(Topic ID: 111504)

"Personal Touch" to your EM Games


By Boatcat

4 years ago



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  • 332 posts
  • 78 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by MikeO
  • Topic is favorited by 25 Pinsiders

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    There are 332 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 7.
    #1 4 years ago

    I posted this long ago in RGP about performing modifications to personal liking on your own games. I enjoy enhancing what is there if I feel it'll look-play better, and, (naturally), aim to keep it totally removable insuring originality. How about your personal mods on EM's? Anything creative?

    My toughest mod was adding a 100K lite to my Hearts and Spades Scoring. Used a 100K trip/latch relay, (out of a Bronco parts game), and wired it in using the "Previous High Score" backglass space as my 100K lite. This was many years ago, involving adding switches to the 10K score reel, relay, reset relay, etc.

    Other than that, the mods were more trivial, but appreciative to me, such as adding separate bells to the 100 point score reel on my pre-'65 games, (Gtb. Slick Chick, North Star, '63 Wms. Big Deal).

    Also, lite bulb mods, such as on Flying Carpet, I wired the top entry rollover guide, (motor-driven), liting to the rest of the playfield rollover guides. Gen. Illum. liting to Dimension mid- playfield kicker plastic, (1 63 bulb, socket secured under a playfield post, wiring up through an existing leaf switch hole). I also wired the top rollover special guides on Cross Town to gen. illum. and added a red sleeved special bulb and socket under the top plastics through the target holes. Can't remember all those little mods, and I'm sure many of you have ideas I never thought of.

    I'd like to hear them..............

    #2 4 years ago

    Nothing on any of mine. The Target Alpha I bought someone put a lamp socket and bulb under the unlit plastic behind the 5-bank drop targets. They also put in yellow dot flipper coils that were removed and replaced with originals.

    I've thought about 100,000 lights before but that's just seems like a lot of work. Interesting that you were able to do it.

    #3 4 years ago

    I added a one point bell to my Royal Guard. It has the 1 point activated bell in the backbox but that thing is just weak. I bought a one point bell assembly from PBR and mounted it in the backbox, with power to the coil supplied by jumpering off the one point stepper assembly coil. Works great, sounds great.

    The main one I do is colored legs. I think it adds some pop to the games. I pick a primary color off the cabinet (mostly red, sometimes black depending on the game) and have the legs powdercoated. Since the games are HUO they don't get beaten up by people kicking them, and if I sell the game and people don't like it, they can just put new legs on.

    I've done LEDs on a couple of games, but only on inserts, and it's a case by case deal. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don't.

    #4 4 years ago

    I kind of like the red legs. Raphael Lankar used to have some beautifully restored wedge heads that he opted for red legs on. It wasn't original but looked neat. I'm not brave enough to paint a set of nice originals but if they are rusty a little color is a mod I can enjoy.

    #5 4 years ago

    Only minor things that can be removed like extra bulbs in dark areas or behind flipper buttons. Did add a period chime unit to my Apollo (from same year parts 'Kick-Off') splitting the scoring into three tiers.

    11
    #6 4 years ago

    this is my favorite mod

    --Jeff

    2013-04-13 22.33.54.jpg
    #7 4 years ago

    I use a white rebound rubber with a red flipper rubber round it. Looks like a bit of seaside rock, reminds me of the arcades when I was a youngster. It's more in keeping with the bright colours on the pf than those horrible brown ones.
    I also fit polished metal Williams flippers to my 60s Gottliebs with metal posts. They look much nicer and actually make the flippers a bit more lively. I think it may be that there is less flex, anyway, it makes a small difference.

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from way2wyrd:

    this is my favorite mod
    --Jeff

    2013-04-13 22.33.54.jpg 269 KB

    Especially with friends.

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Nothing on any of mine. The Target Alpha I bought someone put a lamp socket and bulb under the unlit plastic behind the 5-bank drop targets.

    I've thought of that many times, the missing light there drives me nuts. Also some machines have kickout holes where only one side of the inside plastic gets lit up due to light socket placement. Hot Shot is a good example. The TA mod requires a extra hole in the PF, that I'm not sure I can do. HS is just a simple added socket which I will do.

    #10 4 years ago
    Quoted from jasonsmith:

    The TA mod requires a extra hole in the PF, that I'm not sure I can do. HS is just a simple added socket which I will do.

    They used one of those horizontal sockets so the bulb is parallel to the playfield. I'll have to check again but I think the wiring runs down thru where the rebound switch is located.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from AlexF:

    I kind of like the red legs. Raphael Lankar used to have some beautifully restored wedge heads that he opted for red legs on. It wasn't original but looked neat. I'm not brave enough to paint a set of nice originals but if they are rusty a little color is a mod I can enjoy.

    They're the legs that come with the game, so they're generally always rusty. I give them an evaporust bath and then haul them off to the powdercoater.

    New levelers, run the bolts through the tumbler, and they look like a million bucks on there.

    I also use the protectors under the legs you can get from Pinball Life. The clear ones. They're too long for EM games, so I cut them off even with the bottom of the cab and on they go. You spend all that time making the cab nice on a repaint, only to have the legs immediately screw it up.

    I wouldn't do it for a game going on location, because they'd get the hell beat out of them. But for home games, they really make the game pop.

    #12 4 years ago

    Besides wiring up alternator units in EMs so they can be priced at 50 cents for 5 Balls, the only major "logic" change I have made so far was to my Bally Champ.

    The original flipper assemblies are the types where the plunger is directly attached to the crank with a roll pin (no phenolic link). These flippers are typically pretty weak but do the job on most games after a fresh wax job (Fireball, 4 Million etc.). But on Champ, one of the main features is to shoot a messenger ball to hit a special target when lit. This requires a extremely direct shot and, while it may have enough power to clear the uppper rollover, it often lacks the energy to close the top spot target. The same balls are also used to advance the bonus to light the special (2 roll overs). I normally don't set my games at the low 3.5 degree pitch as that is too slow for me. So, the game suffers to consistantly hit the ball to the top to close the Spot target switch. Therefore, I installed newer style "link" flipper assemblies. The same design later used on early Bally SS games. This made the flipper much stronger and it became too easy to hit the messenger balls to the top without too much effort. Which is what I wanted to make the game more enjoyable to the average player.

    Since Special lights and stays lit at Maximum bonus, it became far too easy for an accomplished player to rack up multiple specials each ball. To compensate, I installed an Alternator relay (a feature common to many other games) to switch the special from left to right (only 1 lit at a time).

    The Mod was fairly easy and straight forward:

    As I recall, there was already an extra wiper blade on the unit or at least 1 that passed over 10 unused rivets. I may have had to solder a jumper wire across every other rivet contact across ten of them (On at 00, 20, 40, 60, 80) and run 1 wire from the head down to the playfield. I seem to remember there was even an empty contact on a jones plug that I could use for this.

    I added a relay near the top of the playfield (where the spot targets and special lights are located) with three sets of make break switches. One to direct power to the special lamps and two to direct the contact of the Spot target to either score special or the original 1000 points.

    The mods (flippers and alternator) made the game much more fun and at the same time, more challenging to the accomplished player and is easily reversible.

    I have always wondered about Clay's Williams Gulf stream Multi-ball mod but don't have access to my game and don't think it would really add to an otherwise Perfect game design.

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    They used one of those horizontal sockets so the bulb is parallel to the playfield. I'll have to check again but I think the wiring runs down thru where the rebound switch is located.

    Brilliant, that won't permanently effect anything. Is it secured under a post then?

    #14 4 years ago

    To add a personal touch to my EM machines sometimes I like to replace that old scratchy sometimes non-tempered playfield glass with a sheet of new or close to it. And then clean it at least once a week.

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    To add a personal touch to my EM machines sometimes I like to replace that old scratchy sometimes non-tempered playfield glass with a sheet of new or close to it. And then clean it at least once a week.

    That's just being anal!

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from CactusJack:

    That's just being anal!

    Wow! That's the first time I've ever been accused of being that. More Jack please!

    #17 4 years ago

    Sorry, just a reference to our "White Posts" thread...... Carry on.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    They also put in yellow dot flipper coils that were removed and replaced with originals.

    Hurrayyyyy!!!!! You are to be commended sir! I hope you threw the "yellow dots" in the trash where they belong!

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Nothing on any of mine. The Target Alpha I bought someone put a lamp socket and bulb under the unlit plastic behind the 5-bank drop targets. They also put in yellow dot flipper coils that were removed and replaced with originals.
    I've thought about 100,000 lights before but that's just seems like a lot of work. Interesting that you were able to do it.

    I have to admit, I've drilled both a Solar City, and repro Eldo field for that extra bulb on the upper part of the five drops.
    Also regarding the advantage of metal flippers. It's not really about flexing (though that could make a slight difference) It's momentum.......mass X velocity. So if your flippers have a little more heft, they will resist the momentum of the on coming pinball (we call this flipping?) more effectively.

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from stashyboy:

    I have to admit, I've drilled both a Solar City, and repro Eldo field for that extra bulb on the upper part of the five drops.Also regarding the advantage of metal flippers. It's not really about flexing (though that could make a slight difference) It's momentum.......mass X velocity. So if your flippers have a little more heft, they will resist the momentum of the on coming pinball (we call this flipping?) more effectively.

    Yes, but it also takes more time and energy to get them moving in the first place. So, there is a trade off.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Hurrayyyyy!!!!! You are to be commended sir! I hope you threw the "yellow dots" in the trash where they belong!

    Don't throw them out! Just peel the labels off and relabel them as the Williams EM coils they started their life as.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from CactusJack:

    Yes, but it also takes more time and energy to get them moving in the first place. So, there is a trade off.

    Add 48 volts to the equation and those metal flippers work just fine.

    #23 4 years ago

    When I get around to doing airbrush touchup for Crescendo prior to clearcoating, all the flowers are being turned from purple to hot pink, per my wife's request.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from jasonsmith:

    Brilliant, that won't permanently effect anything. Is it secured under a post then?

    Welp, they screwed directly into the pf.

    20141204_171144.jpg20141204_171237.jpg

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Welp, they screwed directly into the pf.

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    20141204_171237.jpg 142 KB

    That is a great idea. This dark area is the same for Solar City. 1 small screw hole, under a playfield plastic is not that bad.

    #26 4 years ago

    OTTOgd provided tech info to me to install a Game Over light to my Rocketship woodrail using the original backglass capability and hole for a socket in the backbox. I think it adds a really nice touch to game end. To ensure the machine passes any audit by the Department of Purity the mod is completely reversible at a moments notice.

    RSgameoverlamp.jpg

    #27 4 years ago

    i installed mirrored blades while fully restoring my gottlieb egg head, which included a nos playfield..

    IMG_8699.jpg
    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from illawarra92:

    i installed mirrored blades while fully restoring my gottlieb egg head, which included a nos playfield.

    That has got to be a first. It actually looks appropriately old school there though. Mirrors used to be a big part of EM trickery if you think about it.

    #29 4 years ago

    i'm afraid to post in this thread... a few of my mods were not so well received by some...

    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    i'm afraid to post in this thread... a few of my mods were not so well received by some...

    Oh come on now, share! I'm not a purist, I like seeing eras and ideas come together, I've got your back against the outraged traditionalists!

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Oh come on now, share! I'm not a purist, I like seeing eras and ideas come together, I've got your back against the outraged traditionalists!

    cool, as long as you've got my back...

    here was one that didn't go over so well with some.... "jacks open" power cord mod...

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/em-power-cord-mod#post-1078080

    i also remove all coin lockout "stuff" from the doors of the machines, eliminates a potential trouble spot as well eliminates the stupid buzz that lockout coils tend to exhibit with age...

    i've also been known to hardwire (or permanently close) "hold" circuits...

    for me, if it makes it easier to maintain or more reliable, it's fair game...

    side note: i wouldn't do any of this stuff to a "pristine" game... but since none of mine can be described as pristine, they are fair game...

    #32 4 years ago

    So far I think the only mod I've made is to use shrink tubing on the ends of the flipper wireforms used on 50's/60's games (the ones where the flipper buttons mechanically actuate the wireforms that are attached to the inside of the cabinet). Otherwise it's back to factory.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from DirtFlipper:

    So far I think the only mod I've made is to use shrink tubing on the ends of the flipper wireforms used on 50's/60's games (the ones where the flipper buttons mechanically actuate the wireforms that are attached to the inside of the cabinet). Otherwise it's back to factory.

    what, you don't like that shock you get telling you that you actuated the flipper?

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    what, you don't like that shock you get telling you that you actuated the flipper?

    I don't mind it so much, but when they leave here I don't want to worry about the next person...

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Oh come on now, share! I'm not a purist, I like seeing eras and ideas come together, I've got your back against the outraged traditionalists!

    Ditto. It's time for pinball to be fun again.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    what, you don't like that shock you get telling you that you actuated the flipper?

    Ha! Now I remember why I love my 70's games, it was the 60's Gottlieb electric shock therapy I disliked

    Ken

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from DirtFlipper:

    I don't mind it so much, but when they leave here I don't want to worry about the next person...

    probably a good decision... since it took me awhile to figure out when i got my royal guard why i was getting zapped by the flipper button...

    same thing for the ones on the 4 square, even though they don't have the actuators like the older machines, electricity still leaks through there...

    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    i also remove all coin lockout "stuff" from the doors of the machines, eliminates a potential trouble spot as well eliminates the stupid buzz that lockout coils tend to exhibit with age...
    i've also been known to hardwire (or permanently close) "hold" circuits...
    for me, if it makes it easier to maintain or more reliable, it's fair game...
    side note: i wouldn't do any of this stuff to a "pristine" game... but since none of mine can be described as pristine, they are fair game...

    Agree.

    #39 4 years ago

    Chris, You should just send all those parts you've removed (esp. the slotted screws) to me for my 'restorations'!

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from stashyboy:

    Chris, You should just send all those parts you've removed (esp. the slotted screws) to me for my 'restorations'!

    oh, i saved the parts... so you can have whatever you want...

    actually, the only thing that you can't have are the old coils that i couldn't get the sleeves out of... my wife has this odd fascination with coils, she saves all the old ones... i have NO idea why....

    #41 4 years ago

    I'm thinking about doing something a little different with the cabinet on my woodrail in the future. A lot of these stencil designs from the early times are pretty boring. Something along the lines of bringing in some of the playfield art on to the cab, maybe with a "3D effect" of sorts. Don't know yet.

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    i also remove all coin lockout "stuff" from the doors of the machines, eliminates a potential trouble spot as well eliminates the stupid buzz that lockout coils tend to exhibit with age...

    Oh god, that buzz drives me nuts. I just cut one cord at the coil and electric tape the end. If someone wants to return it to stock it's a 30 second solder job, no harm done. But I won't listen to that damn noise.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Oh god, that buzz drives me nuts. I just cut one cord at the coil and electric tape the end. If someone wants to return it to stock it's a 30 second solder job, no harm done. But I won't listen to that damn noise.

    yup, drives me nuts too... the only reason i remove everything (and not bother just cutting the wire) is that i generally have the whole door apart anyway, so i just don't bother putting it back on...

    #44 4 years ago

    So far the only mod I've done to my games, which is reversible, is totally disable this bastage

    image.jpg

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from tuffano:

    So far the only mod I've done to my games, which is reversible, is totally disable this bastage

    image.jpg 35 KB

    < nods head up and down vigorously >

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    oh, i saved the parts... so you can have whatever you want...
    actually, the only thing that you can't have are the old coils that i couldn't get the sleeves out of... my wife has this odd fascination with coils, she saves all the old ones... i have NO idea why....

    Maybe she knows good and well, the current value of Copper wire!

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from illawarra92:

    i installed mirrored blades while fully restoring my gottlieb egg head, which included a nos playfield..

    I like the look of those mirrored blades a lot - where did you get them (or use to make them?).

    My games are pretty 'stock', but I did add colored LED's to the pop-bumpers on my Nag's to coincide with the horse color. Also used an LED under the bottom of play field rollover to match the look. Nags.jpg

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from heatwave:

    I like the look of those mirrored blades a lot - where did you get them (or use to make them?).

    thanks, yeah i reckon they look cool..

    had them custom made by another collector down here in australia..

    now thinking of getting more sets made and getting them on more games

    #49 4 years ago

    I put an additional bulb under the hole base plates.

    hole1.JPG

    hole2.JPG

    hole3.JPG

    ---

    Wanted : Dead or Alive - In any condition
    Gottlieb SPACE WALK
    You find, you win : REWARD USD 500 !

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from kangourou:

    I put an additional bulb under the hole base plates.

    Looks great Andrew but you have lit up the purists!!

    hole1.JPG 51 KB

    hole2.JPG 55 KB

    hole3.JPG 61 KB

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