(Topic ID: 176801)

Bally Mariner / Sea Ray club

By EM-fan

5 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 51 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by clodpole
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic poll

“Which graphic do you like better?”

  • Mariner 5 votes
  • Sea Ray 16 votes
  • none - both are ugly 1 vote
  • both the same 4 votes
  • no idea 1 vote

(27 votes)

Topic Gallery

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There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 5 years ago

Hi everyone!

There are all kinds of clubs on modern machines - but EM clubs appear to be rare. Thus my first try to generate an EM club on a machine that I really like.

As you will know, Mariner is the 4-player version - mainly in blue color while #Sea Ray is the 2 player equivalent in a bit more greenish color scheme. Over here in Europe, we mainly have Mariner, while I only saw Sea Ray in the US - at least two of them in the PPM archives.

Looking forward to some discussions here. Let me suggest some topics to start with:
- Are there any differences in game play between Mariner and #Sea Ray ?
- Did anyone ever have or convert one of these to Add-a-ball as it is described on the flyer?
- What modifications did you do to the game? Thought about adding chimes or converting to multiball?
- How many bells did your game come with? Did anyone install more than 2 bells?
- coin doors: Mariner in Germany mainly came with 3 slots. How about other places?


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#2 5 years ago
Quoted from EM-fan:

- What modifications did you do to the game? Thought about adding chimes or converting to multiball?

This game has a "beater bonus". The bonus reset is constantly
pulsing during game resets and when the ball is served. So
consequently, the coil stop gets pounded to an unusable condition.
Once the bonus unit was repaired with new components, I added
a switch to the stack so as to make the reset coil stop firing
once the bonus reached zero position. In all, the game played
quieter and cleaner by this mod.

#3 5 years ago

Hi - We have a Sea Ray; no mods - just as "original" as we could restore it. We use 2 bells, set to ring on everything.

It's a really unforgiving game to play, as I'm sure you know. Do you (or any others viewing this) have any words of wisdom for game play?

#4 5 years ago

On game play, I straight forwardly understand, that there are only 2 things that give major points: Collecting the bonus and hitting the yellow mushroom bumper.

And yes, as the bonus can be collected two ways, this is my preferred one to score....

#5 5 years ago

vec-tor, this is indeed an interesting mod. You make the bonus reset coil fire only one round? Please tell a bit more about the effect, this creates and how that impacts the scoring and gameplay!

#6 5 years ago

I made the reset coil reset the bonus; as in regular gameplay/mode. However,
The reset coil( by the game design ) gets five pulses from the timing motor.
Thus, even if the bonus is completely reset for a new game, the bonus
reset coil is still pulsing.
Wich, in turn, wears out the plunger and coil stop.
Thus, by adding a limiting switch to the reset coil, it stops it from activating
once the bonus unit has completely reset.
Finally, it saves the coil plunger and coil stop assemblies from wearing out.

Remember, the bonus can only be collected at the right side kick up assembly;
not the out hole.

In all, it is like the limiting switch on the credit assembly.

#7 5 years ago

I have a Mariner and I really like it.I do like the color on the sea ray better though. My backglass is shot if anybody has a decent one for sale because it's a keeper.

#8 5 years ago


Thanks so much for sharing your idea and knowledge. Seems almost a "must" for a good renovation

Will try to apply this on my machines as well. Might be able to design it myself, but a picture of the additional switch @ the Reset Coil RE would be nice to see.

Is this a more common problem among other Bally machines? Any other ones where this would apply?


#9 5 years ago

Energie IV

just to share, that there is actually a mod of Mariner, that was apparently created in Germany. It even made it into ipdb under number 6004. Energie is the German word for energy.

During 2015/16 it was for sale on ebay for 1500€ for a long time and apparently did not sell. At current, it seems to be for sale for 950€ at Pauls50s still - a German pinball shop.

While the overall theme looks really nice, it appears, that the mod could have been executed with slightly more ambition. But judge yourself - easy to find on google.


#10 5 years ago

There was a separate track on Mariner conversion to AAB - did anyone ever see or try this? What does such a conversion kit consist of? A new player or ball count unit?

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from EM-fan:

Is this a more common problem among other Bally machines? Any other ones where this would apply?

I just got done with a Gotlieb Big Brave, and it too has
a "beater bonus" set up from the factory. However, it
was not mine and so the coil stops were changed and
that was it.

#12 5 years ago

I actually just bought one of these off of a guy on Craigslist. It's missing the backbox, but functions. My goal is to convert it into a custom pin with all new artwork, while keeping the layout and rules the same, at least until I'm confident enough to alter that. As long as I can keep it in working order, I'll be happy. Now, to find a compatible backbox...

Note: There was another EM on Craigslist, an intact and very nice-looking Doodlebug. I didn't go for that one, because I'd feel bad defacing it when it's in such nice condition. The Mariner, on the other hand, is in good enough condition to use and customize, while not pristine enough to feel like I'm destroying a piece of history. I'll be making a thread and posting pics of my progress as I go.

#13 5 years ago

interesting project indeed. Do you really have no backbox or just no backglas?

We are considering a project to recreate the backglas.


#14 5 years ago

Here's my lucky SeaRay purchase from Craigslist. It turned out to be less than 5 miles from my house (!) and had been sitting in a garage for 20 plus years. Just for a goof I plugged it in there and she fired up and served up a ball. Imagine my excitement when I got her message from Craigslist and her new asking price. All I did was ask if it was still available

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#15 5 years ago
Quoted from EM-fan:

interesting project indeed. Do you really have no backbox or just no backglas?
We are considering a project to recreate the backglas.

No backbox at all. So no score reels or anything. It's been cleaning up nicely with a magic eraser and alcohol, and I'm very excited that it's mostly working, with little to diagnose so far. Looking forward to transforming it. I've already started drawing up designs.

Are Bally EM backboxes of this era pretty interchangeable with each other, or would I need to get a Mariner backbox specifically for it to work properly?

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#16 5 years ago

Wow, embryonjohn, that's looks to be in great shape!

#17 5 years ago

@ embryonjohn : this is indeed a really nice machine! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

@ BenTheCartoon : interesting find. Got something similar myself for Mariner, just the other way round: A backbox with no glas, bell or back, an almost complete playfield with only very few pieces "leveraged" and the matching CPU board. Got a "Big Valley" lower cabinet to complement the machine. My target is to get it back into working condition, adding all the missing parts.

Are backboxes interchangeable? Nothing is impossible, but I would say "not easily". If you find a 4-player backbox from the same period, that might give you the majority of the parts and pieces, but you will still have some major efforts to adapt the connectors and game special functions.
Also, in order to use a Mariner backglas, you might want to look for a machine that has the score reels in the same location - alike an Amigo or Bow & Arrow - but these are 3 and 4 years younger - during which time a few things might have changed...


#18 5 years ago

Hmm, that's what I was afraid of. My hope was that it being mostly just the score reels inside the back box, that it would be fairly plug-and-play if I had another 4-player Bally of that era.
Guess I'll have to either keep my eye out for another Mariner or pick up a full machine at Pinfest.

3 months later
#19 5 years ago

It's been a while, but I got the backbox I needed and am trying to get everything functioning. Could anyone show me how the up-post is supposed to be wired? Mine currently stays up, and only goes down when the "down post" button is pressed. Then as soon as the button is released, it pops back up. If it's not the wiring, is a switch closed that should be open?

1 week later
#20 5 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

It's been a while, but I got the backbox I needed and am trying to get everything functioning. Could anyone show me how the up-post is supposed to be wired? Mine currently stays up, and only goes down when the "down post" button is pressed. Then as soon as the button is released, it pops back up. If it's not the wiring, is a switch closed that should be open?

Ben - The post is up when its solenoid is unpowered; i.e. it's held down all the time by power to its solenoid. Yours is not getting power, apparently, and is up all the time. BTW, have you seen these pictures of Keith Moon of The Who playing Sea Ray way back when?:

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#21 5 years ago

...to be specific, look at the "POST" relay suspended from the underside of the playing surface - it's the rightmost of 6 relays there. It has 3 switch pairs; when the game is powered on and credit activated, the relay locks the 2 left switch pairs closed and opens the right pair. It's the left 2 which cause the up post solenoid to pull the post down and hold it there. You'll see a green wire running from the center relay switch pair to the up post solenoid.

2 weeks later
#22 4 years ago

I'm in the club! Bought it last week at a auction. The legs were black and red splattered when I got it. Painted them turquoise this morning. Cleaned the cab but haven't touched the play field yet.

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#23 4 years ago

Is this normal for this game or one of a kind? The lockdown bar, side rails and glass are one piece. Quite a surprise when I went to take the bar off.20170604_150304 (resized).jpg

Also some dope took one of the posts and drilled it right in the middle of the lane. Hopefully it's clean when I remove it.

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#24 4 years ago

Playfield glass frame is normal. Bally called it the lift top glass and introduced it sometime in 1966 IIRC. Used it til about 1973. Also has the knick name "chop top" because if the prop rod falls down, it will come down like a guillotine.

#25 4 years ago

I got a nice unexpected pinch while putting it back on

6 months later
#26 4 years ago

Hi Everyone!

Back here with some news of my very latest Mariner restoration project.

So, let us start with a bit of background and move back in time a bit to early 2015:

On Ebay Kleinanzeigen - which is the equivalent of craigs list here in Germany - I saw an offer for a Mariner playfield, which looked very good. Talking to the seller, he actually did not only have the playfield, but also the relay board from the cabinet and and after a bit of searching - even the backbox! No backglas, no bells and no backdoor, but at least everything that is mandatory to even attempt assembling of a working game.
So, tons of parts to search for, but in principle we could save a nice game!

Here see a picturs of what it was like when I got it.

Quite some pieces were missing on the playfield: one flipper finger unit was completely missing and so was a thumper bumper. The other flipper finger unit was missing pieces and so was another thumper bumper. Also, quite a few of the other units were not in optimal condition: sticky, burnt etc.

Stay tuned

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#27 4 years ago

So, after a few months, I finally started to have a closer look at the playfield. Not as dirty as I had feared.

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#28 4 years ago

The next step was to acquire a lower cabinet. None available for a Mariner (unless you have one and want to part from it - wink wink).
Thus I got one from a 1970 Big Valley - which is just one year older and exactly the same in terms of size. It even came with legs

Even the color was about matching. But - it is not exactly the same from the inside: the door and flipper connectors are different among the two games!

Have a look below. Not really best condition - but the colleague that gave it to me did not ask a fortune for it either...
But what we learn from this? It is cheaper to buy a complete game than assembling it from pieces!!!!

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#29 4 years ago

Looks like the board in the cabinet needs some work though. Was able to find some matching screws and disks to mount them to the cabinet but by looking closer, the filter needs to be replaced. Looks like those were added into the German ones - not every of the games has it, but many of the ones with German money signs in the door. Interestingly enough, the games form this time which apparently were delivered to Switzerland and the Netherlands with other currencies do not have them!

Also, someone tampered with the fuses. Will replace the holders and re-arrange the original setting. Also the taps on the transformer will require to be changed. Will need to change from 220V to 240V - which is better for the 230V we have over here. In return, I will set the coils to "high tap".

What is missing in the cabinet is the connector for the flipper fingers!!! Too bad! Thus no test game easily possible.

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#30 4 years ago

Now, let us look at some of the components. The Bonus Unit under the playfield clearly needed some overhaul:

Added the missing coils, coil stops, rubbers and screws. Also, everything was completely taken apart and every single piece was cleaned using all kinds of fluids, tools and materials. Found exactly the original screws on some part-out machine, and even replaced the springs and plungers against NOS parts I was lucky to get my hands on. Not to forget the new nylon coil sleeves. All contacts were cleaned and adjusted and at the end just a very little bit of the original contact disk grease from PBR applied to the disk.

Now, the unit works like a dream - smooth, exact - at least as good as new
See before and after pictures below.

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#31 4 years ago

And it would be really nice if you could have a look at your archives: just in case you could find this plastic for me:

The plastic is on the lower right - just above the sling shotn removing it from the playfield.
Mine broke at the lower rubber: according to the manual, a 1" rubber is required - but even a 1 1/4" seems too tight on my game.

Thanks so much in advance!

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#32 4 years ago

Did you relaxed the rubber ring before you installed it?
I always relax the rubber rings when they are new.
You might have to make your own new plastic or hopefully find an old used one somewhere.

#33 4 years ago

vec-tor relax the rubber ring?

This is completely new to me and I never did that. Just lengthen it a bit before installing? Should this always be done?

Have a good start into your new year!

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from EM-fan:

And it would be really nice if you could have a look at your archives: just in case you could find this plastic for me:
The plastic is on the lower right - just above the sling shotn removing it from the playfield.
Mine broke at the lower rubber: according to the manual, a 1" rubber is required - but even a 1 1/4" seems too tight on my game.
Thanks so much in advance!

I just replaced all the rubbers on mine and ordered what the manual says. Was shocked to find out they all fit! A first for everything.
Going to pull out the leds in mine today and do a little trouble shooting. I've owned this game for 6 months and only played one game on it.

#35 4 years ago

Happy new year to all of you!

Replacement rubber rings on these machines - this is an interesting topic indeed! dirkdiggler: Glad, that you were happy with your rubber set!

When replacing rubbers on my machines, I found the following flaws in the factory list:
- my games required 1 1/4" rather than 1" at the top left and the bottom right
- shooter tip not listed in the game manual - but sets typically include it anyway. I use white ones.
- the three standup targets can be equipped with a 7/16" rubber ring each - which is not mentioned in the factory list.
- do not forget to order the 4" rubber in the back of the cabinet holding the cables from the playfield
- on one of my games, someone added two extra posts to narrow the outlanes


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#36 4 years ago
Quoted from EM-fan:

Happy new year to all of you!

Happy New Year to you and thanks for the rubber info.

#37 4 years ago

In renovating my playfield, I tried to get my flipper fingers into the best shape I could provide:

Everything is cleaned and adjusted and I deliberately left the aluminum coil sleeves in - while replacing them against nylon ones in all other places.
The flipper coils tend to become pretty hot when someone presses the flipper button for minutes during gameplay. And we have kids - thus this is not completely unexpected.
Also, I made certain, that all contacts are really clean alomng the complete power path.

A friend of mine actually custom made these brass bushings for me. Have them in some other games and they are so incredibly precise, that it is drastically improving gameplay - besides never again having to be replaced.

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#38 4 years ago

Tip: you can add shrink tubing to the stop-end bracket if you do not want it to have metal on metal contact.

2 weeks later
#39 4 years ago

vec-tor : Thanks for the advice!

Well - let me share my train of thought here:
- had many times pulled off some weathered pieces of something sticky and ugly here - and always wondered why they were there even though they were in no manual
- last week I realized, that in another game in which I had overhauled the flipper mechanics a year ago, one complete flpper unit had come loose! 3 of the 4 screws had fallen down for "no obvious reason".
- thus this seems to be almost a "must"?! Just that my material looks much thinner than what I had peeled of my games. Any advice on the correct material? Will try some tubes from the local hardware store next


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#40 4 years ago

Much better with aquarium tube! It is much thicker and also holds much more firmly.

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1 week later
#41 4 years ago

Does any of you have a spare Mariner backglas - or know who would be creating a repro?
Would actually be nice to have a backglas for the Mariner I am just assembling from parts.

Work is coming along well. "CPU" base board is now almost completely overhauled - just a new LOCK RE. is required. In particular the power section was getting a complete renewal: High quality 20" rubber cord, retro plug, new line filter, new fuse holders and fuses, power re-wiring etc. Even added a new 3 1/2" white rubber band at the back of the cabinet to hold the cables... These should really become part of the rubber ring kits!

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4 months later
#42 3 years ago

Dear Mariner / Sea Ray fans!

Wanted to share my journey towards applying the "Beater Bonus Reset" mod to my Mariner. Application to the Se Ray should be completely identical. As discussed, this mod prevents unnecessary resets of the BONUS UNIT when the BONUS UNIT is already fully reset - thus reducing wear on the unit, plunger and coil stop.

You will require the follwing parts only for our game. In my case, they all came from a 1974 RoGo. 1970 Big Valley parts were somehow smaller and did not fit.
1) One set of normally closed switch blades with the respective spacers
2) two longer screws to hold the extended switch pack
3) about 8 inches of blue-white cable

In order to apply this mod on our machines, you best take the relay board out of the cabinet.

First step was to add a third set of switch blades to the BONUS "0" relay - as shown in the picture the spacers of the additional relay are a bit darker than the standard ones.

The switch blased are "normally closed" ones - they will open once the relay is pulled. Thus in effect, it acts like an inverting contact, negating the input signal. It is conducting, as long as the bonus is "not zero" and stop once the bonus is fully reset. So, we can just "loop this" in to the respective reset wire to achieve the mod.

The standard G-31-1800 coil used here is used to pull switch stacks of 6 or 7 blades at other places in the game - thus adding a third one to the stack does not trigger the need for any stronger coil.

The cable we are looking for to use is the blue-white one pictured below. Essentially, it needs to be led through this additional switch stack. We easily find it at two coils next to our one - question remains on how to modify the cables in order to apply minimum change to all cabling.

... to be continued ....

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1 year later
#43 2 years ago

Hey folks, I know it's been a while, but my restoration for Mariner continues (after a lengthy hiatus). My apologies to EM-fan who messaged me a while back and I never responded. At some point in the future, I will indeed have some spare plastics and POSSIBLY, a backglass (assuming I don't hang onto it to frame as a memento). Not ready to part with anything QUITE yet, though, as I'm still using them for reference.

At any rate, my progress has been detailed here, but the long and short of it is I've got the game running at pretty much 100% and just need to do a full rebuild and cleaning and I'll be well on my way to begin the re-theme anew. Hope to see more posts here soon!

8 months later
#44 1 year ago

Hello... I recently refurbished a Flash which I inherited, and the cabinet work got me to go back and re-do some of the work I'd done on Sea Ray several years ago. The game had some bad scuffs through the paint, perhaps from living too close to another game in an arcade.

I cleaned off my old paint work (acrylics come off with IPA) and filled the areas with Bondo glazing putty.IMG_1398 (resized).JPG

Then I hand sanded with small sanding tools I cobbled together to do fine work.

Then acrylic primer, followed by brushed-on acrylic paint mixed with Golden Artist's Colors GAC200, which improves adhesion and leaves a very hard finish for acrylic. Then hand-brushed clear, followed by 2 coats of Johnson's paste wax and it looks really nice. Not as smooth as if I had sanded off all the paint and done it over with air brush, but then that wouldn't have been "original" any more.IMG_1404 (resized).JPGIMG_1410 (resized).JPG

2 months later
#45 1 year ago

Months pass, more cabinet/paint repairs and the game is now back in play. The right bonus kicker fires differently than before, and often can't get the ball back out of the bonus alley. Any ideas or suggestions?

5 months later
#46 1 year ago

Well, that problem was solved with an adjustment of the wire switch activator at the lower end of the bonus alley. Now the bonus kick-out is reliable.

Anybody out there? Seems like this thread has gone to sleep....

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from clodpole:

Anybody out there? Seems like this thread has gone to sleep....

This tread does need some action. At least let’s get it to page number 2

#48 1 year ago
Quoted from embryonjohn:

This tread does need some action. At least let’s get it to page number 2

Well, we owners of Mariner and Sea Ray ought to appreciate this new exhibit at the Pacific Pinball Museum: https://www.pacificpinball.org/exhibition/pointy-people
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They even have a huge Sea Ray mural painted by d'Arci Bruno

#49 1 year ago

Love me some pointy peeps

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10 months later
#50 4 months ago

Hello fellow Mariners and Sea Rays!
Thought id post a video here I made for my youtube channel / show Drain Talk.

There is too little love for old classics, so i made an episode about SeaRay. Som facts, brief history and a thorough tutorial and gameplay:

Hope it can be of interest to some. If you like it, i would greatly appreciate a subscribe and like/share. Planning to do another video of Doodle Bug also soon


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