(Topic ID: 242173)

Classic Bally / Stern Coin Doors - Step by Step Guide to Restoration


By TractorDoc

20 days ago



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#1 20 days ago

I do not know that this will be the "ultimate" guide to coin door restoration, but hopefully a helpful reference nonetheless.

To follow will be a step by step pictorial of disassembly, repair, and reassembly of both Classic Bally and Classic Stern Coin Doors. We will start with a Bally Coin Door -- I will add pictures/details for the Stern Coin Door after the Bally.

As a disclaimer my methods are not necessarily a preferred approach or the industry standard -- just the way I do things.

So lets start with a Bally Coin Door. Like many this door is a little rusty and crusty. It seems the center coin option was never installed -- I thought it may have been hacked at some point in its life but there is actually a factory looking plate blocking the coin opening above the return chute. Game test/audit switch appears to be missing, nice electrical tape job over the central lamp too. Coin mechs had already been removed upon me acquiring the door.

The chocolate shake is on standby should refreshment be needed.

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#2 20 days ago

Step One.

I start by removing the front coin chute bezel. From the inside I remove the four screws securing the top of the bezel to the door skin. Normally I think these screws are all silver in color with a star washer. Looks like we have an oddball black screw added in at some point on this door. Be careful not to lose the spring retainer under the second screw to the right.

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Screws Removed.

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The Bezel will now flip down on its hinge. Remove the four black screws to free it from the door skin. The right screw (note the star) is longer than the others and has a washer/nut on the back to secure the credit button guard.

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Nut/washer securing the rectangular bracket.

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The bezel is free.

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#3 20 days ago

Staying with the coin bezel I remove the six screws securing the pricing plate frames.

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Plate frames, price plates, and coin slot plates all lift out.

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Remove the remaining four screws to separate the hinge.

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The credit button and coin return button both have small clips securing them -- a skinny flat bladed screwdriver aids in removal.

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All apart. Note the spacer bushing that slides over the credit button shaft.

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#4 20 days ago

This is great. Thanks for taking the time tof document all this

#5 20 days ago

Back to the door.

Next I remove the coin chutes. From the inside I remove the screws that secure the wiring harness to the back of the coin chute (two in this case, three if you have the center coin mech -- sorry, forgot to add my arrows!). Remove the two screws on either side securing each upper coin chute to the door skin. The right most one is hiding under the lamp socket in this picture. The game audit switch bracket will come loose here as well.

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Screws out, but we are not free yet -- more screws secure the coin chutes from the other side.

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To free the chute from the coin mech bracket pivot the small arm out -- on some doors I can do this by hand but this door has sticky parts so the screwdriver once again aided in removal.

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Coin chutes removed.

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Chutes are essentially two halves tabbed together. Sometimes you get lucky and find an old coin stuck in there. . . or an old slug someone tried to shove in instead.

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#6 20 days ago

Next I remove the four screws securing the coin return brackets/lever.

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These pieces slide out and under the wiring -- note the orientation of the extension tabs for reassembly.

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The lever pivots on small pins in the brackets -- these are longer on one side to fit in the lever hole. These pins are also secured with small clips. You'll need a much smaller flat blade screw driver to remove those.

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#7 20 days ago

No big deal, but you know this does not apply to Stern coin doors as your post title suggests.

#8 20 days ago

two parts. sorry

#9 20 days ago

Thanks for documenting this Doc. Any recommendations for a door that’s taken a few knees to the front of it? What’s the least destructive way to flatten things out?

#10 20 days ago
Quoted from jj44114:

No big deal, but you know this does not apply to Stern coin doors as your post title suggests.

I can only post so much at once. The Stern door will follow the Bally as I find time.

I remove the lockout coil next. Two screws secure it to the coin mech bracket.

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Note how the coil bracketing aligns with the lockout bar.

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Pull the spring and release it from the mount tab.

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A 1/4" socket removes the bolt and releases the coil.

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Picture to reference how the coil lockout bracket links together.

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#11 20 days ago
Quoted from cletus:

Thanks for documenting this Doc. Any recommendations for a door that’s taken a few knees to the front of it? What’s the least destructive way to flatten things out?

Patience Grasshopper. I will provide some suggestions later, but the least destructive way is to order a new door skin.

To release the coin mech holder from its bracket slide it upward so the metal tabs move over and out the larger holes.

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I remove the credit button screws at this point to free more of the wiring harness from the door.

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Remove the two screws holding the cover over the coin register switch.

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Two small flat head screws hold the switch to the bracket. Remove them. Note the fish paper between the cover and switch.

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Remove the two small silver screws securing the switch guide to the bracket, and then the two black screws holding the lockout lever to the bracket.

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Everything is apart. We can duplicate this step once or twice more depending on how many coin mech chutes you have.

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#12 20 days ago

Remove the screws holding the slam switch to the door and the wiring harness should be free. You can follow Vid's guide and toss that in the dishwasher to give it a thorough cleaning -- remove the switches first! Obviously I hadn't disassembled the second coin mech unit yet in this picture.

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Four screws hold the coin return chute to the door. Remove them. Note the position of the coin lockout bar for reassembly later.

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All the other Bally doors I've had were missing their coin flap -- this door still has one. Until now I wasn't 100% sure Bally doors even had them!

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Remove the two screws holding each mech locking bracket in place and then the two screws holding the coin guide plate in place.

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Finally, remove the six screws holding the back plate to the door skin.

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#13 20 days ago

You've done it! Congratulations on creating a pile of parts. To follow is simply how I clean/prep parts for reassembly. Remember -- everyone is different and my way may not be your way (and that is OK!).

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#14 20 days ago

This door skin had not been terribly abused in its life. If yours is beyond repair new skins are available but pricey at around $90 or so.

I've found a crescent wrench is the best tool to straighten bent door edging.

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Simply narrow the wrench down to where it just slides over the edge and use it as a lever to bend the edge back in place.

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More Straighter.

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#15 20 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

This door skin had not been terribly abused in its life. If yours is beyond repair new skins are available but pricey at around $90 or so.
I've found a crescent wrench is the best tool to straighten bent door edging.
[quoted image]
Simply narrow the wrench down to where it just slides over the edge and use it as a lever to bend the edge back in place.
[quoted image]
More Straighter.
[quoted image]

That's the method I've been using for over 45 years to straighten pried open doors.

#16 20 days ago

Dents and Dings.

This door had/has a couple minor ones. The tools I use to try and straighten them are the torch and body hammers. This sort of work takes a bit of finesse due to the fact that you cannot hide the stainless under a layer of paint or bondo. Sometimes I start by heating the door with the torch over the dented areas and then wipe them down with a damp rag. The goal is to shrink/contract the metal closer to its original shape. You can probably get away with a small propane torch on this thin metal -- I used a less intense flame and held it farther back with the oxy/acetylene. I also sandwich the door between blocks of hardwood then try to hammer the dents flat. Some dents come out easy, some are more stubborn. Sharp creases in the metal can be near impossible to remove from view. More than once I've tried to make a door look better. . . only to make it look worse with hammer marks. If all else fails and you are unhappy with your results you can spend the Benjamin for the new skin.

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Making the metal shine again is accomplished using a compounding wheel. Wheels of differing coarseness with corresponding polishing compounds work to gradually add luster to the stainless. With enough time and patience you can put a mirror shine on these doors. . . I did not have enough time or patience for that this evening.

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And that is all for this evening. More cleanup, refurbishing, and assembly to come -- stay tuned!

#17 20 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

#18 19 days ago

A rainy day let me sneak back into the shop for a bit today. I gave my door skin a closer look -- it had just a bit more graininess than I wanted.

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Out came the sandpaper and water spray bottle. I went over the door with 500, then 1000, then 2000 grit. In the past when I've had larger scratches I've even started with 80 grit and worked up with gradually finer paper.

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Still has some shine after sanding, but I went back to the buffing wheel to finish it off.

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The metal grain is still visible but actually looks much better than before to my eye.

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I could spend a lot more time sanding and polishing but I think you get the idea.

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#19 19 days ago

Of course there are more parts to the door than just the skin. You can take a number of different approaches when it comes to prepping all the stuff inside the door. If the ravages of time and stray liquids have not taken their toll on the plating you can clean most of the pieces in a vibratory tumbler. Some people have replated or powder coated parts. I strayed from the beaten path a bit as I chose to paint some if my internal parts that were just to rusty to clean up. I start by blasting all the parts in the abrasive cabinet.

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From there I prime/paint various colors with rattle cans. Even the black screw heads get paint -- I poke small holes in a cardboard box, shove the screws in, and paint away (top of first pic).

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You may recognize these pictures from my Paragon thread -- I am cheating a bit and sneaking some previous work in to make posting here more efficient. In fact for the next series of pictures I pulled the door from my Paragon and partially disassembled it so I could reassemble it for this thread!

#20 19 days ago

Once your parts are clean and prepped reassembly can commence. Make sure the door lock bracket that is sandwiched between the back plate and door skin is set in place. I have installed the coin mech brackets and coin chute bracket on the back plate.

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Back plate secured to the door skin. Here you can better see the screws that hold the other brackets (two screws per bracket) in place.

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Coin chute installed and the lockout bar is fitted after referencing its position from earlier. My Paragon also had an extra door lock bracket that you can see has been installed over the back plate.

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We will be installing the Susan B Anthony center coin mech during assembly of this door.

#21 19 days ago

Assembling the switches into the coin mech holders. I have installed the lockout bracket and lever with two screws. Next I install what I call the switch guard bracket and small plate that is fitted behind it. Also notice that my Paragon door has an extra plate that fits behind the switch -- these were not on the previous door we took apart.

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Note the position of the lip on the plate that is sandwiched between the switch guard and coin mech holder.

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There is no lip on the SBA Mech -- probably to account for passage of the larger sized coin. Slightly out of focus, but I think you'll get the idea.

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Switch installed with two flat head screws -- note the plate behind the switch.

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Cover installed over the switch -- you can see the fish paper fitted between the switch and cover at the right.

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#22 19 days ago

This is great! Thank you for doing this. Following, and learning. I need to do all of exactly this.

#23 19 days ago

With the switches mounted I move the coin mech holders to the door.

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When putting the coin mech holders in place be sure to line the lockout lever tab up with the notch cutout on the lockout bar.

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Position the tabs of the coin mech holder thru the larger openings of the coin mech bracket and push the holder down so the tabs slide into the narrower area and are secured.

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I also install the slam switch at this point. The original doors had a piece of mylar on the back plate between the door and metal cylinder on the switch. I covered the cylinder with heat shrink tubing but stuck a square of electrical tape on the door -- just in case.

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#24 19 days ago

Very good info! I've yet to do one myself, but the time is coming and this will be a big help. Thanks.

#25 19 days ago

Moving to the other side to install the lockout coil.

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Coil lugs/wires point to the top of the door. Fish paper between the coil (wire side) and bracket. The bolt holding the coil to the bracket fits in the hole on the coin mech bracket. The notch on the lockout lever meshes with the lockout coil bracket.

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Installed. You can also see that I've installed the credit button switch.

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Stealing another picture from "before," I've put heat shrink tubing over the front and back metal tabs of the credit switch as recommended by Arcane in my Paragon thread -- the paper insulation does not last long here.

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#26 19 days ago

You can install them later, but I put the coin mechs in now because less stuff is in the way.

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Then I install the coin return lever.

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The credit button side is more congested, so I put this bracket in place first without fully tightening the screws. Make sure the longer end of your pivot pin faces the inside.

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Slide the return lever over that pin and then install the other side bracket with the bell crank that will come in contact with the return button.

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Tighten the screws and give the coin return lever several test squeezes to make sure all the coin mechs are operating correctly.

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#27 19 days ago

Next to go back in are the coin chutes.

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I rest the upper edge of the door skin on a block of wood because when installed the chutes extend beyond their openings. Insert the chute thru the opening in the door skin first, then rest the notch of the chute on the coin mech holders and pivot the lock arm down into place.

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I install the lamp sockets and audit button bracket via screws -- these screws do not actually secure the chutes to the door.

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To secure the coin chutes to the door we move to the other side and install the six screws (two per chute).

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Of course we cannot forget to install the wire harness clips to the coin chutes on the backside.

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#28 19 days ago

Now for some fun stuff.

Luckily my Coin Bezel Housing from Paragon was in good condition and cleaned up nicely. This would be worth sending out to get plated otherwise. I've installed the four screws/hinge and credit/coin return buttons. Remember the space on the credit button!

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First the metal coin slot plates go in, then the price plates, then the holding brackets.

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Looking good. Love how the "L" in Dollar has a bit of an attitude.

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#29 19 days ago

Securing the coin bezel back to the door. Remember the screw nearest the credit button is longer and will hold the rectangular bracket on the back.

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My Paragon bezel was without the black foam seen in the bezel from the other door. I used some foam weatherstrip to duplicate it.

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View of the rectangular bracket secured with the longer screw.

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The bezel folds up and is secured with four silver screws -- second from the right holds the spring clip for the coin return bracket.

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#30 19 days ago

Install the door lock of your choice and we have finished views of the back.

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#31 19 days ago

The view we have been waiting for -- the finished door from the front. I chose to go with the standard style Bally decal vs. the Susan B. Anthony version because I like the looks of this one better. . . even though the SBA could be more period correct especially with the center dollar coin mech.

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Nice!

I left the coin return flap out because I plan to use it on my next project game. . . sorry Paragon!

#32 19 days ago

Next we will try to polish up this jewel from a Classic Stern. That will be for another day though. . . you will just have to check back later.

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#33 19 days ago

Beautiful work, Doc!
Is there a paint you prefer for the inner parts. Gray, silver or just get creative? Do you think the thickness of powder coating would make things too difficult to reassemble?

#34 19 days ago

Great thread! Appreciate you doing this detail!

#35 19 days ago

Nice Job.
One of my least favorite to do, but also one of the most satisfying.

#36 18 days ago

I love a nice restored coin door. If I might make one suggestion, when you regrain the front of a Bally door, clamp a strip of wood to the door parallel to the grain and sand along its edge, moving and reclamping as you work your way from one side of the door to the other. This way all your grain will be vertical just like the original, and you won't have errant scratches from the sandpaper in slightly different directions, the resulting grain effect will look more uniform.

#37 18 days ago

When I do Bally coin doors, I replace *ALL* the screws with brand new ones. The door uses a bunch of 8-32 by 1/4" long sems screws.

#38 18 days ago
Quoted from cletus:

Is there a paint you prefer for the inner parts. Gray, silver or just get creative? Do you think the thickness of powder coating would make things too difficult to reassemble?

I say use what makes you happy. I have a preference for the metallic colors. The only place where increased thickness may create a tight fit is where the coin mech holders fit into the brackets via the tabs in the slots. Two of my coin mech holders fit easy but one was rather snug.

Quoted from jibmums:

If I might make one suggestion, when you regrain the front of a Bally door, clamp a strip of wood to the door parallel to the grain and sand along its edge, moving and reclamping as you work your way from one side of the door to the other. This way all your grain will be vertical just like the original, and you won't have errant scratches from the sandpaper in slightly different directions, the resulting grain effect will look more uniform.

Excellent point. I had intended to recommend sanding with the grain (up and down) on the door for the very reasons you mention. My memory is getting rusty with age!

#39 18 days ago

Today I dusted off this Classic Stern coin door and placed it on the workbench. My plan was to remove and refurbish the door from the Galaxy machine I had posted a picture of earlier, until I remembered I had bought this one awhile back and it was sitting in a box needing help. Interestingly the tag on the wire harness says it was removed from a Galaxy -- perhaps the stars have aligned for a door swap to occur in the future.
As an observation, would not it just have been easier to unplug the molex connector vs. cutting the cabinet harness wires?

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Right off from the rear view we can see that the Stern door is quite different from the Bally door. The hinge is more or less incorporated into the door, the coin return action is different, and the credit/coin return buttons are in different locations for starters.

#40 18 days ago

Once again I start by removing the coin bezel. It is much easier to remove the Stern version -- just remove the two screws (arrows) from the backside of the door.

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And its off! The simpler design continues with plastic coin receivers and price plates that are secured with a state of the art material -- tape.

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By now the tape had dried up and fallen away or has no stick'um left anymore to keep the price plates in place. If the tape is still stuck to the back of the price plate be careful not to pull up any of the silk screen/artwork if you remove it. Other than the tape nothing else secures these pieces besides fitment -- the coin chutes will mesh with the plastic coin receivers when installed at the back and the front of the coin receivers with protrude thru the vertical openings in the bezel when installed.

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#41 18 days ago

After removing the coin bezel I return my attention to the backside of the door, but this time to the bottom.
Remember kids, this is how I approach disassembly -- its not necessarily the right or textbook way, but it is how I make the most sense of the process. Remove the three screws holding the coin return bits to the door.

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That was easy. Hey, is that a quarter stuck in there? Score! I swear on my finest pin that I did not put that down there to add spice to this tutorial.

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The coin return guide simply slides in (or out) of the rectangular housing. The guide also holds the coin flap in place.

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Quarter is a 1968. I was hoping for some silver.

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#42 18 days ago

On Stern doors, I like to remove (and throw away) all the straight slot screws and replace them with new Phillips head ones.

#43 18 days ago

Next I remove the coin return chutes. One screw secures each chute.

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Once removed you can see where the chutes fit into a recess on the back of the door.

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We can also remove the coin return rod. A small "C" clip holds in place -- see it at the tip of the screwdriver?

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Pop the clip off and the rod will slide out towards the front of the door.

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We can also remove the coin lockout bar. Two small wire prongs hold it in place, one on each of the outside coin mech holders. I used my screwdriver to gently lift the prong up to slide the bar out.

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Bar removed. Note the position of the bar and tabs on it for reference later. Also note the retaining prong/clip on the far coin mech.

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More to come. Getting late and need sleep for a busy work day tomorrow!

#44 18 days ago

I have a bunch of Stern coin door internal parts like chutes and more I just picked up. PM if you need parts.

#45 17 days ago

Next I remove the two screws securing the game test/audit switch bracket allowing me to move it out of the way.

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That gives better access to the lockout coil bracket screws, one of which is missing in action on our door. Remove them next.

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Our lockout coil has been the victim of trauma sometime in the past -- our wires were hanging loose and the coil lugs appear to be missing. Remove the spring and screw allowing the coil to come free from the bracketing.

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Bracket parts laid out for assembly reference later.

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Next I remove the screws holding the credit and slam switches.

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Stern used a fiber insulator plate between the slam switch and door.

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Next we can remove the credit button. The plastic button is held in place with a metal clip. I use a screwdriver tip to gently work the clip up and off the back of the button. I can usually reuse both.

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Button free from the door and the clip is free from the button.

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#46 17 days ago

Next I take steps to remove the entire coin mech holder assembly/coin chutes/harness from the door as a unit. I start by removing the ten remaining screws holding the coin mech holders to the door (two were removed earlier that held the game test switch bracket in place).

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Then remove the six screws holding the coin chutes at the top of the door. Funny how the lamp sockets are under the chutes on this door, on other doors they sit on top of the coin chutes.

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The entire assembly will lift off leaving you with an empty door (minus the screws I put back in place). There is always one screw that does not secure anything just below the left most lamp opening in the picture. I imagine it has something to do with grounding or placement of the coin bezel on the front.

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In general most of the screws are the same size/length (switch screws excluded), but I have found longer screws from time to time that hold the lamp sockets/coin chutes or in this case the screws that secure the audit switch bracket and coin mech holder.

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Bare front door view. Hopefully we can do something about those nasty paint sags.

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#47 17 days ago

Here we have the still combined coin mech holders/switches, wiring harness, and coin chutes.

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Straight away the right halves of the coin chutes fall off as they are simply fitted inside the left half.

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To remove the left half we remove the two screws and washers that hold it in place.

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Under the screws/washers is the clip that is used to hold the coin mechs in place. This can be removed at this time as well. Repeat the process to remove the remaining coin chutes.

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To free the first coin chute from the coin return apparatus remove the small retainer clip with a small screwdriver followed by the gold washer (should slide off).

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The coin mech holder and pivot arm will fall away from the rest of the bracketing. Pieces laid out after removal:

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Repeat the removal process of the clip, washer, and lever to free the second and third coin mech holders from the U-shaped coin return brackets.

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On this door there is a spring between the coin return lever and coin mech holder to push the coin return rod back out if pushed in.

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#48 17 days ago

Now it is time to free the switches from the coin mech holders. Two screws secure the switch group.

5J5A0057 (resized).JPG

Remove those screws from the center coin mech and the switch group will be free. The outside coin mech holders have nuts, washers, and the lockout bar clip on the other side snugged up against the screws. Usually holding the nut with your finger while turning the screw with a driver will loosen them.

5J5A0056 (resized).JPG

Lockout bar clip position after nuts/washers are removed.

5J5A0058 (resized).JPG

With the screws removed the switch cover and switch with wire guards are free.

5J5A0059 (resized).JPG

Remove the two flat head screws holding the switch to the mounting plate/wire guard.

5J5A0060 (resized).JPG

Here you see the mounting plate (on the right) and the two halves of the switch guard -- the tab at the bottom of the gold half fits into the opening of the silvery half.

5J5A0061 (resized).JPG

The game test/audit buttons can be removed from their mounting bracket by squeezing the plastic clips on each side while pushing the button assembly upward. You will have to desolder the wires from the button switch to free the bracket from the harness.

5J5A0067 (resized).JPG

Wire harness is ready for a cleaning.

5J5A0068 (resized).JPG

Once again that is about it -- you have a pile of parts that were once a semi-functioning (in this case) Classic Stern Door. Time to make things look more presentable.

5J5A0069 (resized).JPG

#49 17 days ago

Once again borrowing pictures from earlier work. . .

The Stern door can go into the blasting cabinet because it is painted.

IMG_7368 (resized).JPG

An excellent match to the original texture and color comes in a Rustoleum Hammered Silver rattle can. I drug an old plant display stand out of the dumpster at K-Mart and repurposed it into a hanger for painting parts -- the door and trim were wiped down with a wax/grease remover and tack cloth.

5J5A8432 (resized).JPG

A coat of Primer is applied.

5J5A8434 (resized).JPG

Painted with the Hammered Silver. I'd recommend practicing on some test metal before spraying the actual door, it takes some trial and error to get the desired hammered pattern in the finish.

5J5A8446 (resized).JPG

Another view of the Hammered Silver from yet a different door.

IMG_7373 (resized).JPG

I will not be disassembling one of my current Stern doors to finish this thread but will work thru cleaning the parts from the door we just took apart. It may take a little longer but I promise the wait will be worth it!

1 week later
#50 8 days ago

Still in the process of parts cleaning. The door itself has been blasted/painted and is curing. I have taken a different approach to the internal parts on the Stern Door vs. my painting of the Bally door parts. The Stern door parts did not have much rust but they were dirty. After an initial wipe down big/small parts were dropped into their respective tumblers for some rumbling with coarse walnut shell.

5J5A0100 (resized).JPG

Rather than run this door harness thru the dishwasher I took a more passive approach and gave it the baby wipe treatment. Clean wires at the bottom, dirty wires at the top.

5J5A0102 (resized).JPG

The Stern internal door parts have what looks to be a zinc plating and even after a day or so in the tumbler they lacked luster. I rummaged around in the metal polish shelf and found a couple options that cleaned off the oxidation. Hopefully you can see the cleaner coin mech holder on the left vs. the duller one on the right. I would not go looking too aggressively for the Boyd's Ultra Violet. . . I doubt they make that anymore!

5J5A0087 (resized).JPG5J5A0086 (resized).JPG

My intent is to put the refurbished Stern door on the Galaxy machine referenced earlier in the thread. I took the time to pull the door from that machine so I could see how the center coin chute had been blocked off and this is what I found.

5J5A0101A (resized).JPG

I could be wrong, but I doubt the piece of cardboard up against the bulb would have been a factory installation. Look close and I doubt the bug is a factory option either!

Should be starting reassembly soon!

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