(Topic ID: 201903)

D.I.Y. Pin Repair Basic Tool List Sought

By Jason_Jehosaphat

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by GRUMPY
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


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#1 1 year ago


I just bought my first pin ('93 Williams). The seller said, "I need to advise you that your machine is twenty-something years old and will need tending. Regardless of how earnestly you "baby" it, it will malfunction now and then simply from normal play. If you're not going to call a tech over to your home twice a month or so, you'll have to learn to become handy doing small repairs on your own."

All right, fine. I'm up for it! Still, my DIY repair skills are basically limited to mechanical things - cars/bikes/etc. I know very little about electronics. Words like "transducer" or "ohms" or "rectifier" are Greek to me. I am already reading posts related to small repairs here on Pinside, but the learning curve is steep. It will take me time, obviously.

What I want to do is tool up. I want to buy some of the basic tools/parts pin owners have in their work spaces to handle minor repairs. A recommended list from the readers of this thread would be much appreciated. I know I'll need a soldering iron, but beyond that, I'm only guessing. If I need a stash of fuses, just what kinds do I need? What sorts of wire will I need? I realize that even a "basic" kit could be a very long list, but I need to start somewhere, so even a ten-item list would be very helpful.

Note: I don't claim to be an expert "searcher" of archived posts, so it's likely that there are numerous postings with this very information already posted and I just haven't found them. If you happen to know of any, a nudge in that direction would be helpful, naturally.

Thanks for reading/considering my post!

#2 1 year ago

All the normal tools like wrenches, Allen wrenches, nut drivers, etc. Wire clippers and strippers. 18ga stranded wire is a good general purpose size to have on hand. 25mm fuses, it's hard to know what kinds though as machines vary. Just look at the fuse card in yours and buy a few of each. Novus #1 and cleaning cloths. Wax. Grab some 1n4004 diodes and tip102 transistors, they're the most common failed electronic parts. 555 and 44 bulbs. A good multimeter with diode and continuity test is very important.

For a more extensive list, the tools and parts to have in hand here is pretty thorough, probably more than required: http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/wpc/

#4 1 year ago

You probably already have most of the stuff you need. You need a good meter, GOOD crimper, a good iron/flux and a few other things listed above.
If you go through your machine really well and replace connectors, rebuild flippers and bullet proof your boards you won't need to be repairing twice a month.
When I get a machine I go through with a fine tooth comb and they run for years with very few issues. My Gorgar ran for 10 years before a wire came off a switch. My Black Knight has been 5 years with only cleaning the trough switches a few times.

#5 1 year ago

Don't sweat the repair/maintenance phobia. I was there once too. You'll get good at it. You are in the right place for help/advice.

#6 1 year ago

Good info here that I can also use.

#7 1 year ago

Visual explanation and guide.
Episode 5 - Fundamentals of Pinball Tools

#8 1 year ago

Thank you, all of you, for your helpful responses.

I do now have a short of list of things I should get now, although clearly a full set of pin-repair tools would fill a large tool chest. So, I can't expect to tool up quite like that!

Still, you've been helpful and I have new sources/links to read/study, thanks to you.

I s'pose I'll invest in a small tool box that I'll devote to pin-repair tools. I don't know what kind of functionality a pin-specific mutli-meter should have, but I will look around see what Pinsiders have to say on that.

Again, thank you!

#9 1 year ago

I use a tackle box like this, there is room for all the tools in the top. There is 4 storage boxes for hardware and electronic parts. The side doors allow for storage of a DMM and soldering iron. Best buy for the buck.

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