Tips From the Moving Company Pros: The Best Ways To Move a Pinball Maker



With pinball making a huge revival throughout the country, Gentle Giant wishes to make certain that these classic, gorgeous devices remain damage-free while being transferred. Oh, and we desire individuals moving them to be safe, too.

In the beginning glimpse, pinball makers can appear frightening to move because of their weight, fragility, and size. The good news is, our skilled Giants have a few techniques up their sleeves to guarantee your pinball is moved with ease.
Folding Down the Headbox

Most of modern pinballs (made in the last 20 years or two) have a hinge system which permits the headbox to be folded down. Early pinball makers had their headboxes bolted on, using either two or four bolts. All Electro-Mechanical pinballs utilize this system, in addition to the early Solid State machines.

Later devices have hinges and utilize a locking system to keep the headbox upright. There may also be two bolts inside as included security, in case the lock is broken or accidentally un-latched.
Electro-Mechanical Pinballs

For Electro-Mechanical pinball machines, you need to eliminate the headbox rear gain access to panel to get access to the bolts and plugs inside. Typically this panel has a lock on it to keep it in place, however gradually the secret might have been lost. Quite often, there is a screw keeping this panel in place.

When within, get rid of the bolts and disconnect the large connectors that have wiring going down into the device. You might wish to identify these connectors to put them back in the right spot, but they must be various sizes, making it tough to plug back improperly.

You can now get rid of the headbox completely, or fold the headbox down onto the playfield glass. Make sure you use some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to safeguard the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will assist keep the back glass in location.
Early Strong State Pinballs

For early Strong State Pinballs, you will have to get rid of the back glass. There is a lock located on the headbox in one of three locations: the left-hand side at the top, right-hand side on top or on top of the headbox in the center.

When unlocked, eliminate the back glass by raising it up utilizing the lift channel (at the bottom of the glass), then pull it out from the bottom.

Open up the back box lamp panel by lifting the lock situated on either the left-hand side or right-hand side. The panel can now swing out to you, and offer you access to the circuit boards, plugs, and the bolts. Some Gottlieb pinballs need you to raise up the light panel in order to swing it open.

Now that you are inside, you can remove the bolts, and any plugs that have wires going down into the machine. You may want to label these plugs to put them back in the best area. You might not have to get rid of the plugs, as the circuitry needs to be long enough to permit the headbox to be folded down.

At this moment, you can secure the lamp panel and replace the back glass.
Modern Solid State Pinballs

For Data East, Sega, and Stern Modern pinballs, there is a turnable latch system located at the back of the headbox. Using the supplied key, turn the latch 90 ° counter-clockwise.

For Williams, Bally, and Gottlieb, you can easily unlatch the back box at the back of the machine. This is a simple setup and requires no tools.

If you can now fold down the head box onto the cabinet, you're done. Ensure you utilize some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to safeguard the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will likewise assist keep the back glass in location.

If you can not fold the head box down, then you have to get in. There is a lock situated at the top of the back glass in the center. Utilize the provided secret to unlock, and get rid of the back glass by raising it up from the bottom, then pulling it out from the bottom.

Next, you will require to get rid of the display screen panel. You can do this by raising it up and out. And lastly, open the light panel. There will be a lock situated on either the left-hand or right-hand side. (Some more recent Williams and Bally pinballs do not have a different amp panel, it becomes part of the back glass panel. And later on Sega and Stern pinballs utilize a fluorescent tube for the back glass lighting).

Remove the two bolts, put the back box back together, and fold down the head box onto the cabinet. Make sure you use some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to protect the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will also assist keep the back glass in location.
Eliminating the Legs.

Pinball Device legs are held in place by eight bolts. They will be either 5/8 inch or 9/16 inch heads. The modern pinballs have captive nuts or threaded plates inside for the bolts to screw into. These bolts can be removed, and the legs will come off.

These captive nuts and threaded plates can be damaged, and the use of extra nuts might have been needed. If this holds true, you will have to open the front door of the pinball, slide out the playfield glass, and lift up the playfield.

With the front door (coin door) open, move the lock down bar latch across and remove the lock down bar. Then slide out the playfield glass, and put in a safe place. Next, raise the playfield by positioning your hand where the ball drains pipes, and raise the playfield up.

You must now have access to any nuts that may have been used. Once any nuts have been removed, change the playfield glass and lock down bar, and lock the front door.

Make certain to mark or keep in mind which legs are for the front and back, as they will be changed differently to suit.
Loading the Pinball.

You are now ready to carry your pinball maker. Prior to you pack it, ensure you remove the pinballs so they don't bounce around throughout transportation.

If you are moving the pinball using a van or SUV, it might be much easier to get rid of the legs just prior to loading the machine. Get a pal to have and help one of you supporting the pinball, while the other removes the front legs.

Make certain you strap the pinball in, as you do not desire it moving if you need to stop all of a moving bulky items sudden!

For Electro-Mechanical pinball machines, you require to get rid of the headbox rear gain access to panel to gain access to the bolts and plugs inside. (Some more recent Williams and Bally pinballs do not have a different amp panel, it is part of the back glass panel. And later Sega and Stern pinballs utilize a fluorescent tube for the back glass lighting).

If you are moving the pinball utilizing a van or SUV, it may be easier to remove the legs simply prior to packing the device. Grab a good friend to have and help one of you supporting the pinball, while the other removes the front legs.

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