1990 Bally Pool Sharks (First bits of business)

The lack of posts has not been due to lack of being busy; in fact, just the opposite, I’ve been slammed. But, that’s not a bad thing.

I’ve got a couple boards here at the house from some clients I’m working through, as well as having made a couple service calls this month, but mostly small issues that I didn’t take the time to document.

On the home front, I’m still working through the final touches on the Bobby Orr Power Play machine, and should have have a couple of posts up soon on stuff I’ve done since working on it including some work, recommended modifications and new cap on the solenoid driver board.

In the meantime, I’ve also acquired a 1980 Stern Seawitch which I’ll be going through and fixing up, as well as a 1988 Williams Banzai Run in my personal collection which has a good amount of work to get through to be up to speed. And, just yesterday, I picked up a 1979 Bally KISS and a 1990 Bally Pool Sharks.

KISS and Pool Sharks on the truck before being unloaded

KISS and Pool Sharks on the truck before being unloaded

I started in on some of the surface point issues on Pool Sharks this evening. The game was playable when I got it and very little really that needs to be done, but I still like to go through and make sure everything is up to my standards.

First thing I noticed was that the ground prong was long gone on the AC cord, which is something that should be addressed on any machine. I used up my last three prong replacement connector on it this evening, so I’ll be off to Ace Hardware to restock on those shortly. I have some detailed information on how best to tackle adding on a three-prong connector in the Sorcerer post.

I’d say 85% of machines I come into contact with began their lives on route; meaning, an operator bought the game new and put it on location in a pub, gas station, etc. to make money. Over time, these machines have migrated into home use.

This machine was purchased from a private seller, but retained the common badge of its previous life on route on both the coin door and the backglass. Having an operator’s badge on the coin door doesn’t bother me too much; in fact, I think it kind of adds to the history of the game and lets you know where it came from more or less, but I can’t stand them on the backglass.

A 25-year-old sticker on a piece of glass can be a terrible pain to get off without leaving a

Removing residue with Goo Gone and flour.

Removing residue with Goo Gone and flour.

mess behind. The method I use for best removal is to spray Goo Gone (NOT Goof Off) over the sticker, let it soak for about 5 minutes and then begin peeling up slowly. After the sticker is up, there is usually still a thin layer of glue residue. If you leave the Goo Gone on the glass and add a little normal baking flour to it and rub the flour with your finger over the residue, it’ll get the last of that sticky glue residue off the glass. Wipe up the Goo Gone with a paper towel, clean the glass with your preferred

Finished product -- removed 25-year-old sticker. No residue left!

Finished product — removed 25-year-old sticker. No residue left!

glass cleaner gently and viola, no remnants of that nasty sticker on your nice artwork.

I always check the battery situation on any game for corrosion first thing. This game didn’t have any corrosion on the board, but I noticed some green/blue corrosion beginning on the battery holder, so I cut that sucker off and added a remote pack. If you add a remote pack to your game, make sure to set the pack as far away from the board as possible. If you remote the pack and stick it up over the board or close to the side, it might not do much good in preventing future damage.

Remote pack placed outside the "Danger Zone"

Remote pack placed outside the “Danger Zone”

I lucked out in this Pool Sharks being a Diamond Plated playfield. This was Bally/Williams clearcoat method that didn’t become popular until around 1992. In 1990, only a small percentage of games had the Diamond Plate (which is preferred for extra protection of the playing field artwork). To get a Diamond Plated System 11 game like this is a nice surprise, and this playfield is beautiful. I polished it with Novus 2, added new balls and put down a good, hard layer of wax.

Diamond Plated playfield in really nice shape after polish and wax.

Diamond Plated playfield in really nice shape after polish and wax.

I was able to play a couple games and go through some tests. There are a few bulbs out, a couple bad 555 holders I found, the Talking Shark solenoid is not working in test mode and I noticed a couple switches that need adjustment. All-in-all though, not really that much to go through.

I’ve never played Pool Sharks before buying it, but clocked about 5 games as-is on it tonight. It’s actually a lot of fun! I’m looking forward to getting everything 100% on it. Next steps include: repairing my talking shark, adjustment of switches that need attention, fully LEDing the game (I began tonight with what I had surplus on hand but didn’t get too far), adding super bands on the flippers, adding new drop targets, and tearing down and re-rubbering with white rubbers.


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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