(Topic ID: 86781)

So a WhiteWater came up on Houston Craigslist


By PMcGee

5 years ago



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  • 59 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by judremy
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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161 - crater in front of VUK.jpg
159 - novus 2 playfield detail.jpg
134 - upper playfield.jpg
155 - playfield after novus 2 first pass.jpg
133 - playfield mostly cleared.jpg
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There are 59 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 5 years ago

Saturday afternoon I came in from working in the yard, ready to head out for lunch somewhere. Did my OCD thing of sitting down and searching "pinball" on Craigslist, and this ad popped up.

Pinball Machine - Whitewater by Williams - $1100 (West Houston). Posted one hour ago.

First thought - one of the (at) google scam spam emails. So I pulled up the ad and it looked legit. There was a phone number listed to contact him. I called it, still expecting a scam at worst, or to hear that it was already gone at best.

craigslist ad.jpg
#2 5 years ago

A lot of people were talking about it yesterday. I haven't heard if anyone picked it up or if it was a scam, though. Just sold mine. It's a fun game when it's all cleaned up

#3 5 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

A lot of people were talking about it yesterday. I haven't heard if anyone picked it up or if it was a scam, though. Just sold mine. It's a fun game when it's all cleaned up

I kept watching Pinside to see if anything came up about it.

The seller answered when we called. Somehow, I was the first caller. He bought the pin 10 years ago for his kids and put it under the porch on his patio by the pool. He said it used to work (I said I will take it). He said the kids used to play it all the time (I said I will take it). He said that a tech came out and told him for $800 he could fix it up good as new (I said I will take it). He finally heard me - when do you want to pick it up, today or tomorrow. I said in one hour. I knew what was coming.

We hit the ATM and started on the 45 minute drive. Ran into road work so had to detour and were running a little late. Gave him a call to let him know we were still coming. By the time we got to the seller, he had fielded a dozen other calls. He said people called from all over Texas, offering more money, sight unseen. The highest offer he got was $2,000. But he waited for us to get there.

We walked through his house to the back patio and there it sat in all its glory. Rusty legs, rusty coin door. Dead insects on the play field. Saggy bottom panel. Deteriorated rubber rings. Faded topper in a slightly cracked tub. Cabinet was not too badly faded, considering it had been outside for 10 years. He turned it on and opened the door and pushed a few buttons (like they always do). DMD lit up with the FACTORY RESET screen. Nothing else. He said it had started a game earlier, so he was not sure what was up. I told him probably exploded batteries in the backbox. I asked did he have a key for the backbox. Key - you mean that opens? So for 10 years, no batteries replaced, no balls replaced, no bands replaced.

Loaded it up (hearing you know if you had been 30 minutes later I would have sold this for $2,000 to someone else, don't you) and took it home. But he never asked us for more money. We had to drive with the head up - couldn't get into the backbox - so protected the topper with duct tape and a cardboard box and headed back to East BFE.

#4 5 years ago

We got home with it, giggling like schoolgirls the whole way. Unloaded it into the garage and started looking at it more closely.

I removed the very rusted lock on the backbox, took out the translite and opened it up. I saw a dark mass of something coming over the top of the light panel from behind and thought oh my god look at that battery corrosion.
DSC06077.JPGOpened it up further and found this.
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Good. Not a mound of corrosion, but a mud dauber's nest made from very expensive West Houston soil. Thought - look at the unchanged batteries.
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Lucky day for me - not much damage.
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#5 5 years ago

not bad!

#6 5 years ago

Sweet score, dream of finds like this!

#7 5 years ago

Nice score! Congrats!

#8 5 years ago

Grats on the pickup. That head looks great for being outside that long. Looking forward to seeing the PF pics

#9 5 years ago

Looking it over, the only thing that jumped out at my untrained eyes was the crispy connector at J120. I put batteries in and turned it on. Got the same screen from when the owner turned it on. I realized he had put it into test mode when he opened the front and started pushing buttons. I got it to start up a game, and it kicked a very rusty ball (1 of 3) into the shooter lane. I decided to go into Test mode and check things out. The only issues were Whirlpool flasher was not working, and GI for upper playfield and backbox boat and sky were out. Maybe something to do that that J120 connector. DSC06099.JPG

#10 5 years ago

Wohoo! easy fix! This thread is awesome. It's almost a repeat of the story of my WH2O, mine was just not outside

#11 5 years ago

I WANT A WH20 and I would pay upwards of double what you did haha, congrats on the find.

#12 5 years ago

Playfield is diamond coated. I noticed a couple of broken plastics, but not much else wrong.
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photo of inside before opening the hood
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Rusty legs and bolts, last tax sticker, manufacture sticker
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#13 5 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

I WANT A WH20 and I would pay upwards of double what you did haha, congrats on the find.

Quoted from jwo825:

Wohoo! easy fix! This thread is awesome. It's almost a repeat of the story of my WH2O, mine was just not outside

Thanks - Joystix had one a couple years ago for $2,600 I think, right before the prices skyrocketed. We thought that was too much, and had remorse ever since. We thought we were done buying DMD games for now, until the bubble bursts. I think this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime scores.

Anybody in Southeast Texas recollect Viper Pitt? Nothing to be found on Google.
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#14 5 years ago

looks like you've also got the typical wear spot where the ball is kicked out of the mine. If you're going to do a full shop job, i'd recommend touching up and reclearing that spot while you have the upper PF bare. Once bare wood can be seen, that divot can grow quickly

#15 5 years ago

I just logged on and this is the first thread I clicked on. LOVE IT BRO!!! Congrats and thumbs up on the AWESOME find! This makes my whole day and thanks for sharing.

Can't wait to see more pics and hear that everything is mostly fine.

#16 5 years ago

A real good WH2O is going for around $3500 right now. CQ machines i've seen listed over 4K, but I don't know what they're selling for.

#17 5 years ago

Nice score....playfield looks pretty good overall

#18 5 years ago

What a great find.... The week i stop looking, then theres a deal. Go figure...

#19 5 years ago

Congrats, great find!

#20 5 years ago

I have never done any board repairs and don't want to wait to see if I am capable. I decided to go ahead and buy a new Rottendog board. I will have this old board to practice on - repinning and replacing that burned out socket on the board. Placed an order with Great Plains for parts and tools to fix the burned connector. Also ordered bands, manual and a complete plastics set from Bay Area to replace the broken whirlpool plastic and right slingshot plastic. Got such a deal on the pin, why not splurge, right?

I took the glass off finally, and raised the playfield. I expected to see lots of rust on switches, but everything was remarkably clean. I didn't see anything dangling or obviously missing. I noticed an envelope way in the back corner of the cabinet. Pulled it out, hoping for paperwork, and there were three NOS replacement plastics - Whirlpool, Bigfoot and right slingshot. Dangit. Should have checked before placing that order.

I am not knowledgeable enough about these things to be able to tell at this point if there is anything else there that is not working properly, or if anything is missing. I have not seen that many WH2O's up close and personally, so I am not sure just how faded is the cabinet or head. I will likely just touch up the blue paint around the head and slide it in between STTNG and TOTAN and let it ride. I worry about taking apart the topside to replace bands and clean, but did TNG recently and it somehow is still working after reassembly. I am not sure if I will document the disassembly, cleaning and reassembly as some have done. I do look forward to working on this what I hope to be easy repair job.

So the myriad EM's in my project pile will just have to wait a little longer.

#21 5 years ago

I think there are 7 pieces of ramp on WH2O. Make sure you take lots of pics when tearing down. I would if I were you as there are a lot of haed to reach spots in the back. You want to get all 10 years of neglect out of the back of that thing or the balls will just be spreading it aroung and ruining your ramps and rubbers.

working on PCBs is a lot easier than you think. You should have given it a try before ordering the Rottendog. Are you going to use the old one for practice or are you considering selling it.

#22 5 years ago

Wow, nice find!. I think I might have the joystix whitewater - I picked one up from Marc at the tpf a couple weeks ago and it had some joystix tokens jammed in the coin return. I paid more than 2600 though, and definitely more than 1100!

#23 5 years ago

Marc is a great guy, my wife and I bought his Orbitor 1 at TPF. His WH2O was in great shape and the colorDMD looked great. Congrats on the buy.

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

looks like you've also got the typical wear spot where the ball is kicked out of the mine. If you're going to do a full shop job, i'd recommend touching up and reclearing that spot while you have the upper PF bare. Once bare wood can be seen, that divot can grow quickly

Thanks - I will look at that and see what needs to be done. It is in a poorly lighted garage right now, and I really have not spent a lot of time going over everything. Good to have extra (sharper) eyes looking at it.

Quoted from Pinfidel:

I just logged on and this is the first thread I clicked on. LOVE IT BRO!!! Congrats and thumbs up on the AWESOME find! This makes my whole day and thanks for sharing.
Can't wait to see more pics and hear that everything is mostly fine.

I started to not even post this - but how can you not boast about it. I am kind of absent-minded - will try to remember to take photos and post them as cleaning progresses. I am really anxious about tearing down the playfield and doing what needs to be done on the underside. It is pretty dirty, and everything needs to be cleaned - who knows where other dirt daubers might have gone. But I don't want to be posting a FS ad for a Whitewater cabinet and bucket of parts in a few months.

Quoted from jwo825:

A real good WH2O is going for around $3500 right now. CQ machines i've seen listed over 4K, but I don't know what they're selling for.

The seller had done some price research online ahead of time, just not enough. I was so happy it didn't turn into an auction when we got there, and that he honored our deal. I think this will be a very nice machine, and I could probably spend the money to redecal, etc. and would still come out ahead if I ever sell it.

#25 5 years ago

Great deal!

#26 5 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

I think there are 7 pieces of ramp on WH2O. Make sure you take lots of pics when tearing down. I would if I were you as there are a lot of haed to reach spots in the back. You want to get all 10 years of neglect out of the back of that thing or the balls will just be spreading it aroung and ruining your ramps and rubbers.
working on PCBs is a lot easier than you think. You should have given it a try before ordering the Rottendog. Are you going to use the old one for practice or are you considering selling it.

I am too "immediate gratification" to wait to see if I can fix it or not. I plan to practice on this board. I have BSD and it uses the same board, and actually has a similar issue. So if I can get one of the two repaired, BSD will benefit.

I am nervous about doing it, but I intend to tear down the topside for sure and clean everything as well as I can. I plan to take photos of every step of the process, number parts and put in ziplocks, etc.

#27 5 years ago

Nice pick up! Looks like it will be a decent pin when you're done cleaning it up..

#28 5 years ago

The tub for the topper has minor cracking, and the decal is faded and wrinkled somewhat after 10 years outside, but it works! The water falls. Impressed the hell out of my 12 year old son.

Quoted from jwo825:

Marc is a great guy, my wife and I bought his Orbitor 1 at TPF. His WH2O was in great shape and the colorDMD looked great. Congrats on the buy.

I have Colordmd in AFM and STTNG. Once WH2O is up and running, I need to order one for it and TOTAN. I really wanted Marc's (think it was his) RFM that was at the Houston Arcade Expo last November but kept my wallet in my pocket.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from PMcGee:

The seller had done some price research online ahead of time, just not enough. I was so happy it didn't turn into an auction when we got there, and that he honored our deal. I think this will be a very nice machine, and I could probably spend the money to redecal, etc. and would still come out ahead if I ever sell it.

I think that price was very good. Paid more for the one I got and I made a little profit when I sold it. WH2O is definitely a sleeper of a game. It has good ball times, great flow, easy shots and very good music/callouts. It's popularity has really taken off in the last few months as well. I talked to at least 5 people at TPF who were looking for it.

I like that this title can still be bought/sold at a reasonable price so that lots of people still have the opprotunity to own it. If you ever get rid of it, you can make some money for your restoration efforts and still give someone a great price on the machine.

#30 5 years ago

Hey PMcGee, I understand your nervousness bro, but don't stress too much about it. You've been a pin owner for awhile and you've no doubt done some pin work throughout your ownership of them. So you know what it will basically entail. Then, YOU KNOW you have a ton of people here on Pinside who are more than willing to help you out with any problem you encounter. So don't stress too much bro, you're gonna do fine and the game is going to come out AWESOME!

Congrats on an amazing deal on an awesome game. Best of luck to ya bro.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

If you ever get rid of it, you can make some money for your restoration efforts and still give someone a great price on the machine.

I said "if I ever sell it" but alas, I am a hoarder. Sold CV, SG and TOM when we moved last year and have regretted it ever since. Especially CV. My son told me yesterday that he might sell this one when he is older, but probably not. He is still peeved about my selling the others. Always told him these are his college fund. As if!

#32 5 years ago

Nice score..congrats!

#33 5 years ago

What a great pickup! Excellent find and great project it seems! I can't believe it was outside for over 10 years! that is CRAZY!

#34 5 years ago

What a great day for you !! Congrats on a very nice score....

And a project.... would not call this a project, just minor work after a torough shop-job

You must have been doing the oke things, if karma kicks this back at you

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from PMcGee:

I have never done any board repairs and don't want to wait to see if I am capable. I decided to go ahead and buy a new Rottendog board. I will have this old board to practice on - repinning and replacing that burned out socket on the board.

Which boards exactly, are you replacing, and frankly, if you're just going to use them for practice, I might be interested in buying them off you, because I *can* fix them properly. I can send you some burned up Data East boards to practice on that definitely are not salvageable by any sane person... way too much acid damage to repair all the tiny traces near the batteries, but have been pulling some resistors/transistors off them when I need a replacement. Perfect for practice boardwork. =P

#36 5 years ago

Too slow. Restore faster. Post more pictures!

#37 5 years ago

Post a thread when you try to fix the boards - Pinside will help. Lots of knowledgable techs here, myself included!

#38 5 years ago

Wow, what a find. Congrats!

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

Too slow. Restore faster. Post more pictures!

That's how I feel. I looked over ramps and subway today, and noticed no cracks, chips or fractures. The subway was much cleaner than I thought it would be. Couple of cracks in the mountains. The more I look the better it seems to be.

Ordered supplies are on their way.

#40 5 years ago

Are your ramps cracked behind the green lock targets. That's a common issue as well. Someone makes metal caps that fit over those areas to protect them. They will also hide minor cracking there

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

Are your ramps cracked behind the green lock targets. That's a common issue as well. Someone makes metal caps that fit over those areas to protect them. They will also hide minor cracking there

Mantis make them. I just installed them and am very happy - hid the cracking and provide ramp protection as well.

#42 5 years ago

What a great buy. Congrats on your WH20, now get going with the cleanup

#43 5 years ago

Start buffing out that rust. Great find there.

#44 5 years ago

Nothing better than a saved beater! Best part of the hobby imo. Great pickup!

#45 5 years ago

Make sure you remove the upper playfield and clean everything. At the very least, you should get a cliffy protector for the divot damage under the bigfoot VUK (top right of the upper playfield under the wireform kickout/kickup).

#46 5 years ago

It's amazing the rust is relatively minor. Our neighbor in Florida back in early 80's had a Bally Freedom (EM) by their pool, it took no time for the chlorine vapors to rust that thing to near pieces.

#47 5 years ago
Quoted from btw75:

Mantis make them. I just installed them and am very happy - hid the cracking and provide ramp protection as well.

Just ordered.

Quoted from jchajon:

What a great buy. Congrats on your WH20, now get going with the cleanup

Getting psyched up and equipped. Hope to start this weekend

.

Quoted from HighSpeed1:It's amazing the rust is relatively minor. Our neighbor in Florida back in early 80's had a Bally Freedom (EM) by their pool, it took no time for the chlorine vapors to rust that thing to near pieces.

This was from a quite swanky home - my whole house would have fit in their great room. The patio overhang was at least 20 feet. Considering it was outside for 10 years, it is not as faded or as rusty as it could have been, considering Houston humidity and pool proximity. Minimal rust inside and topside.

Quoted from dantebean:

Start buffing out that rust. Great find there.

Lightning Rust Remover for the legs

#48 5 years ago

If you're going all out, get the speaker upgrade as well. Sitting next to a DCS machine, the sound was very disappointing. I'd imagine newer machines make it sound even thinner. Good news is, that's the only complaint I had about WH2O. Looking forward to the resto pics!

#49 5 years ago

Nice score!!! And nice to hear the seller honored your deal too... Enjoy

1 week later
#50 5 years ago

I think all of the parts have come in. I started taking most everything off the top yesterday and finished today. I documented 30 steps, with 180 photos, in disassembly, and bagged and tagged screws, etc. as I went. I did a quick clean of the playfield with Novus 2 and am happy with the results, but plan on doing another pass.

I used Novus 2 on the plastic ramps. I found a few fractures and a couple of cracks that I had not noticed prior. They are solid though. I hand-polished the wire ramps and all of the ball guides - anything metal that will shine. They came out nicely.

I plan to start tumbling the metal hardware tonight or tomorrow. Trying to figure out how to keep track of which fasteners go where. Maybe use grid paper and lay everything out according to the step in which it was removed before photographing?

133 - playfield mostly cleared.jpg
155 - playfield after novus 2 first pass.jpg
134 - upper playfield.jpg
159 - novus 2 playfield detail.jpg

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