I received a phone call during my lunch hour wondering if I can repair a pinball machine. The owner did not know the name of the game or the condition of it, but said he could drop it off out my shop. I agreed and some what intrigued by the mystery game. As promised, the pinball machine showed up at my shop and ended up being Bally Dixieland. I couldn’t hide my excitement when I found out it is a game with Zipper Flippers!

Bottom Panel

Like most repairs (Strange World, Apollo, and Sky Jump) that I do, I usually start with the bottom panel. Bally made a slick set up that allows you to service the bottom panel of the game by rising it up and resting on the cabinet. The power cord and fuse holders got updated with new ones. I rebuilt the Clarinet Stepper Unit and went through the score motor switches. I did find one switch on the hold relay that had been soldered shut and returned it back to its normal state. Next, the bottom panel was finished and time to move on to the back box.

Back Box

I continued cleaning and adjusting switches on the relays. I went through all four score reels, rebuilt the ball count unit along with the 0-9 match unit. It looked like someone along the way made it free play by bending a nail around the Credit Replay Zero Position switch. I later found out that this didn’t work as there was a gap between the nail and the switches. I bent the switch, which allowed for free play.


At first the playfield looked good besides the flippers. The flippers were shot along with both coils attached to them. I ended up rebuilding the flippers along with ordering two new coils. The pawl needs to be removed the plunger by removing the roll pin and installed on the new plunger. The rest of the parts were replaced. I cleaned the playfield, changed rubbers, and waxed the game. I did add new rubbers to the mushroom bumpers, which is often forgotten (or neglected).


Bally Dixieland pinball game was fun to go through and play. Love the Zipper Flippers along with the carry-over feature from game to game. If you get the clarinet bonus up to 500 and score the points at the kick out hole, it will light a letter in DIXIELAND. If all the letters light up, then a free game is awarded. The lights will carry over from game to game. This game has a lot going for it with 3 more gates and a mini bagatelle feature on the playfield.


Here’s a quick video of the rules along with game play. If you enjoy these repairs and want to learn more about fixing EM pinball machines, I have created a beginner’s course with over 50 lesson!

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