I recently was in contact to repair a Gottlieb Sinbad (EM) pinball game.  The owner stated that the game was being played and was tilted and wouldn’t start a new game.  The game sat for a number of years, and another person looked at the game during this time, but couldn’t get it working.  I just repaired a solid-state Sinbad a couple weeks back, so was curious to look at the difference between the two machines.  The four-player of Sinbad had some similarities to Target Alpha that I did in the past.


The first thing that I did with this game was check all fuses, which showed that they were all good.  I moved on to trying to start a game and just like the owner stated—nothing happened.  The lead me to look at the Subtract Credit Unit as the credit button is part of this circuit.  The game needs to have credits and this game was set to free play AND there were credits showing in the credit window.  After investigating this circuit some more, I noticed that the U relay was not engaging.  A quick look at the relay, showed that it was literally toast.  At this point, I decided to pull the bottom panel out of the game and give it a thorough inspection

When I did this, I also noticed that the Game Over Relay was shorted.  I replaced both coils, adjusted a few switches, and the Ax, Bx, and Tx relays all needed adjusted.  Here’s a good video on multiplayer Ax relay. It looked like someone had worked there in the past and misaligned the switches.  The coin unit along with the motor all looked good and moved the bottom panel back in game.  I will say when the game was out, I did add some tee nuts, because the leg bolts were stripped.  I also cleaned all the Jones Plugs.

The game was now subtracting a credit when the credit button was pushed, but the AX relay needed a little more adjusting.  This did the trick as the game would now start.  A couple of the score reels were sticking in the 9-position and took those reels apart, cleaned, and adjusted.  A few lights were not working and clean the lamp sockets along with adding new bulbs.  Some drop targets and switches needed adjusted but didn’t take too long to go through the playfield.  Once everything was working correctly, I went ahead and cleaned, waxed, and re-rubbered the game. 


This write-up seems like it was an easy and quick pinball repair, but I struggled getting Sinbad back to a working state.  It had quite a few intermittent contacts.  Someone really misaligned the AX, BX, and TX relays, which made the troubleshooting a lot more work than what it should have been. The contacts looked like they were making good contact (but weren’t) and the relays were not “snapping” into place.

Sinbad has been a favorite game of mine for sometime. I remember playing it at Chicago Expo a few years ago and kept coming back to it.  The four drop targets corresponding to different rewards along with the bonus ladder gives this game a “just one more game” feeling.  The rules are pretty simple, and I also like the four flippers.  How many times can someone lose a ball between the gap of two flippers? I also find it remarkable how engineers created an EM and solid-state version of this game.

Here is a quick video of the repair, rules, and gameplay for Gottlieb Sinbad pinball machine.

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