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(Topic ID: 275006)

My first Bingo Rebuild


By alb0711

69 days ago



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  • 8 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 55 days ago by baldtwit
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    old style stepper (resized).jpg

    #1 69 days ago

    I picked up a Bally Big Time a few weeks back. Most features on the game work well. I am currently going through all the steppers and eventually the Mixer to clean and rebuild them.

    I've rebuilt several pinballs, this is my first Bingo. I'm seeing a lot of different engineering in the Bingos. They were built like tanks, I suppose they had to be since money was at stake.

    My first gotcha is the coils on the steppers. The first time I took one apart I discovered a spring inside the sleeve. My first thought was it was there because of some operator hack at some point but I'm finding most of the coils have this internal spring. Anybody know what purpose it serves?

    Second question is the need to replace the brass coil sleeves with modern plastic sleeves. Pinball rebuild advice is to replace the brass. The sleeves are very snug inside the coil and I've been afraid to try and force remove the brass sleeve so it might not be replaceable. What is recommended for bingos? Leave the old brass sleeve or replace it?

    I've been studying the mixer rebuild instructions on the cdyn bingo site. I'm going to try and preorder all needed parts before I rebuild hoping that I can do the whole thing in a day. I know I've got warn leather clutch pads that will need replacing. Are there any other parts that I should have on hand? How many clutch pads will I need and what size?

    This is a great group and you've already helped me a lot. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Allen

    #2 69 days ago

    Hi Allen,

    Welcome to the world of bingos!

    The only coil I can think of that has an internal spring is the sounder. I can't remember if Big Time has one, though. Do you have a photo to jog my memory?

    Well, the metal sleeves are not always good to replace, simply because the coil itself will fall apart if you force the metal sleeve out. I almost always leave them in place, unless there is a coil that has suffered some damage (loose stop or bound plunger that destroyed the sleeve - pretty unusual in a bingo due to their construction).

    For the mixers, the clutch washers (the leather pads) are the only consumable. It's good to have a nice degreaser handy (I use a high % rubbing alcohol), and you'll need Neatsfoot compound (red and white plastic bottle) to soak the leather washers in before installing or reinstalling.

    When soaking, I put them in a bath (completely submerged) for a few minutes/hours. Take them out and paper towel them dry until the oil is no longer coming out heavily. Pay attention/make note of which side faces which direction as you disassemble (rough vs smooth of the leather clutch washers). You don't want them too wet or they will slip. Putting the wrong face forward will also cause some slippage. If you are reusing some of the clutch washers, I make sure to clean the surface oil/gunk off with a quick alcohol bath and swish before a light rinse in water, then the Neatsfoot bath.

    A trick my friend taught me is to put the pieces on a wooden dowel as you disassemble to help you reassemble in the proper order.

    There are (I think) two different size clutch washers. The difference is the inner diameter. So if you have the larger size (I -think- you do), and get the smaller ones, you can cut them to fit.

    Someone more knowledgeable will be able to tell you exactly what size, etc.

    Best of luck and be sure to let us know how you're getting on with it!

    #3 68 days ago

    Nick, Allen's another Denver resident, very close to my home. It's nice to have people around with common interests, more bingos pop up here lately.

    #4 68 days ago

    Anyone who fixes and restores bingos, have my upmost respect.

    #5 68 days ago

    the old style steppers with the metal ratchet have the spring inside the coils to push the plunger all the way out.

    iir (start worrying), it's mostly the reset coil that has the spring because the pawl linkage doesn't fill the notch in the plunger. Without the spring, the plunger would rattle around on the linkage end. The plunger is mostly hollow and the spring goes inside it.

    there is a torsion spring on the reset linkage that also pulls the reset plunger out of the coil, but that spring doesn't help once the reset pawl is sitting on the ratchet edge.

    the step-up linkage usually had a square plate on it that fit snugly into the plunger notch and an external spring levers the step-up plunger out of the coil.

    getting a metal sleeve out almost always requires a special tool unless the sleeve pushes out easily by hand. The tool is basically a metal rod that has one end turned down to the ID of the sleeve, while the rest is the OD of the sleeve.

    you stick the small end in the sleeve and as you pound on the end of the tool to drive out the sleeve, the larger end takes the place of the sleeve in the coil. Put the new sleeve on the small end that is now poking out of the coil and pound the other way to install.

    without the tool, the coil often falls apart because the wire is wound directly around the sleeve. Even with the tool, coils are frequently destroyed because the sleeve is stuck. The only tools I've seen are custom made.

    if the metal sleeve is worn thru, it's way less hassle to just replace the coil. A used one is good enough and often cost less than the postage.

    if it's a rare coil that the metal sleeve moves easily by hand, push out the sleeve with the replacement, then push out the replacement with another replacement. Goal is to always keep a sleeve in the coil and have the flared end of the sleeve at the wire lug end of the coil.

    wrt the clutches, this weeks conclusion is the rough side goes against the surface you want to slip. Your metal clutch plates probably have the etched hash pattern, so the smooth side goes against the plate. Eventually the etched surface fill sup with ground leather and oil, so the clutch slips on whatever side it feels like. No problem.

    some clutch plates have three nubs and the leather washer corresponding holes. You'd think that would be enough to not slip on that interface, but it will anyway. As long as the clutch slips when it should, don't worry about which surface is actually slipping. Previous people who changed the clutches certainly didn't since you'll find them installed randomly.

    old style stepper (resized).jpg

    #6 62 days ago
    Quoted from alb0711:

    I've been studying the mixer rebuild instructions on the cdyn bingo site. I'm going to try and preorder all needed parts before I rebuild hoping that I can do the whole thing in a day. I know I've got warn leather clutch pads that will need replacing. Are there any other parts that I should have on hand? How many clutch pads will I need and what size?

    You occasionally see leather clutch sets on eBay. Here is a NOS set. I believe there are enough pieces to rebuild both the mixer and the control unit.

    ebay.com link

    1 week later
    #7 55 days ago
    Quoted from baldtwit:

    the old style steppers with the metal ratchet have the spring inside the coils to push the plunger all the way out.
    iir (start worrying), it's mostly the reset coil that has the spring because the pawl linkage doesn't fill the notch in the plunger. Without the spring, the plunger would rattle around on the linkage end. The plunger is mostly hollow and the spring goes inside it.
    there is a torsion spring on the reset linkage that also pulls the reset plunger out of the coil, but that spring doesn't help once the reset pawl is sitting on the ratchet edge.
    the step-up linkage usually had a square plate on it that fit snugly into the plunger notch and an external spring levers the step-up plunger out of the coil.
    getting a metal sleeve out almost always requires a special tool unless the sleeve pushes out easily by hand. The tool is basically a metal rod that has one end turned down to the ID of the sleeve, while the rest is the OD of the sleeve.
    you stick the small end in the sleeve and as you pound on the end of the tool to drive out the sleeve, the larger end takes the place of the sleeve in the coil. Put the new sleeve on the small end that is now poking out of the coil and pound the other way to install.
    without the tool, the coil often falls apart because the wire is wound directly around the sleeve. Even with the tool, coils are frequently destroyed because the sleeve is stuck. The only tools I've seen are custom made.
    if the metal sleeve is worn thru, it's way less hassle to just replace the coil. A used one is good enough and often cost less than the postage.
    if it's a rare coil that the metal sleeve moves easily by hand, push out the sleeve with the replacement, then push out the replacement with another replacement. Goal is to always keep a sleeve in the coil and have the flared end of the sleeve at the wire lug end of the coil.
    wrt the clutches, this weeks conclusion is the rough side goes against the surface you want to slip. Your metal clutch plates probably have the etched hash pattern, so the smooth side goes against the plate. Eventually the etched surface fill sup with ground leather and oil, so the clutch slips on whatever side it feels like. No problem.
    some clutch plates have three nubs and the leather washer corresponding holes. You'd think that would be enough to not slip on that interface, but it will anyway. As long as the clutch slips when it should, don't worry about which surface is actually slipping. Previous people who changed the clutches certainly didn't since you'll find them installed randomly.
    [quoted image]

    Thanks Baldtwit! I tried putting one of the coils back without the internal spring and as you noted there wasn't any tension on the reset arm. Interesting engineering solution these guys had. The spring seems to be used only on the reset coils.

    None of the coils I've inspected so far have any additional wear. I've only worked on pinballs before and one of the standard best practices is to replace the old brass sleeves with new plastic sleeves because there is less friction. Unless I find problems I'll just keep using the brass sleeves that have been working just fine for 65 years.

    Thanks for your help!

    Allen

    #8 55 days ago

    I don't think I've heard a good argument for replacing the metal sleeves with plastic. If the sleeve is worn to the point of affecting the plunger, sure, but otherwise ...

    the one case that makes a bit of sense is if the plunger has mushroomed and has a sharp ridge, then a metal sleeve may get scraped and conductive dust created. However, a lot of the plungers have a nylon ring around them, so the plunger never touches the sleeve.

    the vast majority of solenoids in a bingo are running the original coils and they will outlive most of us Some pinball coils get a lot more wear. One 5 year old can put a year of wear on flippers in about 10 minutes.

    on the other hand, the metal sleeves don't melt when the kid does that.

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