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(Topic ID: 141767)

1966 Williams Top Hand AAB - Cards, Babes, & The Old West


By cad-kid

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 78 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by cad-kid
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders

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There are 78 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 5 years ago

Welcome! Join me in a dusty journey to the Old West, and there's even a saloon where the men play cards and the ladies hang around.

Back to reality- this thread will be more about a mechanical restoration and a playfield surface rejuvenation.

There is plenty of patina on the cabinet and playfield and to me it looks just right for a game of this vintage. This is my oldest machine - the next newest one in my collection is a 1969 Williams Post Time.
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Take a look and you will see this cabinet is an odd one for sure. Williams used this "drop down cabinet" for about a year to fit a larger coin door. Why go to a larger door? They wanted 1 slot for nickels, dimes, & quarters. The mech is larger for this style - and it is a standard unit used in vending and jukeboxes. (source IPDB).
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Another issue with this cabinet is it requires shorter front legs or longer back legs (Williams supplied shorter front legs). I had a friend shorten a standard set of legs by about 3 inches.
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Here's a before shot- with the back leg levelers fully extended and the front levelers removed the game still has a negative tilt-
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After- much better - it's not the best shot but now the lock down bar is the same height as my Post Time and Strato Flight.
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Next post - on to the bottom relay board-

#2 5 years ago

Good start. I am excited to play it.

#3 5 years ago

Next up is addressing the back glass- an application of Krylon Triple Thick will halt the decay.
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Here's where "dust" in my journey comes in - the bottom motor board (or relay board). I forgot to take a photo before I pulled the components off (sorry)
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When I first really inspected this machine I was impressed at the lack of black coil dust. The meter shows 33k plays but who really knows.
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All vacuumed off and lightly sanded (just because I could).
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Now onto replacing a coil almost all Williams of this era have an issue with- the "lock" relay coil.
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Here's the toasted one
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You can affix the relay to a closed position, but that is not a real repair. Without a properly working lock relay coil, you could shut off the power and your current game would suspend. When the power is returned the game would start out where you left it. - not really my kind of thing to do.

All fixed now - and what's great is this game came with a new coil ready to install!
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This was the first machine I have taken off all the components from the relay board. Since this is a simple single player game I figured, why not? I'm glad I did it and will most likely do it on my next rebuild/refurb. Here's a shout out to Dirtflipper for the idea.
--
Jeremy Agema
Central WI

#4 5 years ago

Time to turn my attention to the power cord. The po put on a excellent flat cable 3 prong grounded cord (the same kind that pinball resource sells). The issue is he didn't attach the ground wire. The machine has a lug for the ground wire but there is a catch - the wire that Williams used on the machine side is red. So at first glance you wouldn't think to place a ground wire there.

Here's the lug (I have attached the ground wire)
PA041955.jpg
If you trace the red wire and double check with a multi meter - you will find it terminates at the base of the transformer
PA041956.jpg
I assume that this machine when delivered for use in the USA would have had a standard 2 prong cord. But Williams incorporated the ground wire to help with exporting the machine.

#5 5 years ago

Reading this post is like dejavu. I really enjoy it though. Thisbusba fun game

G

#6 5 years ago

Time to work on the backbox
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Pulling the bulbs
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Here's what's underneath the marque
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4 nuts removed and voila! The board that holds everything comes out for easy repair
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First up is the advance mech - this unit advances with every 1 point switch hit. And it is missing the coil and plunger. What does it advance? Glad you asked. It advances the dealers hand. Why so complicated? One reason is this machine (and Full House - it's replay version sibling) has 2 adjustment switches for difficulty. These switches control how many times the pair of 9 hand comes up for the dealer per revolution of the advance unit. The more 9 pair hands the more likely a player is able to beat the dealer and in this game win an extra ball.
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#7 5 years ago

Here's another angle
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And another
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All cleaned up and a coil installed from a "future project" machine
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Next up is the ball count unit
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At first glance it looks pretty good - upon closer inspection there is a missing coil stop screw that holds an important wire
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Another view showing the spring arrangement
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And lastly a photo of the electrical side. The red mark shows where to put the "spider" when the unit is at it's home position. You can see that the contact plate is out of alignment with the spider. The plate has oblong screw holes for adjustment.
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#8 5 years ago

Do you have whiskey in this saloon? These pretzels are making me thirsty.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from RustyLizard:

Do you have whiskey in this saloon? These pretzels are making me thirsty.

Well... There's a bottle on the table
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#10 5 years ago

Onto the score reels. I only have a few photos here because after you do a few it's not too difficult. And if you only work on one at a time you have the other ones to look at if there is any assembly questions.

Reel taken off, this photo is to show what spring goes where-
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It helps to have a stash of spare parts - While on a pinball haul I spotted a Williams bowler head sitting on it's side in the grass (it had been sitting there for quite a while). Upon closer inspection the score reels were almost perfect. So a deal was made - I took the back panel with all the "guts" and the score reel panel (24 reels!).
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When I got this Top Hand the score reels were banging around in the backbox and were dinged up (still usable though). So off to my stash of score reels I went. I was able to use 4 reels 2 thumb screws and 2 clips that retain the reels in place. That was well worth the price of the bowler parts.
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#11 5 years ago

Time to try things out before digging into the playfield. First up I noticed the front door slam switch was rustier than all get out
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More bowler parts to the rescue!
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Looks and works like new now
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I was having an issue when a game was started it would immediately go into TILT! I isolated the issue to the front harness that plugs into the bottom board. The tilt bob was good, the rolling ball switch was good - so I started in on the harness itself. Here's what I found-
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The wires were pinched by the new longer leg bolts that everyone now sells. When I loosened the bolt and pulled the wires free there wasn't any sign of damage - probably because they are cloth covered. Now the game properly started

Next up more testing-

#12 5 years ago

Now that a game will start up the next issue made itself known - the 100 point relay coil was stuck on (not good!) plus the chime coil. After searching and searching, checking out playfield switches for proper gap and looking at the 10 point relay plus the 10 point carry over switch I ended up finding the issue on a much closer inspection of the playfield switches -

A bent metal backing blade on the LH out lane switch! I have seen this happen before and I should have found it sooner. This happens when you are carrying a playfield and push on the switch stack.
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Now a game will start and work properly. Of course there was a few issues - the 10 point score reel switch needed an adjustment to properly carry over points onto the 100 point reel. The pop bumper relays needed a bit of tweaking to work correctly. But once over those two big issues the game worked pretty darn well.

Here's something my visual inspection spotted on one pop bumper
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A cracked and ready to fall apart switch blade
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Plus a broken fiber yoke
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The next step is to go through the underside of the playfield (woot).

#13 5 years ago

I am ready for play testing.

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from RustyLizard:

I am ready for play testing.

Soon padawon, soon.

#15 5 years ago

Onto the underside of the PF - in going through my photos I seem to have forgotten to take a photo that shows all of the bottom playfield. So this is how it looks right now
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I decided to start at the most rearward edge and work my way up to the flippers. After cleaning the top lane switches I tackled the rollover wires. Just a little bit of polish and my Dremel made a world of difference!
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Next up was the pop bumper relays-
*before cleaning the stack*
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A single point, bad but normal for the application
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Point cleaned
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Stack done - cleaned, filed, & burnished
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#16 4 years ago

Up next it's tackling the rebound switches in the back of the PF. Notice how there is only 1 wire on this switch-
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The other electrical side path is blade, backer, metal spacer, rivets, switch bracket.
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I'm sure this worked well when new but this machine has seen just enough moisture to corrode these parts
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So I am taking all the switches apart
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Cleaning the brass bits with Brasso (works very well)
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Parts lined up and blades straightened
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Two bolts & nuts with lock washers - plus I have added a point to attach a wire to make the switch more reliable.
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Next up is the stand up targets

#17 4 years ago

Stand up and be a target time! I will now tackle the rear most standup targets. These must not get much action because the plastic target looked really nice.
-Here was the worst out of the two-
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-A tooth brush and some Brasso (plus a point file to clean up the contact)
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-Cleaned up the main and backer blades along with the back support-
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Next up - pop bumper under playfield guts-

#18 4 years ago

Very nice cad-kid. Cleaning the leaf switches from top to bottom? Now that is some pinball love. That game is going to look and play like new when you get it done - inside and out! Thanks for the pictures!

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Very nice cad-kid. Cleaning the leaf switches from top to bottom? Now that is some pinball love. That game is going to look and play like new when you get it done - inside and out! Thanks for the pictures!

Thank you for the kind words. I normally don't go hog wild on the switches. But these were so bad and once you get started.......

Based on what I am seeing my guess is this machine got played hard until it broke. Then it was put in storage. Oh there's evidence of a couple of fixes but little wear in most of the mechs. It's cool to discover things like that.

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from cad-kid:

Based on what I am seeing my guess is this machine got played hard until it broke. Then it was put in storage. Oh there's evidence of a couple of fixes but little wear in most of the mechs.

I was thinking about my observations it really makes sense. Top Hand has the smaller 2 inch flippers common to that era. Just 2 years after Top Hand was made Williams brought out 3 inch flippers that became the industry standard. After that happened any old game with 2 inch flippers appeared out dated and obsolete.

Now back on track-
Since this isn't a how to post I didn't take detailed photos of the pop bumper coil and bracket. I'm impressed the basic design remained the same. Here's a photo with the bracket removed - just look at that crappy solder joint (one past repair apparently)
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Working end of the "spoon"
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Flipped over, the contact is not too bad - these pop bumpers work through a relay-
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Replacing the broken switch blade (head to the top of the post to see it)
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I grabbed this contact from a used leaf switch and soldered it in place. I really need to get some contacts from PBR
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Surprise! only 1 of the fiber yokes were broken. I subbed in the current design parts (plunger, metal & fiber yoke)
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The coil and bracket will stay off until I finish with the top surface of the playfield.

Next up - the center card reels

#21 4 years ago

It's time to deal your cards - reels that is
The wire loom looks pretty neat for the reels. Note the "wild" that makes the center reel unique. The two outside reels are twins.
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Pulled out and ready for teardown.
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Standard issue Williams score mechs *except*- no carry over switch, no zero position switches. And no 3A-7126 lever and associated spring to actuate the missing switches.
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"printed circuit board" - Here's one interesting thing I found. The quantity of factory lube applied to these boards was vastly different for each board. The right had the most, the middle had much less, and the left had almost none. Weird
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With a little work using Brasso and a tooth brush things look much better
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And finally, an overview of what's left on the bottom of the pf (mostly switches then the flipper mechs).

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#22 4 years ago

First up for what's left are the remaining stand ups and the rollover switches.
-Advance card stand up targets
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Roll over switch actuators before cleaning
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1 cleaned with Novus #2
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Here's the under pf switch for the rollover
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All cleaned and straightened. I only cleaned the contact point because you don't see the switch.
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Next up is the "9" card standup - note the extra contact on these compared to the other standups
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Ready for cleaning
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Almost done with the switches! Slings will be next-

#23 4 years ago

*Slings*
These have 3 - yep, count-em, 3 switches! 2 stick up through the pf and sense the ball. The other one is actuated by the sling coil to add points to your score.
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Here is where one rivet is about to fail
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And - let's hear it - the switches are all done! YEA!
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It looks a bit more serious when you line them all up.

Next up is the flippers

#24 4 years ago

Here's a flipper mech that was used on many Williams EM machines
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The coil is hung below the playfield on a bracket so it lines up with the pawl. These early brackets are mounted under playfield with only two screws They did figure things out as later machines have four screws securing the bracket. I will be making that change to these.
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When these screws get loose, look what happens - the hole elongates.
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This flipper has seen some action, check out the badly worn washer
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Both flippers have badly worn sleeves. These type don't appear to be replaceable as they don't have the flange on the bottom end. Oh well, at least new coils are easy to get
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Here's the return spring-
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And the broken flipper bushing
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Finally this caused some wear on the playfield
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-Next up pop bumper examination and starting to smooth out the playfield planking.

#25 4 years ago

You go, Jeremy! That pin will 'sing' when you're done. So shiny and new looking. Looking forward to a game play / finished project vid.

Dave

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

You go, Jeremy! That pin will 'sing' when you're done. So shiny and new looking. Looking forward to a game play / finished project vid.
Dave

Great to hear from your Dave! Yes, a vid is a great idea. Plus you will have to stop on by and try your card skills

#27 4 years ago

I picked up a Full House (replay version) this Summer as a temporary spot filler. The reviews are sort of luke warm but it has turned out to be a lot more fun than I anticipated. Nice to to see this one get the full treatment.

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from AlexF:

I picked up a Full House (replay version) this Summer as a temporary spot filler. The reviews are sort of luke warm but it has turned out to be a lot more fun than I anticipated. Nice to to see this one get the full treatment.

Your personal experience is great to hear Alex! I have been psyched to play this machine but also worried that it won't be as much fun as I hope - as I plan on keeping it. It will be a good companion to Post Time. If you get "up north" send me a note and stop on by.

Thanks
--
Jeremy Agema

#29 4 years ago

This is all excellent so far, thank you for taking the time to show everything. It really helps for those of us that are beginners, and I am working on a similar project as far as the overall grime and damage. So far I don't have the guts to disassemble an entire switch stack to clean it up, I cringe at the possibility of not being able to get it back together right. Same for dismantling the entire relay board. But someday I will have to man up and do it I suppose. Also looking forward to playfield touch-ups. This is also an awesome-looking machine IMO.

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

This is all excellent so far, thank you for taking the time to show everything. It really helps for those of us that are beginners, and I am working on a similar project as far as the overall grime and damage. So far I don't have the guts to disassemble an entire switch stack to clean it up, I cringe at the possibility of not being able to get it back together right. Same for dismantling the entire relay board. But someday I will have to man up and do it I suppose. Also looking forward to playfield touch-ups. This is also an awesome-looking machine IMO.

Thanks XSV! I just checked out your Bon Voyage & Monte Carlo threads - great stuff!

#31 4 years ago

Here's the beauty side of the pops
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These are pretty interesting in that there is a bit of marbling in the plastic - cool!
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One more very important thing to note - none of the plastic is broken
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Now for the big tip on how I make a poor plank ridden playfield play much better
*before*
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*after* NOTE- wax has NOT been applied yet!
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The secret? Novus 2 and lots and lots of elbow grease. How does it work?
-You put some Novus 2 on a rag, pick a spot and rub and rub in the same area until it gets heated up. The lacquer paint and thin lacquer clear top coat will lay down. Novus 2 really doesn't remove any of the paint (just dirt). This is really an automotive detailing trick. This won't work on newer finishes and clear coats as they are too tough usually. But it works wonders on these old playfields. After the treatment I can run my fingers over the area and it is night and day. This game should play nice and fast now (depending on how it is setup).

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from cad-kid:

Thanks XSV! I just checked out your Bon Voyage & Monte Carlo threads - great stuff!

Hah thanks, I haven't done much real restoration work yet. But I am having a big internal debate as to whether I should go at the Monte Carlo, and really strip everything down like you are doing here. I can't begin to tell you how great it is to see all of these detailed pictures and descriptions that you (and others here as well) post. It provides inspiration and confidence to us novices. The Monte Carlo was obviously stored in dirty conditions for a while, and so I think the mechanics could benefit from a really good cleaning and tuning. Even though everything is now working mechanically, I think there will be continual problems as there are so many dirty/rusty switches and iffy solder joints floating around all over the place. The good thing is that it is not a super-popular machine and I don't have much $$$ into it, so if I mess things up it won't be a disaster. If I start that project, one thing for sure is that it will take forever for me to get it done, but I think it will be fun.

#33 4 years ago

Cad Kid, Thanks for all of the great pictures of a big project. I appreciate your respect for aged patinas, while cleaning up up the mechanics.

I would love to see it when all finished.

Randy Schukar

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from Platypus:

Cad Kid, Thanks for all of the great pictures of a big project. I appreciate your respect for aged patinas, while cleaning up up the mechanics.
I would love to see it when all finished.
Randy Schukar

Thanks Randy! Thank you for the kind words. I like you plan, a visit sounds good

#35 4 years ago

Great guy!
Great thread!
Very cool project!!!!

#36 4 years ago
Quoted from ArcadeFix:

Great guy!
Great thread!
Very cool project!!!!

Thank you kind sir

#37 4 years ago

Here's some pics showing the different colors used for the playfield posts. I have seen various colors in my search on Google. Since the games flyer is in black & white, I really don't know what the correct colors are supposed to be. I will be changing the red posts by the card wheels with the green posts at the back of the pf. Just to be different

How I got the machine
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I like the purple posts - too bad they are the short style - they would look good out front.
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Bottom plastics on and screw heads polished. Stainless steel washers installed instead of the cruddy old ones.
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Let the surface rejuvenation continue!

#38 4 years ago

Ooh, nice that see that card reel plastic intact. It seems most of them are beat to heck (mine included).

#39 4 years ago

Tonight's task was getting the center bits reinstalled.
-first, set things in place, and fasten the side posts since the screws are below the top cover.
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Then figure out how I am going to put the large rubber ring on the back side. I started with a 5 inch ring since that's what was there. But after the first install, I thought it was too loose. Opened the parts drawer and pulled out a 4 1/2 inch ring.
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The center pieces are back together - I am diggin' the green posts instead of red (something different). Of course I had to polish the screws and put on the stainless steel washers.
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The 4 1/2 inch rubber seems to work well enough. I could switch it to a 4 inch if needed.
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An overall shot, oh- I also put in the side pieces (white posts with chrome top piece).
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#40 4 years ago

Found some photos I overlooked with the last post
-can't resist another before and after shot-
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Wax has not been applied yet in this photo. Just Novus 2 and elbow grease
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-A photo of the top of the playfield
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Back to forward progress photos
-side plastics straightened and installed. Sometimes the most frustrating thing when going through a machine is finding the right screw - one that looks correct and does the job.
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And finally the other side
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#41 4 years ago

Great thread, fantastic restoration.......

#42 4 years ago
Quoted from BanditBoy:

Great thread, fantastic restoration.......

Thank you! More of a refresh/rebuild than a restoration but I greatly appreciate your compliments. I'm also glad you are following the thread.

#43 4 years ago

Lane guides back in
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Top playfield posts and plastics back in - that's all of them - yea!
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Now onto the top arch- for those who don't know, the top arch is a sandwich of pieces. Pretty easy to remove.
-screws removed
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-top plate removed
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-top bar removed
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-bottom plate removed
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And finally the last piece - the bottom bar
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Now to clean the last bit of playfield and polish some screw heads. Plus change out the rebound rubber.

#44 4 years ago

Time to buff some screws. These are long enough that I can use the bench grinder with buffing wheels on it. A tumbler would also work but I like doing it this way.
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Top arch back on with shiny screws
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Plus polished mount for the rebound bumper (with a new bumper of course!) & one way gate
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Time to clean the pop bumper parts. The skirts were dirtier than they first appeared.
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Some quick work with Novus 2 fixed that. No cracked skirts - bonus!
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Bodies cleaned - note the marbling in the plastic. Surprisingly these were in excellent condition (usually they are cracked).
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I did replace the metal rings as the old ones were not that great - and I had a stack of new ones so - why not
Pops back in place waiting for light socket install & switch adjustment.
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-Now to flip the playfield back over and install all those switches and flippers. (It's getting close to done - yippee!)

#45 4 years ago

Next up to address is the flipper coil mounting brackets. Since these were only held on with 2 screws It was time to modify the bracket.
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First, a brain storm - lets screw the bracket down while I modify it! Then it wont twirl around and smack my hand like so many other projects in the past have
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Then center punch where I want the additional holes
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This makes it so the drill bit won't wander-
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Now for something special - cutting fluid (most kinds of lube would work though). This keeps the drill bit cool and helps it to stay sharp.
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It also has the added benefit of keeping the shavings contained
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Yea! Some nicely drilled hoes that will keep the bracket in place.
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That sucker won't be moving any time soon!
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#46 4 years ago

This game plays really well. Amazing how some of the original plastic parts are in such nice shape. Good work Jeremy.

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from RustyLizard:

This game plays really well. Amazing how some of the original plastic parts are in such nice shape. Good work Jeremy.

Thanks! I am super impressed at how strong the flippers and pops are. New parts on the flippers and hyper cleaned contacts really do make a difference

--
Jeremy
Central, WI

#48 4 years ago

Wrapping things up!
Here's the flipper mechs all back in order- new coils, pawls, plungers, flipper bushings, & barely used coil stops from a Williams Bowler-
PB152158.JPG
Here's another useful item I got from the Williams Bowler pack panel - cloth wiring. Now it may not look like much when I pulled it from the door-
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But buried inside that faded wire harness is nice looking cloth wire that accepts solder very well. And it makes my EM repairs look all that much better. - check out the red wire from the flipper coil to the sling coil. The original was a white cloth wire that was shredded and burned - this looks so much better.
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Up next, the last big item-

#49 4 years ago

Here we go, the last major thing that needed to be addressed before regular gameplay could commence - adding a power switch! This game came from the factory with only a kick off switch. The transformer always had power going to it when the game was plugged in (not the best for a home environment). So I looked at my newer Williams machines, took some measurements and drilled a 1 3/4 hole in the bottom of the cabinet (gasp!)
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I placed the switch in between where the wire from the line cord connects to the fuse. I could have done it on the other side but I will stand by my decision
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The switch is mounted in position
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The wires are soldered & heat shrink added. Since the extra wiring was going to be inside the machine, I used cloth wire as I like the look.
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Finally - tape is added to prevent unwanted electrical shocks
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#50 4 years ago

It's hard for me to believe that I have been working on this for over a month. It really seems like a couple of weeks - honest.
*Drum roll please* "TA DA!"
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As always it turned out way better than I imagined-
PB152165.JPG
The only hurdles when trying it out for the first time was the 10 point relay was stuck on - turns out I had the sling shot point switches in backwards! OOPS! That was quickly sorted out. Two score reel switches were a bit testy but after a game or two they got back in shape. The left outlane switch was not registering. I guess I forgot to clean that one
PB152169.JPG
Now that it is operational and it has 25 games under it's belt I have reduced the playfield angle a bit. The ball times were too short and I really wasn't getting much of an opportunity to make 3 of a kind matches. Time will tell if that adjustment helped.

I am really impressed with how strong the flippers are. I backed the spring tension off as it was way too tight the way it was. Perhaps the high spring tension had a hand in breaking the original flipper bushing. I am also impressed at how well the pops work. I guess experience does help out in setting them up- This game is on the standard tap for the transformer and has never been on high tap as far as I can tell.

Future plans are to make a free play button, not sure exactly how I will do that. One interesting thing is that the coin switch has 110 volts running through it (yikes!). Just part of the original design.....

I will update this thread with a video in the future - stay tuned!

Thank you for following along
--
Jeremy
Central WI

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