Pinball Stories #1: My first game, “Genie” by Gottlieb

One of the things us pinball enthusiasts love to do is tell stories about how we acquired games. Each game has its own unique provenance and history, and there’s almost always an interesting story behind them. This is the first episode in an ongoing series were we talk about the stories behind the games and how they came to be. I start the series off with the very first pinball machine I purchased, a Gottlieb “Genie” – before I knew anything about how to repair and restore games. It was the game that got me on this path. I hope you enjoy the story – be sure to subscribe on Youtube! Thanks for watching!

Here are some pictures from early on when I got the game and began to restore it.

Problems with coil stops in newer Stern games

Lately there’s been a bit of a hullabaloo (is that how it’s spelled?) regarding coil stops on newer Stern games. I had it happen to me as well, and I made a video to describe what’s happening. It appears whoever is manufacturing the coil stops for Stern has used inferior materials and they prematurely come apart. I’ve reported this to Stern and will let you all know what they are doing about it. I expect this supply issue to be resolved soon and if you encounter this problem, contact Stern support. They should be able to send out replacement coil stops.

coil stop literally fell apart. There’s a non-ferrous “washer” that separates the stop from the bracket that appears to be made of low quality alloy that disintegrates.

The next day I returned with the right parts. Here are two videos covering the repair.

https://youtu.be/rWnNejDq-uI

https://youtu.be/dtC6Sg-8tq4

damaged coil stop can also cause the plunger to mushroom and then damage coil sleeves and get stuck.

All about connectors: Molex, sizes, tools, pins and crimping

Pinball machines (as well as other arcade games) use a wide variety of wires and connectors. The most popular brand of connectors is called “Molex” which is a specific maker, but also a generic term often referred to as the plug/un-plug style connectors you will find on everything from power supply wiring to board connectors.

In this video, I go over the most common sizes and types of connectors you’re likely to find, what tools are available and how to rebuild and re-pin these connectors.

How to fix stripped pinball legs/bolts

If you over-tighten the bolts on modern pinball legs, you can strip both the bolts and the assembly you screw into, making it a real pain to firmly attach legs. I go over the process of replacing the inner plate to fix stripped pinball leg assemblies.

Rebuilding pinball flipper assembly (Gottlieb System 3)

Here are two videos of me completely rebuilding the flippers and flipper assembly on a Gottlieb System 3 pinball machine (Waterworld) – many of this information will basically pertain to most flipper systems on other machines like Bally and WMS, Stern, etc. I go through the whole process of replacing all the major wear parts on the flipper assembly even including the base plate and end-of-stroke switches.

Here’s part 2 (sorry I rarely edit these videos so sometimes my camera breaks it into separate files)

Part 3

If the above is too slow, check out this time-lapse of rebuilding the flipper: