1968 Williams Aqua Gun rifle game restoration

(Topic ID: 204233)

1968 Williams Aqua Gun rifle game restoration


By PinPilot

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 12 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by PinPilot
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    20161225_174357 (resized).jpg
    LED UV light bar (resized).JPG

    #1 1 year ago

    So I just picked up my first EM rifle game, a 1968 Williams Aqua Gun (AG). Purchased from an estate sale so far out into the Texas countryside that there was no cell signal for either AT&T or Verizon. I also bought a Count Down and a Jolly Roger. They were located on the second floor, with a narrow staircase with a 90 degree turn. Auction company said their employees would help move, but they kept putting me off and moving everyone else's stuff but mine as I waited patiently. Then, when my turn came, they said it was quitting time and they left! Fortunately, a couple of Texas good 'ole boys helped me get them out, and a local constable providing security even lended a hand! I was so exhausted I forgot my lift table, but instead of making the 4-hour r/t to retrieve it, I'll make a pleasant 60 minute r/t in my Beech Bonanza and borrow a car at the local airport to get it. Unfortunately, even though NicoVolta thinks I can, I cannot transport pinball machines in my airplane! LOL!

    I got it home and got it it 90% up and running in short order with the usual point cleaning, adjusting and score reel refurbing. The only mechanical issues are 1) the timer reels do not function, and 2) it blows one of two fuses if both fuses are inserted. There is a "high tap" line fuse and a "low tap" line fuse. The game will function as indicated with a fuse in either one, but not fuses in both. Very odd, but without a schematic on hand or available to download, I'm just guessing that maybe its not supposed to have a fuse in both "taps"???

    It had a regular fluorescent installed instead of a black light, but the local Home Depot had one in stock for $12 so that was the first thing I added. It looks SOOOO much cooler with a black light installed!

    The artwork inside the machine had not been cleaned since new, or so it seemed. I disassembled the target unit at the bottom of the cabinet, and removed the large cardboard artwork pieces. I carefully cleaned the dust and grime with a moist towel, being careful not to remove any ink (FYI - Magic Eraser is NOT a good idea!). My wife touched up the areas of white paint that had turned brown, making it look much better. When the art was moist from my towel, it looked 3x brighter and more colorful. This gave me the idea to spray them with a clearcoat before reinstalling them. I'm off to Walmart now for paint - I'll try satin and gloss to see which looks better. My next post in this thread will include before/after photos, and photos of the machine itself. Stay tuned...

    #3 1 year ago

    I am pretty sure that the fuse needs to be in High tap OR Low tap, NOT both. It was an easy way for operators to switch back and forth without soldering. I have owned a few game that had this.
    Cool pins and arcade!

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from ryan1234:

    I am pretty sure that the fuse needs to be in High tap OR Low tap, NOT both. It was an easy way for operators to switch back and forth without soldering. I have owned a few game that had this.
    Cool pins and arcade!

    You are correct sir. I found the section of the manual that explains this. There were blown fuses in each socket when I bought the game - I wonder how many people through the years committed the same error!

    I just found out that I am missing the middle flying fish target. Thankfully Gearheaddropping created a file to print a new one. THANK YOU!!! Now I have to figure how to fabricate the support wire, and how to mount it properly onto its drive sprocket. Also, I need to make sure the replacement target glows in UV light like the originals!

    #5 1 year ago

    My wife has a hand-held LED UV flashlight she uses to check for pet pee on the carpet (who knew?), and when I shine it at the targets they really POP with color, even more than with the built-in fluorescent black light tube that came from the factory. I wonder if I could mount some UV leds in the cabinet for greater effect? We shall see...

    #6 1 year ago

    I just ordered, for under $40, this 9-LED UV light bar. It may be TOO bright! I'm gonna find out and post pics.

    LED UV light bar (resized).JPG

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinPilot:

    I just ordered, for under $40, this 9-LED UV light bar. It may be TOO bright! I'm gonna find out and post pics.

    I put two of them in my gameroom. They are great and quite bright. (Mounted under two of the games)

    20161225_174357 (resized).jpg

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from stashyboy:

    I put two of them in my gameroom. They are great and quite bright. (Mounted under two of the games)

    Looks like a UFO is landing under there!

    1 week later
    #9 1 year ago

    Finished! Replaced the two big caps in the soundboard, and recreated the center flying fish target using neon sharpies! Enjoy the video (sorry for the sideways portions)!

    2 weeks later
    #11 1 year ago

    How happy are you with the UV LED bar? I like to keep these games fairly original, but I LOOOVE me some popping UV colors!

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from dudah:

    How happy are you with the UV LED bar? I like to keep these games fairly original, but I LOOOVE me some popping UV colors!

    I'd say its almost a necessity in high-ambient light environments, but in a dark room, it can be a bit much. Mine is in a hangar with clear overhead skylights - during the day everybody wants the LED UV lights turned on. At night, not so much, but MAN DO THEY POP!

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