(Topic ID: 223505)

Pinball maintenance in a room with a low ceiling

By uneksija

9 months ago

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  • 11 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by zrbrt
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#1 9 months ago

I just bought a new house (well, new for me - the house is 70 years old). In the cellar there is a room with space for 6 pinball machines, or perhaps even 7, which I think is pretty neat. Now I encountered the following:

The room height is 194 cm (76 inches), which is just enough for my Jungle Lord pinball, which is the only machine I have there at the moment. However, there is one thing: I can’t lift the playfield so that it leans on the backbox, because when lifting, the top of the playfield bumps on the ceiling - there is simply not enough height in the room. This is pretty annoying, because ”leaning on the backbox” repair position is very useful when fixing upper playfield mechanisms etc. Of course I can use the basic ”car hood” repair position with the help of the machine’s metal support thing (sorry, my pinball vocabulary is clearly lacking). Unfortunately this position is pretty bad on my back when fixing upper playfield mechanisms etc.

Has anybody else had this problem? I wonder if there any tricks that could be used that are not so obvious? If I don’t figure out anything else, I’ll probably put a couple of hooks on the ceiling so that the playfield can lean on those in a much steeper position than the basic ”car hood” position. That would probably significantly reduce my problem.

Soon I’ll bring my EATPM into the room. I had to get shortened custom legs, because Elvira needs about 0,5-1 cm more room height than I have… I really hope I won’t have the same problem with Elvira’s playfield as I have with the Jungle Lord’s playfield. Unlike Jungle Lord, Elvira has hinges for lifting the playfield, and it shouldn’t require so much vertical space… But we’ll see how it goes.

Anyways, any thoughts on pinball maintentance in a room with a low ceiling would be much appreciated! Please tell me my game room doesn’t suck because of the height

#2 9 months ago

Well, first of all, your room sucks because of the height.

Other then that...well custom shorter legs is the only useful thing i can think of, if you dont want to dig up the floor and sink the games down some 50 cm's into the floor.

#3 9 months ago

Easy. Pretend you are an op. Done.

You don't have to worry about maintenance then. Just be able to open the coin door to remove money.

LTG : )

#4 9 months ago

Put the game on a cart, take off the legs, lower the cart, and then lift up the playfield?

#5 9 months ago

Any chance you have a drop tile ceiling? I had the same problem in my basement until I removed the tiles and painted everything above a flat matte black. Looks great and now have plenty of room.

#6 9 months ago

You can remove the playfield; easy to do on an EM. I don't know how 'easy' it would be for a solid state game. I've never done it. Maybe someone can chime in with an answer to that.

#7 9 months ago

I've also seen two chains attached to the rear of the backbox and then somewhere on the sides of the playfield, one on each side. You don't want that playfield coming down on your head! This would allow you to lift the playfield all the way up to the ceiling.

#8 9 months ago

I have the same problem. I have a drop ceiling, and it does give enough so that I can get the playfield up, though there are scrape marks on the ceiling, but I have extra panels.

Data East machines have a nice feature with a couple eye bolts and a strap between them which you can probably do a similar set up on your other machines. (see top image below)

#9 9 months ago

Sega games like Baywatch cannot have the playfield lifted in the main area of my basement. It just does not make it past the apex point. I can take the hangers off of the PF or take the leg levelers / legs off. My shop area has an open ceiling so no problem there. For something major can be wheeled in there... but still PITA at times.

#10 9 months ago

Thanks for the tips!

The ceiling isn't drop tile - it's concrete. Hence I think my best option would be two install those hooks to the ceiling. Then the playfield could lean on those with a much higher angle than the basic "car hood" position. I think then it should be quite comfortable to carry out those repairs that would normally require the "leaning on the backbox" repair position.

I'll report the results here when I get those hooks installed! I became a father two months ago, thus pinball time seems to be a bit limited

1 week later
#11 8 months ago

I have a low ceiling as well and my approach was similar to ForceFlow, but I didn't want to spend the money for a cart. I bought a hydraulic stool and put it under the front of the game so the front legs are off the ground, then, I lower the stool so that the front is lower and I can rest the playfield against the backbox.

It took some measuring, but this stool: amazon.com link » worked for me. I believe my ceiling is two inches higher than yours.

If in doubt, ForceFlow's answer is the best. Store the cart under the game(s), done.

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