Proper Restoration
  Proper Restoration:

The following is a bit long winded but please read on if buying a pinball machine is something new for you. Start out by thinking about the original market pinball machines were built for. They are complex coin operated machines built for many hours of service to allow the operator of the machine to make money. So for what reasons does an operator stop operating a machine and offer it for sale? Obviously because it's not making enough money any more to justify the time expended. So the question is why isn't it making enough money? The first answer that would occur to most people is that the machine isn't that popular any more so people aren't playing it. Ah but here, in my opinion, is the real heart of the matter: the machine isn't popular anymore because it HASN'T BEEN PROPERLY MAINTAINED! When is the last time you played a pinball on location that didn't have some major problem?

For the first few years the maintenance needed is minimal but the more use a machine gets the more parts can wear out and/or need adjustment. These days operators simply aren't willing to put the time needed into a pinball machine to keep it running in top form. So then they sell it in whatever run down condition it's in at the time and it takes A LOT of time to get these machines back in shape.

Many buyers these days aren't used to purchasing used equipment like this. They think they can comparison price shop based on the title of the machine and maybe a few pictures on Ebay. The most misused word in the pinball repair world is "shopped" or "shopped out". From what I've seen "shopped" can mean anything from a few squirts of Windex to a serious restoration. Unfortunately for the buyer "shopped" usually means the few squirts of Windex versus really spending some time getting the machine back in shape.

What buyer should really be looking for is the quality and extent of work done to get a machine back in shape. A really PROPER RESTORATION takes many hours, many more hours than the average reseller is willing to invest. What the restoration consists of is hard to specifically define as it varies from machine to machine but I think that even the uneducated eye will appreciate at least some of the more obvious work. One of my restorations includes things like 100% new rubber rings, rebuilding of flippers, jet bumpers and slings, cleaning of the overall game including the legs, paint touch up, and the playfield gets polished and waxed usually with all the parts removed to really reach the hard to get at places. All electronics is brought back to 100% functionality.

For the pinball machines I sell I've put in the hours and parts to get them back into the best operating condition I can and I stand behind my work! The big plus for the buyer is that these machines really were built to take MANY hours of use. No matter how much use a machine gets in a home environment it's still a fraction of the use it would see on a street location so a properly restored machine should do very well for a long time with home use only.

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