This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Gottlieb 2001


This week I take on one of my own projects. The 2001 Gottlieb pinball was listed on Facebook Marketplace in my neighboring town. There was a couple photos posted of the game, but really couldn’t tell the condition of the game from the photos.

I reached out to the owner and agreed on a price and made arrangements for pick up. The owner stated the game was his -in-laws. He recently bought their house and the game came with the house. A quick look at the machine, and I knew it was going to take some TLC to get it working. My initial plan is to get it running and then worry about the cosmetics later. However, my poor eyes can’t un-see the wood-paneling contact paper on the machinešŸ˜œ .


The game needed a good cleaning before any repairs could be done. The first thing that I did was remove the contact paper. A blow dryer made quick work of this. Next, I removed the playfield and vacuumed out the game. There was a mouse nest made with probably the 1970’s shag carpet (or an ugly sweater). After the vacuuming, I removed the bottom panel and vacuumed it along with the rest of the cabinet. It’s amazing how much different that game looks with just vacuuming it out.

Bottom Panel

As with some of my other repairs (High Hand, Sky Jump, Strange World), I usually start with the bottom panel and go through all the relays, score motor, stepper unit(s), and reset banks.

I removed each relay and take them apart, clean the switches, re-assemble and make any adjustment if needed. At this time, it is also good to check for any loose wires and burnt coils. The hold relay on this game will get replaced.

I usually just work around the bottom panel and start at the bottom right and work clockwise around. The next item to tackle is the score motor. I clean every switch and make sure they are transitioning correctly as I manually advance the motor. Just like the relays, I check for loose wires and anything that might be broken.

With the score motor done, I moved on to the ball count unit. This unit was really gummy and would not advance or reset. I took apart all of it and threw most of the parts into my ultrasonic cleaner. This does a fantastic job removing all the grease and junk. With clean parts, I reassembled everything and re-greased a few points. Finally the unit now moves freely and advances and resets accordingly.

With the bottom panel getting close to done, I ended with the reset bank. I cleaned all switches and checked the gaps on all of them. I made sure to check the DB armature since that tripped me up a little bit on my Home Run repair.

The last step in the back box is replacing the power cord. The original had seen better days and was replaced with a new one.

Back Box

The first thing in the back box that I started to work on were the score reels. I took apart each one and cleaned, re-greased, and re-assembled. This made each score reel move smoothly. I also checked the switches for the correction operation along with replacing on broken EOS switch. One coil (A-9154) fell apart, and was replaced with a new one.

The next item that I went to was the 0-9 bonus unit. I tried to manually advance the unit, and it wouldn’t even move pass the first position. The unit did have a broken coil stop. I rebuilt the unit and was now moving smoothly.

I decided to pass on the credit unit, since I can put the game in free play and not worry about it. I might circle back to it sometime.

The last item in the back box with the relays. I rebuilt these the same way as the bottom panel. I took each one apart, cleaned, and checked switches along with loose wires.

To be continued…

I debated adding the rest of the repair, but think it’s going to be too long. So, I will add it to the next post. This Gottlieb 2001 pinball machine is getting closer to working once again!

Series NavigationGottlieb 2001 Pinball Repair (Part 2) >>

2 thoughts on “Gottlieb 2001 Pinball Repair (Part 1)

    1. I use the Harbor Freight Ultrasonic cleaner, but probably need to upgrade to a larger size. I also have a parts tumbler that I got from Cabela’s (back in the day). Both work really well at cleaning parts.

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