through we're going to put a coat of wax, just like a carnauba wax or
something like Turtle Wax. We'll wax the playfield. We'll buff it. We'll come back, wax it. We'll
usually do that about 3 or 4, sometimes 5 times depending on the playfield. Then it
will play and look so much better. We'll have a clean game too, which always adds to the
looks and the playability of the game.