(Topic ID: 189260)

A quick shout-thanks to Steve @ PBR: $2 motor rescue


By goingincirclez

2 years ago



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  • 15 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by thestreetzking
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    20
    #1 2 years ago

    The glove motor in my resurrected Big Hurt sounded like a coffee grinder attacking a tree. It worked enough to play a game, sorta, but... no. Balks are good for baseball but not motors.

    Naturally, while replacement motors for most all GTB Sys3 (and earlier) games are available for $60-75 or so... Big Hurt's alone is $170?! Ouch. So I took it apart and incredibly, all the gears were perfect; the problem was one of the rotor bushings being hogged out. Dammit, where to get something obscure like that?

    Now PBR says they can fix these motors for a price... so they surely must have the bushings, right? Having only placed email orders to PBR in the past, I was finally forced to speak to the man, the myth, the legend, after Jimmy demurred my email inquiry and said to call and ask Steve.

    Well, my rite of passage was initiated. I can see why Steve is simultaneously revered and feared... but I almost found it refreshing. No bullshit, to the point, old-school interaction with no extraneous touchy-feely corporate-faux-customer-service. I could tell he was a little perturbed by some of my questions, but I thanked him for his patience and answered his own as best as I understood.

    I was worried he'd be offended that I was trying to be too cheap to send him the motor, but instead he seemed amused that I wanted to attempt the repair myself. He cautioned that extracting the bearings improperly could damage the housing and was I sure it was OK? I told him as best I could judge, I was willing to accept the risk.

    Without skipping a beat he told me the exact bushing I would need and said to append a mention of it to my order when I was ready, he had to dig the correct parts from his personal repair stash at his house anyway.

    But when I finished the order and emailed that night, an auto-reply said they were doing phone orders only. So I called the next day and he remembered me, but changed the bushing spec. "Yes, that's not what I said yesterday. I know what I said. That was wrong, this is the right one." LOL.

    When my package arrived yesterday I was amused and worried to see that the bushings were labeled as yet *another* different size, not either of the two he mentioned. But they looked right to my eye.

    And after installation, the motor is silent and smooth and good as new.

    So people give him a lot of grief and I can see why, but on the other hand he's forgotten more about these games than most of us will ever know and in my first interaction, he cheerfully (?) saved me $168. I'd say he's earned the right to run his business as he sees fit, and if you stop and listen you might learn something.

    Thanks Steve!

    #2 2 years ago

    Don't forget to send that $2 check

    #3 2 years ago

    Ha ha... it'll be for more than that since I compiled a few things but yes, DON'T EVER forget the check.

    I was actually surprised, since I had him on the phone I said "well, would you prefer I give you a card number or something to just pay it right now before shipment?" and his "no" could not have been any more emphatic with explanation. No cards, never, not accepted. Checks only!

    Now THAT right there is something I have never encountered anywhere else in this country, and I've covered a fair bit of time and distance. Most places refuse to even *look* at a check these days, yet here's one that won't take anything else (obviously cash would be fine if you're close enough I suppose).

    That one quirk alone is almost worth celebrating, and probably says more about the old-school nature of PBR than anything else.

    #4 2 years ago

    This is the type of story that I love to read. Steve is a true asset to the business, the hobby, the collector and the operator.

    He even let you gauge your ability, and didn't talk you out of it.

    Regarding credit cards, I handle several aspects of that for my business, and to be fair to Steve, it is way more trouble than it is worth. There are so many hidden fees that the retailer has to absorb. It's a constant game of finding who can do it the cheapest, not to mention the data security standards which would be really difficult to manage with his business model. I'm not saying he couldn't do it, but credit cards are a convenience for the card holder, not the business that has to get money from them.

    #5 2 years ago

    I have a Black Knight and a Haunted House and I go to Pinball Resource first when I need something. Steve's prices are very good and he is a great guy who knows tons. Just ordered some stuff today for my BK restore. PBR is always helpful.

    #6 2 years ago

    His prices are phenomenal, and he has just about every part there is. Definitely know as much information about what you need before calling him. He can be intimidating to talk to some days, but you'll always be glad when you get the part and the bill.

    #7 2 years ago

    Love good stories about Steve and his business. Nothing wrong with his way of doing business and he knows his stuff.

    #8 2 years ago

    Steve is a gem in the pinball world. He could be considered a rough one, but he is certainly a gem.

    #9 2 years ago

    21 year customer here. Steve is a great guy and once I got past the first phone call and order it has been totally pleasant ever since. he always gets the first call and some of the other great pinball vendors get the second call if he doesn't have it. I am thankful for all of them.

    #10 2 years ago

    I assume this a open frame motor. How did you replace the 4 longer rivets that hold it all to get her?

    I use 3/16" copper tube from Ace hardware. Always looking how others do it.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from SteveinTexas:

    How did you replace the 4 longer rivets that hold it all together?

    I used machine screws and locknuts. Don't know the exact sizes (1/4-20 and 6-32?), but there are two different diameters since the motor mount shafts are narrower and the original rivets were different, too. I just happened to have suitable sizes for both dia and length in my random screw bins. The threads completely filled the bore (and may actually have just slightly tapped the housing on the motor end) so there is no slop. Lock nuts keep it all secure. And using removable fasteners makes it easy to service again if needed.

    Couple dozen games in and no sign of trouble so far. So nice to have a properly working and quiet motor - the game is a LOT of fun! Nice way for Gottlieb to take their near final bow.

    -10
    #12 1 year ago

    not sure why people praise this guy, he's a a$$hole.... regardless. No people skills whatsoever!

    #13 1 year ago

    Steve's the best.

    You'd have to be not right in the head to not understand this.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from ccbiggsoo7:

    not sure why people praise this guy, he's a a$$hole.... regardless. No people skills whatsoever!

    Seriously, What part of the ops story did you not get?

    #15 1 year ago

    I been fortunate to live near his shop, I have been there a handful of times and he has always been super nice about it and always helpful.

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