(Topic ID: 288228)

Got a free Wms Touchdown, might give it back, new member. Am I stupid?

By Lloyd-ss

11 months ago

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  • 30 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by trueno92
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 11 months ago

Brand new member here, hello everybody!, and am enjoying all the great tech info on the forum. With a little bit of searching I can find answers to just about all the questions I have come up with. What a treasure trove of info. Thank you Pinside!

I am an old guy, never played pinball as a kid 'cause I was a nerd and only the bad kids played pinball. But I am heavily into all things EM. My wife saw a free pinball machine on buy nothing facebook and mentioned it to me. Cool! Sure! Why not another un-needed project. I went to pick it up, a 1967 Williams Touchdown, SN 96300, that didn't work, and come to find out I had previously gotten a free Toro leaf blower from the guy and fixed it and am still using it. The guy was super-enthused about that and was happy that the machine was going to somebody who could probably fix it. He and his brother-in-law helped me load it into my truck and I took it home. It weighs a ton (no news to you guys) and what a freebie find.

Got it home and into my shop. Texted the guy that it was safe and sound and asked him about the history of the machine. Interesting family story.... more later.
Please remember, this is my first time inside a pinball machine. I opened the machine up and was amazed at the collection of wires and mechanisms and solenoids and switches. This wonderful thing, over 50 years old, looking like it should have broken down after a week, was still in mostly good shape. Holy crap! I was drooling all over the place. I plugged it in and DOA. Put a volt meter on the transformer and nothing. How about a cold solder joint where someone had replace the power cord with a piece of low voltage outdoor lighting cord, LOL. I put a new cord on it and bingo! Lights and action! Fifteen minutes of effort!

With that tiny bit of effort, and now knowing the history of the machine, I was seriously considering giving the machine back, because honestly, I'd play it a little, but already have too many hobbies, and why just let it collect dust. But since then, it has stopped working, then fixed it, broken again, repeat, repeat. Now, after many hours of fiddling and learning (thank you pinsiders) it is fairly stable, I have put new rubber on it, and is mostly working ok, as far as I can tell. At least it always starts up and plays.

Now here is the question. Am I a fool to give it back? Should I charge him for the repairs? The history of the machine is why I wanted to give it back, but something might be amiss there. Still, I really don't "NEED" the machine, and if he and his in-laws are going to use it, they should have it.
Help, I need some objective thoughts on this dilemma????

TouchDownAtHome (resized).jpg
#6 11 months ago

The guy was real nice. After I got it home, but before i worked on it or was thinking of giving it back, I asked the guy about the history and he said that it was purchased new by his wife's family and that she and here siblings had many fond memories of playing the machine. They had it fixed many times ( I could tell, LOL) but finally, it quit and they could find no one to work on it. But the machine shows use like from a convenience store or bar, so maybe the family owned a little store... that kinda fits the story and location, Washington DC area.

Then after I got it working after a few minutes of effort, I talked to my wife and then told him I got it working. Then after a few more text exchanges I asked if they might want it back. He said he would ask his wife and her brother (who helped load it). The Mother is living with the son, too. The guy replied to me that he had talked to them and that the mother would be thrilled to have back for her game room. Now, that is a trip, isn't it. I talked to my wife again (she has good judgement) and she said if it will make an old lady happy, give it back. So that is where I am at right now. I know they will pay for the kit and maybe more. Plus he says he has a chain saw that he can't start that he will give to me, ha ha.

I appreciate the input. Like they say, if you have a good idea, you better run it by somebody else first. Thank you!

#7 11 months ago

I can see that working on these machines will keep the brain young. I was baffled by the subtle nature of of the relay switches. They can look ok, but still not work. Can't trust your eyes, LOL.

#9 11 months ago

I was a little surprised at the exposed 120 VAC inside the cabinet. I put some plastic guards with 120VAC warnings over that stuff. I guess that was from the "one time and you'll learn your lesson," era. I totally believe that everyone should use common sense and must take responsibility for their own actions or stupidity, but 120vac, I don't know.

#12 11 months ago
Quoted from Jesterfunhouse:

You are not stupid but if you want to find out for certain add a poll to the thread...

Ha ha. I appreciate the humor. When my wife said it is the right thing to do (giving it back), well,....... it is the right thing to do. Period. See, this is really just a test to if you guys can stay married as long as I have. And I know I am lucky in that respect.

#14 11 months ago
Quoted from jibmums:

Give it back, don't charge him for fixing it. Good karma. The guy's already done you two solids (leaf blower & pin).

You are exactly right. It is going back to its family.

#17 11 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

I have to ask: did you enjoy playing it more or fixing it? Would you look to get another pin down the road?

I have to say that fixing it was the fun for me. The schematic and the manual are available on line. Like one problem was with 1000's drum. It worked during the game but wouldn't zero during reset. The schematic showed 2 circuits feeding the drum coil so it could be tracked down...... although not easily. And each fix brings a big smile to my face! Learning something new. Building airguns is my primary hobby, and even with those, the building is more fun than the shooting.
But if another pin opportunity presents itself, I probably won't be able to resist.

#18 11 months ago

phil-lee, good point, i will give it a good workout.

#26 11 months ago

Darn, I feel like Pinto in Animal House when he brought his date to his room in the frat house and she passed out and he had the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, both telling him what to do. I think his head finally exploded. The thing is, I don't who is the devil and who is the angel.

And hawk moon, I can feel the cult gathering, smiling as I am bitten by the pin. I am doomed.History repeats itself. But hey, at least the cult is smiling. My wife is watching TV and I will be playing with the pin as soon as I send this post.

And Beatnik, I saw the "just ask Lloyd" when I registered this morning. I've been using the SS (2 of my initials) since I started participating on the internet 12 or 15 years ago. Jeez, I really am doomed.

#27 11 months ago


Well, a very happy ending. I had gotten this pin for free from a guy whose wife's family had bought it when the kids were young. A lot of sentimental value. When I offered it back, fixed and working, the 78 year old mother was apparently very excited that the kids and grand kids could continue to use it. I wasn't sure just how genuine that was, but I am an optimist. So, the guy came over yesterday and we loaded it into my truck and took it back to the mother-in-laws place where she now lives with one of the sons in his good sized house. The guys helped unload it and I met the mother, a wonderful person, still young, and she was genuinely excited. It would have been husband's 80th birthday and she had been kind of down because of that and the long Covid quarantine, and I could tell that the pin and my gesture really was a boost to her. She honestly was excited. The son-in-law had privately told me the whole story, and she had related the same info in bits and pieces to me while I was there. She knew that I had a shop and liked equipment and making and fixing things and she actually offered me a very nice Delta wood lathe, a big one with a cast iron base and everything. It had been her husbands and you could tell she wanted it to somehow live on, just like the pin. I was genuinely touched.
I am glad I offered the pin back to them.
Sometimes the point score goes all the way to the max.

#29 11 months ago
Quoted from trueno92:

Good karma for you man. Good story, best of 2021 so far!!

Thanks man, I appreciate that.

Back when I was in my 20's a guy helped me out big time. He didn't have to and he even put himself in a bit of a bind doing it. He was a life saver. I offered to pay him, and he said, "No, I don't want anything. I know you'll do the same for somebody else who needs it." I don't think he knew what kind of impression that made on me, but here over 40 years later, I am still thanking him, and glad that I can.

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