Got a message from a customer wondering if I would work on a 1957 Williams Kings pinball machine. I have done some other Williams machines (Apollo, Pat Hand, Klondike), but not this old. The owner had it when he was a boy, and hasn’t worked for more than 30 years and wanted it back up and running. The owner did mention that something was cut out of the game, but they still had the part. This ended up being the 10K and 100K relays. My first thought on the game was going to need a lot to get back up and running. I started with the bottom panel, moved to the backbox, and finally the playfield.
Removing the bottom panel from the game makes it easier to service. The power cord along with the knocker cord both needed replaced. I found loose wires on some of the relay coils and a hack going to the Jones plugs to the lamp fuse. By cleaning up the hack, I was now able to remove the Jones plugs. I went through all relays along with the score motor switches. After completing these steps, I went ahead and moved to the backbox.
There was 10K, 100K, and credit stepper units that all needed cleaned and rebuilt. I added the 10K and 100K relays back to the game and cleaned and adjusted any other switches on the relays. The next step was to plug in the game and see if it would at least restart, and it did. I had to adjust a couple switches and fix a couple minor issues, but the game was showing life after 30 years of sitting. With the game starting to reset, I went ahead and installed the playfield.
The game has 3 stepper units for the Jacks, Queens, and Kings. I started by cleaning and rebuilding these stepper units. One of these steppers units make a cameo in the course that I created for EM machines. I went ahead and went through all switches and cleaned and adjusted where needed. The last step was cleaning the playfield, order new targets and plastics, rebuilt the pop bumpers and flippers, got all the lights working correctly, and finally waxing and playing the game! If you happen to need some photos of the game, please contact me. I have over 150 of them!
The 1957 Williams Kings pinball machine looks really nice and plays just as well as it looks. This game needed quite a bit, and glad to get it back up and running! Here’s a short video of the gameplay along with some more information about the repairs at the end of the video.