The correct leg length for your pinball machines

A while ago I had bought some new pinball machines, and restored them one by one. When I started at the third machine, I noticed something. It stood a lot higher on its legs than the other ones. And that second one, it was a bit too low. Not that it really bothered, it actually felt good, but compared to the other machines something was off.
Suddenly I noticed what was wrong - I had switched the legs of both machines. They used a different size of pinball length.
Therefore this article, so you have an idea what type of length goes with each game. Over the years some changes may have occured, it's not always clear what type fits each machine.
Changes and exeptions are always possible, I don't cover everything here - so please consider this article more as guidelines and not as the only truth..

pinball incorrect leg length
Wrong legs installed. The Zaccaria in the back is set at the correct size, the Gottlieb at the left is a bit too low and the Bally at the right is way too high.

pinball incorrect leg length
Correct length installed on all. The height of the lockdown bar and flipper buttons is about the same on each of them; arount 90cm (35 inch). The legs themselves have different lengths but are mounted in other places onto the cabinets.

The difference in leg length is because different manufacturers used a different type of cabinet. Some are taller, or the mounting holes are in a different place.
When you switch around the legs, the differences are noticed much more.

Not only the length can be different. There are also differences in types and colors. Flat or ribbed (whole length or partly). Chrome, black or painted grey.

  • 27 inch = 68.5cm
  • 28.5 inch = 72cm
  • 30.5 inch = 77.5 cm
  • 31 inch = 78.8cm

Data East / Sega / Stern : Data East started with chrome 28.5 inch but switched soon to black of the same length. Later black 30.5 inch.

Williams Pinball 2000 (1999 - 2000): black ribbed, 28.5 inch.

Williams / Bally system11 and WPC (1987 - 1998) : chrome ribbed, 28.5 inch.
Exception are the first generation Bally games (1988-1990) which had grey and sometimes black (like Black Rose).
Road Show had blue, and gold legs were installed on Indiana Jones, World Cup Soccer, Judge Dredd and Addams Family Gold.
Corvette and ST:TNG had black, and some CFTBL too.
Twilight Zone used regular chrome. But because the game is so heavy, during development Williams had tested with legs with 3 leg bolts. Games weren't shipped with them, but the cabinet does have 3 holes. Take care when setting it up on legs that you use the correct two, or the playfield will be much steeper than it needs to be.

Williams 1966 - 1987: flat chrome, 27 inch, later ribbed until half.

Bally 1984 - 1987 : ribbed chrome, 28.5 inch.

Bally 1968 - 1983 : flat dark grey, 28.5 inch.

Gottlieb DMD (1990 - 1995): started with 27 inch chrome, later 31 inch chrome.

Gottlieb system 1 / sys80 : standard 27 inch, flat chrome.
Exception is Haunted House, 27 inch in front and 31 inch in the back.

Gottlieb electromechanical 1 player (50ies to mid 70) : 31 inch flat chrome.

Stern 1977-1985 : 28.5 inch, flat chrome.

Zaccaria : 28.5 inch, flat chrome.

pinball legs different length