(Topic ID: 223419)

Walk me through moving a pinball machine.


By sataneatscheese

8 months ago



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  • 18 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Darcy
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    #1 8 months ago

    I'm planning on getting my first pinball machine in the next few weeks and wanted somebody to walk me through the ends and outs of moving a pinball machine.

    If there is a good article on this I can't find it. The logical steps I'm thinking are:

    Plan would be to meet the seller and try out their machine to verify everything works before I buy it. Do final negotiations and pay in cash to protect both parties. With seller, pick up and physically move pinball machine outside their house. Remove brackets from the backglass and fold top of pinball machine onto body, with moving blankets in-between. Remove back legs from pinball machine, physically picking up rear of pinball machine and sliding into back of minivan. Remove front legs of pinball machine. Secure machine with towels and or bungee cords as appropriate. Drive the minimum speed limit on the biggest and smoothest highway I can find back to my house. Attach straps to pinball machine to prevent pinball machine top from opening from bottom. Slide pinball machine out of car so it is standing on it's back. With a friend, slide pinball machine onto moving dolly and secure to moving dolly. Wheel pinball machine into my basement (hill, no stairs). Slowly tilt pinball machine onto it's bottom. Add rear legs. Prop up against stool while adding front legs. Re-attach back bracket to machine. Plug in machine and hope it works. Do whatever diagnosis I can of machine. Fix as appropriate and enjoy.

    If I'm missing anything, you have any tips or can point me to any tips please let me know.

    #2 8 months ago

    what era of machine. different years are different in moving.

    #3 8 months ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    what era of machine. different years are different in moving.

    Beat me to it. Older machines will have different requirements, but it sounds like you have the basics down.

    #4 8 months ago

    btw, when you fold the head down. You need to tie it to the body. or when you stand it up on end, the head will crash to the ground. I use a ratchet strap. You dont' need it that tight. Just tight enough so it doesn't slide down the head. All it's doing is holding the head to the cabinet, so don't go nuts.

    #5 8 months ago

    A note, if you put the pinball machine into your car back end first, then when you try to take it out it'll be backwards. If your car is of the right height where you can do the "take two legs off, set on car, remove other two", then you want to put the front end in first. My car is shorter, so I tend to take the back legs off, stand it on its back, take the front legs off, and then tip it front first into the car.

    Similarly when reassembling, and it's standing on its back, you put the legs on the front first, then pick up the back and install the back legs.

    #6 8 months ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    what era of machine. different years are different in moving

    System 11 or newer. Most likely something from 1990 to 1997. A DMD or System 11 machine.

    #7 8 months ago

    Always make sure the Seller is capable of helping if not I highly highly recommend having a strong friend present.

    #8 8 months ago

    Industrial plastic wrap + blankets. Wrap that sucker good. Remove the pinballs + translite during transport.

    Use a piece of cardboard to slide it in + out of the vehicle you'll be transporting the pin in. Use straps to tie it down....even if it's a short drive. Accidents can happen and you don't want a 300+lbs machine crashing into you.

    I just moved a pin yesterday and this is what I did. Good luck!

    #9 8 months ago

    Seems like you got it down other than take the balls out before you start to take it apart.

    #10 8 months ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    Seems like you got it down other than take the balls out before you start to take it apart.

    New to owning pinball machines... is this something you normally do through the coin door or do you usually have to remove the glass?

    #11 8 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    New to owning pinball machines... is this something you normally do through the coin door or do you usually have to remove the glass?

    Glass needs to be off.

    -Remove glass, take out the pinballs and put the glass back.
    -Put blanket on top of glass, remove translite and then lay down the head onto the blanket.
    -Wrap it up with industrial plastic wrap. (over, under & sideways)
    -Get it into your vehicle and then cover with more blankets (and tarp if necessary).
    -Secure it with straps

    #12 8 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    New to owning pinball machines... is this something you normally do through the coin door or do you usually have to remove the glass?

    you remove the glass, open the door and use your finger to push on the solenoid and eject the balls.

    you don't necessarily have to raise the playfield if you don't want to. (you can access through the coin door)

    you take the balls out because you don't want them banging around during transport and breaking stuff.

    #13 8 months ago

    And because you need the glass off, a good thing to find out in advance is whether the seller has the keys to the coin door (and backbox). Otherwise, you may need to drill the lock out.

    #14 8 months ago

    never ever set glass down on cement. The temp change mostly likely will have it burst into diamonds. Always find a piece of cardboard or rug to set it down on edge, or have someone hold it on their foot while you take the balls out and clean out everything inside the cabinet that is just sitting there.

    #15 8 months ago

    Use pool cues or something similar inside the car to roll the game on when you are loading in and out of the car. I damaged the bottom of the front of a cabinet loading it without using something like a pool cue. Without this tip you are pushing the cabinet with all of the weight dragging on the bed of your carpet. It’ll make loading easier and less likely to damage the cabinet

    #16 8 months ago

    In addition to what has been said already, one thing I always do is secure the light board in the head that swings out to access circuit boards. Once I remove the head bolts, I close door and put a screw on the metal latch that you raise to open the door. This prevents the door from swinging open in transit and scratching the translite or worse the silkscreened backglass. Also remember to lock the back glass in place if the lockset is there, or tape it and the speaker grill securely so the backglass/speaker does not fall out when you raise the head again. Applies to Solid State games, not so much EM's.

    #17 8 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    Walk me through moving a pinball machine.

    Moving a pinball machine? Whenever the ball looks like its going to exit down the left or right outlane or go straight down the middle (SDTM) lean your hips forward and nudge the machine just enough to have the ball bounce off something and stay in play (but do not nudge too hard or you'll tilt the game). Not what you meant?

    #18 8 months ago

    Gravity can be a 'Bitch'.

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