It's not an easy process, but it ensures your restored pinball machine feels and plays as close to new as possible. You can count on any one of our used pinball games lasting for years to come. We don't stop guaranteeing quality after you make a purchase, though. In fact, we'll give you a 90-day warranty on any equipment you get with us, and you'll have access to our phone support for life. If malfunctions occur in the future with any game you buy from us, we'll service the machine for you in a smooth, enjoyable process.
The Perks of Buying Used Pinball Machines and Gear
You might be wondering what the benefit of refurbishing is. You know it's more affordable to buy used pinball machines instead of new ones, but are there other perks? Here are just a few:
With used pinball games, you'll get to choose from ones that have been around much longer. That guarantees a wider range of machines to choose from, including vintage and classic options that aren't manufactured or easily found anymore.
Better Budget Use
If you can get your machines at a lower price, you can use the same budget you would to buy one new game to instead buy several used ones. Can't choose between two of your favorites? Buy both pinball machines used!
While we can't speak for other companies, we guarantee you don't lose quality to gain the benefits of a refurbished piece when you choose M&P Amusement.
Why Make the Investment in Refurbished Pinball Machines?
Whether you're thinking of your home or commercial business when you seek a used pinball game for sale, you might already know how worthwhile an investment it will be. As long as the machines are in proper working order — which they will be from M&P Amusement — they'll help your business or home in big ways. Let's look at how:
It doesn't matter if you own a bowling alley, restaurant, bar, movie theater, retail location or your very own arcade — a pinball machine is bound to bring more business to your location. You're interested in customer satisfaction, and owning a pinball machine will give hours of fun to players of all ages. Whether a teen is waiting for their parent to finish shopping or your eat-in guests need something to do while they wait for a table, they're more than likely to take an interest in your new machine. Not to mention, you could make some substantial extra cash.
If you miss the games you used to play in the arcade as a kid, you're not alone. Pinball is an especially popular game that even people who never set foot in an arcade usually enjoy. It's simple to play, and trying to steal the high score spot can get addicting. Your family and guests will love your new home addition, and you'll get a chance to beat that score yourself!
When you're ready to make the investment for yourself, buy a reliable used pinball machine from the experts. When you shop with M&P Amusement, you'll have a wide selection to choose from of new and refurbished pinball machines for sale, along with other popular new and used games. Once you make a decision, we'll also provide convenient shipping and financing options.
Contact us online with questions, visit our showroom in York, PA, to test the games or call us at (717) 887-5293 to talk to one of our experienced technicians and get your used pinball machine today!
Learn how to care for your new or used pinball arcade games with our tips below.
Pinball Machine Maintenance: How to Care for Your Arcade Pinball Machines
Pinball machines have been an arcade classic since the early 1900s. Loved by generations of people for their nostalgia and fun, pinball machines are a great addition to arcades, restaurants, hotels or even private homes.
When shopping for a pinball machine, maintenance and repairs can be a common concern. You may wonder if buying a pinball machine is a good investment because of the care it might need to stay in good condition. Our pinball repair guide will provide helpful tips for maintaining your pinball machine and fixing common problems you may encounter. With some basic pinball machine maintenance know-how, you can purchase with confidence!
How to Take Care of a Pinball Machine
When you have just purchased a new or new-to-you pinball machine, you will want to make sure it continues to run well for years to come. To avoid the headache of repairing a broken pinball machine, you should perform regular preventive maintenance to keep your machine in the best condition. Whether your machine is new or used, there are a few basic maintenance tasks that will help you avoid costly and tedious repairs.
Do’s and Don’ts of Pinball Maintenance
Before we dive into the specifics of maintaining, cleaning and repairing your pinball machine, here are a few ground rules.
Never inspect, clean or repair a machine that is turned on or plugged in
Pinball machines run on high voltage, so you should always turn off and unplug them before any maintenance work. Allow the machine to sit for a few minutes after unplugging it to make sure all the power has dissipated. Working on a pinball machine that is plugged in can cause electric shock if a wire contacts a side rail or another electrical component comes loose. Screws or bolts may also come loose while you are moving parts of your pinball machine, which can be a serious hazard if the machine is on.
Never "fix" something that isn't broken
When you have already disassembled your pinball machine or lifted the playfield, it can be tempting to clean or adjust other switches that are not causing problems. However, if you start meddling with components that are working properly, there is a good chance you will cause more damage than good. Unless you understand how every component of your machine works, it is best to address the broken part only, and leave the rest alone.
Always look for simple solutions first
Many times, the solution that seems the most obvious is not the best way to fix a problem with your pinball machine. In fact, it is typically an even simpler solution, such as a burned-out fuse or connector that has come loose. Before performing any major parts replacement or repair, check that every fuse is working and that all connectors are completely plugged in. You should also check for bad groundings, such as loose wires or boards that are unscrewed.
Always use the right tools
Pinball machines can be somewhat delicate, so using cheap or improper tools can cause damage. Make sure to invest in the right tools for the job, including cleaning products and appropriately sized screwdrivers and pliers. As the owner of your pinball machine, you will be performing maintenance regularly, so buying quality tools will be a smart investment.
Following these basic do's and don'ts of pinball machine maintenance will help keep you and your machine safe.
Pinball Machine Maintenance Tools
Depending on your particular repair or maintenance task, the tools you need will differ. Here are some tools you may want to have on hand for maintaining your pinball machine.
Q-tips for cleaning
Novus pinball cleaners
Carnauba wax or another pure wax
Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers
Allen wrench set
A nut driver or socket wrench
Soldering iron and solder
400-grit sandpaper or thin metal file
Work lights for good visibility
How to Remove the Playfield Glass
Unless you are only cleaning the exterior of your machine, most pinball machine maintenance and cleaning tasks will require you to remove the playfield glass to access the internal components. Playfield glass is usually tempered glass, so you must be extremely careful when handling it. Even a minuscule nick can cause the glass to explode into tiny pieces.
Follow these steps for safely removing the playfield glass from your pinball machine.
Check your surroundings
Make sure there is enough room in front of the pinball machine to slide the playfield glass straight out of the machine.
Open the coin door
Doing so will typically require a key you should have received when you purchased your machine.
Release and remove the lockdown bar
The inside of the coin door will have a lever that releases the lockdown bar. Remove the lockdown bar to access the playfield glass.
Slide out the glass panel
When removing the playfield glass, slide it directly toward you without exerting any upward or downward pressure. If the panel is stuck, you can spray water or Windex along the edges to help the glass slide out.
Once you have removed the glass, be sure to store it somewhere safe where no one will bump into it. You will now have access to the playfield so you can perform any cleaning, maintenance or repairs you need.
Routine Checks and Maintenance for Your Pinball Machine
Regular maintenance is essential to keeping your pinball machine in tip-top shape. Some pinball machine maintenance is very straightforward, while other tasks require more mechanical knowledge. Below are some basic pinball machine maintenance tasks that will keep your machine running smoothly.
Replace the pinballs
Using old or scratched balls in your pinball machine is one of the top causes of damage to the playfield. When pinball balls become scuffed or corroded, they can tear up the clear coat on the playfield and damage the art. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest maintenance tasks to keep up with. Remove and replace any pinballs as soon as they begin to look damaged or worn, or at least once a year. New pinballs are inexpensive, especially if you buy in bulk. You should also clean your pinballs any time you open the playfield for other cleaning or maintenance tasks. Wiping the balls with diluted glass cleaner will keep them shiny and smooth.
Check the bulbs
Lightbulbs are under the playfield, and some machines have quite a lot of bulbs. If a bulb burns out, you can replace it easily by lifting the playfield, removing the bulb and installing a new one. The metal base of the bulb will have an ID number stamped into it so you can easily identify which type of bulb you need to order. Always install the same bulb to avoid any malfunctions or short circuits. The only exception is if your pinball machine contains no. 44 bulbs. You can replace these with no. 47 bulbs instead, which use less power and run cooler. Bulbs that produce a lot of heat can cause plastics on the playfield to warp when playing for a long period. You may also want to swap your bulbs for LED bulbs, as they are brighter and produce less heat.
Replace the batteries annually
Most pinball machines use regular household batteries to power the circuit boards that control the game. Typically, the batteries are on the main board in the backbox. Over time, these batteries will corrode and leak, which can lead to more extensive damage to the board and other electric components. If corrosion does occur, you may need to replace the entire battery holder. To prevent corrosion, replace the batteries each year when you switch out your smoke detector batteries. Some people prefer to install battery packs, so the batteries are not directly on the circuit board. That also reduces the risk of damage from corrosion.
Tighten screws and check connectors
Part of your regular maintenance should include tightening any loose screws or bolts and making sure everything is properly connected. Excited pinball players are likely to jostle the machine, which can cause components to come loose. As mentioned early, poor connections can often cause larger problems or prevent the machine from starting.
Check the flippers
Because they receive the most use, pinball machine flippers are prone to sticking or not working properly. Check that your flippers are aligned evenly when in the resting position. Flippers that stick, are sluggish or lack power may need to be rebuilt.
Replace rubber rings
As your machine ages, the rubber rings will wear out and may crack. Cracked rubber rings slow the play of the game and detract from the appearance of your pinball machine. Replacing rubber rings with new ones is a simple process you can complete with a nut driver and screwdriver.
Keep the playfield clean
Depending on how much use your pinball machine gets, you should clean your playfield about once a month. Dirt and dust on the playfield will slow the play and can cause scratches on the playfield.
Keep the playfield waxed
Applying wax to the playfield after cleaning will help prevent wear and make gameplay faster. Once you have properly waxed your playfield, you do not need to apply wax each month, but can just perform normal cleaning. Reapply wax only when it appears to have worn away or the gameplay has become slow. When selecting wax, look for carnauba wax or another pure wax. Regular automotive wax will work, but choose one that does not contain any cleaning agents, silicone, chemicals or abrasives.
When you are performing monthly cleaning of your pinball machine, you should also check the bulbs, rubber rings, balls and batteries. If you need to move your pinball machine, always inspect it before turning it back on, as components can come loose during transport.
How to Clean a Pinball Machine
Cleaning the exterior of your pinball machine regularly will prevent dirt or dust from building up that could harm the machine if it gets inside. If your pinball machine is in a restaurant or arcade, it is likely someone will spill a sticky beer or soda on it at some point. Be sure to clean spills immediately, and keep your pinball machine as clean as possible.
When cleaning the outside of your pinball machine, you can vacuum it with a soft brush attachment to remove dust that may get caught in crevices, then wipe it down with a soft rag. Depending on how often players use the machine, you should clean it every week or two.
The backglass requires particular care when cleaning, as it is prone to cracking and peeling. Older pinball machines often have a painted silkscreen backglass, while newer ones have a plastic sheet called translite. If your pinball machine has a silkscreen backglass, you may want to apply a clear coat to seal it and prevent peeling.
To clean the backglass of your pinball machine, wipe it gently with a damp cloth. You should only use regular water to clean a backglass, as any chemical cleaner is likely to damage the backglass and lead to more peeling or discoloration.
Cleaning the Playfield
Before beginning, make sure you are using the correct cleaning product for the age and type of your machine. Some playfields have a lacquer seal, while others use a clear coat or hard coat. Different surface types require different cleaning products to prevent scratching or discoloration. Make sure you know what type of coating your pinball machine playfield has, so you can purchase the right products.
The Novus line of plastic cleaning products works great for most pinball machines. Isopropyl alcohol can also be a good option. However, you should use it sparingly, as it is mildly abrasive and can cause wear to the playfield.
Follow the steps below to make your pinball machine playfield shine.
Remove the playfield glass
Follow the instructions above to remove the playfield glass so you can access the playfield.
Remove all playfield components
If it is your first time cleaning the playfield or it is particularly dirty, you will want to remove all the slides, bumpers and other playfield components to give it a good clean. You will also need to remove all parts if you plan to apply wax. When performing a light clean, you may be able to work around the playfield components without removing them. If you choose to remove the playfield pieces, take a picture first, so you know how to put it back together correctly.
Wipe down the playfield
Using a microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol or Novus 2, wipe down the entire playfield. Clean in a circular motion and apply light pressure to areas with a lot of dirt.
Repeat as necessary
It is better to clean your playfield twice, rather than scrubbing one area for a long time. After allowing the playfield to dry, you can go over it again as many times as necessary until you feel satisfied.
Apply a small amount of wax to the playfield and rub it in a circular motion, using a microfiber rag. Make sure to get into the corners of the playfield.
Buff out the wax
Let the wax dry for a few minutes, then buff it out by applying good pressure and speed while cleaning in a circular motion. You can use a clean microfiber rag or a sponge attachment and a drill. That will create a smooth and shiny look as well as faster play.
Allow it to dry
Allow the playfield to dry and wax to set before replacing playfield components and glass.
When you have already removed the playfield components, you may want to give them a quick clean before putting them back in. You can clean plastic playfield components such as slides with Novus 1 or isopropyl alcohol. It is especially important to allow everything to dry fully before turning the machine back on, as isopropyl alcohol is flammable and pinball machines contain high-voltage components.
Common Pinball Machine Problems and How to Repair Them
With a little bit of mechanical knowledge, you can repair many common pinball machine problems on your own. However, before diving into any repair, make sure you know what type of pinball machine you have. Pinball machines are either solid-state (SS) or electromechanical (EM). Maintenance of the playfield components will be the same for both types, but any internal or electrical repairs will be very different.
Pinball machines built before about 1977 will likely be EM pinball machines that use relays, motors and switches. Newer pinball machines are typically SS, which uses electronic circuit boards and computers to control the game. If you have an SS pinball machine, you will also want to know what type of central processing unit or microprocessing unit your machine has.
When you purchase your pinball machine, you should receive this information from the supplier, or it will be in the manual. If you do not know what type of pinball machine you have, you can look it up in an online database, such as The Internet Pinball Machine Database. This database often allows you to download the manual for the specific year and model of your pinball machine.
When ordering parts from a supplier, you will need to know this basic information about your pinball machine. Even if you do not plan to perform repairs yourself, it will be beneficial for your pinball repair technician if you have this information on hand. Now that you have some basic information about your pinball machine, you are ready to try some common pinball machine repairs.
Pinball Machine Will Not Start
If your pinball machine lights up, but won't start, you most likely have blown a fuse. You can typically find fuses in the backbox of your pinball machine or underneath the playfield. As always, make sure to unplug your machine before opening it. If you need to access the area under the playfield, remove the pinballs before tipping the playfield up. If you do not remove the balls, they will likely shoot out and can cause damage to the playfield or backbox. There is typically a support bar that holds up the playfield while you work on the fuses underneath.
Sometimes you will be able to recognize a blown fuse with a visual inspection alone. If you cannot identify a blown fuse, you may want to check each fuse with a voltmeter. The manual for your pinball machine will list the proper value or voltage for each fuse, or this information may be on a piece of paper on the back or side of the machine. When replacing fuses, make sure to use the correct voltage.
If you have checked and replaced any damaged fuses, but your pinball machine still will not start, check that all the connections and wires are attached. If everything else looks to be in place, you may be facing a more severe problem. At this point, you may want to contact a repair technician to help you identify the cause of the problem, as it could be a wide variety of issues.
Pinball Machine Flippers Are Stuck
Stuck flippers are a widespread problem, especially for pinball machines that have seen a lot of use. Flippers may stick due to natural wear on the linkage in the crank assembly, the flipper button switch or the end-of-stroke switch. Sometimes, flippers will scrape the playfield or get stuck if the bushing that holds the flipper above the playfield becomes worn. A broken or weak spring can also cause the flipper to break or be sluggish.
You can sometimes fix a stuck flipper by taking the flipper apart, cleaning each component with isopropyl alcohol and putting it back together. You should also replace the bushing if it appears to be worn. If you see signs of wear on the flipper button, you may be able to fix it by gently filing or sanding it down.
If this does not work, you should replace the flipper or flipper component that is damaged. The easiest way to repair a pinball flipper is to order a flipper rebuild kit from a parts supplier. This kit will contain all the parts necessary to rebuild your flipper. You will also need a screwdriver and socket wrench or Allen wrench to remove and replace a broken flipper. When tightening the bolts to reattach the flipper, make sure to hold it in the correct position, or your flippers will be misaligned.
When to Call a Pinball Repair Technician
While many common pinball machine problems have simple solutions, other issues can be much more complicated. If you do not have experience working with electrical components, you should leave this work to a skilled professional. For example, if you have a broken flipper, but none of the pieces seem to be damaged, you may have a technical problem instead of a mechanical problem. It is best to call a repair technician to get the job done properly without risking a short circuit.
If you are working with an older pinball machine, especially an EM machine, you may want to call a professional. Old pinball machines have fragile internal components that can easily get damaged with improper handling.
For the best outcome and most peace of mind, call a pinball repair technician for any problem you cannot quickly diagnose on your own. A trained technician will also be able to walk you through the basics of how your machine works, so you may be able to fix it yourself the next time.
Best Pinball Machine for the Money
When buying a pinball machine, keep in mind the maintenance it will require. Both old and new pinball machines need regular maintenance and cleaning to stay in the best condition, and most pinball machines will require some type of repair now and then. The most reliable pinball machines are the ones that have received proper maintenance and care. Choose a pinball machine you will feel comfortable repairing, or buy your pinball machine from a retailer that provides service support.
Used pinball machines
An older, well-refurbished machine will typically be the best-value option. If your seller offers a warranty on play or quality guarantee, that is even better. Look for a retailer that will service your pinball machine if problems do occur. Keep in mind, refurbished pinball machines of the same model and year will have different prices depending on their condition, so you may be able to get a better deal on a pinball machine that has more backglass damage if appearance is not your primary concern.
New pinball machines
While this option will be more costly, you will not need to deal with as much maintenance as you might with a restored pinball machine. You will also be investing in a beautiful machine without any scratches or peeling.
Regardless whether you are buying new or used, pinball machines are a good investment for anyone who loves this classic game. Pinball machines will provide fun and entertainment for you, your family and your friends for years to come! Installing a pinball machine in your arcade or business will also attract more customers who know the thrill of this arcade classic.
Find Your Perfect Pinball Machine at M&P Amusement
Are pinball machines a good investment? Yes, when you partner with the right vendor. Whether you are looking to add to your existing home arcade or add new games to your business, M&P Amusement offers some of the best pinball machines available. We sell a variety of new pinball machines featuring popular themes, such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Star Wars. Our professional repair technicians clean and repair our restored pinball machines so they look and run like new. We back all our pinball machines — both new and used — with a warranty and free phone support for life.