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).

Repair, don’t replace that broken pinball coil!

Pinball coils (aka solenoids) are windings of insulated copper wire that create electromagnets that make things move on the playfield. If you have a coil that is no longer working, and doesn’t have any obvious signs it has “melted down”, there’s a very good chance you can repair it instead of replacing it. In this video I go over how this is typically done. This works on all types of pinball machines from the EMs to Stern, Bally, Williams, etc.

Diagnosing, repairing and replacing pinball coin door service buttons

In this short video, I go over how to test the coin door service switches, and if faulty, how to replace them.

This is a fairly simple procedure.

If you have a button in the coin door that doesn’t appear to work, the first thing you should do is check to see if any of the wires have broken off or there’s a bad solder joint. This is very common because the coin door is opened and closed quite a lot and things can get snagged on the wires. Always check the wiring to make sure there are no kinks or damage to the wire. In the video I use a multimeter set to continuity to test the integrity of the switches. If the switches seem to work and the wiring is intact, the next thing to check is the continuity between the switches and the connector on the MPU board. If all that checks out, it could be one of the chips on the MPU board that handles the cabinet switches.