May 8, 2007
Here's a wonderful example of a William's Suspense pinball machine. It was in a wood shop and was coated with sawdust. The backglass is average with some flaking. The playfield is also average as is the cabinet. Every one of these I've seen has two black burn spots on the lower playfield spinner plastic. This is one of those oddball machines with 4 flippers - 2 opposing. I'll be getting to this later this year.
William's Suspense Pinball Machine - IPDB link
This machine took some time to complete. Mainly because I lost interest for a about a year. It was completed just before Christmas and I'm just now posting the page. Funny how we lose interest in things..
The restoration / repair / whatever too the typical 40-50 hours. Looks like I forgot to clean the door. Nothing particularly interesting during this job - full disassembly, cleaning, and waxing. The machine sat in, I think, a wood shop with the glass off so it was full of dust/sawdust of some sort. Note the two black burn spots near the spinning wheel. This shows up in EVERY Suspense I've ever seen. The bulbs there are too close and burn too hot. This game is unique in that is has four flippers - two sets of opposing flippers - large and small. The left button controls the small left flipper and BOTH center red flippers. The right button controls the right small flipper and BOTH center red flippers. Lots of flipping things going on here. You'd think play would be easy but it's hard to keep the ball in play - it seems to always find it's way around the small flippers.
This may look like a disaster to some folks but this is what I hope to find in the field. The playfield has reasonable wear (under the dust) and good color as does the backglass. All the parts are intact. Here's a shot of the machine disassembled. I ran a new power cord and grounded the coin door. The mechanics were very clean - I did clean all contacts with a burnishing tool and checked alignment. Inside the cabinet was just full of that woodshop stuff.
In the backbox the only real issue was the chimes - the large chime was missing the pieces to hold it in place. I had to make something using a coat hanger and a piece of flat steel. Kinda straight forward. I love the sound of these big old xylophone chimes.
Here's the credit counter. I fully disassembled and cleaned it along with all the score reels and other stepper systems in the head.
Here's a shot of the front of the head. I changed all the bulbs and cleaned all the sockets. Some sockets needed to be soldered for reliability.
Here's a couple of shots of the playfield in various states of disassembly and cleaning. Note the warped plastic. This is easily flattened with a hair dryer / hot air gun. There's some wood grain splitting going on. All normal stuff. I cleaned the playfield with the Greased Lightning - again, no problem - not like that darn Gottlieb Airport. Funny thing - I got an email from another person who did the EXACT SAME THING to their Airport. Must be something in the screen printing process used by Gottlieb during that era.
Stripped and cleaning in process. Looks how nice it looks. That's a Magick Eraser - everyone I know uses these for everything. What a universal invention. I just got a call from someone selling a 'Blue Chip' - I got excited until I found out it was a bingo machine. Yeck!.. Nightmare machines strictly for gambling.
And the gratuitous scorereel shot - clean and check..