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(Topic ID: 104074)

What are you most proud of "MacGyver-ing"?


By Miguel351

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 38 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by OLDPINGUY
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

A couple days ago, I was replacing some plastics with new ones and adding the clear protectors to my TZ. In particular, I was working on the slot plastic. A few days prior I found a press-rivet at my local hardware store that was the right diameter and, I thought, the right length. I didn't bother to check the plastic protector beforehand and just assumed it got riveted to the slot plastic. Well, there's a cutout in the protector so you don't have to remove the slot light from the plastic. You just slip it under it and you're good to go. Well, since I was replacing the plastic anyway, but now had too long of a rivet(and they didn't come any shorter in the store), I decided to improvise.

What I ended up doing worked out WAY better than I expected. I found a bag of 1/4" long 4-40 phillips head machine screws at Lowe's and thought, "why can't I just use one of these and fill in the head with solder"? Well, that's exactly what I ended up doing. I filled up the head with solder, sanded it down a little bit to match the contour of a regular rivet, then polished it up to a nice shine. It looks pretty damn convincing. You really have to be looking for it and know what I did to be able to pick it out. Besides, it sits behind the slot light anyway. You won't really ever see it.

What's nice is, now it's completely removable and serviceable in the future without the hardship of trying to remove the rivet without damaging the plastic. I'm sure to someone with ALL the right tools, that isn't normally an issue, but for those of us that don't have all the tools(yet), this was a nifty way to work around a problem without losing the overall look of what's supposed to be there. For me it was a win/win.

I know it sucks to tell this story and not post a picture of the finished product, so I'll take a picture of it when I get home. I have a BAD habit of not taking pictures, especially "before" pictures, when I start working on my machines so I can show the progress of all the work I've done or even how dirty something used to be versus how awesome it looks now.

So...how 'bout you guys? What's been your quick, most inventive, or most creative solution to a pinball problem? What was your favorite piece of pinball MacGyver-ing?

Edit: Here are a couple pics of how it turned out:

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Nice and Shiny

#2 6 years ago

I soldered a broken paper clip across the service menu buttons on a GE one time for the ground. Actually, used rubber cement on the "007" decal on the flipper when one came off rather than pay $35 for a full decal set for just that little decal too on the same game. Both fixes were jerry rigged, but they both worked and held up great.

#3 6 years ago

Admit your hack publicly?

Post edited by moderator: Language

#4 6 years ago

Great topic.

My Space Station had a problem with balls dropping into the right kickout (from the right side of the diverter) and bouncing up on top of the coil. These stuck balls were really annoying to get out, because you either had to remove the ramp or find a telescoping magnet. My final solution was to leave the last stuck ball there, and tape it in place with aluminum tape. That filled in the space perfectly, and it's invisible unless you peer down into that space from behind the game.

I'm sure I have more, but that was my most recent elegant hack.

#5 6 years ago

I had an EM, Safari, I think in 1977, that I couldnt find a post rubber for.
I took a white Super Ball Golf Ball, drilled a hole through it, then a core bit to make my own post sleeve.
The super ball material worked so well, I made more.
I loved the extra kick back so much, as recently as a couple years ago, I contacted Wham-o for the upteenth time!
More a Mod, then a hack, but I think MacGyver worthy!

Id love to try this again!

#6 6 years ago

X-Men wolverine figure. Arm fell off, replacement was wrong for LE. Ended up drilling his arm & body. Used braided wire to tie together & hot glued it back together. Still holding good after 1000 plays.

#7 6 years ago

I've replaced a spring with a paper clip that I wound into a spring.

#8 6 years ago

Hey nothing to be embarrassed about as long as you fix it the right way later. I was working on the first pin I bought, a very sad Firepower. I worked many hours to get the boards working and started testing the playfield and found that the top half of the left kickout plunger was missing during solenoid tests. Not to be deterred as a temporary fix until I could order a replacement, a pencil with the eraser at the tip fit perfectly. I was playing Firepower!! I laughed every time the eraser peeked out to save the ball from draining. I considered for a brief moment keeping it that way but the rational part of my brain kicked in and I installed the correct part.

Bill

#9 6 years ago

I repaired some Black water 100 plastics with part of a children's plastic shovel & a black sharpie .......it came out nice / posted a thread about it

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from foxct:

I've replaced a spring with a paper clip that I wound into a spring.

This one reminded me that I took a Williams flipper spring, uncoiled it, bent it into shape to replace a broken microswitch actuator. It was the perfect gauge wire and it kept me from having to buy a replacement microswitch.

#11 6 years ago

I built a MM out of toothpicks, matches, and a car tire. I know it sounds crazy, but McGyyver did crazier in series 2, episode 1.

#12 6 years ago

I will let you know after you buy my pin

-4
#13 6 years ago

I try to repair properly and not ever hack.

Sorry wrong answer.

#14 6 years ago

To all you Pinsiders considering hacks as a negative, for some of us that work on older games, the parts are either way to expensive or sometimes simply not available anywhere on the planet. If it works well, gets the game playing again - who's to fault that? What, I'm supposed to live with a broken part or an unplayable game? NONSENSE.

My favorite is the Steve Channel hack to fix the broken Pinbot vortex. I guarantee this one will hold up to repeated high velocity slamming from a full plunger pull. I've probably slammed it over 1000 times already. http://www.stevechannel.com/pinbot.htm.

This is mine:
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#15 6 years ago

Here is how I fixed my one armed Mr. Hankey(South Park):
Find a piece of heavy gauge electrical wire (Solid or stranded house wiring- about #12 gauge) to use for the arm. If you can find black you don't have to paint it. Get some epoxy putty and use it to make a hand on the end of the piece of wire. When it's hard you can carve it with a Dremel or some small files. Take a drill (drill bit same diameter as your wire) and carefully drill about 3/16" into the Mr Hankey body where the old arm broke off. Cut your new arm to length (a little extra for the length that will go in the hole you drilled in the body). Put some glue in the hole and press in your new arm/hand. Touch up the paint and paint the hand. The new arm will bend, so it will never break.

#16 6 years ago

My Raven has a broken plastic ramp due to the pf being carelessly lifted. I traced the outline of the missing piece on cardboard from a cracker box & transferred it to a plastic food container from a dollar store. After cutting it out & trial fitting, I formed the bend by holding it over a candle.
I have a tool for applying super glue that I made when I was into building plastic models. I took a piece of sprue (the plastic tree that the model parts come attached to), drilled a very small hole in the end of it using a pin vice, bent a staple in half & super glued it in the hole. When the staple's dipped in the super glue, the glue is drawn into it & when it's touched to the pieces being glued, the glue is drawn into the seam. Now I just have to get to the hobby shop & get some glue.

#17 6 years ago

i had a lw 3 pin at the cottage , so no tools or pin parts , and a flipper link broke . we were in the middle of a heated tournament and i took 2 beer can tabs put them ina vice and used them as a flipper link , it was sloppy but it lasted long enough to finish.

#18 6 years ago

I made a replacement rounded-rectangle bank target for my Pinbot using a piece of cut lexan plastic, sanding down the edges, and painting the reverse side with blue acrylic. You'd never know unless you removed it. It was epoxy glued on, has survived hundreds and hundreds of games.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from Don_C:

Here is how I fixed my one armed Mr. Hankey(South Park)....

uh-oh..

Quoted from Don_C:

Find a piece of heavy gauge electrical wire (Solid or stranded house wiring- about #12 gauge) to use for the arm. If you can find black you don't have to paint it. Get some epoxy putty and use it to make a hand on the end of the piece of wire. When it's hard you can carve it with a Dremel or some small files. Take a drill (drill bit same diameter as your wire) and carefully drill about 3/16" into the Mr Hankey body where the old arm broke off. Cut your new arm to length (a little extra for the length that will go in the hole you drilled in the body). Put some glue in the hole and press in your new arm/hand. Touch up the paint and paint the hand. The new arm will bend, so it will never break.

phew!

-c

#20 6 years ago

Was talking to interns the other week and they had no idea who MacGyver was

#21 6 years ago

I am certified MacGyver

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#22 6 years ago
Quoted from Shoot_Again:

I try to repair properly and not ever hack.
Sorry wrong answer.

It's unavoidable in some cases, simply because of unobtainable parts/assemblies.

For example, this broken part on Banzai Run: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/banzai-run-the-unthinkable-happened-again-mad-vent

#23 6 years ago

love the title of the thread!!!!

my Macgyvering usually turns into MacGRUBERING!!!!

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

It's unavoidable in some cases, simply because of unobtainable parts/assemblies.
For example, this broken part on Banzai Run: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/banzai-run-the-unthinkable-happened-again-mad-vent

I don't know if that is strictly MacGyver'ing.. that's more re-engineering.. fine line.. can tell by the lack of duck tape or glue here in this case

#25 6 years ago

I can't take credit for this awesome Macgyvered RAVEN but the previous owner must have owned stock in and office supply chain!
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#26 6 years ago

omg I love the pics. of the raven Classic !!

#27 6 years ago

Have you ever unexpectedly broken a flipper bat during a party??? Do not fear, young Padawan. You can easily carve one from a scrap piece of pine and insert a length of wooden dowel.

Flipper rubber broken too??? Don't fret grasshopper. Ruberbands make wonderful substitutes and they come in a myriad of beautiful colors...

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#28 6 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I am certified MacGyver

Stealing this....just letting you know

Best one I had was not pinball related. A piece of electronics had a security screw that required a triangle bit. I took an old screwdriver and ground it down to fit the screws.

Security...THWARTED!
faz

#29 6 years ago
Quoted from pinball_faz:

A piece of electronics had a security screw that required a triangle bit. I took an old screwdriver and ground it down to fit the screws.
Security...THWARTED!
faz

YES! I remember doing this for the Nintendo and Sega star security screws. I took some allen wrenches and cut slots across the end from flat side to flat side. After making three cuts all that's left are six points which fit the security screws perfectly.

#30 6 years ago

I wrap tin foil around all the fuses in all my machines and they never blow again. Win!

(this was only a joke. stop taking things so serious)

#31 6 years ago

I had to create brackets for my Stargate pyramid assembly that are not available anywhere. I used some thin metal brackets, some rivets, and ground the parts down to fit. Now the pyramid assembly raises and lowers perfectly.

In this hobby you have to be creative and think outside the box. There are lots of unique parts that are completely unavailable! In one of Steve Young's classic lectures (reaming sessions) he pointed out that each game became an antique after about 5 years. We have to be engineers and mechanics to keep these things alive.

#32 6 years ago

Awesome stories guys! I know we've pretty much all been there, that's why I knew this would be a fun topic. I've added the finished pics to the first post. My idea was more of a "I know this part looks factory, but it's actually made from.......". So, not really a hack if you ask me.

And for the naysayers, you'll have to excuse me if I want to only spend $1.50 and get my machine up and running in twenty minutes while looking factory correct versus spending upwards of $100 or more to get the right parts, machinery, and tools and wait days or more to do it "properly".

Nevermind the fact that if I need to take it apart again, my way is extremely faster, easier, and less destructive.

I fully believe there are such things as "beautiful hacks". That's what I wanted people to share about, and they have.

PS. Does anyone else think MacGyver would make a great theme for a pin?

#33 6 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

Awesome stories guys! I know we've pretty much all been there, that's why I knew this would be a fun topic.

Agree, good topic.

A few other points to remember:
- Most casual players or guests that are not "Pinheads" are not likely to notice well done executions of a "hack".
- As far as electronics go, there are only correctly executed "repairs" and correctly executed "hacks" that are acceptable. Wrong electronics hacks/repairs, that are poorly executed can be dangerous to persons and equipment.

#34 6 years ago
Quoted from BadBrad97:

I wrap tin foil around all the fuses in all my machines and they never blow again. Win!

Legbolts...nuf-said <shutter>

#35 6 years ago

I added those pics of the way it turned out to my original post. I only mention it because I know if you just click the green number on the thread, it'll just take you to the newest post.

#36 6 years ago

My wife, just a couple of weeks ago, paid me one of the biggest compliments ever. She told her friend that I was a cross between Fred G. Sanford and MacGyver. I don't think she meant it as a compliment though.

My latest, best hack was a fix for a broken Meteor drop target. After supergluing it a couple of times and having it last for a month or two, I noticed that one of my extra Fireball2 targets was exactly the same shape and size as the original, except for the little ledge where it sits before it gets dropped. I took one of those things that hold wire bundles to the backbox and cut a little strip and superglued it to the FB2 target to make the little ledge. It works beauty; drops and resets smoothly like the original. Once I remove the paint and apply the R decal I have, it'll be beauty. Right now it sits just a tad lower than the others because I cut the add-on piece a bit short, but once I open it up again, I can fix that too.

Love this thread.

#37 6 years ago

@ Pinaf: When I bought my Old Chicago, EVERY rubber was like that. At least some of them were purple. And the flipper rubber was just dozens of wraps of electrical tape. It was also holding the cracked flipper bats together. It actually played ok.

#38 6 years ago

OK, its a hack, but I always snicker....

A game that had a bad battery holder...Macgyver used paper clips, rubber bands, scotch tape, wire,
a cigarette lighter, nail and flashlight.

The nail was heated to burn a hole in a plastic flashlight. Wire was inserted, and scotch tape to each
connector. A rubberband held the wire to the flashlight, the paper clip hung the flashlight from the rubber band to a board, and more tape to connect to the wires to the leads!
It looked as weird as the Christmas light GI Solution!

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