Noobie Seeking General Advice

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
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Marske By the Sea
Hello everyone, I am looking to restore an electro mechanical pinball, I have never done one before, however, I have restored quite a few 1950's jukeboxes. I am looking for advice as to what makes you can get parts for and which ones are like hens teeth. Also any tips you can suggest when looking to buy one. I would prefer to stay clear of anything with solid state electronics. Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Replay

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Jul 21, 2011
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Quick few thoughts.

Gottlieb have most part availability and best quality of parts.

Can buy so much here -


Can also get schematics from them.

Single players much easier to work on - multiplayers have extra reels and complicated player units!

New backglasses when available are expensive, so always try and find games with nice backglass and playfield as the rest can be restored.

As for titles - so many. 70's Gottlieb drop target games are very good.

Top 100 on pinside just for a starting point.


I have done many 100's of hours on 50's Gottliebs - when they are finished and all faults sorted, no reason these games won't be running in another 50 years!

Talk about over engineered. David Gottlieb said if he had known how long they were going to last, they would have used cheaper parts but his company motto was 'there is no substitute for quality'.

Oh, and take your time buying the first - very easy to pull trigger on first game that shows up.
 
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AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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I have done 3 in the last year from a totaly newbie - it's good fun. I did a segasa whihc is all williams parts, another williams and a gottlieb. Gotlieb schematics are not freely available on the internet, the other makers generally are.
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
12
3
3
60
Marske By the Sea
Quick few thoughts.

Gottlieb have most part availability and best quality of parts.

Can buy so much here -


Can also get schematics from them.

Single players much easier to work on - multiplayers have extra reels and complicated player units!

New backglasses when available are expensive, so always try and find games with nice backglass and playfield as the rest can be restored.

As for titles - so many. 70's Gottlieb drop target games are very good.

Top 100 on pinside just for a starting point.


I have done many 100's of hours on 50's Gottliebs - when they are finished and all faults sorted, no reason these games won't be running in another 50 years!

Talk about over engineered. David Gottlieb said if he had known how long they were going to last, they would have used cheaper parts but his company motto was 'there is no substitute for quality'.

Oh, and take your time buying the first - very easy to pull trigger on first game that shows up.
Hello Replay, many thanks for the reply and information, it's a great help. and very much appreciated. In the jukebox restoration world you get to know the importers and their websites and contacts, are there importers of pinballs who have websites or contact details please?
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
12
3
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Marske By the Sea
I have done 3 in the last year from a totaly newbie - it's good fun. I did a segasa whihc is all williams parts, another williams and a gottlieb. Gotlieb schematics are not freely available on the internet, the other makers generally are.
Hello AlanJ, thank you for replying to my question, much appreciated.
 

Replay

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Jul 21, 2011
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Hello Replay, many thanks for the reply and information, it's a great help. and very much appreciated. In the jukebox restoration world you get to know the importers and their websites and contacts, are there importers of pinballs who have websites or contact details please?
Don't think anyone imports em's to the UK as demand is very low.
Best bet is here and ebay - plenty of em's.
If you find a game you like, just ask questions here, if you aren't sure about value/condition etc.
My 50's Gottlieb woodrails came from USA but I had to arrange everything myself.
From memory there is a guy called Graham who lives not far from you and he is super keen and has done a lot of restorations.
Lives in Saltburn - has 20 -30 em's.
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
12
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Marske By the Sea
Don't think anyone imports em's to the UK as demand is very low.
Best bet is here and ebay - plenty of em's.
If you find a game you like, just ask questions here, if you aren't sure about value/condition etc.
My 50's Gottlieb woodrails came from USA but I had to arrange everything myself.
From memory there is a guy called Graham who lives not far from you and he is super keen and has done a lot of restorations.
Lives in Saltburn - has 20 -30 em's.
Hello Replay, I'll try and find Graham, Saltburn is literally 2 miles from me. Thank you.
 
Don't think anyone imports em's to the UK as demand is very low.
Best bet is here and ebay - plenty of em's.
If you find a game you like, just ask questions here, if you aren't sure about value/condition etc.
My 50's Gottlieb woodrails came from USA but I had to arrange everything myself.
From memory there is a guy called Graham who lives not far from you and he is super keen and has done a lot of restorations.
Lives in Saltburn - has 20 -30 em's.
Good memory there replay! Peter and I have made contact, will be swapping info shortly I'm sure, since we also have a 50s Seeburg that I could probably use some advice on re lubrication, general servicing etc. Cheers, Graham
 
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DAD

Active Member
Jul 21, 2011
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Near Huddersfield, West Yorks
Hi Pete. Welcome to the forum. I've been collecting and restoring Em games for 40 years and am happy to try and answer any questions you may have.

The advice that's already been given above is good. Generally most mechanical issues can be sorted, so it's the artwork side that lets many games down. In the rare cases repro backglasses and plastics are produced you can quickly end up spending more than the value of the game. Also there seems to be more and more older games with woodworm so that's something to watch out for.

Gottlieb games are generally considered the most desirable, but I have a soft spot for Williams and think they produced some really innovative games. I'm not a fan of Bally EM games but many think they made some of the best (eg Fireball, Wizard, Captain Fantastic) so it's horses for courses. Even the more obscure makes are largely repairable mechanically, and as has already been said, once fixed up, the most games are good for another 50 years service.

I'm always happy to show people my games so if you want a visit to the Huddersfield area let me know.

David

Sent from my SM -G900FD using Tapatalk
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

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Feb 13, 2019
12
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Marske By the Sea
Hi Pete. Welcome to the forum. I've been collecting and restoring Em games for 40 years and am happy to try and answer any questions you may have.

The advice that's already been given above is good. Generally most mechanical issues can be sorted, so it's the artwork side that lets many games down. In the rare cases repro backglasses and plastics are produced you can quickly end up spending more than the value of the game. Also there seems to be more and more older games with woodworm so that's something to watch out for.

Gottlieb games are generally considered the most desirable, but I have a soft spot for Williams and think they produced some really innovative games. I'm not a fan of Bally EM games but many think they made some of the best (eg Fireball, Wizard, Captain Fantastic) so it's horses for courses. Even the more obscure makes are largely repairable mechanically, and as has already been said, once fixed up, the most games are good for another 50 years service.

I'm always happy to show people my games so if you want a visit to the Huddersfield area let me know.

David

Sent from my SM-G900FD using Tapatalk
Hello Dad, thank you for your welcome message and also advice regarding EM pinballs, you have given me some really good tips. It sounds very much like the jukebox world, where it is very easy to spend more than the machine is worth. Thanks also for the invite to see and chat about pinballs. I know the Huddersfield area quite well as my wife originates from there, her family ran "The Albert" pub in town for many years.
 

astyy

Play Flipper Games for Fun and Recreation
Jan 19, 2015
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Basingstoke
It sounds very much like the jukebox world, where it is very easy to spend more than the machine is worth.
Welcome @Practicalpete. I'm sure the above is 100% true. Personally I enjoy spending my pin money and time bringing something back to life, love and back into circulation hopefully resulting in around what it's worth +/- as I've had fun restoring it. I bought my first EM project/barn find a couple of years ago <£100 on Ebay, I eyed it with a view to a) did it appear complete (didn't know what I was looking at then but looking for obvious gaps!) and b) were hard to replace "art" parts serviceable (plastics, playfield, backglass). It was more trashed than I hoped but I wanted a "space" theme. Below is the finished result when I took it to last Summers Pinfest (paint still wet almost!).

Enjoy the hobby

7974379744
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
12
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Marske By the Sea
Welcome @Practicalpete. I'm sure the above is 100% true. Personally I enjoy spending my pin money and time bringing something back to life, love and back into circulation hopefully resulting in around what it's worth +/- as I've had fun restoring it. I bought my first EM project/barn find a couple of years ago <£100 on Ebay, I eyed it with a view to a) did it appear complete (didn't know what I was looking at then but looking for obvious gaps!) and b) were hard to replace "art" parts serviceable (plastics, playfield, backglass). It was more trashed than I hoped but I wanted a "space" theme. Below is the finished result when I took it to last Summers Pinfest (paint still wet almost!).

Enjoy the hobby

View attachment 79743View attachment 79744
Hello astyy, thank you for your comments and helpful advice regarding pinball restoration, it sounds as if you certainly jumped in the deep end with your first pinball, looks to be a great restoration from the photo.
 
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astyy

Play Flipper Games for Fun and Recreation
Jan 19, 2015
2,193
1,296
113
Basingstoke
Hello astyy, thank you for your comments and helpful advice regarding pinball restoration, it sounds as if you certainly jumped in the deep end with your first pinball, looks to be a great restoration from the photo.
Thank you sir. To be fair it was my first EM but 4th pinball :D
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
12
3
3
60
Marske By the Sea
Hi Pete. Welcome to the forum. I've been collecting and restoring Em games for 40 years and am happy to try and answer any questions you may have.

The advice that's already been given above is good. Generally most mechanical issues can be sorted, so it's the artwork side that lets many games down. In the rare cases repro backglasses and plastics are produced you can quickly end up spending more than the value of the game. Also there seems to be more and more older games with woodworm so that's something to watch out for.

Gottlieb games are generally considered the most desirable, but I have a soft spot for Williams and think they produced some really innovative games. I'm not a fan of Bally EM games but many think they made some of the best (eg Fireball, Wizard, Captain Fantastic) so it's horses for courses. Even the more obscure makes are largely repairable mechanically, and as has already been said, once fixed up, the most games are good for another 50 years service.

I'm always happy to show people my games so if you want a visit to the Huddersfield area let me know.

David

Sent from my SM-G900FD using Tapatalk
Hello DAD, since joining this forum I have made contact with another member called Replay. I have visited him and seen his restoration work and pinball collection which is first class. I have been looking for an EM to restore armed with your tips and info along with Replays, unfortunately I haven't found anything as yet. I wondered if you possibly had an EM that requires restoring you may consider parting with, or know of any others? Regards. Peter.
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
12
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Marske By the Sea
Hello DAD, since joining this forum I have made contact with another member called Replay. I have visited him and seen his restoration work and pinball collection which is first class. I have been looking for an EM to restore armed with your tips and info along with Replays, unfortunately I haven't found anything as yet. I wondered if you possibly had an EM that requires restoring you may consider parting with, or know of any others? Regards. Peter.
Hello again DAD, apologies, it wasn't Replay who I have made contact with it is Graham Lowe. Wish people would use their proper names instead these usernames, it's quite confusing.
 

DAD

Active Member
Jul 21, 2011
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Near Huddersfield, West Yorks
Hi Pete
yes I do - I have a 1973 Gottlieb Jumping Jack

This is a very popular classic Gottlieb drop target game, and unusually there are many reproduction parts for it - the drop targets, plastics sets and backglass have all been remade
There is a restoration blog on one here: http://www.pinrepair.com/restore/jjpf.htm

My game is complete (I do have the plastic which is missing in the photo, although it is cracked)
It isn't currently working but I can see no reason why it can't be brought back to working order.
I'm only selling it because I also have the four player version (there's a story here but I won't bore you with it now!).

I've attached a couple of quick photos of it - I can take more if you are interested, or better just come and see it
I'm looking for £800, to include a brand new Shay Arcades backglass for it which I imported from the US at a cost of around £400 a few years ago
Alternatively I'd sell it for £600 without the backglass.

If you think you might be interested please reply by private message (conversation)

David809248092580926
 

DAD

Active Member
Jul 21, 2011
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Near Huddersfield, West Yorks
ps to last message:
the backglass in the picture is not the repro one - it's the original
I do have the Jumping Jacks instruction card, it has just been temporarily swapped with the one on my Jack in the Box
I also have repro schematic diagram and instruction book for the game
 
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Practicalpete

Practicalpete

New Member
Feb 13, 2019
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Marske By the Sea
ps to last message:
the backglass in the picture is not the repro one - it's the original
I do have the Jumping Jacks instruction card, it has just been temporarily swapped with the one on my Jack in the Box
I also have repro schematic diagram and instruction book for the game
Hello DAD, can't find private messaging, is it in start conversation?