Eight Ball is a Solid State game made by Bally in September of 1977.  It's estimated that about 20,230 Eight Ball games were manufactured.  The game features 2 flippers, 3 pop bumpers, a spinner, and an outlane kicker on the lower left side.  The game features a four-note chime unit since these games didn't come with an electronic sound card.

Cost - Unsure

I bought my first working Eight Ball game from John D at the same time I bought his Central Park game.  I ended up getting another Eight Ball from my buddy Bally Tim as part of a trade for a game so I decided to trade my first game with Abrie for his Sure Shot and Top Card EM games. Then my pinhead buddy Ryan wanted the Sure Shot and Top Card games as part of a trade to get my Spirit of 76 back in October of 2011. The Eight Ball game led to a couple of trades and I still have Bally Tim's Eight Ball to set up once I clear out some room (as most pinheads know, there's no telling when that will happen - getting more room that is!).

Fade

The game box is in pretty good condition with some touchups done by someone along the way, and the playfield appears to be in good shape with some touchups needed in the ball rack area and adjacent to the slingshots. As far as fade goes, I don't really see any.

Flaking Artwork

The game had its backglass replaced with a translite.  Colors are rich and the translite is removed from the front of the Backbox with no key needed to open the Backbox.

Corrosion and Rust

No corrosion and rust. 

Backbox

The back box is solid with no problems that I can see although it's unnecessary to open the Backbox since the translite is removed from the front.

Gamebox

The gamebox is solid with no problems.  Someone had touched up the left side of the gamebox at one time and the job they did probably made it look much better than scraped artwork.  I wish they would have filled the scrape marks with some filler, but they did an OK job touching it up.  Since you will find many games located with another game or up against a wall, this isn't that big of an issue.  It looks good enough for a game from the late 70s, so I didn't change anything.  

Playfield

The playfield has typical wear in the area adjacent to both slingshots and the center rack area.  It's pretty rare to find an Eight Ball that doesn't have wear in these areas, especially the rack area.  I've seen games with virtually all of the artwork missing with nothing but bare wood showing in the rack area. Most games never had mylar applied next to the slingshots so that area is usually worn down to the bare wood of the playfield.

Tear-down and parts replacement

It took me a little over an hour with the help of my wife Chris to completely tear the playfield down.  I found the left slingshot to have a broken plastic kicker part where it thumps in to the ring, one of the flippers had a broken fiber link, both flippers had wafer thin EOS switches, both the flipper coil stops were mushroomed, and the coil sleeves were filthy throughout the game.  I replaced all coil sleeves and completely replaced the flipper assemblies with new flipper rebuild kits that included everything (40 bucks for each side).  I also applied a new spinner decal since the one that was on the game was shot.  I also had to flatten all the plastics with a heat gun due to bowing and warpage.  I frequently have to do this with old games and have it down to a science after doing many, many games.  A few of the posts had to be replaced but they were all in good condition with only a small cleaning necessary to remove old dried wax.

I also spent some time cleaning and re-graining the coin door to make it look more like the original.  I'll have to order a decal for it since mine is missing.  I also removed the lockdown bar latch metal and really cleaned this part up since it was filthy.  Also added a new beer seal to the underside of the lockdown bar.

The biggest problem was the artwork that was worn away around the center rack area.  I have an Eight Ball NOS playfield that's still in its shipping box, but this playfield wasn't so bad that it needed to be swapped out.  I also have another Eight Ball game that is quite nice and although it has some minor wear around the left slingshot, for some reason its rack area was spared.  My suspicion is that my other game wasn't played nearly as much since the game box, backglass, and playfield look quite nice, almost new.

After removing all parts (even the wireforms) from the playfield (why don't I take pictures of the bare playfield?), I used Testors enamel paint to redraw the circles around the inserts where the artwork was worn away, and my wife Chris did touchups on the artwork where it was worn to bare wood.  She used acrylics to repaint the worn area.  After this was all finished, and with everything removed from the playfield, I used Varathane polyurethane to clearcoat the playfield to protect the artwork that had been retouched.  Without some form of clearcoat, the acrylic paints would wear away rather quickly during game play. 

After clearcoating the playfield with about 5 coats, I applied mylars adjacent to the slingshots to further protect any wear in that area.  It looks nice, but not perfect where the artwork was replaced.  You don't really notice that touchups were done from a player's position and the playfield glass on the game.  A friend recently saw the game and thought it was a different game.  His question was "where did you find an Eight Ball without a worn out rack area?"  As I said, not perfect by any means, but good enough for the price.  If it was brought back to perfect, there would be too much money in the game to make it worth selling.  Besides, I could've just thrown in my NOS playfield and been done with it (this makes it sound trivial which it isn't), but this old game still has some life in it.  I also replaced the flipper button switches with new ones since the ones that were there were pretty shot.  New rings (of course) finished out the shop job.

Electronics

Everything worked fine in the game.

Displays

Replaced one display that had some serious arcing.

Game Cards

I made some new clean game cards that are fully laminated that look very nice.  The apron had some scratches in the center area and I was lucky enough to have Mike convert a scan to an Illustrator format that allowed me to print a new decal on a permanent white adhesive-backed vinyl card that I laminated. Thanks Mike!

Conclusion

Eight Ball isn't an overly complex game to shop.  I don't particularly care for cleaning drop targets (although I love drop targets on a game), so it was a welcome change to not have to deal with them.  After replacing the coil tubes and adjusting all switches as they should be, this game plays VERY fast.  Eight Ball is a very fun game and I hope to sell it to someone that will get many more years of play out of the game.

(click any picture to enlarge)


 

Flyer 1

Flyer 2
Middle area unshopped.

 

Upper left unshopped.

 

Middle left unshopped.

 

Upper right unshopped.

 

Lower left unshopped.

 

Middle right unshopped.

 

Lower center unshopped.

 

Lower right unshopped.

 

Upper left partially stripped.

 

Upper center partially stripped.

 

Middle left partially stripped.

 

Upper right partially stripped.

 

Upper left from the end.

 

Upper right from the end.

 

Spinner area.

 

Upper middle stripped.

 

Lower left partially stripped.

 

Upper right partially stripped.

 

Lower center.

 

Middle right.

 

Lower left showing metal.

 

Lower right showing flipper.

 

Lower right showing metal.

 

Lower right flipper area.

 

Lit Backbox view.

 

Nice coin door after cleaning.

 

Finished middle playfield. Finished apron area.
   

 

 

 

 

All Graphics & Text Steve Corley

The pictures you see were created by Steve Corley unless otherwise noted.
Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited