Pinball machines have been a staple of arcades for decades. They can be found in bars, restaurants, and even at home. While it’s true that a pinball machine is a resilient gaming device, it needs to be maintained from time to time to ensure its continued operation. For those of you who have yet to learn the basics of maintaining a pinball machine, this article will teach you everything you need to know about repairing your own pinball machine. From identifying different types of malfunctions and fixing them yourself, to understanding how to identify old or broken parts that need replacing, there are tips here for people on every level of experience with repairing pinball machines.
Identifying Pinball Malfunctions
There are many malfunctions that can keep your pinball machine from operating properly. Some of the most common malfunctions include the following:
- The ball drops too quickly or doesn’t drop at all
- The plunger gets stuck in the down position
- The game has missing lights
- No points are scored when a ball is dropped
The most common pinball machine malfunctions
One of the most common malfunctions that people run into with their pinball machines is a stuck ball. This is a problem that occurs when a pinball falls and gets jammed in an area where it can’t be reached.
There are two ways to fix this problem: draining the table or using a plunger. If you choose to use a plunger, place the plunger over the area where the ball is stuck and give it a good, hard push. If you want to drain the table, remove all of the balls from play and then press both flipper buttons at once. This will cause all of the water to flow out, taking the stuck ball with it.
Another popular malfunction is when balls drop too far and end up getting lost below the surface of the machine. To avoid this problem altogether, make sure you keep your machine clean by vacuuming underneath with a strong vacuum or wiping down with rubbing alcohol on cotton balls every few weeks. If this happens to you, there are two possible solutions: either shake your machine vigorously (or smack it if you’re feeling especially frustrated) until they come back up or turn off power and wait for them to settle before turning it back on.
Basic Pinball Machine Maintenance
A pinball machine is a seldom-maintained gaming device. As a result, they can experience a variety of issues that may be easy to fix. With a little bit of knowledge and some time, you can learn how to repair your own pinball machine!
Initially, it’s important to identify which type of malfunction you are dealing with. If your pinball machine is experiencing issues with the lights, this is called a “dark lamp” situation. A dark lamp will make it difficult for players to see the field of play and can make scoring points more difficult. In this case, the light bulb needs to be replaced!
Another type of common issue you might see on a pinball machine is a missing bumper cap or worn bumper cap. This means that one or more of the bumpers have been lost and need replacing. They’re easy to replace yourself by unscrewing them from their posts and screwing them back on in new locations.
However, if you identify other malfunctions such as broken flippers or missing targets, these types of repairs are best left to professionals who know how specifically deal with those particular problems.
Keeping your pinball machine clean
The first step to maintaining your pinball machine is keeping it clean. Pinball machines are often exposed to children and pets, which can lead to dirt and grime building up over time. A dirty machine can result in malfunctions that will need to be fixed, so the best thing you can do is keep your machine clean.
One of the ways to clean a pinball machine involves using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment on the end. This attachment lets you reach into small corners and crevices better than a regular vacuum cleaner would. The dust from this process will accumulate in the vacuum cleaner, not the pinball machine, which means there’s no risk of electrocuting yourself or damaging any electronic components while cleaning.
You should also invest in a good microfiber cloth for wiping down the exterior of your pinball machine as needed. These cloths are great because they don’t leave lint behind like other cloths might. They’re easy to wash as well, making them an excellent choice for people who want something that’s going to last them a long time!
Checking for loose or damaged parts
Pinball machines are a great way to bring the arcade into your home. If you have a pinball machine of your own, it is important that you know how to identify why it is not functioning properly and how to fix it.
Malfunctions can be difficult to diagnose without any experience in repairing pinball machines. The first step is identifying what kind of malfunction the machine is experiencing and then taking steps from there.
Some malfunctions happen due to loose or damaged parts, which can usually be fixed with a screwdriver and pliers. For example, if one of the flippers on the back of the machine is loose or broken off, this could impact gameplay as well as cause other parts of the machine to break down over time. In order to fix this issue without having to call a repair technician, simply tighten or replace the broken part on your own.
Upgrading Pinball Machines to Increase Performance
One of the best ways to increase your pinball machine’s performance is with an upgrade. There are a number of different upgrades you can make to your machine, including:
- Replacing the ball
- Replacing the plunger
- Replacing the flippers
- Upgrading or replacing the power supply
There are many reasons for upgrading and replacing parts and components on a pinball machine. For instance, if you notice that you’re missing some parts or components, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Depending on what type of machine you have, there are different types of upgrades available for your pinball machine. If you’re interested in increasing performance, investing in an upgrade is a good bet!
Choosing the right balls for your game
Pinball machines are all about the game’s ball. To play, or to repair, you need to know about different types of balls and when to replace them.
The main ball is what you’ll use when playing the game. It’s usually made of steel covered in rubber. These balls also come in various weights and sizes, with some being smaller than others for certain games.
You will also find a number of other balls in your pinball machine. The most common are the bumper strips or targets, which make up most of what you see on the outside of the machine. The bumpers are often made of hard plastic, making them easy to break off if they hit too many times against another object (such as another bumper). Balls that fall into chutes (such as ones at the end of ramps) that lead into holes can be used again by shooting them back up through the chute using the flipper buttons.
Replacing Broken Parts on Your Pinball Machine (DIY)
If you want to learn how to maintain your own pinball machine, replacing broken parts is a good place to start. The first step of any repair job is identifying the problem.
The most common type of malfunction for a pinball machine is a short circuit. If you experience this, check the fuse and replace it if necessary. This will help resolve the problem and prevent future malfunctions.
For more complex problems, such as a burned-out light bulb or other electrical difficulties, head to your local hardware store for replacement parts. If you’re feeling really ambitious, then try fixing it yourself! Looking around online for tutorials may be helpful when getting started with DIY pinball machine repairs.
Replacing Broken Parts on Your Pinball Machine (Professional)
If you’re a professional or experienced with fixing pinball machines, it’s likely that you’ve had to replace a part or two at some point. With so many different parts needed for a pinball machine, sometimes it can be hard to tell which ones need replacing and which don’t. To help you out, we’ll list and describe the most common parts that need to be replaced:
The playfield: The surface of the machine where the ball is played upon. It’s usually covered in plastic and requires frequent cleaning.
The plunger: The end of the metal rod used to propel the ball into play.
The spring: Usually made of metal, this component controls how far back the plunger will go when released.
The flipper: These are the two long, rectangular pieces on either side of the playfield that help move and direct the ball up and down.
The pop bumper: This is a rod with a round head and rubber ring at one end and an angled base at the other end; they usually line one or more edges of a playfield surface. The rubber ring makes contact with a small metal sphere inside when they are activated by being hit by a player’s ball.
Pinball machines are a fun way to spend your time and provide a unique experience for your guests. But they need to be properly maintained to stay in top shape!
The following are a few tips for pinball maintenance:
• Identify the malfunction – If a machine isn’t working properly, try to identify what the problem is. Is it a loose wire? A short? A broken switch? A burnt out light?
• Basic Maintenance – You should try to keep your machine as clean as possible. This will help ensure that it functions as it was designed to. If you notice any loose or damaged parts, replace them as soon as possible.
• Get the right balls – Speaking of broken parts, make sure you have the right balls for your machine. You can buy new balls from the manufacturer, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own by filling a water balloon with flour and popping it to create a ball.
• Replace broken parts – If you’re feeling confident, try replacing the broken parts yourself. If not, you should consider hiring a professional.