Tips From the Moving Business Pros: The Best Ways To Move a Pinball Machine



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

Initially glimpse, pinball makers can appear intimidating to move because of their fragility, size, and weight. The good news is, our skilled Giants have a few techniques up their sleeves to guarantee your pinball is moved with ease.
Folding Down the Headbox

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

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

For Electro-Mechanical pinball machines, you need to eliminate the headbox rear access panel to get to the bolts and plugs within. Generally this panel has a lock on it to keep it in place, but in time the key might have been lost. On a regular basis, there is a screw keeping this panel in place.

Once inside, eliminate the bolts and disconnect the big adapters that have circuitry going down into the machine. You may wish to identify these ports to put them back in the ideal area, however they should be different sizes, making it challenging to plug back incorrectly.

You can now eliminate the headbox entirely, or fold the headbox down onto the playfield glass. Make certain you utilize some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to protect the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will help keep the back glass in place.
Early Solid State Pinballs

For early Solid State Pinballs, you will need to eliminate the back glass. There is a lock located on the headbox in one of three locations: the left-hand side at the top, right-hand side at the top or on top of the headbox in the.

When unlocked, eliminate the back glass by raising it up utilizing the lift channel (at the bottom of the glass), then pull it out from the bottom.

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

Now that you are within, you can eliminate the bolts, and any plugs that have wires decreasing into the maker. You might wish to identify these plugs to put them back in the ideal area. You might not have to remove the plugs, as the wiring 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 needs 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.

You require to get within if you can not fold the head box down. There is a lock situated at the top of the back glass in the center. Utilize the provided secret to unlock, and eliminate the back glass by raising it up from the bottom, and after that pulling it out click here from the bottom.

Next, you will need to remove the display panel. (Some newer Williams and Bally pinballs do not have a separate amp panel, it is part of the back glass panel. And later Sega and Stern pinballs utilize a fluorescent tube for the back glass lighting).

Get rid of the 2 bolts, put the back box back together, and fold down the head box onto the cabinet. Make certain you utilize some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to secure the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will likewise assist keep the back glass in location.
Eliminating the Legs.

Pinball Machine legs are held in place by 8 bolts. The modern-day pinballs have captive nuts or threaded plates inside for the bolts to screw into.

These captive nuts and threaded plates can be damaged, and the use of additional nuts might have been needed. If this holds true, you will require to open up the front door of the pinball, slide out the playfield glass, and lift up the playfield.

With the front door (coin door) open, move the lock down bar latch across and remove the lock down bar. Move out the playfield glass, and put in a safe location. Next, raise the playfield by putting your hand where the ball drains, and lift the playfield up.

You should now have access to any nuts that might have been utilized. As soon as any nuts have actually been eliminated, replace the playfield glass and lock down bar, and lock the front door.

Be sure to mark or remember which legs are for the front and back, as they will be changed in a different way to match.
Filling the Pinball.

You are now prepared to transfer your pinball device. Before you load it, make sure you get rid of the pinballs so they do not bounce around throughout transport.

It may be easier to remove the legs simply prior to filling the device if you are moving the pinball using a van or SUV. Grab a friend to assist and have among you supporting the pinball, while the other eliminates the front legs. Slide the machine in, then get rid of the back legs. It is much simpler to fill the device front.

Make sure you strap the pinball in, as you do not want it moving if you need to stop all of a sudden!

For Electro-Mechanical pinball devices, you need to remove the headbox rear gain access to panel to acquire access to the bolts and plugs inside. (Some newer Williams and Bally pinballs do not have a different amp panel, it is part of the back glass panel. And later on Sega and Stern pinballs use a fluorescent tube for the back glass lighting).

If you are moving the pinball utilizing a van or SUV, it might be easier to get rid of the legs just prior to loading 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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