(Topic ID: 126195)

Best source/Brand Rubber Rings for EMs


By jjpm

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by o-din
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 3 years ago

    Sorry if this has come up in the past. I didn't find an older thread that addresses this specific issue. One of the most important things in a well functioning EM are new, good quality rubber rings. I was wondering what people here use and if any are better that the others? I've been pretty dissatisfied with the quality put out by Wico lately and didn't know if there was a better source.

    #2 3 years ago

    Wico? When did they go back in business?

    If you want good rubbers, order them from Pinball Resource.

    #3 3 years ago

    Pinball Life seems to have the freshest rubber. PBR seems to use Wico. Wico has been out of business for many years so this is old stock but I haven't had any problems with PBR stock. PBR will be the only one that carries 5" rubber rings. I typically try to buy from Marco specialties. People will say that a rubber kit will be missing a few. I find when I order from Marco one or two might be the wrong size. But I always have extras on hand. Marco will have a chart of the particular game which again is typically 95-100% correct. PBR does not include a rubber chart for the game. They want you to buy a damn parts catalog. (I myself really should break down and buy a 1968 catalog since all my games are 1963-1968 and listed in it.)

    #4 3 years ago

    I have Titanpinball.com rings in my games. They do NOT make all the precise sizes some of the EM's use but they do usually have everything I need within 1/4 inch and I have yet to notice this in game play- maybe because the odd sizes are never anywhere like a sling etc- but I have had their stuff a while and continue to get more- Quality stuff and my games are plenty lively-

    #5 3 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Wico? When did they go back in business?
    If you want good rubbers, order them from Pinball Resource.

    The WICO rubber rings are from PBR. They're not bad, but they seem to wear out pretty quickly; at least the ones I've gotten over the past year or so have.

    Quoted from rufessor:

    I have Titanpinball.com rings in my games. They do NOT make all the precise sizes some of the EM's use but they do usually have everything I need within 1/4 inch and I have yet to notice this in game play- maybe because the odd sizes are never anywhere like a sling etc- but I have had their stuff a while and continue to get more- Quality stuff and my games are plenty lively-

    I get most of my pinballs from titanpinball (the ones from marco/PBR have come tarnished in the past and I like my pinballs to be new and smooth). I wasn't sure where they were sourcing their rubber rings from and was worried I'd have some play issues since they are more focused on SS games. Maybe I'll give them a try.

    Quoted from Rat_Tomago:

    Pinball Life seems to have the freshest rubber. PBR seems to use Wico. Wico has been out of business for many years so this is old stock but I haven't had any problems with PBR stock. PBR will be the only one that carries 5" rubber rings. I typically try to buy from Marco specialties. People will say that a rubber kit will be missing a few. I find when I order from Marco one or two might be the wrong size. But I always have extras on hand. Marco will have a chart of the particular game which again is typically 95-100% correct. PBR does not include a rubber chart for the game. They want you to buy a damn parts catalog. (I myself really should break down and buy a 1968 catalog since all my games are 1963-1968 and listed in it.)

    How has your experience been with PBL? I've always had the best customer service from PBR with Marco not far behind them (though they also are more SS based and I've had some issues with some parts they've sent). I do like that Marco includes the chart with the rings.

    #6 3 years ago
    Quoted from jjpm:

    How has your experience been with PBL?

    I have a friend who buys in bulk from PBL and he loves them. I used the rubber rings I got off of him (I was out) and they are nice and snappy. I had to source the 5" rubber rings from PBR. I have not ordered anything from PBL but I have heard nothing but good things about them.

    #7 3 years ago

    I ordered a set for my Strato-Flite from those guys in Michigan, (I'm being nice), both kicker rubbers snapped after 2 months. Replaced with Marco, have not had a problem since. To explain why I ordered from those guys in Michigan, ebay gave me a $20 credit to use on anything, so I bought a rubber kit.

    #8 3 years ago

    Recently purchased a bulk supply from PBR based on an inventory of my games & rubbers used-they are a great quality. When doing a resto I have on hand a game extract from the GTB parts catalogue to ensure the specified rubbers are used.

    SOpf78.jpg

    #9 3 years ago

    Just bought a rubber set for my 1968 Royal guard. Will be a while before I can install, but one issue I see w/o opening up the baggie is that the "T" rubbers are an odd light grey color, NOT cream white like the rings are.

    #10 3 years ago

    I like to order kits from Action Pinball & Amusement. Good quality and they send a chart that shows where everything goes. Great reference in case one breaks.

    #11 3 years ago

    I posted a thread over two years ago on RGP, with some great feedback. One member gave a lengthy, but very educational reply. Here it is...
    "This isn't exactly on subject but CFH offers some interesting insight
    here on pinball rubber. Taken from Pinside, but it was posted here on
    RGP several months back:

    -as many know, I don't post to RGP any more. But for this, i will make
    one exception. I can offer some facts on rubber that perhaps a lot of
    people don't know. You all may find it useful in rubber choice on
    games.

    First off, rubber today is WAY different than rubber from the past.
    Since the end of "ABC" rubber (which Williams had a good share), things
    have changed in the world of pinball rubber. ABC rubber was the standard
    by which all other rubber was and should be compared. It was perfect
    rubber in terms of durometer and durability. I think most people will
    agree on that (at least those that remember ABC rubber.)

    Today, largely, there is really just one maker of rubber in Taiwan. They
    hold the molds for Terry (Pinball Life), Steve Young, Marco, and the
    other guys that make rubber. So when you buy Pinball
    Life rubber and you see "PL" on the rubber, it's really no different
    than the other brands (generally speaking, though there are some
    exceptions.) Same formula, just they use the molds belonging to whomever
    is ordering rubber.

    That said, today's White rubber is absolute trash. SR is quite right
    that putting white rubber on games today is suicide. Today's white
    rubber is way too soft. It has no longevity, and comes apart quickly.
    (about 3 weeks white mini-posts fall apart or rip, and slingshots tear
    and fall apart.)

    I operate games, and frankly I can't use today's white rubber. For games
    in your home, I'm sure it's fine. But out in the "commercial world", new
    white rubber is junk. The formula is bad, improper, and useless, in my
    experience. It's way too soft and way too white, and just wears really
    poorly. For your game room it's soft and spongy, really white, and
    probably works well for the 100 to 200 games you'll put on your machines
    in a year. But out in the field, new white rubber does not work in high
    play environments.

    I've discussed this with Terry at PL. He doesn't want to change things.
    His customer base is home owners, and they like the soft-like-bubble-gum
    white rubber. So after considerable whining to Terry and Mark at Marco
    by Tim Arnold and myself, Marco has come up with a NEW formula for white
    rubber. We've been testing it for Marco, and I have to say, it's a HUGE
    improvement over the stuff everyone else is selling.

    So is the new Marco rubber better than ABC rubber of old? Frankly, no. I
    would say the new Marco rubber is a lot like the HAPP and WICO rubber of
    10 years ago. Not amazing, not perfect, but miles ahead of the stuff
    everyone else is selling today. I've found it far more durable on my
    games.
    I believe Tim Arnold is getting about the same results too. Hats off to
    Marco!

    Now a little about the history of rubber. You'll ask how i know this
    useless crap, but i *collect* white rubber. I have stock piles of ABC
    rubber from 15 years ago, brand new, stored in ziplock bags, in dark
    cabinets. I also have Wico, Happ, and a few other brands offered over
    the last 15 years. I have this stuff in huge qualities too, so i can
    test and compare today's rubber to the "rubber of old." (It gives a nice
    point of reference, as I have about 10,000 pieces of white rubber in
    inventory.)

    I also have some black rubber too from years ago, but not nearly the
    quantities to do much testing. I will say this about black rubber today,
    it's better than black rubber of old. Today's black rubber is actually
    pretty decent. Hence SR's usage of it today is really not a huge factor.
    Personally I like (vintage) white rubber better than today's black
    rubber, but that's me. I completely understand why SR uses black. I mean
    I don't like it, but given the choice of today's black versus today's
    white rubber, black wins in durability by miles. It still looks like
    hell though - clean white rubber will always win in looks. (Sorry SR.)

    I will say this though. We are operating all the new Sterns, including
    SR's titles. And they all have vintage white rubber on them. People come
    play them and are like, "Wow this game is really
    different, i like it!" The games play more difficult, with different
    bounce properties. spiderman is the perfect example. With black rubber,
    I find game times to be fairly high (in excess of 5 minutes.)
    Switched to vintage white rubber, and game times are about 3 minutes.
    The game is a lot harder, and frankly a lot more fun! Personally i like
    that, but that's me. Some people find it more frustrating, but in the
    end, that just means they play more games!

    We also use vintage ABC rubber on a lot of our games (both Tim and I
    have some inventory of original ABC.) It's still the standard that all
    others should strive. But I've largely moved to using vintage ABC on EM
    games only, and use vintage white Happ and Wico (etc.) on the solidstate
    games. The only "new" white rubber I use (other than the Marco stuff) is
    mini-posts, as i have NO old inventory of white mini posts! This really
    sucks because today's white mini-posts last about 3 weeks. PLEASE TERRY
    LISTEN.

    I hope this helps everyone. I won't do any follow up posts to this. I
    just hope it helps. Also if you could all support Marco and his new
    flavor of white rubber, I think that would be good move (the price of
    his new rubber is no different than existing white rubber.) When
    ordering you have to talk to Mark about getting it, the new Marco white
    rubber is not the "default" rubber that he sells."

    #12 3 years ago

    Clay seems to be somewhat of an expert on rubbers. How does he feel about the ribbed ones?

    1 year later
    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from phergott:

    So after considerable whining to Terry and Mark at Marco
    by Tim Arnold and myself, Marco has come up with a NEW formula for white
    rubber. We've been testing it for Marco, and I have to say, it's a HUGE
    improvement over the stuff everyone else is selling.

    So is the new Marco rubber better than ABC rubber of old? Frankly, no. I
    would say the new Marco rubber is a lot like the HAPP and WICO rubber of
    10 years ago. Not amazing, not perfect, but miles ahead of the stuff
    everyone else is selling today. I've found it far more durable on my
    games.

    I've been very happy with Marco's rubbers lately. Thank you very much!

    #14 2 years ago

    Completely changed over to silicone rubber rings.
    Bright white, easy to clean.
    I know, nothing for the purist, but I'm loving it

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from wizardblom:

    Completely changed over to silicone rubber rings.
    Bright white, easy to clean.
    I know, nothing for the purist, but I'm loving it

    Me too. Buy mine from Pinball Centre Europe and am totally stoked.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I've been very happy with Marco's rubbers lately. Thank you very much!

    In his post he said you had to specifically ask for the new stuff. Is this now the "default"?

    #17 2 years ago

    I recently bought white rubbers from Marco. Each set of rubbers had its issues, either missing sizes or not enough or too many of each size. Doesn't seem to be any personal responsibility over there in regards to rubber kits.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    n his post he said you had to specifically ask for the new stuff. Is this now the "default"?

    Must be. I don't order kits. Just the sizes I need or am getting low on. Consistently top quality.

    #19 2 years ago

    I find it interesting that supposedly the "new" rubber will not stand up to heavy play. I've got the new stuff on all my games, they get quite a bit of play, well more than 100 or 200 plays a year, and none of them have fallen apart or broken or anything along those lines. Some of them have been on there five years and other than cleaning them up, I've done nothing. They're still solid and bouncy and look and work great.

    Maybe I've just been lucky. I obviously don't play mine like games would be played on location but they're getting regular use and they've been fine. Almost all of it has come from PBR.

    #20 2 years ago

    I have had brand new rubber break in a few weeks.
    I think there may be a few bad batches out there,
    where an air bubble has formed inside the ring, during manufacture process,
    thus being a weak point where
    when the rubber is stretched and prematurely breaks.

    #21 2 years ago

    I have had no problem with PBR rings or kits whatsoever so far and is the only place I buy them. I have had some on machines for over 3 years and no issues so far, still plenty bouncy and no cracks.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    I find it interesting that supposedly the "new" rubber will not stand up to heavy play. I've got the new stuff on all my games,

    It depends where you get your new rubber from. I've got some coming from PBR and I will compare them to Marcos and see if they are both the same now. Ones I got from PBR before were good. The ones that say PL on them I've thrown away.

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    It depends where you get your new rubber from. I've got some coming from PBR and I will compare them to Marcos and see if they are both the same now. Ones I got from PBR before were good. The ones that say PL on them I've thrown away.

    They're all from PBR, all the way back to when I got back into the hobby in 2010. Never had one break.

    #24 2 years ago

    I wouldn't be surprised if PBR and Marco are using the same ones now. I only found out about the high qulity Marco has now as they are one of the best sources for some of the newer games I've gone thru, and got some when I ordered from them. Then I bought a bunch. The ones I got from PBR a few years ago were very good too but had some color variations and some seemed old stock. But they worked.

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I wouldn't be surprised if PBR and Marco are using the same ones now. I only found out about the high qulity Marco has now as they are one of the best sources for some of the newer games I've gone thru, and got some when I ordered from them. Then I bought a bunch. The ones I got from PBR a few years ago were very good too but had some color variations and some seemed old stock. But they worked.

    I'm pretty sure that PBR gets their rubbers from Happ

    #26 2 years ago

    Titan. The flipper rubber in particular will give your game a little extra zip.

    1 week later
    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from 0geist0:

    I'm pretty sure that PBR gets their rubbers from Happ

    The rubbers I got from PBR with my recent order are marked Wico. I have now compared them and although they are still the best source for almost everything else, I'm going with Marco's PRW brand.

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