(Topic ID: 227735)

Ever restore an EM without Schematic to 100%?

By phil-lee

7 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by SteveinTexas
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 7 months ago

    100 % electro-mechanical function,that is, discounting cosmetics? Many helpful Posts from people here got me to start reading schematics for fun, just to see if I could.
    The first machine I never considered schematics and just plowed in (after reading Clays guide), never soldered much before either.
    Did 3 machines so far and the first two still play flawlessly. Just couldn't figure out some glitches on Out of Sight no matter how much research/testing.
    Question, how many of you restored an EM without consulting schematics? Do you still prefer this method? Or do you require them?

    #2 7 months ago

    I always like to have them on hand but a majority of issues I can intuit by now

    #3 7 months ago

    "Intuit" thats a good way of putting it. Thanks.

    #4 7 months ago

    I just follow the wires if schematics aren't available.

    If schematics are available, they can save you time but aren't essential on an EM if you've done enough of them.

    #5 7 months ago

    Has the Philosophy "Do only what is necessary to get the game to function" changed any? Like do most people now remove boards and clean all units/ switches?

    #6 7 months ago

    Its a little bit do no harm usually,
    Maybe I am weird, from day 1 I have preferred total rework. Strip to components, clean and tumble and reassemble with new coil sleves. Games play like they mean it when done this way.

    #7 7 months ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Has the Philosophy "Do only what is necessary to get the game to function" changed any? Like do most people now remove boards and clean all units/ switches?

    As someone experienced enough to do so I'd rather have every relay fully gone through but I just don't have the time for it. Fix issues and any common problem areas, otherwise leave it. I'll redo 'action' mechs (flippers, pops, slings, etc) since those actually need to be running in tip top shape for optimal play but most of the rest either works or it doesn't.

    Same way I'd like to tumble every metal part, clean every post, etc, but in the end I'd rather be playing it than waiting for a tumbler to run

    #8 7 months ago

    That is a definite trade off. I have little time
    for the hobby and consequently my projects are measured in literal years! Beware!

    #9 7 months ago

    Several. I rarely need to refer to the schematic. I disassemble and clean up all the steppers, then tighten, clean, and check every switch, and inspect all the wiring in the game. They usually fire up and then just need a tweak here and there. The score reel switches usually need the most tweaking.
    Sometimes there's a hidden wire or two broken off a solder tab that's hard to locate, or an open wire in the bundle that requires breaking out the schematic, but not usually.

    #10 7 months ago

    Yep. Several times.

    #11 7 months ago

    I usually use a schematic as a last resort. Most EMs I buy are tired and need a good going over. I like to clean and inspect everything and adjust where necessary. If you go through a game top to bottom you generally only need some fine tuning when done. You'd be surprised all the odd things you find when you do it this way. Because of this I can't imagine only fixing what is preventing a game from playing at the moment. So many potential lurking issues can be corrected when you are more thorough.

    I always felt like I was pretty thorough but a guy like Dirtflipper takes it to the next level. He goes as far as disassembling all the relays puts the plates in an ultrasonic cleaner. They turn out awesome though. One day I'd like to get to that level.

    #12 7 months ago

    Most EMs I have worked on have been straight forward, usually just needing a thorough cleaning of the stepper units and maybe some minor switch adjustments. It's nice to have the schematic when you find some weird hackjob from a previous tech. Sometimes on Gottlieb games I need it, but rarely for Bally or Williams.

    #13 7 months ago

    Yes, though typically only pre-war games where paperwork has been lost or was never produced.

    A schematic is always the first thing I order, along with any obviously broken mechanical parts or those requiring a rebuild.

    Perhaps I am unusual in that I can visualize how the machine should function from the schematic? I enjoy reviewing the interplay between motor and relay and figuring out how the game was constructed. This is especially helpful on worn or broken items on a score motor, as those can impact much within a game.

    I can certainly fix an EM from any of the major manufacturers without a schematic, especially late model games, but I vastly prefer that safety net in case there were changes to circuitry. Having it is always preferable to not.

    #14 7 months ago

    Yes, I need the schematics and to take a lot of pictures too.

    I am like rufessor in I like to strip the games down, clean, inspect, polish and rebuild. Sometimes, especially with baseball and bingo's there is a lot of things in series happening to make certain features work.

    Lastly I can't remember much as I enjoy a beer or two while working.

    Steve J.

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