Restorations (Pinball - Re-assembly)
Everything is clean, you have all of the parts you needed, and your playfield is ready. Before I start re-assembly I clean the work area very well and throw any garbage away. Install the playfield in the rotisserie or machine. I install the posts first. They are usually bolted in and I find it easier to install them with nothing else on the playfield. I then install the pop-bumper assemblies and other solenoid assemblies.

Next is the wiring harness. I generally start by fastening the harness at the rear of the playfield. I then separate the “veins” of the harness and place them in their approximate areas. One thing to keep in mind is that wires have a “memory.” The wires will naturally be in the vicinity of where they should be and I don’t even have to refer to my pictures for most of it. When I complete an area I do look at my pictures to see if I placed everything properly. I fasten all of the lamps first. When I fasten the switches I test them all with my Fluke meter on the continuity setting. When a switch is open you should hear no sound. When you close it you should hear the sound immediately as you close it and it should not stutter. If it does, replace the switch. I have found that the switches survive the cleaning process remarkably well. I usually end up replacing two or three switches that are marginal. Once you have tested the switch, screw it down.

Now you should re-soldering all of the coils. I use my digital soldering station and a solder sucker. I remove all of the residual solder and stray wire from the coil's terminals. Then I re-cut the wires and wrap them around the terminals trying not to remove too much wire. I refer to my photos to double check and make sure the polarity is correct.

Next install the rest of the goodies. I take my time while doing this to try and make sure everything is in the right spot and tweaked for good playability. Once everything is re-installed I do another underside check to make sure everything is hooked up.

The last step is re-installing the playfield in your cabinet and hooking the wires to the driver and cpu boards. If you decide not to do a cabinet restoration at least make sure you clean the cabinet thoroughly using a vacuum and/or a compressor. You have a very clean playfield; residual dirt in the cabinet is bad. Double check your back box connections and make sure the transformer is hooked up properly.

The first time I turn the game on be very tentative for popping noises, burning smells, or small fires =D If any of these things happens, quickly shut the machine down. Assuming nothing catastrophic happened, go into diagnostics and check each lamp, each solenoid, and all toys. I usually put a lamp or two in the wrong spot and it’s easy to switch them. Once you have verified everything is working, install new balls and play a few games. Watch to make sure the game is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. I have been lucky my last 3 restoration and only had a few minor glitches to fix.


attaching a wiring harness to the pinball playfield
Where do all these wires go?

pinball playfield

Jump to a Section
Removing Head Connectors
Removing Playfield
Removing Parts (Top)
Removing Parts (Bottom)
Mid Project
Cleaning Parts - Wiring Harness
Cleaning Parts - Coils
Cleaning Parts - Assemblies
Cleaning Parts - Re-graining
Cleaning Parts - Circuit Boards
Cleaning Parts - Ramps
Play Testing