Tips From the Moving Business Pros: How to Move a Pinball Device



With pinball making a huge revival throughout the nation, Gentle Giant wants to ensure that these timeless, beautiful machines remain damage-free while being carried. Oh, and we desire the people moving them to be safe, too.

At first look, pinball makers can appear intimidating to move since of their fragility, size, and weight. Thankfully, our experienced Giants have a couple of 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 approximately) have a hinge system which permits the headbox to be folded down. Early pinball machines had their headboxes bolted on, using either two or 4 bolts. All Electro-Mechanical pinballs utilize this system, in addition to the early Solid State machines.

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

For Electro-Mechanical pinball devices, you have to get rid of the headbox rear gain access to panel to access to the bolts and plugs inside. Typically this panel has a lock on it to keep it in location, however with time the key may have been lost. Frequently, there is a screw keeping this panel in location.

As soon as within, remove the bolts and unplug the large ports that have circuitry decreasing into the machine. You may want to label these connectors to put them back in the best spot, however they must be various sizes, making it hard to plug back improperly.

You can now remove 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 help keep the back glass in place.
Early Strong State Pinballs

For early Strong State Pinballs, you will require to get rid of the back glass. There is a lock situated on the headbox in among 3 areas: the left-hand side at the top, right-hand side at the top or on top of the headbox in the center.

When unlocked, eliminate the back glass by lifting it up utilizing the lift channel (at the bottom of the glass), and after that pull it out from the bottom.

Then, open the back box light panel by raising 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 the lamp 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 wish to label these plugs to put them back in the right spot. You may not need to remove the plugs, as the wiring ought to be long enough to allow the headbox to be folded down.

At this point, you can lock up 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 device. This is an easy setup and requires no tools.

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

If you can not fold the head box down, then you need to get inside. There is a lock located at the top of the back glass in the. Use the supplied key to unlock, and remove the back glass by lifting it up from the bottom, and then pulling it out from the bottom.

Next, you will have 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 belongs to the back glass panel. And later Sega and Stern pinballs use a fluorescent tube for the back glass lighting).

Get rid of the 2 bolts, put the back box back together, and fold down the head box onto the cabinet. Make certain you utilize some foam, heavy cardboard, or blankets to safeguard the headbox from rubbing on the cabinet. Foam is best, as it will also help keep the back glass in place.
Removing the Legs.

Pinball Machine legs are held in location by 8 bolts. They this page will be either 5/8 inch or 9/16 inch heads. The modern-day pinballs have captive nuts or threaded plates inside for the bolts to screw into. These bolts can be gotten rid of, and the legs will come off.

But these captive nuts and threaded plates can be damaged, and the use of additional 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 raise the playfield.

With the front door (coin door) open, move the lock down bar latch across and remove the lock down bar. Move out the playfield glass, and put in a safe location. Next, lift up the playfield by placing your hand where the ball drains, and lift the playfield up.

You need to now have access to any nuts that might have been utilized. When any nuts have been removed, replace 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 in a different way to suit.
Filling the Pinball.

You are now all set to carry your pinball device. Before you load it, make sure you get rid of the pinballs so they do not bounce around throughout transport.

If you are moving the pinball utilizing a van or SUV, it may be easier to get rid of the legs simply prior to loading the machine. Get a pal to help and have one of you supporting the pinball, while the other eliminates the front legs.

Ensure you strap the pinball in, as you do not want it moving if you need to stop unexpectedly!

For Electro-Mechanical pinball machines, you need to get rid of the headbox rear access panel to gain access to the bolts and plugs within. (Some more recent Williams and Bally pinballs do not have a separate 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 get rid of the legs simply prior to packing the machine. Get a good friend to have and help one of you supporting the pinball, while the other removes the front legs.

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