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Home > Master Selection Guide > Game FAQ's > Pinball Machine Refurbishing Process

Pinball Machine Refurbishing Process                                           

Our primary goal at BMI Gaming is giving our customers the most reliable pinball machines
possible. We strive to deliver to all of our clients the most fun and trouble-free games possible.  

Prices on our refurbished games
reflect the many hours of repair / labor that each machine
undergoes during the restoration process. This level of care not only increases the value and
appearance of your game, but makes it play and last as long as possible without repair.. All of
this means getting a better and more reliable pinball machine that will hold up longer, requires
less service down the road and helps retains a higher resale / trade-in value.

All of our refurbished games
come with our 90-Day Refurbished Game Warranty

Our 15 Step Pinball Machine Restoration Process

    Remove & Clean Playfield Parts - We strip the playfield of parts, then hand-clean parts that were removed, then repair any parts not up to our standards.

Average Time : 3 - 5 hours

    Clean & Polish Playfield -  We then proceed to hand-clean and hand polish the game's playfield.
We use special and expensive playfield cleaners and polishers to do this.

Average Time: 1 - 2 hours

    Reassemble Playfield Parts - We then start the process of reassembling the playfield from top to bottom. We start out by replacing all light buLbs, then install the metal parts such as pinball guides, plastics, bumpers and
wire forms. Then we install the pop bumpers and assemblies, replacing any broken or worn out parts as possible.
Then we install plastic, star and metal posts, replacing them as needed, install all-new rubber rings, then put back
the plastic pieces and larger assemblies like plastic / metal ramps, playfield toys, motors, etc

Average Time : 3- 7 hours

    Replace Rubber Rings - All the rubber rings on the playfield are now replaced with new, high-quality, heavy-duty rubber ring sets for that fresh, new "factory" look and feel.

Average Time :  1 hour

    Replace / Clean All Light BuLbs - We replace all burned out light buLbs on all games we sell and then test them all to be sure everything is working as it should be. We replace lamps with high-quality brand new ones, even
the large flashers on some newer games. We also clean and replace all lamps on the underside of the playfield
and make sure to include a few extra boxes of buLbs just for you in case you need to replace them, free of charge.

Average Time :  1 - 2  hours

    Clean Interior Light Lenses - We then wipe clean all light lenses (its where buLbs shine through plastic lens from underneath the playfield). These are usually very dirty in used machines, and if they are dirty, lights will not glow as brightly as they should, and give a game playfield that "old" or "worn" appearance.

Average Time :  1 - 2 hours

   Clean Cabinet Interior & Exterior - After our work on the playfield is done, we clean and vacuum the inside
of each game's cabinet as best as possible. After cleaning the interior and exterior of the game, we will often touch up small nicks, scuffs and scratches in the cabinet finish, if present. Most pinball collectors prefer pinball machines in
their "original" condition and do not want to have the outside cabinet paint "touched-up".

Average Time :  1 - 5 hours

   Clean, Repair & Paint Coin Doors - We remove, disassemble and clean most parts on the coin door assembly. We make sure that all 25 cent coin mechs are working and complete. We then paint the door if needed,
or replace it if worn beyond repair. Most homeowners will never use the coin mechanism, and request us to set
the game for "free-play",  but we make sure the coin door and mechs look and work as close to new as possible. 

Average Time : 2 - 3 hours

    Backbox Cleaned - The "backbox", where the "backglass" (glass) or  "translite" (plastic) game art on
the front of the game is located, is removed and thoroughly cleaned.

Average Time:  30 Mins

   Clean Pinball Legs - We clean, refurbish or replace all four legs on every game we sell.

Average Time : 1 hour

    Check & Install Leg Levelers -  We check and re-install leg levelers (used to level your pinball machine
for optimum play) on all four legs for every pinball machine we sell to be sure your levelers operate correctly.
Average Time :  30 minutes

    Insert New "Mirror-Glazed" Pinballs: We replace all balls with new premium "mirror-glazed" pinballs because older balls tend to be either rusty, have tiny rust pits and or get lots of scratches from being played.
Scratched pinballs can also quickly damage your just-refurbished playfield - We replace all pinballs with new
ones for that "like-new" look and to help protect and preserve the playfield finish and your investment.

Average Time : 15 minutes

    Checkout All Electronic Parts - We check all the electronics and circuit boards in the games we sell to
make sure they are functioning properly, look good, and will be reliable for years to come, as well as completely checkout the following::

  • All wiring and wiring harnesses are checked for defective wires or connectors.

  • All fuses / fuse holders checked for operation and rating, and replaced if needed.

  • Remote-mounted battery holders are installed on older style machines that originally
    used an enclosed board-mounted battery unit. This gets the battery off the board, and
    avoids damage if the battery were to leak (common problem on old machines)

  • All batteries (used for game memory and high scores retention) are replaced with
    new alkaline batteries to prevent future battery corrosion and possible board failure.

  • Upgrades or modifications are occasionally made to older pinball circuit boards to
    help them run better and be more reliable in the long run.

Average Time :  3 - 10 hours

    Auto Burn-In and Final Test & Inspection: This is the next to the last step in our restoration process.
First we set each game (post 1980's) on its "Auto Burn-In" mode where all of the games buLbs, flashers, bumpers, flippers, displays, solenoids and other electrical and electronic components are tested and stressed continually for
24-36 hours to make sure that everything on the machine is working as it should be. If any game component should
not make through this test, is it replaced, tested again, and then the entire game undergoes one last complete and
final top to bottom inspection to double-check everything is working as expected one last time before the shipping process begins. 

Average Time :  2 - 3 hours  (plus 24-36 hours "Burn-In" time)

    Game Manuals, Documentation and Play Cards: We make sure to include with all machines the original game operation manual, either on paper (if a manual came with the game) or in electronic format (using Abode
Acrobat (.pdf) files) via our website. While most customers will likely never need to consult a game manual, in any event, just about every game we sell already has its original operators handbook or manual on our web site for easy downloading, printing or reading online. We will then install two new "play cards" for your game with basic game play goals and instructions (when available), otherwise we will ship the game with a BMI Gaming play card or the cards
that were with the game when we acquired it, if they are the original OEM cards.
Average Time :  30 minutes

If you decide to order a refurbished game from us, the only thing we ask of you is that you
please be patient - The last thing you want to do is "rush" a game restoration; by allowing our
game technicians and restoration experts the time to complete the process correctly, we will not
have to "cut corners" to get your game out quickly that might affect your game down the road -

Please keep in mind that sometimes during the process we need a part not in stock to complete
the job, and it might take a week or two to locate it, so being patient is important. If you need a pinball machine quickly and in brand new condition, you might want to consider purchasing a new pinball machine from us.

Have lots of questions about pinball machines? Click here for our Pinball Machine FAQ Page!

Want to learn more about the history of pinball? Click here for our History Of Pinball Page!

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