Cleaning the FIrst Score Wheel, the Finish Unit

United 1951

antique auto

December 3, 2015

Removing the Horse and Score Boards

I wanted to work on the score mechanisms first and needed to remove the board behind the backglass. To get to it, I needed to remove the board that makes the horses move. The race track and the horse steppers are all mounted on a shelf that pulls out. Very easy to remove.

The score board was much more difficult to remove. There are three long screws on either side that hold the board in place. However the wiring harness goes down a groove in the left side of the cabinet, so all items blocking the groove need to be removed.

horse stepper board

Notice the bars that go from the shelf to the race track. These stablize the unit so the cables do not get slack and prevent movement.


Most game manufacturers staple the lables of the various mechanisms. Occasionally they glue them to the specific mechanisme of there is not room enough to stable them to the board. This game is full of glued on labels. I photograph them for both location and content, along with a ruler so they can be reproduced. The lable above shows how the replay settings can be altered.

county fair playfield

Here is the Finish Step Unit in place and dirty. Notice the two lables glued to the frame. I will slice these off with a razor blade. I removed both coils and the wiring to the leaf switchs at the bottom which released the unit to be cleaned.

county fair playfield

The unit has been removed. I place all the components roughly where they are located relative to each other. The gear is in the center, the three springs are aligned, the coil plungers and brackets are in place and the two small screws that mount the bracket are near the brackets. I often "point" the screws at their holes in the bracket. I measured the preload on the return spring for the gear wheel and noted the contact the finger was pointing to at the reset position.

county fair playfield

I love it when the parts get all shiny! I cleaned the large parts in a bead blast cabinet. The small nuts, screws and springs are cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner using Alconox or Citronox cleaning solutions. These are both non-toxic and as green as I can get. The pivot arms were frozen to the shafts. I used Kroil to losen one but needed to use heat to release the second.

county fair playfield

The assembly is now clean and ready to install. I adjusted the ratches and pawl. An knowledgable view will notice the stop adjustment screw is missing from the bottom left of the assembly. A preload of two turns was added to the wheel.

county fair playfield

Here the newly restored score wheel is back in place. The coils have not been reinstalled because they need new Nylon liners. The original brass liners are frozen in place. I hate to replace all the coils but may not have a choice if they are all frozen.

I will create a video showing the funciton and adjustments of a score unit next.