My Pinball machine is haunted!!

I decided to remove the Thing Hand Box yesterday. I had already read (over months of research) that this was a difficult task, as there are three screws on the rear of the playfield which are securing the box. To get to these screws is near on impossible, as with the playfield in the fully upright position, it is difficult to get a tool underneath the playfield to take them off.

The solutions I have seen suggested, include pulling the playfield out of its mount and resting the front of the playfield on the front of the pinball body. Three reasons stopped me from doing this:

  1. The playfield is extremely heavy
  2. resting the playfield on the front of the body could potentially damage some of the wiring/mechanics on the underside of the playfield
  3. Even with the playfield moved forward by the recommended four inches would not expose the back of the playfield anyway

So I decided on the option of holding the playfield up at a 45 degree angle using the holding bar in the body (on the right side of the body). There is a round cut-out on the underside of the playfield that this bar fits into.

With the playfield in this position it was easier to get to the screws with a ratchet and 1/4 inch socket. It was hard but I managed to get two of the screws out but on removing the third screw, I managed to drop the socket inside the body. Lifting up the playfield into its vertical positon to search for the socket, I heard the socket fall down some more, but when I looked inside the box, the socket was no-where to be seen. It had vanished. I checked all the obvious places (loudspeaker magnet, transformer magnet etc); I checked all the corners inside the box (finding the other half of the broken blue target and the tip of a slingshot plastic in the process) but the socket was no-where to be seen! Even though there are no holes through which the socket could have fallen in the body of the pinball, I checked underneath the pinball machine, but with no luck.

My pinball machine is haunted with thieving ghosts! (This isn’t the first item that’s simply disappeared, incidentally: the first was a plastic spacer from the dot-matrix display).

A small tip at this point, I wouldn’t recommend searching inside the pinball box: everything is covered in the so-called “pinball dust” which gets everywhere. I had to wash five times in the search process and change my t-shirt twice, making the whole searching escapade that more frustrating.

But then came the icing on the cake: I discovered you don’t even need to take out these three screws at the back of the playfield to remove the Thing Hand box. At the most, you only need to loosen them slightly, as they secure a bracket which holds the Thing Hand box at the bottom (there are, in fact, just two screws securing the Hand box to the playfield). So this would have been a much easier (and quicker) task had I known this – and less frustrating!

I still haven’t found the socket as of today, and believe me, I’ve been looking!

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