Medieval Madness Castle gate upgrade.   


Reason : I looked at the castle gates Williams designed and was disappointed at how flimsy they were and how fast they broke.  So we designed a new gate with cool dimples that looked like rivets much thicker.  Problem solved or so I thought.  The new problem is the gate we designed is too thick for the weldment.   The weldment is seriously complicated so we thought of all the ways to fit a changed gate into the existing weldment.  No go . . . so we set out redesigning the weldment.  This thing is way complicated with lots of interesting and exciting pieces.  On top of that we were redesigning it to accomodate our new gate.  It was a long arduous task.  Finally its finished.  They were even brutal to fabricate after the drawings and prototypes were done.  Along the way I wanted to add castle chains to the drawbridge.  I was forced to scrap that idea after trying some things.  It wasn't practical and was problematic to keep from breaking.  So here is the complete instruction set for changing to the new improved castle gate weldment.

MM1.jpg (357125 bytes) Here is our target area.  Before we can pull the weldment from the bottom we have to pull the thin stone sheet out so we start on the top

Start by taking out the 4 screws that hold the exploding castle.  A magnetic 1/4 driver is optimal so the screws don't fall down into the game and become hard to recover. mm2.jpg (193741 bytes)
Once the castle is gone we can see the stone sheet.  There are 2 screws holding the sheet and one screw holding down the ball guide.  Take all three screws out. mm3.jpg (199553 bytes)
Gently pull the stone sheet out from under the ball guide carefully bending it to pull it out. mm4.jpg (189011 bytes)
You have to bend it over the far ball guide to remove it. mm5.jpg (198874 bytes)
Now we can start on the bottom.  Remove all the screws holding down the green underramp. mm6.jpg (253391 bytes)
Carefully Slide and pull the ramp out and leave it hanging by the wires. mm7.jpg (197587 bytes)
Disconnect the wires from the castle gate weldment.  Take out the screws holding the castle gate weldment to the playfield.   Note there is one screw from the top just to the left of the castle gate that screws in to the weldment.  Don't forget that one ! mm8.jpg (215544 bytes)
Disconnect the 2 wire connector from the motor control board and the coil power connector and the 2 switch connectors.  One for the optos on the gate and the connector for the up/down switches mm9.jpg (210749 bytes)
Gently pull the mech down out of the playfield being careful that its moving without any attachments.  If you've gotten everything it should come fairly easy.  Under no circumstances use force. mm11.jpg (441542 bytes)
Now you should have the mechanism free and clear.  Its time to take it to the bench to begin the parts transfer. mm12.jpg (158478 bytes)
Note there is a pretty big gaping hole where the mech was :-) mm13.jpg (215809 bytes)
Here is the old mech.   Its somewhat complicated so follow along closely.  It wouldn't hurt to take some pictures if you're unsure how it goes together. mm14.jpg (237094 bytes)

mm15.jpg (380318 bytes)

This picture shows the kit along side the old mech.  You can see the difference in the gate thicknesses pretty quick.  So now comes the hard part transfering all the little pieces.

First we take the (4) screws out holding the coil in place. mm17.jpg (123049 bytes)
We also have to remove the big bolt holding the gate to the plunger. mm18.jpg (116640 bytes)
Once we've done this the coil can be put aside.   I don't take anything apart on it just set it aside as is so everything is exactly the same when I put it back.  You may want to change out the coil slieve as long as you have it apart.  Probably not a bad idea to polish the piston too. mm19.jpg (114773 bytes)
I don't know if you can see this in the picture but right where the screwdriver is pointing my gate is actually broken.  I wasn't even aware of that but its cracked in half. mm20.jpg (124984 bytes)
We can see the swing arm we need to remove.   There are a pair of allen screws that hold the two ends onto the flat areas. mm21.jpg (107284 bytes)
There are also two screws that hold the left side of the drawbridge on.  Keep these seperate as they're alot smaller then the other screws. mm22.jpg (127159 bytes)
Once the allen screw is loose the swing are comes right off the shaft. mm23.jpg (104383 bytes)
After pulling the E-clip you should be able to remove the drawbridge. mm24.jpg (94401 bytes)
You need to take and loosen both allen screws to remove the linkage. mm25.jpg (109195 bytes)
You can just make out the allen wrench here taking out the allen screw. mm26.jpg (105211 bytes)
Here is the linkage removed. mm27.jpg (77067 bytes)
In order to remove the gear assembly there are two E-clips on shafts that need to be removed.  A small screw driver helps.  Be careful to keep your fingers over the E-clips so they don't fly away. mm28.jpg (101103 bytes)
There are two screw that hold the gear assembly plate to the weldment.  With both of those out and the two E-clips removed you should be able to carefully take the gear assembly off. mm29.jpg (100525 bytes)
Keep the assembly intact and upright so nothing changes. mm30.jpg (96571 bytes)
Now we have to move the motor this is held on by two screws.  These screws can only be removed after the gear assembly is out of the way. mm31.jpg (80833 bytes)
With the motor off we can begin moving stuff to the new weldment. mm32.jpg (104391 bytes)
Here we put the motor on the new weldment mm33.jpg (91729 bytes)
Carefully we put the gear assembly on the new weldment.  2 screws and 2 E-clips secure it back in place. mm34.jpg (88953 bytes)
This is correct and ready to have the linkage put back on. mm35.jpg (83597 bytes)
Included in your kit are two new drawbridge clips. mm36.jpg (50309 bytes)
You can see the white clip most original games came with.  If your white clip is still there and functional then you can choose to leave it.  However you have (2) replacements one for each side if you need them.   At first the new ones will be fairly tight.  After putting the drawbridge back in move it up and down several times until its smooth. mm37.jpg (91199 bytes)
With the drawbridge back in place we can reattach the linkage to both ends with the allen screws.  Make sure the allen screws are pressing against the flat part of both shafts. mm38.jpg (107945 bytes)
Now we still have to move the optos from the old mech to the new weldment. mm39.jpg (92812 bytes)
The optos will not fit through the hole nor will the connector so it takes some thought to move this.  I don't like to solder if I don't have to so I push the pins out of the connector and thread them through the wire hole.  You could of course solder them if you wanted instead. mm40.jpg (75060 bytes)
First I want to make sure I know the order they go in the connector so I copy the wire colors down on paper. mm41.jpg (90654 bytes)
Using a removal tool I push the pins through the connector. mm42.jpg (97131 bytes)
Once all the pins are pushed out of the connector I need to cut the wire ties to seperate the wires. mm43.jpg (88755 bytes)
Now I can feed the wires through one at a time. mm44.jpg (104168 bytes)
I unscrew the screw holding the opto board to the opto holder to make the nuts easier to get at.  Having the right tools makes this much easier. mm45.jpg (120766 bytes)
Now I put the opto carrier on the new weldment and reattach everything. mm46.jpg (104240 bytes)
I feed the wires through the access hole and start on the other side. mm47.jpg (119092 bytes)
Once both optos are on we can put the connector back together and put on new wire ties mm49.jpg (113960 bytes)
Put the wires back in the right order or you risk burning out the optos . . . mm50.jpg (122058 bytes)
Now we can put the new gate in and attach it to the coil and piston. mm51.jpg (102175 bytes)
The last thing we remove from the old mech is the bottom set screw.  This screw determines where the gate sits at rest. mm52.jpg (55557 bytes)
Naturally this set screw uses a different sized allen wrench. mm53.jpg (80679 bytes)
Make sure the gate assembly goes up and down smoothly.  With the gate in the upright position it should come down as soon as you let go.  Should it stick slightly you may have to using a sanding block on the edges of the gate to remove any imperfections.  For this one shown to the right it was sticking a little.  30 seconds with a sanding block on the edges and a little WD-40 and it was so working perfect.  These have all been tested to insure a good fit however nothing is perfect so its possible a little adjustment is needed.  I'm happy to help if you run into problems.  Now the new weldment is completely back together and ready to be reinstalled in the game. mm54.jpg (103400 bytes)
Putting the weldment and the underramp back in position is fairly easy at this point. mm55.jpg (215500 bytes)
Verify everything looks right and lined up. mm56.jpg (232954 bytes)
Now we put back in the stone sheeting. mm57.jpg (204005 bytes)
Putting those 3 screws back in we can install the expoding castle. mm58.jpg (206670 bytes)
Thats it . . . everything back together now make sure everything is reconnected beneath and try it out ! mm59.jpg (225291 bytes)
The gate looks pretty boss in the game and this one should never break.


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mm61.jpg (729133 bytes)

That gate looks pretty dang sharp in there

Still the best pinball machine out there in my opinion . . .

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