What happened to the Earthquaked Earthshaker pinball?

Over the years, probably one of the most asked questions I’ve gotten from people is, “Whatever happened to that Earthshaker you were working on?”

People are referring to this video series: Williams Pinball Earthshaker Looks Like It was in an actual Earthquake!

I picked up this game nine years ago. Pulled it out of a filthy house where the game had sat for years, no legs, no glass, non-operational, in a house full of cats. The game looks like it has numerous things living in it, and the cabinet became a cat scratching post.

The more I looked at it, the more problems I found. The game had been monkeyed with in more ways than I’d seen with any other machine. Nonetheless, I managed to actually, finally get the game to boot up, but it was so horribly mangled in so many ways, it would take years to acquire the necessary parts at reasonable prices, so I stored the game and would pick up parts here and there over the years, hoping one day to restore the game.

Last year a friend inquired about the game and I realized, I didn’t have the time any time soon to tackle this project. I had so much going on I decided to sell it to a friend who I knew would invest the time needed to bring this treasure back. So I gave him all the parts I’d collected, including original cabinet artwork that I got from Gene Cunningham of Illinois Pinball.

The other day, my buddy Josh contacted me to let me know he had finished the restoration and if he could bring the game to the PinChurch to share with others. I jumped at the chance to see what progress had been made with the game, and share with everybody else.

Before I show you the AFTER, take a look at these two BEFORE videos:

You can find more details on the repairs and early restoration here.

Here’s a video of the restored Earthshaker – check it out – amazing work!

Here are some pictures:

Pinball Stories #22: A Very Special Prototype from a Special Person

Sometimes an opportunity comes along that is really special, and you’re reminded of how awesome people in the pinball community can be. Here’s one such story.

Sound designer extraordinaire Chris Granner donates his personal prototype Taxi to the PinChurch

Pinball Stories #8: I have to move that from where?

If you’ve been doing this for awhile, you’ll eventually run into your first set of “killer stairs” and vow you never want to go through that again. Also, the next time you ask a friend to help you pick up a game, they’ll suddenly have something much more important to do, like get their back waxed.

Replacing a DMD on Williams Slugfest Pitch and Bat game

I’ve had this game sitting around for awhile and finally got around to looking at it. I shot a few videos awhile back and forgot to publish them, so here’s a useful short video on how to access the DMD in Slugfest. It’s nowhere near as easy as you’d expect as it is in a regular pinball machine.

eBay Impulse Buy? Willliams Love Bug Caveat Emptor?

This is a story about an impulse buy off eBay for a pinball machine. It perhaps may be a cautionary tale of how sellers can hide the true condition of a machine. This also explains why it’s important to really “low ball” unknown sellers of games. There’s a very good chance what you see and what you get are two different things… here is my story of an eBay purchase of a Williams Love Bug (the add-a-ball version of Williams Doodle Bug).

Securing and adjusting stand-up targets and their leaf switches

On many games such as this Theater of Magic, there are stand-up targets in the middle of the playfield that take a constant beating from the ball. The switch blades in these targets, as well as the entire assembly will often get bent out of position and stop registering. I demonstrate how to use a simple tool to fix the leaf switch blades and put them back into position, as well as some other techniques for making sure the targets are solidly-attached to the playfield.

Stand-up targets have changed very little over the decades so this technique works on both old and new pinball machines.

Pinball Flipper Tune-Up: replacing bushings

If you have a wobbly-feeling pinball flipper, there’s a good chance the bushing is either worn or broken. In this two-part video I go over how to remove the flipper assembly and replace the bushings so you can get nice, snappy, flipper action.

This general technique applies to most flipper assemblies with only a few minor detail changes. Some bushings were screwed into the flipper assembly (especially with Gottliebs) and others were connect to the flipper assembly plates themselves (as in later WPC games).