Tips From the Moving Business Pros: How to Move a Pinball Machine



With pinball making a substantial resurgence throughout the nation, Gentle Giant wishes to ensure that these timeless, beautiful machines remain damage-free while being carried. Oh, and we want individuals moving them to be safe, too.

Initially look, pinball makers can appear intimidating to move since of their fragility, size, and weight. Thankfully, our experienced Giants have a couple of techniques up their sleeves to guarantee your pinball is moved with ease.
Folding Down the Headbox

The majority of modern pinballs (made in the last 20 years approximately) have a hinge system which permits the headbox to be folded down. Early pinball machines had their headboxes bolted on, using either two or 4 bolts. All Electro-Mechanical pinballs utilize this system, in addition to the early Solid State machines.

Later devices have hinges and utilize a locking system to keep the headbox upright. There may also be two bolts inside as included security, in case the lock is broken or accidentally un-latched.
Electro-Mechanical Pinballs

For Electro-Mechanical pinball machines, you need to eliminate the headbox rear gain access to panel to get access to the bolts and plugs inside. Typically this panel has a lock on it to keep it in place, however gradually the secret might have been lost. On a regular basis, there is a screw keeping this panel in place.

When within, get rid of the bolts and disconnect the large connectors that have electrical wiring going down into the device. You might wish to identify these connectors to put them back in the right spot, but they must be various sizes, making it hard to plug back improperly.

You can now remove the headbox completely, or fold the headbox down onto the playfield glass. Make sure you use some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to safeguard the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will assist keep the back glass in location.
Early Strong State Pinballs

For early Strong State Pinballs, you will have to remove the back glass. There is a lock located on the headbox in one of three places: the left-hand side at the top, right-hand side on top or on top of the headbox in the center.

Once unlocked, remove the back glass by lifting it up using the lift channel (at the bottom of the glass), and after that pull it out from the bottom.

Then, open the back box light panel by raising the lock situated on either the left-hand side or right-hand side. The panel can now swing out towards you, and give you access to the circuit boards, plugs, and the bolts. Some Gottlieb pinballs require you to lift up the lamp panel in order to swing it open.

Now that you are inside, you can eliminate the bolts, and any plugs that have wires going down into the device. You might desire to identify these plugs to put them back in the ideal area. You might not have to get rid of the plugs, as the circuitry should be long enough to allow the headbox to be folded down.

At this point, you can lock up the lamp panel and replace the back glass.
Modern Solid State Pinballs

For Data East, Sega, and Stern Modern pinballs, there is a turnable latch system located at the back of the headbox. Using the supplied key, turn the latch 90 ° counter-clockwise.

For Williams, Bally, and Gottlieb, you can easily unlatch the back box at the back of the device. This is an easy setup and requires no tools.

You're done if you can now fold down the head box onto the cabinet. Ensure you utilize some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to safeguard the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will likewise assist keep the back glass in location.

If you can not fold the head box down, then you have to get in. There is a lock situated at the top of the back glass in the center. Utilize the provided secret to unlock, and get rid of the back glass by raising it up from the bottom, then pulling it out from the bottom.

Next, you will require to get rid of the display screen panel. You can do this by raising it up and out. Open the light panel. There will be a lock situated on either the left-hand or right-hand side. (Some more recent Williams and Bally pinballs do not have a different amp panel, it becomes part of the back glass panel. And later on Sega and Stern pinballs utilize a fluorescent tube for the back glass lighting).

Remove the two bolts, put the back box back together, and fold down the head box onto the cabinet. Make sure moving heavy items you use some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to protect the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will also help keep the back glass in location.
Getting rid of the Legs.

Pinball Device legs are held in place by eight bolts. The contemporary pinballs have captive nuts or threaded plates inside for the bolts to screw into.

But these captive nuts and threaded plates can be damaged, and making use of additional nuts might have been needed. If this is the case, you will need to open the front door of the pinball, slide out the playfield glass, and raise up the playfield.

With the front door (coin door) open, move the lock down bar lock throughout and eliminate the lock down bar. Slide out the playfield glass, and put in a safe place. Next, raise the playfield by placing your hand where the ball drains pipes, and raise the playfield up.

You must now have access to any nuts that might have been used. When any nuts have been removed, replace the playfield glass and lock down bar, and lock the front door.

Make certain to mark or keep in mind which legs are for the front and back, as they will be changed in a different way to fit.
Loading the Pinball.

You are now ready to transport your pinball maker. Prior to you fill it, ensure you eliminate the pinballs so they don't bounce around during transportation.

If you are moving the pinball using a van or SUV, it might be much easier to eliminate the legs just prior to loading the machine. Get a pal to help and have one of you supporting the pinball, while the other removes the front legs.

Make certain you strap the pinball in, as you do not desire it moving if you need to stop suddenly!

For Electro-Mechanical pinball machines, you require to get rid of the headbox rear gain access to panel to gain access to the bolts and plugs inside. (Some more recent Williams and Bally pinballs do not have a different amp panel, it is part of the back glass panel. And later Sega and Stern pinballs use a fluorescent tube for the back glass lighting).

If you are moving the pinball using a van or SUV, it might be simpler to eliminate the legs just prior to filling the maker. Get a buddy to help and have one of you supporting the pinball, while the other eliminates the front legs.

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