1979 Bally Nitro Ground Shaker, repair #16

We certain like the early Bally solid state pinballs, and one of our favorites is the 1979 Bally Nitro Ground Shaker. The artwork is by Dave Christensen, who is legendary in the pinball business for his fine detail and well endowed women, and this game is no exception. They made 7950 Nitros, but it seems to be pretty hard to find – I personally haven’t come across this game but once.
 


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1963 Gottlieb Slick Chick, repair #15

There was recently a game auction in Carleton, Michigan that we attended. We knew about this situation – the owner was an game operator that died in 1980. He had all his games (well over 100) in a pole barn outside his rural house. The problem was, after he died, the widow did nothing to maintain the pole barn. Animals had gotten in (raccoons mostly), and created all sorts of damage to the game. If a game didn’t have a back door or a top glass, they pooped right on the playfield! Unfortunately for the 1963 Gottlieb Slick Chick pinball here, not only did they do that, but one crawled inside and died! We bought some games from the widow last fall, kind of cherry picking what we wanted, but she died over the winter 2011/2012. Fast forward to the summer of 2012, and we bought this game at the family’s property auction. Can it be restored? Sure it can, and we’ll do it! Because we must repair and restore this 1963 Gottlieb Slick Chick pinball.
 


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Dataeast Last Action Hero pinball, repair #14

One of the visitors has a dad who ownes a 1993 Dataeast Last Action Hero (LAH) pinball. The machine hadn’t been turned on in some time, so he asked me to come over and get it running for dad. The game overall was in decent enough condition, but it had not been turned on in about 10 years. The grandkids were asking, so the game needed to be fixed.

 
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Williams Indiana Jones pinball, repair #13

So we went on a small buying spree and got a couple 1990s Williams WPC style pinball games with that there fancy dot matrix thingy. The first game was a 1992 Williams Getaway (High Speed2), and that repair/restoration went pretty quickly. Other than some nasty battery corrosion, it wasn’t too hard to get that game playing and looking good. It was the 1993 Williams Indiana Jones that was more of a challenge, hence this blog entry. Both these games were “re-imports”, meaning they were made in Chicago then exported to some foreign land, and then brought back here in a big container. In the case of this Indy Jones it was pretty hammered too, it looked like it had a lot of miles. Our job was to make it fresh again.

 
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Bally Freedom solidstate pinball, repair #12

One of the games we got in that load of 40 machines was a 1978 Bally Freedom solidstate pinball. Now this model came in both EM and SS formats. The EM format is much more common, but we were straddled with the solidstate format. This game was to be given away in a local pinball tournament, so had to get it working.

 
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1967 CCM Criss Cross Ski Ball, repair# 11

Seeing how we’re in “skee ball mode”, I guess we should document the repair of this 1967 Chicago Coin Criss Cross Ski Ball game. In the prior post we talked about the Keeney skee ball. Here’s one that came in that same 40 game warehouse buy, and a game we decided to keep for the museum. Why this one? For one it’s in far better condition than the 10 year older Keeney. Also it’s a foot longer (longer is alway better when it comes to bowling games.) Finally the criss-cross feature of this game makes it quite unique. We’ll talk about that aspect later, let’s get down to what we did to restore the machine.

 
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1957 Keeney Bowlette, repair #10

It’s been a month since we’ve done a blog posting on game repair. I apologize for this, but it’s been one hell of a month. We bought nearly 40 games from a local operator, and it took a month to get them fixed. The cost in time was enormous. It makes you wonder if it was all worth it. Back to the blog, here’s one game we repaired and sold, a 1957 Keeney Bowlette skee ball game. When done it was a pretty cool thing, and in many respects, I regret having it gone. But the good news is we also got a CCM skee ball game, in much better condition, and kept that. (You can read about that repair in a coming posting.)

 
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CCM Shuffle Alley, repair #9

We recently purchased a warehouse load of 40 games, and this was one of the games. It’s a 1970 Chicago Coin shuffle alley. It’s a really good puck bowler, using a faster score motor revolution, so games go pretty quick. Also the lane width on this alley is wider than the 1969 United shuffle alley we recently had. This makes the play more fun as angle shoots are easier with the added lane width. Before we get ahead of ourselves though, we need to talk abut how we repaired the game.

 
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Williams Olympic Hockey pinball, repair #8

One of the friends was having a problem with their 1972 Williams Olympic Hockey pinball, and wanted some advice on how to fix it. I always tell friends if they have a problem game, something they’ve tried to fix but could not, bring it in and we’ll take a look at it together. You know, two (or three) heads are better than one.

 
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Bally Party Zone pinball, repair #7

Another game that came was a 1991 Bally Party Zone pinball. The playfield was completely disassembled too, as the prior owner (now deceased) had taken all the parts off the top of the playfield. We believe he was going to clear coat the playfield, though frankly we couldn’t figure out why (the playfield was very nice!)

 
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Gottlieb Spirit pinball, repair #6

The holly grail of system80 pinballs! Well maybe not, but it was a game that we were really looking for. Most people haven’t seen this game before, much less played one – this game is a treat. It’s like they took the best features of Haunted House and Black Hole, and made the 1981 Gottlieb Spirit system80a pinball. The bad thing about BH and HH are the lower playfield window on the upper playfield. It makes those games so wide open, it just feels odd and empty. What Spirit did was to use an upper playfield (like Haunted House), and no lower playfield. Also throw in a lot of cool multi-ball features and the spinning backbox wheel (with a REAL Multi-Products motor), and Spirit was born.

 
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Bally Mata Hari pinball, repair #5

Bought a load of 10 games. One that didn’t go away was a 1978 Bally Mata Hari pinball, which we are doing a repair blog about here.

 
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1980 Bally Paragon pinball, repair #4

A friend brought this game in for repair. As a friend we are always more than happy to help fix a game. He just bought this 1980 Bally Paragon pinball, and for a very nice price. The seller’s complaint was they couldn’t start a game – that is the start button on the coin door did nothing.

 
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1981 Stern Free Fall pinball, repair #3

Now on to the repair itself, fixing this here 1981 Stern Free Fall pinball.

 
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1986 Williams High Speed pinball, repair #2

Got a call from a local patron that their 1986 Williams High Speed pinball had died. “The flippers work but the pop bumpers and some other coils don’t work.” So we decided to take a ride out to their house to check it out, and see if we could help.

 
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1958 United Bonus Ball Bowler, repair #1

This 1958 United Bonus Bowler (ball bowler) came in with a Genco rolldown “Lucky7” (which will will see on this blog shortly), and the Genco was really what we wanted (there’s already two ball bowlers here, and no need for a third.) Here’s what was done in the repair process.
 


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Pinball Repair Blog for the Detroit Pinball Club

This blog will detail game restoration and information on the games that come into the Detroit Pinball Club. It will reflect mostly games repaired at the location, but will also include other games too (that we repair for friends in their homes.) The idea of this blog is to be informational – hopefully you’ll find some interesting tidbits of repair information that you can use.

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