(Topic ID: 151585)

Gottlieb Score Reel Brackets

By Model237

6 years ago


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  • 42 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by cadmium
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

I have a bunch of broken nylon score reel brackets in my 1964 Gottlieb Big Top. The reels slide around and bump the lamp sockets up front, leaving marks on the numbers. They also slide out the back when tilted, which is scary.

Pretty sure I've read that no replacements are available.

Has anyone found a solution to this issue?

Maybe a PCB guide like this could be cut to size:
http://www.digikey.com/catalog/en/partgroup/pcg/51019

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#2 6 years ago

Seems like a good candidate for 3D printing to me.

#3 6 years ago

Certainly a a last resort, but being that I need 32 of them, I was hoping an alternative might exist

#4 6 years ago

Man, thats a tough one...anything you glue will break again, anything you replace it with, will prob need to have rivets drilled/replaced...
A doner mounting plate with intact guides maybe? that would be the fastest.

#5 6 years ago

if you want to go the 3d printed route via shapeways as will then be nylon I can create single ones as well as 4 of a sprue (branch so to speak) to reduce the price as handling charge via Shapeways is then per job (so say 1 job of 4 brackets). Just let me know via a pm with a sketch.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from Model237:

Certainly a a last resort, but being that I need 32 of them, I was hoping an alternative might exist

It's a two player. Wouldn't you need 16?

In any case, as a solution, all I can figure is to remove everything from the head. It might be possible, since it appears from the pictures that only the very ends are broken off, that you could drill some small holes through the guides just in a bit from the broken off ends, and through the plate of the reel assembly, and use cotter pins to hold the assembly in place. It would be kind of a last resort but it should work. Lots of effort getting all that out of the game, however.

#7 6 years ago

Yeah, these old things are crumbly like parmesan. Do they always get that way?

A good donor would be ideal, but I prefer the idea of finding a good replacement. There's some stress on that little hole, and even an intact old one could fail any time.

Any one ever try a PC Board slide? I was thinking of ordering a four-foot length of the profile below (~$25) and cutting it to size. Not exactly original, but maybe functional. Use tiny nuts & bolts to attach where rivets were...

http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&itemSeq=189452109&uq=635905282221158747
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#8 6 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

if you want to go the 3d printed route via shapeways as will then be nylon I can create single ones as well as 4 of a sprue (branch so to speak) to reduce the price as handling charge via Shapeways is then per job (so say 1 job of 4 brackets). Just let me know via a pm with a sketch.

I can't remember how they are mounted to the metal bracket but it would appear the top rail is the same as the bottom. And, from the photo, it appears each end had a hole for the hair-pin. Depending on how they are mounted, can you flip them around (front to back)?

Regardless, if 3D printed, each single player game of that era would use 6 rails (3 top, 3 bottom) If any games actually used the 4th reel (no light up "1"), then 8 would be needed.

#9 6 years ago

Eight reels total on this one.

As far as I know, those guides are riveted to the plate. You can always drill that out and then use small bolts and nuts to hold new ones in place instead of riveting.

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

It's a two player. Wouldn't you need 16?
In any case, as a solution, all I can figure is to remove everything from the head. It might be possible, since it appears from the pictures that only the very ends are broken off, that you could drill some small holes through the guides just in a bit from the broken off ends, and through the plate of the reel assembly, and use cotter pins to hold the assembly in place. It would be kind of a last resort but it should work. Lots of effort getting all that out of the game, however.

Oops, right! I only need 16. I was looking at my Fast Draw as I typed this.

Yeah, it's a lot of work, but I'm already taking everything apart anyway - might as well do it right. Lots of corrosion on the mounting plates I want to clean up.

#13 6 years ago

To do it right, you're either going to have to find a donor plates, or have someone 3D print the guides. If the plastic is really brittle, my fix probably won't work for long either. Drilling the holes might cause you an issue. If you can actually drill them without cracking the plastic it would hold up for a long time, but if you try drilling and it starts to crack, well, that's that.

That plastic is over 50 years old, been subjected to a lot of vibration and who the hell knows what else. Plastic gets old, it gets brittle, it breaks. Once again, game was not designed to last 50 years so no surprise it has given up the ghost.

I'll risk the wrath and say that Williams design of the same era was better. Take a look at a picture of a 1964 River Boat and see how they designed the reels to stay put. It was better. Bally and Williams just did a better job of designing a simpler, more reliable score reel assembly than Gottlieb did.

#14 6 years ago

the reason I say 4 on a sprue is shapeways charges on a volume and there is a point where going over a certain size you start to loose the sprue advantage may cost more but can try a 4 or a 8 sprue. And with Shapeways volume charge is based on volume that it takes up in the printer including the air gap between the parts.

and there is no reason why the design can't be improved on, here is the 80's ball kicker that I did for a mate where I did the original for the purists and then a slightly beefed up one to hopefully stop failures and that is all that has been purchased.

https://www.shapeways.com/search?q=swinkskicker

.
another example is the bally backbox light shrouds that I did for a restorer here in Aus, as they were always stapled them so we tweaked to have screw holes and again that is all people are getting.

https://www.shapeways.com/search?q=swinksshroud

there is an alternative so happy to help.

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#15 6 years ago

These look really good, and a price I like - nice searching! I was hoping to find some flanged ones that doesn't require drilling, but most available PCB guides seem to be the pop-in-hole type. If I get some, I'll report back how they work.

Quoted from swinks:

the reason I say 4 on a sprue is shapeways charges on a volume and there is a point where going over a certain size you start to loose the sprue advantage may cost more but can try a 4 or a 8 sprue. And with Shapeways volume charge is based on volume that it takes up in the printer including the air gap between the parts.
and there is no reason why the design can't be improved on, here is the 80's ball kicker that I did for a mate where I did the original for the purists and then a slightly beefed up one to hopefully stop failures
https://www.shapeways.com/search?q=swinkskicker
.
another example is the bally backbox light shrouds that I did for a restorer here in Aus, as they were always stapled them so we tweaked to have screw holes.
https://www.shapeways.com/search?q=swinksshroud
there is an alternative so happy to help.

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Thanks for the Shapeways link - nice to know as a final option. Is the 3D printer plastic as strong as extruded nylon?

#16 6 years ago

Shapeways 3d prints is nylon bound by a laser so much better finish and stronger than a home printed job and is solid not hollow so overall the closest thing you will get to a injected nylon part except Shapeways parts won't be glossy / shiny like injected components.

here is a link to all pinball parts at Shapeways, (not just my parts)

https://www.shapeways.com/search?q=pinball&sort=newest

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

To do it right, you're either going to have to find a donor plates, or have someone 3D print the guides. If the plastic is really brittle, my fix probably won't work for long either. Drilling the holes might cause you an issue. If you can actually drill them without cracking the plastic it would hold up for a long time, but if you try drilling and it starts to crack, well, that's that.
That plastic is over 50 years old, been subjected to a lot of vibration and who the hell knows what else. Plastic gets old, it gets brittle, it breaks. Once again, game was not designed to last 50 years so no surprise it has given up the ghost.
I'll risk the wrath and say that Williams design of the same era was better. Take a look at a picture of a 1964 River Boat and see how they designed the reels to stay put. It was better. Bally and Williams just did a better job of designing a simpler, more reliable score reel assembly than Gottlieb did.

Yours is a good idea...if they weren't so brittle I'd try that. They pretty much break if touched. I was curious if the plastic in mine is more brittle because of moisture. Mine appears to have sat in a puddle for a while.

I looked up the River Boat, and it looks like the brackets were reduced to a minimum.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from Model237:

Yours is a good idea...if they weren't so brittle I'd try that. They pretty much break if touched. I was curious if the plastic in mine is more brittle because of moisture. Mine appears to have sat in a puddle for a while.
I looked up the River Boat, and it looks like the brackets were reduced to a minimum.

They used wing nuts on a stud to hold them in place. Metal. Not plastic.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

They used wing nuts on a stud to hold them in place. Metal. Not plastic.

Just for argument's sake, any reason I couldn't use a metal bracket instead? Does it have to be plastic for non-conductivity or something?

#20 6 years ago

No, the score reel frame should not have any power on it like a stepper unit sometimes does so metal would be okay.

Metal might make step advanced a bit noisier but then, that's why we own EMs!

#21 6 years ago

Bump to see if anything happened with this...

#22 6 years ago

I only need a sketch with accurate dimensions and an option would be up at Shapeways within the day.

#23 6 years ago

I assume the Shapeways option would cost quite a bit more than the PCB guides off Newark.com (correct me if I'm wrong), so I'll probably order some samples in the next few weeks. Will report back how they work. If those don't work out I'll look at the Shapeways option. Thanks for offering to sketch them up!

#24 6 years ago

I use 70's reel guides on 60's machines. I used #2 nut and bolt hardware to mount it. Works well.

#25 6 years ago
Quoted from pinhead52:

I use 70's reel guides on 60's machines. I used #2 nut and bolt hardware to mount it. Works well.

Does PBR sell those?

#26 6 years ago

for the #2 hardware

https://www.boltdepot.com/Machine_screws_Phillips_pan_head_Stainless_steel_316_2-56.aspx

Working on a buddies machine tonight, noticed the tracks busted...dug out my ebay scavenged 70's stock, drilled them out. Have to mod the 70's reel guide, remove the track stop and then drill a hole for the reel clip. Took about 90 minutes to complete the job, just need to remount in the game.

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#27 6 years ago

Very nice! And the 70's plastic is still strong?

I got my Newark order of black PCB guides. Will send pics once I get them installed, but I want to try some evaporust on the metal chassis first. Any place to buy it in the DFW area?

#28 6 years ago
Quoted from Model237:

Very nice! And the 70's plastic is still strong?
I got my Newark order of black PCB guides. Will send pics once I get them installed, but I want to try some evaporust on the metal chassis first. Any place to buy it in the DFW area?

Yes the 70's plastic is good, seems to be more nylon. You should find Evaporust at the autoparts store, Im thinking even HD.

If you need any #2 hardware I have a stock.

1 week later
#29 6 years ago

Amazing how you find a thread just as you need one. I just received email from Pinball Resource about this very topic - I need 16 new reel guides for a machine I'm restoring, which also happens to be a Big Top. They don't have them.

The originals are effectively dust; I don't have a single guide that's fully intact. If I did, I was going to try casting some using molding materials from Smooth-On, but the kit that would do what I need is going to cost about $70. Kind of steep for making a handful of card guides.

The problem with using the Newark guides is that in the middle mounting plate, you've got guides attached to both the top and the bottom and the guides mount with a stud that fits in the hole. It's not possible for both the top and bottom rails to mount in the same hole, so you'll have to offset one of them slightly.

After checking the item at Digikey that Model237 mentioned (PCG-4A-48), I found this, which looks like a very close approximation of the original Gottlieb part:

http://us.essentracomponents.com/en-US/pcb-electronics-hardware/card-guides-pullers/card-guides/horizontal-card-guides/horizontal-card-guides-adhesiveno-mount/pcg-3a-48

It's adhesive mounted, and has an offset mount like the original part. It comes in 4 foot pieces, so it will have to be cut down.

The problem is that hardly anyone keeps that part (Richco/Essentra PCG-3A-48) in stock, and many that do have ridiculous minimum order requirements. Allied Electronics told me I'd have to order 1000 of them.

Bisco (Biscoind.com) stocks them, but they've got a $25 minimum order. Plus shipping. Plus handling. I needed two four foot units that retail for $4.38 each, and ended up having to spend $37 to get them. I bought some, and if they work out, I'll post the results.

PBR really needs to reproduce these...

Charlie

richco_pcg-3a-48_(resized).jpg

#30 6 years ago

Excellent research! I hadn't considered the shared-hole interference problem on the Newark parts - rats.

Would love to hear how your PCG-3A's work out - I hope the adhesive comes off easily.

#31 6 years ago
Quoted from essmeier:

It's not possible for both the top and bottom plates to mount in the same hole, so you'll have to offset one of them slightly.

Why do you say its not possible to mount top and bottom in the same hole?

You should have bought extra and sold it to the community

I'd love to get a sample. Ive been paying $37 etc to buy 70's reel guides off of ebay.

#32 6 years ago

On this machine, the Player One score reels are directly above the Player Two reels. The lower rails for Player One mount in the same mounting plate as the upper reels for Player Two. The upper and lower rails were attached to that plate using common holes - one set of rivets were used to attach both the upper and lower rails. That works fine with rivets or screws, but not for rails that have pins. Once you mount a bracket that uses pins on the top side of the bracket, the holes will be filled...with pins. That means that there are no longer available mounting holes on the bottom, because the holes have pins sticking out of them.

The PCG-3A-48 should allow mounting with screws (or rivets, if you're particular) using the original mounting holes. Or adhesive, if you want to go that route.

Due to an odd combination of stupidity and good fortune, I'm going to have 32 feet of this stuff coming in the next week. I need about 6 feet of that for my own uses, so there will be a lot of extras.

I will receive them. I will check them out. I will see how well they suit my/our needs. If they work out, and I expect that they will, I will report back here and I'll gladly make the extras available to those who need them.

Stay tuned.

Charlie

1 week later
#33 6 years ago

Charlie, I have a Bank a Ball with the same issue. if these work drop me a line. I'm in New Harmony, UT.

#34 6 years ago

Give us an update Charlie

2 weeks later
#35 6 years ago

Sorry for the delay; I've been down with the flu and it has turned into pneumonia.

The rails from Essenta (PCG-3A-48) make an acceptable substitute, and they are self-adhesive. In my case, I went ahead and drilled them out and used #4 nuts/bolts to secure them further, as I'm not sure how the adhesive will hold up over time.

The rail channel isn't quite as tall as the original, so drilling holes for the hitch pins is a bit tricky. Still, I haven't found a better substitute.

I had a few extra pieces, but a couple of other members here bought what I had, so I don't have any more spares.

You can purchase them from Bisco.com, though you'll have to buy a minimum of 6 four-foot pieces. That ran me about $37, shipped.

I cut them into 4" sections; photo attached.

Charlie

essentra_guide_rails_(resized).jpg

4 weeks later
#36 6 years ago

So, I've found some 70'S guides that look in good shape. Anyone think that they will work to replace my Bank a Ball guides that are shot?

#37 6 years ago
Quoted from zooman:

So, I've found some 70'S guides that look in good shape. Anyone think that they will work to replace my Bank a Ball guides that are shot?

Yes, use the tops only, without the tab etc. You'll meed to dremel out the end of slot stop the 70's have. And then drill a hole for the clip.

I bought a bunch of #2 hardware pieces, nuts and bolts etc from https://www.boltdepot.com/ to mount it after the drillout of the old. The holes do line up.

#38 6 years ago

I know it may be sacrilege to some, but Williams used all metal brackets that never break. They may work.

#39 6 years ago

They're nothing fancy but they do the job. I've got those nylon ones too. They're holding up for now, but if they give way, it's nice to have an option. These are harder to line up though.

DSCN4481_(resized).JPG

#40 6 years ago

I'll need six and the guy only had one set which means I'll be two short unless there's a way to rig the ones with the tabs.

4 years later
#41 1 year ago

I made what I think is a decent repair using a hot glue gun. I was originally going to reinforce them with fiberglass and epoxy resin, but my research indicated that hot glue was good for repairing nylon, so I gave it a shot. It seems to have worked out well. I was even able to rebuild about an inch of missing material using the glue a bit like a welder building up a bead. I inserted an oiled up spare reel and built up a quarter inch or so of the hot glue. That seems to also be working well.

9 months later
#42 11 months ago

I designed these for my Gottlieb Flying Chariots. They work well. Removing the old riveted ones was a pain.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4699213

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