Advice and guidance on repair and restoration techniques.
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Rebuilding a reel bundle

Postby coppinpr » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:37 pm

Rebuilding a reel bundle

When I first started this was, for me, the most daunting task I had to do. Sounds easy, but it's full of traps that once you have fallen into them cause you hours of problems. There are many ways to reset reels to the correct positions, some listed in books seem to me to be confusing and the factory drilled alignment hole method seems to me to be impossible. So I've developed this simple way to position the reels in sync with their payout discs. I suspect I'm not the first, but nothing seems to be on the site to help newbies. It sounds longwinded but I've tried to make it foolproof, (I'm sure the powers that be will correct me.) !SMARTY!
If you're buying machines to restore, or your first machine is in poor condition because you wanted something to learn from, the reels will almost certainly be stiff and not rotating freely. So you try and get some oil into the gaps - doesn't really work. :dammit: So they need to come apart and be properly cleaned. This is not that hard to do but there are several things to beware of.

First, the reels are NOT keyed in any way. Take off a reel and it will go back on in any position, not just the correct one.
Second, if you're replacing the reel strips, DON'T do it till the bundle has been rebuilt. Strips can get very dirty while rebuilding the bundle AND the old reels are needed to re-position the reels.
Third, when the reels are separated, keep each reel together with its payout disc and in the correct order (you can mix them up REAL easy).

If the machine has a jackpot and each reel has only one jackpot symbol life gets easier and you can move on to dismantling the reels (*).
If not, you need to set a fixed line of symbols you can use when you rebuild the bundle.
Cycle the machine and set up a full line winning combo (let's say 3 bells). With a marker pen, mark the edge of each reel next to each of the 3 winning bells.

(*) Ok, so you got the reel bundle out of the machine, using the method described elsewhere on the forum.

Line up the three marked bells (or BARS) and take note of the three holes in the payout discs that also line up. Mark each of these with a marker as you dismantle the bundle. I use a small wooden plug that fits in the hole but allows me to remove each disc without removing the plug so I can mark each disc as I come to it.

Mark the first disc.
On most machines the reels are attached to their spindles with double bolted clamps. You will need a nut runner or socket set with a longish bar to reach in and loosen the bolts on the first reel. This usually means carefully easing the reels apart so you can get the socket in to the space.
Once loose the reel will come off easy and its payout disc and spindle will slide out from the other end.
Clean them both and set aside together.
Mark the next disc.
Repeat this for the other two reels (the final reel will have its payout disc attached and the two should not be separated).

Lightly oil the spindles and we are ready to rebuild.
Take the last reel you came to when dismantling. Insert the wooden plug into the marked hole in its disc, then slide the number 2 disc/spindle into it, allowing the wooden plug to come through the marked hole in the second disc.
Attach reel 2 to the spindle. Line up the correct marked BELL with the one on reel 1 and re-tighten. Do not allow much of a gap between 1 and 2.
Now add disc three in the same way allowing the wooden plug to come through the marked hole in the disc then add reel 3 line up the correct BELL and tighten. Remove the wooden plug and it's done.
If the machine only has one jackpot symbol per line simply use these to match up the jackpot slots in the discs using the same method as above. You will need to mark the discs, but not the reels in this case, as there is only one possible winning combo.
Check the reel are straight. Getting the nut runner into the gap can buckle the reels slightly,

Now BP or slotalot will tell me I missed something :woops:
reel alignment1.jpg
reel al 2.jpg
reel al3.jpg
reel al4.jpg

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Re: Top Tips for Newcomers

Postby badpenny » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:28 pm


Posts: 315
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:10 pm

Top Tips for Newcomers

Postby youngerap » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:04 pm

Coppinpr, you are a star, Sir.

One of the tasks on my list is to strip and maintain the reels on my Aristocrat machines. This is as much to learn about how to do this as much as because the machines need maintenance. I have read the manuals and, as much as I understand the words, the process does not readily form pictures in my head (if that makes sense). As described by your good self (and, along with the hints and tips for best-practice), I can see the process and have much more confidence in taking that big first step. Of course, practicing on an Aristocrat is probably low-risk from a financial perspective, but I am building up to the day when when the spanners come out for my Watling.....

To you and the many other Slot-Gurus who take the time to share your knowledge, I say thank you. I am sure I do not speak only for myself when I say it is very much appreciated. If ever you decide to take on an apprentice, please consider this to be my job application.

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