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Table of Contents
2. The Cabinet
2k. The Cabinet: Polish the Shooter
and note the "C" clip in front of the spring. Rotate
the metal plate that bolts the shooter to the inside
of the cabinet, to remove the "bend".
Now buff the handle of the shooter on your buffing wheel. It's not a bad idea to buff the metal plate that bolts to the outside of the cabinet too. Re-install when done. Note on pre-1965 Gottlieb's, the nylon bushing that houses the manual ball load lever can be easily replaced (it's the same part as the playfield flipper bushing).
2L. The Cabinet: Clean the Score Reels
Cleaning the credit wheel. Note how
The score reels will be dirty. So get the Novus#2 and a rag out. Remove the score reels from the backbox; there will be some easy way to do this (a clip or a tab). Then apply some Novus#2 to a rag, and clean the reel. Works equally well on plastic and metal reels. And don't forget to clean the credit wheel too! Make sure you hold the wheel to prevent it from turning while you clean. Otherwise you might damage the mechanism.
2m. The Cabinet: Install a new Power Cord and Switch
The Gottlieb power transformer. Note the new (black) power
You can get a new 3 prong power cord from Pinball Resource. Or just go to the local store and buy a 3 prong extension cord, and cut off the female plug. Or you can also buy a 2 prong 15 foot extension cord (cheap) at the Dollar store, and again cut off the female end. You now have a nice new power cord to work with.
To remove the old cord, just cut the old cord off, but leave the part in the wiring harness (it's attached with a cloth string called "gut"). Do not cut the gut. Install the new 2 or 3 prong cord in the same manner as the old one, and attach it over the wiring harness with nylon lock ties. On 3 prong cords, the green (ground) wire should be tinted with solder, and then attached to the frame of the power transformer (see picture). Re-attach your new power cord to the wire harness with nylon ties.
If your game is older and does not have a power switch, you can install one. Get a SPST (Single Pole, Single Throw) or DPST (Double Pole, Single Throw) switch. Power rating for the switch should be 120 volts 3 amps or higher. (You should use a DPST switch, and turn both sides of the power cord off, but frankly I never do that.) Using a SPST switch just turns off one side of the power. Splice the one power cord lead at the transformer to a 4.5 foot length of 2 prong (2 wire) line cord. Technically you should splice the switch into the line cord's "hot" wire (not the "neutral" wire). The hot wire on the power cord should have "lines" molded into the insulation (as today's power cords are all polarized). Run the line cord up to the front of the game, where the switch will be located. Attach the other wire of the 4.5 foot line cord to the original power connection.
Also it's a good idea to put the switch on a raised 4" square block, so the switch lever does not protrude below the game's bottom panel. Then drill a 2" hole in the bottom of the cabinet wood, and put the wood block over the hole. Otherwise the switch can be easily broken if the legs are removed and the lower cabinet moved. Again I don't do this (I just remove the switch's nut and push it into the cabinet when I move the game), but it's not a bad idea.
On older games that never had a power switch, I disable the Lock relay (bending the Lock relay's switch blades so its permanently "on"), and remove power going to the relay. The lock relay is usually burned up anyway, so adding a power switch defeats the relay and it's one less thing to worry about.
of 4.5 foot dual wire line cord to the front of the game.
Drill a 15/16" hole in the wood for the SPST (Single Pole,
Single Throw) or DPST (Double Pole, Single Throw) switch.
You should use a DPST switch, and turn both sides of the
power cord off, but frankly I never do that. Using a
SPST switch just turns off one side of the power. Also
it's a good idea to put the switch on a raised block,
so the switch lever does not protrude below the game's
bottom panel. Otherwise the switch can be easily broken.
if the legs are removed and the lower cabinet moved.
Ground your Game.
2n. The Cabinet: Install a New Start Button
Old start buttons. Notice the part
Steve Young from Pinball Resource who has remanufactured the original Gottlieb red start buttons. For $3 you can get rid of that old corroded grey button, and replace it with a fresh looking, attention grabbing, new red button.
The new red start button installed. Good
3a. The Mechanics: Rebuilding EM Pinball Flippers
When rebuilding the flippers, it's not a bad idea to replace the coil stops. New coil stops will make your flippers quiet when holding the cabinet flipper button in. Also sometimes the old coil stops are magnetized enough to hold the flipper in the up position. You can buy new stops, or just rotate the flipper and backbox Replay unit coil stops. The replay unit gets very little use, so its coil stops should be in excellent condition. Just move these stops to the flippers, and the flipper stops to the replay unit.
Many EM games have wear marks on the playfield from the flippers. This is known as "flipper drag". This is caused from worn or cracked nylon flipper bushings, which go through the playfield. These nylon flipper bushings should ALWAYS be replaced to stop flipper drag. New flipper bushings are slightly taller than originals to prevent this problem.
Also make sure the flipper return spring is not too tight. There should be enough spring to return the flipper, and no more. Too much return spring and it is only being fought by the flipper coil. You can adjust the flipper spring in 1/3 turn increments (by moving the spring's anchoring position to another of the three screws).
Lastly, make sure the EOS (end of stroke) switch is adjusted correctly. It should open about 1/8" when the flipper is fully "flipped". Also file the EOS switch clean with a small metal file.
plunger and link. Remove the
coil stop to release the parts.
Work on one flipper at a time. This way if there is some issue, you can always look at the other flipper for comparision. Note these instructions have 1950s and 1960s Gottlieb flippers in mind, but apply to most other game makers and eras of EM flippers.
The flipper is basically rebuilt, but will need some minor adjustment. Repeat the above procedure on the other flipper first.
After both flippers are rebuilt, lower the playfield. Now align both flipper bats as you would like them. Since the pawl screws are only hand tight, the flipper shafts should move in the pawls to allow easy alignment. After the flipper bats are aligned, lift the playfield and tighten the two screws on each flipper pawl. Lower the playfield and double check the flipper bat alignment.
Note there is an upper plunger stop on many games (especially Gottlieb). This rarely needs any adjustment. It's purpose is to change the amount of plunger travel, allowing the left and right flippers to be adjusted so they have the same amount of travel and align in both the resting and extended positions. If new parts were installed for both flippers, this almost never needs to be adjusted.
The last step is to check and adjust the EOS switch. First inspect the EOS switch. If the EOS contacts are pitted or burned, replace the entire switch. If they are usable, file the EOS switch contacts with a metal file to remove any pits or burns.
Now move the flipper to the fully energized position, by moving the playfield flipper bat. The EOS switch should open about 1/8" when the flipper bat is extended. Adjust the switch as needed. Note there should be a piece of "fish paper" on the EOS switch blade that touches the flipper pawl. This electrically isolates the pawl from the EOS switch.
Also check the flipper button cabinet switch for pits and burns. File as needed, replace if it's in bad condition.
* On 1969 and later Gottlieb pin games, the flipper pawl style was changed. Prior to 1969, a large round 1/4" pin was on the pawl, and the plunger's link just slipped over this pin, and was secured with a spring clip. This was very convenient to work on, requiring no tools to remove and install the plunger/link to the pawl. But in 1969, Gottlieb changed the flipper pawl so now the plunger's link slide between two pieces of metal, and the pawl was secured to the link with a roll pin. This made removing the plunger/link assembly much more difficult, as now the roll pin had to be hammered in and out of place.
In addition, when installing a new plunger/link into the 1969 and later pawl, if too much "hammer" was used on the pawl's roll pin, it could bend the two pieces of surrounding metal, binding the link, and making the flipper stick. Really the right way to deal with the roll pin is to use an inexpensive $10 press punch tool, but most people don't have that tool, and hence use a nail and a hammer. Another complication is the 1969 and later style pawl is NLA (no longer available), where the pre-1969 style has been reissued and is available new from Pinball Resource.
The solution to this problem is simple. Replace the 1969 and later Gottlieb style roll pin flipper pawls with the older spring clip style pawl. The older pawls retro-fit on 1969 and later games with no modifications (the geometry and sizing is identical). The only difference is the plunger's bakelite link hole that attaches to the pawl must be made larger (or when ordering new plunger/links from Pinball Resource, specify the old style pawl and they will come correctly drilled). This solution solves the availability problem (old style pawls are readily available), and installation/removal of the plunger/link is much easier.
3b. The Mechanics: Rebuilding EM Pinball Pop Bumpers
This procedure also applies to stationary bumpers. These bumpers look like pop bumpers, but don't "pop". The have no coil or rod & ring assembly.
the two screws that hold the bumper body to the playfield.
Also note the wedge style light socket. This will be
replaced with a bayonet (#47) style socket. The top of
the metal ring of the rod & ring assembly is also visible.
Bottom of the playfield: This picture shows the lamp
From the bottom of the playfield you need to remove the two locknuts from the rod & ring assembly. Then unsolder the two light socket leads underneath the playfield. On some games (including this one), there are staples that secure these leads, which you will have to remove. Now the bumper body and rod and ring can be removed from the top of the playfield.
Also check the bakelite and metal armature links that slide inside the coil plunger, which the rod and ring assembly bolt to. These often crack or break and need replacement. The steel link breaks the most often. The older Gottlieb version is no longer available, but you can replace them with new Williams steel armiture links, part number 01-5492. I do NOT recommend the Williams part though. They are not hardened steel (like the Gottlieb part), and often break. You can get a new style Gottlieb metal armature that is hardened from Pinball Resource. It is slightly bigger though. So you either have to grind it smaller, or modify your pop bumper bracket (see pictures below).
Right: The top of this picture is a new Gottlieb metal armiture link. These are hardened steel, and will not break. Below it is the cheap Williams metal armiture link that is so soft, I can bend it with my fingers!
Inspect the Rod and Ring.
Tighten or Re-peen the coil stop.
Check the pop bumper spring.
Install a New pop bumper lamp socket.
After removing the two screws inside the bumper body (and disconnecting the rod and ring and bumper lamp socket from under the playfield), lift the bumper body off the playfield. Note all the dirt and crude that lives under the bumper body! If you have clear plastic trim platter protectors, there will be lots more crud under those. Now is a good time to clean the playfield under the bumpers with Novus2. When finished with the Novus2, wax this area.
Left: Removing the pop bumper coil and replacing the
Pop Bumper Performance Tips:
Lifting the pop bumper off the playfield.
Note trim platters come two ways: adhesive backed, and non-adhesive. I personally like the adhesive backed units. They don't shift or move, and dirt doesn't get under them. Also, the non-adhesive trim platters can actually contribute to pop bumper wear. As the ball skates across the platter, they shift slightly on the playfield. The shifting of the platter can cause wear, hence defeating their purpose.
The parts of a pop bumper. The picture on the left was take before cleaning.
Fixing Pop Bumper Playfield Wear.
Right: The finished product.
Re-assemble from the top of the playfield. If your replacement bumper skirt has a small "tit", it goes towards the top of the playfield (it stops the ball from balancing on the top edge of the skirt). Secure the bumper body to the playfield with its two screws. Then from underneath the playfield, put the locknuts back on the rod & ring assembly. Do NOT over-tighten the rod and ring locknuts, or you will break the rod! Re-solder the light socket.
Clean the Spoon Switch.
Note if there is too much tension on the skirt's "penis" from the spoon switch, this will cause the "penis" not to center. There should be just a bit of tension, and no more. Also make sure the penis doesn't ride outside of the spoon switch too much (or the skirt switch will stick on, and lock the pop bumper coil on). You will have to move the position of the spoon switch to adjust this.
For a final touch, install new pop bumper caps (if available for your game). At $5 each, they really make your game look sharp. Save your original pop bumper caps.
3c. The Mechanics: Performance Tips
Installing a new coil sleeve on the
Replacing Coil Sleeves.
On the slingshot kicker or pop bumpers underneath the playfield, you'll need to remove the two screws that hold the coil bracket in place. This will allow you to remove the coil and replace the coil sleeve.
If your game uses metal coil sleeves, these definately need to be replaced with new nylon coil sleeves!
As discussed in the above rebuilding the pop bumpers section, the pop bumper ring needs to be polished. Even new rod and ring assemblies need polished! When rebuilding the pop bumpers, buff the part of the pop bumper metal ring that contacts the ball. It should be as smooth and shiny as a mirror to reduce friction. This allows more of the pop bumper's energy to be transfered to the ball.
As simple as this seems, if you increase the angle of your pinball machine, it will play faster! Try moving your two inch rear leg levelers up all the way. Then put your front leg levelers down all the way (or remove them!). If you playfield is clean and waxed, this will increase ball speed dramatically.
Make sure your Flipper Return Spring is not Over-wound.
Clean and Adjusted EOS Flipper Switches.
Also check the wires going from the flipper coil to the EOS switches. They should be stranded wire, not a solid core wire. If it is solid core (very common on Williams games), replace it with a good quality stranded wire. Solid core wires can easily break internally, making the flippers weak.
Rebuild the Flippers and Hi-Power Flipper Coils.
More Powerful Pop Bumpers and Slingshots.
I don't tend to do this modification to the slingshots on games with small flippers. The problem with really strong slingshots is the game gets a lot harder to play! The ball kicks around more, and is much hard to catch in the flippers. Not a problem for long flipper games, but short flipper games become quite difficult to control the ball. But I definately do this modification to pop bumpers. Good strong pop bumpers makes a game much more lively and fun. Be your own judge. Start with doing the pop bumpers and see how you like it.
Left: Un-wraping the coil winding from the coil. Here we're about
half way through the first coil layer.
Ever notice when you plunge the ball how "dead" the upper ball arch's round rebound rubber seems? Even a brand new rebound rubber is hard and dead. But you can re-face these rebound rubbers to give them added bounce and life. This makes the game seem much "snappier" and fun.
Just stretch a red mini-flipper rubber over the rebound rubber (don't use black mini-flipper rubbers, they are too hard). This will give instant life to an old, dead rebound rubber, or to a new rebound rubber. It is also easier to clean and replace. Mini-flipper rubbers are used on newer games like Twilight Zone and the Addams Family.
3d. The Mechanics: New Under-Playfield & Backbox Lamps
Unfortunately, if a lamp socket is intermittened, or causes the bulb to light dim, there are other problems. Lamp sockets are pressed together with an insulating fiber ring. With time, this ring shrinks, and causes the metal parts to fit loosely together. This allows air (and humidity) to get between the parts, and cause corrosion. This makes the socket either not light, or light dim. In this case, retensioning the socket and cleaning won't work. You have to replace the socket!
Left: Fixing sockets that refuse to work. If you can't
replace a socket, you can usually fix it (except on Bally games!). First move the
tabbed wire to the tip of the socket base. Then add
some solder to the round tube and the base of
the socket. You will need to sand these surfaces before
you try and solder to them, otherwise the solder won't stick.
You can fix a socket though (except on Bally games - replace them!) To do this you'll have to sand the socket area clean with sandpaper, or the solder won't stick. You can move the wire that connects to the socket's tip right to the tip itself. Then solder between the socket's mounting base and it's circular bulb recepticle.
Make sure you replace all bulbs with #47 (instead of #44) bulbs. This is especially important for the bulbs in the backbox, no exceptions! The additional heat given off by the original #44 lamps can help delaminate the paint from the backglass.
3e. The Mechanics: Sunken/Cupped/Low/Loose Playfield lamp Inserts
This is a very common problem, especially on older woodrail pinballs. The plastic lamp inserts in the playfield (PF) shrink in size, and become lower than the playfield playing surface. Or the inserts just fall out when the playfield is raised! If an insert is too low, this will make game play odd. Sometimes to the point where the ball will get hung up on the low insert.
On 1950s pinballs in particular, it is NECESSARY to remove ALL the playfield inserts and to reseat them. I can guarentee they are all sunken below the level of the playfield. If left alone, this will wear the playfield around the inserts, and make the game play badly. On 1960s and 1970s pin games this is less of an issue, but as time marches on, these games too will need their inserts re-seated. (I have needed to do this on games as late as the 1980s.) If you are going to touch up and clearcoat a playfield, reseat the inserts BEFORE you do any of that work.
First try and get the insert out of the playfield. Sometimes they just fall out, other times they are a bear to remove. Use a socket to gently knock the insert out from the bottom of the PF using a small rubber mallet. The reason sockets work very well is because they come in so many sizes, and you probably have a toolbox full of them. Use the largest that will fit in the insert route from under the playfield.
Do NOT force the inserts out! If they don't come out with just a few light taps of the mallet, use a hair dry from under the playfield to soften the glue, allowing the insert to come out easier. Do not use a heat gun (too hot). If you pound the insert real hard it can break the top off the insert, leaving the sides still glued in the playfield. This is fixable, but it's obviously ideal to get the insert out in one piece. The hair dryer tip works really well for this. Put the hair dryer nozzle right up against the insert from the BOTTOM of the playfield, and turn the hair dryer on "high". Feel the insert from the top of the playfield. Once warm, remove the heat and tap with the insert with the socket/mallet from the bottom of the playfield to pop out the insert.
Sometimes inserts are "cupped". If this is the case, the top of the insert will need to be leveled before re-installing. If the insert has no text or graphics, remove the insert and block sand the top face flat (turn the insert face down on a piece of 400 grit wet/dry sand paper on a solid block and sand). If there are graphics or text on the insert, water-thin Super Glue can be added to the top in THIN layers to build it. After several layers (and the superglue is dry), turn the insert face down on a piece of 320 or 400 grit wet/dry sand paper on a solid block and sand (wet). Then move to 600 grit and finally 1200 grit, then reinstall. When you polish the playfield (Novus2) that will also polish the leveled insert. Note using heat to soften the insert and then trying to push the top of the insert up/flat really does not work. The added heat will only make the insert worse, and it usually is not correctible.
Now its time to reinstall the insert. There are two ways to go. Thick superglue (SG) around the edge of the insert, reseat, level, wipe off any excess from PF, let dry. Then (optionally) add water thin Superglue around the top-side edges of the playfield/insert to seal the insert better and permanently. Any SG that gets on the playfield should be wiped off immediately before it solidifies. Polish with Novus2 when dry. If the playfield was waxed before this process that is a good thing to some degree - the wax will prevent any excess waterthin Superglue from taking hold on the top side of the playfield as you wipe it off (but don't over-wax as wax tends to get into the gaps between the playfield and inserts, causing glue adhesion problems between the insert and playfield).
If using the Super Glue method to glue inserts, make sure the playfield is CLEAN *before* attempting the re-glue. Otherwise when you wipe off any excess super glue from the top of the playfield, you can accidentally "lock in" the dirt to the playfield's finish. Short of sanding, you will never get that dirt out.
The other way is to take some brown paper packing tape (like used at butcher shops, not the plastic shipping tape), and put a layer or two around the edge of the insert. Wrap the brown tape so it is slightly below the top side of the insert (so the tape won't show when the insert is installed). Trim the excess tape on the bottom side of the insert with a razor blade. Wrap enough tape around the insert so it fits snug into the playfield. Then remove the insert and put yellow carpenter's glue around the PF hole, install the insert and level it. Work some carpenter's glue into the insert/playfield edges from the top side of the PF, and check the levelness again. Wipe up extra glue with a wet rag, let it dry overnight.
The second method is less caustic and reversible. It's also easier for the newbie, but both methods work well.
In regards to leveling the insert. I like to use a piece of plastic acrylic that is larger than the insert. Lay this on the top side of the PF. Push the insert up from the bottom side of the PF while keeping pressure on the acrylic plastic on the top side. This should make the insert level.
4a. The Playfield: Under the Ball Arches
The lower ball arch removed. Note the dirt. The black oval metal is
the ball viewer.
While you have the lower ball arch off, clean and buff the ball defector and stick protector. These are the two metal items in the ball shooter lane. Also replace the two light bulbs that illuminate the coin slots.
New ball trough sticker installed and cut for the ball
It's also a nice touch to install a new ball number decal in the ball trough. This is easy when the lower ball arch is already removed. Just remove the black "viewer" metal too, and clean the bottom of the ball trough. Then apply the new sticker (available from the Pinball Resource). You'll have to cut at least two of the numbers with an exacto knife for the ball trough switches (in this case balls four and five).
The upper ball arch with the top cover removed. The metal runway
The upper ball arch has a top arch that is painted, two spacer struts, and a middle section that is nickel plated. After removing all the screws and the top section, take the light bulbs and tinted barrels out. Then you can slide the middle section out from the back. Buff the nickel section with Novus#3 by hand, or use your buffer. Clean the playfield with Novus#2. When re-assembling, don't install the new #47 lights and the tinted covers till after the middle arch is in place. Don't forget to buff the metal runway shield on the upper part of the shooter lane too. And now is a good time to replace the rebound rubber donut.
Top Ball Arch Wear.
Another alternative is to take some 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper and smooth the groove. Then follow up with (Novus#3 optional and then) Novus#2. This works very well if the groove isn't too worn or dirty. If the groove is excessively worn, you'll have to take this a step further. Sand the groove smooth with 150 grit, then 220, then 400 grit. Do it only enough to remove the groove and any ground-in playfield dirt. Now the new 'fresh' wood will be much lighter in color than the lacquered wood. Re-coat the area with clear spray acyrlic lacquer, feathering it in to the surrounding lacquer. Spray lacquer is available at any decent hardware store or Home Depot. Don't go nuts and spray a ton, just enough to cover. The bare wood color should blend in nicely with the surrounding areas. After drying, lightly sand with 600 grit, than polish with Novus2.
Sharp Edges on the Upper Ball Arch.
4b. The Playfield: Cleaning the Playfield with Magic Eraser (Melamine Foam)
Introducting Magic Eraser (Melamine Foam).
Magic Eraser is actually Melamine Foam (MF), which is a very soft yet firm and dense foam used for sound proofing. It is *not* treated with any chemical (notice there are no chemical warnings on the Magic Eraser box). A wetting agent is needed with the foam (water or alcohol). Melamine foam is structured with infinitesimal fiber material that enables it to scrub off stains and dirt without causing any chemical reaction. Since there is no chemical reaction associated with the Melamine foam, it's cleaning power is due to its characteristic of infinitesimal fiber material within the foam. It is able to penetrate the stained area and scrape them out. A regular sponge with chemicals will not be able to show the same results because it can not penetrate a stained spot as deeply & detailed as Melamine foam. Also, because regular cleansers or detergents are in liquid form, they have limits to penetrate an area. The limitation herein meaning the surface tension. A sponge's less dense composition only allows it to wipe at the surface, and often harsh chemicals are needed to scrub out stains. A regular sponge or scrubber is formed with large fiber material compared to Melamine foam, therefore, making it very difficult to have direct contact with contaminant spot or area. Lastly, Melamine foam is environment-friendly and not harmful to humans.
Playfield before using MF. Notice the dirty "ball swirls". The white haze at the lower
Playfield after using MF and Novus2. Notice the small portion of playfield wear in the
Using Melamine Foam (MF) on a Playfield.
Now get a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (ME) or similar Melamine Foam (MF) product. Note there are cheaper alternatives available than Magic Eraser. Melamine foam is available in larger sheets that can be bought less expensively. The foam cuts very easily (like butter!) with any sharp knife or razor blade. A two inch square of foam 1" thick seems to work well for this task (the Magic Erasers come in 5" x 2.5" x 1" pads, so cut it into smaller pads). Also get some alcohol at the local grocery. It doesn't really matter what type, just the cheapest. I personally use 92% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol (the lower the percent, the more water in the alcohol). Alternatively you can use Naptha. Do *not* use straight water with MF as water and pinball playfields do not go together (water is grain raising and can damage the playfield). Alcohol and Naptha do not have wood grain-raising properties, and evaporates quickly preventing any wet damage to the playfield.
Wet the MF pad with the alcohol (or Naptha). The pad needs to be damp but not soaking wet. Now scrub a small 2" square area. Go slowly. If you scrub too long or too hard you CAN take up the playfield finish! Wipe the area with a paper towel often as you go, checking your progress. The MF pad will change "feel" - if the MF pad gets a sandpaper feel stop and examine the playfield and possibly change to a new MF pad. Remember the enemy of good is better - if you scrub too long you may remove the playfield finish. The MF pad will turn gray and will reduce in size. It will disappear fairly quickly, and this is normal. Just use another MF square pad when the current one is no longer usable, or when the MF pad feels gritty.
A white haze will result from the MF cleaning. To finish off the process and to remove the haze, use Novus2 and and small rag to polish the freshly MF cleaned area. Naptha also works well to remove the haze (but does not polish).
Results vary depending on the playfield, but very often black swirl marks or stubborn dirt will clean up quite well. The round playfield cracks will still be there, but the black solenoid dust should be gone, making the swirl cracks nearly impossible to see. Because the swirl cracks are still there, some protection should be applied over the freshly cleaned area. Mylar or a clearcoat is best, but wax works too. But since the game is now "home use", it will take many years of play for the marks to look bad again, so some people do nothing to protect the cleaned area. I recomment a clearcoat to preserve the finish, but that choice is obviously yours.
Melamine Foam works great on the upper ball arch area of the playfield, around pop bumpers, in front of slingshots, and in the ball shooter lane. Its a great step in cleaning because minimal sanding and no harsh chemicals are used in the process. But be careful! MF does can remove playfield finish, so go slowly and check your progress (MF is similar to using a 2000 grit sandpaper). If the playfield finish is being compromised, STOP! Remember results really vary with MF. Some playfields clean up perfectly. But others won't react to MF cleaning much at all. I have even heard of people using MF and alcohol to remove mylar glue (after the mylar is removed from a playfield using the Freeze Spray method). The MF pads can be trimed with a knife after drying to remove the dried mylar glue, and the skinnier pad reused.
Melamine Foam (ME) Warning!
4c. The Playfield: Cleaning the Playfield & Replacing Rubber
Instead, I prefer to clean the playfield a section at a time. For example, start with the right flipper and associated parts first. The advantage to this is not having to remember where parts go; if the playfield is symmetrical, use the other side of the playfield for comparasion.
The playfield and rubber before starting. This section is next to the
First disassemble the area to be cleaned. Take off as much as you feel comfortable. This should include all plastics and posts. Throw out the old rubber. If there are lane guides (as shown here), use a putty knife or a small screw driver to lift them off the playfield.
guide. The small red metal lane posts simply unscrew from the playfield.
Usually you can do that with your fingers. Be careful, the red anodized
coating scratches easily.
Now use Novus#2 and a rag to clean the playfield. It will remove the dirt and leave a nice shine. In really dirty areas, you may have to use some "elbow grease".
Be careful around the "one way" rollover switches and lane guide posts. One way rollovers are designed for the ball to just go one way, and are bent up to a point. Lane guide posts are metal pins that keep the guides in place. If you use a up and back motion to your cleaning, the points on these objects can go right through your rag is stick in your finger! It happens to me a lot, and it hurts. Also clean the playfield switch contacts now with your flexstone.
Cleaning the playfield with Novus#2. Note the one way roll over
If your game has nickel plated jeweled metal posts (as this game does), you will need to buff them. Use your buffer or Novus#3 and hand buff. Clean the plastic parts with Windex or 409. Don't use Novus#2 on the painted side of the plastic. Otherwise Novus#2 is good on plastic posts and lane guides.
After cleaning and before re-assembly, wax your playfield. Trewax or a hard automotive wax such as Meguires carnauba wax works well.
Clean the light socket with your rubber pencil-like socket cleaner. Install new #47 light bulbs. Power the game on and make sure the new lamp is working properly, then turn the game off.
Be aware that some playfield posts have two holes (positions) available. The "liberal" position will allow the ball to stay in play longer or make it easier to achieve a particular target. I tend to position all posts in the liberal setting.
Before installing the rubber, wash your hands. Then re-assemble with new rubber. If you get the rubber dirty while assembling, something isn't clean! Re-evaluate your job. You can get the smudge off the new rubber with some Novus#2 and a CLEAN rag. Make sure you only install new white rubber. Black rubber is for 1995 and newer electronic pinballs only. It bounces less and looks bad on EM games.
After the new rubber is on, adjust the playfield switch contacts. I like to make them fairly close so light ball action will score points.
The finished product, with new rubber, light bulb, and buffed posts.
Step back and admire your work. Sure looks good, doesn't it? Now attack the next part of the playfield.