(Topic ID: 154893)

Did I do OK? Show Boat & Bank A Ball?

By Bull

3 years ago

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  • 39 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Bull
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#1 3 years ago

Been a while since I have been on here. You all helped me last year getting a Magnotron operational again which I picked up very cheap.

Looking for more advice, and soon I am sure will be asking questions in the tech section.

I picked up two machines this weekend.

One Show Boat and one Bank A Ball. Bought both this weekend.

I had been doing some reading, a read that Bank A Ball in good working shape was a awesome machine, didn't know much about Show Boat.

So Here are my questions.

1, I plugged Show Boat in and was able to play 5 balls. I almost couldn't see the play field for the dust, but knew it was operating.

I got it home, where it now resides in our living room much to my wife's concern (She actually thinks it is pretty cool now that it is here and working, I should say) and spent a few hours cleaning it up. Much to my amazement, the play filed is pretty damn nice, just needs more cleaning. Mechanically, it damn near seems to play %100. My daughter and I have well over 50 games on it, and it seems to keep ticking. Only operational problem I can see is that it seems to randomly increment credits. All plastics are in very good shape, no cracking or broken parts that I have found yet. I also believe all the rubber was replaced recently as it is in very good shape! Pop bumpers and flippers are very strong! Although the flipper arrangement takes a lot to get used to.

The bad: Back glass, cabinet and bulbs! I have been reading about repo back glasses. I am not looking to flip this game (No pun intended!), I want it for the house. Is there a problem with repos? Also, after it grew on my wife, she thought the used look of the cabinet added "character." Are there people that get their machines running %100 with nice back glass and play fields, but leave the cabinets "patina" if you will call it? I am also tending to side with her on this one as the machine has been in our town almost since new, and has a few peoples names engraved it that I know, probably when they were kids. I also realize, bulbs are the easy fix, but almost all, other than the play field are out.

2, Bank A Ball. I did not get home yet or even plug it in. Back glass is horrible almost not there, however all of the drop balls are there, and was told they worked!

Cabinet is in very nice, but dirty shape. What I can see of the play field looks nice.

I was told the last time it was played (15 years ago???) it operated.

I was going to get it home, clean it up a little and see if it would operate.

I would also like to do the same with it, and also not flip it, but keep it for family use. I did see that there are repo back glasses easily available for this one.

I am almost afraid to say what I paid, maybe too much? but I have been "eyeing" these up for years. I had to pick Show Boat up this last weekend.

I paid $500 for both??? For me, I am happy! Also being as I only had to move them a 1/4 of a mile, and had plenty of help.


#6 3 years ago

Thanks guys, I was thinking I got a decent deal.

ZNET you are correct, it is a Gottieb Show Boat, sorry I should have specified. Did a little looking last night, and found the last Amusement certification sticker was from The City of Pittsburgh, 1964, which I thought was cool. I will get pictures of it up tonight. The play field is nicer that I thought when I got it, but certainly not perfect. Few small scratches here and there. Most of the problems with the cabinet are that it seems to have spent most of its time around cigarette smoke, and is yellowish orange color, and after a closer look last night, the back box does have some flaking paint. I have been searching for the best way to remove the smoke and not damage the paint anymore than it is. It defiantly shows its use and age, but my wife compared it to my old 1946 Farmall Cub tractor. While it has a little rust, it still does the job just as well as it did when it was brand new and shiny.

As for the Bank-A-Ball I did some quick research, before I bought it as one of the few things I checked is if all the drop balls where in the back box, and they all looked to be there. I have not got it home yet, as it is sitting in the back of a garage that we have to move a bunch of stuff to get to. I opened the coin door and saw no signs of rodents, and found all of the original paper work in the cabinet for it. I think this one is going to be more of a challenge and the Show Boat, but still looked to be mostly intact.

What I was really going after was a few operational machines. Now that I got it in the house, I think they will look really cool with nice new back glass and all the lights working. As the bonus, like I said initially my wife wasn't real excited when I brought Show Boat in the house. Once I cleaned it up a little, and plugged it in, she thought it looked pretty neat. She has not interest in playing it, which is fine, but if she thinks it looks ok in the house, that is a plus!!!

I think of the two, Show Boat will clean up the nicest, but think Bank-A-Ball will be the more fun of the two to play. I am not looking to make a buck on them, just looking for a few decent home machines.

#11 3 years ago

Thank you all for the advice and encouragement!

Jodini, thank you for the links for the back glass, these will defiantly make them look nice, especially once I get all the bulbs replaced and working.

Znet, I will most likely take you up on the coin door if you still have it in a few weeks. These next few weeks for me are busy at work, so I probably won't get Bank-A-Ball home for at least a week or two. Judging by the condition of the rest of it, it will need just about everything worked on or replaced. I remember it playing probably 15 years ago, but it has been sitting, and is covered with a good layer of dust. Cabinet looked in decent shape, but everything else is rough, and I have never seen a back glass is such bad shape as the on on it.

As for Show Boat, I attached to picture. These pics are with hardly any cleaning done, just a quick wipe down with an old towel.

Also I think I figured out the credit problem. Looks like the replay was set for 400 and every 100 points after. I think the way I set it now is 1000 points.

Back Glass pic came out a little blurry, but you can see it is also very rough.




#18 3 years ago

SirScott, Being as electronics is my background, I learned early, not with pinball machines, but other equipment that the first thing to do is check fuses, because you never know what people put in. I had an old Dodge truck that someone eliminated all the fuses!

All of the fuses from the paperwork I have for it look correct.

Pinwiztom, Even playing quite a few games on it, I still get confused with it, but so far I find that is kind of adds to the challenge of the game.
To be honest, what I have more of a problem is that this is my first game with nothing to stop the ball from rolling off the outside edge of the flipper. What I am getting at is sometimes I try to line up a shot, forget there is nothing on the edge to stop the ball, and drain it. Also sometime I forget have shorter flippers to work with. My daughter (9 Years Old) thinks the dual set of flippers it is neat because when she wants to play with me, she likes to use one side, and I use the other.

JoeGrenuk, I get what you are saying about the game play, but I am fairly certain that this one is staying, not so much because being a great game, but where it came from, so I would really like a better back glass. I am going to hold out for a while to see if I can fine a nice replacement cheaper than a ~$300 repo, at some point if I can't find one I will pull the plug and do it.

And thanks to all on the advice about Bank A Ball. Not sure if I will be able to get it home this weekend, but will be certain to update everyone once I do. I am super excited to get it home, cleaned up and working, because from what I can see it looks like a fun game. However on the flip side of that, I am expecting the worst as far as condition. I guess if I expect the worst, things can only be better once I get it home.

I guess my next project is to clean and wax the play field on Show Boat??? Advice on that?

Thanks again all!

1 week later
#19 3 years ago

Hello all,

As an update to this thread!

Still haven't got Bank-A-Ball home yet, but was able to get a good up close look at it, in the garage it is being stored in.

I really wasn't expecting much, but as far as cosmetic condition, I was presently surprised!

The machine is sitting in a back corner of a garage, covered in a good thick layer of dust, couldn't even see the play field. I didn't have anything with me to clean the glass, so I ever so gently removed it, and to my surprise, reveled a very clean and very nice looking play field. Now being as it was in a dark garage, and I was using a flash light, I may be missing some blemishes, but it really did look good! I am hoping once I get it home I can say the same, but I guarantee it is in much better shape than the Show Boat game I brought home from the same place! Also, the back glass is in much better shape than I thought, but if I keep it, will need to be replaced.

The bad, It looks like it has been sitting for 20 years untouched. Every rubber piece is almost non-existent. The few that were still one piece, as soon as you touched them, fell apart. I know that is the cheap part, but what concerns me is what that means for the rest of the machine, having sat for that long. I will say the garage is very dry, and there were no signs of critters in the machine.

I also did double check, all of the drop balls do look to be intact.

I hope to get it home this week and start working on it. After seeing how nice it is, I am really excited about this one!

As for Show Boat, I haven't don't much to it, other than play it. I has really been growing on me. I hear a lot of people bash this game, but for me the uniqueness if it is what make it fun. The 4 flipper arrangement are a bit to get used to, and the 6 pop bumpers are awesome! Maybe that is why I am enjoying this game so much, the flippers and pop bumpers on this one are very strong, and get the ball moving.

I have found out though that I really have a good high scoring game, or a real dud of a game! Either way, I still have fun!

So I guess once I get Bank-A-Ball home, I will have to decide which one is the first one to get taken down, cleaned and waxed good.

I will post pictures once I get Bank-A-Ball home!

Thanks for all the help!

1 week later
#22 3 years ago

Got Bank-A-Ball home last night. Even though it was in a dry garage it look like condensation may have got to it externally. However the inside looks clean. It will power on and play but has some issues.

The back glass balls reset and drop as they should but the lit balls never go out. Also I can never get the 8 ball to drop or lite the special.

I also found a lot of original paperwork in the cabinet which I thought was neat.

I will post pictures today when I am behind a real keyboard. I am posting from my phone now.

#24 3 years ago

Played a few games on Bank - A - Ball last night, had to quit because all of the rubber was breaking on me, you will see in the pictures I am going to attach. New rubber kit should be here today!

Seems like it will be a fun game when cleaned up and new rubber installed! After a few games it seemed like it started to work as it should. Maybe a dirty or sticking contact?

The pool balls were all dropping as they should and the lights on the play field and back box all started to operate as they should, including the 8 ball.

Only problem I have found, which I guess I should post in the Tech section is that the machine never seems to add credits as it should. If I drop a dime or quarter in, the score motor runs a revolution, but never adds credits. Also, if I get a special, it does not ad credits. Not a huge issue, just something I would like to figure out!

Znet, I hope some day my Bank A Ball will look as nice as the one you had. I can now see why you regret selling it, It seems like a really fun game, and the balls dropping in the back glass are a really cool feature!

I also see what you are saying about the balls in the head coming lose. This was the first thing I check when I got it home, and the right side wing nut (looking from the front) was almost the whole way off. Not sure how the balls survived and didn't break, but they are all there! Seems kind of backward they way they designed it. I would have thought they would have made them hang in the bracket instead they made it so if the wing nuts come lose, it falls out!

Thanks everyone for all the help! I attached some pictures of the game and the paperwork I found! The schematics are also there, I just didn't take a picture of them.

Not sure why the one picture is sideways. I tried to rotate it, but it still shows up sideways. Sorry!








#27 3 years ago

I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning the play field of my Bank-A-Ball and it came out way better than I ever expected! I am sure it is not up the the standards of some people on here, but for my first time at taking apart, cleaning, and reassembling, I was pleased!

I also got all the rubber replaced and new balls. I really can not believe how much of a difference it makes on the game play! Much faster and way more fun!

Also, I talked to Ron Webb about a back glass, got to put a check in the mail, and it will be on its way!

I think this machine will be nice looking and a really fun one to have!

I will post some pictures soon!

#29 3 years ago

My wife sure must love me. Here is what I turned our dining room in to. How many on here would think is is appropriate?

I know magnotron is rated low, but I am having fun with it!


1 week later
#32 3 years ago

Thanks again for everyone's help!

Just a quick update on how I am progressing.

Show Boat is almost 100% working at this point. Only things not working as they should are:
Occasionally the Red pop bumpers do not score 10 points when lit. Haven't dug into that yet. and..
The bell in the head is not working. I believe it to be a bad solenoid.

I think once I get these two problems fixed and a new back glass it will be a decent, nice looking machine. Play filed is ok. For someone looking to do a complete restore, it probably would not be acceptable, but for a playing machine, it looks good in my opinion.

Bank-a-Ball, wow was I really happy how this one turned out. It also has a few small glitches I need to work out. The play filed came out way better than I ever expected when I pulled it out of the garage it had been sitting in for 20 years. I spent a lot of time cleaning the play field on this one. While very light cracking in some spots it cleaned up beautifully! All of the plastics cleaned up real nice. And with a new set of rubbers and balls, it plays nice a fast. All of the pop bumpers and flippers are strong. Only major problem with this one is that is seems the solenoid that closes the ball lane gate does not close after the first point, I have to reach in and manually trip it. Another thing, I can never get it to credit. I have to reach in the back and manually add credits to the credit wheel. No credits though coin door, matches, or specials, in fact Special never lights. If I get the Highs or the Lows, the eight ball lights and drops in the back glass, but no special. I have not yet checked on the above suggestions by Pinhead52, will do that this weekend. Hope it is that easy! Also a new back glass should make this a decent looking machine, that shows its age, if you know what I mean.

Magnotron on the other hand, wow, what a pain the the.....

Cleaned up real nice, while it didn't look to bad, after removing the glass, which I will get to in a min, I found the play field was covered in a almost sandy dirt. I would have probably destroyed the paint had I played it too much before cleaning it. It did clean up decent. There is one noticeable crack the entire length of it. It doesn't seem to cause game play problems, but very noticeable in the paint. Has a lot of paint cracking. Will never be a perfect looking machine, but still not a horrible one.

Now, to my glass problem, when I went to remove the glass, which I am always very careful about. I removed the locking bar, and slid the glass ever so slightly. This is when I learned it was tempered glass, because it broke into a million little pieces! Not sure what I did wrong there. Going to need to get that replaced soon!

Mechanically, was working fine, played 20 or 30 single player games, then my family and I tried to play a 4 player game. 4 player game worked great. All scoring was working, bonus worked, double bonus worked, game ended. Tried to play another single player game, and now it won't reset. All of the score reels keep turning. If I manually trip the reset relay, it will reset, and start a game. The scoring will start at player one, but after the first ball, advance though all players, and goes to ball two, but continues to advance to player two. Then after that ball, does the same, ball 3 player 3, and so on. I really haven't dug into it. It was late. I turned it off and went to bed.

I don't have a picture of the machines on the PC I am working at, but will get one up this weekend.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to give an update, and once again thank everyone for their help.

Have a great weekend everyone!

#35 3 years ago

Quick Update.

Thank you PinHead52 credit problem on Bank A Ball was as simple as the max credit switch. Cleaned it and adjusted it, and seems to be working fine now! Looks like the NC contact was dirty and just needed cleaned.

It is awesome now playing, scoring replays or getting specials and hearing the crack!

I also got the 25 cent coin slot working with a little adjusting. I know most people say to set for free play, but I am going to leave it as is for now until I get tired of dropping quarters in. I have had my Seeburg Jukebox for 15 years now, and still haven't set it to free play.

Still trying to figure out the first point/ball gate problem though. I am sure it will come with time.

Also, Show Boat is also almost %100 mechanical as I said in the last post. Got the coin slot also working on it. Just have to order the solenoid for the second bell. This one also needs a better cleaning and new rubber, and it will be a nice looking game. I also notice after a lot of playing the right set of flippers seem to get weaker. I am assuming that would be a flipper solenoid?

Also quick question for all the experts, would Show Boat have had a knocker for specials? I haven't been able to find it on mine if there is one there. If it is there, it doesn't work.

As for Magnotron, I still have not messed with it in the last week, so no update. Just been cleaning a 1/2 hour or so in the evening as time permits. I guess I am doing it backward, cleaning and new rubber before I get it operational, but I guess once it is nice and clean that will give me more of a push to get it working %100.

Thanks again all!

I am really excited at how these games came out. From when I dug them out of a dirty garage and basement to cleaned up and working!

I paid $800 total for all three total, so I think I came out on the good side, even buying new back glass for Bank A Ball and Show Boat.

And getting Magnotron %100 will just be a bonus in my opinion.

2 weeks later
#38 3 years ago

Quick update...

I haven't had much time to work on the machines, however I think I figured out the ball gate (if that is the correct term) on Bank-A-Ball.

It now closes after the first point, as it should. It seems it was also another dirty NC contact. This game seems to be operating %100, minus some burnt out bulbs in the play field, and needing a new back glass, Which I need to order.

Scary thing is I think I am really starting to understand EM logic a little, and a lot of my 20 year lost electronics experience is starting to come back to me.

I will say, the score motor still scares the heck out of me. I am just hoping that I don't have to mess with them on my machines. I get the idea, but there is a lot to digest in one little spot!

I have been playing a game or two on them (Bank A Ball and Showboat) each night, but just not a lot of time to spend working on them.

Plan on spending time with Magnotron next week and see if I can get it at least close to operable in the next week. After a closer look it seems to have a few "hacks" and "armature" fixes. I am sure we have all seen that. I don't think it can be too much, because it was working fine last year.

#39 3 years ago

And that was supposed to say amateur not armature!

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