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Author Topic: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?  (Read 4748 times)

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opt2not

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Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« on: February 07, 2013, 08:11:55 pm »
I picked up a Baby Pac-man cabinet recently, and have never owned a pinball cabinet before so I was looking for some advice on maintaining the pin section of the game. I've got a bunch of experience with video game cabs, but never had to keep with a completely physical game 100% working before.



Firstly, the cabinet is beautiful. Very little damage on it. This was a friend of mine's and I've been asked to hang onto it indefinitely.
I've already re-capped the monitor a while back, nice bright and clear image on it. Even replaced the joystick with a fresh grommet and better condition leafs than what it originally had.
The video portion of the game is fine and dandy, no problems.

In the pin section, the playfield is in great condition. I recently waxed it with pinball wax, and plays pretty fast and overall well.
But I tend to get the ball stuck in the rubber bumper (the one that says "Evens up Pac-man columns 3 or 4") on the right side. Sometimes the ball just slips under it, and gets stuck under the screened-plastic which forces me to have to lift the glass up and pull the ball out, mid-game.
Also, sometimes when I hit the ball to the eject hole on the right side (Spots Tunnel), it doesn't tend to want to settle and bounces back out more times than not.

<the below image isn't my pic>


Anyone know how I can tune this up so that I don't get into these issues again?  Also any general maintenance tips? I'm a complete noob at pinball, so any sources or guides you can point me too are appreciated. Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 08:13:41 pm by opt2not »

TopJimmyCooks

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 08:44:48 pm »
Caught behind the slingshot rubber- this can happen even on fullsize machines.  you could try getting the next size smaller diameter rubber for the slings.  (tighter rubber).

 ON the bounce outs from the saucer - that's a tough one because it's so close to the flippers.  you might be able to lower the saucer mechanism under the playfield by shimming it down with a few washers under the mounting plate.  Possibly harder (black) rubber around those saucers- less bouncy. 

from the pic it looks like the switch on the right slingshot is in front of the rubber. 

RGP and pinside are good pinball forii where you can get info from other baby pac owners. 

edekoning

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 05:29:51 am »
can't help you out with your questions, but man that's one nice looking machine you got there

smartbomb2084

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 08:13:55 am »
TopJimmy is right about the slingshot rubber causing your ball trap...

It may not necessarily need a smaller one but even a new non-stretched rubber of the correct size will help. 

Remember that whenever you replace a slingshot rubber that you will likely have to readjust the slingshot switches too.

If you noitce above your right kick-out hole that there is a metal plate that is designed to deflect the ball down into the hole... try carefully bending this plate up or down until you find its best position...

spoot

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 09:50:56 am »
1) Check the ball for dings/scratches and if there are any......replace it asap as it will tear up the playfield much faster. 
2) Check the rubbers for age/wear as they are cheap and easy to replace too.

ChadTower

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 10:13:21 am »
1) Check the ball for dings/scratches and if there are any......replace it asap as it will tear up the playfield much faster. 


Even with dings on the ball it takes thousands of plays to damage the playfield.  Baby Pac Man is not going to get thousands of plays.  Even if it did, ball times are really short, so it's not much of an issue here.  That said new balls are a dollar a piece so it isn't exactly breaking the bank to replace them.

Baby Pac Man always has a tough time getting the ball into those saucer.  Jimmy is right about the distance of the saucer from the flippers.  Even if you hit the saucer perfectly it's going to bounce out half the time.  That's how the game plays.   This short playfield means a lot of hard impacts on the saucers and drop targets.  Honestly, on Baby Pac, the challenge is dealing with rebounds, not making precise shots.

opt2not

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 02:33:34 pm »
Thanks guys.  I've also been reading that I can get a slightly smaller ball, which would help with the saucers. It'll also cut down on the wear-and-tear for the parts, since the play area is pretty small and the ball bangs around there pretty fast/hard.

I also noticed in the manual that their are 4x Rubber Rings (2 1/2") listed for those side slingshot bumpers, which leads me to believe that perhaps 2 should be installed per? No where else on the playfield uses this size rings, but I haven't been able to find any pictures of other people's cabinets with double rings installed on each bumper.

*******EDIT:  Did a bit of a google search and found that some people do have double rings on those bumpers:



Tough to tell in these two images, but it looks like double rubber rings are there!


« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 05:18:31 pm by opt2not »

Xiaou2

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 10:53:58 pm »
Ive seen many people use double bumpers.  Its quite possible it was factory as well, due to the smaller playfield size.   It doesnt hurt to add them at all.  Just make sure that the posts are well tightened.  (which you should re-tighten just about everything on the machines anyways, as vibrations tend to loosen things quickly... and can lead to damages)

 As for pop outs... if its happening a lot, you might try adjusting the metal hood angle.  By creating a steeping angle, it can force the ball to go in a more direct downward vector.   Some people put a small piece of foam on the top of the hood, to help as well.

 Also, before that... replace your flipper assemblies.  As these get older, they start to wear down.  Parts like the bushing, which holds the flippers shaft in place, wear to the point where theres some play (wobble).  Once theres play... it allows the flippers to travel in a path that the game was not designed for... and can shoot the ball in places and speeds that it normally wouldnt do.  It also can make the timing all off, and vectors all off... so that certain shots that used to be easy... are nearly impossible.

 There are kits which contain all the parts needed.. and it doesnt take that long to install them.
Just make sure to lock the flipper shafts down at the correct angles.  Theres usually a small spring pin hole right under them.  By placing a small pin or hex wrench in that hole, you can align them to that pin.  Thats why those are placed there.


 Also, its very possible that someone may put the incorrect coil in a pin, which may be too powerful, or not powerful enough.  The kit will take care of that too.

 A new ball set is a good idea though.  Even limited wear, should be seen as unwanted.  Clean every part, rubbers (Id replace them all when you can) and under every part... as well as any subways (in certain games).  Trapped dust, dirt, metal slivers.. can get trapped inside the wax, picked up by the ball, and drivin into the surface of the playfield.

 I stopped using wax, which happens to make more of a mess than anything... and now use F21 (formula 21).  Its urethane formula, is really durable & protective... yet it wont flake off nor trap and spread crud all over the place.  It will make the field glossy new looking, make it play faster, reduce frictional ball spin wear to nothing, and keep it cleaner longer.

 Tested in the arcade I managed, for over 2yrs, with nothing but excellent results, quicker & less frequent cleanings, and higher sales from better faster like-new play, and shinny clean new-look.


 Edit:

 One thing you should know about Baby Pacman... is that from what Ive heard... they are really tempermental, and hard to maintain working.   Im not sure what the faults are... but I believe there are 'bullet-proofing' proceedures, that if done, help keep it running a lot more reliably.


 Edit 2:

 Almost forgot...  I wouldnt change the intended ball size.   The game is specifically designed for that ball size and mass.  Doing so, will change the entire vector paths that the ball usually uses... and so the game may not play right anymore.   Ive played a game with smaller diameter ball, and the feel and reactions are not right.  Just does not feel or play good at all.  (A good example, are those toy pool tables.  The smaller balls, just do not react the same as real full mass balls)


 And finally, use the intended color rubbers.  Black rubbers are a LOT little less bouncy than white, and so it also changes the way the game plays.   Dont forget, to check the machine for optimal leveling.  If the level is too shallow, it may one of the problems.  Too steep can also be an issue.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 11:04:25 pm by Xiaou2 »

amendonz

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 11:52:57 pm »
Is the gameplay any good for these things?

ChadTower

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 09:51:47 am »
One thing you should know about Baby Pacman... is that from what Ive heard... they are really tempermental, and hard to maintain working.   Im not sure what the faults are... but I believe there are 'bullet-proofing' proceedures, that if done, help keep it running a lot more reliably.


The Vidiot board is a pain in the behind to keep running on location.  In the home, though, once you have it working it should stay working.  Repin any questionable connectors and it should be good.  Games like this get a rep for being very difficult on location and that will follow it into collections.  Collectors too often fail to understand the difference between being on 14 hours a day in an arcade and being on 4 hours a week in your garage.

opt2not

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2013, 08:51:05 pm »
Just closing this off. 
Got new rubbers for the bumpers, leveled the cabinet better, and all is well now!  8)

After putting my playfield back in, all the solenoids didn't fire.  This ended up being a simple blown fuse issue.  F5 on the power block, I believe.

Thanks for the input folks!  :cheers:

Generic Eric

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2014, 11:13:22 am »
Do you still play it?

opt2not

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2014, 12:52:00 pm »
Nope. Ended up giving it back to my buddy since I needed the floor space. It was fun while it lasted, but a damn hard game.

Slippyblade

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2014, 05:50:52 pm »
Baby Pac was one of my favorite games in the arcade.  Never saw it much, but played the hell out of it anytime I did see it.

pbj

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2014, 08:01:54 pm »
I liked Caveman better.  That was probably one of the ones I shouldn't have let get away but alas.


Generic Eric

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Re: Got my first --sort of-- pinball machine. How to maintain it?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2014, 08:48:00 pm »
I was watching one on ebay.  Went for more than I was willing to pay.

  
 

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