Blackwater 100 (1988)

I found this pinball machine in Bremerton Washington. Over all it was in good shape, ramps aren’t too bad (which is good because they are very hard to replace), backglass is great, cabinet isn’t bad, it is just really dirty. The sound was a bit funky but it was just the variable resisters on the sound board. Those tend to be flaky.

I should be able to clean this up, reinforce the ramps, give it a quick tune up, and we’re playing Blackwater 100. I’ve been taking it easy on LEDs on machines lately, but this one will get the works. All those plastic ramps scream to be backlighted.

This is an unusual machine. Each ball starts as a three ball multi ball. You fire the three balls one at a time up to the “starting position”; then a gate drops and releases the three balls down a ramp. It is supposed to simulate the start of a motocross race – and it does.

Everything under the glass is playfield. This machine has a small lower playfield where the apron and rule cards should be. One flipper on the left side fires sideways and 4 targets to hit.

Five flippers in all, three playfield levels, lots of ramps and tunnels, no pop bumpers, and tons of chaos.

The cabinet for the machine is also unusual. It isn’t square on the bottom. It sort of has a slight V shape to it. Moving this machine with a regular hand truck is a bit wonky.

This will be a fun machine to have on deck because it’s a bit odd. This title has some historical significance since it was the last machine produced by Bally before it was acquired by WMS Industries (AKA: Williams).

The first thing I had to do was remove all the ramps and patch the few broken areas.

Since these ramps are really difficult to replace, I decided to reinforce any area on the plastics that might get bashed by the ball. I cut Lexan to fit, warmed it to band around curves, and used an epoxy gel to secure to the ramp.

In the couple sections where the ramp was broken and a piece was missing, I filled as much in with Lexan as I could, then filled in the extra space with epoxy. I then painted behind the ramp to match the original. Once back in the machine, you have to look hard to see the repair.

Once that was done, I backlighted the ramps with coloured LED strips. It could probably use a few more, but the ramps are a bit of a chore to remove. This will have to wait until another day.