(Topic ID: 221214)

Recel pinball (underwater) questions

By Frogger1108

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 7 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Arcane
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

recel_coil (resized).jpg
back_recel (resized).jpg
front_recel (resized).jpg

#1 3 years ago


I recently bought an old playfield from recel, it's either underwater or the 1 player torpedo versions. It seems like somebody started to dismantle the playfield, all the lamp sockets are gone, the wiring is missing and all the EM parts like the bonus unit are gone too. This means I'm left with the coils and some of the switches, the plastics on the other hand are all there.
Since I really like the look of that machine I'm not going to use them as spare parts but I'm going to restore it back to life using Arduinos, but since I don't know much about recel I need some information before I start my work:

The playfield is still good and covered in the recel, mylar-like coating. It's only slighty coming off in some areas so I'd like to keep it on. What kind of cleaner do I use for this coating? How do I treat this coat after I cleaned it? Do you apply wax or do you just play on it without treatment?

The next big thing are the coils. What kind of voltage did recel use for the coils? I worked on Williams EM coils, they run fine with 24Volt, is this what recel used too?

Last thing, the mechanisms. Recel used a spring wound around the flipper shaft mechanism (I don't know what it's officially called, see the attatched picture . I only know Williams flipper mechanisms which have a spring around the plunger, those are easy to replace. How do I work with the recel ones? How do I get them off, and what kind of spring would be a fitting replacement?

Thank you in advance for your help, I already looked at the few manual scans that are out there but I really can't find the answers I need to start working.

Kind regards.

back_recel (resized).jpgfront_recel (resized).jpgrecel_coil (resized).jpg
#2 3 years ago
#4 3 years ago

You want Gottlieb parts since Recel used mostly Gottlieb assemblies. Definitely 24 volts for the coils.

Gottlieb # A-3328 Left Hand Side Return Spring

Gottlieb # A-3329 Right Hand Side Return Spring


#5 3 years ago

Welcome to the Recel small family.

For the mylared playfield, there is nothing to do specifically. Just keep it clean, using alcohol or any gentle cleaner of your choice.
A Recel machine plays naturally very fast. There is absolutely no need to wax the mylared playfield. As you will see, with a clean and fresh ball, these machines are among the fastest electro-mechanical pinballs you will ever see.

As Ken indicated to you, most parts are directly sourced from Gottlieb. Your plastics seem to be in excellent shape and you have all the little white hat to hold them. I do not know if these "hats" are easy to find, so it is better to not lose any.

For details about Recel machines, I have published a Blog about the Recel Lady Luck. That may help you in rewiring your machine:


#6 3 years ago

Thank you all for your help. I'll start working on the playfield in the next weeks, if you're interested I will keep you updated about my progress. I converted an Aztec playfield before, so the basics are covered but I made many mistakes and took shortcuts I'll try to avoid this time...

I read your blog Arcance ,but your work is on another level....I'm just trying to get this thing to work, and as you can see from the pictures, I don't have much to restore anyway and I will have to rebuild pretty much everything.

One other thing I forgot are the rubbers. I can't find a playfield/rubber chart and no seller has the Underwater rubber set (I'm in Germany), besides I have a lot of the smaller rubbers lying around anyway. Does anybody have a scan of the rubber chart?

Thanks again

#7 3 years ago

I am sure you checked the IPDB database:


It has some nice picture of Underwater. After seeing the backglass, it came back to my memory that I had played that machine in France, in some cafes. I have always had a strong interest for submarines and that backglass definitely attracted me, when I was a kid.

For the rubber, just measure and buy the corresponding rubber rings. There is a drawing (unfortunately incomplete) of the playfield in the data base.

Yes, please start a BLOG and tell us about your progress. There is a gentleman describing his "Whack a Mole" pinball and We would love to read about your endeavor with Arduino and other Micro-controllers. For sure, it will be a lot easier than trying to rebuild a mechanical machine. If you decide to do so, you should move your BLOG to the restoration files.

All the switches and most parts can be sourced from Gottlieb machines (the Pinball Resource or other local donors).

Good luck.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside