Wild Wild West - my first mice residence pinball machine

(Topic ID: 211019)

Wild Wild West - my first mice residence pinball machine


By Matesamo

8 months ago



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  • 14 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Stoomer
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#1 8 months ago

I have a friend who does salvage work and property cleaning. He called me yesterday and asked if I was interested in a Wild Wild West pinball machine that he had just removed from a property. He knew I was into pinball so on his way to the dump he swung by my house to show me.

When he opened the back of the trailer I saw a 1969 Gottlieb pinball machine, legs off and the head still attached. As well pulled in out my heart sank, there in the upper left corner of the playfield was the remains of a mouse nest. Ugh.

He explaIned that the house had been a hoarders and they found the machine in one of the bedroom almost completely covered in stuff. He asked if I was still interested and looking at it I could see the plastics were good, combined with the lockbar and decent backglass I still was. I am not one to let a machine get dropped into the dump without a fight so we disconnected the head (and I showed him how to do it if he finds another pinball machine someday) and lugged it into my driveway. He offered to just give it to me but I insisted on giving him $50 for his time and for thinking of me. So he drove off $50 richer and I had a potential mouse habitant in my driveway. What a way to start the week!

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#2 8 months ago

matesamo still a nice find. Did see another Wild Wild West on CL so maybe one day you could get another board. Still worth the $50.00 and your friend will still be on the lookout for you.

#3 8 months ago
Quoted from Grayman_EM:

matesamo still a nice find. Did see another Wild Wild West on CL so maybe one day you could get another board. Still worth the $50.00 and your friend will still be on the lookout for you.

Yes, this is the second pinball machine he has dropped off. The first was a georgeous Cleopatra SS.

#4 8 months ago

Since I didn’t want to bring the machine into my house and I certainly did not want to leave it outside for the night I had to get to work. Disposable gloves and face mask on. Industrial vacuum at the ready. It was go time.

Looking at the back of the head I felt a little better about the machine, it was very clean. There were so lose wires that would need to be re-soldered but nothing beyond the scope of my feeble abilities.

I opened the coin door and jumped back just in case but nothing popped out at me. Another good sign; just inside the coin door it looked like all the score cards and schematics were we’re together and unchewed. Perhaps the mice had a brief stay?

I took off the glass and went to work picking up the remains of what was once a pretty sweet mouse home. No dead mice and very little mouse droppings meant that the feeling in my chest wasn’t a heart attack or gas but rather hope rising about the machine.

After removing all the droppings and giving the entire playfield a good cleaning I was pleasantly surprised to see it suffered no real damage from the mice. Yes!

One last thing to do and one last potential headache, what did the cabinet itself hold? Removing the playfield I did the whole “keep one eye closed so it won’t look so bad” and lifted it up. What I saw was a very clean interior - zero signs of any mice or damage. I went over the playfield and cabinet with the vacuum just to be sure and was satisfied that I now had a mouse residue free pinball machine. There was still cleaning of the playfield to be done of course but I was happy to bring it inside into a better work environment.

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#5 8 months ago

An interesting tidbit: standing the cabinet up on its back revealed some graffiti on the bottom of the cabinet. This game was released in 1969. There were child’s drawings on the bottom of the machine including a pretty sweet sunflower and statements “Robin Bass was here Memorial Day 79” and “Jane Ciancod 5/28/79”

It may be the romantic in me but I kind of like the idea of trying to find these people and get some more history on the machine. It was obviously in a private residence by that point but boy would it be cool to see where this machine was.

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#6 8 months ago

Once Wild Wild West was downstairs I got to work on the obvious issues. Replaced the power cord, soldered the loose wires, cleaned the switches and score reels, etc. The coin door was a mess with a custom wiring job, I rewired it to match the original look with the red start button.

Again, I have to state that I was pleasantly surprised by the general cleanliness of the steppers and switches. I also hit the playfield with some Novus 2 to get some of the wear out and peeled the crumbly yellow rubber set off of the posts. After four hours of cleaning I finally got to the point of actually turning it on.

Taking the traditional deep breath I hit the power button and some of the backglass lights turned on. So far so good. After placing a ball in the kickout hole I hit the credit button and the machine sprung to life.

Initial observations showed the the ball count was not working and the 10/100 points weren’t being scored but otherwise everything looked good. The bottom pop bumpers popped, kick out holes kicked, etc. I noticed that the two top pop bumpers didn’t function and the vari-targets did not score when hit. Hmmm...

The first problem was easy; turns out the top two pop bumpers are passive. They score points but don’t kick the ball when struck. Shows me to check before I stress. The second issue was perplexing me, the vari-targets weren’t scoring or resetting even between players. WTF. Thankfully the IPBDB provided the answer, unlike most games that use the feature Wild Wild West doesn’t score the vari-Target points immediately, you have to get the ball in the kickout hole next to it to “cash out” the points. That is actually a pretty cool idea.

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#7 8 months ago

Back glass looks good with just some flaking but looks like a good players game, once the bumpers, etc are fixed. A really nice $50.00 well spent that will give you many hours of enjoyment.

#8 8 months ago

Nice story! I got a question about game play - GTB made a AAB version of this game called Lariat. I thought maybe yours was a Lariat with the wrong BG, but then I looked at IPDB and saw the other differences between the two game's PFs...mostly point values. So anyways - the WOW on the Lariat PF as the top vari-target value makes sense, but on WWW what happens when you get a WOW? Free game? Mystery score?

Also very nice that the paper was mostly intact - in the original pic I see pieces of the original paperwork envelope - to me this is the worst things mice like to do...shred any original score cards and labels...very happy to read later on that you found them inside. Congrats!

Sean

#9 8 months ago
Quoted from Grayman_EM:

Back glass looks good with just some flaking but looks like a good players game, once the bumpers, etc are fixed. A really nice $50.00 well spent that will give you many hours of enjoyment.

Yes it will. I already have plans for it once it runs its course, I have some friends on a real budget who would love to own a pinball machine. This one is earmarked for them for dirty cheap.

#10 8 months ago
Quoted from Stoomer:

Nice story! I got a question about game play - GTB made a AAB version of this game called Lariat. I thought maybe yours was a Lariat with the wrong BG, but then I looked at IPDB and saw the other differences between the two game's PFs...mostly point values. So anyways - the WOW on the Lariat PF as the top vari-target value makes sense, but on WWW what happens when you get a WOW? Free game? Mystery score?
Also very nice that the paper was mostly intact - in the original pic I see pieces of the original paperwork envelope - to me this is the worst things mice like to do...shred any original score cards and labels...very happy to read later on that you found them inside. Congrats!
Sean

I will check the vari-target scoring when I get time.

I was very surprised to see the paperwork (outside of the envelope) was not touched. Not sure if the mice didn’t live inside long enough or if they just didn’t like the taste of the cardboard.

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#11 8 months ago

I too love the graffiti, the scratch marks of high scores and cigarette burns.....mice turds....not so much!
You did an awesome job on that playing field!
"Make Love Not War"!

Good save!

#12 8 months ago

I wonder how the mice got on the playfield in the first place. I can see them starting a family in the bottom...

#13 8 months ago

I owned that title awhile back. Sold it to make room for Dodge City and Wizard! That was back when I was trying to contain by collection to just one room. Wild Wild West is a fun game. Seldom seen game for sale.

#14 8 months ago
Quoted from mgpasman:

I wonder how the mice got on the playfield in the first place. I can see them starting a family in the bottom...

In my experience, mice always seems to build nests on the PF, especially if it's stored on it's legs. I speculate they like the tight space between the PF and the PF glass. It would then follow that inside the cab is too wide open for their liking - easier for a predator(like your cat! lol) to get to them.

When the games are stored on end, they still prefer that space, and they tend to build nests against the upper ball arch, or under the lower apron. These are slightly better, because they don't run around on the PF surface spreading their filth. See goingincirclez thread on his mouse housed El Dorado. Or this Ship Ahoy I did years ago: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UZoHmsQwJcpcdqw82

Also...the longer those disgusting little critters live on your PF, the worse it will get, since they seem to have no problem using their bed as a toilet, and eventually, a coffin. Fortunately, it seems like the OP's WWW only had it's four legged residents for a short time...unlike my SA and that ED I mentioned.

Sean

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