Backglass STUCK in my Eight Ball thanks to trim gone rogue

(Topic ID: 225051)

Backglass STUCK in my Eight Ball thanks to trim gone rogue


By Stemage

37 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 34 days ago by Stemage
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 37 days ago

I recently acquired an Eight Ball and bought some new top trim for the near perfect backglass. On inserting the glass into the backbox, the trim promptly removed itself from the top of the glass. I failed to adhere the trim, as I had not done that with other machines. However, other machines had translites. WHOOPS?

I didn't realize this for a few days until tonight when I tried to get into the backbox. The trim is lodged above the backglass, and the backglass does not have clearance to properly exit the head. The right side makes it out, but the left side is a mm or three from making it out.

!!!

The trim is smashed up there. It started bent and there wasn't a chance of getting it back on by holding my mouth right. Now the trim is definitely broken, and I'm hoping to find a way to get this backglass out of the box.

This is so stupid.

We are working with a near perfect backglass. Nuzzling the glass upwards with gumption chops away at the trim, but it doesn't seem that the trim can safely be smashed to bits without jeopardizing the backglass itself.

The head can't be removed because I can't get inside the head to unplug anything. This is SO very stupid.

I don't know much about early Bally backboxes. My brother has a Meteor and took pictures of how the wooden trim works at the top of the window on his head. Mine may be made differently? Someone before me put formica on the front and sizes of the backbox trim (looks nice, but who cares right now), so there isn't a way to see where screws might live. It's possible the top wood trim holding the backglass is part of a solid piece of wood? Anyone have advice based on what they know of early SS Ballys?

My brother's example of what might be possible
I don't see a gap, bro. Perhaps it was painted shut when the formica was installed?
Another view

Just got this baby cleaned up, and tonight was supposed to be LED conversion night. NOT ANYMORE. Any ideas? Halp?

#2 37 days ago

This may sound strange but maybe use the cap of a pen (long pointy part) to wiggle the trim down or out just enough to remove the back glass. Good luck Stem.

#3 37 days ago
Quoted from VampireKangaroo:

This may sound strange but maybe use the cap of a pen (long pointy part) to wiggle the trim down or out just enough to remove the back glass. Good luck Stem.

Not strange. Unfortunately, the trim is wedged completely above the backglass, and there isn't much additional room for small tools. It's a pretty tight fit, which is why the trim "left itself" in the crack up there to begin with. I'm gonna fool around some more with tools, but since it's the entire width of the glass, there isn't really anywhere for it to go. Thanks!

#4 37 days ago

Try getting a putty knife or something else that is thin and rigid. Slip the knife between the trim and glass on the side that will lift. Gradually slide the knife toward the problem side while lifting the glass. This should guide the trim back into position and get it free. A second set of hands would probably help. I can send some pics of a bally backbox if you'd like. The top and bottom channels are individual pieces that are stapled to the body of the head. You could get a jimmy bar and pry one loose but your looking at repainting and repairing the damage.

#5 37 days ago
Quoted from Thrillhouse:

Try getting a putty knife or something else that is thin and rigid. Slip the knife between the trim and glass on the side that will lift. Gradually slide the knife toward the problem side while lifting the glass. This should guide the trim back into position and get it free.

Very nice. Unfortunately, I was unable to get my smallest, thinnest screwdriver between the BG and the trim, but I probably need something even thinner. This is definitely a good next logical step. I worry the problem side is damaged to the point of creased, so we'll see how far we get.

Quoted from Thrillhouse:

I can send some pics of a bally backbox if you'd like. The top and bottom channels are individual pieces that are stapled to the body of the head. You could get a jimmy bar and pry one loose but your looking at repainting and repairing the damage.

I understand that. It makes sense to know what the pieces look like so I know where to jimmy is all. Is it stapled from underneath into the top piece of wood? I have no problem making a new top channel if I end up there. Just an eye-rolling pain.

THIS IS SO DUMB.

Thanks so much!

#6 37 days ago

If you have a set of these for setting the points on old engines/motorcycles I'll guaranty you can get a few blades in there. $4 at harbor freight or autozone. As far as removing the channel the easiest way is to score the top peice like in your first photo of the meteor and gently pry it out. It is stapled thru that piece, not the top of the head down. The bottom channel is groved to hold the base of the head and sides together with staples and wood glue. You would probably tear the whole thing apart trying to remove that end.

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#7 37 days ago

Yeah the bottom channel won't be touched under any circumstance. I can't get the head off of the machine anyway. All the wood stuff is last resort. Thanks Thrill!

#8 36 days ago

Can you put up some pics of the outside surfaces of the back box. Top and both sides? Plus some pics from a little farther away to show perspective? I am assuming the Bally is like the Sterns but I don't know.

Here is a Stern back box I have been working on. I had to peel off the cheap pressed paper sides to restore with real wood. With the sides peeled away, I think it would be possible to slide the glass out sideways. These cheap pressed paper sides were stapled and glued on. One side peeled away very easy. The side had to be chiseled off.

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On the Stern, the two sides were not stapled or screwed to the top horizontal piece and it would have been possible for me to have just peel off the top by itself. I really cannot tell from your pics but it may be possible to pry off the top piece on your Bally. I'm thinking any damage would be minimal if you take precautions and since it is one top any visual impact would not be noticeable.

My suspicion is the top piece is two pieces glued together before being attached to the back box. So, if you have to destroy that top wood while prying it off, you should be able to salvage the "groove making" trim piece to a piece of replacement wood if needed.

And this: If you are not sure if the two sides are stapled, screwed, or nailed to the top piece, take a hack saw at the joining area and make a couple of cuts.

It is going to be a little work for you but in the end it is only wood.

#9 36 days ago

I would go with the @cottonm4 approach. place a piece of 2x4 on the inside edge of the side trim piece and wack it with a dead-blow hammer. The trim piece for bally is better made than Stern, so it should come off intact. Once that's off, you can slide the glass out the side.
The trim piece is easily glued back; hold in place with a couple pipe clamps.

#10 36 days ago

I recently bought a Seawitch with a plastic dart tip lodged into the top glass channel.

It was a bitch to get out.
Used a plastic pass card to push into the corner.

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#11 36 days ago

interesting, none of my older bally's have a top trim and if I added one they won't fit.

#12 36 days ago
Quoted from brenna98:

I would go with the @cottonm4 approach. place a piece of 2x4 on the inside edge of the side trim piece and wack it with a dead-blow hammer. The trim piece for bally is better made than Stern, so it should come off intact. Once that's off, you can slide the glass out the side.
The trim piece is easily glued back; hold in place with a couple pipe clamps.

I decided against gluing the replacement side strips I made on. I decided to use 5 flat head wood screws instead. The logic was that sometime in the future if one gets dinged up or damaged all it takes it to remove 5 screws and it can be removed and remade. The screws to do not look ugly and if you have the pin shoved into a line up you won't be seeing the screws anyway.

The next back box I am preparing to do will need that top piece replaced. I will screw it back on, as well. And now with this poster's issue, not gluing the top piece back on looks to be particularly advantageous.

#13 36 days ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Used a plastic pass card to push into the corner.

You mean like a credit card? A bit confused how you got the dart out.

Interesting ideas! So the sides of the box are simply glued on? I didn't realize that. I'd love to reuse the same pieces since they already look nice with the formica, but hey we'll see. If this piece can be KNOCKED OFF with a 2x4 somewhat easily, I might just do that before anything else weird and precarious. Here are pictures on request. IMG_20180910_124150 (resized).jpgIMG_20180910_124131 (resized).jpgIMG_20180910_124208 (resized).jpg

Quoted from wdennie:

interesting, none of my older bally's have a top trim and if I added one they won't fit.

It came with a few busted pieces on it, and Marco lists a top trim sku for old Ballys. I dunno.

#14 36 days ago

My glass's wont fit with them on, couldn't even lock afterword's.
I've tried once and kinda ran into the same problem your having, a lot of
cursing and shaking to get it back out.

#15 36 days ago

I'm still wondering if removing the top trim is the easiest and cleanest solution. It's less wood to take off, and if I glue it back it's a way easier clamp job. It also doesn't have any formica on it. That's my current thinking.

#16 36 days ago
Quoted from Stemage:

I'm still wondering if removing the top trim is the easiest and cleanest solution. It's less wood to take off, and if I glue it back it's a way easier clamp job. It also doesn't have any formica on it. That's my current thinking.

It looks like your side pieces may be stapled to the top. If so, this is where the hack saw comes in. Try to make a clean cut between the two pieces. Error on the side of top and try to save the sides. The top will be less visible of repair work. Make the cuts, pry the top off from the back side, left it up and remove the trim and back glass.

Don't glue it back. Just screw it back on.

#17 36 days ago

I wouldn't try and remove the sides. The top has a tongue and groove that has been stapled and glued. If you remove the side you will most certainly break the joints and have to replace all 3 trim peices. This pic is from my fathom but I remember my lost world was built the same way.

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#18 36 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

The top will be less visible of repair work. Make the cuts, pry the top off from the back side, left it up and remove the trim and back glass.
Don't glue it back. Just screw it back on.

I don't mean remove the entire top of the backbox, I meant pry the top channel off (downward) as per the meteor shot in my original post.

Thank you all for the pics and reference material.

#19 36 days ago
Quoted from Stemage:

I don't mean remove the entire top of the backbox, I meant pry the top channel off (downward) as per the meteor shot in my original post.
Thank you all for the pics and reference material.

I did not say to pry off the top of the back box. What you pry off is the border piece that sits on top of the top of the back box. Sorry if I was not clear. But Thrillhouse shows that Bally used the tongue in groove method. That complicates things unless you would want to replace the top and both sides.

If you can pry off the top channel that would work I think.

#20 36 days ago

Note to self: now that I see how Bally backglass frames are affixed to the backbox, I will never, ever, EVER pick up or carry a Bally backbox by its frame again.

#21 34 days ago

Thank you all for you conversation! The saga is over. Some trimming, sanding, and repainting, and we're back to normal. That top channel I'm pretty sure is one piece of wood btw. Here is the grand finale story told with storyboard.

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