(Topic ID: 157043)

First Gottlieb EM Spin A Card (Advice Needed)


By phil-lee

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 6 days ago by frenchmarky
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#1 3 years ago

Picked up a free Spin A Card today. The PO had it in a trailer and it fell over smashing the back box,miraculously the backglass survived! Its all there and I intend to restore it,problem is this was a unique back box shape (anybody have one?).Then I noticed a broken score reel contact board, is this repairable? Otherwise, play field is in what I consider great condition for 70,000 plays. Pop bumper protectors were installed before damage,and plastics are all in good shape. A lot of units under the play field I don't know a lot about but in your opinion is this machine worthy?

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#2 3 years ago

I would restore that in a heartbeat without thinking about it. You can rebuild the head, build a new one if necessary, or if you don't mind moving away from the original design, you could use a regular wedge shaped head which you might have more success finding.

The broken score reel isn't a big deal. If you can't somehow glue it back together, you can always find a replacement on Ebay or post here under the parts seeking thread.

Good Luck!

#3 3 years ago

I always thought it would be unique to have a Spin A Card with a wedgehead backbox... You wouldn't have a problem finding an empty wedgehead backbox and you could paint the backbox with its original colors. Whatever you do, I would definitely save and restore this machine! Enjoy!

#4 3 years ago

I appreciate the ideas and inspiration Folks,this will be my first cab/head re-paint and I want to do it right. I tore this puppy down this weekend, so much fun! I will make two new side boards for the head,the rest is good. The Cab is dry,clean, the PO kept it in a house for 26 years except for its crash in a trailer. He was careful to save all the parts(save a few) and return it to his shop.
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So far I like what I see, it hasn't been hacked and its all there.So far I need a back box internal hinge, a decagon score reel unit and the usual restore parts. The cabinet will be re-glued in the corners and some cracked braces replaced from where it fell.
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I hope to collect photos and start a restoration thread, this may take a little while but I'm going to go strong on it,I want it right!I'm studying web paint techniques, color choices, all from Pinside, I really love this place. Now, I just need to check every switch.....IMG_1308_(resized).JPGIMG_1307_(resized).JPG

#5 3 years ago

I'm eager to watch your progress....post pics please. I bought a Spin A Card this past year and haven't started on it. Mine was in a metal building for several years. I'm thinking I'm going to redo my cabinet as well; I'd be interested what colors you choose and how you approach the webbing.

#6 3 years ago

Go to the show us your EM thread,I made a spin a card wedgehead 7 or 8 years ago and pretty sure I put some pictures on there,

#7 3 years ago

Congrats -- this will restore very nicely!

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from Stevens:

Go to the show us your EM thread,I made a spin a card wedgehead 7 or 8 years ago and pretty sure I put some pictures on there,

I've restored wooden boats and guitars and love custom improvements, I would love to do a Wedge conversion but a little intrigued by the short run of this style head. The repairs look easy enough after my initial freak-out and is the most logical way to go. I will look up your pin,thanks for the lead.

#9 3 years ago

Stevens, I found the pics of your machine and it really looks good! I would be tempted if a wedge box was available,I plan on starting on the head this week.

#10 3 years ago

Ive got about a dozen of those score reel printed boards, PM me and I'll send you one. Get me the part number off of it

#11 3 years ago

Pinhead your games look great.I noticed you stay original,for some reason I'm doubting my decision to re-paint and stencil. Please,anyone,talk me out of it.

#12 3 years ago

I got a spin a card going to Allentown, cheap..... cheap....... cheap....

compete game, solid cabinet.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

I got a spin a card going to Allentown, cheap..... cheap....... cheap....
compete game, solid cabinet.

How about the Melody

#14 3 years ago

if you are gonna use that orig cab, maybe just a few touch ups? doesnt look that bad.

#15 3 years ago

I began the head IMG_1347_(resized).JPGcabinet assembly today,really glad to get it back together(somewhat).Really tedious to get that
OEM molding off clean.Reproducing these side panels was not a cakewalk. With the head missing a few original pieces it was difficult to cut the grooves in the proper alignment.Slow,steady,study the grooves,thats the secret.IMG_1346_(resized).JPGIMG_1345_(resized).JPG
Anyway,thought I would share the sunset through this mess.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

I got a spin a card going to Allentown, cheap..... cheap....... cheap....
compete game, solid cabinet.

Thanks! There is no way I will repaint and stencil everything.Original only happens once.I do intend on making this puppy a fast player and the order is in for inserts, rubbers and Comet warm white bulbs. My Daughter told me to concentrate on the mechanicals and then paint,good advice.I will clean it,re-assemble the cab/head and start the switch cleaning/adjustment to specs.
What a load off my mind, lets get to the parts that are important.

#17 3 years ago

That's the approach to take. Looks like it is in good hands.

Keep up the good work.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from pinhead52:

How about the Melody

Um nope, love my Melody Ken. Can't wait for Flipper Cowboy next to Cowpoke though

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from phil-lee:

Thanks! There is no way I will repaint and stencil everything.Original only happens once.I do intend on making this puppy a fast player and the order is in for inserts, rubbers and Comet warm white bulbs. My Daughter told me to concentrate on the mechanicals and then paint,good advice.I will clean it,re-assemble the cab/head and start the switch cleaning/adjustment to specs.
What a load off my mind, lets get to the parts that are important.

I WISH it was original. Some jackwagon painted it all white, not much choice

#20 3 years ago

After a hard day gluing,clamping,moving parts and finally cleaning with mean green I am happy to have it at this point.I finally began the process on the bottom board.Since I have to paint the new head sides and re-stencil I'm tempted to put a card theme motif instead of the boring OEM.IMG_1351_(resized).JPGIMG_1354_(resized).JPG

On a side note I think Gottlieb really missed the mark with this theme.Basically, its a "Chick Flick" gambling pinball machine,how strange is that?The paint theme should be a pink and off-white.or at least a shrimp color like old Telecaster guitars.
Is there anyone know of a link to a good illustration of the back-glass removal/electronics board procedure? Or a clear shot of a similar Model of the rear of the head showing the electronics board tilting inward? If not its OK, I've been searching.Thanks everybody!IMG_1353_(resized).JPG

#21 3 years ago

Good rebuild. Glass goes in last.. basically just set the lightboard in with it standing like you've shown and close the top latch. board stays in place and then you can attach hinges at bottom. Sometime you need to remove one of the L brackets at back to facilitate the lightboard going in.

Once you have the hinges on, the tilt the board back to the two L bracket stops and slip the glass in, drop glass into the slot, tip the top of the glass forward past the two L brackts at the top then lift glass out of slot and put it on ledge. then close lightboard..

#22 3 years ago

Nice work, but I agree with the poster above. In most cases, I'm a 'keep it original' kind of guy, but I would get a wedgehead backbox, paint it appropriately, and convert the game to the wedgehead it was meant to be.

#23 3 years ago

After a 4-day marathon I finally got this unit back together. Ken(Pinhead52) stuck by me and the replacement circuit board for the 1000 reel score unit came right on time. After installation I continued adjusting/cleaning every switch left, I really appreciate the Gottlieb Score Reels,they were much easier to get working right. It was really exciting to fire it up for the first time, I couldn't believe that it actually worked correctly, spin advance unit included,which involved heavy cleaning since it was stuck. The Gottlieb Spin A Card lives again!When the massive parts order I submitted to Pinball Resource comes in the real fun begins,I personally plan to have a smoking fast machine.IMG_1360_(resized).JPGIMG_1359_(resized).JPG

#24 3 years ago

By the way, Spin A Card is not a Wedgehead Gottlieb. I understand those who say it would look better,kind of like an Edsel would look better with a Corvette front end.It is better to keep rare EM machines OEM,or as close as you can get to it. I like the square head, it will match up to my Williams, it is original,as Gottlieb intended it, and if I ever have to sell it the Buyer will not have a lot of questions.

#25 3 years ago

Yes, keep it the way GTB intended...even if it was a mistake Glad i could help.

#26 3 years ago

Yay, another one is saved! And yes, keep the head original.

#27 3 years ago

Good work. Sound reasoning for keeping it original. I agree with Ken though that the head design was a mistake!

#28 3 years ago

Is it possible one of these will be more valuable in the future OEM because of this "Mistake"? I remember cutting out the rear fender wells of 60's VW Bus because of a "Mistake".All I'm about on EM machines is performance. I want every slingshot,flipper,pop bumper working to the max performance,a fast play field,no technical glitches.In short, I need a player.The Wedge conversion is teasing and will perhaps happen one day,right now, I need to re-build the fast parts,clean a play field, and work out a few small issues.

3 years later
#29 8 days ago

@phil-lee I know this thread is super old but as a new Spin-A-Card owner myself I'm extremely interested in how this turned out. Do you still own the machine?

#30 7 days ago

I rebuilt the back box original, shopped it out and played the snot out of it. Unfortunately it became boring, and with a decision to only collect Williams and Bally machines it was sold along with Out of Sight. Despite new pop bumpers and flipper assemblies with yellow-dot coils it never became a fast machine, just a good clunky example of this Era Gottlieb.
I wish you the best with yours, a real pretty machine and intriguing until you figure it out.

#31 6 days ago
Quoted from phil-lee:

I rebuilt the back box original, shopped it out and played the snot out of it. Unfortunately it became boring, and with a decision to only collect Williams and Bally machines it was sold along with Out of Sight. Despite new pop bumpers and flipper assemblies with yellow-dot coils it never became a fast machine, just a good clunky example of this Era Gottlieb.
I wish you the best with yours, a real pretty machine and intriguing until you figure it out.

Nice, that's good to hear you got it good enough to sell. Yeah I can see how this would get boring, I mainly bought mine as a low level entry point into restoring/repairing and it's a cool piece of furniture/conversation piece. I don't know if I'll keep collecting as the machines I truly want are insanely expensive. Maybe when I retire or something lol

#32 6 days ago

I had a Spin a Card for a few years, the Special scored by letting the ball drain was a funky but cool idea. Good game, I wish I still had it. But I'd wish to get my Flip a Card back first.

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