I’m just hooked on EM’s! I picked up this Apollo yesterday. Rather I rescued this Apollo yesterday. I purchased it from a nice family who had it sitting at their concrete plant in Hayward CA, waiting for a new owner. I really enjoy knowing the story behind each pinball I own. Unfortunately all the seller could tell me was it was in a house that they decided to clear out after 60 years. I could tell these guys didn’t have any experience with pins so they couldn’t tell me anything more about it.
It looks pretty rough in the photos but actually the playfield and back glass aren’t too bad. Only 2 spots I could see on the back glass were flaking and there’s a little wear on some of the upper playfield inlanes but there than that it’s pretty good all things considered. The duct tape holding the glass onto the cab makes me cringe but is coming off without taking too much paint.
The lock bar was missing but I have one en route from eBay. After playing around with the playfield glass last night and I noticed it wasn’t actual playfield glass but a piece of double pane that someone probably thought was an ok substitute. The glass is cracked in a couple places anyway so I plan on getting a new one from macros. Luckily they had enough of a seal over the playfield so that all the grime your seeing in the photos is on the glass itself and not the PF.
Other than a few bizarre modifications most the solenoids and other internal equipment appear intact. Someone completely disconnected the wires and lights from the coin mechs but to my surprise all of the actual mechs are still there (I like to use coins instead of free play). I want to get the game up and running before I try to reinstall the wiring. I have the schematics so I should be able to figure it out.
The backbox has a few funny things too. Rather than solder the score reels wiring someone used an allegator clip (lol free alligator clip for me) and placed duct tape around the bell. I’m assuming that little arm sticking out goes to the stepper and isn’t part of the bells mechanism, but I still need to take a closer look.
There are a couple of suspect coils under the playfield. I’ll take my DMM to them later and see if they are toast.
Other than that and a beat up exterior, I think this Apollo isn’t in too bad of shape. Given the condition of the back glass and playfield, It feels a bit like a “diamond in the rough.” I like working on EMS about as much as I like playing them, so I don’t mind having a pin that needs a little work done. When I’m working on them, I get into this zone where I don’t think about work or life, I’m just there fixing this pin. And there’s no other high like the one you get from a 50 year old pinball machine brought back to life.
Thanks for reading this thread. I’ll post back updates as they develop.