Captain fantastic Bally 1976

(Topic ID: 220187)

Captain fantastic Bally 1976


By SteveQ

7 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by Ozone
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 7 months ago

Hello, let me start by saying I am a complete novice, but very adapt at fixing and repairing things. Having said that, I have a captain fantastic, Bally 1976 pinball machine that I grew up playing and has been sitting in my parents basement. I have just begun to really look into and become familiar with the inner workings, and am looking for any advice or guidance that anyone may have in figuring out if this machine can be restored, and if I can even find replacement parts. A bit about the machine. I plugged it in and a few lights still work. It has not been used in well over ten years. All the electrical components (when I opened the case) show signs of corrosion and need a complete cleaning. There is also, not sure the best way to explain it, but a faint “electrical smell”, not plugged in. The case, back unit, and the game play area show some wear but are all in great shape. Bumpers have dry rotted a bit, but that stuff I figure I can replace. My biggest question to start is, can replace parts such as the transformer, and other mechanics be purchased so that I can restore it to the original functionality. Thanks in advance for any advice, direction, or guidance anyone can give me.

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#2 7 months ago
Quoted from SteveQ:

can replace parts such as the transformer, and other mechanics be purchased

Best learn to clean and fix yours.

You won't find much out there. New anyway.

Most things in your game can be taken apart, thoroughly cleaned, new oil or grease if it had it. Transformers rarely go bad.

Just a lot of work ahead of you.

LTG : )

#3 7 months ago

This site is unbelievable in it's content and tutorials on fixing EM Pinball games:

http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index1.htm#top

#4 7 months ago

If you're like most people you're going to want to take apart and lubricate way more than should have either of those treatments. Most parts are available for reasonable price except the playfield and backglass.

The manual and schematic are available here:
https://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=438

#5 7 months ago

My advice would be to find a different project, like basket weaving, and send me your address and let me come over and take that awful pinball off your hands !

That is a beautiful machine, (I've always wanted a Capt Fantastic, the closest I got to owning one was a Tommy machine), like some have said, transformers rarely go out, and that "electrical smell" is probably just a little bit of old pinball goodness known as ozone. I just joined this site, but I have been dealing with and repairing EM since the mid 80's, and your machine is definitely a keeper.

There is a lot of good reading on this site and on the web that will help you a lot, it may seem a little overwhelming at first, but just keep reading about basic workings and repairs on EM pinballs. After a week or so of letting things sink into your brain, you will have a much better understanding of what parts/pieces/things are called, and you will be better able to describe what issues you're having.

I guess if I were to say the first thing to do would be give it a good vacuuming, check/replace all the fuses, and go from there, get it functioning well before replacing rubbers or bulbs (unless of course the bulb isn't lighting up a target). Looking forward to seeing the progress on your machine, if you live near St Pete FL let me know, and I will come over.

#6 7 months ago

Thanks to everyone who has given advice. I do appreciate it all. Like I said this machine has been sitting for many years, And my wife is a bit apprehensive when it comes to, in my sons words, “ antique wiring”. So I have compromised with my wife and will have a fire extinguisher close at hand. In a few weeks I will have it to my house, and once I make space in my wood shop I can get started. Hopefully one day it will reside in the house as a permanent fixture (bells, lights and all). Thanks again all. One last uestion though, since I am a novice, what’s the best ay to going about cleaning all the electrical connections. I know to lightly sand any corrosion off. Is there a preferred solution that works best?

#7 7 months ago
Quoted from SteveQ:

Thanks again all. One last uestion though, since I am a novice, what’s the best ay to going about cleaning all the electrical connections. I know to lightly sand any corrosion off. Is there a preferred solution that works best?

Its best not to start cleaning connections until you have a good grasp on what you need to repair/tune/clean/adjust, you can actually do more harm than good by randomly cleaning contacts, because you can knock things out of adjustment. Though when it does come to cleaning the contacts, use a good burnishing file, try to stay away from sandpaper or nail file/emery boards because they will leave behind grit. You also want to purchase a contact/switch adjuster, the worse thing you can do is try and adjust them with a pair of needle nose pliers.

Just looking at your photos of your machine, it appears to be a pretty complete machine with no hacks, (hopefully) so from what I see you may not need a lot of "repair" to get it going. Grab a cold drink and take the play field glass off, grab the ball and put it in your pocket, and start pushing on the roll overs, bumpers, knock downs, etc and make a list of what works and doesn't: score reels restart, do they score correctly, etc.

From my experience on working on EM, they don't like to be rushed, take your time, and they will reward you for your patients.

#8 7 months ago

Get a schematic, Read Clay's EM repair site, then read it again. This is your bible.

Mid-1970's Bally you are going to find a lot of bad light sockets for sure. I would replace the garbage Bally fuse holders & check to be sure the correct value fuses are in it. Look at the large jones plug connector on the tilt board, you will likely find the connection with the green wire with the white stripe is burnt. Common on this era of Bally.

Fun pin, great backglass

#9 7 months ago

Ozone, best I can recall and what my dad remembers, the machine was bought from a local dealer around 1980-1981. I assume hacks refers to questionable repairs. So I am hoping the machine was too young for repairs to have been needed (again I am a novice). But I know the machine had never been serviced since we have owned it. I plugged it in a few hours ago and nothing came on, no lights, no noises, nothing. So my first step, after I vacuumed it out, is to determine if the on/ off switch underneath works, then I will check the fuses and those connections. Baby steps I guess. And again, everyone, thank you very much for the advice and guidance. I am getting more and more pumped up about relieving my childhood playing this machine and hope my wife and son enjoy it too, if I can get it up and running.

#10 7 months ago

Very cool that you’ve had it that long, yeah, chances are it hasn’t been hacked. FYI When you power it up (hit the switch to on under the cabinet) you need to press the left flipper button to get the power on.

#11 7 months ago

The on off switch, underneath, is how we always powered it on. Plugged in and nothing happens when I flip the switch. This switch though looks like it was “added”. So I will start there and see where the journey takes me. I did find a “refurb kit” for this model on ebay. It included lights, new bumper rubber and new rubber for all the action parts. Also had cleaning solution and other stuff. Thinking about getting that as a first step in my refurb process.

#12 7 months ago
Quoted from SteveQ:

what’s the best ay to going about cleaning all the electrical connections. I know to lightly sand any corrosion off. Is there a preferred solution that works best?

Quoted from Ozone:

Its best not to start cleaning connections until you have a good grasp on what you need to repair/tune/clean/adjust, you can actually do more harm than good by randomly cleaning contacts, because you can knock things out of adjustment

#13 7 months ago

- did you press left flipper button after turning on power switch? If no, try that and see if any lights come on. If yes and there is still absolutely nothing, read on.

- slow and methodical is the way to go!

- I wouldn't buy that refurb kit, there are better ways to get the stuff you need, advice will come..

- get a better light setup for pics, especially under the play field so we can get a better look. In focus pics are the best!

- start with a nice close-up pic of the fuse holder and fuses and show here

- concerning hacks I do wonder about what looks like an orange electrical twist connector poking up in there, but the pic is pretty dark so hard to tell

#14 7 months ago
Quoted from SteveQ:

The on off switch, underneath, is how we always powered it on. Plugged in and nothing happens when I flip the switch. This switch though looks like it was “added”. So I will start there and see where the journey takes me. I did find a “refurb kit” for this model on ebay. It included lights, new bumper rubber and new rubber for all the action parts. Also had cleaning solution and other stuff. Thinking about getting that as a first step in my refurb process.

Right, but once the switch underneath is “on” press the left flipper button, that’s how you power up the machine.

The refurb kit is all good, but get the machine running first, new bulbs and rubbers doesn’t do much good on a dead machine. Don’t use any kind of “cleaner solutions” either, they can cause more problems. These old EMs are pretty tough, they were designed for abuse, but just going in blind and cleaning switches might just cause more problems.

#15 7 months ago

For what it's worth, Capt Fantastic was my first pinball. It was a gift from a relative that knew I collected arcade games.
Poor thing sat, unloved for a couple years until I finally stripped the top of the playfield one day. Then I got overwhelmed/lost interest, and it sat in zip-loc baggies for another year or two. When I finally got the courage to tackle the damn thing and put it back together, it spurned my interest in pinball and my only question was why did it take so long?
Ahhh, the wasted years...

Good luck, It's such a beautiful game.

#16 7 months ago

Every few months I see one of these that's too good to pass up. Thanks edisonarcade !

Quoted from EdisonArcade:

... it spurned my interest ...

My favorite was
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/help-with-casanovaouthole-and-scoring-issues#post-3891828

#17 7 months ago
Quoted from HowardR:

Every few months I see one of these that's too good to pass up. Thanks edisonarcade !

Ha! duh-sparked.

#18 7 months ago

Another thing on mid 1970 Bally pins. They used a common wire harness for the cabinet between several games, so you WILL find a few wires not connected to anything. This is normal, no need to panic.

#19 7 months ago

First thank you all. For comments, help, guidance, it has really got me going on this project. A bit of the back story I live in North Carolina, but the machine is at my parents place in md. I am up in the area working and it sparked my interest. You all have really given me the push to pursue it. So thanks. I hope to move it to nc in the next couple weeks, and really dive in. Right now it’s a few hours a night kinda project. I have found the wall plug was bad, so I replaced it, and next I will replace the fuses. Again I can’t devote the time I want to right now, but it is now top of my project list, much to my wife’s dismay....lol. We are currently selling a house so her idea of priorities and mine is different...lol. But I vow this will be the center piece of our new living room!... so if I don’t post updates for awhile, it’s because I haven’t been able to work on it. But trust me I am really syked to begin this project!!!!!! I will post better photos soon to give everyone an idea of what I am dealing with. Again, everyone, thank you very much for all your guidance. If not for your guidance this machine would have ended up in a landfill. So here’s to second chances, cheers.

#20 7 months ago

My advice would be to take a step back before you begin. Read the pinrepair EM guide throughly, twice, before you do a thing. Then go through the basics, starting with the mains/power lead. I always change this before i touch anything on an 'unused for years' type machine.Buy a schematic diagramme from Pinball Resource and go from there. They will also stock pretty much anything, servicing wise, for your machine so avoid Ebay rubbish; most of it on there is of inferior quality.

There's plenty of help and advice here so don't be shy in asking a question, rather than plunging in and likely putting more faults on your machine than you are trying to fix,

#21 7 months ago

SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Well sort of. Replaced fuses gave it a good vacuuming. Was able to play one game, even though the kick bumpers were dry rotted (replaced with veggie rubber bands temporarily. All lights seem to work, game play I would say is 80%. A flipper doesn’t work, and the number two player gets 500 every time it is their turn. But still,,,,, SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only issue now, is all lights work but I can’t get it to cycle for a new game. I have tried everything. Unfortunately it won’t let me post the video of it working.

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#22 7 months ago
Quoted from SteveQ:

Unfortunately it won’t let me post the video of it working.

Post the video in YouTube, then paste the link here. (This vid is a demo of my colours for the DMD on my Baywatch.)

#23 7 months ago
Quoted from SteveQ:

but I can’t get it to cycle for a new game

If the Credit button doesn't activate the Credit relay, inspect and diagnose this circuit with Alligator clip jumper wires.

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#24 7 months ago
Quoted from SteveQ:

SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Well sort of. Replaced fuses gave it a good vacuuming. Was able to play one game, even though the kick bumpers were dry rotted (replaced with veggie rubber bands temporarily. All lights seem to work, game play I would say is 80%. A flipper doesn’t work, and the number two player gets 500 every time it is their turn. But still,,,,, SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only issue now, is all lights work but I can’t get it to cycle for a new game. I have tried everything. Unfortunately it won’t let me post the video of it working.

That’s “FANTASTIC” Good job on getting it alive ! I like the veggie rubber bands “hack”, not all of us have a ziplock full of pinball rubbers, but don’t play it that way long.

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