Author Topic: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?  (Read 586 times)

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Offline Kirk332

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Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« on: May 22, 2017, 12:57:09 AM »
Hello all,
[/size]A work colleague needs a service on his Addams Family. He has been quoted $300 for [/size]a quick clean and lube, new rubbers installed, clean and adjust switches where required, fix a ball kick out issue (it makes a clicking noise but is not strong enough to kick the ball out) and replace blown bulbs. Includes picking up the machine but not dropping it back off. I have never paid for a service and have no idea what they are worth. Sounds a bit excessive to me though...thoughts?

Offline Pop Bumper Pete

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2017, 06:22:48 AM »
it will take an nhour to pick the game up, more than an hour to replace the rubbers and bulbs
fixing the kick out issue will take time also

$300 seems fair
but he could do the work himself

Offline Retropin

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 06:47:52 AM »
Seems like a very fair price to me. Everything takes time and more time.

Not sure why it would be pick up only though. If it were me, I would do pick up and drop off ( price goes up though).. or.. have owner drop off and then pick up when done. Most of the time though, once the machine is done, getting it out ASAP is priority so you can have the space back.

If the price includes parts then this is super cheap IMO

Offline Strangeways

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 07:38:15 AM »
Easy game to do yourself. Concerned that the word "lube" was used, as "lube" is not used anywhere on a DMD machine. Pickup but not drop off ? Why not pickup and drop off ?

Sounds like your friend needs to join the forum and we can help him through his issues for free !
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Offline Kirk332

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 01:55:22 PM »
Owner didn't have time to drop off but can pick up when he gets back from work in two weeks. I don't think he is very interested in servicing himself just wants to leave it up to the people who have the right tools, knowledge, parts on hand and know what to look for. I believe the machine is a bit of a family heirloom that has been handed around and as such maybe not the same sort of passion to rip into it as much as you or I would.
As for the "lube" job, I'm guessing a drop of oil on the ball shooter assembly and all the metal to metal pivot points on the slingshot, ball shooter/lane feeder, outhole kicker etc. Perhaps some door jam grease on the playfield sliders.

Offline robm

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017, 02:47:38 PM »
If he was going to lube the parts you suggested i would go elsewhere, there are an extremely small number of parts on some specific machines that need lubrication. However, it may also just be a figure of speech.

I think its very cheap. As others mentioned, picking up takes time. Having the knoweldge to do the repairs (no matter how basic) is worth something, plus if they have some expereince, they may well pick up other issues that could be adressed as preventative maintenance. If he is replacing all rubbers and giving the machine a proper clean, there are a few hours involved in pulling apart, plus cost of rubbers and bulbs and cleaning materials (minimal, but it all adds up). So once you factor in fuel and time for pickup, time and parts and expertise for the repair/clean, he is probably getting $20-$30/hour.  Good rates for cash and a hobby, but it is also a reasonably unique skill/knowledge base. 

Compare it to a car detail. Many people will pay $200-$300 for a care detail, which does not involve the detailer picking the car up and only takes a couple of hours. There is no specific knowledge needed for a car detail, and they won't fix a minor issue on your car. A service tech for a pinball will not only clean and ensure its working well (hopefully), but make sure that any errors are rectified and do preventative maintenance as well.


Offline Kirk332

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2017, 04:47:48 PM »
Sounds like a fair call. I will let him know the general consensus and direct him to view this particular forum discussion. I did a bit of searching, please see attached (hopefully it will attach otherwise refer page 1-48 of the TAF manual), straight from the TAF manual regarding care and maintenance and more specifically the paragraph regarding lubrication requirements and the type used. I can only assume, the fact that the quote specifically mentions lubrication that they would be using the correct type and amount on the specific areas mentioned in the manual.
Thanks for all the input, I'm sure this will put his mind at ease.

Offline robm

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2017, 06:43:15 PM »
Interesting note about the grease. I have cleaned quite a few machines with gummed up grease in those mechanisms. Generally i give them a good clean with shellite to remove the grease and they function so mucg better!

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Offline Kirk332

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 11:07:16 PM »
First line on the maintenance information page of the manual says:-
"Regular maintenance is essential to a game's continuing contribution to the operators earnings." Emphasis on regular!
I guess if the grease is drying up to the extent that it is affecting game play then it's well and truly due for a service. Then as you say, pull it apart, clean with shellite or whatever, but then I believe, re-grease...sparingly! You don't need to see it oozing out everywhere, quite the opposite in fact, just a light smear to create a barrier between the metals, less is more as it helps to stop attracting dust. I personally would not apply any grease to plastic or fiber material that are in contact with metal, but metal rotating or sliding on metal, every time! Things move smoother and as a result have minimal wear and run quieter. Yes they will start to gum up over a couple of years but that's an easy fix. Gives you a chance to get your hands dirty and clean your pride and joy. Gosh even my ride-on lawn mower needs a grease and oil change. Thankfully it has a small LCD display to remind me when it's due every 25 hours. I don't have to wait until the wheels stop rolling or the steering is too hard to turn before I realize it needs a service. Just my five cents worth

Offline robm

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2017, 05:11:08 AM »
Agree mate. Many people in the past have missed the regular part which has led to some issues.

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Offline Strangeways

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 08:16:39 AM »
First line on the maintenance information page of the manual says:-
"Regular maintenance is essential to a game's continuing contribution to the operators earnings." Emphasis on regular!
I guess if the grease is drying up to the extent that it is affecting game play then it's well and truly due for a service. Then as you say, pull it apart, clean with shellite or whatever, but then I believe, re-grease...sparingly! You don't need to see it oozing out everywhere, quite the opposite in fact, just a light smear to create a barrier between the metals, less is more as it helps to stop attracting dust. I personally would not apply any grease to plastic or fiber material that are in contact with metal, but metal rotating or sliding on metal, every time! Things move smoother and as a result have minimal wear and run quieter. Yes they will start to gum up over a couple of years but that's an easy fix. Gives you a chance to get your hands dirty and clean your pride and joy. Gosh even my ride-on lawn mower needs a grease and oil change. Thankfully it has a small LCD display to remind me when it's due every 25 hours. I don't have to wait until the wheels stop rolling or the steering is too hard to turn before I realize it needs a service. Just my five cents worth

Document was written in the 90's. We know know that lubricating shooter plungers and armatures leads to trouble down the track with gummed parts. The ONLY lubricated parts on pinball machines are on stepper units in EMs. Anyone who goes near a non em game with a can of CRC or Oil has not been around for long.
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Offline Kirk332

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2017, 11:42:45 PM »
I agree, do not use CRC, RP7, WD-40, Inox, LPS 1, 2 or 3 or any spray in a can for that matter. And as I mentioned earlier, never apply lubricant on any metal to plastic/fiber components which includes coil sleeves and armatures. I certainly don't take everything I read as gospel and although I have not been in the game for long, I would like to think that my years as an engineer has taught me some common sense, metal on metal dry will wear! Please see an excerpt below from Clay's guides. I assume these were also written back in the nineties but that's when the machines were made. It would be interesting to know how today's machines are put together. Please don't forget the "regular maintenance" quote. I take that as every X amount of games one should disassemble, clean and replenish but only the metal to metal pivot or sliding points. Oh, and use the correct type sparingly. I would only use 3-in-1 oil to get you out of a bind, no pun intended. That in my book would only be a quick fix to temporarily free up a gummy pivot point and remind you that you have well and truly played X amount of games and maintenance is needed.


1f. Getting Started: Lubrication Notes[/size][/font][/size]Pinball machines, for the most part, do not require any lubrication. Most parts run "dry". Far more damage can be done to a pinball machine by over-lubricating, than by under-lubricating. As a rule, if in doubt as to lubrication, don't do it! Throw that WD-40 away, it won't be used here. The only parts that will require any lubrication are metal-to-metal moving parts. There aren't very many in a game. Only ball eject and slingshot hinges. Use 3-in-1 oil on these if you must. But try and keep that lubrication in the tool box and away from the game.
If some prior person did lubricate the game, the lubrication has probably now congealed with the infamous "black pinball dust" to form a thick, black mess. This is unrepairable on coil sleeves, and new parts will need to be installed.
[/font]

Offline pinnies4me

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 11:54:10 AM »
As Clay says "if you must". While metal on metal will necessarily wear through use, in a home use environment this is not such an issue. I have never let a drop of oil near any of my games - SS to DMD -  and the slings are fine and I suspect will outlast me.
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Offline Kirk332

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Re: Service fee for a TAF, does this sound right?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 03:59:51 PM »
In my massive 3 years of learning experience on a massive amount of no less than 10 Pinball machines, I am yet come across any gummed up pivot points that have been an issue other than the unsightly appearance, and the ones that I have applied lube to are yet to present any problems. I have no doubt that if left unchecked for many years problems will arise. I have however had two of said pivot points which required replacement due to the actual shaft on the mounting plate coming loose. Lack of lubrication issue, who knows? These assemblies do work hard, the constant thumping and pounding and propelling of the steel ball must take its toll. Yes the pivot point still worked but there was extra movement/slop in the assembly. I like my machines tight and slippery. I assume most people would never notice this looseness issue on the shaft unless pulling it apart and inspecting. Also most all of the pivot shafts that I have come across have had the cadmium plating almost completely removed around its circumference and some with heavy gouging as well. I attribute this to dry metal on metal and unequivocal wear Thanks for all the input guys.