Shop Log: 1996 Williams Junk Yard (WPC-95)

Junk Yard when it first arrived in the house.

Junk Yard when it first arrived in the house.

Picked this one up for the personal collection a couple weeks ago from an operator in Asheville, NC. Overall, it was in pretty good shape, but I’ve been dialing it in and bringing it up to my picky standards.

Nothing really major wrong with the game from a playability perspective, just a lot of adjustments, cleaning up and I wanted to convert to LED lamps throughout. There were two switches not registering properly, one up near the magic bus on the upper ramp and the other at the entrance to the dog house.

After years of use, these little microswitches can get bent to staying in the closed position at all times, not closing all the way or being mangled to where a ball won’t travel over or under properly. 95% of the time there is nothing physically wrong with the microswitch, the blade just needs to be adjusted for consistency, though finding the right “sweet spot” can take several attempts sometimes. For both of these switches, it was just minor adjustments.

The game when I got it had all incandescent lamps in it, and unless you buy a game from a collector, the likelihood of a game having anything other than this is slim. I prefer the look of LEDs personally, though it’s not for everyone. Even for me, there can be what I call “too much” with an LED scheme. I don’t want it to look like a Christmas tree or blind people when they walk up to the machine, so I try to do what I consider a tasteful design when LEDing a game. I also like that LEDs run cooler and draw less amperage than incandescent lamps, which is less stress on the boards and reduced chance of heat damage on inserts or plastics.

I’ve tried all the major LED suppliers in the past, and my go-to LED supplier is Comet Pinball (www.cometpinball.com). Art, the owner, is a great guy and his pricing, selection and customer service are the best in my book.

Completed LED conversion on Junk Yard Pinball Machine.

Completed LED conversion on Junk Yard Pinball Machine.

With most games I bring into my personal collection, I do a full tear down shop job on them. For this Junk Yard, however, the game had been “shopped”, just not quite to where I like it. So, all the white rubbers are in good shape, but it could use a little cleaning up around the edges. Since full tear down shops take a lot of time and this one was about 80% the way there, I just did a light clean up on it and waxed to protect the field for future play. I usually try to wax my games every 125-175 plays.

Like all Junk Yards, the wrecking ball plastic was cracked on this one, which I have ordered a replacement from Little Shop of Games. It also had one other broken plastic near the Jackpot hole that I was lucky enough to find an NOS (new old stock) replacement from Australia. I’ve also got the auto plunger bracket on order as the original had worn and sags, causing the shooter rod to not fire perfectly.

As soon as the last of my orders is in, this game will be 100% done and good to hit the line up. I’ve already got a sale pending on a 1995 Who Dunnit, who’s place Junk Yard will assume.

 

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About Matthew Mandarano

Matthew is a cinematographer and video specialist by day and pinball fanatic at night. Somewhere in between he also finds time to play the guitar, collect vinyl records and watch a good deal of movies and TV shows.
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