Converting your gumball machine to free spin for personal use in your home or office is a relatively easy conversion process, allowing you to dispense candy or gumballs for free.

To access the coin mechanism, follow the instructions in your manual for disassembling the machine. Once you have the coin mechanism free, take it to a clean and well-lit work surface. You will need a Phillips screwdriver, a clean rag, and some vegetable oil, as well as a small plastic bag for the parts you are removing.

The following steps outline the process for converting your gumball machine to “free spin.” Be sure an keep the parts you remove during this process in a safe place in case you wish to convert your machine back to taking money for product.
  1. Remove the center screw.
  2. Remove the sprocket (the next component).
  3. On the other end, remove the handle.
  4. Remove the washer detector screw, spring, and washer detector.
  5. Remove the 3 mounting screws that hold the back plate to the front plate.
  6. Remove the back plate, but leave the ratchet and hammer assembly in place on the back plate.
  7. On the front plate, remove the coin detector and spring.
  8. Reassemble by tightening remaining components together.

While you have the coin mechanism open, now is a good time to do a little maintenance. Use a dry cloth and wipe down all surfaces of the mechanism. Then lubricate the gumball machine coin mechanism gears lightly with a food-grade lubricant such as vegetable oil.

Now you have a machine ready to dispense a treat whenever you want. Be sure to continue with the regular maintenance as listed in your user’s manual, and the machine will last you a very long time indeed. As a side note, be sure to keep the machine out of direct sunlight (to preserve the candy), and be prepared to swap the candy out at least once a year — if it lasts that long!

If at some point your decide to convert your machine back to accepting coins, simply re-install the parts in reverse order as listed about.