(Topic ID: 296744)

1979 Stern Meteor Project

By Mathazar

15 days ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 56 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 hours ago by Aflacjack
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

  • Meteor Stern Electronics, 1979

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

yy02 (resized).jpg
yy01 (resized).jpg
yy00a (resized).jpg
yy00 (resized).jpg
Harness Wash 02 (resized).jpg
zAutoCC (resized).jpg
IMG_0223 (resized).JPG
IMG_0222 (resized).JPG
IMG_0221 (resized).JPG
IMG_0220 (resized).JPG
IMG_0219 (resized).JPG
IMG_0230 (resized).JPG
IMG_0229a (resized).jpg
IMG_0243 (resized).JPG
IMG_0242 (resized).JPG
IMG_0240 (resized).JPG

There are 56 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 15 days ago

On to the next project! Here are my previous ones if you weren't following them before:

Bally Black Jack (1978)
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-first-restoration-1977-bally-black-jack-ss

Bally Eight Ball Deluxe (1984)
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hardtop-install-and-restoration-for-eight-ball-deluxe

Bally Mata Hari (1978)
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hardtop-install-for-ss-mata-hari

I picked up a project Meteor this week for a reasonable price. It has good bones, but she needs some help. First the good news:

- After cleaning off some corroded headers and reseating the connectors, it actually powers up and starts a game!
- Fixed some switch issues on a couple of drop target banks, and it was flipping games within about an hour of unloading the game from the truck.
- Except for some missing wood in the rear of the backbox, and a crack in the lower rear of the cabinet, the cabinet is pretty solid.
- Ironically, the paint looks pretty good save for some planking here and there, but I'll wind up re-painting it anyway after doing the aforementioned wood repairs.
- All 5 displays are strong and bright.
- No hacks on the MPU, SDB, Sound, or Lamp boards. But I'll be bullet-proofing all of them with new caps, headers, etc.
- Coin door and frame look really good - no dents, scratches, or anything
- All coils fire well.
- The spinner is like butter.
- Legs and levelers are in pretty nice shape
- Nothing is rusted!

Now the bad news...
- Dirty, dirty, dirty. Total tear down, mech disassembly and refurbishment, etc. is the first order of business
- The backglass is totally trashed, too much paint missing to be salvagable. CPR repro purchase on the horizon.
- Going to need to repin every connector and fix some hacked wiring on the rectifier board. Tried to place my order to Great Plains Electronics today but the web site is temporarily closed for new orders.
- Rectifier board looks pretty bad - may replace with something modern.
- Lots of lights out, Control and GI. Could be connectors, bulbs, sockets, transistors on the lamp board, etc. Probably a combination of all of that.
- Every insert is cupped, some badly
- Some paint touch-ups on the playfield, but nothing hideous looking and no bare wood showing. The touch up areas are rough, tho, and affect ball travel. This, combined with the cupped inserts, is going to put me in the market for a CPR playfield at some point down the road. I reached out and heard from CPR today - while I know their current production of Meteor is backordered, he said they WILL be doing another run (but couldn't say exactly when). And the new run will have the score values by the METEOR drop target assembly fixed, the ones that were missing from the first run. In the meantime, I will probably put on a playfield protector to level out the inserts and smooth out the rough paint touch-ups, and play the machine until CPR is back in production with it.
- Lower flipper bats are Data East (huh?) and upper is Bally. All three bind up a little so flipper rebuilds (and new bats) are mandatory.
- Drop Targets have a mix of tombstone and chicklets and a mix of Bally and Stern. No matter....I was going to replace them all with new anyway. Will need to address the assemblies after cleaning up and rebuilding as several targets don't stay up after being reset.
- While the coin door skin is nice, there are no mechs or even brackets to hold the mechs (no chutes either!) so I'll have to do a little searching for missing parts. A previous owner rigged up a credit switch (at least it was done without drilling anything into the door).
- While the plastics look good artwork-wise (and no cracks), they're wavy as hell. Will try flattening them out in the over first, but I will likely be getting a CPR plastic set as well.
- No coin door or backbox locks, which is fine, but the backbox appears to be missing the assembly that locks in the backglass. I'll be searching for that, too.

Time to start tearing down and making a shopping list!

IMG_9970 (resized).JPGIMG_9971 (resized).JPGIMG_9972 (resized).JPGIMG_9973 (resized).JPGIMG_9974 (resized).JPGIMG_9975 (resized).JPGIMG_9979 (resized).JPGIMG_9916 (resized).JPGIMG_9917 (resized).JPGIMG_9918 (resized).JPGIMG_9919 (resized).JPGIMG_9920 (resized).JPGIMG_9922 (resized).JPGIMG_9940 (resized).JPG
#2 15 days ago

And we're off and running. Starting the playfield tear down tonight and will focus on that for the next several weeks. I'll worry about the cabinet after some playfield progress (and budget monitoring).

IMG_9997.JPGIMG_9988.JPGIMG_9989.JPGIMG_9990.JPGIMG_9991.JPGIMG_9992.JPG
#3 15 days ago

Most of the topside torn down tonight. Pops, flippers, slings, drop targets, and other mechs come out tomorrow. Elbow grease cleaning starts this weekend.

A03 (resized).jpgA04 (resized).jpg
#4 15 days ago

Looks very worthy of restore. Can't wait to see you work your magic on one of my all time favorite games! Someday I'll have one of these again.

#5 15 days ago

Don’t restore! Turn her into a Quicksilver bud! It’s not that hard

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-2nd-restoration-quicksilver-scratch-build

#6 15 days ago

Oh, man - 11 pages of restoration goodness. Added to my favorites and will be reviewing!!

#7 15 days ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Don’t restore! Turn her into a Quicksilver bud! It’s not that hard
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-2nd-restoration-quicksilver-scratch-build

...please don't do this

There are plenty of crappy Stern games that deserve being gutted and converted into Quicksilver or Star Gazer... but meteor ain't it. Imo. QS and SG both look like awesome games (I haven't played either) but so is Meteor!

Excellent job on the QS, that looks really nice. Can't really blame you for doing it, I just hate to see a great game like meteor (I know, I know.. they made 96 million of them) die to make it happen.

FWIW also, I wouldn't personally buy a CPR meteor playfield. I think it looks like crap. I'd be far more likely to pop out all the inserts, replace, touch up, and then clear the original. The CPR absolutely does not seem worth $1000 to me unless your original is just ROACHED... and in that case maybe a QS or SG starts to make sense. Again just my opinion here, and you know what they say about opinions..

#8 15 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

There are plenty of crappy Stern games that deserve being gutted and converted into Quicksilver or Star Gazer

Really? What are the plentiful "crappy" MPU-200 games that deserve to be converted that have the correct 16B-6 transformer? I take it you've never done this. I'll save you the thought process though...

The MPU-200 games are pretty rare, most with production runs below 2500 or far less than that. Meteor & Galaxy are the largest runs, around 8000 & 5000 respectively. The reason they are used for conversions is because they are cheaper, more plentiful, have the required parts to reuse, and quite frankly are not great games compared to Stern's best like Quicksilver, Nine ball, Star Gazer, etc.

And the transformer in an MPU-100 Stern is not powerful enough to convert to an MPU-200 game, especially if you want it to play correctly with enough power. This has been debated & covered in detail in other threads. If I was looking to buy a conversion game with a MPU-100 transformer installed, I'd keep right on walking.

My donor was roached, non-working, full of issues & beat to hell. Zero regrets converting. QS is probably the best classic Stern IMO, and since they are so rare it's nice to have another one in this world that others can enjoy.

Didn't mean to hijack. It's your game Math. I was only teasing you You do what you want with it & don't let anyone influence you. Happy reading though! I'm sure you can find some helpful resto tips in there.

#9 15 days ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Really? What are the plentiful "crappy" MPU-200 games that deserve to be converted that have the correct 16B-6 transformer? I take it you've never done this. I'll save you the thought process though...
The MPU-200 games are pretty rare, most with production runs below 2500 or far less than that. Meteor & Galaxy are the largest runs, around 8000 & 5000 respectively. The reason they are used for conversions is because they are cheaper, more plentiful, have the required parts to reuse, and quite frankly are not great games compared to Stern's best like Quicksilver, Nine ball, Star Gazer, etc.
And the transformer in an MPU-100 Stern is not powerful enough to convert to an MPU-200 game, especially if you want it to play correctly with enough power. This has been debated & covered in detail in other threads. If I was looking to buy a conversion game with a MPU-100 transformer installed, I'd keep right on walking.

Didn't know that about the transformer, good to know. I understand why Meteor is used for these conversions, it just bums me out to think about a decent Meteor, which I think is a great game, being sacrificed for the cause. Now, one that's all beat to bloody hell? I'd absolutely convert that without a second thought. I'd do that before buying a CPR Meteor playfield, personally. Then again, opinions on how beat games are can vary wildly. My standards are probably pretty low compared to a lot of peoples'. I'm perfectly okay with a player quality game as long as it functions correctly. Cupped inserts are gross but those can always be fixed.

Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

You do what you want with it & don't let anyone influence you. Happy reading though! I'm sure you can find some helpful resto tips in there.

Ultimately that's what it comes down to..do whatever makes you happy with your games. No one else's opinion (mine included!) really matters in the grand scheme of things.

#10 14 days ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

. And the transformer in an MPU-100 Stern is not powerful enough to convert to an MPU-200 game, especially if you want it to play correctly with enough power. This has been debated & covered in detail in other threads.

Is this subjective or objective? Has anyone on this forum ever explained what exactly extra power is needed for and or give an explanation backed up by math?

#11 14 days ago

I don’t think it matters what it’s “for”, but I can tell you from my own swapping of transformers that the 16B-6 (MPU-200) will give you the most oomph in your flippers (all coils, for that matter). I was actually a doubter because I had built my QS with a 16B-3 (MPU-100) donor and figured it was purist nitpicking but I decided to swap in a 16B-6 from another game the extra power is noticeable.

My Galaxy might run on a 16B-3 now

Anyway, following your thread Mathazar, looking forward to seeing your progress!

#12 14 days ago

I have 2 Meteors and wish I had a cabinet that nice. Looks like a great project!

#13 14 days ago

Major news on the playfield front! Lo and behold, a local pinsider reached out to me about his unused CPR Gold edition after seeing my post in the "What machine did you bring home today" thread. We struck up a deal, and 3 hours later I had the playfield back at my house!

This is one of CPR's earlier Meteor runs missing the scores below the METEOR drop target bank, but I couldn't pass this deal. Looks like I will need to research how to do waterslides (never done that before) and figure out how to match the fonts. Not to mention deciding if it's one long waterslide with all 6 scores aligned vs. 6 individual waterslides that could introduce more opportunities for alignment errors. Then I have to find a local guy who will re-clear the playfield....I'm not going to mess with that toxic stuff.

Anyone reading this that has done the waterslide "fix" to this early CPR Meteors? I'd love to hear your process.

b01 (resized).jpg
#14 14 days ago

Good info in the Meteor thread on that.

#15 11 days ago

New Parts Day! First batch of goodies from Marco's, The Pinball Wizard, and Action Pinball arrived today. Dead Bumper bodies are hard to find, but Pinball Wizard had some. A little disappointed that they're more off-white than white (and won't match the new white pop bumper body) but beggars can't be choosers. Rather use these than the originals - each of those has a couple cracks.

New Parts 01 (resized).jpg
#16 11 days ago

Kind of at a standstill now - not going to do anything with the CPR playfield until I have the DT score waterslides in place and cleared. Thanks to Coyote, I should have those by mid-week. I would start tumbling some of the playfield metal bits, but I'm out of media (20lb bag of crushed walnut will be here mid-week as well).

So I thought I'd start tearing down the cabinet - took the head off and found some structural issues with the inside left corner of the neck. A real wood craftsman with skills likely would just make a new neck or replace the troubled piece, but not me! My skills (and tools) stop at sanding, wood epoxy, bondo, and rattle can painting. So I filled in the separated pieces of ply with wood glue and clamped it down. The excess glue will come off when I sand in prep for painting later on.

Neck Repair 00 (resized).jpgNeck Repair 01 (resized).jpg
#17 9 days ago

Nothing too exciting yet this week - just getting started with organization and a plan of attack. Bagging and Tagging hardware and assemblies as they're coming off the old playfield.

z06 (resized).jpg
#18 9 days ago

Lining up bits for the ultrasonic cleaner. Tumbler media should be here tomorrow and I can start that procession line.

z09 (resized).jpgz10 (resized).jpg
#19 9 days ago

My ultimate goal is to go with Reese Rails (like I did on my Mata Hari last month...wow, those are nice) but Taylor is taking the summer off, I think, as he's not answering PM's and his thread has gone quiet. But in the meantime, I want to put rails on the CPR playfield because it's going to be spending a lot of time in the rotisserie and I don't want it to start bowing as the heavier assemblies start to go back in after cleaning and refurbishment.

So...I'll play it for now as if I'm going to re-use these old, abused 42 year old rails. Cheap wood wrapped in a black plastic coating that is peeling off with age. I went ahead and stripped them all with a sander....plastic coating came off easily enough. There's still some gluey type residue left over from the black plastic coating, so tomorrow I'll treat it with Goo Gone to clean the rest of it up. Then it's primer, a couple coats of black, and 3 or 4 coats of rattle can clear.

Hopefully, by the time the CPR playfield is going back into a finished cabinet (November?), I'll have some new Reese Rails to put on as a finishing touch.

z08 (resized).jpgz11 (resized).jpg
#20 9 days ago

Also, thinking about putting a coat or two of polyurethane or rattle can clear on the backside of the untreated CPR playfield (stuffing the insert holes beforehand of course). While everything going back on will be cleaned, including the wire harness, can't help but think months or years down the road that that coating will make it easier to clean off the black dirt and dust that inevitably comes from the coils.

Thoughts on that? Overkill or "do it while the playfield is totally bare of parts"?

#21 9 days ago

I always coat the bottom of playfields with a couple of coats of polycrylic to keep fingerprints and coil dust to a minimum.

#22 8 days ago

Holy crap....my new tumbler (18lbs of media) came today and totally dwarfs my other two (5lbs media each)! Going to be able to fit in bigger pieces that I previously had to hand polish and do larger load sizes as well. That means I can work thru my tumble queue faster. Woohoo!

IMG_0115 (resized).JPG
#23 8 days ago

Ya, I'm going to go ahead and put a few coats of rattle can clear on the back tonight. Prep work....stuffing the insert holes with toilet paper. Easy pull-out with needle nose pliers after spraying so they don't get stuck in there as it dries.

IMG_0114 (resized).JPG
#24 8 days ago

Great project. Looking forward to watching your progress on this excellent title.

#25 8 days ago

Looks great. I picked up an xacto circle cutter and just cut vinyl circles a little bigger than the holes. Then I sprayed mine down with a clear varnish too. Wish I had done it to my other swaps. Easier to keep clean.

#26 7 days ago

Well my teenage son and his friends took over my basement rec room and workshop this afternoon for a gaming party so I decided to use the couple of free hours I had today tearing down the cabinet in the garage. Happy to see no bad damage after removing everything.....came apart really easily, even the rails.

Y06 (resized).jpgY05 (resized).jpgY02 (resized).jpgY04 (resized).jpgY03 (resized).jpg
#27 7 days ago

Cabinet parts sorted....will bag later and queue up for cleaning, tumbling, and polishing. Refurbs and "upgrades" in the future for the tilt board, transformer board and rectifier, and speaker.

Y01 (resized).jpg
#28 7 days ago

Favorited this post. I just picked up a Meteor last week and I’m doing some refurbishing myself. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress.

#29 7 days ago

What a difference a couple of days in the tumbler can make. Most of these bits came out looking almost like new, but I may touch up some areas of the ball trough HW with the buffing wheel even tho it'll never be seen under the apron.

Apron HW (resized).jpgBall Trough HW (resized).jpgGate HW (resized).jpgGuides and Rail Guard (resized).jpg
#30 7 days ago

What kind of media did you use?

#31 7 days ago
Quoted from play_pinball:

What kind of media did you use?

Walnut with a couple of ounces of Flitz metal polish added. After a day and half, most of the pieces looked great but a few were still a little dull, so I put them in one of the other tumblers with corn cob media and a bit of Flitz for the next 24hrs.

#32 7 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

My ultimate goal is to go with Reese Rails

I'll give my two cents on those. I installed RR on my QS. Yes they were high quality, but he predrills the mounting holes in the underside of the rail. This turned into a nightmare for me, because of course, his holes did not match up with my new playfield. And they were only off by a few millimeters, which made it even worse for redrilling purposes. It would have been better if I could have drilled the holes myself. I was snapping screws when mounting, they didn't line up exactly how I wanted, what a mess that was.

In hindsight I should have plugged holes & redrilled exactly where the hole needed to be, or just asked him not to drill. Next time I'll just save myself the hassle, buy the wood & make them myself.

#33 7 days ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

I'll give my two cents on those. I installed RR on my QS. Yes they were high quality, but he predrills the mounting holes in the underside of the rail. This turned into a nightmare for me, because of course, his holes did not match up with my new playfield. And they were only off by a few millimeters, which made it even worse for redrilling purposes. It would have been better if I could have drilled the holes myself. I was snapping screws when mounting, they didn't line up exactly how I wanted, what a mess that was.
In hindsight I should have plugged holes & redrilled exactly where the hole needed to be, or just asked him not to drill. Next time I'll just save myself the hassle, buy the wood & make them myself.

FWIW, my RR Mata Hari rails were predrilled as well, and all but one lined up fine. Fortunately I checked for alignment before hand and did exactly what you thought of...filled in the holes on that last rail and put the pilot holes in myself.

#34 6 days ago

It might be easier just to make new rails than to recondition the old ones. You can get poplar stock (not as hard as oak, but it doesn't get much abuse) in almost the perfect dimension at your local home depot. You just have to run them through a table saw to rip them to the right height.

I made my own for my Meteor restoration. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-meteor-20201#post-6308372

IMG_2088 (resized).JPG
#35 6 days ago

One last thing, if you are going to have your playfield recleared, you might want to take the opportunity to have someone route out your #3 drop target hole a little larger. CPR made it too small (0.31" smaller than my original playfield) and it can snag the new larger sized new drop targets.

IMG_2081 (resized).JPGIMG_2083 (resized).JPGIMG_2085 (resized).JPG
#36 6 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

One last thing, if you are going to have your playfield recleared, you might want to take the opportunity to have someone route out your #3 drop target hole a little larger. CPR made it too small (0.31" smaller than my original playfield) and it can snag the new larger sized new drop targets.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Man, seeing these side by side really makes me sad for how crap-tastic of a job CPR did with these. I'm sending my friend's CPR Gold off for decals and then clear in the next few days and SURE it will look miles better than it does now when we swap it, but yikes at a lot of the artifacts on the new PF. It's almost like CPR just didn't care enough to do it properly. Really sad.

#37 6 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

Man, seeing these side by side really makes me sad for how crap-tastic of a job CPR did with these. I'm sending my friend's CPR Gold off for decals and then clear in the next few days and SURE it will look miles better than it does now when we swap it, but yikes at a lot of the artifacts on the new PF. It's almost like CPR just didn't care enough to do it properly. Really sad.

I was surprised to find that gold-ish outline around the purple/magenta is original to the game, it was just completed faded to nothing on my old machine except for under some of the posts.

#38 6 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

I was surprised to find that gold-ish outline around the purple/magenta is original to the game, it was just completed faded to nothing on my old machine except for under some of the posts.

Say *W H A T*? Where'd you read that? Send a link over if you don't mind; I just assumed that was lumped in with the rest of the garbage from CPR.

#39 6 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

Say *W H A T*? Where'd you read that? Send a link over if you don't mind; I just assumed that was lumped in with the rest of the garbage from CPR.

Sun fade does some crazy stuff. I can see it on other spots of my old playfield, but here are some good comparison photos.

54891FE6-2273-4F6C-B050-9F833D00D75E (resized).jpeg883CF196-79D2-4DFE-B478-7246BB073C1B (resized).jpeg
#40 5 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

One last thing, if you are going to have your playfield recleared, you might want to take the opportunity to have someone route out your #3 drop target hole a little larger. CPR made it too small (0.31" smaller than my original playfield) and it can snag the new larger sized new drop targets.

Thanks for the reminder. I have all chiclet drops, but this still bears examination before sending it out.

#41 3 days ago

....and the wire harness is off. A couple of hours a night for a few nights....tedious as all get out, but it's done.

IMG_0240 (resized).JPG
#42 3 days ago

This thing is grimy as hell. I probably washed my hands 20 to 25 times during the harness labeling and removal (mainly to to keep my phone clean taking pictures).

I cut the lamp wires and left their nubs in the old playfield for build reference since I'll be putting in all new lamp sockets and the PCB set with the twist-in 555's. This backed up with tons of pictures from all angles.

Each set of wires was toe-tagged for reference in case the harness doesn't "return to form" when put on the new playfield. Toe-tags were wrapped with scotch tape to prevent smearing when the harness is washed (I tested that a few times to make sure that would work). Switch stacks are zip-tied together and screws removed.

Next step...harness goes thru the dishwasher tonight.

IMG_0242 (resized).JPGIMG_0243 (resized).JPG
#43 3 days ago

My first wiring mystery with this Meteor. So before teardown, everything was working 100% with the exception of several lights out on the backbox. After removing the METEOR drop target bank, I found these two wires stuffed under that assembly and not connected to anything. I haven't looked at the playfield schematic yet, but I'm also not sure I can trust the wire colors as I've found a few examples already of "mods" using different color wire.

Anyone have any ideas? Since I doubt this has anything to do with the backbox, I think my game plan is to tag these wires as "NCF" (no connection found) and after reassembly if I have wonkiness in that area of the playfield I can start troubleshooting there.
IMG_0229a (resized).jpg

#44 3 days ago

Mystery Wire Issue #2: This pair of Purple w/ Yellow wires was folded and tucked back into the harness under a zip tie and intentionally not used. This is near the molex connector for the METEOR drop target bank. I haven't looked at the playfield schematic yet and like above, I think my game plan is to tag these wires as "NCF" (no connection found) and after reassembly if I have wonkiness in that area of the playfield I can start troubleshooting there.

IMG_0230 (resized).JPG
#45 3 days ago

Score Decal Update:

Got the waterslide. During mid-application, the waterslide broke into two pieces as I was removing the backing. I got the two pieces lined up pretty well, I think....the break occurred at the 1st zero in the 2000 score for the 4th target. There's a small blemish on that "0", but it's only noticeable if you zoom in fairly closely. You won't notice it from the player's position, even if you're looking for it.

As for clear coating - I've reviewed several options, none are appealing to me. I could send it off for a pro to do it for $500 and I won't see it for months. I talked to a couple local auto painters, one who has done this sort of thing before and 3 that haven't. I could do this for $150-$200 but I'd have to block sand it down myself, let it cure for months on end, and who knows how it will turn out (and these autoshop paint guys won't guarantee this kind of work...I'm on my own if it cracks, clouds, or is sprayed improperly). And I certainly don't want someone shooting a playfield who's never done it before. Lastly....I could do it myself. I'll still spend months curing and sanding, and this after I invest some decent $$$ into proper safety gear, air compressor, gun, pop-up paint room with ventilation, etc. etc. Not to mention I don't want to mess with stuff that toxic in the first place. All of this just to add the missing score numbers.

Instead of all that, I could simply use a strip of mylar, which I seriously considered.

The clearcoat purists are going to shudder at this, but, in the end I decided to use automobile clear touch up. I already had it, and I used it last year to protect the black paint I put on the saucer in my Mata Hari hardtop installation. With over 500 plays, it's held up perfectly.

So with this auto clear touch up, you apply it with a brush. I put on a few very thin coats, several hours apart. I may put on a couple more just to safe. If you look at it close up and at an angle, you can see the fine brush strokes. Looking at it head-on (or from the player's position), it looks just fine. And I think it will hold up based on my previous experience on the Mata Hari saucer.

The enemy of good is perfection, right? So far, I'm happy with the decal (despite me needing to re-align the two pieces I broke applying it) and with the protection (brushed on auto-clearcoat).
IMG_0219 (resized).JPGIMG_0220 (resized).JPGIMG_0221 (resized).JPGIMG_0222 (resized).JPGIMG_0223 (resized).JPGzAutoCC (resized).jpg

#46 3 days ago

Harness made it through the dishwasher with toe-tag labels intact! Wires now all squeaky clean and free of dirt and grime....you can actually see the colors now!

Harness Wash 02 (resized).jpg
#48 3 days ago

Awesome job. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

#49 3 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Score Decal Update:
Got the waterslide. During mid-application, the waterslide broke into two pieces as I was removing the backing. I got the two pieces lined up pretty well, I think....the break occurred at the 1st zero in the 2000 score for the 4th target. There's a small blemish on that "0", but it's only noticeable if you zoom in fairly closely. You won't notice it from the player's position, even if you're looking for it.
As for clear coating - I've reviewed several options, none are appealing to me. I could send it off for a pro to do it for $500 and I won't see it for months. I talked to a couple local auto painters, one who has done this sort of thing before and 3 that haven't. I could do this for $150-$200 but I'd have to block sand it down myself, let it cure for months on end, and who knows how it will turn out (and these autoshop paint guys won't guarantee this kind of work...I'm on my own if it cracks, clouds, or is sprayed improperly). And I certainly don't want someone shooting a playfield who's never done it before. Lastly....I could do it myself. I'll still spend months curing and sanding, and this after I invest some decent $$$ into proper safety gear, air compressor, gun, pop-up paint room with ventilation, etc. etc. Not to mention I don't want to mess with stuff that toxic in the first place. All of this just to add the missing score numbers.
Instead of all that, I could simply use a strip of mylar, which I seriously considered.
The clearcoat purists are going to shudder at this, but, in the end I decided to use automobile clear touch up. I already had it, and I used it last year to protect the black paint I put on the saucer in my Mata Hari hardtop installation. With over 500 plays, it's held up perfectly.
So with this auto clear touch up, you apply it with a brush. I put on a few very thin coats, several hours apart. I may put on a couple more just to safe. If you look at it close up and at an angle, you can see the fine brush strokes. Looking at it head-on (or from the player's position), it looks just fine. And I think it will hold up based on my previous experience on the Mata Hari saucer.
The enemy of good is perfection, right? So far, I'm happy with the decal (despite me needing to re-align the two pieces I broke applying it) and with the protection (brushed on auto-clearcoat).
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

I feel your pain. I just used Spray2K (2 part auto clear in a rattle can) on my Trident I'm restoring. It needed a lot of playfield touch ups where it was missing paint and had badly ground in dirt that it needed to be deep cleaned and re-cleared. I used my old meteor playfield to practice on first, and even then it was a little daunting. The whole process is very finicky. I had to re-sand the whole thing down when I didn't properly clean the playfield of all the old wax well enough and ended with fish eyes everywhere. It looks very good now, not perfect, but not anything that I would redo.

When you play your first games on the new playfield, you will find it plays a lot different than it did before. It's much faster, and you get a whole lot more ball spin. Also since it is much faster, you are going to smack the glass more than you remember. You'll love it though, it's an awesome shooter.

#50 18 hours ago

Arrgh....running into some trouble with drilling pilot holes for topside posts. Long story short - I've got a broken stud screw (right in half) down in the playfield. Taking a break from that for now as I contemplate different methods for getting it out. Vid and others have been helpful with their suggestions in the playfield restoration thread, and I will be trying the first one probably this weekend.

In the meantime, I'm focusing on other areas of need. First up - disassembling, cleaning, and putting back together the drop target banks with new targets. I've got the 111's, 222's, and 333's complete now. These things were grimy, grimy, grimy....a lot worse than the wire harness! A few trips through the ultrasonic cleaner and a couple of days each in the tumblers and while they're not exactly shiny, they're squeaky clean and moving nicely with no slop or sticking.

So....I was a little disappointed that they didn't polish up very much in my tumblers like other pieces have in the past. I'm wondering if it was because there was just so much white power/oxidation mixed with grime that it was beyond the tumbler's capability. I could have tried hitting each piece with the buffing wheel, but honestly I think I'm satisfied that they're clean and working. I've seen some restorers go to the trouble of painting each piece silver and/or clearing each piece for future protection, but I'm not going to take this restoration that far.

Here are a couple of "before" pictures of the 333's. The other two banks pretty much looked the same.

yy00 (resized).jpgyy00a (resized).jpg
There are 56 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside