Bally’s Centaur pinball machine came from the factory with an electromagnet, installed in the top-right corner of the playfield. It would hold the ball in place after it hit the “release” target, which initiates the multi-ball mode.
Unfortunately, as time passed and these electromagnets burnt out, it became more difficult and expensive to find a replacement magnet. Most games no longer have the magnet installed, as it was likely removed to be sold.
On our machine, we had no idea if the magnet was still there, and one day decided to look under the playfield to see if there was one. It turns out there was, but it didn’t work.
After verifying the electrical side was fine, we took out the magnet to find that a screw had gone through the playfield, and through the coil!
The price of a replacement electromagnet is upwards of $100! Thus, we decided we would remove the old coil wire and wrap our own. After all, how hard could it be?
I’ve talked about electronic maintenance on our pinball machines before, including some fairly serious refurbishing. One type of restoration my father and I were hesitant to try was cosmetic, since we aren’t exactly artistic.
Well, we did it anyway! Read on for a full, detailed account of our journey restoring a Bally Medusa.