Fixing Up the Sky Jump Machine

Some friends of mine gave me a 1974 vintage Gottlieb Sky Jump pinball game a while ago. It was in pretty rough shape. I believe it spent quite a few years in someones lake cabin with little maintenance.

When I first got it I cleaned the play field and replaced all the rubber. Otherwise I just left it as it was. It played, but it had some issues.

Yesterday I spent a few hours on it. This is the list of what I did:

  • The ball counter mechanism would always give you 6 balls, even when it was set to 3 ball mode, but you couldn’t play the 6th one. The ball in play lights didn’t work either. It turns out the ball counter mechanism was mis-adjusted. This also fixed the “match” at the end of the game. Fixed.
  • The 10X multiplier lights weren’t working at all. It turns out that the set screws that hold the advance wheel to the shaft were loose so it wasn’t turning. Fixed.
  • The credit wheel was only advancing and never subtracting games played. This didn’t really affect the play, but the free game “knock” was disabled because the credits were always full. This was due to someone (maybe me) bending the wrong contacts together for free play. Bending the correct contacts allows both free play and the credit wheel to work. Fixed.
  • The game instruction and replay score cards were dirty and torn. So I made up some new ones and printed them out. They look great. Fixed.
  • I also cleaned and waxed the playfield again and replaced a bunch of the lights.

There are still some light sockets that are not working all the time (dirty contacts) and one flipper is sticky.

I’m going to order some more lights and a flipper rebuild kit from The Pinball Resource and try and get all the lights working all the time. Also, the tilt switch is missing the weight, so the game doesn’t tilt. Some people might think this is a feature, but I think having it tiltable makes the game more challenging.

The head is also broken and will take some major work to repair. This will probably wait for quite a while as it doesn’t affect the play at all.

I’ll try and take some photos and put them up soon.

That game is a lot more challenging with only three balls!

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