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Thread: Bought my first pinball today

  1. #1
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    Default Bought my first pinball today

    I happen to run across a craigslist ad for a pinball machine for $150 locally. The ad had no pictures and only said it was a Chicago Coin game. I went to out to take a look today and found a great looking "Cinema," an '76 EM game.

    So I ask if it works and he tells me it did the last time he tried it. We plugged it in, and nothing. I ask him if he will take any less since it doesn't power up and he volunteers to sell it as is for $100. So of course I load it up and take it home.

    Fun part is, I get it home, plug it in, and it powers up just fine. I guess the guy should make sure he uses a good outlet next time.

    Of course the game does have an issue right off the bat, it doesn't reset the game after I power it up. My first task though will be to drill out the locks as he didn't have the keys. If anyone has done this before and has some tips I'd be glad to hear.

    Here are a couple quick pics, I'll post more as the project progresses. I am extremely excited to get this playing


  2. #2
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    ALRIGHT! Good find and a great price. EMs are dead easy to work on, most problems are easily isolated because despite the wiring and appearance of complexity they all pretty much work the same and all pretty much fail the same.

    Meet your new best friend: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index.htm

    And start here: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index2.htm#reset

    And look out for operator or previous owner "fixes" that deviate from stock. I have seen some real shady fix attempts on EMs that once undone reveal the very easy to fix real problem.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info, I'll read up on it. I am hoping that it isn't too hacked on, as the guy I bought it off of said it came with his house that he moved into 20 something years ago. He told me he had a guy that would shop it every so often, so let's hope he wasn't just a poser.

    I've found that I can order the schematics, so once I get it open and take a look I will be ordering that along with some parts and cleaners to get started. Any tips on drilling out the lock? Never done it before, but it doesn't sound complicated.

    I have to owe this to you guys, as pinball wasn't even on my radar before starting to listen to the podcast.

  4. #4
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    Grab this manual: http://www.ipdb.org/files/513/CC_Cin...ts_Catalog.pdf

    We have given this fellow credit before for doing some really good articles and videos, all you ever wanted to know about opening locks on games is right here: http://www.arcaderepairtips.com/2009...oin-door-lock/

    On many games though, I have this screwdriver with a flat sided shaft that a wrench will fit on. I usually slip that into the lock and then twist with a wrench and it complies. Sometimes you have to drill though which takes minutes rather than seconds, but not a big deal.
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  5. #5
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    This looks absolutely amazing!! Congrats!! I am really striving to find one locally since the shipping would be outrageous. Lucky you, it powered up fine, what a deal!! It looks amazing, good luck fixing the one problem you got. Congrats again, you really gave me the fever to start looking harder!!

  6. #6
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    Lots of auctions in the NC and TN area, not an impossible drive to make. http://auctiongamesales.com/AUCTIONDATES.htm
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolverine19 View Post
    This looks absolutely amazing!! Congrats!! I am really striving to find one locally since the shipping would be outrageous. Lucky you, it powered up fine, what a deal!! It looks amazing, good luck fixing the one problem you got. Congrats again, you really gave me the fever to start looking harder!!
    I'd recommend scouring Craigslist in your area daily. I've been on the look out for a reasonably priced one for months before I found this one. On a side note I saw a post for a Medieval Madness for $1500 a little while ago... unfortunately I missed on that one. Must have sold it really fast as I never got a reply, or they found out it sells for more and took it down.

  8. #8

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    Welcome to the club. I got my first pinball just under six weeks ago. I've had three pinball nights so far, having friends or neighbors over to play. Just last week I was finally able to clean up a portion of the playfield with Novus. What an incredible difference that makes. I'm hoping to remove the playfield parts and do a thorough cleaning this weekend. Fully EM machines sound scary. Just from looking under the table of mine I can't imagine tracing all those wires. But if Scott says their easy to work on I'll take his word for it. He helped me diagnose the issue my game had. I could have replaced the power module for $110 plus shipping. Instead it was a little extra troubleshooting and about $3 worth of diodes from Radio Shack and a little soldering. The satisfaction of fixing it myself far outweighed the extra effort in troubleshooting. Good luck on your project.

  9. #9
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    I'm jealous, I want an EM.
    Before you insult a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you insult him, you'll be a mile away, and have his shoes.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by miner2049er View Post
    I'm jealous, I want an EM.
    You're more than welcome to visit me in Indiana and play to your hearts content.

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