Gottlieb Top Card Pinball Machine


Aug 5, 2007

Here's a project I dreaded. The cabinet was shot and needed replacing. A friend donated a 'King Pin' cabinet for the job. I'd normally not even bother with something like this but the playfield and backglass were in such great shape I couldn't resist the challenge. A really nice Top Card just sold a few weeks back at the auction for $450 - I figured it'd go higher but EM pinballs just don't get the $$$ over there.



gottlieb top card back glass

One thing I don't normally do but have been playing with is buffing some of the parts. I used a buffing pad on my bench grinder or a disc buffer in the drill press. I had used some regular auto compound but bought some buffing compound at the local Harbor Freight today to see what more aggressive buffing looks like. The new compound cleaned up a dull leg bolt in about 20 seconds.

pinball shooter before and after buffing

I had to replace just about every piece of wood in the machine including the panel that hold the tilt bob and the plywood that all the game mechanics mount to. The white powder is borax from the previous owner- the kill all for bugs in Florida - it was a little late however. I cleaned everything while migrating the board including contact adjustments.

control board migration

Looks just like the original - only cleaner!

board in cabinet

The coin door - it's got a little twist and looks like someone pried in open at least once but is mostly ok.

coin door

And here's the Gottlieb Top Card / King Pin fusion pinball to date. I did clean the new cabinet well but I can see some staining on the head in this photo. I'll work on that again later. Believe it or not the machine mostly worked when I connected it. It's got some minor typical issues like score reels and some contacts but it's working surprisingly well.

pinball to date -

To Do:

Playfield cleaning, rubbering, waxing. Rebulb and fix Score Reels and any other issues the machine may have.

Aug 21, 2007

Scrapped Out! Zoiks!

When going over the playfield I found it had also been eaten and just running a rag over it broke through the playfield. What a shame - this was a near museum piece to start with as the original cabinet, glass, and playfield looked near perfect.

In any case I'm scrapping this out for parts - the backglass has been sold to another entusiast with a broken Top Card glass. The rest of the parts are going into my collection. If you're looking to trade something I need the old Gottlieb end caps for my Thoro Bred. The chimes may go in my Hulk if I can't fix the sound card and the playfield glass and coin door are going into the Airport.

NOT To Be Continued