(Topic ID: 143754)

Recovered Gottlieb Happy Clown


By rottenrobert1313

4 years ago



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  • 46 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by adammerkley
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

Well I finally recoverd Happy Clown from my brothers garage. Been in there for around 20 years. This game was given to him when he was in school from one of his shop teachers. This would've been back in the 80's. My dad tinkered with it back then and got it some what working. I remember playing this game with the family as my dad did what he could with it to keep it going. So I was probably 13 or 14 at the time. Anyways ...I remember he had to trigger somethings by hand to get things to reset and how the game was absent some rubbers and he used what he could find. Rubber bands and wood screws. I know I know. Not the best choices but remember this is before the Internet and was the 80's. So parts where hard to come by.

Our father has passed and since his death I've gotten into the pinball hobby and have been enjoying every minute of it. And all along I've been thinking about my father and this game and how he was able to get it working. My father was always tinkering with things. Very good with his hands and passed alot of knowledge on to his four boys. As all of us work with our hands in different trades. I think of my father everyday in my day job as Im in the skill trades department at my factory. Without his teachings, I wouldn't be the man I am now.

With that being said.... hopefully I can get this game working again so my mom and the rest of my family can enjoy it once again. And pay tribute to our father. Thanks in advance for any questions I'm more then likely going to have.

Now the pictures of said machine.
Playfield.
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Bottom of cab.
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Under playfield.
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One side of cab.
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Upside down head.
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Back side of head still upside down.
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#2 4 years ago

Should be really interesting to see your progress with this! Good back story, potentially nice machine.

#3 4 years ago

Looks very do-able. Do you have the backglass?

#4 4 years ago

Cool story, good luck with it...it will live again!

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from oldtowner:

Should be really interesting to see your progress with this! Good back story, potentially nice machine.

Quoted from gottguy:

Cool story, good luck with it...it will live again!

Thanks guys.

Quoted from jrpinball:

Looks very do-able. Do you have the backglass?

Unfortunately no. One of the last times my brother moved it he set the backbox on the floor and because it was top heavy it fell and broke the glass. Probably next to impossible to find another one but hopefully I will.

Also missing the playfield glass and lock down bar. Playfield glass I can get. Not sure about lock down bar?

#6 4 years ago

Someone out there should have a backglass for that game, or you can check out bgresto.com. http://bgresto.com/?p=1101 The playfield glass is easy, and you should be able to find a lockdown bar fairly easily. I guess you can get all that stuff afterwards. Get the game cleaned up, rerubbered and working first. Good luck. We're here for any support you might need.

#7 4 years ago

Wow! Thank you. I'll be in touch with them when the time comes. And yup first things first. I want to make sure the game will actually start and play before I get to carried away with parts. I ordered the schematic from Marco. Going to carefully go through the game and check for proper fuses and look at wiring before I plug it in and turn it on. I also need to re glue the cabinet.
20151108_160520.jpg

Im going to pick up some clamps and wood glue tomorrow.

Thanks again

#8 4 years ago

"Happy Clown" was a transitional game for Gottlieb. During the run, they switched from the "beehive" style shooter bezel to the flat metal rhomboid style, and changed to the thicker diameter ball push-up rod (same diameter as the shooter rod). Yours appears to be an earlier one with the beehive and the thinner push-up rod.

#9 4 years ago

Pinball Resource is the main licensed distributor for Gottlieb parts. Call Steve Young if you need anything for your game.

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

"Happy Clown" was a transitional game for Gottlieb. During the run, they switched from the "beehive" style shooter bezel to the flat metal rhomboid style, and changed to the thicker diameter ball push-up rod (same diameter as the shooter rod). Yours appears to be an earlier one with the beehive and the thinner push-up rod.

That's interesting to learn.

Quoted from hoov:

Pinball Resource is the main licensed distributor for Gottlieb parts. Call Steve Young if you need anything for your game.

Yeah I've been be poking around on his website. I'm sure I'll be needing some things shortly.

#11 4 years ago

Can't wait to see this restoration..........

#12 4 years ago

When I see machines like this it makes me want to make them look better than new. Where is a game was just players condition... Maybe just a wipe down...haha

#13 4 years ago

here is a video of mine. any questions, let me know

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from BanditBoy:

Can't wait to see this restoration..........

Quoted from agodfrey:

When I see machines like this it makes me want to make them look better than new. Where is a game was just players condition... Maybe just a wipe down...haha

Thanks guys. I can't say its ever going to be a restoration. $$$$$$$ But I'll get it up and running and hopefully playing 100%. Then I'll look at how far I want to take it. As of now....if I get it playing well....I think I'll just enjoy it.

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from pinnut:

here is a video of mine. any questions, let me know
» YouTube video

Awesome. Love the video. That is one nice looking happy clown you have there. I'm sure I'm going to need alot of help to get mine going so thanks. I'll be in touch.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from rottenrobert1313:

Thanks guys. I can't say its ever going to be a restoration. $$$$$$$ But I'll get it up and running and hopefully playing 100%. Then I'll look at how far I want to take it. As of now....if I get it playing well....I think I'll just enjoy it.

I think you will be surprised how nice that game can look with just elbo grease cleaning and adjusting with minimal expense in new parts.

Stay on that path until it justifies any additional effort.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from MikeO:

I think you will be surprised how nice that game can look with just elbo grease cleaning and adjusting with minimal expense in new parts.
Stay on that path until it justifies any additional effort.

I believe so. I got the damaged corner back together and just glued in all the loose 45° wood pecies in the bottom. Little by little I'll get there.

1 week later
#18 4 years ago

Well I finally had time to do a little bit of work on happy clown. I got the head attached to the cabinet.
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Cleaned up the side rails and side of cabinet.
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Replaced the power cord checked the fuses and cleaned the tilt switchs. Plugged it in and its doing things.....lol.
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Believe it or not the score reels all reset except the 100's position on player one. Now comes the tedious task of cleaning all the switchs, score reels and stepper units. Im pretty excited to get at it.

#19 4 years ago

it's an awesome game..did a ground up restoration on mine a few years ago including installing a nos playfield.

documented the entire process on aussie arcade, just search happy clown

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from illawarra92:

it's an awesome game..did a ground up restoration on mine a few years ago including installing a nos playfield.
documented the entire process on aussie arcade, just search happy clown

I looked around for it but couldn't find it. I bet it turned out great though.

#22 4 years ago

Great story! I hope you get this thing up and running again! It reminds me of my Dodge City with the layout, which is my favorite EM!

Any luck on the backglass?
Joe

#23 4 years ago

Here's a link to a guy making a backglass:
http://vintagepinball.tumblr.com/post/45837658380/gottlieb-happy-clown-pinball-backglass-art

And BG resto has done this one:
http://bgresto.com/?p=1101

Looks like you are in luck! It will be the most expensive piece on this machine, but well worth it!

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from jodini:

Here's a link to a guy making a backglass:
http://vintagepinball.tumblr.com/post/45837658380/gottlieb-happy-clown-pinball-backglass-art
And BG resto has done this one:
http://bgresto.com/?p=1101
Looks like you are in luck! It will be the most expensive piece on this machine, but well worth it!

I agree. The backglass is going to cost the most. But its a must have. I got the game for free and just for the history of this pin in the family I have to get it. All in do time which I'm really short on these days. Little by little I'll get it playing again. Thanks for the web links.

#25 4 years ago

Nice job man

#27 4 years ago

So here is where I'm at today...

I cleaned up the balls played step unit and the 0-9 step unit. 20151202_104954.jpg20151202_104427.jpg20151202_102651.jpg

It doesn't look like it due to flash from my phone but, it really is a lite coat of super lube.

Ok so now when I plug in game the motor starts and stops on a start position and then I have nothing. Hit the game start button and nothing.

I've cleaned and inspected all the relay switchs. So I'm kinda stuck. Any ideas?

Thanks

#28 4 years ago

Has the Control Bank of relays reset?

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

Has the Control Bank of relays reset?

Do you mean the big bank in the bottom of cab that uses the 120v coil to fire? If so then no. Ive been waiting to see that happen along with the stepper units in the head of cab do something.

#30 4 years ago

Unless the game has been modified, when you plug it in it shouldn't do anything at first (no lights, no score motor running, etc.). Then when a coin mech switch trips to start a game (or pressing the replay button on the coin door if the game has credits), the Start relay should energize and trip, the Hold relay should energize and lock on, the score motor should start running to reset all the score reels, and then the Control Bank should reset after the reset is completed.

You might try manually resetting the Control Bank first before plugging the game in, and then see how far it gets.

Otherwise, it will be a matter of debugging the logic via the schematic to see what's causing the score motor to run when the game is plugged in, and then checking the things along the startup path (including the path from the replay button to the Start relay).

#31 4 years ago

Sometimes the lights are on and sometimes they are off when I plug it in. When off I trip a coin switch and thats when the hold relay does trip. (I should have mentioned that) and the score motor starts then stops. Before I cleaned the switchs it would run endlessly. The score reels I haven't gone through yet so I'm wondering if that could be it? But its like its not even trying to reset them and it did before I cleaned switchs. So it must be something that I've done. I'll have to look at everything I've done to see what's going on. I'm really just not sure of the sequence of things on start up so your post helps. I really appreciate it .

I'll try manually resetting the bank and plug it in and see what happens.

Thanks again

#32 4 years ago

Manually setting the relay bank didn't make any difference. But it does seem pretty consistent when plugged in there isn't a light on until I trip the coin switch. Score motor starts then stops in one of three places (seems normal) then hold relay pulls in and thats it. Not sure where to go from here?

#33 4 years ago
Quoted from rottenrobert1313:

when plugged in there isn't a light on until I trip the coin switch.

This is correct behavior then.

On the Control Bank, is the Start relay tripping? (Usually labeled SB, but check your schematic.)

#34 4 years ago

No its not. When I hit the start button on the door nothing happens. There is credits on the game. I thought maybe it was the start button switch, but even when I jumper it out I still have nothing. Checked and cleaned the jones connector for the door and still nothing. I got the schematic so I'll take a closer look.

Thanks for the help.

#35 4 years ago

How about when you trip the coin mech switch though? That path bypasses the replay button path logic, so only has the one switch that needs to work.

Does Happy Clown have the 'K', 'E', and 'W' relay config on the bottom of the schematic? If so, the basic goal is to get 'K' or 'W' to energize, and either of those will complete the path to the transformer, which will then energize the Hold relay (R) and let it keep the power on. The replay button path is for activating the 'E' relay (Replay Button relay), and all it does is then activate 'K' - the sequence is the same after K then energizes.

K or W energizing will get the score motor running, but SB needs to trip to keep it going and go through the reset/startup sequence.

So there are two separate problems to debug: the replay button path (which is just about getting the E relay to energize, which in turn energizes K), and the startup sequence (getting SB to trip and take off from there). The replay button problem can wait, as long as the coin mech switches are energizing K. The bigger issue is getting SB to trip and the game started.

#36 4 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

Does Happy Clown have the 'K', 'E', and 'W' relay config on the bottom of the schematic? If so, the basic goal is to get 'K' or 'W' to energize, and either of those will complete the path to the transformer, which will then energize the Hold relay (R) and let it keep the power on.

Yes it does have "K","E", and "W" relays. And from what it looks like and what your telling me...by hitting the coin switch after plugging game in (lights off) starts the motor bypassing the start button on the door. The button can wait till another time. Got it. Now the hold relay does hold and the motor stops in one of three places. Lights stay on. So I'm good up till this point.

So it comes down to getting the SB relay to trip. And I need to find the switch that trips it. Maybe I missed cleaning some switchs in the score motor.

Thanks for your help. You have know idea how much I appreciate it .

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from rottenrobert1313:

So it comes down to getting the SB relay to trip.

Yes, and that's going to be something like a switch on K closing, the 1st Ball relay, and a score motor switch. But check your schematic for the exact switches involved.

#38 4 years ago

Nice tribute to your dad. I feel the same way about mine. Here here!!

Good luck on your game

G

#39 4 years ago
Quoted from GPS:

Nice tribute to your dad. I feel the same way about mine. Here here!!
Good luck on your game
G

Thanks.

Quoted from DirtFlipper:

Yes, and that's going to be something like a switch on K closing, the 1st Ball relay, and a score motor switch. But check your schematic for the exact switches involved.

Ok so here's what I discovered tonight. After the ubove post I made where score motor stops in one of three places. I cleaned some more switchs on motor 4C as thats what looks like is needed for the SB relay. Well...no changes so I manually moved the coil for the bank. Again no changes. Same start then stop sequence. So then I manually tripped the SB relay on the bank and score motor began to move and run continuously. So....I'm still trying to get familiar with this machine without monkeying with it too much and making things worse.

Just need to figure out what trips the SB relay. Might be obvious to some but I'm struggling. Lol.

Heres a picture of the circuit that I'm dealing with and also the score motor switch layout. Hopefully they shows clear enough in the pictures

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#41 4 years ago

No, that part doesn't show the SB coil. Look on the left side in the relay index section, and it will give a coordinate on the schematic where it is (like '11E' or something). Then look for the coil symbol (set of loops) labeled 'SB'. Then read left to right for the switches.

1 week later
#42 4 years ago

Wow. I wish I had more time. School and work is just to much to really dig into this game and it's stressful to not make much progress when I do have some time with it.

Looking at the schematic...for the SB relay to pull there is four switches. 2B thats NO, motor 2C thats NO, K which I assume means the K relay that is NO. And motor 1A thats NO. 20151214_155809.jpg

Well after cleaning and making sure the switchs are closing I still have the same results. Feeling a bit frustrated. Maybe it would be worth my money vs. time to have Clay come down. Ugh.

#43 4 years ago

That's "ZB", not "2B".

When cleaning/gapping the switches still don't energize a coil, that's when a jumper wire is helpful. You jumper from SB over to say, the motor 1A switch, so that's the only thing that needs to close to energize it. If that works, then you move one switch closer. Then the last switch not jumped over that causes it to not work is the culprit (or the wiring near it). Alternatively, can start by jumpering from SB to the ZB switch and move farther away until it does work. Then the last switch jumped over to make it work is where the culprit is.

If you jumper all the way from SB to the other side of motor 1A, and SB doesn't directly energize, then the coil itself is suspect.

3 years later
#44 7 months ago

How do you lift the playfield? Something seems to be holding it down.

#45 7 months ago
Quoted from Quickdraw19:

How do you lift the playfield? Something seems to be holding it down.

Reach in through the coin door and pull the brass plated bar forward. Shown in the lower part of this pic.
28393fc9ffc2efb68cb6557b6a8410c9e1e9fb22 (resized).jpg

1 month later
#46 6 months ago

I'll be following this thread. I'm in the beginnings of resurrecting a Gottlieb Dodge City 1965.

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