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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/jammed slot machine


QUESTION: I have two Mills diamond fronts working fine. It's my Palace Pace nickle four reel machine that is jammed. Aside from the circular coin escalator it's operation is the same as my other machines. Never before could I not free a jam which was usually in the escalator. In this case the problem is elsewhere. The operating lever is down half way and won't move up or down. Payout levers and brakes are back with the clock half wound and reels free to rotate. Prior to this it worked fine except the reels were becoming a bit sluggish. It's too much of a fun slot to become mere decoration. Where do I look?

ANSWER: Hi Oliver,
I wonder if you can take the pull down arm off the coin escalator so the coin escalator is detached from the mechanism and then pull the mechenism down. Jams are mostly in that escalator, other that that you may be able to release the mechanism so it will return by lifting on that dog just above the main arm that the handle hub forces down on play. Above that arm is a small cog that grabs notched teeth in the top of that arm casting and stops it from returning. Need a photo if I can find you one?
Rodger Knutson

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QUESTION: Thanks Rodger. I just had a chance to take out the mech again. Had to put a screwdriver on the dog and hit with a hammer to release the mechanism and the arm did return to the resting position. At least the tension on the machine is released which is half the battle. Tied up the dog while I continue to experiment so I don't have to pound on it again. The arm still goes only half way down. It looks like a post held by a clip links the escalator to the arm. I'm not real confident in dismantling. I have a Mills manual but not one for Pace and the big difference is the escalator. Will I get into trouble removing the clip and pulling the linkage off the post? Is this the necessary next step? Do you know anyone in central New Jersey who repairs old slots?

Hi Oliver,

If your mechanism is working fine, and it is the coin escalator that is bad, removing this bar or arm that pulls the coin escalator down which also rotates the coins in it as the mechanism is advanced, should tell you if the problem is in the coin escalator or in the reel mechanism. If you pull this arm off at the top of the coin escalator it will isolate the escalator or disconnect it from the mechanism. Now if you can cycle the mechanism without any problems you will know that something is jamming up in the coin escalator which is causing the mechanism jam. If your mechanism still doesn't cycle with the escalator unconnected, then the problem is in you reel mechanism and not in the coin escalator. I have a large manual on the Pace machine, about 150 pages with hundreds of photos explaining how to take this machine apart and how to put it back together, also explaining what these parts do along the way. If you would like this manual write me directly at and we can talk about it. Oh.., please do not use a hammer as if you break a part on this machine it will ruin you day, these are cast parts and they can snap just like that. Finding replacement parts for a Pace is not an easy job, you have to search and search forever and hope to get lucky or go to the welding shop and see if it can be welded. I know I have seen many a machine that I have wanted to take a hammer to, but somehow I have always been able to hold myself back, (LOL) so far anyway.
Thank You
Rodger Knutson

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Rodger Knutson


I am an expert on old coin operated machines, slot machines, trade stimulator's, jukeboxes, old arcade machines, etc. I have been identifying these for people who respond to my web site listed below, for a few years now. In almost all cases I am able to tell them about their old coin operated machines, the year, the value, and other general information about their machines. I do not know much about soda vending machines, coin banks, or scales, but I will try to help you with these if I can. Please email photo's to: My web site is at:


I bought my first slot machine, a .50 Cent Mills Black Cherry in 1969 and have been hooked from that time, I still have that Slot machine! Before that I found a open barrel full of old scraped jukebox wall boxes behind a restaurant, I wanted them all but never took a one of them. Anything that took a coin drove me nuts!

C.O.C.A. and other slot and coin operated machine groups, associations, groups, and clubs.

Many, the Coinslot magazine, always juken, Coin Slot Journal, Slot Box Collector, and others that I don’t remember at this time.

Graduated from Ballard High School in 1969, went to Edison Technical Collage for a couple of years taking welding and metal fabrication, tig, mig, heliarc, also arc and gas welding and fabrication. Then Apprenticed under a slot machine technician who worked in the slot machine industry Reno Nevada, and set up bar poker progressive machines in the casino's, and repaired machine and did the repairs on slot machine circuit boards there. He also was involved in the 2 hand dealer's market and bought and sold machines at the casinos auctions for the secondary market, which includes selling used machine overseas. I learned a ton from this man; he always had the correct answers and took the time to teach me the business. My interest and knowledge in other and older coin operated machine is for the most part, self-taught. It's been my passion from back in 1968 and before, my thirst for knowledge about these machines has kept me more interested over the years, and keeps me searching for more information even today. I have meet and talked to book authors on these machines, attended hundreds of coin operated shows and auctions, and I stay with that to this very day.

Awards and Honors
Take a look at my allexperts rating, and my guest book, links to these are at Also you can check my 100 percent rating on ebay, as I have been there with ebay from their day one, I am user coinslots at ebay. My other awards come from the very people that I deal with, I always make them happy, no matter what it takes, but they always are happy anyway as the countless thank you letters testify to me, so I know I am doing right, and the best I can. I have found so many hard to find parts for people, I hunt them down and don't stop until I find what is needed to get that customers machine running again and back to life, that is my main goal.

Past/Present Clients
Client privacy prevents this answer, as some are VIP and famous and I will not betray the trust.

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