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Picked up a Stern Wild Fyre Pinball this weekend

I had been in touch with a gal here in Indianapolis (originally through this website) since May about this 1978 Stern Wild Fyre, but it wasn’t until Thursday night that I realized they weren’t in southern Greenwood but only two miles away. This weekend Chris was down for a visit and I had rented a trailer for him to bring down some games, so it was the perfect time to go and pick up this pinball.

Wild Fyre could use a touch of love

I guess the story was that this guy dropped off the Wild Fyre to the current owner’s place saying he couldn’t get it completely working. I noticed one pin that had some scorch, but in theory this pinball could fire right up. I haven’t tried just yet, we took it easy and stayed in the air…it was roasting outside.

If you aren’t familiar with this pinball, like me, it’s a Roman Chariot / Fire themed pinball. There are parts of the illustrations that I like, and we even commented that the illustration style oozes of Stan Lee or Jack Kirby, but the color palette isn’t really refined – the yellow and the oranges mixed with greens and blues really don’t work for me.

The playfield is in really awesome condition, certainly the best part of the machine. There are just a couple of wear spots but you won’t find any major sections with ball swirls, only minor wear that you’d have to really search to find in the photos. Click the playfield detail shot below to see a whole gallery of the Wild Fyre.

Wild Fyre Pinball Detail

I don’t plan to keep this, 1978 isn’t an era of pinballs that interest me. I actually thought about keeping the Galaxy or Flight 2000 pinballs I picked up, at least the playfields had some challenging shots. Those machines had seen a larger volume of use, but the backglass on this game is certainly the worst part, you’ll see in the photo album it’s seen better days. But if someone found a solid backglass this might make a decent machine, the body has the typical wear….or maybe another collector will be interested in the playfield alone.

Wild Fyre Pinball Detail

Drop me a line if you think you can restore this pin to a playable condition and are interested to purchase for an affordable price.

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Comments
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Great find. Good luck with the restoring. My family had a pinball table when I was younger, but I can't remember what it was! No idea what happened to it.

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Wouldn't someone in the family remember? Was it extended family that owned the machine? Not apparently at your own house…

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I restored this machine myself about 15 years ago.
It wasn’t that bad. I found a place on the internet that had parts, schematics, etc, etc.

Things to be aware of. The internal CPU board. If the battery (which is soldered in) is leaking, you’ll need to get a replacement. The board may need cleaning. Remember that this battery type gives off a base, not an acid, so you’ll need to use vinegar to clean the board and neutralize the base. (Just simple clear vinegar). I washed the board and wiped it clean (just the parts that seemed affected). After drying, I soldered on a new battery and all was well with that part.

Over to the right of the internal upright part is the power supply. There is a black square component. This is a bridge rectifier (4 diodes). Mine was busted. I was able to test it with a multimeter and check that current flowed through each diode in one direction only. One of the connections was bidirectional….hence broken component. I replaced the part. It’s important to use heatsink paste with a heatsink.

The system had diagnostics that you can run from the coinslot internal part. You press the button so many times to run different diagnostics. These will tell you if any solenoids aren’t broken and need resoldering or replacing.

Note that the power goes up the metal shaft where the ball is fired from. If that shaft breaks (the left wall can become disconnected), the power is broken. Be on the lookout for that.

Finally, a lot of the connections on the displays had cracked solder joints and just required reheating to remelt the solder. I had to replace one display. Note that you can buy the board with the display on it, or just the display. It is a LOT easier to just replace the whole little board as that display requires a butt load of soldering.

Good luck. This post was some time ago. I don’t know if you got to it….hope you did.
I am curious if you sold it and for how much and what condition it was in when you sold it.

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@Donald : Thanks for all of the great information and input! You still own the Wild Frye that you restored? Or did you sell it? Do you have many 70’s or early 80’s solid state pinball machines?

I sold it, I never had plans to keep it or restore it. It had some scorched wires, and I think it had the beginning traces of battery leakage. I don’t know what happened with it, the guy I sold it to used to flip pinball machines here in Indiana, but I don’t think it doing it anymore due to health.

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Hi Jeff. Yes, I still have it, but I am now planning on selling it. I want to do a few quick fixes to help with reliability before I do. I’m not sure what to ask for it. If it’s fully working, I reckon $1000 isn’t too much to ask….based on what I see other machines going for.
-Donald

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I have a wild fyre machine that I am looking to part out. The CPU went bad and I had hired a technician to work on it. He spent a good 10-12 hours over 4 weeks and said he couldn’t figure it out. I haven’t heard from him since and I think he ripped me off for the board since he won’t return my phone calls to return it. Please let me know if you need or know someone in need of parts.

Thanks!

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Hey Number 1 🙂
I doubt if the guy ripped you off (unless you paid him), as thats a lot of time to put in. He can’t really use the parts for anything except the same machine. What parts did he leave with? ….just curious.

-D

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Donald,

Funny you mention that. The mechanic changed his phone number but I was able to track him down and I got my CPU back. It looks like he did something with the battery that was on there but everything else looks the same. He said he has no idea as to what is wrong with it other than there IS an issue somewhere. So now I have a complete machine if anyone needs parts.

Thanks!

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Let me know!

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@1: I’d check the battery if I were you to make sure it’s the right way around. Then power it up connectedto the mains and see what lights up…. If nothing powers up then it’s likely in the power supply, diodes, etc…

-D

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