'80 Black Knight - 'players level' restoration

(Topic ID: 196465)

'80 Black Knight - 'players level' restoration


By SunKing

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 32 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Chalkey
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

I finished up the Genie project ( https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/79-genie ) faster than expected, and I hate to have an empty workshop .... so when a decent Black Knight came up for sale locally I jumped on it.

DISCLAIMER:
I am NOT doing a full restoration. I like to think of what I do more as a 'players restoration' - where the game plays and looks as good as new (or better) from the players point of view. That means I'm not too concerned with polishing parts on the underside of the playfield, or repainting the inside of the cabinet. Don't get me wrong, I really admire the guys who have the patience, skill and tools to do all that. ...but I'll leave that to the pro's. I'm just a guy doing this in his garage for fun.

The game plays near 100% - but the flippers/pop/slings and drops all need to be rebuilt. I'm also going to touch-up and clear the playfield(s). Here are some BEFORE pictures:

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#2 1 year ago

...and now, a few pictures from the teardown.

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Damn, that is NASTY!
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#3 1 year ago

Taking off 37 year old Mylar without damaging the paint underneath is always a bit risky. I used the hot air technique, and it worked pretty well. Getting the glue residue off was much harder. I used a combination of the flour and alcohol method, mixed in with some Goo-Gone and elbow grease.

Yeah, looks pretty dirty up close.
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Much better...
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#4 1 year ago

Let's rebuild some drop targets!! With these, there really wasn't much to do other than disassemble and clean. I got some new target stickers coming from Marco...

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New parts!!
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#5 1 year ago

You've got a great machine to work with, hardly any wear at all. This should turn out really nice!

What's with those Williams coin entry plates? My Scorpion plates look the same.

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#6 1 year ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

What's with those Williams coin entry plates?

you got me.... a little too much chrome polish?

Well, happy rainy Friday folks!

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#7 1 year ago

So far so good, keep chugging.

#8 1 year ago

Looking good!

#9 1 year ago

Thanks guys~!

....sanding down the 2nd coat of clear before starting touchups.

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#10 1 year ago

Touchups completed. ...this is the one week anniversary of my ownership, and I'm much farther along than I expected to be. Thank goodness the power is still on.

This is the 3rd coat of 5 - after touchups - before sanding for the 4th coat....

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2 weeks later
#11 1 year ago

Now that things have more or less returned to normal around here, I figured it's time to post more of my progress with Black Knight. I have finished the clear coat, polishing and cleaning, and have re-assembled everything. It's still not 100%, as I have a flipper rebuild kit and a set of Cliffy's on-order - but I'm getting all the switches tweaked and chasing down any misc issues.

Here are a few before/after pics:

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#12 1 year ago

A few more...

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#14 1 year ago

Nice job Sunking.
I just did a sink restore/ BK restoration

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#15 1 year ago

OMG, HEP commented on my thread!

You sir, are too kind. My work isn't even in the same league with professionals such as yourself. While I do try and 'up my game' each time, I'm still way too impatient and lack the tools needed to do everything correctly. THANK YOU sir, for posting so many threads with pictures and tips, explaining your technique. ...it's inspirational to us amatures.

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from SunKing:

OMG, HEP commented on my thread!
You sir, are too kind. My work isn't even in the same league with professionals such as yourself. While I do try and 'up my game' each time, I'm still way too impatient and lack the tools needed to do everything correctly. THANK YOU sir, for posting so many threads with pictures and tips, explaining your technique. ...it's inspirational to us amatures.

Glad to hear it. I see a lot of HEP copies and very little acknowledgment so it is appreciated.
Not every game needs to be a total showpiece so I really liked the balance I saw on this one.
Nice mix of fixing issues and making it look nice without going crazy.

#17 1 year ago

Did you touch up the paint in front of the flippers, or was it just cleared? What about the inserts? It looks awesome!

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from SunKing:

Touchups completed. ...this is the one week anniversary of my ownership, and I'm much farther along than I expected to be. Thank goodness the power is still on.
This is the 3rd coat of 5 - after touchups - before sanding for the 4th coat....

Looks awesome!

What paint did you use for touch-ups?

What clear did you use?

Looks like you dry sanded the clear. How did that go with sandpaper usage? How long after spraying did you wait to sand?

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

Did you touch up the paint in front of the flippers, or was it just cleared? What about the inserts? It looks awesome!

Thanks!! Yes, I did some very minor touchups around the flipper area to try and repair the planking as best as I could. I don't have an airbrush (yet), so I just tried to match the color the best I could, and put as little as possible just to hide the bare spots. Looking back now, I probably could have done more touchups. I did try to repair most of the keylines, but I prefer to err on not doing enough, as opposed to making really obvious (and crappy looking) repairs.

Someone PM'd me and asked where I got the blue inserts. I didn't replace any inserts - those are just color matched LED's.

Quoted from Schwaggs:

What paint did you use for touch-ups?
What clear did you use?
Looks like you dry sanded the clear. How did that go with sandpaper usage? How long after spraying did you wait to sand?

For the touchups I use Createx paints - got 'em at Hobby Lobby. For the clear, I use SprayMax 2K. I don't have an aircompressor or spray gun, so this is the best option you can find in a can. There is an entire thread devoted to SprayMax here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-spraymax-2k-auto-clear-in-a-can-club

I usually wait about 24 hours before sanding between coats. I was using 220 grit, so it cut down really fast, but you have to be careful not to sand too deep. For the final coat, I use two cans and lay it down wet. The guys that do it correctly will then sand with 1000, 1500 or 2000, and then polish and shine to a mirror finish. I just leave it - if the final coat lays down thick and wet, it looks good enough for me and I avoid all that work.

Thanks for the compliments guys!

#20 1 year ago

Anytime HEP comments on your thread, you know you did a great job. Well done!!!

#21 1 year ago

The new Cliffy's are here!! Stainless armor for the Black Knight!

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For reference, this is the same area before paint touch-up and Cliffy.

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#22 1 year ago

Well.... Black Knight is almost done. I ended up having to completely rebuild the flippers with new coils, sleeves, linkages, etc. They are now snappy and make the ramps easily. I've got one last Cliffy to install, and then a few switches to either adjust or replace.

Unfortunately, that's the good news. The bad news is that the game locks up randomly, and occasionally will not boot at all. Sometimes I can get a few games in without issues, and other times it may lock up on ball one. Based on what I'm seeing, it's most likely the 40 pin enterconnect (most everything else including power and ground mods were already 'bullet proofed'). I want this game to play rock solid for many years to come, so I went ahead and purchased the Rottendog replacement MPU/Driver. Hopefully it will arive soon, and I can wrap up this project and move Black Knight into the house.

#23 1 year ago

I experience the same on my Solar Fire: random lockups, sometimes not even possible to start a game, sometimes it plays perfectly. I have already replaced many connectors and also the 40 pin interconnect, but that didn't solve it.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from g94:

I experience the same on my Solar Fire: random lockups, sometimes not even possible to start a game, sometimes it plays perfectly. I have already replaced many connectors and also the 40 pin interconnect, but that didn't solve it.

Next step: ROM sockets

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Next step: ROM sockets

.... and CPU socket.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Next step: ROM sockets

Quoted from Schwaggs:

.... and CPU socket.

Just did that. To no avail unfortunately... I'll keep searching.
(SunKing sorry to hijack your thread)

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from SunKing:

Unfortunately, that's the good news. The bad news is that the game locks up randomly, and occasionally will not boot at all. Sometimes I can get a few games in without issues, and other times it may lock up on ball one. Based on what I'm seeing, it's most likely the 40 pin enterconnect (most everything else including power and ground mods were already 'bullet proofed'). I want this game to play rock solid for many years to come, so I went ahead and purchased the Rottendog replacement MPU/Driver. Hopefully it will arive soon, and I can wrap up this project and move Black Knight into the house.

Check the power supply voltages. That sounds like very unclean power, probably fluctuating between normal and way too low.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from SunKing:

The new Cliffy's are here!! Stainless armor for the Black Knight!

I didn't even know there was such a thing......where did you find these?

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from jibmums:

I didn't even know there was such a thing......where did you find these?

You've never heard of cliffy protectors? Most every time someone has wear on a kickout hole, they'll say "you need a Cliffy for that!"

http://www.passionforpinball.com/products.htm

...speaking of the Cliffy's - those improved 'no hop' flipper return guides are AWESOME!! Black Knight was holding up enough tonight to get several good games in - and it was a VERY noticeable improvement how smooth the ball would travel down the inlane all the way to the tip of the flipper without even the slightest bounce. I'm going to need some of those for my Firepower.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from LynnInDenver:

Check the power supply voltages. That sounds like very unclean power, probably fluctuating between normal and way too low.

Thanks, I will certainly do this before swapping in any new boards.

#31 1 year ago

I got the final Cliffy installed, and had a great time last night playing Black Knight. Every drop target and every switch is working 100% (after I repaired a disconnected diode on one of the drop target switches). I even got the pop bumper adjusted so it's playing nice and snappy. I did have one lockup, but after that it ran solid for the rest of the evning. SO MUCH FUN!!

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#32 1 year ago

Black knight is so good. I could play it all day. Hitting that lock shot is just so gratifying. Some day it will be mine!

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