Second Place is the First Loser...
Not every theme stands the test of time. But, interesting games can stand the test of time. Steve Ritchie's 1995 game, "No Fear: Dangerous Sports" is one of those games. It has Lyman Sheats on software. It has two cool ramps. It has a super fast inner loop. It has a flipper activated loop. It has a clean outer loop. It has an engaging video more. It seems to have everything. But, it doesn't. There are no pop bumpers on this machine to slow down the action.
I found this machine on a Craigslist advertisement. The woman said they had a lot of calls. It was listed under market value, and the local pinball vultures were already going in for the deal. I pointed her to market value on Pinside, and we made a deal that worked better for both parties. Let's take a look at what I picked up.
I asked the question, "When was the last time you changed the batteries?" Guess what the response was... How about, "This thing needs batteries..." You bet it had battery leakage and corrosion. Thankfully, Williams put a separate board for the batteries, saving the main boards from damage. But, I cleaned it off with alcohol, and it's fine.
Now that I have, it, let's see what needs attention. The machine was dark because many lamps and GI bulbs were burnt out. So, I decided to replace all of the bulbs with LEDs from Titan using a Black Friday special. On the right, you can see all of the stuff that I pulled out of the machine.
The rubber rings were probably never replaced in the 18 years it was in it's home location. I made this ring kit on Titan Pinball to fix that up. There aren't a lot of rings on this. In fact, there are only 2 on the kickers, 2 on a post by the outlane and 3 flipper bands. The rest were post covers. When I make a kit on Titan's site, I always add several few color variants to the kit, because rings are cheaper than shipping.
With an LED replacement, I generally use an LED OCD board to manage the LEDs in the lamp matrix. I made just a few adjustments to the default settings that made a significant difference. I didn't like the dented rail, so I picked up rails, legs, new leg levelers, and orange silicon leg leveler casters from Pinball Life. So, it got a very good cleaning. Here's what it looks like now.
Mechanically, It had a problem that was causing extra coils to fire. When the left rollover activated, the left kicker would also activate. Rick's Game Repair sorted that out for me. After the LED replacement, the driver board had a short that was causing lamps in column three to turn on erroneously. One board repair, and that was back to normal.
Let's see what's next. I did all of the items that are typical for me to do with a 90's machine. LEDs in, but retain the Incandescent look on obvious bulbs (but my position is evolving on this.) LED OCD Board to micromanage those LEDs. Light up flipper buttons from Brite Mods. Tri-tone powder coating from Fox Valley Sandblasting. Looks like a Color DMD is the only thing left on the list. I might refresh the decals, but that is a bad investment. Also, I need to play better. My score is only the 76th best on Pinside.
Just remember these cliches, as you won't be able to forget them for another 20 years. "Second place is the first loser." "It's not if... It's when and how bad." and "Righteous."