1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby flipper77 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:49 am

Thanks. Have always wanted a Mills War Eagle but could never find an original unrestored at decent price. Could not pass this one up and I was nervous at end of bidding as I just knew someone else would jump on it. One of my best friends "back in the old days" was Dave Evans. He had a nice War Eagle that he let me examine so I knew what to look for back then. We walked Chicagoland once and we checked all of the War Eagles searching for a good one to no avail. So I have been looking on and off for 30 years.

I kidded with Andy and others about restoring this but have definitely decided to just wash and polish - it will stay all original. Will post some pics in a week or two. I truly feel sorry for that uneducated chap who bought that fake War Eagle - wonder if he/she will realize when it arrives?

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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby RameGoom » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:30 am

Man, you guys got me scared to death...in a good way I guess. I want to find a 10c escalator style machine, but don't know which direction to go.

I guess I got fairly lucky with the first machine I purchased, last fall at the Chicago show. It was a Jennings gooseneck Pace revamp and all pretty much original. It didn't work at first, but after disassembling and reading, got it to work perfectly. This was my first slot purchase so yes, newbie here....

Oddly, as I started to figure out the payout of this machine, I discovered a certain combination of two cherries on the first and second reel could not possibly pay out, so, I found a guy that sells reproduction reel strips and had him substitute one of the cherries with a lemon. Now, it all makes sense, with the new strip.

There is the extent of my fun with mechanical slots, so since I'm trying to grow my gameroom, I have been filling it with 80's electromechanical machines and going through a big learning curve. Still in pursuit of a 10c machine to add to the collection.

But now, EVERY antique machine I see, I'm very suspect as to whether it's real or fake. Finding info on this site is extremely helpful, and intimidating at the same time.
Slowly building a knowledge base on E2000 series Bally machines and J400 Jennings. Started with the antique Mills and Jennings. Getting there...
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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:14 pm

RameGoom...............That is our job here, to SCARE you, into not purchasing a FAKE that is.
Most of this Repro Slot stuff, started back in the 1970's, with the Mills "Lion Front", and there were 100's of them made.
Back then, it was just repro castings & case, with reworked later model mechanisms. Many machines today, are TOTAL
reproductions, like the "War Eagle". One outfit had the complete tooling for the entire mechanism as well. There are
also many different configurations of the "WE". Some have NO coin escalators, and NO operating jackpots. Others have
a 'mish-mosh' of either or both. You really have to examine these machines in person, and not just by seeing a couple of
fuzzy photo's on an eBay auction. Many sellers purposely do not show inside shots, only to hide what it really is, and even
give you lame excuses, like "I can't find the key". Most just don't respond at all.
On the other hand, if a person is honestly advertising the machine as a Repro, at a fair price, and that is what you want,
then by all means, 'Go for It'.
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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby RameGoom » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:52 pm

I get it, I would be major disappointed if I wound up with a clone - especially if it doesn't work properly.

But this new world of slots seems to be a "heat of the moment" for me. I find a machine on Ebay or Craigslist and can't wait to go see it, maybe find a diamond in the rough. Plus, I'm too impulsive when it comes to anything resembling a machine. That doesn't help.

My impulsiveness recently got me a 80's slot, weighs about what a refrigerator weighs. I probably need reinforced concrete under it. And, it was a dollar machine. The hook was, "it's filled with dollars, and I don't have the key". "Not sure if it works since it need Ike dollars to 'test' it, which I don't have". I bit on the spot. Thought, "what could go wrong?" How cool, a dollar machine, I thought.

Got it home, just to discover online that I bought a Summit, not a Bally. What do I know...Went on line, and I got e-reamed for even considering a Summit (maintenance nightmares, parts and info almost impossible to get, are you crazy?, and so on). And, of course, it didn't work. So I drilled the lock out and sure enough, $160 in Ike dollars inside. OK, so at least I broke even.

Went on a determined learning blitz, dug into the PC boards, replaced components and switches, and managed to get the machine up and running 100%. So I must be fortunate, with this one anyway. Actually it's a cool gameroom machine for a monster.

Good thing the machine wasn't a clone :)

So now on to the antiques, buyer beware. I plan on turning to you experts here on the forum when I find my gem, and BEFORE I plunk down the $$.
Slowly building a knowledge base on E2000 series Bally machines and J400 Jennings. Started with the antique Mills and Jennings. Getting there...
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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:57 am

Please.......Not to feel so bad! [-X Many of us have had bad experiences when we first started collecting. For me, it was 'grab anything that takes a coin,
and pays out'. Glitzy or Grubby. Anything can be fixed, Right? The big difference between me as a newbie, as apposed to the present day newbie, is when I
started to collect machines, there was No-Such-Thing as Repro and Electronic slots. But, there were other ways to get burned, only not as harsh. The only
educational advice that we were exchanging then, was 'Who made this, and who made that', and what special features that one of us had, and the other
didn't. I also bought a few electro-mechanicals from time to time, as they became available after casino-use, just to have fun with, but have since sold all
but three. Two are Dice machines, (which I have always favored), and the other, a Raven "Keno" out of Harrah's, of which they didn't make a large number.
These three machines will be on the auction block before too long, as I need their spaces for the more-preferred Victorian Uprights.
I am surprised you are having a problem finding a good 10c machine. There are plenty out there, and many collectors steer away from dime machines, as
certain models are noted for jamming, because of the thin coinage. But that really boils down to proper care & adjustment. I've only had one dime machine
that had a jamming problem, and it was a HighTop. One good thing about dime machines, is they are not machines that were repro'd. The 'ONE KEY BIT OF
ADVICE' that we have to educate all new collectors with, is STAY AWAY from Glitzy-looking, and Restored Quarter machines, unless an expert can guarantee
it is definitely an original. And that doesn't mean trusting an eBay description that says "they had a slot machine expert tell them it is all original". There
might be a case or two that is an honest quote, but from my past experience with eBay 'Experts', is most don't know their A.F.A.H.I.T.G.! :-({|=
Good luck with all your future purchases. But when in doubt, ask your friends in this Forum.
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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby RameGoom » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:47 am

Thanks for the great advice. Oddly, the repo machines are probably now considered antiques themselves, given the dates they were (re)built. So technically, they can be advertised as vintage, or antique. What a crazy business...

I have seen many dime machines available, but have been gun-shy because of the possibility of it being a knock-off. Maybe should be less concerned as you have pointed out the dime machines weren't really cloned. My attraction to any of these machines is the mechanics inside; I'm a big learning sponge with this and have actually figured out most of the inner workings by "hacking". My background being electronics has steered me to the EM machines out of pure curiosity.

What started me in this game was a box full of parts that looked like a slot machine in pieces. First machine I ever paid attention to. Someone years ago took it completely apart and never put it back together, so I spent hours trying to figure out how it worked. Fortunately, all the parts were there. Turned out to be a nice little Bell Boy, but totally useless as a slot machine. The fact that I got it to work perfectly got my interest going.
Slowly building a knowledge base on E2000 series Bally machines and J400 Jennings. Started with the antique Mills and Jennings. Getting there...
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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby TJ » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:50 am

A machine is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. If you want something bad enough, and it is relatively hard to find you might pay more. My personal experience was to look for machines as original as possible and negotiate a price with the seller that was mutually agreeable to both of us. I purchased a Mills half top cherry front, a relatively common machine, the machine was not in good condition, but came from the estate of a Gentleman that owned the Crystal Palace Saloon in Tombstone Arizona. It had been stored in his basement from the early fifties. I confirmed this with his daughter. What would be the value of this machine ? Well if you shop the internet you might find something similar for anywhere between 500 and 1500. You know the old saying buyer beware, well you might find a machine that has been shopped, or I should say completely restored. How valuable would that make it, well whatever the buyer agrees to pay and whatever the seller agrees to let it go for. So put a price on it and sell it. T.J.
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Re: 1931 War Eagle Completely Restored

Postby flowin302 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:14 am

I have an original War Eagle if anyone is interested.
email here kustom_vinyl@yahoo.com
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