(Topic ID: 100562)

1963 United Bowler...buying/inspection questions


By Rody

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by jodini
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 5 years ago

    Hey guys,

    I've been wanting a big ball bowler for a while now and one finally popped up in my area, less than 2 miles away.

    It's a '63 United Fury, 13' lane, with the "LED" scoring (just a 44 bulb matrix but cool none the less), gutters, and the newer square front and pointy graphics.

    Machine is in un-restored shape and was purchased four years ago, working condition, to be cosmetically restored by the current owner. He never got around to it. Has been stored unassembled ever since.

    My questions...

    Ball park a price on this guy in it's current shape?

    Other than cosmetics, is there anything significantly different in checking out the mechanicals than an EM pin?

    In restoring this to playing condition, I've seen limited threads suggesting about 400 bucks in parts, sound about right for a estimate?

    thanks in advance for your time in answering,

    rody

    #2 5 years ago

    Looks like a neat bowler. That bulb matrix display is interesting.

    Yes, it's kind of like working on a bunch of em pinballs. Lots of steppers, score reels and relays to go through. My ball bowler sat for years. I was intimidated by the sheer quantity of "stuff" in there. I finally dug in this year and discovered it's not so bad. Just like a pinball systematically go through and clean and adjust as needed. Went through it and it just fired up and played only requiring a few more minor adjustments.

    Mine didn't require any additional cost other than a new power cord, some solder and bulbs etc. I suppose if your ball lift motor is bad that could be one fairly large expense or if you want a new back glass. Otherwise just like a pinball…

    The fact that it was supposedly working when stored is promising. Not sure on value on this one. You see prices all over the place and I think a lot of it depends on the model and features.

    #3 5 years ago

    I ran through a couple of old threads that gave a solid range on project bowlers from this era and had a good conversation with Doc Doom on what to expect mechanically.

    Very few "new" parts exist, most parts available have been salvaged from junk games, but once adjusted correctly, should last for many many years.

    No backglass available I'm afraid, so am hoping for an original in good shape upon inspection.

    Wish me luck...

    r

    #4 5 years ago

    Good Luck!

    #5 5 years ago

    Update..

    well, the bowler was rough. All the original art had been painted over with dark brown oil based, the coin mech box hacked, and the pin box was broken in half as something heavy had fallen on it. Firm at 1350.00...

    I knew right away there was no way we would meet on price, so took some time to educate him on the particular features of the machine, the work necessary to get it up and running, and let him know that if he tires of it sitting around in another year, to give me a call.

    Back on the prowl.

    r

    #6 5 years ago

    Such a weird firm price: $1350.00...see if he'll take $1300.00

    Looks like there is another nice one in sort of in your area...for a great price! : akroncanton.craigslist.org link

    I worked on my first bowler this year and it was a joy. Very much like a EM pinball but bigger parts and easier to get to. Yes, I had to make a few parts and cheat a little (with odd coils), but it works like it should.

    Joe

    #7 5 years ago

    I've got a 1965 United Oasis ball bowler available in Chesterland, Ohio, for $500. It's a little farther than 2 miles from Wooster but the price is right. Lane is worn but playable. Repro lane is $500. Lower backglass is cracked but not noticeable. Repro is $125. Told it worked when purchased but I've never seen it work. See http://www.pinrepair.com/bowl/oasis.htm for details.

    #8 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rody:

    Hey guys,

    I've been wanting a big ball bowler for a while now

    Have not seen one of them in Australia since i was 15 (just a while ago,lol). Love to get one.

    #9 5 years ago

    ball bowler video help:
    http://www.pinrepair.com/top/top8.htm

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rody:

    Update..
    well, the bowler was rough. All the original art had been painted over with dark brown oil based
    r

    What is it with brown oil paint on old games, My bowler was covered from top to bottom in it the stuff the only thing not painted on mine was the Formica lanes.

    #11 5 years ago

    Good to know, your EM videos helped me thru a ton of problems.
    Informative & funny!!

    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rody:

    I ran through a couple of old threads that gave a solid range on project bowlers from this era and had a good conversation with Doc Doom on what to expect mechanically.
    Very few "new" parts exist, most parts available have been salvaged from junk games, but once adjusted correctly, should last for many many years.
    No backglass available I'm afraid, so am hoping for an original in good shape upon inspection.
    Wish me luck...
    r

    The experience I had with Doc was not too helpful when I was hunting for a motor/gearbox assy for my United Bowling alley. I ended up contacting the St. Louis. Ball Bowler Company. Much more helpful, and cost me 1/3 of what Doom quoted me for parts. I was very happy.

    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    The experience I had with Doc was not too helpful when I was hunting for a motor/gearbox assy for my United Bowling alley. I ended up contacting the St. Louis. Ball Bowler Company. Much more helpful, and cost me 1/3 of what Doom quoted me for parts. I was very happy.

    Good to know. Looking to get a Ball Bowler down the road myself.

    Ken

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    ball bowler video help:

    Clay,

    I hold you partly responsible for my current predicament, if my wife and daughter had not played your bowler at the VFW weekend I'd never be looking for one

    That vid, and the balance of the collection, are on my wish list for my birthday next month.

    Quoted from jodini:

    Looks like there is another nice one in sort of in your area...for a great price! : akroncanton.craigslist.org link

    Left a message on this one, we'll see what pans out.

    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    The experience I had with Doc was not too helpful

    Doc has been very helpful in answering questions and sharing knowledge, as have almost all I've encountered who share of love of coin op.

    thanks all,

    r

    #15 5 years ago

    The bowler in Canton sold the first day, seller chose not to take down the add until he tired of people contacting him.

    Thanks to all who have pm'd with options, gonna explore some of these and see if I can't get a bowler in my future

    r

    #16 5 years ago

    I hate it when people do that...take the dang ad off when you sell it people! No need to tease!

    Keep your eye out for one....I'm sure there are always people trying to move those big suckers out of there house! Wish I had the room!
    Joe

    #17 5 years ago

    Thread moved to Forum "Flipperless"

    #18 5 years ago

    Here's what I have found (when you search craigslist). Don't do a search on "bowler"...that's what WE call it. If you want to find a deal, type in "bowling machine" or "bowling game"...some of these are shuffle bowlers, but every once in a while you get lucky!

    cleveland.craigslist.org link
    cleveland.craigslist.org link
    youngstown.craigslist.org link
    cleveland.craigslist.org link
    mansfield.craigslist.org link

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