And so it Begins.
It all started with a Craigslist ad selling several pins for a decent price. Of course by the time I inquired the advertised pins had sold, but there were several other machines in the background so I asked if any others would be available. The seller responded with some titles and prices -- two Stern Nine Balls caught my ear so we worked out a deal that Id take everything (working or not!) for an agreed upon number.
After a two hour one way drive, two hours of talking pinball/dismantling/loading machines, and an hour and a half home (I took a wrong turn on the way there) I pulled in the drive with this haul.
The next day I unloaded everything to see what I had gotten myself into. One machine clearly had a better playfield than the other, but that was all I knew from the outside. Overall the cabinets were in fair to good shape -- stenciling still had good color with no obvious dings, dents, beer, or other liquid damage.
From there it was off with the glass to determine the extent of playfield wear.
Game number one has seen some use:
Game number two looks much better:
A quick wipe down revealed a little more color -- this playfield has potential!
Next I took a peek down deep within. I scored some manuals, an extra lock down bar, a quarter, and a 45 record (Conway Twitty -- Tight Fitting Jeans??!) on the first machine.
The second was a little less interesting -- loose parts in the cash box is never a good sign!
Sadly, someone had their way with the drop down banks on both machines. All have been disassembled except one three bank. I have not done a complete inventory but hope to have at least enough parts to put a working set back together. Someone also removed all the flipper solenoids from both machines. Those should be easy enough to replace though.
On the plus side all the wiring appears to be intact. Sadly the MPU boards have evidence of battery damage -- but that was almost expected. Luckily replacements are available if these cannot be repaired.
At the end of the day I think I have a solid foundation to rebuild one machine -- I feel my biggest challenge will be finding the parts/rebuilding the drop target assemblies. This is my first refurbishing of a pinball machine and while it is mildly intimidating this one seems simple enough to take on with confidence. More to come -- any advice, comments (positive or negative), or thoughts are welcome.