(Topic ID: 158741)

1980 Stern Nine Ball Restore (seshpilot)


By seshpilot

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by seshpilot
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders

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#1 3 years ago

Nine Ball: the only pinball game affectionately adored by attractive blondes, bearded movie directors, and...wizards?
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I love this game. I love the bizarre art, I love the bizarre layout, I love the orange cabinet. Seriously, this is one of those "hidden gems" of pinball currently. As a result, I knew I had to get one.

After a long search, I finally found one that had extremely little wear on the playfield, a beautiful cab, and actually played. I paid a fair price for it, but unfortunately had to buy it only going off of pictures as the game was quite far from me. I had STI ship it to me. Here's a few shots of "dropoff day":

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Not a bad deal at all for me! Unfortunately, as with most classic Stern games, most of the inserts were quite cupped:
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What I hadn't thought about (remember I couldn't play it before purchasing), was that Nine Ball has so much of its real estate taken up by inserts. As a result, while the game looked pretty, it played like crap. The ball would get hung up on cupped inserts and take bizarre turns on the way down the playfield. I quickly realized that the playfield was going to need more than I had originally thought.

After researching how to "un-cup" inserts, I decided that between doing all of that, touching up some of the paint, and clearing, I'd rather send the playfield off to HSA. They did such a nice job on my Seawitch playfield (that restore can be found here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ahoy-matey-there-be-a-seawitch-a-restoring), that I really didn't think twice about it.

Here's some shots of the playfield "naked" after the teardown:
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Like I said, not a bad candidate to start from!

#2 3 years ago

<reserved>

#3 3 years ago

Nice!

2 weeks later
#4 3 years ago

While the playfield is out to HSA, I've been busy rebuilding all the electronics and cleaning up all the parts (polishing metal, rebuilding flippers, etc...). Here's a few before and afters:

The driver board:
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The sound board:
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The power board (after being rebuilt):
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2 of the 3 drop target banks (the one on the left has been cleaned and rebuilt; the one on the right hasn't):
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The large 9 Ball target bank (this thing was a BEAST to tear down and rebuild):
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1 of the 2 flipper rebuilds:
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I also sanded down the inside of the cabinet and cleaned it up a bit:
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I've cleaned everything topside and underside at this point and am now just waiting on getting a few pieces in the mail (custom shooter rod, playfield back from HSA, etc...). I'll be posting as it progresses!

#5 3 years ago

Nice

#6 3 years ago

Just got an email from HSA on their progress! It's coming along beautifully. Such a fan of these guys and gals. They ended up using 90% NOS inserts. Here's a before and after of the insert bank on the left of the playfield...

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More pics of their progress can be found here: http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa051516nineballs1.html#0

#7 3 years ago

"WOW" Indeed! Nice.

Quoted from seshpilot:Just got an email from HSA on their progress! It's coming along beautifully. Such a fan of these guys and gals. They ended up using 90% NOS inserts. Here's a before and after of the insert bank on the left of the playfield...

More pics of their progress can be found here: http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa051516nineballs1.html#0

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from KHL:

"WOW" Indeed! Nice.

Picture is very fitting....WOW

#9 3 years ago

Custom shooter rod came in the mail today...

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#10 3 years ago

I have a pretty nice one with a beat up cabinet but a lot of work/new parts done to it. I have to double check the wiring, because it won't boot and smoked a few things (displays and a resistor on the sound board) Ugh, but that's how I picked it up. May need to lean on you for some double checking to the wires, but i'll be following this nice thread

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Custom shooter rod came in the mail today

Did it come from Pinball Pimp? i ordered the same one from them a while ago, but the rod was too short.

#12 3 years ago

I wish I could do this type of work. Nice job! Can't wait to see the finished product

#13 3 years ago

What is the estimated cost for hsa to do a playfield up like that? Those are some beauties!

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

What is the estimated cost for hsa to do a playfield up like that? Those are some beauties!

Gives a description of the different levels on the below link. Look reasonable to me.

http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/Playfield_Restoration.html

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

May need to lean on you

Happy to share any of my many pics prior to teardown!

Quoted from sadler28:

I wish I could do this type of work

Well you're in Indy and so am I. I have been taking other projects on the side if you're really looking to restore something.

1 month later
#16 3 years ago

Been too long but just got my playfield back from HSA and I'm in love!

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#17 3 years ago

Two more. Sorry that the colors are off but you get the idea...

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#18 3 years ago

Looks great!

#19 3 years ago

Wonderful restoration on the playfield.

On the Solenoid Driver board, please change these two ridiculous pieces of old and undersized wires between the PCB and the main capacitor. Use bigger and shorter wires and you will feel the difference when playing. I have done that on all my Bally games and it is a must.

Yves

#21 3 years ago

Want a Nine Ball, my favorite of the Kirk Sterns.

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Happy to share any of my many pics prior to teardown!

Well you're in Indy and so am I. I have been taking other projects on the side if you're really looking to restore something.

Tempting, Playfields are not my friend!

#23 3 years ago

Did they do the "Target Value" text paint or was that you?

#24 3 years ago

This is in my future! Thanks for posting.
-mof

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from Arcane:

On the Solenoid Driver board, please change these two ridiculous pieces of old and undersized wires between the PCB and the main capacitor.

Good idea. Never thought of that but will give it a try!

Quoted from Luzur:

Did they do the "Target Value" text paint or was that you?

That was HSA. For sure not a perfect match but it's far enough back and so close to a plastic that I'm not gonna make a stink. I'm very pleased overall.

4 months later
#26 2 years ago

Finished restoring and putting back together. More updates coming soon!

#27 2 years ago

First time seeing this thread, I love me a nice Stern restoration. I sold my 9 ball a couple of years ago and regret it. How long did it take for HSA to restore the pf? Would like to know how the game play is compared to the original pf and clear coated pf.

1 week later
#28 2 years ago
Quoted from Lovef2k:

How long did it take for HSA to restore the pf? Would like to know how the game play is compared to the original pf and clear coated pf.

It took about 3 months to get back from HSA. Hmmmmmm gameplay...I guess I'd say that it's just different. To be honest, I like the way pinball machines play without clear coat, but that's just me. HSA doesn't do an insane amount of cc on their playfields which is good, but it still changes the feel. Like any new game, I think a new playfield cc needs to be broken in a bit before it plays like we're all used to in the arcade.

#29 2 years ago

Final pictures of the restoration:

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#30 2 years ago

SOLD

#31 2 years ago

Great work

#32 2 years ago

Another incredible classic Stern restoration! Excellent job once again, Sesh!

Did you find the rule set interesting on this one? I only recently got to try mine out, and found the rules to be very interesting and creative given the limited space/features there's room for. I'm not getting rid of mine any time soon!

1 week later
#33 2 years ago
Quoted from frunch:

Another incredible classic Stern restoration! Excellent job once again, Sesh!
Did you find the rule set interesting on this one? I only recently got to try mine out, and found the rules to be very interesting and creative given the limited space/features there's room for. I'm not getting rid of mine any time soon!

Thanks man. I really feel like these old Sterns are hidden treasures and desire the premiere treatment.

I liked the game and the rule set is incredible. The objectives are clearly laid out, but good luck accomplishing them. This game is stinking HARD. It's a cool one for sure.

For the record, this game has been SOLD and is going to a good home up north. Thanks for the interest folks and LMK if you need anything in terms of help fixing your own up!

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