(Topic ID: 250806)

Just got my first pin...possibly found some issues...help!


By Daximus

10 months ago



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  • 40 posts
  • 25 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Daximus
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 10 months ago

Hi guys!
So I finally pulled the trigger on my first pin. Purchased on eBay and had it shipped from Denver to Montana. Just got it all set up and I'm noticing a few things. I need your help to figure out if these things are just normal or something that I should be upset about. The description of the pin was:

"Stargate Pinball Machine. Condition is used Really cool gottlieb stargate pinball machine fully serviced plays fast smooth does have some minor ware shown in pics has a very very nice cabinet new rubbers some leds etc. great game upgrade you man cave today buyer must set up shipping i can assist getting machine prepped safely wrapped etc"

Full listing with images here: ebay.com link » Stargate Pinball Machine

Some of it seems minor but some of it definitely seems like a "fully serviced" machine shouldn't have. I opened the glass and started to check everything...this is what I found on a cursory glance.

1) First ball right out of the gate got stuck in cage/ramp on a screw that was the wrong size blocking the ball path. Ok I can fix that easily, but annoying.
2) The flippers are SUPER loose. They all have a ton of play and the right one wasn't even tightened on the screw so it was even worse.
3) One of the drop targets isn't working (intermittent at best)...not a buried one...one of the main ones front and center on the play field
4) Both slingshots rarely work...need to adjust/clean?
5) By "some Led's" I guess it meant only 5 and only the easily accessible ones on top of the play field.
6) Everything was dirty...ramps, play field, etc and it didn't look like the dust had been disturbed on the under/inside of the machine.
7) The glider has a ton of wear as it looks like the pyramid isn't lifting high enough so it's scratching it.
Balls are a bit worn

Other than those issues it plays pretty well overall and I'm super excited. Am I being overly critical or should I be upset about some of this stuff?

Thanks,
Dax

#2 10 months ago
Quoted from Daximus:

Hi guys!
So I finally pulled the trigger on my first pin. Purchased on eBay and had it shipped from Denver to Montana. Just got it all set up and I'm noticing a few things. I need your help to figure out if these things are just normal or something that I should be upset about. The description of the pin was:
"Stargate Pinball Machine. Condition is used Really cool gottlieb stargate pinball machine fully serviced plays fast smooth does have some minor ware shown in pics has a very very nice cabinet new rubbers some leds etc. great game upgrade you man cave today buyer must set up shipping i can assist getting machine prepped safely wrapped etc"
Full listing with images here: ebay.com link » Stargate Pinball Machine
Some of it seems minor but some of it definitely seems like a "fully serviced" machine shouldn't have. I opened the glass and started to check everything...this is what I found on a cursory glance.
1) First ball right out of the gate got stuck in cage/ramp on a screw that was the wrong size blocking the ball path. Ok I can fix that easily, but annoying.
2) The flippers are SUPER loose. They all have a ton of play and the right one wasn't even tightened on the screw so it was even worse.
3) One of the drop targets isn't working (intermittent at best)...not a buried one...one of the main ones front and center on the play field
4) Both slingshots rarely work...need to adjust/clean?
5) By "some Led's" I guess it meant only 5 and only the easily accessible ones on top of the play field.
6) Everything was dirty...ramps, play field, etc and it didn't look like the dust had been disturbed on the under/inside of the machine.
7) The glider has a ton of wear as it looks like the pyramid isn't lifting high enough so it's scratching it.
Balls are a bit worn
Other than those issues it plays pretty well overall and I'm super excited. Am I being overly critical or should I be upset about some of this stuff?
Thanks,
Dax

Nice looking pin! I’m still pretty new to the hobby, but I’ve found that “shopped” and “fully serviced” are pretty standard and meaningless terms when it comes to private party sales.

If the play field and cab are good and the electronics are working without battery acid all over the MPU, then it sounds like you’ll need to actually shop out your machine and learn a bit about it. It’ll help down the road when stuff goes wrong anyway.

I wouldn’t bother being upset. Knowing (that you’re going to be fixing) is half the battle in Pinball.

#3 10 months ago

Congrats on your first pin! You're a brave guy to buy a used pin without first playing and seeing it first. I understand that people ship used games all the time but the old "cash on the glass" way of buying has always been my favorite.

I noticed there was only one picture on the EBay ad....was there more when you bought it?

Take a few pics and post them if you get a chance.

Great game, BTW!

#4 10 months ago

I did see 11 pictures on ebay.

#5 10 months ago
Quoted from Daximus:

Hi guys!
So I finally pulled the trigger on my first pin. Purchased on eBay and had it shipped from Denver to Montana. Just got it all set up and I'm noticing a few things. I need your help to figure out if these things are just normal or something that I should be upset about. The description of the pin was:
"Stargate Pinball Machine. Condition is used Really cool gottlieb stargate pinball machine fully serviced plays fast smooth does have some minor ware shown in pics has a very very nice cabinet new rubbers some leds etc. great game upgrade you man cave today buyer must set up shipping i can assist getting machine prepped safely wrapped etc"
Full listing with images here: ebay.com link » Stargate Pinball Machine
Some of it seems minor but some of it definitely seems like a "fully serviced" machine shouldn't have. I opened the glass and started to check everything...this is what I found on a cursory glance.
1) First ball right out of the gate got stuck in cage/ramp on a screw that was the wrong size blocking the ball path. Ok I can fix that easily, but annoying.
2) The flippers are SUPER loose. They all have a ton of play and the right one wasn't even tightened on the screw so it was even worse.
3) One of the drop targets isn't working (intermittent at best)...not a buried one...one of the main ones front and center on the play field
4) Both slingshots rarely work...need to adjust/clean?
5) By "some Led's" I guess it meant only 5 and only the easily accessible ones on top of the play field.
6) Everything was dirty...ramps, play field, etc and it didn't look like the dust had been disturbed on the under/inside of the machine.
7) The glider has a ton of wear as it looks like the pyramid isn't lifting high enough so it's scratching it.
Balls are a bit worn
Other than those issues it plays pretty well overall and I'm super excited. Am I being overly critical or should I be upset about some of this stuff?
Thanks,
Dax

Fortunately, these all sound like mechanical issues that are easily resolved. Give it a good cleaning and adjust the switches in test mode. This is just the chance you take when you have a pin shipped sight unseen. I have always bought my games in person, but next time you could either be patient and wait for something within driving distance, or I have seen cases of Pinsiders that are local to the game going to check out a game on someone else's behalf.

Yeah, it sounds like the seller misrepresented the game a little, but nothing you listed sounds super serious. Good luck and enjoy!

#6 10 months ago

In my opinion the auction reads like this guy is probably a collector who does not work on his machines and pays someone to maintain them. Couldn’t even spell “ware” properly lol. I think that’s steep for a Stargate to be honest but the game looks good. Most I’ve seen are beat to hell. Rubbers looked clean in the pics so I’m sure a lot of the dirt is from shipping; probably got kicked up from the cabinet. Lots of people don’t clean the cabinets, I am pretty anal about it.

The screw part blocking the ball is odd, perhaps it got knocked about in shipping? Luckily all those things are fixable and not major issues, so fix your game, wax and enjoy! Assume the last guy didn’t do the proper maintenance, do it yourself and you’ll learn a lot about how to care for the game and how to fix any issues that arise!

#7 10 months ago

Thanks guys...you're helping! I was getting in my head about the whole thing. The one benefit of purchasing via eBay is buyer protection which is why I posted here first just just to see what you guys think. He seemed like a good guy and we spoke on the phone prior to purchasing. He worked with me on the price so I was surprised to see any of this stuff. Super lame that fully "shopped"/"serviced" doesn't mean anything. I'll give her a proper servicing and will enjoy the heck out of her!

#8 10 months ago

Don't be afraid to tear the top down and clean it up, take pics. Simple green and a microfibre cloth are great
I was so scared everything was breakable or something wen I got my first, DIG IN!! Enjoy

#9 10 months ago

Dude has a ton of games on CL at so so prices...sit a long time.

I get the impression he flips them

#10 10 months ago
Quoted from fissionch1ps:

I’m still pretty new to the hobby, but I’ve found that “shopped” and “fully serviced” are pretty standard and meaningless terms when it comes to private party sales.

If the play field and cab are good and the electronics are working without battery acid all over

Batteries in pinball machines do not contain acid. They contain alkaline and the cleaning solutions used are completely different than what you typically use to clean up battery acid (like you find in car batteries).

#11 10 months ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Batteries in pinball machines do not contain acid. They contain alkaline and the cleaning solutions used are completely different than what you typically use to clean up battery acid (like you find in car batteries).

Thanks for the fact check. Next time I’ll preamble throwaway forum posts with a lesson in battery chemistry.

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#12 10 months ago
Quoted from fissionch1ps:

Thanks for the fact check. Next time I’ll preamble throwaway forum posts with a lesson in battery chemistry.[quoted image]

Hey, it’s all about having fun and splitting hairs! I mean we’re talking about several thousand dollars worth of boxes of lights. Can’t take things too seriously and gotta find the humor in some folks!

#13 10 months ago

Congrats on the First Pin

You chose a cool PIN!

I don't know what you paid, it doesn't really matter , what does matter is how you feel about the Pin, even if you feel it was a little too much, consider all the experience and sense of accomplishment from maintaining your machine,

Whenever I buy a pin, I just figure there will be something to correct or fix,

Congrats and be careful, they Multiply!

#14 10 months ago

The guy you bought from is a flipper. Does minimum work on a pin and tries to sell it quick.

#15 10 months ago

Congrats on your first pin!

When in need of help in getting this machine in shape, you come to the right place.
Just dive into your machine, do what you can, and when in doubt about anything, make a thread and people here are nice enough to get you going

#16 10 months ago

I'm a man of principal. This game was clearly misrepresentated. If any of this is going to cost you money I'd rewrite your list taking the emotion out of it and contact the seller. If there's anything that's going to cost you money request that in a refund as it is only fair. If he argues let him know you'll file a PayPal dispute. By doing nothing this enables these a-holes to keep screwing people.

#17 10 months ago
Quoted from fissionch1ps:

Thanks for the fact check. Next time I’ll preamble throwaway forum posts with a lesson in battery chemistry.[quoted image]

Simmer down. He’s being helpful and wasn’t really talking to you. This is “ACTUALLY” IMPORTANT for the OP to understand because If you have an issue with battery leakage (like MOST USED PINS) and try to use the wrong method to clean it, your boards are toast.

#18 10 months ago

Overpaying for a misrepresented pin is an initiation to the hobby that most of us have experienced. It looks like you did relatively OK with no major issues with the boards, water damage, etc. I’d just take the opportunity to learn from fixing the machine and reading up on here - and only buy in the future from trusted Pinsiders or locals.

#19 10 months ago
Quoted from Daximus:

Am I being overly critical or should I be upset about some of this stuff?

Probably both. I would be upset and would definitely say something to him. If he’s the guy I think he is, he used to drag a half dozen filthy games to the pinball show here and try to sell for pristine prices.

Fully serviced is horseshit, he likely slapped fresh rubbers on the game and that’s it. You should be able to get it up to speed yourself and chalk it up to a learning experience. If any major expense is incurred (boards etc)and you used paypal I would file dispute if he is unreasonable.

#20 10 months ago

It is that guy Bill from Colorado. He is notorious for making claims about being fully serviced. I bought one pin from him years ago, and it had numerous issues that he lied about. The pin you bought is clearly not as described - file a PayPal claim. You might get a refund or at least a partial refund.

Stay clear of this seller.

#21 10 months ago

Yep that’s exactly who it was. Bill from Bill’s Game World. I’ll do a deep dive on it tonight to see if I find anything else! Thanks guys!

#22 10 months ago

Just out of curiosity what should "fully serviced" mean to you guys?

#23 10 months ago

Hurry up and file a dispute with eBay/PayPal. The clock is ticking

#24 10 months ago
Quoted from Daximus:Just out of curiosity what should "fully serviced" mean to you guys?

Not this:

Quoted from Daximus:

1) First ball right out of the gate got stuck in cage/ramp on a screw that was the wrong size blocking the ball path. Ok I can fix that easily, but annoying.
2) The flippers are SUPER loose. They all have a ton of play and the right one wasn't even tightened on the screw so it was even worse.
3) One of the drop targets isn't working (intermittent at best)...not a buried one...one of the main ones front and center on the play field
4) Both slingshots rarely work...need to adjust/clean?
5) By "some Led's" I guess it meant only 5 and only the easily accessible ones on top of the play field.
6) Everything was dirty...ramps, play field, etc and it didn't look like the dust had been disturbed on the under/inside of the machine.

The slingshots not working is ridiculous, as is the drop target.

Fully serviced from someone with a rep on pinside would should mean clean and working 100%.

Check this other CO game out for example: https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/archive/83455

FYI, maybe he still has that--sounded awesome and his games are nice.

Less hassle to take it as a learning experience and move on, but on the other hand, it would piss me off if I felt I got scammed...if you paypal dispute it and get a good amount of cash to go to repairs maybe. Problem is there's no definition of serviced or shopped or whatever. He is full of shit though for sure. Ebay has a satisfaction guarantee that is HEAVILY weighted towards buyers so you could "win" I bet if you want the hassle.

#25 10 months ago
Quoted from jj44114:

Hurry up and file a dispute with eBay/PayPal. The clock is ticking

Sorry for swaying off topic,but you have the best avatar on the internet! If you ever change your avatar,can I have this one.

#26 10 months ago
Quoted from Daximus:

Just out of curiosity what should "fully serviced" mean to you guys?

Bullet points:

*No credit dots.

*Everything functions as it should; displays are bright and clear with no dim/weak segments or burn-in. Flippers have been rebuilt with fresh coil sleeves and coil stops, and EOS switch properly adjusted (at minimum). Switches should be appropriately adjusted.

*Game is cleaned inside and out, any cabinet blemishes are fixed; playfield cleaned, major blemishes appropriately repaired, and preferably freshly waxed. Plastic ramps cleaned/polished and haze-free. Mylar/Cliffy protectors installed in high-impact areas.

*All-new incandescent light bulbs; games with stock LEDs don’t necessarily need total replacement, but all bulbs should be bright and flicker-free. All bulbs should match in brightness, color temp.

*All plastics should be clear and free of cracks/breakage.

*If game is >5 years-old, all rubbers should have been replaced; for newer games, all rubbers should at least be in new or nearly new condition.

*Any known factory weak points should have been addressed/upgraded. For example, underspec’ed connectors, diode bridges, and ground planes should be fixed/modded; on-board alkaline battery holders should be relocated off the board (or NVRAM should be installed) and any corrosion from prior leaking should be appropriately repaired.

*Any suboptimal hacks should be redone consistent with appropriate electronics construction standards.

*Stainless parts should have been cleaned/polished and tarnish-free. Painted parts are scratch and chip free.

*Glass should be scratch-free or replaced.

Basically you should get a game which functions as close to new as possible, and any “patina” should be unintrusive aesthetically and functionally. Done right, a fully shopped/serviced game should meet or even exceed NIB durability and reliability.

#27 10 months ago

That list is thorough and amazing! Thank you!!!!!!

#28 10 months ago
Quoted from Thermionic:

Bullet points:
*No credit dots.
*Everything functions as it should; displays are bright and clear with no dim/weak segments or burn-in. Flippers have been rebuilt with fresh coil sleeves and coil stops, and EOS switch properly adjusted (at minimum). Switches should be appropriately adjusted.
*Game is cleaned inside and out, any cabinet blemishes are fixed; playfield cleaned, major blemishes appropriately repaired, and preferably freshly waxed. Plastic ramps cleaned/polished and haze-free. Mylar/Cliffy protectors installed in high-impact areas.
*All-new incandescent light bulbs; games with stock LEDs don’t necessarily need total replacement, but all bulbs should be bright and flicker-free. All bulbs should match in brightness, color temp.
*All plastics should be clear and free of cracks/breakage.
*If game is >5 years-old, all rubbers should have been replaced; for newer games, all rubbers should at least be in new or nearly new condition.
*Any known factory weak points should have been addressed/upgraded. For example, underspec’ed connectors, diode bridges, and ground planes should be fixed/modded; on-board alkaline battery holders should be relocated off the board (or NVRAM should be installed) and any corrosion from prior leaking should be appropriately repaired.
*Any suboptimal hacks should be redone consistent with appropriate electronics construction standards.
*Stainless parts should have been cleaned/polished and tarnish-free. Painted parts are scratch and chip free.
*Glass should be scratch-free or replaced.
Basically you should get a game which functions as close to new as possible, and any “patina” should be unintrusive aesthetically and functionally. Done right, a fully shopped/serviced game should meet or even exceed NIB durability and reliability.

That's a great list, but 99% of games sold wouldn't meet all those criteria.

#29 10 months ago
Quoted from Thermionic:

Bullet points:
*No credit dots.
*Everything functions as it should; displays are bright and clear with no dim/weak segments or burn-in. Flippers have been rebuilt with fresh coil sleeves and coil stops, and EOS switch properly adjusted (at minimum). Switches should be appropriately adjusted.
*Game is cleaned inside and out, any cabinet blemishes are fixed; playfield cleaned, major blemishes appropriately repaired, and preferably freshly waxed. Plastic ramps cleaned/polished and haze-free. Mylar/Cliffy protectors installed in high-impact areas.
*All-new incandescent light bulbs; games with stock LEDs don’t necessarily need total replacement, but all bulbs should be bright and flicker-free. All bulbs should match in brightness, color temp.
*All plastics should be clear and free of cracks/breakage.
*If game is >5 years-old, all rubbers should have been replaced; for newer games, all rubbers should at least be in new or nearly new condition.
*Any known factory weak points should have been addressed/upgraded. For example, underspec’ed connectors, diode bridges, and ground planes should be fixed/modded; on-board alkaline battery holders should be relocated off the board (or NVRAM should be installed) and any corrosion from prior leaking should be appropriately repaired.
*Any suboptimal hacks should be redone consistent with appropriate electronics construction standards.
*Stainless parts should have been cleaned/polished and tarnish-free. Painted parts are scratch and chip free.
*Glass should be scratch-free or replaced.
Basically you should get a game which functions as close to new as possible, and any “patina” should be unintrusive aesthetically and functionally. Done right, a fully shopped/serviced game should meet or even exceed NIB durability and reliability.

The points you make are more in line with "collector quality" or"restored machine". I guess it all depends on the person what the term"fully serviced" means but at least on pinside, if someone says it's been fully serviced, I take it as it's been fully shopped.

#30 10 months ago

I just want to know where thermionic gets his car serviced....I'm happy when they give it the crappy 60 second 'car wash'

#31 10 months ago

I've bought a couple pins off ebay. Unfortunately this is pretty typical.

If I may recommend a tool to help adjust your leaf switches (slings & drop targets)

https://www.pinballlife.com/ultimate-leaf-adjuster-tool.html

Lots of pinsiders use Novus 2 to clean and then use Blitz wax to protect. Pinhedz also makes some good cleaners and wax as well.

Replace those balls with new asap. They are going to act like sand paper to your playfield.

Flippers may need rebuilt if tightening up thier screws doesn't reduce the slop.

Really examine the playfield closely. These ebay sellers are notorious for missing hard to reach areas or post which obviously require rubbers.

Congrats to you and your new game.

#32 10 months ago

UPDATE-So I spoke with Bill about the issues...he was mortified! I sent him videos and explained what I found. He stepped up big time! He's assured me he's going to do everything in his power to make it right. He's offered to pay for repairs, even looked up what appears to be the only pin repair shop in Montana (granted it's 5 hours away) but the effort is appreciated. I started to dig into it last night and I'm sure I will have questions about what I find. I really appreciate everyone's insights here but it sounds like he's going above and beyond to make sure I'm taken care of...super impressed!

#33 10 months ago

That's really cool.

#34 10 months ago
Quoted from Daximus:

UPDATE-So I spoke with Bill about the issues...he was mortified! I sent him videos and explained what I found. He stepped up big time! He's assured me he's going to do everything in his power to make it right. He's offered to pay for repairs, even looked up what appears to be the only pin repair shop in Montana (granted it's 5 hours away) but the effort is appreciated. I started to dig into it last night and I'm sure I will have questions about what I find. I really appreciate everyone's insights here but it sounds like he's going above and beyond to make sure I'm taken care of...super impressed!

Amazing.

#35 10 months ago

I’ve done several deals with Bill from Denver. He has sold me 4 pinball machines and they’ve all been just as described. He is an honest guy who practices integrity and respect to all those he meets. He is also an amazing father and loving husband. I’m sorry you had an issue with Stargate, but if something is wrong he will always make it right. I highly recommend Bill’s Game World. If you need any help with your game you can call me at 3038020307. But think of this as a perfect opportunity to dive right in to your new machine. Welcome to insanity!

#36 10 months ago
Quoted from Daximus:

He's offered to pay for repairs

Can't beat that! You WILL be spending some money.....

#37 10 months ago

That's awesome news! If you need any assistance fixing up your game, there's a great group of techs here at Pinside--come join us in the tech forums if you run into any trouble/questions/etc.

Good luck with the game! Sounds like it's found a good home.

#38 10 months ago

He followed through and gave me $350 to cover the parts and repairs! A man of his word and super impressed with customer service and follow through...
Now to get her fixed up!

#39 10 months ago

That’s awesome news! Bill is my go-to person when it comes to sales and repair in Denver. I’m not really sure what was up with that KeeperUSA person but I have a feeling he was just projecting insecurities to create drama online. Huge thumbs down on his part. I guarantee that if he really did have an issue with one of Bill’s games and contacted him directly Bill would’ve taken care of his issues immediately. Things outside of our control can and will happen every so often when we decide to sell a game, but it’s more about what’s done to remedy it that makes the most difference! Good luck with the machine, man!

1 month later
#40 8 months ago

So I wanted to update you all on what I've done since I got everything resolved with the seller. Since then I've switched everything to new LEDs (Comet 2SMDs) with purple, orange and blue regions on the play field . I also added LED strips under the pyramid, in the gutter and a few other strategic places. I added a spotlight on the left guard and a spotlight with a snoot on the right guard. Under the hood I rebuilt all the flippers, both slingshots, the left lower kicker and a couple of the drop targets. New stickers all around and fresh cleaning and coat of wax. She's pretty!!! The pics don't do her justice but was excited to show you all! A HUGE thank you to everyone on this site who have answered all my questions, guided me in the right direction for parts, etc and welcomed me into your addiction!

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