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(Topic ID: 239076)

My Holy Grail 1953 Williams "GRAND CHAMPION" restorations


By PinballFever

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 98 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 days ago by PinballFever
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders

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There are 98 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 1 year ago

Steppers cleaned and lubed. 4" knocker bell shined up nicely.

It's looking good. Just need to solder the new knocker coil in then put it in the backbox that I recently cleaned up.

IMG_20190922_150847730 (resized).jpg
1 month later
#52 12 months ago
Quoted from rufessor:

Amazing attention to detail! Better than new!

I'm not sure why this was done but, as you can see in the first photo, someone removed the brace from the left side and attached it to the right side (in the wrong position too!) then nailed a longer piece to the left side.

Using the other game as a guide, I removed the brace from the right side and glued it back where it belongs in the correct position on the left side.

The longer piece of wood is in the trash and the backbox, as shown in the second photo, is ready for the mechanical insert to go back in.

Backbox before (resized).jpgBackbox after (resized).jpg
#53 12 months ago

Looking good. Keep up the great work.

#54 12 months ago

Things like this are a reminder of what awesome people pinheads are.

All in the name of that happy place we had that pinball anchored to when we were young.

Thank you for doing, and sharing this.

c2s

#55 12 months ago

Can’t wait to see the end result. Love the unconventional theme.

2 months later
#56 9 months ago

Thank you.

Both inserts are ready to go in the backboxes that have been cleaned up.

Ten frozen steppers freed up, cleaned and lubed
Four burned out coils replaced
New replay stepper parts
Wiper discs cleaned and lubed
Replay and Point reels cleaned and shined up.
New 3 prong electric cords
New 4 inch bell and brackets

It's getting there.

IMG_20200209_172056780 (resized).jpg
4 weeks later
#57 8 months ago

The inserts are in the backboxes and the games are ready to be moved to our new house with basement and workshop where I can finish restoring them.

The basement has space for 36 games or so which I'd probably fill in a heartbeat if I lived in Pennsylvania instead of here.

IMG_20200309_205048980 (resized).jpg1651509_1e6425589949d93f41f00fb0d8c7ff0a_2633511 (resized).jpg
#58 8 months ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

The basement has space for 36 games or so which I'd probably fill in a heartbeat if I lived in Pennsylvania instead of here.

Fill 'er up!

#59 8 months ago

If you don’t put a big ball bowler in there, you’re not doing it right.

#60 8 months ago
Quoted from MikeO:

Fill 'er up!

Quoted from Gotemwill:

If you don’t put a big ball bowler in there, you’re not doing it right.

No thanks.

I might think about setting up some kind of basement pinball arcade with part of the basement but we'll see.

2 weeks later
#61 8 months ago

Still moving in.

Here's a pic of the workshop in the basement with huge workbench. I plan to build a playfield rotisserie so I can work on the games in it.
MicrosoftTeams-image (1) (resized).png

2 weeks later
#62 7 months ago

It's alive. It's resetting and playing a game. Everything's working. I feel like this guy now.

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 2.15.58 AM (resized).png
#63 7 months ago

Everything is working. I found the pop bumpers advance the 1-5 numbers for the top hole until a ball locks the number.

The impulse flippers seem weak but that's probably because you have to time the flippers when you hit a ball. I haven't gone through the flippers yet.

Ordered more non-ghosting warm white frosted LEDs from Comet Pinball to put in the other Grand Champion.

Here's a video of ball 2 being played.

Added 27 days ago:

Correct link for the video here:

#64 7 months ago

Man I love that theme! Would love to find this machine.

#65 7 months ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

It's alive. It's resetting and playing a game. Everything's working.

about time

those impulse flippers are brutal
but that is the way they operate
without much power
and you do have to time it just right.
I would not blame you if you switched the flipper mechs over to conventional double wind.

#66 7 months ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

I would not blame you if you switched the flipper mechs over to conventional double wind.

No way. There's something unique and special about playing this game just like it played in the year 1953!

The backglass isn't in yet because I need to fix the positioning of the mechanical insert. It's encroaching over the edge of the groove for the backglass.

IMG_20200411_223154700 (resized).jpg
#67 7 months ago

Well you got two games, maybe make one with impulse and one without?

#68 7 months ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Well you got two games, maybe make one with impulse and one without?

I'll probably keep the impulse flippers on both games. It's a whole different experience playing with them and it feels like I'm taking a time machine back to the year 1953 when I play this game. (I can play the conventional flippers on the Paul Bunyan if I miss them)

This is like a combination bingo/pinball machine where the goal is to get the balls in matching numbers or in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Grand Champion trap holes to win multiple replays.

Let me know if any of you would like pictures or videos showing how the game plays.

#69 7 months ago

I would like to see a more complete video of the game play and rules.

#70 7 months ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

I'll probably keep the impulse flippers on both games. It's a whole different experience playing with them and it feels like I'm taking a time machine back to the year 1953 when I play this game. (I can play the conventional flippers on the Paul Bunyan if I miss them)
This is like a combination bingo/pinball machine where the goal is to get the balls in matching numbers or in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Grand Champion trap holes to win multiple replays.
Let me know if any of you would like pictures or videos showing how the game plays.

Good for you resisting the urge to go with non-original flippers. I disagree with this approach, since it changes the game too much...in my opinion of course, which DOESN'T appear to be a popular one...LOL - so be it - I'm used to it.. The impulse flippers are tough to get good with, but you can do it...and it's very satisfying to do so.

The impulse flippers are a steep curve, but isn't that a first impression type problem? Like when a SS player tries an EM, or EM guy tries a woodrail...isn't one of the first complaints "It's too slow", without really giving it a chance? I think the impulse flippers often fall into this same trap...

On my 1950 Wlms Sweetheart, that I've played for quite a while now and think it's one of my funnest games, I have gotten much better over the years. It's a challenge like anything else...and there are different shots to make with them...you just need the ball to bounce just right...lol - isn't that what's fun about all pin games?

YMMV :0)

#71 7 months ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

I would like to see a more complete video of the game play and rules.

Absolutely. I'll upload a full game video with rules to Youtube as soon as I have the backglass in the game.

The ball in play times are pretty short. The 10 trap holes are MURDER!

Quoted from Stoomer:

Good for you resisting the urge to go with non-original flippers. I disagree with this approach, since it changes the game too much...in my opinion of course, which DOESN'T appear to be a popular one...LOL - so be it - I'm used to it.. The impulse flippers are tough to get good with, but you can do it...and it's very satisfying to do so.

Yeah it's so much fun with the impulse flippers. It's similiar to the pitch and bat games where you have to time the bat to hit the ball except you're using flippers and I'm getting pretty good with them.

I love seeing everything original on this game. It looks like Harry Williams copied the bingo theme with the 5 trap holes.

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#72 7 months ago

Next up is to repair the bad backglass by making a scan of the good glass and printing waterslide decals.

The wrinkles in the triple thick are from using glad wrap to tamp down the lifting paint after coating it with triple thick.

I plan to use a hot knife to cut and scrape away the triple thick in the clear areas first. Apply waterslide decals then triple thick again when I'm satisfied.

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2 months later
#73 4 months ago

Sorry.

I've been playing this game every day making up for having been denied the chance to play a full game on this title for 50 years.

I recorded this video showing the impulse flippers. I was batting at the ball in an attempt to get it into the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Prize or Grand Champion trap holes without launching it past them into the 1-5 trap holes.

The big payoff is getting the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Prize and Grand Champion holes which returns the ball from the Grand Champion hole to you and lights up all 6 side lanes for special. I haven't succeeded in getting all 4 holes yet.

Added 27 days ago:

Corrected video link:

#74 4 months ago

Any good overall pictures of how the games turned out?

#75 4 months ago
Quoted from Gotemwill:

Any good overall pictures of how the games turned out?

What kind of pictures are you thinking of? The games aren't finished yet. I'm planning to play this one while I restore the other one then vice versa.

#76 4 months ago

I'd taken a picture of the play meter when I first got the game and it shows I've played 225 games in almost 3 months since it came back to life.

It has a couple minor issues that should be easily fixes but it's a fun challenging game. I'll post a full gameplay video when I have the backglass in.

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#77 4 months ago

Enough playing.

Time for some attention and TLC that this grand old machine deserves.

Decades of old wax & crud were cleaned off the playfield with Naphtha before polishing it with Blitz.

The playfield has a little planking and paint loss but the One Grand Blitz will protect it until I get a rotisserie built so I can do some touchups with 1-Shot paint.

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#78 4 months ago

Incredible! My vote for one of the best and most unusual themes of all time.

How many of these do you think were in feed/hardware stores back in its time? I bet a few.

#79 4 months ago
Quoted from Gotemwill:

Incredible! My vote for one of the best and most unusual themes of all time.

How many of these do you think were in feed/hardware stores back in its time? I bet a few.

I absolutely love this game. Your strategy changes with each hole made during a 5 ball game.

I wouldn't be surprised. I bought this game from someone about 30 minutes out in the country from Boise, Idaho. It had been in his basement for like 40 years.

#80 4 months ago

Looking great Bruce but looks very lonely in that room-eight more along the wall?

#81 4 months ago
Quoted from wayner:

Looking great Bruce but looks very lonely in that room-eight more along the wall?

You can't see it from the photo but there's a 65 inch LED TV in that half of the basement which is the start of our family area. I could probably add one or two more games. I like them set up at an inviting angle to the wall ready to play with plenty of space between them for walking around and appreciating each game like it was in a museum.

#82 4 months ago
Quoted from Stoomer:

Good for you resisting the urge to go with non-original flippers. I disagree with this approach, since it changes the game too much...in my opinion of course, which DOESN'T appear to be a popular one...LOL - so be it - I'm used to it.. The impulse flippers are tough to get good with, but you can do it...and it's very satisfying to do so.

Impulse flipper saves. Btw, I don't think these flippers and slingshots need to be rebuilt. They're pretty powerful.

#83 4 months ago

That's really niceI would be proud of that one.

#84 4 months ago
Quoted from Classicpinballs:

That's really niceI would be proud of that one.

Thanks. This game is leveled with a 4% incline. (The back levelers are maxed out and front levelers are down as far as I can get them)

It plays fast but I'm concerned about the ball hitting the edges of the trap holes so hard as it rockets across the playfield. Looks like Williams did a good job of reinforcing the edges of these holes.

#85 4 months ago

I noticed the balls I got new from PBR were showing scratches & marks and I can feel them. Will order new ones from PBR tomorrow.

The scratches are probably from the pop bumper rings which were rough and corroded. They've since been smoothed and polished with some steel wool. The pop bumper body and skirt are good. I think a tech replaced them and rebuilt the pops in the past.

IMG_20200711_100144362 (resized).jpg
#86 4 months ago

Yeah, chipped and scratched pinballs will soon wear your playfield out. Personally, I replace pop rings as a matter of course to be safe.

#87 4 months ago

Agreed. I'll replace them as soon as I get this playfield on a rotisserie.

#88 4 months ago

I'm leaving the hole unfilled in memory of the cheater(s) that drilled it years ago so they could get free games by sticking something through the hole and manipulating the rollover.

The route operator plugged it up with a rusty bolt and nut that I've since removed.

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#89 4 months ago

I had to use clamps, wood glue and wood putty to repair and fasten the shadowbox back on the lightbox insert board because it had broken into pieces.

Getting ready here to smooth the front of the lightbox with sandpaper so it doesn't scratch the ink on the backglass when I slide it back in through the top.

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#90 3 months ago

I haven't had a chance to work on the games and Bella, our new 7 week old puppy, is why. Say hi to her long blonde lashes as she naps.

Will work on the games as time permits.

Bella (resized).jpg
2 months later
#91 53 days ago

Progress pictures coming.

Before/after pictures of the wood rails on the backbox. I wanted to clean the wood and preserve the aged patina. I'm very happy with how it turned out.

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2 weeks later
#92 39 days ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

Obscure title I know but this game has great sentimental value to me. It was the first game I bought as a teenager for $30 and it broke my heart to leave it behind when our family moved across the country.[quoted image]

You didn't try to sell it before you left?

Quoted from PinballFever:

This restoration is hard work but very gratifying.
Dollartree containers for soaking parts in Evaporust or CLR.[quoted image]

Is ther anything that you can't find at Dollar Tree?

Quoted from PinballFever:

Novus 1 did a nice job cleaning the Replay score reel. (ISO didn't clean the dirt and grime at all and I'm noting what I used this time because I couldn't remember what I used to clean the reel on the other Replay stepper unit))[quoted image][quoted image]

I saw on another pin project a newer EM that the person used a kids electric toothbrush as a tool to clean the score reels. I never would have thoght of that.

Quoted from bigdog50:

yes - crook could stick a wire (coat hanger) thru there and run up the score by hitting a rollover or whatever was convenient. Get a bunch of replays, hide the wire, then play away for free with your buddies. That why you see the metal side rail that goes down a few inches on early 60's games to thwart this. My favorite was a coat hanger with an L shape bend on the end could be threaded thru the quarter coin slot and into the ball trough and one could flip balls over the gate and have a never ending game. Same concept -- run up replays then hide it while playing for free. A design change blocked this a year or two later. At least these are the stories I heard from some bad people that did this. Not me.

I never knew that. Thanks for sharing that information.

Just a heads up the videos are not working.

Quote: No way. There's something unique and special about playing this game just like it played in the year 1953!

A purist!

1 week later
#93 27 days ago
Quoted from Grayman_EM:

You didn't try to sell it before you left?

It was last minute as we were getting in the car for the airport when my dad told me to leave it outside on the patio.

Quoted from Grayman_EM:

Is ther anything that you can't find at Dollar Tree?

Dollar Tree is the best!

Quoted from Grayman_EM:

Quoted from bigdog50:
yes - crook could stick a wire (coat hanger) thru there and run up the score by hitting a rollover or whatever was convenient. Get a bunch of replays, hide the wire, then play away for free with your buddies. That why you see the metal side rail that goes down a few inches on early 60's games to thwart this. My favorite was a coat hanger with an L shape bend on the end could be threaded thru the quarter coin slot and into the ball trough and one could flip balls over the gate and have a never ending game. Same concept -- run up replays then hide it while playing for free. A design change blocked this a year or two later. At least these are the stories I heard from some bad people that did this. Not me.

More
I never knew that. Thanks for sharing that information.

I left the hole as it is and plan to keep a coat hanger by the game so visitors can have fun cheating my game.

Quoted from Grayman_EM:

Just a heads up the videos are not working.

Fixed. Sorry about that.

Quoted from Grayman_EM:

Quote: No way. There's something unique and special about playing this game just like it played in the year 1953!

A purist!

Harry Williams designed the playfield with the impulse flippers in mind so yeah I think that's the way it was meant to be played.

#94 21 days ago

MUCH better..

11 HOURS of elbow grease - hand sanding the front of the insert and repainting it. The front of the mechanical insert was broken up, glued back together, some of the old lead paint scraped off and and insert repainted with KILZ BUT the front of the insert was so rough and bumpy that I was afraid it would scrape the artwork off the glass. Before and after photos showing the mess it was.123139252_651849012142913_8587249483264022995_n (resized).jpg

I decided to sand the whole mess and do it right. Now the front of the insert is nice & smooth to the touch and level. I've pulled the head off the other game to give it the same treatment.

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#95 21 days ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

I left the hole as it is and plan to keep a coat hanger by the game so visitors can have fun cheating my game.

Hah!

#96 20 days ago

Just got a high score of 3,910,000.

Quoted from PinballFever:

Quoted from pinwiztom:
I would like to see a more complete video of the game play and rules.

What's the best way to record gameplay video showing the backglass and playfield?

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1 week later
#97 11 days ago

Found the missing zero position reset post from the 100,000 Point stepper unit in the cabinet clutter I'd saved. It must have fallen out while the previous owner was playing the game. Will pull the gear and carefully tap it back in on the vise.

Also found broken switch blades with plastic posts on the 100,000 Point unit that I'll have to repair or rebuild with parts from PBR.

Zero position switch blades on the Replay stepper unit are too long to open. Probably a hack job because they're the correct length on the other game.

That's pretty much what's left to fix of the backbox mechanicals.

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#98 5 days ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

I would like to see a more complete video of the game play and rules.

Game play video uploaded. I'll add the rules as soon as I get a chance.

I think this is probably the first Grand Champion game play video published on Youtube.

NOTE: I forgot to put the Point unit lights back in. Will put them back when I pull the insert to put new switch blades in.

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