(Topic ID: 252599)

Seeking expert advice for WMS S7 I want to buy

By fixintoplay

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 12 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by slochar
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    There have been 4 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    JL under PF (resized).jpg
    JL PCBs (resized).jpg
    JL coin door (resized).jpg
    JL MPU (resized).jpg

    #1 1 year ago

    I've got 8 years of EM repair and restoration under my belt, but I've decided it's time to try solid state. But, I'm lost at sea on this technology. I'm looking seriously at a Williams JL ('81) with a system 7 that looks terribly intimidating. I can visually assess the machine mechanics, PF and graphics okay, but I would really appreciate a veteran system 7 guru to give a look-see at the 4 internal pics I've managed to get from the seller. It looks very clean overall, and I don't see corrosion from a cursory look, but I have no base of knowledge and could use any help I can get before I take this plunge. BG looks perfect, all game functions, displays and sound work fine, and owner says no battery damage. So it's not a project machine. I'm trying to learn everything I can before I invest in the road trip.

    JL MPU (resized).jpgJL PCBs (resized).jpgJL coin door (resized).jpgJL under PF (resized).jpg
    #2 1 year ago

    As long as it boots and plays, you are in pretty good shape.

    As a first SS, a system 7 is a pretty good place to start. All of the sub-systems (GI, switch matrix, coil drivers, and light matrix) concepts pretty much carry across all Williams machines up through System 11.

    #3 1 year ago

    As system 7's go, that one looks pretty clean an unmolested. If it already plays and runs good, you're well ahead of the curve. Other than the battery holder, which is a good thing, doesn't look like anything was changed or modified. Very original looking.


    #4 1 year ago

    Remote battery holder installed, that's good. Caps on power supply and sound board look original and will want replacing. MPU hasn't been rebuilt (original interconnect and rom sockets), so doing that can't hurt but may not be needed. I don't see anything that would worry me.

    #5 1 year ago

    I knew I came to the right place. Thanks for the feedback! Curious what a new MPU and power supply caps would run me (parts). And would I probably need to replace sockets and/or connectors, too?

    This machine also has two ugly bolts mounted on either side of the coin door, remnants of a past lock bar across it. Wondering if that affects it value? (I know it bothers me.)

    #6 1 year ago

    A new mpu is a few hundred, but you shouldn't need one

    Caps are like $10-20 total. Connectors and sockets another $20 maybe. I wouldn't bother with the connectors until it becomes an issue.

    #7 1 year ago

    All good advice so far. Two other things I would do while you are in the backbox is add fuses to the bridge rectifiers and swap out the 100v display diodes with 91v.

    This thread is invaluable:


    #8 1 year ago

    One more potential issue would be the resistors for the lamp column drive in the lower right corner of the driver board. Looks like one has been replaced already. After 40 years of heat-cycling, those are usually in pretty rough shape.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from yendor0:One more potential issue would be the resistors for the lamp column drive in the lower right corner of the driver board. Looks like one has been replaced already. After 40 years of heat-cycling, those are usually in pretty rough shape.

    Never saw that one. Good eagle eye!

    #10 1 year ago

    This will put the old adage "there are no dumb questions" to the test.

    I will have to disassemble the JL I'm buying at pickup. I'm guessing -- but don't want to assume -- that it comes apart like earlier Williams EM machines? Back box bolted to cab, cables disconnected from inside, etc. I've moved countless EMs.

    Also, if someone could confirm the unassembled machine dimensions, I'll know in advance that it fits into a new CRV. My last Williams EM is long gone, but JL looks like it's roughly the same size as the two 70s Ballys I have: BB is 30x28x10; Cab is 22x52x16 (approx). Thanks.

    #11 1 year ago

    Head comes off. It's about the same size as an EM head.

    Cab is potentially a bit taller due to the second playfield.

    #12 1 year ago

    When you reassemble it at home make sure you double check all connectors' wiring colors on each side - there's 2 square connectors that can be plugged into each other incorrectly and if this happens, you will blow every 5 volt component on the mpu and driver board. Not a cheap fix.

    They didn't pay a lot of attention at the factory to the colors of the harness plugs, some were black, and some were white, sometimes black goes to black and sometimes black goes to white. Always check the wire colors going into the connector when reassembling.

    I watched someone "helping" out at a show set up someone's Black Knight that was a bargain at $800, but as soon as the connectors were put in incorrectly, that $800 black knight just became a $1200 black knight instead. Every single chip on the mpu board was fried.

    [This is one reason I never let other people set up my games... then I have noone to blame but myself!]

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