(Topic ID: 54252)

Transporting a machine

By jxm1092

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Pafasa
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 6 years ago

    Hello everyone. So I finally scored a deal through a friend of my wife's who was looking to unload a Firepower Pinball machine for $100 so I took them up on it. The question I have is are we ok to transport it 3 1/2 hours down the interstate in the back of a pickup truck? I intend to cover it with a tarp and then use tie downs, tow straps etc to hold it in place. They seem to think the only thing to do is take off the legs and then we are good to load it up. I just want to make sure this is right and that I shouldn't need anything else before I head out on Saturday to get it. Thanks guys.

    #2 6 years ago

    Take off the legs and fold the head down. Bring a pillow or something to go between the head and the body of the machine. Definitely cover it and strap it down.

    #3 6 years ago

    Remove the balls from the game so they don't bounce around and break stuff.

    Remove the legs. Tie down securely so in an accident you don't turn it into a 300 pound missile.

    LTG : )

    #4 6 years ago
    Quoted from KevInBuffalo:

    Take off the legs and fold the head down. Bring a pillow or something to go between the head and the body of the machine. Definitely cover it and strap it down.

    First off, congrats...Firepower is a cool game. Just to reiterate what others have said...take the legs off and take the balls out.

    Secondly, I'm not sure that Firepower has a hinged backbox. If it does, definitely fold it down. If not, you'll have to decide between:

    1) Leaving the backbox on. Probably ok, just make sure all the backbox bolts are there and securely installed and the whole game is covered with your tarp or moving blankets. Push the game up to the front of the pickup box with the coin door facing the tailgate.

    2) Removing the backbox. This is what I always do, but it involves unplugging all of the connectors from the boards in the backbox. If you do this and this is your first time, make sure you take lots of pictures and/or label connectors to make sure you can get it plugged back in the right way. I think this is the safest of all options.

    3) Removing the backbox bolts and strapping the backbox to the cabinet (leaving all of the connectors connected). I know people do this to save time plugging things back in, but I don't like the idea of the backbox slipping and putting strain on the connectors and board header pins in the backbox. I, personally, would stick with options 1 or 2.


    #5 6 years ago

    Doesn't Firepower have a backglass? Probably worth mentioning that no matter what you do, removing and securing the backglass is probably a good idea.

    #6 6 years ago

    Here's a great thread on removing the backbox for transport:



    #7 6 years ago

    cover it also don't let the sun beat down on the PF it will melt the plastic Good luck

    #8 6 years ago

    Firepower head does not hinge. Remove the backglass and transport it inside your vehicle. Be careful not to scratch the backside of the glass. The paint is likely flaky in spots and it will take damage very easily.

    Once you have the glass off, lift the latch on the right side of the white insert panel and swing it out of your way. There are a bunch wires and connectors and one ground strap screwed to the head just in front of the big rectangular hole. Unplug the connectors on the harnesses between the head and the cabinet. They are all color coded (or at least should be) so getting them back together correctly should be easy. There are two connectors sets that are physically the same and they can be connected wrong. One set should be white and the other set blue. However, some machines went out of the factory with both sets white. Mark your connectors if you have any question. Getting these two reversed will damage your boards.

    After the wires are disconnected, remove the 2-4 bolts on the bottom of the head. Have someone hold the head while you do this because it can tip over pretty easily. With the bolts removed, close and latch the white insert panel and slide the head forward about 2 inches and then lift up. There is (or should be) a metal tab on the bottom of the head that mates with one attached to the main cabinet.

    You can at this point put the backglass back in the head and lock it in if you would like to transport it that way. Up to you, but just make sure you lock it!

    Take the balls out. Take out any loose stuff from inside the coin door. Take the legs off and safely strap your game into the truck.

    DO NOT TRANSPORT IT WITH THE HEAD ON!!! You will damage the head or the cabinet or both!

    #9 6 years ago

    enterprise rents a truck that holds one (or 4!) nicely without worrying about weather. $129 and unlimited miles. was very convenient.

    #10 6 years ago
    Quoted from yoshootme:

    enterprise rents a truck that holds one (or 4!) nicely without worrying about weather. $129 and unlimited miles. was very convenient.

    Is it a truck, or a van?


    #11 6 years ago

    Before you head out to pick up the machine, see if you can confirm that the owner has all the keys to the machine. You won't be able to get inside the game or the head without them. If they don't have keys you may need to drill the locks. Be prepared with the tools you need to do this.

    info on pinball locks http://www.flippers.be/basics/101_pinball_locks.html

    Take a socket set or a set open end wrenches or at the very least a medium sized adjustable wrench. Pliers may come in handy too.

    Moving blankets and stretch wrap will be your friend if you want to be careful with your game.

    Ask the owner if they know of any issues and if there are any books or papers for this machine anywhere.

    Firepower needs three balls in it to start a game. Make sure you get all three out.

    #12 6 years ago

    make sure the tarp doesn't flap. A flapping tarp could cause a lot of paint damage on the cabinet.

    #13 6 years ago

    Another thing, with the legs off, you will be tempted to slide it into the bed of the truck. If you are not careful, you can split the plywood cabinet. Use caution and you will keep your cabinet in good shape.

    #14 6 years ago

    As pinballlizard points out, a loose tarp can do much damage.

    Personally I like to transport pins in an open bed without any cover on them. I have not had any issues with plastics melting in the sun, but I guess it could happen.

    If you feel that you must cover it, I would strongly encourage you to use a bed sheet or something cloth like and wrap rope around it like crazy to keep it tight. If you have a 3 hour plus drive any type of cover will be trying to work it self loose and it will unless you do an excellent job securing it.

    I much prefer transport in a station wagon if it is only one pin. Low to the ground, easy to load and protected from the outside.

    #15 6 years ago

    i'd also putting something underneath machine before you take the legs off so you don't have as far to lift it up. i've used two stacks of two milk crates and some boards. trying to pick up a machine off the ground is not fun. learned that one the first time around.

    #16 6 years ago

    Awesome thank you for all the info guys hopefully transport goes smoothly. I will post some pics in a new thread this weekend or next week when I pick up the machine.

    #17 6 years ago

    Use NAVL just don't hit on the female driver

    #18 6 years ago
    Quoted from Nilroc:

    Use NAVL just don't hit on the female driver

    That is only funny if he has read that other thread. I laughed.

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pafasa:

    That is only funny if he has read that other thread. I laughed.

    I love inside jokes once in a while.

    #20 6 years ago
    Quoted from HighNoon:

    Is it a truck, or a van?

    i think they list it as a cargo van. it is really perfect to use. had 2 pins in it in no time. not too high to load either.

    #21 6 years ago

    Hey making a road trip to pick up several pins next week...was going to rent uhaul, but cargo van seems a bit easier and price comparable....are there no seats in it or what? I need to fit 3 pins...one a wide body DMD, one regular DMD, and one regular early ss.... Other option is use my 5x8 trailer and save money but with no cover on it it makes me nervouse for Esther and wind...if I blanket, tarp, and seran wrap all of them would they be okay on that trailer? Opinions? Thanks.

    #22 6 years ago

    I wouldn't purposely drive into a storm, but blankey+tarp+shrink wrap should be good. I'd do it if that was the most ready option. Just go crazy on the shrink wrap and you are good.

    #23 6 years ago

    Thanks. Figure a few roles of that a lot cheaper than the uhaul....and no time constraints.

    #24 6 years ago

    Nothing is guaranteed. Even a covered trailer might leak when driving through a bad storm, but if you layer the stretch wrap with wif direction in mind, you should be fine.

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