[Fwd: Re: [Jukebox-list] Cleaning a Seeburg Mech]

John Robertson pinball at telus.net
Mon Sep 8 11:11:25 PDT 2008

Here is the original message from May 2007 on cleaning Seeburg mechs 
from John Rutoskey...

Someone needs to make the archives searchable - like is set up for 
Vectorlist on Vectorlist.org, and I am not volunteering at this time as 
I am in the middle of a house move!

On the other hand I have all the list emails since I joined the jukebox 
list (in m-box format (Eudora)) way back in 1997...

John :-#)#

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [Jukebox-list] Cleaning a Seeburg Mech
Date: 	Wed, 16 May 2007 12:28:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: 	Automatic Music <jrutoskey at yahoo.com>
Reply-To: 	Jukebox mailing list <jukebox-list at lists.netlojix.com>
To: 	Jukebox mailing list <jukebox-list at lists.netlojix.com>

Here you go Aaron, I think it was me you are referring
to. Here's the article I sent in a few years ago. I
have made a few changes from the original posting.


When I do a Select-O-Matic, I take it the entire mech
out and set it on my truck tailgate. I remove the
motor and put it in a plastic bag with a twist tie on
the leads. Of course if you're going to be
disassembling the motor to clean and relubricate or
repair it, go ahead and de-solder the leads now and
remove it completely. I remove the magazine complete
with popularity and selection playing assembly (just
let the selection playing block flop around loose),
the cartridge, and the stripper plate, and the tone
arm springs. I leave the trip switch, trip coil,
popularity meter/selection playing block all in place.

Next I go to Safeway and pick up a few spray cans of
DOW Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner. I cover the
entire mech with it like I'm putting out a fire.
Mech, bed plate, tracks, all of it. This dissolves
years of nicotine in a flash. Be careful though... it
will also dissolve the ink used to print the metal
tags on amps, name plates, as well as the blue ink on
the plate on the back of the Select-O-Matic mechanism.
Keep it off of there, and if it gets on it, have a
spray bottle hand of clean water and a few tissues. It
will dissolve this ink like crazy (the same holds true
for inked tags on amps and receivers-- be careful not
to get it on these). That is the only thing that the
DOW Scrubbing Bubbles will harm though. It will not
hurt the paint on the mechanism at all. (SIDE NOTE:
Although I have never tried it, I would NOT use this
stuff on original DiNoc Seeburg case finishes. I have
had something as innocuous as Fantastik take that off,
so I wouldn't even try it if you think it's gonna get
rid of the nicotene from the sides of the machine-- it
will, but will probably take the DiNoc decal off
too.)Ok after that's a done deal, I spray it all off
with the garden hose.

Then go to Western Auto and get a few cans of "STEAM"
brand engine degreaser, and a few stiff artists
brushes from a craft store. I spray the entire mech
liberally with the stuff, and let it do the work. You
have to agitate the grease with your artists brushes,
but it will come clean good as new except for any
rusty areas, of course. Take your time and detail it
well. You will be suprised how good it will look even
though it looks like hell now with all that mucky
solvent and slime and you're wondering if you are
destroying the mech. Elapsed time so far should be
approximately 2 hours, not counting the trips to
Western Auto, the craft store, and the grocery store.

Now, when you think you have agitated every speck of
grease to bare metal, push the mech into your truck
bed and grab a bag of quarters and a can of WD-40, and
head for that kind of car wash where they give you the
big hi-pressure nozzle wand to hold and where you can
select SOAK SOAP RINSE SPIN, etc. from the selector
box. Pull your truck into the bay, and slide the mech
back out to the edge of the tailgate. Put required
amount of cash into the box and hit SOAP. Now soap
down the whole mechanism with this power-jet stream of
water. It comes out real intensely at high pressure,
just be careful when you soap the cable coverings of
cloth. If it's real bad it will split up. Dont aim the
jet right at that. Be careful is the key. Soap it all
up real good, and the switches and everything.

Ok, when that time runs out, put in more coins, and
hit RINSE. Do the same thing, getting all the soap
out. You'll see a real shiny Select-O-Matic, and
you'll now realize how crazy you were to ever think
about disassembling a Seeburg mechanism unless you
absolutely have to. Ok, you arent done yet....

Get up into the truck bed and pick up the mechanism,
turn it upside down and shake it to get all the water
out. For this, it helps if you are real strong. Now
take a can of WD-40 while you are still at the car
wash. Spray the gears, cams shaft, and spray it into
the trip switch as best you can (helps to use that red
tube thing) Spray the switch stacks. Spray into the
trip switch. This displaces the water temporarily and
will eventually evaporate. Grab a rag and wipe off
excess WD-40.

Now go home as quick as you can because you don't want
to get any surface rust. You should have already built
a little heat tent in your house out of a couple desk
chairs and a huge bedspread. Put a little fan forced
space heater so that is blows heat into the tent, but
so that the intake side of the fan is outside of the
tent. Now dab out any excess water, open the little
plastic bag that the motor was in, and sit it on the
track next to the mech. Now sit the whole mech in the
heat tent, until it is 100% dry and feels real toasty
to the touch. You'll be amazed how well a mech comes

I also do the entire magazine this way but not the
popularity dials (the metal ones) because they have
the blue ink on them-- I'd do the plastic ones this
way though (V-200 & up). I don't think the DOW foamy
cleaner will affect the black ink on those, but test
it because I forget if it affects that ink or not. 

John D. Rutoskey
Automatic Music Machines
Baltimore, Maryland

--- Aaron Heverin <aaron at vertasource.com> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> I'm about to cosmetically clean up a Seeburg Q-160
> for a good friend. However, the mech looks like it's
> been dipped in a cocktail made from oil, grease,
> nicotine, and barn dust. Needless to say, it has to
> be cleaned using the "car wash" method. It's been
> close to 4 years since I last cleaned a mech this
> way and those endeavors were only on Seeburg B and C
> mechs. I wanted to know if there was anything
> special I should consider before cleaning a mech
> from this era. I know the subject of cleaning a
> Seeburg mech was covered in list postings going way
> back but I can't find anything off hand, and I've
> changed email accounts many times and don't have any
> of my old jukebox list emails.
> Who on the list was really good with cleaning
> Seeburg Mechs using the "Scrubbing Bubbles",
> "foaming engine cleaner" method...then going down to
> the self-serve car wash to hose everything down? I
> wish I could remember who from the list I talked to
> about that, but way too many projects have fouled up
> my memory.
> Aaron Heverin>
> Jukebox-list mailing list
> Jukebox-list at lists.netlojix.com

____________________________________________________________________________________Luggage? GPS? Comic books? 
Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search
Jukebox-list mailing list
Jukebox-list at lists.netlojix.com

John's Jukes Ltd. 2343 Main St., Vancouver, BC, Canada V5T 3C9 
Call (604)872-5757 or Fax 872-2010 (Pinballs, Jukes, VideoGames)
"Old pinballers never die, they just flip out"

More information about the Jukebox-list mailing list