Coin Doors

Coin Doors

or, a field guide to the identification and repair of the North American coin door

The coin door is the first part of a coin-operated game the player interacts with. They also protect the money. They take a lot of use and abuse, and no game looks good with one that is beat up. When I started collecting, I had a hard time figuring out which trim pieces to get to fix my damaged coin doors. I learned a lot from talking to Chris Kuntz, the Pinball Pirate, and eventually I realized I had to write some of it down. So, here it is, such as it is.

This is a guide to coin doors so you can figure out what parts to buy or scavenge. If you have an arcade game and you want to restore the coin door, this guide is for you.

Before about 1980, manufacturers produced their own doors pretty much exclusively. So if you have a Gottlieb game, you have a Gottlieb door.  After 1980, though, manufacturers started outsourcing doors, and they can be somewhat hard to distinguish, particularly Coinco and Coin Controls.

This page doesn’t cover things prior to about 1975; I just don’t know much about those types of games.

Anatomy

Labeled anatomy of a Midway door’s parts.

Coins come in the coin entry, go through the coin acceptor which can tell a quarter from a washer, and then triggers the coin switch. Or, if the coin isn’t a quarter, it gets dropped in the coin return.

Most coin doors on pinball machines have a slam tilt switch. On Midway games this is attached to the lock.

Incredibly, coin acceptors are essentially a universal part and can actually be swapped between doors. Locks are pretty well standardized, and coin doors all seem to take a 7/8″ lock with a straight cam. Everything else tends towards the unique.

Note that this door has been wired to take regular #44 lamps in the coin inserts; this is not typical for a Midway game. Midway doors also vary a bit while being similar parts-wise. This one, probably originally from a Ms. Pac-Man but re-wired, lacks the start button that ’70s EM arcade games had.

Styles of doors

  • over/under: exclusively video, these are the tall, skinny, two-door doors
  • pinball: doors that fit pinball machines, but were also used on video; these are the squarish, or fat rectangular doors

Doors Made by the  Game Manufacturers

All manufacturers made their own doors up into the ’80s when they switched to OEM doors. Some styles of game, like Gottlieb wedgeheads, used different doors from the list below.

Some companies never made their own doors, including Data East, Sega, Stern Pinball (distinct from Stern Electronics), Premier (the successor to Gottlieb).

Doors from OEMs

How can I find parts?

Except for a few styles of door that are still in production, it can be difficult.

Check the specific door page for advice, but if that fails, check eBay or make friends with an operator and try and scavenge from them.

Fortunately old doors have lots of parts!

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