A Fish Tales rebuild...


By cosmokramer

1 month ago


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  • 153 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 minutes ago by cosmokramer
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There are 153 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
#1 59 days ago

Authors note: This is a documentation on how to buy a project pin, put in an enormous amount of time and money sourcing parts, then spend endless hours of labor.....just to have a pin that you could have bought for the same amount of cash, minus all the headache and work involved.

●●●●●●●●

Our subject is Williams Fish Tales. I needed a project to occupy my time and this one came along so I took it on. If I had a chance to go back and change my mind I probably would buy it anyway...even though this thing is a basket case. I guess I just wanted to challenge myself, and this certainly is a challenge.

Here it sits in the condition I bought it, with the exception that I put it on an old set of legs I had, as it came with none.

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#3 59 days ago

At first glance it doesnt appear *too* bad...cab has nice colors, playfield looks to be very nice with almost no wear at all, topper and tub intact. Sure its missing a few boards and such but things look promising...
I will document dollars spent, but not hours put in because frankly its a lot.

Like I said AT FIRST GLANCE things look promising...but stay tuned

#4 59 days ago

Heres the parts the game is missing:
Translite
Translite glass with lift channel and edges
Dmd
H channel
Back box lock
Power driver board
Audio board
Dmd driver
Fliptronics board
Mpu
Ribbon cables
Flipper boards in cab
Legs
Playfield glass
Lock down bar
Coin door lock
Coin chute and button
Apron
Roms
Asic chip
Rubber kit
Shooter handle
Knocker

Not too bad right?!?..oh, by the way, the cab and playfield had termites munching away for who knows how long...aaaaannnddd the game shipped back to the mainland from Hawaii so there is surface rust on everything on the topside of the playfield.

Yeah, OK

#5 59 days ago

Because im not totally crazy I thought it would be a good idea to take the boardset out of my WH20 and put it in the FT just to make sure everything else (transformer, speakers, harness, coin door interface board, adjust buttons etc) worked...and it did!
So I installed some legs, lock down bar and playfield glass that was in my stash of free parts I got awhile back (thanks @tracelifter) and started to order parts...

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#6 59 days ago

This post will be used to track dollars spent ( against my better judgement I am going to keep track )
It will be updated as project moves along...

I bought the Fish Tales and Road Show projects for 1400 total and sold the RS for $850 so the base FT cost me $550

Base game $550
Legs and bolts $0
Playfield glass $0
Lock down bar $0
Knocker $0 (took from RS)
Flipper button boards $0 (took from RS)
Mpu $95
Audio board and dmd driver $235
New rottendog fliptronics $65
New rottendog power driver $300
Apron $35
New pps translite $125
Trans lift channel and trim $20
Dmd $80
Rubber kit $15
Boat plastic $10
Ribbon cable set $40
Tempered trans glass $35
Replacement playfield $460
Misc marco stuff $100

And counting...

Thanks so far to :
@tracelifter
@uncivil_engineer
@ericpinballfan
@magicsmoke
@gutz
@turtle
@kruzman
@benetboy78
@Soulrider911

#7 58 days ago

Following! I did one of these and flipped it right away, miss it. I love projects like these.

If you can't find the caster reel (which I'm guessing they're hard to find), any other plans? I'd personally just to a "Launch Ball" button and be done with it.

#8 58 days ago
Quoted from dudah:

Following! I did one of these and flipped it right away, miss it. I love projects like these.
If you can't find the caster reel (which I'm guessing they're hard to find), any other plans? I'd personally just to a "Launch Ball" button and be done with it.

Plan A is to find an original caster handle but they seem to be rather scarce.
Plan C is a traditional launch ball button

But plan B is to take this guy and mount it on a reel seat of a cut down fishing rod with a button installed to launch ball like the original...

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#9 58 days ago

Lookin good @cosmokramer. Should be a nice looking game when done. I got lucky and found the fishing reel launcher for mine, but before that I was considering repainting and using one of these, seems like it would be fairly easy to adapt as the reel and rod are one piece, and easy enough to mount a switch inside to be activated by the reel's pushbutton once the " guts " of the reel are removed. Anyways just thought Id pass the idea along.
Best of luck, its a great game.

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#10 58 days ago

I thought I would start with the playfield. I knew the bugs had been eating this game for awhile, but did not know the extent of the damage. I removed the playfield and stripped both sides. I found quite a bit of termite damage under the playfield, but nothing noticeable from the top side that wasnt hidden by wooden rails...

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My plan was to use wood filler on the underside and sand smooth, I knew it wouldnt be perfect but it would work...

But then I thought I should really stress the top layer of plywood to check for structural integrity...and of course, I picked at this and found a shitstorm...I guess its for the best as as I would hate to go through all this labor just to have an airball bust through the art...So I contacted Ron Kruzman and a nice condition playfield is on the way...

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#11 58 days ago

That sucks! It's gonna be awesome when done! Expensive but awesome

#12 58 days ago
Quoted from davijc02:

That sucks! It's gonna be awesome when done! Expensive but awesome

Yup, Im guessing I will spend about 2600.00 total and after countless hours of labor I will have a game worth about 2600.00
I dont recommend this method of collecting...

#13 58 days ago

Hey Cosmo, I'm walking in your footsteps. After Pinbot, my next project is Fish Tales. Following! Keep us posted and keep it up buddy.

Quoted from cosmokramer:

after countless hours of labor I will have a game worth about 2600.00

If you get all the missing parts, you can always come here and sell it for 5000$ CAD in Canada.

#14 57 days ago
Quoted from Plumonium:

After Pinbot

Your Pinbot looks incredible, I have been following...

Quoted from Plumonium:

If you get all the missing parts, you can always come here and sell it for 5000$ CAD

I accept your offer of 5,000$ CAD..

●●●●●

After inspecting the damage to the cab it appears that it will not need to be replaced. Most of the bug damage is in two of the corner cleats. They will be easily replaced. I have built and decaled brand new cabs before, but Im happy to not have to do that with this project.

(Pics coming)

#15 57 days ago

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My mailman has been busy this week...this should be about 85% of what I need to get this baby back on the road...

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#16 57 days ago

Nice to see this one getting some love..

#17 57 days ago

Christmas before Christmas!

What kind of love did your Kruzman playfield got? How is it? Is it an original restored or a CPR + kruz treatment ?

#18 56 days ago
Quoted from Plumonium:

Christmas before Christmas!
What kind of love did your Kruzman playfield got? How is it? Is it an original restored or a CPR + kruz treatment ?

Alas, nothing anywhere near as exciting as that. Ron was kind enough to sell me a nice original playfield that he aquired awhile back, it has not been restored. Although I plan on doing some full blown top to bottom complete restorations using Kruzmans works of art, this project is more of a rebuild rather than a resto. This nice replacement is a cost effective way to get this game in nice shape without spending more than it is worth. If I didnt have to move in a few months then I would be keeping the FT, and if I was keeping it I would have gone all the way.

A few pics of some parts before and after cleaning...warm water and simple green for plastics, aluminum foil and water to get the rust off the habitrails

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#19 56 days ago

Nice.

Funny, I have a CPR playfield waiting for my Fish Tales and wonder what to do with my original once I'm done swapping. Either I sell it as is, try and restore the best I can then sell it, or use it as a piece of art on the wall... Except some somewhat nasty planking, it's actually in a pretty decent shape, not much insert damage.

#20 56 days ago

Did you treat the clean wireforms with anything to avoid re-rusting them?

#21 56 days ago

I want to keep an eye on your progress. I think a pimped out ft would be better than a lot of more expensive games. I never had any interest in the game until chris rock brought one over for the winter and I fell in love with it. Having one that plays all super fast, dialed in, and lookin super fly. (bunch of weak puns in there). If you get sick of it, maybe I have a game to trade for it.
I told you this privately but I saw a whole stack of about 30 nos gottlieb pf's, and the bugs got in to the stack, and they ruiened a lot of pf;s. never saw a new model with the bugs before. good luck.
cheers, kruz

#22 56 days ago
Quoted from kruzman:

chris rock

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#23 55 days ago
Quoted from markp99:

Did you treat the clean wireforms with anything to avoid re-rusting them?

Im trying this stuff for the first tine... https://www.evaporust.com/rust-bandit

Cab repairs will begin this weekend (hopefully...I have had an awful sciatic nerve issue for 2 months now so I am currently moving at a snails pace). After thats done I will start cleaning and polishing the playfield, then begin repopulation.

#24 55 days ago

watchin with interest!

#26 53 days ago

With a replacement playfield in hand I can now focus on the cab repair and some other woodworking I need to get out if the way... I need to cut new playfield rails and a new back panel, easy enough as I have the old bug eaten pieces for templates...

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Interestingly enough, the bugs ate the front right and left rear leg support cleats, but didnt touch the opposing ones...they also ate the 2 bottom corner cleats... you can see where the leg plate sucked through the hollowed out wood...

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They ate the entire center layer of plywood, it split evenly down the center...

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#27 53 days ago

Wow, what a mess. Can't wait to see how is looks when you are done.

Holy restoration Batman!

#28 52 days ago

Damn brother those bugs ate the shit outta that game!

#29 50 days ago

Following....cant wait to see how this turns out!

#30 50 days ago

feels like a flat pack cabinet or donor really would be better. The 'hidden' damage just keeps popping its ugly head out. Would hate to find new damage down the road. Enjoying the updates!!!

#31 50 days ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

feels like a flat pack cabinet or donor really would be better. The 'hidden' damage just keeps popping its ugly head out. Would hate to find new damage down the road. Enjoying the updates!!!

Possibly, but unlike the playfield, the cabinet plywood is unmolested. They seem to prefer the corner braces rather than the ply.
But, I will be doing an extensive check of the ply when I can get my bad back to agree to let me get some work done. And if the need arises then I will build a cab from scratch and install new decals.
In the meantime I have been cleaning parts and prepping to repopulate the replacement playfield. This is the first project that I have used evaporust and it seems to work great.
Looks like I will have to use a standard MM style ball launch button as the reel handle is currently unobtainium, however I was told that Marco was getting 250 reel assemblys in a few months.

#32 50 days ago

Just wondering what's been done to debug the cabinet? Fumigation? Freezing?

#33 50 days ago
Quoted from ajfclark:

Just wondering what's been done to debug the cabinet? Fumigation? Freezing?

Bugs were eliminated long before I got the game.

#34 47 days ago

Here we go....put the playfield on my state of the art rotisserie...

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#35 47 days ago

Good progress! I love how it's sitting against the wall

#36 47 days ago

Its Looking Good Cosmo, I can't wait to see that bad boy back together.

#37 47 days ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

Here we go....put the playfield on my state of the art rotisserie...

Ooooh Dig Dug! Love that game!

#38 47 days ago

New topper dome showed up today...

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#39 47 days ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

New topper dome showed up today...

Where did you get that??!!?! I see the Marco tag but they have said out of stock forever. It’s the only thing I need for mine

#40 47 days ago

This game came with a topper dome, but my WH20 was missing it so I took the one off FT and put it on WH20. I wont be adding the cost of the topper dome to my bottom line since FT did come with one.

Quoted from jmountjoy111:

Where did you get that??!!?! I see the Marco tag but they have said out of stock forever. It’s the only thing I need for mine

I have been looking for one for WH20 for months and marco was out of stock every time. Then I checked and marco had them in stock for almost 2 weeks, but I didnt order one because I knew I needed parts for FT and wanted to get a list together and order it all at the same time. When I finally went to place my order they were out of stock again. I put up a WTB ad and a pinsider was kind enough to sell me a spare he had.
@Mitch shared this link in my WTB ad, but they run about $130 shipped.
http://littleshopofgames.com/product/topper-dome-fish-taleswhitewater-clear/

#41 47 days ago

OMG, damn i missed it. Ive been looking for a topper dome to. Cosmo, really looking good. Dedication to rebuild this one. Looking good so far!

#42 47 days ago

This is the pin that got me into pinball...playing a brand new one on location at a mountain Mikes pizza around the corner from my house in 1992...

#43 47 days ago

Thanks for all the kind words guys...
It looks like I am in for just over $2100 so far, and I think I might have everything I need with the exception of a few incidentals that Im sure will pop up. The good news is that means even If I end up having to build a new cab I can do so for under $100 plus about $250 for decals. That still puts me at or around 2500.

#44 46 days ago

love FT !

#45 46 days ago
Quoted from freezie:

love FT !

How many man hours do you have into this project?

#46 46 days ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

This game came with a topper dome, but my WH20 was missing it so I took the one off FT and put it on WH20. I wont be adding the cost of the topper dome to my bottom line since
Mitch shared this link in my WTB ad, but they run about $130 shipped.
http://littleshopofgames.com/product/topper-dome-fish-taleswhitewater-clear/

Thx for the tip. I Just picked up a nice FT with a smashed dome. Broke down and overpaid for this one but it was drivin me nuts.....and don't forget the shell decal!

#47 46 days ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

How many man hours do you have into this project?

I deceided not to keep track this time....it might prevent me from doing something like this again...

#48 46 days ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

I deceided not to keep track this time....it might prevent me from doing something like this again...

Oh I bet....but it would be nice to know....looks like a great project

#49 46 days ago

Im standing here just getting ready to get started repopulating my playfield, but something is wrong. Something is bothering me and I cant quite put my finger on it, then it hits me....its the cabinet, great colors still and pretty solid but
..those damn bugs....

I cant do it, I cant put this work into this thing with the potential for a cab failure in the future.

So after I finish the playfield I will begin documenting a complete wpc cab build from scratch....in the meantime I hope to have a bit of work done on the playfield to show later today...

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Right out of the chute I take a self delivered kick in the nuts.....I had carefully removed the entire mass of harness, mechs and boards from the underside of the playfield and slid it onto a piece of plywood in the same shape/placement as it came off...plan was to slide it onto the new playfield, which I did, in the same general form and easily begin to re-attatch components....but the previous mentioned kick comes when I did not tighten the rotisserie and it spun around, dumping everything into a heaping mess on the floor... b
Here is the mess when I put it back on the playfield....

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Yep, off to a stellar start....
So about 90 min later its coming together...

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