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(Topic ID: 123822)

My First Machine!

By Pahuffman

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by kporter946286
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 5 years ago

I finally came home with my first machine today. I've been lurking here for a while, posting now and then, and now I may have something to really contribute. I picked up a Williams Satin Doll for $300 today from a local seller. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but I'm excited to learn about EMs. I'm a young guy (24) and thought I would take on this project to restore to players condition and preserve another beautiful, simple piece of Americana. All of the switches and lights work. The rubbers, new balls, and other must haves are coming in the mail soon, then I will determine I will be making the switch to LEDs soon because I like the look. A couple of questions:

When I start a game it goes directly to the 3rd ball. How do I fix this?
Is there any way to set it to free play?
Anyone have a feed on some plastics or a playfield for this bad girl?
Best way to clean without ruining the artwork?
With moderate mechanical knowledge, how safe is it for me to unpopulate the top of the PF so I can clean?
My inserts are sunk about 1/8 in into the PF. Best way to go about fixing this?

She may not be the hottest girl around, but she plays. Not the most difficult layout ever, but I figured it was a solid buy for my first machine - old enough to be brought back to life but simple and cheap enough to make a few mistakes on.

What are your thoughts, Pinside?


#2 5 years ago

Now, be honest...Have you started thinking about what the next game will be yet?

#3 5 years ago

I'm always thinking about the next one. I have my dream games in my head!

#4 5 years ago

Looks good to me, man! The price and condition will let you work on it without worry. Nice first buy.

#5 5 years ago

Looks like it'll clean up great! Did it come with glass and a lockdown bar? It's a pretty basic layout but those four flippers in that configuration look to be fantastic for practicing on. Reminds me a bit of Sharpshooter.

As for your questions:

If it goes straight to ball three I'd guess there is an issue with the reel that tracks balls. It might be damaged, slipping, or in the wrong location. Does it do the same thing for both players? Is the machine set to three or five balls?

Free Play- probably not, some EMs can be jumpered to act like they are on free play and coin up when you hit the start button but I don't know of any that have a setting for that. If the coin mechs are working you can probably just open the door and flick the switch a couple times. Some people install an extra button that does the same thing as the coin switch. You could also just use a cup of quarters, that has something to be said for it.

Plastics and playfield are going to be really tough. Most of the time with EMs you're going to be better off getting the playfield touched up than finding a replacement. Plastics would probably be a one-off from scans of someone else's that are in good condition. You could post a want ad on the marketplace though.

Cleaning- I don't know there, haven't done it myself but there are some other threads on it. The paint isn't flaking or rubbing off, is it? I wouldn't use anything abrasive like Novus or magic eraser to start with. Try a damp microfiber cloth before anything else.

Depopulating- With that layout, you really shouldn't have to if all you're going to do is clean it. You're going to spend hours just getting the pop bumpers in and out the first time. Remove the plastics and you should be able to get most places that need to be gotten to. Also, if it's all working now just keep in mind that it might not all work when you tear it down and then reconnect everything.

Also, welcome to the club! I feel like there are more and more people in their mid-20s picking up machines, maybe it's just me. I guess that makes two of us, at least. Three if I count the other guy I know around here.

#6 5 years ago

Good luck with your project. Very satisfying to bring these beauties back from the dead!!

#7 5 years ago

A couple of questions:
When I start a game it goes directly to the 3rd ball. How do I fix this?
Welcome to the club! As far as the unit going to ball three, it could be the ball count stepper
in the back box. Look to see if its bound up with old grease or the spring is broke.

#8 5 years ago

Prepare to be addicted. Congrats!!!!

#9 5 years ago

Congrats on the purchase! You just opened the floodgates, a pre-congrats on your next purchase.

Novus 2 is your friend. I'd also order a ring kit, a few new pinballs, and new hardware for the legs (I'd bet those levelers and bolts are rusty). Take your time when cleaning and reassembling, and watch (listen) for stuck switches after (or you could burn out a coil).

You'll learn a lot, and have fun too!

#10 5 years ago

Quoted from Pahuffman:

I finally came home with my first machine today.

#11 5 years ago

Thank you for all of the support! This has to be one of the most positive forums on the net (depending on which thread you open!).

Quoted from Law:

Did it come with glass and a lockdown bar?

Yep! I just took it off for the pictures. Everything was included and working. Some switches need to be adjusted and it looks like it hasn't been cleaned since the 70s.

Quoted from Law:

The paint isn't flaking or rubbing off, is it?

The paint has held up pretty well, but it's really dirty. I lightly rubbed off the surface dust with a microfiber towel, but it didn't do much to bring the colors back out again. Would it be okay to use Windex on the playfield surface? I know you're not supposed to use it on plastics.

#12 5 years ago

Welcome to the obsession

#13 5 years ago

Congrats & Welcome!
I was in the same boat as you not too long ago, great hobby and great site to help you out.

I've heard Windex works well to help cleanup the cab, pick a spot towards the back and test out some different options to see how it goes.

Go slow, fix what you can, post questions about the rest, and see what you can do to get it playable. Every issue will teach you a little bit more, and if you give good descriptions in your questions you get good help. Don't be afraid to post pics or video to help the helpers.

Post some closer up pics of the backglass and playfield, both look decent at a glance.


#14 5 years ago
Quoted from Pahuffman:

This has to be one of the most positive forums on the net

#15 5 years ago

I will post some more pictures when I get home. The playfield looks pretty decent, I guess, but definitely needs a lot of work. One plastic is broken, and I'm not sure I'll ever see a replacement. A lot of the blue on the backglass has worn off, but it gives the woman's dress almost a sparkly look.

Maybe I can sneak off from work a little early to get working!

#16 5 years ago

This is a good start .... Vids guides are the Gospel... Check them all out.

#17 5 years ago

awesome! that is a great way to start, looking to get my first table myself. After all the ads for multi-thousand $ games, it sounds incredible to find one in good shape sub-$500. Well done!

#18 5 years ago

Congrats! I paid $300 for my first pin two years ago and it was not 100% working either (and still isn't!). Since then I have acquired an additional 12 pins within my first 18mo in the hobby. Be careful!

#19 5 years ago


#20 5 years ago

read a few times and you'll be on your way

congrats on your first game

#21 5 years ago

You forgot to plug it in judging by the first photo.

Congrats on number one, time to buy number 2

#22 5 years ago

Warning.....inverse relationship to # of machines vs. wife-o-meter-happiness-scale. Just keep this in mind. There have been several on these boards that have chosen their pin collection over their spouse

#23 5 years ago

I got some more pictures of the backglass and playfield. There's a picture of where the lower plastic is broken too. I started leveling the inserts and adjusting some switches already. This thing needs a lot of work just to be playable. It's amazing how someone let it get in this condition. Is there an easy way to get underneath the playfield without disconnecting every wire? Is it possible to remove the playfield in an EM that way?

IMG_0024.jpg IMG_0023.jpg IMG_0022.jpg IMG_0021.jpg IMG_0020.jpg IMG_0019.jpg IMG_0018.jpg
#24 5 years ago

Nice! When you said broken plastics I figured you meant the art. For that lower guide plastic you could probably just trace it out on something you pick up at a hardware store and cut it by hand. That or just get some plastic glue and weld it together. It's not something you'll see at all while playing. Those pop bumper caps look really nice and I bet those would be the hardest thing to replace.

Definitely get some new rubbers and balls! Old balls with scratches or corrosion will chew up your playfield quick.

Try grabbing the playfield under the apron near the drain and lifting - you should be able to get it out although not all playfields have rails or a pivot point. You shouldn't have to disconnect anything as far as I know. I haven't worked on any EMs myself though.

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from Law:

Try grabbing the playfield under the apron near the drain and lifting - you should be able to get it out although not all playfields have rails or a pivot point. You shouldn't have to disconnect anything as far as I know. I haven't worked on any EMs myself though.

What Law said,
You should be able to lift up by the apron where the ball drains. Playfield should lift up from the front, and you should see a bar to prop it on at the inside right of the cabinet. On the underside of the playfield you will see partial holes where you can position that prop bar to support it in a 45 degree position or so. Make sure it's secure, and MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE THE BALL FIRST! Otherwise it can roll back and bounce into the backglass, not a good thing!

Be also careful because sometimes the aprons aren't screwed on well and can be lose, so lift gently at first.

When bringing it back down be careful as well not to slam it. On a couple of my machines the return fit is snug, and I have to jiggle it a bit to get it to sit nice and flat again.

Demo below, newer machine but works similar:

#26 5 years ago

So do you think someone should tell her not to use the prop rod ? Puts way to much stress on the playfield !

#27 5 years ago

HELP: I have cleaned the game as best as i can for now. Top of PF stripped, Novus 1 and 2 applied, meguires wax applied, really just a good cleaning. A couple of notes:

1. Novus is the best thing to ever happen to pinball
2. The game is way fun than I expected, and I'm falling in love with EMs

PROBLEM: when I hit start again after having started a game (in attempt to start a 2 player game) it just resets again to another 1 player game. Is this a stuck relay? If so, can someone provide me a picture where i can see it?

I feel really proud that I saved this game from being eventually destroyed from poor ownership. I have everyone on this forum to thank for that. This place really made me care for pinball and the pinball community. Its really strange, but pinball has become an important part of my life for reasons i can't quite explain. I didn't grow up in arcades, none of my college buddies play, and I basically came upon it by myself. Dont worry though. Im introducing my friends, my buddy and i worked all night to get this running again, and he seemed to really enjoy it.

#28 5 years ago

You probably should post the above question in the EM area on the forum you will have better luck with getting an answer ....

#29 5 years ago that for sure...those guys really know their stuff!

#30 5 years ago

And make your first investment and buy a nice soldering iron and sucker. Your going to need it

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from kporter946286:

And make your first investment and buy a nice soldering iron and sucker. Your going to need it

Why would he need a lollypop??

#32 5 years ago

Nothing goes together like soldering and Dum-Dum's!!! I especially love Mystery flavor

#33 5 years ago

also put in your header My First machine is an EM...the guys will flock here...

#34 5 years ago

Congrats on the pin!! They multiply.

On the topic of Satin. Some moron wrote "Hail Satin" on the side of a church near here not long ago. 666 thread count is really soft!!

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from Hougie:

666 thread count is really soft!!

666 the number of the thread!!! Satin and Lace is being woven tonight! (Sung to the tune of IM #of B)

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