(Topic ID: 169487)

Pinball Fails Documented here!!!


By RTR

2 years ago



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  • 27 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by RTR
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

Ok, how about a thread dedicated to your (or someone else's) epic Pinball Fails!

I will start this off - I am getting my games ready to move, so decided to remove the balls, replace batteries, etc. turns out there is no key to my FT back box. No problem - just drill the lock right?

FAIL! Did not reinstall the glass.....

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#2 2 years ago

jpop (resized).png

#3 2 years ago

In all seriousness, I like the thread idea! Makes me cringe a little, while making me feel better for my own mistakes. Looks like it's time to invest in a mini vacuum set.

#4 2 years ago

Maybe others can learn from the FAILs documented. Just spent 15 minutes vacuuming the playfield. So many tiny metal shards....

#5 2 years ago

I lifted my play field without removing the balls first. With a six ball game.

To be fair, it was my first time lifting the play field.

#6 2 years ago

Failure has been my main teacher. Some highlights include:

Tinkering inside a turned on machine with no shoes on, using metal tools, and the coindoor is closed.
Incorrectly removing fuses causing them to shatter everywhere.
Plugging in a connector just because "it seems like it should go there..." ZAP!
Trying to remove a plastic without following the order of operations to get it off smoothly. Sorry plastic
Using krazy-glue for various fixes.
Lifting a playfield without removing balls. For some reason this lesson still hasn't completely sunk in.
Putting gold (brass) balls in a machine. They look cool for a few plays and then rapidly tarnish and turn everything else black.

The best of the best though happened just the other day. Decided to move my ToM about 75ft out the house and into the garage. Still don't have proper tools for moving heavy things around and did it by myself with improper tools. About 10 feet from the destination my sketchy wheels began to tip and..... TIMBER!!! The whole pin fell on its side and everything in the coinbox exploded all over the guts of the machine. To my amazement the only damage is some minor wood damage where it landed, hardly notice it and could easily be touched up.

Summary of the lessons I've learned so far:

Always wear shoes.
Turn your machine off when working on it.
Take time to do the right steps. Shortcuts always become longcuts.
As an amateur, always assume your hunches are wrong or will lead to you breaking more things.
Ask more experienced people for their opinion before you break things even more.
Use proper tools, no seriously, use them.
Never try moving a machine without help and proper pinball moving equipment.
Remove the damn balls before lifting the playfield.
No gold balls.

#7 2 years ago

Forget about the fact that you should never work on a pin when it is powered up; how about adding a ring on your right hand to the equation and you know what happened! Learned my lesson after I reached in with the ring on and Bam! got my ass lit up by a live coil. I still work on them powered but, with no jewelry on.

#8 2 years ago

Playfield fail:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinbot-fans-and-owners-club/page/22#post-3355597

On the same playfield, when I did the original swap, I hammered in the tiny plastic guides for the holes below the flippers from the back of the playfield and cracked the playfield there too, though those were small and concealed by the flippers.

#9 2 years ago

About 15-20 years ago, I had a HH playfield fall on top of my head because I did not secure it with a wooden vertical slat box or bungy cords. It knocked me unconscious for about 5 minutes with my head and body pinned inside the cabinet. I woke up with my head bleeding, and had to wiggle out from under it so I could get leverage to lift it again. No concussion. I was experienced enough to make sure the game was off, otherwise I would have also been electrocuted as well as there is no high voltage cutoffs factory installed in GTB SS80 machines. I never made that mistake again with non-locking playfields.

Remember this lesson collectors.
People have made this mistake many times or think the playfield will not fall.
It will.

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from RWH:

Forget about the fact that you should never work on a pin when it is powered up; how about adding a ring on your right hand to the equation and you know what happened! Learned my lesson after I reached in with the ring on and Bam! got my ass lit up by a live coil. I still work on them powered but, with no jewelry on.

It's your wife secretly telling you to stop working on "those damn pinball machines"

#11 2 years ago

Hmm... The worst thing I can think of is once I was trying to fix a gear mechanism that kept getting stuck and balls kept getting trapped in it. For whatever reason I decided the solution was to file down a plastic nub on one of the gears... Thankfully I was only dealing with a Homerun Action table top game!

Then there was the time I had my soldering iron clamped inside the cabinet... Thankfully I didnt lose enough hair for it to be noticeable!

#12 2 years ago

Recently found a truly HUO copy of one of my grail games. I had to bring the backbox (which was already taken off) home first due to space considerations in my car, but couldn't find the keys to make sure the backglass was secure. Since everything else was in tiptop shape, I loaded it up and drove it home, figuring nothing could go wrong. I found the keys the next day when picking up the cabinet, and when I later opened the backbox, I found that the previous owner did not latch the lightboard correctly, and two displays had been rubbing against the pristine thirty year old backglass, all the way home, wearing two holes in the artwork. I am still furious about it.

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

About 15-20 years ago, I had a HH playfield fall on top of my head because I did not secure it with a wooden vertical slat box or bungy cords. It knocked me unconscious for about 5 minutes with my head and body pinned inside the cabinet. I woke up with my head bleeding, and had to wiggle out from under it so I could get leverage to lift it again. No concussion. I was experienced enough to make sure the game was off, otherwise I would have also been electrocuted as well as there is no high voltage cutoffs factory installed in GTB SS80 machines.

Death by simulatenous blunt force trauma and electrocution via a pinball playfield. Sounds like an awesome scene from an 80s horror flick. Perhaps it could be like Carrie, a machine with a mind of its own killing all the ops who dare open the coin door to hell.

Glad you survived!!!

#14 2 years ago

I was recapping a williams system 6 power supply and put a cap in backwards. Noticed the displays were not working when I powered up. Looking around to see if I had missed a connector I started hearing a hissing sound. I proceeded to stick my head closer to the back box to see where the sound was coming from...BOOM. I was lucky that the cap body held on to the board. Other than needed to change underwear and a ringing in my ears I was ok.
So normally when there is a pair of caps on a board they typically go the same direction....not these. It was late at night and I was not paying close enough attention.
It took me about 30 minutes to clean up all the paper frags from inside the backbox and on the playfield. Its amazing how much paper is inside one little cap.

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from Riptor:

I was recapping a williams system 6 power supply and put a cap in backwards. Noticed the displays were not working when I powered up. Looking around to see if I had missed a connector I started hearing a hissing sound. I proceeded to stick my head closer to the back box to see where the sound was coming from...BOOM. I was lucky that the cap body held on to the board. Other than needed to change underwear and a ringing in my ears I was ok.
So normally when there is a pair of caps on a board they typically go the same direction....not these. It was late at night and I was not paying close enough attention.
It took me about 30 minutes to clean up all the paper frags from inside the backbox and on the playfield. Its amazing how much paper is inside one little cap.

They are little electronic fire crackers.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from Riptor:

I was recapping a williams system 6 power supply and put a cap in backwards. Noticed the displays were not working when I powered up. Looking around to see if I had missed a connector I started hearing a hissing sound. I proceeded to stick my head closer to the back box to see where the sound was coming from...BOOM. I was lucky that the cap body held on to the board. Other than needed to change underwear and a ringing in my ears I was ok.
So normally when there is a pair of caps on a board they typically go the same direction....not these. It was late at night and I was not paying close enough attention.
It took me about 30 minutes to clean up all the paper frags from inside the backbox and on the playfield. Its amazing how much paper is inside one little cap.

Man, these pinball machines can be dangerous - sounds like the beginning of a cool Stephen King novel....

#17 2 years ago

I'm always guilty of not taking enough pics!
Always remove the balls in transit. I brought an Embryon home from Lake Erie and had to hear the captive balls all the way home.
Blowing 1 fuse after another chasing down a short until I learned of fuse breakers.
NOT DROPPING EVERYTHING to go score that pin! I've lost countless pins trying to negotiate a day around my job.
Starting this whole obsession according to the wife.

#18 2 years ago

Here's one that just happened. I was taking some pics of my Demo Man for a guy who was interested in buying it. I had to move it out from the wall to get pics of the side. So I start moving it out. The plug was looped around another machine's leg. Oh well I guess I will unplug it. I unplug it and take a bunch of pics of the sides. Then I take off the translight to take some pics of the boards. I see the batteries sitting in there. Oh, I guess I may as well change them. I take out the batteries . . . and lose all of my settings and high scores!

That is lame, I always like it when there is a bunch of high scores on a game when I buy it. Oh well.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

I found that the previous owner did not latch the lightboard correctly

A friend of mine showed me this a long time ago. Once you know what it is, you cant blame the seller... Thats the transporters fault for not securing.

#20 2 years ago

Moving my first and overpaid for Pin, and having the head fall forward, hit the plug end of the cord and shatter the BG.....If you want to know more, ready my story.

#21 2 years ago

Turn it off! Turn it off! Turn it off!

That's my lesson. That little spark is always followed by something bad.

#22 2 years ago

Treasure coving an Earthshaker playfield. I borrowed my mates drill which was way more powerful than mine (i think this thing was used in the channel tunnel construction!!)
Anyway like a fool i span it up too quick and promptly turned the playfield paint to dust straight to the wood. Aggggghhhhhh. I still cringe about it and that was years ago.
I still didn't learn my lesson and did exactly the same thing on a big hurt cabinet a few months later.

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from RWH:

Forget about the fact that you should never work on a pin when it is powered up; how about adding a ring on your right hand to the equation and you know what happened! Learned my lesson after I reached in with the ring on and Bam! got my ass lit up by a live coil. I still work on them powered but, with no jewelry on.

I did the same thing about 2 years ago!

#24 2 years ago

I'm too embarrassed to share my fails...

#25 2 years ago

I was shopping a really dirty TAF and my wife was helping. She asked if she could wipe down the apron with a cloth I was using to clean the extremely grimy playfield. I said sure, not realizing the orange grime cutter stuff would wipe the paint right off that metal apron, which it did....

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

I was shopping a really dirty TAF and my wife was helping. She asked if she could wipe down the apron with a cloth I was using to clean the extremely grimy playfield. I said sure, not realizing the orange grime cutter stuff would wipe the paint right off that metal apron, which it did....

Hey, she asked.

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

Hey, she asked.

I accepted full blame!

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