Williams Klondike


I recently got this game in a bulk deal with some other games. The previous owner said this game was working at one time and sat in a garage for a number of years. Upon my initial inspection, the game looked to be in decent shape. The game was complete, wiring looked good, and the steppers units and score reels moved but were sluggish. Advancing the steppers units along with the score reels is a good test to see the condition of the game. Since that game has sat for quite a while, I decided to do a thorough cleaning and inspection of every relay and mech.


I usually start all the games by pulling out the motherboard and vacuuming out the cabinet. Once the game is clean, I go through every relay. I clean all the switches and check the alignment on each one. This is a great time to check for loose wires. I do the same thing for the score motor switches. Since the motherboard is out, it is easier to clean all the Jones plug connectors. The last step I did was to replace the power cord. The old one had been replaced at sometime, but was missing the ground plug. With the motherboard completed, I moved on to the backbox.


There were six relays that I went through along with two stepper units. the ball count unit was really misaligned. Cleaned and adjusted so it advance (and subtracted) smoothly. The match unit was disconnected and had a burnt coil on it. I replaced the coil and connected power to it.

The next step that I did was go through all of the score reels. I replaced the coil sleeve and cleaned all the parts. When I was finished, the score reels moved cleanly.

I didn’t do the credit unit, because it is easy to bypass. I usually go back to the credit unit after the game is working. When the backbox was done, I was able to try and start a game. With this particular game, you can go through the startup sequence without the playfield in the game. ‘

I hit the start button and the score reels reset to zero and the game completed the restart sequence. I was then able to manually test all of the score reels and they were all working correctly.


Since the game was starting up with no problem, I installed the playfield back into the game. Here I just manually go through ever switch and make sure the game scores correctly. I went ahead and shopped out the playfield by adding new rubbers along with new bulbs. I did a couple adjustment, but ran into four problems that took a little bit of time to figure out.

Problem #1

After a little bit of time, the game would start up and be inconsistent with the initial ball count. Sometimes it would work correctly, other times it would add 5 to 9 balls. On a rare occasion the ball count unit would just keep adding balls and would not stop. I pulled out the schematics and looked them over. The ball count unit step up should be turned off by the COIN relay, but the COIN relay was not relaxing. I checked everything on the COIN relay switch and didn’t find the problem.

I switched the game to 3-ball to 5-ball and the problem still persisted. This eliminated the score motor switches, since they use different ones. I scratched by head on this for quite a bit until I realized that the problem was self induced. I went to to check the 3 and 5 ball adjustment and noticed my problem.

Shorted jumper
Self induced problem–two washer fell from the stepper unit and was shorting the COIN relay

Problem #2

The second problem that I saw was the credit relay would not light. This should have been a real easy fix since there is just one switch between the power rails. I checked the one switch, checked for continuity, replaced the bulb and socket, and still no power to the light. I realized that the two wires before the credit lite were soldered on incorrectly. Switched the two wires around the credit lite came back on.

Blue and yellow wire need switched around

Problem #3

The third problem was the slot machine was not scoring correctly. I noticed that if all three hats were selected it would score 500 or 3,000 points, but was not consistently scoring 3,000 points. I took apart all three score reels and cleaned them. This did not fix the problem. My initial guess was the circuit board was not making good contact with wipers on the score reels. However, this was not the case. I looked at the schematics and found that I was missing a jumper wire on the left and middle score reels. Once I added these jumper wires, the scoring was correct.

Problem #4

The last problem was the left, lower pop bumper was not scoring 10 points (or 100 points when lit). Someone along the way hacked up the 1-5 bumper relays and bypassed them completely. Remember the burnt coil on the match unit? I think the person was trying to troubleshoot this and just ended up bypassing the 1-5 bumper relays. The person wired the switches directly to the bumper EOS switches. Once I wrapped my head around what the person did, I found that the EOS switch on the left, lower pop bumper needed adjusted. With that simple adjustment, the pop bumper was scoring correctly.

Someone bypassed the bumper relays and hacked the wiring


This was a fun game to work on and provided me with some different challenges that I haven’t seen before. The game has a couple features that is not seen on too many pinball machines. The first being a slot machine and the second is the post-stop in between the flippers. Both of these features make the game play interesting. Klondike also has the ability to turn into a replay game, an add-a-ball game, or a novelty game. This is done with a simple turn of a switch in the backbox. I like the artwork and the art package on this game. This game gets my thumbs up and have enjoyed playing it.

Even this guy gives the game a thumbs-up

6 thoughts on “Williams EM Klondike Pinball Repair

  1. Thanks for writing this! I’m a solid state guy, have several of them. Just picked up my first EM machine and it happens to be this one! I’m doing a full playfield strip and reno to start, but I’ll eventually be where you were here and I’ll be sure to reference it for tidbits!

    1. Thanks for the message! Let me know if I can help down the road. It’s a fun game and the “slot machine” feature really makes you strategize for maximum points.

  2. Just found an old Klondike and is in pretty bad shape. Looking forward to tackling this project and hope I can reach=h out for any questions.

  3. Like Bill E., I too just added an EM to my collection of SS Pinballs. My is the 4 player Gold Rush version which is a bit more challenging to repair. It has been tampered with and hacked with terrible mods. Every fuse was tinfoil which explains why 8 coils were fried up. Lots of work to restore this one.

    1. Congrats on the new EM game. Sounds like you have quite a bit of work to do to it. I always cringe when I see the tinfoil around a blown fuse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *