Nickel Plating Coin Door Parts

January 25, 2019

When I built my Track & Field I was able to buy a new coin door that looked similar to the original. This isn’t as simple for Ms. Pac-Man. Bally / Williams coin doors from the late 70’s through the 80’s were distinct and full reproductions just don’t exist. Most parts are obtainable, but not the whole shebang. I could stick a new – but different – coin door in my Ms. Pac-Man, and most people would probably not know the difference, but I would know and I want authenticity for this part.

Part of this process involved purchasing a used coin door from eBay. Of course these coin doors are pushing 40 years old at this point, so the metal parts inside the door are corroded and ugly. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try and bring these pieces back and help preserve them by nickel plating.

Corroded coin chute

The coin chute before I did anything to it.

To clean up the corrosion I soaked the parts in a solution of about 70 percent vinegar, 30 precent water. I also added some salt to help speed up the chemical process. After an overnight soak, I scrubbed the pieces as best I could with a wadded up piece of aluminum foil.

Cleaned up coin chute

The coin chute after a vinegar soak.

As far as the actual process goes, I followed this Instructables page on nickel plating. Which I won’t bother to repeat here, but I do have a couple of notable comments to offer.

  1. My power source was the power supply I intend to put inside my Ms. Pac-Man. I just soldered alligator clips to some wire and hooked them up.

  2. I also purchased a thin coil of pure nickel from which I used for the plating. Judging by the Amazon recommendations I now get, people use the nickel to produce homemade batteries.

The coin chutes are welded together and it’s impossible to get to all the metal, so I just did the best that I could. I also did some extra corrosion removal with the wire wheel on my grinder.

Nickel plating in progress

The nickel plating process underway.

Nickel-plated coin chute

The end result of cleaning and nickel plating.