Apollo Pinball Repair – Williams – Electromechanical / EM (1967)

Apollo is a pretty unique game in that it has a mini playfield on the header. Circa 1967, this would have been a pretty novel feature! This pinball machine came to us in pretty rough shape. EM pinballs don’t have any electronics boards in them so we were expecting to put some man hours right from the get go. When you see a playfield with mis-matched black and white rubbers, some alarm bells definitely started ringing. This machine ended up needing a LOT of work under the hood. The good news was our playfield wasn’t in too rough of shape and the header glass artwork had only just started to show signs of deterioration. Here’s some pics of what it looked like prior to starting the repair.

Who needs flippers when you have drive belts! The belts on the slings were the chonkiest makeshift rubbers I’ve ever seen. The square drive belts on the flippers didn’t last long as they aren’t exactly known for the their elastic properties. Some investigative googling of the belt codes led me to the CAT website, as in Caterpillar the heavy machinery company!

But wait! there’s more! Delving into the header mini-playfield, we found a very unusual replacement for the ball shooter on a particular solenoid. Any ideas?

Yup, you got it….the end of a #2 pencil! – that was a first! What kind of person has this level or resourcefulness you ask? Well it’s gotta be a farmer No?! I digress.

Next it was on to the stepper units. Like the gears in a watch, functional stepper units are vital for the correct timing of relays. One of these particular stepper units has a unique chime attached to it that would fire after so many points were generated. As you can see these units were worse off for wear. Burnt coils and rusted up contact plates. Here’s the before:

And after:

The flipper coils had some “farmer” soldering on it. I shouldn’t say that. Farmer’s rock and we love you but leave the pinball repairs to us.


Further work included a replacement playfield ball shooter, (the original one had a blown out barrel compression spring), some replacment trim for the coin door, and a deep cleaning to the mini pinball game in the header.

And here’s the finished product, complete with LEDs, a deep cleaning and fresh coat of playfield wax.

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