A customer emailed me seeing if I would repair his Gottlieb Fire Queen pinball machine. I have repaired a few Gottlieb machines (2001, Home Run, Miss-O) now and have a love/hate relationship with them. He stated the following problems:

1. both locks.  had to drill out the front lock and then the key inside didn’t open the back

2 – the right flipper sticks sometimes a simple tap releases it 

3 – two thumpers the first one goes down when hit and sticks till the power is turned off, that coil is black.   the other has no action

4 – all of the rubbers are hard and cracked.

5 – No scoring the player switch in the head goes around at start up but then wont move.

6 – right coin slot doesnt work

Fixes from Above

  1. New locks replaced and keyed the same.
  2. Cleaned and replace coil sleeve. This didn’t fix the problem, ended up replacing plunger.
  3. Both problems were fixed by cleaning the B relay. The burnt looking relay worked fine.
  4. Cleaned, vacuumed, and waxed the playfield along with new rubbers and lights.
  5. M and N relay locked on after scoring. The score reels would not advance and found the player unit was off one position.
  6. Adjust and clean switch on the coin door.

Other Problems

  1. Drop targets/sequence bank not resetting. The Jones plug by the transformer needed plugged in.
  2. Sticky bonus unit and off one position on the rivets. I cleaned and adjusted the unit and now moves smoothly.
  3. Bonus lights not working and special lights constantly on. Cleaning the bulbs/sockets and had a short on the bonus unit wipers.
  4. Match unit lights not working. Clean and re-lubed the FS relay. This brought all the lights back for the match feature.
  5. 1-5 roll-overs not lighting bonus lamps. The sequence bank relays needed cleaned. Doing this brought all the lights back.
  6. Score reels sticking on reset. I rebuilt all 8 score reels and adjusted the score reel switches.
  7. Player unit sticking. Player unit rebuilt, one cam in the incorrect position along with being misaligned on the rivets.
  8. Ball would not kick-out correctly on the start of a ball. Replaced the armature as the weld came undone on the mech.


At first glance, there didn’t seem to be much wrong with Fire Queen, but took quite a bit of time to repair this Gottlieb classic. Intermittent problems, stepper units in wrong position, along with some of the mechs being borderline on working/replacing proved to be challenges on this game.

I will say I fell in love with this game. The gameplay along with the artwork are dynamite. I will have to keep my eyes open for one down the road.

2 thoughts on “1977 Gottlieb Fire Queen EM Pinball Repair

  1. Nice repair there! My neighbor who I showed all my pins and is now hooked just bought his first machine(Williams Grand Prix). I will definitely let him know about your repairs!
    He will learn a lot about pinball from you!

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