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Game - for sale

For sale: El Dorado

Added: 2020-05-11 23:12:50 UTC • Ended: May 15th, 2020
Condition: Partially restored (almost original)

Linked to game


$ 1,400 (OBO)

Open for offers

If you’re seeking your CQ Grail candidate, move along - this is not the game for you.

If you’re interested in a survivor rescued from the dead, that survived the last pre-Covid pinball show 100% functional throughout, read on:

This game became a Pinside thread 3 years ago when I bid $300 at an auction and won an absolute wreck: the wiring had been chewed by mice and the playfield was thoroughly ruined. Yet the mechs seemed solid so I decided to take one step at a time. I didn't have the tools and knowledge I do now, so there are things I’d do differently today. But I’m proud that it played the entire Louisville Arcade Expo 2020 with no drama.

It’s fun and I appreciate "wedgeheads", but it frustrates me: It says “one more game!” but the right outlane is a black hole. If it’s time to let one go, this one gets the call. I’d rather interested parties have no surprises, so for full disclosure:

Playfield: Repainted by me with letters from custom decals. I kept the worn wagon wheel area for tasteful artistry and historic character; my daughters repainted the horse and cacti. I filled the inserts level; the outlanes' bubbled for some reason, but well below the surface & glitter when lit. Cleared with 3 cans of KBS Diamond Finish aerosol + wet sanded and polished level in Feb 2019. During Expo the screws for the lower pop target posts loosened, so impacts from close shots over hundreds of plays made the posts chip the clear a bit. I discreetly applied mylar under the posts.

GI is a tasteful mix of warm & sunlight 1SMD bulbs. Backbox is a mix including blinkers in the logo. Inserts are warm LEDs.

Apron: printing was ruined, so I experimented w/ wood contact paper and liked the result: hello woodgrain shooter gauge!

Backglass: Nice but obviously not perfect. Originally flaking in a few areas, we practiced touchups and it looks good but we weren’t chasing perfection.

Cabinet: Original w/ patina. We cleaned as best we could but fade and streaks remain. Structurally sound (we’ve moved it a lot!) but shows brittle jointery. Bottom inner edges have chipped. We filled & matched chipped backbox face veneer. After seeing restored “bright white” games, I think the patina fits the theme.

Chrome: decent w/ some rough spots. I resurfaced the rear pf channel with flashing tape. Legs are clean and shiny but oxidized; levelers are gross but game is pitched properly so I left them alone. Coin door was polished to a nice smooth shine but has tarnish. Side rails are nice. (I’ve a set of brown primer legs that might match this game cosmetically if the buyer prefers).

Internals: rat-rod visually but reliable over hundreds (low thousands?) of plays! Score motor lubricated. Bottom panel removed & descuzzed but I left playfield underside alone; metal brackets and fasteners oxidized but do not affect operation. I deliberately wanted to see how well everything would function for how long - it just keeps ticking! Of course, I rebuilt and replaced several things:

> Lower flippers rebuilt w/ new PBR kit; uppers rebuilt w/ best original parts
> Pop, sling, & drop mechs disassembled, cleaned, & rebuilt
> Score reels & count units cleaned & rebuilt / adjusted
> Switches cleaned / rebuilt / replaced / adjusted as needed

More new parts:
> Coin slot inserts & labels
> All pf posts & lane guides
> Flipper bats & buttons
> Plunger
> Wiring as needed
> Rubbers
> Manual from PBR (+ original salvaged schematic)

Game plays 100% as it should: flippers have original coils yet a solid clean shot from lower left to far upper right target reliably knocks it down. Moving drops and lanes score 500/5000 properly. I’ve had to revisit a couple switches a time or two and while that’s "typical pinball", it’s possible one or two may ultimately need replacement. Pops are peppy and loud. Simply put, this game is astonishing considering how it started.

I got it cheap, but arguably overpaid, then spent way more money and uncountable hours of hazmat debugging, rewiring, rebuilding, and restoring to return it to nice playable shape. It's not really restored, but is serviced beyond a mere shop job.

El Dorado is allegedly one of the rare mythical EM’s that can be worth close to $4K in “collector’s” condition. This one is far from that... but is fully functioning with many new parts and a playfield better than most. I have no idea what that's worth so I’m asking $1400. Is that high or low? There’s nothing like it on the market but similar titles (in nicer shape) have sold for significantly more just recently. Educate me, I’m not in this hobby to rip anyone off.

"Before" thread:

I've hit the Character Limit ;) so please PM questions / offers. I might be interested in trades, but cash is probably more sensible.

Item photos

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Listing result

The seller marked this ad as "not sold". The item did not sell through Pinside so there's no listing result.

Item location

Frankfort, KY, US


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