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(Topic ID: 277660)

Picked up my first ever pinball machine today -- Gottlieb Royal Flush


By BrettRS

41 days ago



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  • 21 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 37 days ago by DCRand
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16
#1 41 days ago

It's been an exciting 24 hours for me! Won this Gottlieb Royal Flush in an online arcade auction last night in my home town and got to pick up the machine today. Me and my buddy managed to move it the 2 miles from the auction house to my house with just taking the head unit off and we got it down the stairs without issue on my lunch break today.

I paid $950 + 18% auction fee + tax = $1,188 , so not the best deal I am sure, but I checked out all the machines in the auction and this was the one that really caught my eye.

I've had Williams Pat Hand growing up and my dad still has it and I love that game, I can play for hours, so I'm hoping for the same for this one.

This certainly won't be a showroom quality machine but I took some 99% isopropyl alcohol and cleaned the gas and that already made a huge difference. I'm back at the office, so I have time to type and post this, but I only managed to get one photo of it after we got it set-up. It's attached.

Some items I've noticed so far that I will need to resolve / improve right off the bat:

1. The lower right rear leg bolt is stripped and needs to be replaced. This missing (it's in there and I got a nut on the end since it isn't catching the threaded insert, but the nut barely threads on, so it's not tight) bolt is causing a lot of looseness in the feel of the machine, so I need to get that resolved ASAP.

2. I need to figure out how to properly level this thing, but I'm sure there's plenty of support for that around this website and more.

3. There seems to be a little dust on the playfield and it could probably use some wax. I will research how to clean and wax it properly, but I'm assuming that a can of air might be a good place to start for clearing some dust?

4. It is currently set in 3-ball mode and I want it in 5 ball mode. Also, I think the rules are something non-standard, because the big circular bouncer thing at the top is worth 1000 points and that seems way too high to me. So I'll have to read all the manuals and stuff about that.

5. I think because my floors are a little spongy (basement, so vinyl plank on concrete), the tilt needs to be turned down a lot. I managed to set it off a few times in the few games I played in the basement.

6. The score on Player 4 isn't working properly, the 10,000 reel isn't turning over after 9,990 and I think it is because the 0X,000 reel is not in the correct position to make the 10,000 reel roll, if you can see in the photo, the 0X,000 reel is sitting back about an inch further than the other reels on the board.

7. It's missing the metal back cover right now, but the auction people have tons at the other shop, so I am going to get one next week.

8. It would be prettier with a lock and key, but not a dealbreaker for me. It does have all the manuals and schematics and extra balls and fuses inside

So, that's it so far, back at the office now and itching to go home and play it. My dad is pretty handy with those older EM machines, so tomorrow morning he is going to come over and we are going to tackle fixing the leg with a new bolt and maybe a nut, switching it to 5-ball and changing the scoring, wiping off and maybe lightly blowing the playfield, cleaning the underside of the glass, fixing the tilt and the reels, and leveling.

Really excited to have this machine! I will get some much more detailed pics tomorrow AM when the glass is off and share them. I'll also have plenty of more questions after we go over the machine tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading guys.

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#2 41 days ago

Royal Flush It's a great game I played when I was a kid. One of the many card pins around at that time. I always liked those and the bowling ones like King Pin .

#3 41 days ago

You could've done a whole lot worse.

#4 41 days ago

Congrats and expect to make room for more games.

#5 41 days ago

Royal Flush is one of the greatest EMs! Have fun!

#6 41 days ago

I am not an EM collector but I would love to have a Royal Flush pin. One of the only EM games that my local arcade had in the late 1970's.

Pinball machines are like potato chips. You can not have just one. I hope you have room for several more, they tend to multiply quickly. I had my second pin within one week of my first game. The 3rd game came within a month. Within the first year I have over 15. I have sold/trades/bought a lot of games over the years (over 200) but I still have my first game that I bought.

#7 41 days ago

Also looking at your issues above it’s all “easy” in terms of what it could be.
I’m not in front of my card whiz but there should be a Jones plug once you lift the playfield towards the top left of the playfield that you can adjust the 3 or 5 ball. Make sure you secure the pinball first or it could shatter a target or two!
Also while the playfield is lifted you can adjust the tilt on the inside of the cabinet. That will be just next to the coin box on the left
Check that player 4 score reel and see if there are any wires that need to be soldered. Hopefully it’s something as easy as that
Good luck!

#8 41 days ago

All easy stuff. Tilt is a simple twist nut of the lead weight hanging on the wire (drop it lower). I am surprised they didn't throw a backdoor on it before you picked it up. The reel is likely the hardest thing to fix, but even that in an EM machine is just a matter of finding the thing that doesn't look like the 15 other reels! 8-) Likely a wire or some mechanical fix (contact or coil related). Perhaps some 409 cleaner and paper towels for the cabinet to get 50 years of hand oils off the paint, but most of the cabinet has the worn 'patina' so don't think too hard about repainting anything... it really is in great shape. And the coindoor lock is easy to come by. Since this is a Gottlieb, at some point consider reaching out to Steve at Pinball Resource for his guidance on any future parts you need. He may find this vintage machine to be a fun discussion.

#9 41 days ago

There's like a million different sizes of EM back door so have a precise measurement when you go back to the shop. If they don't have one that fits you can just have a piece of plywood cut, that's what I always do.

#10 40 days ago

OMG, Another addict created!

#11 40 days ago

You couldn't have bought a better EM enjoy Royal Flush was my 2nd em.

#12 40 days ago

Hell yeah bubba! Congratulations. Your a rock and pinball roller now. Royal Flush is one of the best games of its era, would love to have one.

Message from the Freeeek Kingdom.

#13 40 days ago

Welcome to the affliction! You did good!

Lots of help around here to be found. But here’s a great resource to get you started.

http://www.pinrepair.com/em/

#14 39 days ago

Congrats and welcome to the addiction! I used to own the 2 player version called Card Whiz. Great machine and fun to play. Enjoy fixing 'er up

#15 39 days ago

Nice score.

Did you pick that up from one of the auctions associated with Coinop Warehouse?

You can find lots of help at this site. If you really get stuck, I live about an hour away I might be able to help from putting 2 heads together.

Lee

#16 38 days ago

Thanks to everyone for the replies, I am going to follow-up with everyone following my update post below. It was a heck of a weekend, my dad came over and we fixed a few things and found a few others. I also have about 100 games under my belt now and can feel the machine coming into it's own. First, two set-up pics, then I'm going to get into the things I need help with, if someone wants to point me in the correct direction.

Here's the home for Royal Flush -- as you can see, I have left room for another machine or two down the road

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My #1 issue revolves around the left flipper. The left flipper does not have the strength of the right flipper and it is pretty tough to get the ball to the upper playfield with the left flipper, due to it's lack of power. You can see when both flippers are engaged, at the top of the engagement, the good working right flipper is pretty rock solid and the left flipper seems to retract at the top of full engagement, it almost bounces back towards the player after it reaches full engagement. Regardless, there is something happening where the left flipper is not as strong as I would like it to be. Here are a bunch of photos of the underside of the playfield, I took some photos of the only switch I saw near the flippers, as I know there's frequent mention of an 'EOS switch' on the forums, and this seemed like maybe the switch that was discussed. I did clean up the button contacts for the flippers, alongside the switch that I just mentioned above, using a small metal file. Here's the photos. The weak flipper is the one linked to the red solenoid that is pictured several times. Not sure why the flippers have different solenoids:

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The only other issue I am still having is the X0,000 on Player 4 is not turning over. It does not look like a wiring issue to me, all of the wired connections look really good. Here's a photo of the reel:

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Final words, if anyone has made it this far -- Someone spent a lot of time refurbing this machine. I wish I had the notes at my office with me, because I'd bet the previous owner was a member here, but there are meticulous hand written notes on work repaired from December 2018 inside the machine. There was also extras of the 3000/500/500 targets that are behind the drop targets (the 3000 was broken) inside the machine and my dad and I replaced them with the new targets that were inside the machine. Tilt has been adjusted properly to enter it within the tilt mechanism and it takes a good bit to tilt it now. I think I may have the board a bit too steep, back legs are backed out pretty far and the front legs are low. I did managed to get a new bolt and nut on the back right leg that was weak and it sured that up.

Tested every target and bumper while the glass was off and everything works as it should -- someone spent a lot of time getting this machine cleaned up and working well, and less a few small complaints from me above, this is a really great machine that I am sure will bring endless hours of fun. And I am finally using my basement The dogs love hanging down there with me and my girlfriend while we play pinball. The dart board is for a single shooter for a virtual league we are playing in right now, and we're all pretty decent, so no worries about the electrical outlet there or anything -- it's only temporary until we can go back to shooting darts in person. Really appreciate all the advice and comments and I will get back to everyone's post in a follow-up post right now, thanks again guys.

#17 38 days ago
Quoted from Grayman_EM:

Royal Flush It's a great game I played when I was a kid. One of the many card pins around at that time. I always liked those and the bowling ones like King Pin .

Thank you for the nice reply

Quoted from Pinballprowess:

You could've done a whole lot worse.

Upon further inspection, I am very happy, this really is in great condition for something 40+ years old.

Quoted from chad:

Congrats and expect to make room for more games.

Already have room for 1 or 2 more -- thinking about getting an SS machine next, to have one of each style. But $$ will be deciding factor, have too many other hobbies to go all-in on pinball machines right away.

Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

Royal Flush is one of the greatest EMs! Have fun!

I was it was #1 on ipdb.org for EM games -- I know that's not an end-all-be-all, but I figured it would be a good game regardless if it had high ratings, and in fact, it's a blast. I'm still learning it and trying to get better, there's some annoying things like the lane to open the gate pretty much shoots it straight between the flippers 80% of the time, but I will learn how to save that shot if it goes down there. I still prefer Pat Hand, probably just because of my familiarity with it, but I do really like this game!

Quoted from Tommy-dog:

I am not an EM collector but I would love to have a Royal Flush pin. One of the only EM games that my local arcade had in the late 1970's.
Pinball machines are like potato chips. You can not have just one. I hope you have room for several more, they tend to multiply quickly. I had my second pin within one week of my first game. The 3rd game came within a month. Within the first year I have over 15. I have sold/trades/bought a lot of games over the years (over 200) but I still have my first game that I bought.

I think this one will be in my collection until I get my dad's Pat Hand at least! I have room! Trying to save some $$ though!

Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

Also looking at your issues above it’s all “easy” in terms of what it could be.
I’m not in front of my card whiz but there should be a Jones plug once you lift the playfield towards the top left of the playfield that you can adjust the 3 or 5 ball. Make sure you secure the pinball first or it could shatter a target or two!
Also while the playfield is lifted you can adjust the tilt on the inside of the cabinet. That will be just next to the coin box on the left
Check that player 4 score reel and see if there are any wires that need to be soldered. Hopefully it’s something as easy as that
Good luck!

The 3/5 player switch is actually in the head unit but I switched it and resolved that on my own luckily. Did not get so lucky on the reels, the wires look OK, so I will look at some of the other trouble shooting in the thread

Quoted from Markharris2000:

All easy stuff. Tilt is a simple twist nut of the lead weight hanging on the wire (drop it lower). I am surprised they didn't throw a backdoor on it before you picked it up. The reel is likely the hardest thing to fix, but even that in an EM machine is just a matter of finding the thing that doesn't look like the 15 other reels! 8-) Likely a wire or some mechanical fix (contact or coil related). Perhaps some 409 cleaner and paper towels for the cabinet to get 50 years of hand oils off the paint, but most of the cabinet has the worn 'patina' so don't think too hard about repainting anything... it really is in great shape. And the coindoor lock is easy to come by. Since this is a Gottlieb, at some point consider reaching out to Steve at Pinball Resource for his guidance on any future parts you need. He may find this vintage machine to be a fun discussion.

The more I look at it, the more I love the cabinet! It is a nice 'patina' -- I'm not interested in repainting. Thanks for the shoutout to Steve, I noticed a lot of the stuff inside the machine from the previous owner was from Steve, so he's already helped with the refurb of this one once! Fixed the tilt no problem, did not see a wire issue with the reel though, so that will take some further troubleshooting.

Quoted from CrazyLevi:

There's like a million different sizes of EM back door so have a precise measurement when you go back to the shop. If they don't have one that fits you can just have a piece of plywood cut, that's what I always do.

10-4, good thinking Eli, I'm sure in the mess that is the CoinOps warehouse, I better some in with some good measurements, otherwise I'll be making a few trips back and forth after the first one doesn't fit, if I don't measure it.

Quoted from tomtest:

OMG, Another addict created!

Tom -- You've been a blessing in helping me understand this forum and helping me reach out to the right people. I really appreciate your detailed messages and I am glad I decided to message you a few weeks ago on here when I saw you were local. I can't wait for COVID to end so I can come over and check out your collection! VERY excited for that. Thank you again.

Quoted from Judoratt:

You couldn't have bought a better EM enjoy Royal Flush was my 2nd em.

Thank you

Quoted from gonzo73:

Hell yeah bubba! Congratulations. Your a rock and pinball roller now. Royal Flush is one of the best games of its era, would love to have one.
Message from the Freeeek Kingdom.

Soo, what do you guys call each other (other than freaks, hopefully hahaha), Pinheads? Something more flattering?

Quoted from Gotemwill:

Welcome to the affliction! You did good!
Lots of help around here to be found. But here’s a great resource to get you started.
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/

Now THAT is a heck of a well organized and well presented repair guide. That will be going straight to my bookmarks, thank you for the link.

Quoted from Hyperball91:

Congrats and welcome to the addiction! I used to own the 2 player version called Card Whiz. Great machine and fun to play. Enjoy fixing 'er up

Cheers, thank you, not sure how you play pinball upside down in Australia, but I guess you make it work for you!

Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

Nice score.
Did you pick that up from one of the auctions associated with Coinop Warehouse?
You can find lots of help at this site. If you really get stuck, I live about an hour away I might be able to help from putting 2 heads together.
Lee

I did, I got this from their most recent JayBird Auctions, that the CoinOp guy's daughter is running -- it's out of his wife's vinyl shop in town and they have all the auction stuff there, rather than his huge warehouses that I have been to a few times. It was nice it was in the vinyl shop, I was able to go twice before the auction and check out the machine and the second time I took and extension cord with me and plugged it in -- once I saw it was in good, working condition, I set myself of a max bid of $1,000 in the auction and hoped for the best. Ended up getting it at $950!!

Thanks for the help offer Lee -- If I can't find my way around a big issue, I will reach out!

-----------------------

Thanks everyone for the replies and I am sorry I didn't get back to you sooner -- most of my computer / forum time comes when I am at the office, so just getting into my Monday morning follow-ups now, cheers guys!

#18 38 days ago

For the 10K unit it is only driven from the 9 position rollover switch from the adjacent 1000 reel. Inspect that as it is probably out of adjustment or needs the points filed.

As for your left flipper, the first thing I would look at is the coil that is on it. That red wrapper sure does not look like a Gottlieb coil.

To test, if you want to go to a lot of effort, swap the coils side to side and see if the weakness follows.

Otherwise I'd suggest getting the proper Gottlieb coil in there and then it comes down to having the mechanism clean, adjusted properly, and all of the switches in that flipper circuit freshly filed.

#19 38 days ago
Quoted from BrettRS:

It's been an exciting 24 hours for me! Won this Gottlieb Royal Flush in an online arcade auction last night in my home town and got to pick up the machine today. Me and my buddy managed to move it the 2 miles from the auction house to my house with just taking the head unit off and we got it down the stairs without issue on my lunch break today.
I paid $950 + 18% auction fee + tax = $1,188 , so not the best deal I am sure, but I checked out all the machines in the auction and this was the one that really caught my eye.
I've had Williams Pat Hand growing up and my dad still has it and I love that game, I can play for hours, so I'm hoping for the same for this one.
This certainly won't be a showroom quality machine but I took some 99% isopropyl alcohol and cleaned the gas and that already made a huge difference. I'm back at the office, so I have time to type and post this, but I only managed to get one photo of it after we got it set-up. It's attached.
Some items I've noticed so far that I will need to resolve / improve right off the bat:
1. The lower right rear leg bolt is stripped and needs to be replaced. This missing (it's in there and I got a nut on the end since it isn't catching the threaded insert, but the nut barely threads on, so it's not tight) bolt is causing a lot of looseness in the feel of the machine, so I need to get that resolved ASAP.

I'm not expert, but might be able to help with a few things.

I'd call or email Pinball Resource and purchase a manual and a schematic. You can also ask about the Leg Plate when you call. It's probably this one, but I can't say 100%.

http://www.pbresource.com/hhouse/leg-tee.jpg

The Part Number for that is Leg-Tee

Quoted from BrettRS:

2. I need to figure out how to properly level this thing, but I'm sure there's plenty of support for that around this website and more.

You can do that with your phone or with an electronic level. I used to use my phone, but with the new iPhones, the camera sticks out from the back and makes it worthless. I use this when I level games now.

I'm not sure if they sell them anymore or not.

https://www.sears.com/craftsman-digital-torpedo-level/p-00948295000P

The level goes between the flippers. You'll screw in or out the leg levelers in all 4 corners to get the machine level and at the correct pitch. For an EM, that's typically 5.5 degrees. There is a jam nut on the levelers, so you'll probably have to loosen that before you can move the levelers. The levelers might also be rusted fast. I keep a big bag of them around just for when I buy games. The levelers are typically shot.

Quoted from BrettRS:

3. There seems to be a little dust on the playfield and it could probably use some wax. I will research how to clean and wax it properly, but I'm assuming that a can of air might be a good place to start for clearing some dust?

Microfiber cloth + Novus 1 for cleaning. Spray some Novus on the cloth and go to town. Then you want to wax it with high quality 100% Carnauba wax. I would recommend Blitz wax. I'd also highly recommend you replace the actual pinballs. As they scratch, they can turn into sandpaper and are really hard on the play field.

Novus - https://www.pinballlife.com/novus-1-plastic-clean-and-shine-8oz-bottle.html

Blitz - https://www.pinballlife.com/blitz-carnauba-paste-wax-12-ounce-jar.html

Quoted from BrettRS:

4. It is currently set in 3-ball mode and I want it in 5 ball mode. Also, I think the rules are something non-standard, because the big circular bouncer thing at the top is worth 1000 points and that seems way too high to me. So I'll have to read all the manuals and stuff about that.

I think with Royal Flush the 3-ball to 5-ball adjustment is in the head. It's going to be a Jones plug that you move from one position to another. The paper might have fallen off, so if it has, I'm sure there is someone here that can take a picture.

Quoted from BrettRS:

5. I think because my floors are a little spongy (basement, so vinyl plank on concrete), the tilt needs to be turned down a lot. I managed to set it off a few times in the few games I played in the basement.

It looks like it's out of center in the picture you posted above. You want the tilt bob to be centered in the ring. If you need to loosen the tilt, squeeze the clip a the bottom and slide the bob down.

Quoted from BrettRS:

6. The score on Player 4 isn't working properly, the 10,000 reel isn't turning over after 9,990 and I think it is because the 0X,000 reel is not in the correct position to make the 10,000 reel roll, if you can see in the photo, the 0X,000 reel is sitting back about an inch further than the other reels on the board.

There is a carry over switch that isn't making contact on the 1000 point reel. That's what tells the next reel to move. You'll want to pull out the reel and watch it as you rotate it using the solenoid plunger. What you're looking for is switch state change. Meaning if you step through 0-9 and see one switch that doesn't move from open to closed or closed to open at some point, that's most likely your culprit. You can find the wire color from the schematic as well.

Quoted from BrettRS:

8. It would be prettier with a lock and key, but not a dealbreaker for me. It does have all the manuals and schematics and extra balls and fuses inside

Ignore what I said about buying the schematic and manual above. I didn't see that you had it until I got down here.

#20 37 days ago

I'd check that red-wrapped coil too - Gottliebs of that period pretty much all used an A-5141. PBR has them for $15. The end of stroke switch distance looks pretty good at full extension in your photo (should be about 1/8" gap). Just make sure the contacts are clean (both the EOS switch and flipper switches) and your solder connections are good, but I suspect it's the wrong coil in there now.

I agree with SpyderTurbo - once you get the playfield waxed (and Blitz is good, but there are several other really good waxes - that's a whole 'nother thread), get a shiny new ball. They're cheap and good for your playfield!

Just for some trivia - that game was designed by Ed Krinsky, who designed almost 200 games while he was at Gottlieb. When asked what his favorite game that he designed was, he said "Royal Flush". It's a keeper!

#21 37 days ago

Enjoy your Royal Flush, and like everyone here says. Guessing it won't be lonely long. My RF is actually for sale, as one of the really difficult parts of this hobby is having to make cuts in the line up for new games. Sounds like you are getting good advice, and have the skills to follow instructions. To answer one of your questions, on this site it is generally "Pinsiders". Otherwise, just fellow pin hobbyists, or addicts.

The two most important pieces of advice from all above. Keep good carnuba wax on the playfield, and replace balls as soon as they look the slightest bit worn.

Enjoy.

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