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(Topic ID: 245454)

1974 Dolphin by Chicago Coin (my 1st restro)


By Matthew2000tx

1 year ago



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  • 32 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 42 days ago by Matthew2000tx
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

Preface
This post is to document my journey from newbie Pinball Player to complete newbie Pinball Mechanic.... if that is the correct term? This post will detail my journey from the pickup to playfield to the hopefully enjoyment of owning our first pin that I was able to save from the scrap yard.

Background:
My wife tinamarie23, my 4 year old son, and I have been playing pinball less than a year. We have been hitting up the local coffee shop, WhatsBrewing, that has 26 Pins a few times a week. We are having a Williams Blackout done by a local tech, but as I started to read and watch Youtube videos about pinball mods, repairs, etc., I found my self becoming interested in learning the ins and outs of how these machines work. So I bought a copy of Pinball Machine Care and Maintenance 3rd Edition by B. B. Kamoroff in anticipation for Blackout coming to our home soon.

Pinball Machine Care and Maintenance 3rd Edition by B. B. Kamoroff

As I read it, I decided I wanted to get my hands dirty and learn in the process. I'm a teacher and have been involved in many STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) programs over the years. Once, I purchased an old bicycle frame for $10 just to rebuilt it and get it onto the road again just to learn more about bicycles.

The search for the right project:
So I found myself daily searching the Pinside Market, Craigslist, Facebook, Pinsale groups etc. This last Thursday an ad for a 1974 Chicago Coin Dolphin came up and the machine's price and condition seemed to be right with what I was thinking.

Link to the San Antonio Coffee Shop with all the pinball action in the Alamo City: https://www.sacoffeeroasters.com/pinball

Here is what the cragslist ad said:
"Chicago Coin Dolphin vintage pinball machine for sale. It is NOT in working order but does turn on and lights up. It will not reset. It is stuck trying to reset but did work and play before getting stuck. It is SOLD AS IS. Email, call or text if you have questions."

Below are photos that accompanied the ad:

This journey was solely based on this and a few brief texts and phone calls that set us off racing across West Texas to New Mexico to pick up what I'm now calling in my facebook posts "Project Pinball".

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#2 1 year ago

Dolphin Restro Journal Entry #2: The Epic Pinball Quest through the Chihuahuan Desert

So as I said this was really a spur of the moment decision. I sold 2 bicycles the day before and happened to have the exact amount this guy in New Mexico wanted for this machine. So after about a 15 minute conversation with the wife and soon a text was sent and then a call was made. In this moments of communication I could hear the suprise in the seller's voice that I was willing to drop everything and make a 600 mile journey to get this thing our of his garage. Maybe we are crazy to do this but hey the wife and I are both teachers were are off for the summer and we like road trips! So we headed to New Mexico after about an hour after I hung up the telephone with the seller of the pinball machine.

Preparing to get a machine: Tips and lessons learned
As I stated in my first post on this topic, I had been researching pinball repair using a variety of resources, Pinside, YouTube, Pinball Machine Care and Maintenance 3rd Edition by B. B. Kamoroff , etc. So thanks to this I knew that I needed to pack tools with me before we started leaving San Antonio with the hood of the minivan pointed west for 8 hours.

Tools for picking up a pinball machine:
I would be removing the backbox and the legs. So knowing this was an EM made sure to prepare for 2-4 bolts in the back box that needed to be removed. In the garage I grabbed my 9/16 and 5/8 ratcheting wrenches, a bunch of towels/blankets and cardboard and a few ratchet straps. The seller didn't have the key to the coin door so I took a lock pick set, drill and drill bits just in case. I also had a thin sheet of high density fiber board that was about the same size as the backbox that thought I would use to protect the back glass. I aired up my harbor freight moving hand truck and grabbed a few of the harbor freight moving dollies I had. The last tool was our Honda Odyssey, which I removed the middle and driver side mid row seats and then folded down the back seat as well.

Family:
One doesn't simply just jump into a van with his wife, a 4 year old and expect to cross the Chihuahuan Desert in an 8 hour road trip. So we prepared by grabbing snacks, my son's kindle fire, downloaded an audio book for the road and backed a bag for one night in a hotel. (the Book by the way was "Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer...we finished it on the road trip.)

Buying the machine:
We arrived at 7:30pm local time and the seller had Dolphin set up in the driveway. He offered to turn it on before I paid him which I was happy about. I could tell the lights for the most part worked, but as he said it was stuck in the reset mode. The cam motor was just spinning. All the score reels appeared to be at zero. After that display, I paid the man and him and his 34 year old son helped me remove the backbox and ratchet strap it down to the cabinet (cushioning it with the Honda Odyssey's sun shade and some blankets. We then moved the machine very close to the back bumper of the van and I removed one of the front lets and rested the machine on my knee until that corner without the leg was slide into the back of the minivan. with three legs on and one corner in the minivan I went to work removing the other front leg and then the seller and his son helped push the front of the machine into the van to the point where the rear legs were no longer supporting it. Then all I needed to do was to remove the rear legs and push it in a little more, gather up parts and then we were in like Flynn!

I added some more padding to protect it and then we were just like that now Pinball owners!

If you want to learn about how to breakdown a pinball machine this was a great resource that I credit for my being extremely confident that I could in fact load this up in the van:

The Photos

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#3 1 year ago

Dolphin Restro Journal Entry #3: When in Rome (or New Mexico)

First off, this entry will be a little off topic, yet I think it applies for anyone who has traveled to pick up a new/used pin. If you travel to get a pin, enjoy the area if you have the time. Do a little exploring. We took the following day after getting Dolphin to enjoy South East New Mexico. We visited a few of our favorite spots.

These memories were made because we were insane enough to make a trip to get a pinball project

Our view from the Hotel
Above: our view from the Hotel
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Above: White Sands National Park, we didn't have time to stop at this one because the mountians were calling!
CloudcroftCloudcroftAbove: Cloudcroft, NM unfortuately the arcade was closed due to black mold.
Below: Osha Trail near Cloudcroft Osha Trail near CloudcroftOsha Trail near Cloudcroft62573471_10101151800010882_6438126341429657600_n (resized).jpg64725065_10101151798578752_202798881019265024_n (resized).jpgBelow: Carlsbad Caverns National Park Carlsbad Caverns National Park Carlsbad Caverns National Park Carlsbad Caverns National Park

#4 1 year ago

Dolphin Restro Journal Entry #4: The First Repair: Fixing the "Stuck in Reset Mode issue and finding other issues"

After our arrival back in San Antonio, Texas we were tired. However we couldn't relax right away, my wife tinamarie23 was playing in the summer league with the San Antonio Chapter of Belles and Chimes. (Female Pinball league/organization). Note if you want to learn more about Belles and Chimes San Antonio visit their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/BellesandChimes

Belles and Chimes San Antonio Summer League

After the second session of the summer Belles and Chimes League play, we unpacked Dolphin from the van and got her all setup on 4 harbor frieght casters so I can move Dolphin arond the garage while I work.

Before going into assessing everything that was wrong with Dolphin, I wanted to get into the cabinet so first order of business was drilling out the lock on the coin door. After that were in the cabinet and I could start assessing the issue identified by the seller. I removed Dolphin's apron because many screws of the apron were missing. I opened up the playfield and turned dolphin on. It took all of 20 minutes to assess what was the number one issue with it being stuck in the reset mode. The switches on the Cam 1 for array A were misaligned. This was found by reading the posted Cam document sheet on the inside of the cabinet and watching the cam motor as it worked. I noticed that a whole stack of switches on cam 1 set A weren't working. And one of those was A-4 the reset rely. So I carefully readjusted them and bam she started up!

Here is a video where you can see how I got up and working. There are still many issues that I will identify in my next post: The hum is the knock solenoid being activated and stuck on.

Also fixed at this time was the smallest chime missing it's screw, and bushing. Luckily, they just fell out and were in the cabinet, so I was able to fix them.

Here are random photos of Dolphin

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#5 1 year ago

Looks like a nice game under that filth. I also like how you parlayed a pinball pickup into a fun, family adventure!

I think you're pretty lucky. You don't have any real troubleshooting to do. Just a whole lot of cleaning, new rubbers, and some adjusting.

You're knocker coil, where you get 3 ohms - did you disconnect it before measuring? Otherwise, you would really be getting the reading of it's control circuit.

-dd

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from songofsixpence:

Looks like a nice game under that filth. I also like how you parlayed a pinball pickup into a fun, family adventure!
I think you're pretty lucky. You don't have any real troubleshooting to do. Just a whole lot of cleaning, new rubbers, and some adjusting.
You're knocker coil, where you get 3 ohms - did you disconnect it before measuring? Otherwise, you would really be getting the reading of it's control circuit.
-dd

No I didn’t so that could be it. The credit stepper motor isn’t working either so perhaps that is why it is stuck on as well. I don’t have schematics but they’re on the way in the mail.

#7 1 year ago

Dolphin Restro Journal Entry #5: Star Date -303537.67107432784 Captian's Log: Play Field Cleaning Round 1

So today I used some micro fiber cloths, Simple Green (very sparingly, by spraying on the towel) and then following up with Naptha hopefully dry any reside left by the simple green. I tried just the Naptha and got nothing in the heaviest dirty areas.

My method was to section off the playfield mentally into 8ths. I removed the plastics and rubber from the playfield one part at a time. Then, I started with simple green on a q tip and got the corners of the walls of the playfield and also any tight areas. Once that looked good, I used a Q-tip and Naptha to clean again those areas. Next was broad area cleaning. I was able to do this by using a micro fiber cloth and I tried to do a colored section at a time like the dolphin, then the triangle etc. When it was satisfactory I went over it virgously with naptha. I contined to work section at a time. I would reassemble as I completed the cleaning of both areas.

Now I don't have any Novis #2 but I do have some on the way, so I might give that a try when it is here before I wax.

I didn't do a complete teardown of all the componets of the playfield to to this. My goal has been to make this a nice player's restroation not something that belongs in a museum.

I had some handy tools that helped me with my work today: A Box Fan, An open garage door, a work light and Harbor Frieght funiture movers so I could move around the pin as I worked on it to get the light where I needed it as I cleaned. This method worked really well.

I had one of these on each leg.
Harbor Freight

So let's take a look at the progress I made today. I will do my best do post this in a before and after shot for each area. This captian's log will be very visual.

This is before the Lower Left playfield was cleaned
Dirty Lower Left
Midway through my progress on the lower left

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Pop bumper on Left has been cleaned the one on the right has not.
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#8 1 year ago

Looks like it's cleaning up quite nicely, Matt! Congrats on the score and restore! Keep it up!

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Looks like it's cleaning up quite nicely, Matt! Congrats on the score and restore! Keep it up!

Thanks

#10 1 year ago

Entry #6: Make it shiney

Today, I took a break from the playfield because I didn't want to be stuck out in the garage. So today I decided to polish some of the metal hardware on the playfield. I also took care of the upper glass trim and the lock bar.

Theses parts were all polished by hand using Mother's Mag Polish.

Here is a video that my son and I made about how we polished the screws:

Herr are some photos form today. I hope you can tell the difference on the computer as much as I can in person.

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Upper Glass Trim Bar: (I don't know the exact name of it but it holds the top of the glass in:
Before a lot of elbow grease:
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Now: while watching the Colorado Pinball while hand polishing parts.
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Screws:
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Metail on Playfield:
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Upper Playfield parts: IMG_3316 (resized).PNGIMG_3317 (resized).JPG

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#11 1 year ago

I live in Ohio but have a Dolphin (extreme project pin) in my garage. Need a part let me know. I may have it

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from Nikrox2:

I live in Ohio but have a Dolphin (extreme project pin) in my garage. Need a part let me know. I may have it

nikrox2 Yes, I might need some things! Right now I might need some photos (read below)

My credit stepper isn’t working and I’m not sure the bonus one is either but it’s moving. I’ve got no movement in that credit stepper but my schematics have not arrived in yet so haven’t begun to troubleshoot. It looks complete so hopefully a connection is the issue or just its gummed up. I hope they just need a rebuild.

Photo requests
One question I do have is if you could post some photos of the cabinet art ours was painted over and I want to see what colors they are the ipdb aren’t the best.

Also if you could Post a photo of your Coin door. Ours looks like it was painted and I wasn’t sure if they originally were or not.

#13 1 year ago

I have a few things scheduled this evening, but if not tonight I'll get these taken this weekend and PM you Mine is a basket case beyond bringing back I'm afraid. Got it in a package deal of 4 project pins that are mainly for parts and experimental working (I'm a newbie). So just let me know what you may need. The peeps on this forum have been more than gracious to me, so I always try to pay it forward

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from Nikrox2:

I have a few things scheduled this evening, but if not tonight I'll get these taken this weekend and PM you Mine is a basket case beyond bringing back I'm afraid. Got it in a package deal of 4 project pins that are mainly for parts and experimental working (I'm a newbie). So just let me know what you may need. The peeps on this forum have been more than gracious to me, so I always try to pay it forward

nikrox2 Thanks I’m just getting into it. I will let you know. It might be a laundry list of items I’ll PM you and we can work it out. I know of a few “would like to haves” now and maybe some “need to haves” as well.

#15 1 year ago

Entry#7: Some New Parts Arrived!

First order arrived today thanks Marcos:

new flipper bats

rubber kit

new balls

three replacement solenoids for scoring drums

Coil sleeves

springs (flipper return)
novas cleaner
fuse holder
new leg bolts
power cord plug
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#16 1 year ago

Entry 7: More Pinball Mail and reassembling Playfield

So today I finished cleaning the Playfield using Novus #2 then I did two coats of wax (Meguiar's Gold Class). I’m excited to see it all shined up and coming together. It still has a few issues like the credit stepper isn’t working and the score drums are sluggis, the lock solenoid activated and stays active as soon as the machine’s power switch comes on (is that normal?...need the schematic to check). I’m also waiting on some
Parts to come in. So that is why I started the Playfield rework first.

After 3 days of reconditioning started to reassemble the Playfield and install new rubbers it looks amazing. I choose not to touch up paint yet. Just waxed over wear spots.

Here was the order of cleaning the Playfield:

Dry wipe, vacuumed, Simple Green, Neptha, novas #2, then two laters of wax.

I’m holding off for our sample of LED (I know you must hate me..
But I’m doing LEDs) to reassemble everything completely.

I need to decide which LEDs we want. We kind of want warm or sunlight but might use natural white for inserts.

Good news in the mail today the Chicago Coin Parts Catalogue came in from ebay today! So this should help me with looking into the stepper unit issue.

I’m still waiting on the schematics so I can trouble shoot a few known issues.

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#17 1 year ago

Entry 8: the Schematics are in!!! So I’m diving deep I to troubleshooting!

I didn’t do much physically on the machine today, however, I still felt like today was a huge success!

I was able to identify where the mystery part that I found in the back box once belonged.

Mystery part

The mysterious little thing is a broken off piece of a reset lever that is crucial in the function of the credit assembly this particular part I believe is also why the knocker is being activated every time a ball is in play and stays on for the entire time.

The good news is I already have possibly found a source for this part so it shall be repaired.

Without the schematics I would’ve never been able to find out what that mystery piece was. Schematics are a must have!

Here is how I found out what that part once was:
I started by looking into the knocker always on issue on the schematics which lead me to a red wire with a lack tracer that connected all the way up into backbox to relay switch located on the credit assembly to the knocker. Upon inspection of the switch in the credit assembly I found that it remained closed, making the electrical contact causing the knocker to stay active. Then when I investigated the reason the relay was closed I noticed a rough edge on one of the little assembly arms and then consulted the parts catalog and googled the part number finding a photo and it confirmed that mine indeed was broken.

Also I am super grateful I had the schematics because it confirmed that the lock relay switch stack will be active every time the machine is turned on. AB6036E0-20E0-4F24-AA73-DB80725D4F74 (resized).jpeg

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#18 1 year ago
Quoted from Matthew2000tx:

So today I finished cleaning the Playfield using Novus #2 then I did two coats of wax (Meguiar's Gold Class).

I'm surprised no one has commented yet, but that playfield is lookin' CHOICE!!! Awesome to see you showing this game some love.

#19 1 year ago

Entry #9 One week and one day into this and she's moved into the house!
So today I didn't do too much. I polished the old Chicago Lock key for the back box key and installed a new plug on the power cable, although I think I might just replace the cable all together after seeing that it is a little short.

So today I needed to clean my garage out quickly because we got word a woman in our small group Bible Study group we lead got a truck load a free funiture for my brother-in-law and he wasn't ready for them just yet. So my wife and our son, who is four, worked to clean up the tools and parts to the Dolphin and move it into our house.

#20 1 year ago

Entry #10: we almost had an electrical
fire!

So I’ve been working on cleaning the score drums and checking for issues. So far I’ve fixed a few issues that I knew about previous which is great however I also found a few more.

I replaced two solenoids on two of the score drums because the ones in there were wrong.

I worked on and off yesterday (Monday, June 24th) and redid the first three. I take my time and polish all major metal parts and screw heads. Most importantly I removed all the black grease that was been causing the reels to stick.

I went and purchased a Harbor Fright Ultrasonic cleaner for $80 but it broke and shorted out on the third reel. So now I need to return or exchange it. When it was working it did a fantastic job!
Hopefully they exchange it and the new one lasts. I’m just thankful it didn’t start a fire since the bottom melted!

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3 weeks later
#21 1 year ago

Entry #11: A second Dolphin arrived in from a fellow Pinside Member in Ohio. It was shipped via Fastnel to San Antonio. This will provide me some part I needed for the orginal Dolphin project. This believe it or not is a huge blessing to have!

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#22 1 year ago

Congrats Matt

You really jumped in both feet !

Looking great

#23 1 year ago

In this picture you posted I noticed two things- perhaps that's why you had it up?
The first is circled. Hard to tell for sure in the pic, but looks like maybe at the soldier points, they are touching causing a possible short? And it looks like your switch blade is broken off on the left coming out of that stack...

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#24 1 year ago

Coin front if needed....

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#25 1 year ago
Quoted from Wmsfan:

In this picture you posted I noticed two things- perhaps that's why you had it up?
The first is circled. Hard to tell for sure in the pic, but looks like maybe at the soldier points, they are touching causing a possible short? And it looks like your switch blade is broken off on the left coming out of that stack...[quoted image]

Yes this whole relay will be redone now that I have parts to replace it with. Good eye!

#26 1 year ago

For a newbie your doing more than fine ! The pin is in beautiful condition btw

1 week later
#27 1 year ago
Quoted from phototamer:

For a newbie your doing more than fine ! The pin is in beautiful condition btw

Thanks.

3 weeks later
#28 1 year ago

So just an update. I haven't done too much over the past 2-3 weeks. I'm a teacher and have had work conferences out of town. My pinball efforts when I had time were to do a remodel of our breakfast area to make it a pinball area. I think I will resume the restro on the Dolphin once the school year is underway (mid-September-ish)

8 months later
#29 4 months ago

You need to keep going on this matthew2000tx and update us!

2 weeks later
#30 4 months ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

You need to keep going on this matthew2000tx and update us!

Yes next week school is out (I’m a teacher) I’ll have time start working on it again.

#31 4 months ago

Please do. CC pin games generally don’t receive much love and you are doing a splendid resto on this one. I’ll be following your progress from Germany.

2 months later
#32 42 days ago

Well guys I’ve not been working on the EM and it’s going to be a little before I do. I’ve been working on some newly acquired SS pins and the two Dolphin are in storage state in my climate controlled garage. Once I get those SS up and running the plan is to move back to the Dolphin project.

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Dr. Dave's Pinball Parts
From: $ 9.99
Eproms
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 30.00
Playfield - Decals
Mods for your pinballs
$ 5,899.00
Pinball Machine
Little Shop Of Games
From: € 189.00
Displays
GermanGamingSupplies.com
$ 15.00
Playfield - Plastics
Pinball Haus
€ 60.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
YOYOKOPTER MODS
$ 164.99
Lighting - Led
PinballBulbs
$ 139.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 48.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 20.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
UpKick Pinball
From: $ 99.99
Cabinet - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 48.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 126.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 19.99
Eproms
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 199.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Medisinyl Mods
$ 700.00
Cabinet - Toppers
Great American Pinball
$ 87.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lermods
From: € 40.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Creo Pinball
$ 94.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 10.95
From: $ 200.00
Lighting - Interactive
Professor Pinball
$ 25.00
Cabinet - Other
Filament Printing

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