Fixing stuck drop targets on a Bally SS pinball machine (Mystic)

This is another one of those video series where I thought to myself, “If I were smart I would edit this.” But then I thought, I can’t be the ultimate pinball repair guru and I’m not really trying. If I have some kind of “angle” it’s that I’m doing a FPS (First-Person-Shooter) perspective to the hobby, collecting and restoring. And often times when you’re in an FPS, you poke your head down the wrong hall and get fragged. This is kind of how this video series starts off but it takes part 3 to realize the plot twist…

Ok I’ll get off confusing metaphors and back to pinball repair..

The problem I had was when I got this Bally Mystic, one of the targets was broken. I had ordered replacement targets. I opted for the same style as the side targets even though on many Bally Mystics, for some reason, the front targets are bullseyes and the side targets have explosion graphics on them. Go figure? Anyway, after replacing the targets I discovered that two of them would often get stuck in the “up” position and would often not retract when hit. I knew the springs on some of the targets were old and had “lost their zest” (that’s an official technical term by the way). So I thought I’d make a video on replacing the springs, showing an alternate source for some of the components as well as a trick to make an old spring kinda new. Along the way I discovered the real reason why the drop targets weren’t resetting…

How to level inserts in old pinball machine playfields

Nowadays, it’s hard to find any pinball machine made before 1980 that don’t have certain issues with the plastic inserts in the playfield, shrinking and becoming concave and affecting gameplay. Almost all electro-mechanical games suffer from this, as the forces of time, heat and other factors have caused the plastic inserts to change shape. In this series of videos I go over a process of fixing this to make your playfield level and play like new. In this case working with a Gottlieb Jet Spin (aka “Super Spin”)

First step is safely removing the inserts:

Now that they’re out, let’s go over what’s involved in getting them smoothed over:

While the inserts are out, now is the time to touch up parts of the playfield and the black rings around the inserts:

Now we are ready to put the inserts back in the playfield:

And here’s a look at the end result: