So like I said, at this point I could remove and return each plastic (and the rear part of the ramp, and The Juggler) individually to clean under each one and replace rubbers. It might have been satisfying to break it all the way down to a completely clean playfield, but this way there aren’t more and more parts organized on the floor to confuse the project, and the end result is the same. I started on the left with the large red plastic, and here is a pic.
After doing the job from left to right, all that was left was to return all the parts that were organized on the floor. Finally, here it is fully reassembled and running.
So it’s not really day two, and I went to New York for a bit the day after I finished, so this is more of a recap than a day-by day log.
First here’s a pic of the underside of the Ferris Wheel mechanism so you can see the one metal bracket that you need to remove in order to get the belt on and off (again, it is still a bit of a puzzle).
Next here is a video of the Ferris Wheel in operation before reassembly.
It is, of course, very fitting that I have a pinball machine with working Ferris wheels. I should say had working Ferris wheels. The drive belt was slipping and the belt tensioner had even been modified to stretch the belt even further out than originally designed.
Why would someone do that rather than replace the belt? Well, as I have discovered, it is because it requires breaking down most of the playfield to do the job properly. The Ferris wheel assembly was not designed with servicing in mind. It wouldn’t have been that hard to have it attached from the bottom of the playfield so you could drop it right out, but that’s not how they did it.
So time to shop it out. This is one of the trickier teardowns I’ve done, so I’m documenting my progress for anyone else who is going to attempt this. Also taking reference photos for re-assembly that I’m not posting here.
Now that the belt is replaced. I’ll probably remove and replace playfield plastics one at a time to replace all the rubbers, and also get that center steel ramp out of my way. I’ll be able to reach 99% of the playfield this way, so I don’t think I need to do a full disassembly.
I had already filled and sanded the small dings on the playfield with JB Weld Kwikwood, but now I’ll use some touch-up paint on those spots. I did a full LED conversion about 6 months ago, so that’s already done. I did find new slingshot plastics online, so I might buy just bought those as the left clown is a bit messed up. There are a couple other plastics I’d like to replace, but I can’t find them, so repairing and flattening them will have to do. But all that is for another day.
Just found this fellow in my back yard. Didn’t seem too worried about being picked up. Worth clicking through to see the full resolution pic. Amazing.