(Topic ID: 81336)

"Welcome to the Circus!" - CV Club for Owners, Fans

By Dbaum88

5 years ago

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  • 988 posts
  • 162 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 31 days ago by amxfc3s
  • Topic is favorited by 86 Pinsiders


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#503 2 years ago

Joined the cirqus this week. Hooray. One of my top 5 games ever. Yay.

It's got a few issues, & I have little time, so I'm combing through the game & this thread to see what sort of mods/work/upgrades/repairs/prevention I want to implement.

A couple quick questions:

1 - Where do I stick these? I did reglue the long sticker on the hold-up-the-playfield-lock-bar thingie at back left. But I'm not sure where this related sticker goes. And the zappy sticker goes somewhere inside the coin door?
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2 - Is this a hold-the-weak-back-left-playfield-together custom bracket, or is this a standard factory bracket to interface with the lock thingy?
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3 - The backbox has the real metal bell mod. The ball doesn't seem to be very effective. It often falls short, & it was actually wedged & stuck up against the bell (at about 10:00). It was like that when I brought the game home & put the head up. The ball might be too thick (and heavy?).
What's the recommended ball to use to ding the real bell?

More questions shall trickle in along the way! =D


#509 2 years ago

Thanks for the replies. I'm continuing to chip away at open items on my CV.

1 - Glued the big decal under the Ringmaster. Haven't yet found out where the zappy electrical shocked guy sticker goes. I'm looking for a telltale rectangular "shadow" somewhere in the cabinet.

2 - On my to-do list is to inspect the back left corner of the PF for damage, then fab something accordingly. This PF is too goshdarn heavy for me to pop out to see the back left corner. I used to be able to handily swap my P2K PFs, as they were pretty light & had full-length rails. What's the technique for 1 muscularly challenged person to pull out a PF?

3 - The backbox tub had been repaired. Although it looks really uglypants (pipe strap!), it seems solid, so it's not a priority for me now.
What seems to be more significant is that the previous guy switched to foosball balls to better *ding* the metal bell. I've got 4 yellow balls & 1 orange ball. Stats below. One of the heavier ones was installed. Looks as if the larger diameter & mass of a foosball is a likely culprit for the ball sticking & not dinging the bell. Perhaps a swap to a beefier coil is supposed to accompany this mod? Does #5 below look like a stock ball?
1-4: diameter: 1.455-1.457", mass: 26g
5: diameter 1.397", mass: 10g

4 - I seem to have 2 menagerie balls. The blue one looks nicer, so I polished it a bit & put it back in the machine. It seems to work, so no immediate issues here.
6&7: diameter: 1.93-1.94", mass: 6g (7 says "EURO-MATIC, MADE IN DENMARK")


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#511 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

So you have a pic of this 'electrified guy'?
The #5 ball is the correct ball.
Games were shipped with varying color of Menagerie colored balls. Both may be accurate.


Electrified zappy guy: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/welcome-to-the-circus-cv-club-for-owners-fans/page/11#post-3925515


#514 2 years ago

Thanks for the replies!

1 - Stuck the zapped guy sticker in the correct location. Found some pics online showing where it goes. I was thrown off because the sticker spans a step between 2 parts in the coin door. Anyway, glued!

3 - Cleaned up the orange cannonball (alcohol, Novus 1, 3, 2, 1, alcohol). It was quite dingy at first. Now rather shiny. Installed. Popped the cannon 5-6 times or so. It's got pep & hits the bell every time, with a tiny *ding*. Maybe I'll look into *slightly* heavier balls later, but it seems good.

4 - My neon is red, my menagerie ball is blue. No idea if either is factory. Neon wouldn't turn on in self-test menu mode, but it does come off & on a bit during attract mode. What is the normal neon behavior, so I know if it's acting normally vs. being intermittent?

5 - Did service bulletin 5 last night. The funky sheet metal that protects the spinner switch under the neon required a little bending so it wouldn't pinch wires on the next lower switch. I left off the bracket that protects the DMD cover, as it won't go on unless you trim the cover. Installed a new DMD cover. See pics for hilarious cover that was on the game when I got it--despite it looking terrible, it actually looked A-OK when installed & w/ the playfield in place...but once I saw how fubar it was, it irked me. Then I practiced how to get the PF in & out w/out busting it--not hard--requires just a bit of care.

In the mail are: rubbers, blackout mod, Ringmaster hole protector/cover, coin box, standup targets, pop bumper skirts, green shooter rod spring, clear flipper buttons (which I'll backlight), 3x roller switch for locks, leg protectors. When the rings come in, I'll do a halfway torn-down top-side clean & wax. That's all... :]


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#528 2 years ago

Worked on the backbox last night: cleaning, putting in LEDs, cable management, lubricating 5-point wheel thing, checking/cleaning solenoid, etc.

My attempts at using subdued frosted colored LEDs & color-matching tastefully looks pretty blecchhh. Just way too many odd colors in this art package.

I'm going clear all the way on this game (except maybe a few flashers like the domed one).

Going through the parts list, I came up with the following bulb totals. Has anybody counted or verified if this is accurate?

48x 44/47 bayonet
2x 89 bayonet flasher
77x 555 wedge
17x 906 wedge flasher


Also, regarding an accurate rubber ring count, don't forget the 3 little ones in the backbox! My black ones were old & dry, probably the source of some of those black mark trails from the cannonball. New clear ones on there look fab & should keep the backbox cleaner.


#530 2 years ago
Quoted from shovelhed:

Pics of your pin

Who me? Oh, nothing special to document. It's just another CV...I'm being slow & meticulous in getting it squared away before playing (& I have precious little time on my hands in general...), & I don't expect to have any visually interesting mods to share.

Here are 2 pics after I got the head up & the scrolls on. Enjoy.


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2 weeks later
#551 2 years ago


I'm rebuilding my Boom! balloon assembly, & there are 2 things that don't seem right.

1: The manual shows 1X item 57, 23-6626 Grommet, between the bumper body & cap ("Boom" plastic). My game had no grommets, just 1 small shim (Velcro?) between the bumper body & cap at the hole closer to the point of the teardrop (the screw closer to the flippers).
Are there supposed to be 2 of these grommets? For shock absorption?

2: For the little lamp PCB assembly, item 16, is there anything holding it in place, apart from its 2 wires? It was rather cockeyed when I opened up the pop bumper, but I have it sitting a bit better now. Just seeing if it should have some further retention.


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#558 2 years ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

I didn't have the rubber grommet in mine, so I used a small folded piece of paper.
Also, coyote is right, it just lays in there stupidly.

Ah, I see. The sot-tipped set screw at the bottom of the assembly controls the height of the pop bumper (essentially where the rear screw attaches the cap plastic to the body), then the front screw w/ grommet (or substitute) can be adjusted to bring the front edge of the plastic up or down to align it.



3 months later
#646 1 year ago

Stripped the top side, cleaned a few times over, waxed 4 times, tumble polishing or hand-polishing all steel. That took almost 5 months on the calendar (not much time to work on this...kids...).

Finally ready for re-assembly, with all new flipper mechs, new coils, new sleeves, new rubbers, new bumper parts, etc! Good thing I took oodles of photos--my memory isn't nearly good enough to remember how to put it all back together! =O


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1 year later
#883 4 months ago

Could somebody please take a couple of side view photos of the spoon switch + lamp terminals stack on the boom balloon assembly?

I'm replacing the spoon + leaf switch, but the other spacers & lugs/diode for the pop bumper lamp are also stacked with the spoon/leaf assembly.

Tricky (for me, at least) to replace just part of this stack & keep everything else intact & in order & such, including keeping the spoon at the correct height relative to the bumper wafer shaft.

For reference, p. 2-27 from the manual (p. 133 of the PDF).

Thank you,

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#888 4 months ago
Quoted from Rozeks:

I’m traveling today, but if nobody posts pics before I arrive home, I’ll post pics this weekend.

Thanks, Rozeks.
I got it back together. A little trial & error & leaf switch tweaking & all's well.
So, no need for pics.

1 week later
#895 4 months ago

Anybody have a spare 04-10253-1? The bracket that holds the blue rubber block to the right of the ringmaster.
They seem to be unavailable anywhere.

My machine has the mirror image part, 04-10253. This is dorky, as ringmaster orbit shots that enter on the left bounce off it on their way out the right. Doy.
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I have a temporary "solution" in the meantime *blush*.
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#898 4 months ago

Oooh, please tell me a bit more!

If you've got the P/N or manual details handy, or can just at least point to where it goes on the machine, then I can do some digging to find the deets.

Quoted from Aniraf:

Contact these people (https://www.pinbits.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=13_4&products_id=193&zenid=7c14e4cfff12208a8f50a82509840d08). They were able to make one for me. In fact, if they make more I'll but another one because they are fragile.

Thanks for the tip--In my recent search, Pinbits was one of the many places I'd found that was OoS/Discontinued on this P/N. I contacted Pinbits & got an instant response telling me that Marco has them. Nope, Marco has the mirror image part. I then pointed this out in a follow-up to Pinbits. No reply yet.


#901 4 months ago
Quoted from drummermike:

The LOTR is reversed. I modified it. I drilled a hole in the bracket and used a pop rivet to mount it. Works great.

Ah, gotcha.

I have the reversed part already.
I was considering drilling a lower hole in the ball guide on my game (sacrilege!!!), but that would put the screw head at just the wrong height, so the ball would bump it on every left-to-right ringmaster orbit.
The bracket's cheap enough that I could drill a new hole in it, punch a hole in the rubber, & press a PEM nut into it. Not too tricky.


#904 4 months ago


Align the bracket to the ball guide.
Sharpie mark the hole spot through the ball guide wall hole.
Center punch.
Drill to .166.
Press in a PEM SOS-440-8.
Punch a 2nd hole in the rubber.

(Also considered either pressing out the old threaded insert or cutting it down, so I wouldn't have to punch a 2nd hole in the rubber. But I didn't want an extra exposed hole or the chance of the remainder of the insert falling out onto the PF.)
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#905 4 months ago

In under the wire! Just under 2 years!

Got my CV on August 16, 2017
I consider the restoration completion date to officially be July 7, 2019: the day that I put the modded blue bumper back onto the correct side of the ball guide.
Given that I wanted to give this machine the treatment & not get distracted, I didn't play it even once when I got it (yes, I played it several times before I bought it); I didn't play it for the first time until last week, when it was all together (&, as expected, needed a few straightforward things ironed out).

WOW. Worth the wait*. Amazing machine.

Did a rather thorough restoration:
- Replaced half the plastics, Novus polished the other half
- Pulled off all PF top parts (except those pressed-in rail guides that I was concerned would be loose if I pulled & replaced them)
- Pulled off most of the PF bottom parts to clean/refurbish
- Cleaned & polished & waxed the naked PF a few times
- Tumble polished all metal hardware that would fit in my tumbler, hand-polished the rest
- All LEDs--generally color-matched under inserts & white elsewhere
- All new clear rubbers
- All new clear plastic posts (the game is vibrant enough as-is; I wanted to highlight the existing art colors rather than mask or skew them w/ additional color)
- All new flipper assemblies
- Rebuilt pops & slings
- Pinbits blackout PCB (AWESOoooOoOoOoME!!!)
- All new standup targets
- Added green LEDs under the ringmaster
- Ringmaster hole metal ring to cover a little wear
- Light-up flipper buttons

Attached are a couple of pics of the stripped PF vs. the finished game.

I documented the heck out of it, knowing that I would have little time to work on it, working in fits & starts w/ months-long gaps. Also, I needed to know where all the polished hardware went after exiting the tumbler. Baggies & Sharpies FTW!

I'll share my photo gallery--perhaps it is of some use to the club.
282 pictures (after deleting 100ish dupes/blurries/redundants):


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*well, OK, it's great & all, but no game is worth a 2-year wait & way too much labor & extra cost on top of purchase--I am never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever doing this level of restoration again. Ever. Never ever.

1 month later
#957 70 days ago
Quoted from partyguy1516:

Going to instal my new ringmaster kit. How do I remove the top plate? Is my screw just mangled? If so will I have to drill it out?[quoted image]

If you've got some gumption & the right tool, you can use a Dremel w/ a cutoff disk & carefully widen one of those Phillips slots to be big enough to accommodate a flathead screwdriver.
I've done it plenty of times, but never inside the sensitive environment of a pinball machine.
You'd have to do some seriouspants shielding/masking to contain all the debris.
[Whoops, saw others recommending the same.]

Other options:
Try a small Phillips driver--tap it in gently w/ a hammer, tapping as hard as you're comfortable. Use as much downforce as you can while you back out the screw.
Or you get can some success w/ a stripped-out Phillips head (not really stripped in this case, so technique may not apply) by tapping w/ a small flathead screwdriver w/ hammer to try to bite into one of the remaining slots on the +.

There are also screw back-out tools that can bite & back out a screw, plus a sort of barbed mesh you can stuff in a stripped screw & then cram your Phillips into it to try to get purchase. But those 2 techniques are more for stripped-out heads, where the cavity is too large to grip w/ your driver. Your screw has the opposite problem...

Please report back after giving it a go--this is golden information to share!


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