Pinball Leg Guide
Pinball Leg Guide
Pinball legs generally come in a few different sizes, styles, and finishes/colors.
Common sizes include 27″, 28-1/2″, 30-1/2″, and 31″. In some rare cases, certain specific games have a pair of longer legs at the rear of the game, and a pair of shorter legs at the front of the game.
Common leg styles include ribbed and non-ribbed. A rib is an extruded section on each side of the leg, which can either go down part way or down the full length of the leg.
Common colors include chrome, black, gray, hammer-tone gray, and gold. Legs can also be powder coated by the manufacturer or third-parties, which can result in any number of different colors.
Leg levelers typically come with either a 2″ threaded stem or 3″ threaded stem. On electromechanical games, the levelers with the shorter stem are typically installed on all four legs, as the pitch is not as drastic as modern solid state games. On solid state games, the levelers with the shorter stem are typically installed on the legs at the front of the cabinet, and the levelers with the longer stems are typically installed on the legs at the rear of the cabinet. Sometimes, the levelers with the longer stems are simply used on all four legs.
Levelers at the front of the cabinet screwed in most of the way, while the back leg levelers are screwed in about 3/4 of the way in. After that, they can then be adjusted for the proper playfield angle.
LEG BOLTS + PROTECTORS
Leg bolts are typically 3/8″ x 16 x 2-1/2″. Extended leg bolts can be 2-3/4″. Extended leg bolts are often used when leg protectors or other accessories (such as beverage caddies) are added.
Leg bolts can typically come in chrome, black, or gold, but zinc plated bolts are the most common.
For painted or powder coated legs, there are nylon rings available in a variety of colors to prevent a bolt from scraping against the outside of the leg’s bolt hole; usually referred to as leg & bolt protectors.
Cabinet protectors can be used to protect the cabinet from damage caused by legs that press into it. There are generally three styles of leg cabinet protectors–felt, hard plastic, and metal.
Felt cabinet protector are generally used on stenciled cabinets, from the 1980s and earlier. They offer padding between the leg and the cabinet.
Metal protectors are generally used on cabinets with screen printing or decals. They are thick enough to add a gap between the cabinet and the edges of the leg. Metal protectors are mechanically screwed to the cabinet.
Plastic protectors are an in-between solution. They can be used on just about any cabinet, but because they are hard plastic, they may dig into the cabinet somewhat. However, if there is a cabinet that already has leg damage or crinkled decals, these protectors are actually larger than the leg itself, and can hide some of the damage. Plastic protectors can come in various colors.
There are also differences in types and colors. Flat or ribbed (whole length or partly). Chrome, black or painted grey.
- 27 inch = 68.5cm
- 28.5 inch = 72cm
- 30.5 inch = 77.5 cm
- 31 inch = 78.8cm
Data East / Sega / Stern : Data East started with chrome 28.5 inch but switched soon to black of the same length. Later black 30.5 inch.
Williams Pinball 2000 (1999 – 2000): black ribbed, 28.5 inch.
Williams / Bally system11 and WPC (1987 – 1998) : chrome ribbed, 28.5 inch.
Exception are the first generation Bally games (1988-1990) which had grey and sometimes black (like Black Rose).
Road Show had blue, and gold legs were installed on Indiana Jones, World Cup Soccer, Judge Dredd and Addams Family Gold.
Corvette and ST:TNG had black, and some CFTBL too.
Twilight Zone used regular chrome. But because the game is so heavy, during development Williams had tested with legs with 3 leg bolts. Games weren’t shipped with them, but the cabinet does have 3 holes. Take care when setting it up on legs that you use the correct two, or the playfield will be much steeper than it needs to be.
Williams 1966 – 1987: flat chrome, 27 inch, later ribbed until half.
Bally 1984 – 1987 : ribbed chrome, 28.5 inch.
Bally 1968 – 1983 : flat dark grey, 28.5 inch.
Gottlieb DMD (1990 – 1995): started with 27 inch chrome, later 31 inch chrome.
Gottlieb system 1 / sys80 : standard 27 inch, flat chrome.
Exception is Haunted House, 27 inch in front and 31 inch in the back.
Gottlieb electromechanical 1 player (50ies to mid 70) : 31 inch flat chrome.
Stern 1977-1985 : 28.5 inch, flat chrome.
Zaccaria : 28.5 inch, flat chrome.
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