(Topic ID: 153271)

midway on first pinball cleaning & a dozen questions

By Georgea722

3 years ago

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  • 7 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Wickerman2
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 3 years ago

I'm working away on my first pinball cleaning on a 1969 Gottlieb Wild Wild West EM and had a few questions I'm hoping I can get help with:

Are the playfield nails and wire guides supposed to be removed for cleaning and waxing the playfield? If so how?

Removing the pop-bumpers requires desoldering, correct? Are they supposed to be removed for cleaning and waxing the PF?

Is mild dish soap in warm water the best way to clean all the white playfield posts? Or simple green?

Did the vari-targets have decals/stickers originally?

Has anyone printed decals/stickers for the top apron? I was thinking of adding some western art onto the original white upper apron.

In the interest of keeping the new ball from getting worn and in turn damaging the playfield, should I smooth (photo to follow) the upper arched metal launch rail plate (or whatever its proper name is) or buy a new one to replace it with?

I'm replacing all the bulbs with #47s (is there a trick to changing the under-playfield ones more easily?) but otherwise on the electrical end should I:
1. replace the plug and cord with a modern one?
2. is it practical, recommended, or easy to add a ground?
3. hook up to hi-tap? (there is a card that says not to)
4. upgrade the flipper coils? (the originals seem to be working fine).
5. anything else typically added to older EM electrics?
6. I don't really like the glare from LEDS but if someone has some strong recommendations about using LEDS conservatively on an EM, which spots would benefit the most?

I'll keep reading the forum about coating the backglass and redoing the stencils on the cab and head but
any advice is certainly welcomed.




#2 3 years ago
Quoted from JustageFehler:

Are the playfield nails and wire guides supposed to be removed for cleaning and waxing the playfield? If so how?

Either way, for super thorough yes, but you can still get good cleaning with them on.

Quoted from JustageFehler:Removing the pop-bumpers requires desoldering, correct? Are they supposed to be removed for cleaning and waxing the PF?

Yes desolder, seems a bit extreme to remove just for a wax

Quoted from JustageFehler:Is mild dish soap in warm water the best way to clean all the white playfield posts? Or simple green?

Toothbrush and toothpaste works, anything to get a nice scrub

Quoted from JustageFehler:

replace the plug and cord with a modern one?

If the current cord is intact it's fine

Quoted from JustageFehler:

hook up to hi-tap?

Wait on that until you've waxed, rebuilt flippers and/or pops as needed

LED's don't look that great on EM's in general, but it's taste

#3 3 years ago

Wickerman2, thanks! It's cleaning up really well and I can't wait to receive my $30 can of wax and play this machine.

The pops have mylar rings under them and I can't figure out how to clean them well without removing the pops but I'm new to soldering so while I bought the tools I'm not eager to get busy on them at this point.

I left the nails and rails and cleaned mostly around them but am curious what their proper removal method is and how to correctly reattach?

I also have a new 69 Skipper and am enjoying the 2" flippers a lot on 3" feet. Do a lot do the hi-tap and different coils or is that me just being crazy at this point?

And for the arch rail at the top it doesn't seem all that bad to me, but do people smooth them while they're out?



#4 3 years ago
Quoted from JustageFehler:

The pops have mylar rings under them

If they are the "loose" kind that Gottlieb used,those just trap grit and dirt. I use some thin nose scissors and carefully trim those and yank them out(otherwise you would have to remove pops to get them), then just clean and wax the heck out of that area. If you leave them on they'll do more harm than good--in my opinion.

The lane guides CAN be removed for cleaning: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/removing-rail-guides

I think it's overkill unless you are going to clearcoat the playfield or something, but some guys do it.

There are threads on hi-tap. Basically you can rebuild your flippers and pops fairly easily if you think they are weak...if they are still weak you can consider hi-tap. Some guys are 100% against it claiming you'll break parts etc. I've never seen a problem with it myself, especially in a home play environment.

Not sure about the arch. I use mothers mag polish on parts like that. Are you saying it's dinged/bent/scratched?

#5 3 years ago

Thanks again! the pop bumper rings are loose and there sure is some grit under them so I'll be snipping them!
I think I'll work around the rail guides since its just cleaning and waxing not clearcoating.
The arch had two spots that I thought were bent up but on closer inspection since they're pretty uniform I'm assuming that it was made that way. It's not as rough/sharp as I thought either so will polish and replace without trying to round the edge.
The posts cleaned up nicely!

#6 3 years ago

and this is probably silly but I was thinking of replacing the coin entry decals with 25 cents 1 play from the 2 nickels (they're also all crinkled). Can I clean the old decal off the coin entry plate or do I need a new plate C10710 and decal A16196?


#7 3 years ago

I think pbr has plates/decals would probably be less work to spring for new plate+decal: http://www.pbresource.com/CoinDoor.html

White Coin Entrance Plate & Insert
(For Coin Entrance Plates C10718A, C10719A, & C10720A)

White Insert
#C10713+ -$0.05
#C10711+ -$0.10
#C10715+ -$0.25

#A10724+ 2 Nickels – 1 Play
#A10725 $0.10 – 1 Play
#A16196A $0.25 – 1 Play
#A10727+ $0.25 – 2 Plays
#A10728 $0.25 – 3 Plays

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