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(Topic ID: 269904)

What equipment and best methods to use picking up a machine yourself?


By HydrogenHuman

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Dayhuff
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 months ago

    I'm completely new to the aspect of driving to pick up a machine, and I just wanted to know what equipment should I bring and what methods should I do to make the pickup as smooth as possible?

    My current thinking is to bring along one of those hydraulic lifts along with some thick blankets to pull the machine out easily and slide it down cellar stairs.

    I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe which I saw can fit a machine perfectly fine which is good.

    Any advice and help for a newbie is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    #2 4 months ago

    My advice is to take help with you. It is probably not possible to move the machine by yourself, especially if stairs are involved. "Sliding" the machine on stairs is a recipe for disaster. Just my opinion.

    #3 4 months ago
    Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

    I'm completely new to the aspect of driving to pick up a machine, and I just wanted to know what equipment should I bring and what methods should I do to make the pickup as smooth as possible?
    My current thinking is to bring along one of those hydraulic lifts along with some thick blankets to pull the machine out easily and slide it down cellar stairs.
    I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe which I saw can fit a machine perfectly fine which is good.
    Any advice and help for a newbie is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    A refrigerator dolly is better than a lift cart for moving the pin down/up stairs (2 person job) and to your vehicle. You can rent one at Home Depot, etc. Shrink wrap is amazing stuff. Use it to secure the lowered back box and protect the pin. Then remove the back legs with help from the seller or a stool, lower onto a blanket, tilt to a vertical position using front legs then remove front legs. Use the dolly to move the pin about a foot from your SUV with the bottom facing it, and tilt up and in. Some cardboard will help it slide in much easier. Some people also use a couple 1” or so diameter PVC pipes to roll it in - helps if the folded down seats are not perfectly flat. Reverse the process to remove and set up the pin.

    If it’s just you, then you can use a lift table to get the pin in and out. Move to car, remove front legs, slide mostly in with cardboard and/or pipe, remove back legs. I’ve done it many times, but can be tricky if cart isn’t able to go up enough to be even with car. Also need to use something to block cart wheels to prevent it from moving.

    Sounds complicated but is pretty straightforward if you take it slow - never rush or wing it. Especially if it’s a heavy JJP or Bally widebody. There are plenty of threads on here with additional pointers

    #4 4 months ago
    Quoted from luckymoey:

    A refrigerator dolly is better than a lift cart for moving the pin down/up stairs (2 person job) and to your vehicle. Shrink wrap is amazing stuff. Use it to secure the lowered back box and protect the pin. Then remove the back legs with help from the seller or a stool, lower onto a blanket, tilt to a vertical position using front legs then remove front legs. Use the dolly to move the pin about a foot from your SUV with the bottom facing it, and tilt up and in. Some cardboard will help it slide in much easier. Some people also use a couple 1” or so diameter PVC pipes to roll it in - helps if the folded down seats are not perfectly flat. Reverse the process to remove and set up the pin.
    If it’s just you, then you can use a lift table to get the pin in and out. Move to car, remove front legs, slide mostly in with cardboard and/or pipe, remove back legs. I’ve done it many times, but can be tricky if cart isn’t able to go up enough to be even with car. Also need to use something to block cart wheels to prevent it from moving.
    Sounds complicated but is pretty straightforward if you take it slow - never rush or wing it. Especially if it’s a heavy JJP or Bally widebody. There are plenty of threads on here with additional pointers

    Thanks for the tips! A refrigerator dolly huh? I'll have to look into those.

    #5 4 months ago

    I assume that the seller won’t have the tools i’ll need (which as i buy from mostly other pinheads they always do lol). So that includes:

    - sockets to remove leg bolts (5/8) and head bolts (9/16). Sometimes you find those smaller leg bolts that use 9/16” as well.
    - stretch wrap (or a ratchet strap) for securing the head to the cab once lowered
    - 1/4” nut driver in case i need to remove the backbox latch at the rear of the machine. This prevents potential damage to flooring if you need to slide it after the game is up on its ass end.
    - 1/4” hex screw. I use this to secure the latch that opens the light board door in the head. If you throw a screw in the latch to prevent it from lifting, it will ensure the lightboard doesn’t swing open and scratch the backglass/translite in transit.
    - something to go between the head and the side rails. Some cardboard will do. Just don’t tighten the head to the cab without something in between. You are just doing this to protect the side rails from being dented.
    - fridge cart or hand truck. Whatever you will use to move the game out to yr vehicle. The hydraulic lift table isn’t something i would bring, you can remove the legs without.
    - make sure you know if there are keys for the coindoor and backbox, or at least know if they are unlocked. Otherwise you are drilling the locks out.

    Don’t assume the seller can help you move the game. Ask if they can help or if you need to bring some muscle.

    Also don’t forget to take all the balls out before you fold up the game. Don’t need those things falling around and breaking plastics.

    #6 4 months ago
    Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

    Thanks for the tips! A refrigerator dolly huh? I'll have to look into those.

    You can rent one from Home Depot or other rent a center, or buy a good one if you plan to be in the hobby and have stairs. Better yet, invest in an Escalera. Seems pricey, but is a must if you have a bad back - or don’t want to get one.

    #7 4 months ago

    A stair climbing dolly like an Escalera is a nice, but expensive piece of equipment. Buy a used one if possible.

    Pinball Life makes a nice wrench for removing leg bolts.

    Buy several moving blankets from your nearest U-Haul dealer, as well as a roll of stretch plastic wrap. Also some ratchet straps.

    Buy a case of beer to pay your pinhead friends to help. Pinheads will do almost anything for beer.

    #8 4 months ago

    The Escalera, while amazing, is probably overkill for me right now.

    I should have realized they make moving blankets, which is nice! The good news is there is a Harbor Freight right near by my house, so I should be able to pickup almost everything I need from there including a dolly, blankets, tools, etc.

    #9 4 months ago

    I use blankets and cardboard to protect the head and glass when the head is folded down. The cardboard also helps the pin slide into the vehicle easier. Some people also use pvc pipe to roll pins in (they also make a solid pvc pipe...which is much better...but tougher to find).

    I bring a 9/16 and 5/8 wrench, which are good on leg and head screws for about 99.9% of pins. Some people like to bring wd-40 for incredibly rusty bolts that wont unscrew otherwise.

    I bring a ziploc bag to put keys and bolts in. Bring cellophane wrap, rachet straps, and rope for securing the game and the hatch down if necessary. Bring a drill with bits in case a lock has to be drilled. I also like to bring a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver in case something (backbox door, coin door, etc) needs to be popped open.

    Ask the seller if there are stairs involved and if they can help move it. If there are stairs, bring a dolly. If they can't help you, bring a friend (it is usually a good idea to bring a friend anyway...especially with stairs).

    If...and only IF the seller can not help and you can not bring a helper...then bring a hydraulic cart or pin skates. I recommend taking pin skates anyway, however, if you plan on ever getting more than 1 pin (pin skates are far easier).

    Remove the head bolts and put the translite/BG back in and lock it. Put a blanket or cardboard down and lay it down gently. Wrap it in cellophane or a rachet strap/rope (make sure to protect it with cardboard or cellophane so it doesn't damage the cab). One person get at each end and carry it to your vehicle with the back end as near to the SUV as possible. Unscrew one of the leg's bolts (putting them in the ziploc bag) and then place that corner on the vehicle, and on the cardboard, to prop it up. Take the other back leg off doing the same thing. Slide the pin in. Take the front legs off doing the exact same.

    Some people like to wrap the legs in cellophane and/or rope as well.

    Double check that the pin is all the way in, and that the bolts (leg and head) along with the keys are in the ziploc bag. Double check for the manual, all tools, etc are in your vehicle ( I learned this the hard way).

    Do the exact reverse when you get it home. Enjoy.

    #10 4 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    I use blankets and cardboard to protect the head and glass when the head is folded down. The cardboard also helps the pin slide into the vehicle easier. Some people also use pvc pipe to roll pins in (they also make a solid pvc pipe...which is much better...but tougher to find).
    I bring a 9/16 and 5/8 wrench, which are good on leg and head screws for about 99.9% of pins. Some people like to bring wd-40 for incredibly rusty bolts that wont unscrew otherwise.
    I bring a ziploc bag to put keys and bolts in. Bring cellophane wrap, rachet straps, and rope for securing the game and the hatch down if necessary. Bring a drill with bits in case a lock has to be drilled. I also like to bring a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver in case something (backbox door, coin door, etc) needs to be popped open.
    Ask the seller if there are stairs involved and if they can help move it. If there are stairs, bring a dolly. If they can't help you, bring a friend (it is usually a good idea to bring a friend anyway...especially with stairs).
    If...and only IF the seller can not help and you can not bring a helper...then bring a hydraulic cart or pin skates. I recommend taking pin skates anyway, however, if you plan on ever getting more than 1 pin (pin skates are far easier).
    Remove the head bolts and put the translite/BG back in and lock it. Put a blanket or cardboard down and lay it down gently. Wrap it in cellophane or a rachet strap/rope (make sure to protect it with cardboard or cellophane so it doesn't damage the cab). One person get at each end and carry it to your vehicle with the back end as near to the SUV as possible. Unscrew one of the leg's bolts (putting them in the ziploc bag) and then place that corner on the vehicle, and on the cardboard, to prop it up. Take the other back leg off doing the same thing. Slide the pin in. Take the front legs off doing the exact same.
    Some people like to wrap the legs in cellophane and/or rope as well.
    Double check that the pin is all the way in, and that the bolts (leg and head) along with the keys are in the ziploc bag. Double check for the manual, all tools, etc are in your vehicle ( I learned this the hard way).
    Do the exact reverse when you get it home. Enjoy.

    Awesome step by step daditude! I appreciate it!

    If I was to get help it would be from my dad, and he's 78 years old so lifting would be a bad idea for him.

    I do have pinball skates but man, they are really tough to work with because the adjustment slide gets jammed constantly and the stupid button you press in gets stuck.

    #11 4 months ago
    Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

    Awesome step by step daditude! I appreciate it!
    If I was to get help it would be from my dad, and he's 78 years old so lifting would be a bad idea for him.
    I do have pinball skates but man, they are really tough to work with because the adjustment slide gets jammed constantly and the stupid button you press in gets stuck.

    It was mentioned earlier, but never assume the seller has anything...even if they say they do. Just bring your tools anyway.

    ALWAYS ask about stairs and whether they can help move it.

    #12 4 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    It was mentioned earlier, but never assume the seller has anything...even if they say they do. Just bring your tools anyway.
    ALWAYS ask about stairs and whether they can help move it.

    The good news is my dad has plenty of tools. The only things we'd really need would be the blankets, a heavy duty dolly since the one my dad has is a basic one, and the cellophane wrap.

    #13 4 months ago

    Maybe I’m just old, fat and lazy or maybe I’m spoiled because I’ve always had one, but I won’t move a machine without my lift gate truck!

    1 month later
    #14 3 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    I use blankets and cardboard to protect the head and glass when the head is folded down. The cardboard also helps the pin slide into the vehicle easier. Some people also use pvc pipe to roll pins in (they also make a solid pvc pipe...which is much better...but tougher to find).
    I bring a 9/16 and 5/8 wrench, which are good on leg and head screws for about 99.9% of pins. Some people like to bring wd-40 for incredibly rusty bolts that wont unscrew otherwise.
    I bring a ziploc bag to put keys and bolts in. Bring cellophane wrap, rachet straps, and rope for securing the game and the hatch down if necessary. Bring a drill with bits in case a lock has to be drilled. I also like to bring a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver in case something (backbox door, coin door, etc) needs to be popped open.
    Ask the seller if there are stairs involved and if they can help move it. If there are stairs, bring a dolly. If they can't help you, bring a friend (it is usually a good idea to bring a friend anyway...especially with stairs).
    If...and only IF the seller can not help and you can not bring a helper...then bring a hydraulic cart or pin skates. I recommend taking pin skates anyway, however, if you plan on ever getting more than 1 pin (pin skates are far easier).
    Remove the head bolts and put the translite/BG back in and lock it. Put a blanket or cardboard down and lay it down gently. Wrap it in cellophane or a rachet strap/rope (make sure to protect it with cardboard or cellophane so it doesn't damage the cab). One person get at each end and carry it to your vehicle with the back end as near to the SUV as possible. Unscrew one of the leg's bolts (putting them in the ziploc bag) and then place that corner on the vehicle, and on the cardboard, to prop it up. Take the other back leg off doing the same thing. Slide the pin in. Take the front legs off doing the exact same.
    Some people like to wrap the legs in cellophane and/or rope as well.
    Double check that the pin is all the way in, and that the bolts (leg and head) along with the keys are in the ziploc bag. Double check for the manual, all tools, etc are in your vehicle ( I learned this the hard way).
    Do the exact reverse when you get it home. Enjoy.

    Would this process be the same for EM machines? Is there anything different about EM machines to be aware of when picking them up?

    #15 3 months ago
    Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

    Would this process be the same for EM machines? Is there anything different about EM machines to be aware of when picking them up?

    Yes, the head doesn't fold down on EM's. You need to disconnect the cables between the head and cabinet and move them separately. Much easier to move than a modern pin.

    #16 3 months ago

    With an EM you will be removing the backbox , not folding it down . On Most EMs the access to the backbox is in the back instead of removing the backglass like solid state games .Unplug wires in backbox coming from the main cabinet and remove 4 bolts to separate the backbox from the main cabinet .

    #17 3 months ago
    Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

    Would this process be the same for EM machines? Is there anything different about EM machines to be aware of when picking them up?

    I see you have 217 machines on your wish list. Might want to hire a moving company!

    #18 3 months ago

    Different techniques for different games. Em's, the head unplugs first by removing the beau plugs (2-4 usually), then 4 bolts to remove the head which can be carried if you are reasonably strong. Put the electrical cord in side the game. Then back legs off, set the game down, stand it up on its back, and remove front legs.

    Early digitals, similar to ems except there's lots of molex plug connectors to remove. If your not sure how to reinstall them, put little tape labels on the plugs and the circuit boards . It will soon become second nature and no labels will be needed.

    Later digitals, no plugs to remove, head folds down and must be secured in place in the folded position. You can tell if it will fold down by looking for the hinges at the front of the gap between the body and the head. No hinges it comes off. Also, lots heavier with the head on! All late model pins fold down and are really heavy. You will need a refrigerator dolly and a helper, or an escalara to do it by yourself. I used to pull heavy games up a flight of stairs by myself in my younger days. I now have two titanium hips to show for my earlier bravado...

    Note for any pin whose head folds down: measure the width of the head AND the width of any doorways or narrow spaces you need to go through FIRST! You don't want to be halfway up the stairs with a pin on your dolly and realize it isn't going to fit through the doorway at the top of the steps! You may have to take a door off its hinges to gain an extra inch. If the head still won't fit and it won't come off completely, you may have to unbolt the head from the body leaving the wires still connected, twist the head sideways while still connected to the body and balance it on its side, and without pulling any of the wires loose, have someone hold it in this position while you squeeze through the space, and then rebolt the head back in place. Not a job for a newbie!!

    #19 3 months ago

    The best 'tool' I bought for moving pins is a truck with a lift gate.
    However in a pinch I've been able to disassemble and move pins by
    myself with as little as a cut down stool (put it under the head end
    to remove legs) and a skate board. For newer pins where removing
    the head is a PITA, set cardboard between the machine & head and
    tie the head down.
    Steve

    #20 3 months ago

    Some (very old) info on removing the backbox and moving a machine can be found here:
    https://www.flippers.be/pinball_basics.html
    It depends on the type of game you want to move.
    With older games it's easy to remove the backbox, more recent games you fold the backbox down and if you have to remove it, it's a lot of work.

    #21 3 months ago

    I bring:

    1. My jeep.
    2. My socket set.
    3. Ratchet strap.
    4. Piece of cardboard.

    Done. Sometimes a friend.

    #22 3 months ago
    Quoted from sbmania:

    Different techniques for different games. Em's, the head unplugs first by removing the beau plugs (2-4 usually), then 4 bolts to remove the head which can be carried if you are reasonably strong. Put the electrical cord in side the game. Then back legs off, set the game down, stand it up on its back, and remove front legs.
    Early digitals, similar to ems except there's lots of molex plug connectors to remove. If your not sure how to reinstall them, put little tape labels on the plugs and the circuit boards . It will soon become second nature and no labels will be needed.
    Later digitals, no plugs to remove, head folds down and must be secured in place in the folded position. You can tell if it will fold down by looking for the hinges at the front of the gap between the body and the head. No hinges it comes off. Also, lots heavier with the head on! All late model pins fold down and are really heavy. You will need a refrigerator dolly and a helper, or an escalara to do it by yourself. I used to pull heavy games up a flight of stairs by myself in my younger days. I now have two titanium hips to show for my earlier bravado...
    Note for any pin whose head folds down: measure the width of the head AND the width of any doorways or narrow spaces you need to go through FIRST! You don't want to be halfway up the stairs with a pin on your dolly and realize it isn't going to fit through the doorway at the top of the steps! You may have to take a door off its hinges to gain an extra inch. If the head still won't fit and it won't come off completely, you may have to unbolt the head from the body leaving the wires still connected, twist the head sideways while still connected to the body and balance it on its side, and without pulling any of the wires loose, have someone hold it in this position while you squeeze through the space, and then rebolt the head back in place. Not a job for a newbie!!

    Thanks for all the great info!

    Later digital are definitely challenging. I learned that when helping Fast Eddy with my Surf 'n Safari!

    #23 3 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    I bring:
    1. My jeep.
    2. My socket set.
    3. Ratchet strap.
    4. Piece of cardboard.
    Done. Sometimes a friend.

    Don't forget a stack of cash.

    John

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