(Topic ID: 308737)

1934 Gottlieb Push Over Restoration

By Blake

2 years ago

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  • 38 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Blake
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 2 years ago

Picked this machine up last spring in the back of an open ended storage container. Its got dirt, rust, rotten wires, missing parts, and more but overall is in great condition for a game thats 88 YEARS OLD.

From my research this is one of the first games Gottlieb made Electro Mechanical (EM) originally powered by a set of single celled batteries. In fact they were still producing Pure Mechanical (PM) games for at least a year after this machine was manufactured. I'd like to get more specifics on these time lines as info/dates is scarce and contradictory.

For such an old machine it has what I'm anticipating to be pretty fun game play. More so then many games 10 or more years newer as once pop bumpers were invented game play started to suffer as designers relied heavily on them. Plunge 5 balls (marbles) up the shooter lane for score. Each hole has a value. Miss the scoring holes and you land in the "OUT" hole at the bottom. Land in the "Push Over" hole and any balls inside kickout holes will be pushed over (once) to higher scoring holes. Also any balls in the "OUT" hole will be returned to trough for continued play. There is also a repeater hole which if a ball is kicked out by the push over hole being landed in then the sequence of advancement will happen a second time. Pretty cool.

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#2 2 years ago

Legs were pretty nasty with a gummy film that really dulled out the cream colored pattern of the stripes. At first these legs and cabinet appeared to me as a shade of brown but the more I filth I removed the true violet or light purple color shined through. Even more noticeable on the front of the machine where the coin door and shooter rod blocked any fading.

They cleaned up quite nicely with a combination of degreaser/magic eraser. I was delicate with them however and chose to leave certain paint stains exc. as I did not want to damage them being 88 years old. After a thorough cleaning I buffed with a semi abrasive compound and then a swirl remover/mirror glaze and waxed.

The leg levers and receiver plates were in real rough condition. Extreme rust. I managed to make them presentable although a lot of pitting is present. These are proprietary in both size and look. I used a variety of rust removers, sanding tools and polishes. I'd love to find a set that were a bit more intact.

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#3 2 years ago

Not sure what the proper name for the metal inlays on the cabinet sides are but I'll just call them RUSTY. I was skeptical about refurbishing them because of the degree of deterioration. And sure enough, after cleaning one up as best I could, removing rust and polishing they were still quite hideous because of pitting. Nothing short of replating would bring them back. So I started searching for a way to fabricate new ones.

I settled on a screen frame kit from the hardware store. They just happened to have a 1/4" x 1/4" squared edge that was a nice aluminum polished metal sheen. I still needed to cut them to be the proper depth. I tried several cutting methods but eventually went with an open ended hack saw with new blade. I'd like to say it worked like a charm but this was a real bitch. Results were worth it.

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#4 2 years ago

Cabinet got cleaned in the same fashion as the legs. Degreaser, buffed with light abrasive compound followed by swirl remover/mirror compound, then waxed. It really cleaned up nicely and with the new metal inlays installed it pops.

I am missing the (4x) metal leg plates that mount to the outside of the legs. And I'm still trying to confirm the proper leg bolt type/washer combo for the time period. Any info there from folks who know would be great. The only pic I've seen showing the plates was the flyer.

The cabinet is structurally sound.

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#5 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Beautiful old machine.

#6 2 years ago

Battery damage doesn’t just happen to circuit boards. Cleaned up but still stained. Might be able to sand out but there’s something cool about seeing where those old batteries used to be. I’ll probably keep as-is.

Ball lift is now cleaned, polished and looking pretty. Normal degreaser wasn’t cutting it so I soaked it in engine degreaser. Scrubbed with tooth brush and some varatex. Then polished with Brasso. Added light amounts of super lube to the inner joints. Works great now. And new rubber bumpers.

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#7 2 years ago
Quoted from 2manypins:

Thanks for sharing. Beautiful old machine.

Thanks! Coming along pretty good now.

Like a mature woman, if you take the time to care, these older beauties really love you back

#8 2 years ago

Onto the wiring. As you might expect, 86 years of wear and tear coupled with numerous repair attempts or botches makes for an ugly harness. So replacement was necessary.

I attempted to understand the way in which they wired the game and eventually concluded it would work if the proper attachments were made. There were most likely several adaptations made to the harness in its lifetime to coincide with the upgrades in batteries. But I didn’t like the round about way and decided to wire it how I understood the circuit to work.

I’m including an early schematic I drew up although in the end I have both the power switch and loads (coil & bell) before the playfield switches.

As follows : 6 vdc battery positive > power switch > coil & bell in parallel > “push over” & “repeater” hole switches in parallel > battery negative (ground)

I incorporated bullet connectors between playfield, trough and battery for easy separation.

Not sure if this should be powered with a 6 or 12 v supply. Any info is appreciated.

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#9 2 years ago

Good news is the circuit works as it should. The coil and bell both fire according to either of their corresponding switch closures (push over / repeater). Bad news is things are gunked up and impeding the ability of the coil to properly move the lower bracket that advances the balls in kickout holes and return balls in outhole.

Much cleaning and degreasing to do. Maybe some fine adjustments. I did confirm that neither 6 nor 12 volts was capable of actuating the slide bracket. Pic of the trouble areas included.

These old coils are wild looking.

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#10 2 years ago

Slide bracket was completely disassembled. Rust, dirt, old grease removed and the unit now has a nice smooth transition from closed to open with very little resistance. I will be replacing the return spring as its in rough shape.

Even with the slide bracket cleaned up and working appropriately the coil was still not capable of actuating it properly. I tried just about everything I could think of: Spring tension on bracket, spring tension on coil, coil position, battery power (6v/12v) (series/parallel/series parallel), clean and adjust switches (one was cracked so I fixed it). Nothing worked well enough to call good. I then reached out to a fantastic restorer who many probably know of or have seen his work, Mr. Bill Heatherly. Terrific guy. After going into some details he thought the issue might be lack of current. I had 6 and 12 v at the coil depending on what power supply I was using so I knew that wasn't an issue. Sure enough after swapping in a 18v lithium battery from my weed wacker it was obvious there was more then enough power and current. The game worked 100% but was a little too powerful. I then swapped in my 12v lithium battery from my dremel tool and that worked fantastic. Not too much power but perfect for a consistent kickout and full actuation of the bracket.

So I need to source a similar output battery for permanent installation. Preferably rechargeable.

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#11 2 years ago

Stripping the playfield.

Unlike modern pins with T-nuts and easily swappable posts this pin game was not designed to be stripped down. At least it didn't seem that way 88 years later. The pins came out without too much struggle but still required a good amount of twisting and pulling with pliers. To avoid as much marring as possible I wrapped electrical tape around the jaws. The metal posts that support the springs was a hole different story. These were locked in place because of the top coat used I believe. Although there may have been some glue added to each one as they were inserted. Either way the only way to remove them without damaging the playfield was to use vice grips from the topside and twist before pulling. That way you avoid significant loss of art or top coat. Once again jaws taped. I could see how people would want to tap them out from the back side but I quickly decided that was a bad idea before any damage was done. Even using an xacto knife around the posts prior to removing to help break away the hold still did not give me enough confidence to knock out from the back. Because of the amount of pressure needed to clamp and remove these posts there was some marring which pissed me off. And I tried everything I could think of to avoid it (taping the post as well as the jaws of the vice grip, sliding a pinball rubber over the post, custom cutting heavy density rubber to slide over). In the end there simply was some marring. But they had to come off as the amount of rust was overwhelming. I attempted to clean in place with little success. Both mechanically and chemically.

Good news is every component was removed without any damage to the playfield. And most of the metal parts have cleaned up nicely. Even the marring was able to be buffed out to a certain degree. First they soaked in the ultrasonic cleaner (simple green). Then they were soaked in CLR, pulling as I saw fit. Then what was left for rust was buffed off with the dremel. Last was a soak in brasso and hand polished.

Both the tilt mech and shooter lane cover were cleaned up too. Tilt mech will be repainted. Both were pot metal and only a soak in the ultrasonic cleaner (simple green) and buffer wheel were used.

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#12 2 years ago

Playfield cleaned and waxed.

Vacuumed off all possible dirt and debris. And started to test products to see how the ink and pf reacted to them. This was a major challenge.
Whatever ink they used for the art is very different from anything I've worked on even of the 70’s. Novus 2 would instantly make it run. As did alcohol. I should note that the artwork certainly feels as if it was done after the base coat and top coat. Which would make sense as to why it runs so easily. The only two cleaners I could touch it with were naptha and mineral spirits. Both were pretty mild for cleaning though and did next to nothing for removing the major ball trails and impacted dirt. All the dirty before pics are actually after being vacuumed and a thorough cleaning with naptha. What remained was caked into the pf. So I masked off all the art little by little to clean the main background color with Novus 2 and magic eraser. This did remove the ball trails and most of the dirt but in several spots I could go no further without damaging the playfield. Mouse piss also made certain areas softer. And these were noticeably more delicate. In the end I'm pretty happy with the outcome and think the playfield presents itself very well for a game 88 years old. Two coats of wax were added for protection and a protector will be made.

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#13 2 years ago
Quoted from Blake:

Playfield cleaned and waxed.

Nice work, looks great!

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from PlanetExpress:

Nice work, looks great!

Thanks man. I’m excited to start repopulating the topside. Appreciate the help.

#15 2 years ago

New metal arch guide installed. Used stainless steel (3/4” x .032). I was able to clean up the smaller guide with ball kickout hole. Need to add a few more nails but it all fits well. Before and after pics.

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#16 2 years ago

You’re making me want one of these.

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

You’re making me want one of these.

Play a nice one and you will go from want to have.

This one’s coming out pretty good. I’ve got another waiting for the same treatment.

Thanks for the compliment.

#18 2 years ago

New Repro NRA (National Recovery Administration) badges installed. Huge thanks to @battlebugs. If your unfamiliar with the NRA of the 1930’s I recommend checking it out. Cool / scary piece of history.

And new felt installed in glass channel.

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#19 2 years ago

Cool coincidence, I just purchased an ad for my Bally Fleet from Rob Hawkins, and the backside was a dealer ad for Push Over:

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#20 2 years ago

Topside populated. I’ll be looking for new springs as some should be a single piece where I had to make it two or three. I tried keeping the breaks from post to post so they don’t stand out but I needed to add one at the center of the 1000 point scoring holes as I had nothing long enough to replace.

I ended up cleaning the springs with a long soak in CLR and then sanded/polished with varatex/scotch brite pads.

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#21 2 years ago

NEW playfield glass. Will need to make a few wood repairs before it’s channel is presentable but it certainly makes the machine pop.

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#22 2 years ago

Looking great.

#23 2 years ago

Thanks. I’ve got some finishing touches to do with gates, coin door, power supply and hardware but the machine is starting to come together now.

#24 2 years ago

A bunch more accomplished:

- Plunger and lift Mech cleaned/polished
- 5 cent coin acceptor cleaned/polished
- Shooter gauge painted
- pigeon tilt painted
- Shooter lane gate fabricated and installed
- NEW 6v 4.5ah battery installed
- Ball trough guide sanded/cleaned/polished

Still need to find a pigeon tilt ball for the post. It was a pleasant surprise to have the 6v battery actuate the slide mech while properly kicking out the balls and releasing the out balls. Lack of current with the lantern batteries was definitely the problem there. Balls no longer get stuck in the trough. 5 cent Mech is working great now although I will be looking for a replacement as this one has been broken and they used bondo to put it back together. Also one of the ceramic balls is too big (looks more like a common marble) and doesn’t always drop properly. So I’ll be sourcing some hopefully.

All in all I’ve played a couple dozen games with next to no issues. Very fun game I must say.

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1 week later
#25 2 years ago

Push Over is just about done. Last thing I’m waiting for is new glass balls from Moon Marbles (thanks TopMoose )

- new leg bolts
- new leg bolt receiver plates
- new decorative leg plates
- battery compartment finished
- new playfield lockdown screws/washers
- new tilt ball
- coin box cleaned up

Huge thanks to Nate of http://www.buckwerx.com/

Lots of these repro Rockola parts work perfectly for other prewar pins like my Gottlieb.

Final pics coming soon.

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#26 2 years ago

Beautiful machine!

#27 2 years ago

Those chrome leg plates look too good. Now you need to paint the legs.

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from Skybug:

Beautiful machine!

Thanks! I’m really happy how it turned out.

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

Those chrome leg plates look too good. Now you need to paint the legs.

Yea they pop. I still have 3 originals so if I come across a 4th I could make the switch. But I’m super happy Nate made these available.

#30 2 years ago

That turned out great!
Bring it to TPF and put it in my History of Pinball Booth!

Ive added this machine and stolen one of your pics for the splash.
Feel free to add the others


#31 2 years ago
Quoted from way2wyrd:

That turned out great!
Bring it to TPF and put it in my History of Pinball Booth!
Ive added this machine and stolen one of your pics for the splash.
Feel free to add the others

Thanks a lot!

I’d love to go but it won’t be happening this year. I have had a couple inquiries about bringing machines to shows and I really should make the effort as I love to see everyone else’s as that’s what makes the show.

Feel free to add any pics of mine or inquiry about any missing details about description or otherwise. I noticed it’s not even listed here on pinside.


#33 2 years ago

Oh I thought you meant for the TPF or history of pinball.com. Cool. Thanks

#34 2 years ago

I’ll add some finished pics. Inside and out.

3 weeks later
#35 2 years ago

I can confirm that Push-Over is meant to have 10 balls as it plays perfectly with that number. The kickout coils are utilized much more frequently. And even with 9 balls in the “out” hole, all balls are returned upon registering the “free play” hole.

Moon Marbles order arrived and the balls look great. 9 white / 1 red (double score). For record they are 7/8”. Thanks again for the recommendation TopMoose

Final pics coming soon.

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#36 2 years ago

Final pics and resting place. My mom thought it would look great at her house.

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#37 2 years ago

this is so great, congratulations on a job well done

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from cait001:

this is so great, congratulations on a job well done

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

It was a fun restoration that turned out pretty darn good.

If you like these pre war battery operated pins be sure to check out my current restoration, 1934 Daval Big-Bertha - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1934-daval-big-bertha-senior


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