(Topic ID: 137196)

Classic Bally Stern Clear Buttons - Vid's Review

By vid1900

4 years ago

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  • 46 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Onevox
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders


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    #1 4 years ago

    John Zitterkopt (Yes, the alt-universe Star Trek guy) from www.Pinball-Mods.com came out with some new CLEAR flipper buttons for Classic Bally, Classic Stern, Chicago Coin, and Gottlieb games.

    He has over a dozen colors that look great on the web, but how do they perform in person?

    Let's find out....


    #2 4 years ago

    First, we have to get the old ones out.

    If this is your first time, remove and install one at a time - you'll see why latter.

    Remove the top screw from the Flipper Switch.

    Loosen the lower screw.


    #3 4 years ago

    Swing the Flipper Switch out of the way.

    Now is a great time to file the switch contacts clean and smooth; for maximum flipper power and responsiveness.

    With the switch out of the way, the old button comes out with just 2 screws in the retention plate.


    #4 4 years ago

    Here is the new button next to the old one.

    There is no coiled spring like a Williams button. The switch blades themselves provide the tension.

    Polish up the old metal backing plate for maximum Reflectivity.


    #5 4 years ago

    Here is the length of a worn original button.


    #6 4 years ago

    Here is the length of the new ones.

    Even accounting for wear, the new ones are taller/ longer.


    #7 4 years ago

    Side by side you can see that the body is deeper and the plunger is longer.

    This is not a problem at all, but be aware that you may need to shim back your flipper switches to have the exact same "feel" as the old ones.


    #8 4 years ago

    Now it does not make much sense to have clear flipper buttons if you can't light them up. I mean, all the cool kids are doing it.

    But unlike the clear buttons on a Williams game, the Backing Plate would block 95% of the light.

    So we need to drill a hole in the plate.

    Drill a hole in the plate big enough to allow all the light to shine through from a Flexi-LED, but not so large that the metal plate shorts out the LED contacts.


    #9 4 years ago

    Install your now drilled Backing Plate over the new Button.

    Don't tighten the plate too hard or you will crack the plastic. Use common sense and just snug it down.

    Because the new Button's plunger is longer, you may have to shim the Switch Base backwards, so the Switch is not locked on, and you maintain that same Bally spring feel. That is why you want to leave the old switch installed so you have a "feel" to reference.

    Back in Bally School, they taught us the flipper switches should make contact in the firs 20% of their travel, the rest of the motion is a "cleaning motion" as the contacts rub together.


    #10 4 years ago

    Here you can see the FlexiLED shining through the hole in the backer plate.


    The socket is a #44 "Laydown Socket".


    The wires run to the Coindoor GI Circuit for power.

    Details on all the above here:



    #11 4 years ago

    Here is the final installation.

    These buttons operate smooth, none of the stickiness that some of the Williams clear buttons sometimes exhibit.

    Nice job on the molds to make these things, fit is perfect.

    Highly recommended.


    #12 4 years ago

    Here are the other colors the buttons are available in:




    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    Nice work Vid. Now, when you converting that Vector to a Hammer of the Godzzzz pin?

    Too late now. I would have had to have installed purple buttons.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from brandsilence:

    PBR sells a this Gottlieb strap that i will probably use instead of drilling a hol

    Wonderful solution!

    Zit should stock a bunch of those to sell along with the buttons.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from Riptor:

    Like Vid said, the center post is too long so your switch stack needs to be shimmed. I find that disappointing, why not make them exactly like the originals to avoid things like this.

    You can quickly sand them down with some 120grit, but I would think that I would rather leave them longer and just pull the shims/washers out as the plastic wears away.

    If you have a bunch of those switch stack spacers from some broken switches, 2 is all you need per side.

    Or buy them @ .16 cents each if you don't have any washers or broken switches.


    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBellMan:

    Is there an LED like this that has adjustable brightness? I'm going to install these I all of my games, but I'm not a fan of the super bright light look. I would like them illuminated, but softly.

    Just move the flexi over the hole and create an eclipse.

    Then you can vary the brightness to any level that suits you

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBellMan:

    Except I also bought the clear straps. I'll figure something out.

    Still not a problem.

    Simply bend the flexi closer and closer to the edge of the button, until you find the proper illumination.

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