(Topic ID: 274002)

A Whirlwind that looks like it went through a whirlwind! (Restore)


By HydrogenHuman

6 months ago



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  • 106 posts
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  • Latest reply 5 months ago by HydrogenHuman
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There are 106 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
10
#1 6 months ago

I'm starting up a restoration thread for a Whirlwind I acquired just yesterday. I'll be posting more pictures of the overall machine, but man this machine looks rough. It was unfortunately neglected pretty badly, but the one positive is that the boards at a glance appear to be okay, and there is no battery/acid damage.

I haven't taken a closer inspection yet, but my goal over the next several days will be to do just that. What I have already observed is the following:

-The cabinet artwork is trashed on one side, and some of the wood is sagging/warped on the backbox. This was likely due to it being left out in the elements for several years with a tarp over it.
-The playfield does appear to have a fair amount of wear, but again I need to take a closer look. Many of the insert decals are completely gone, the spinning discs have no decals, and there does appear to be planking.
-Topper is yellowed and cracked in many spots, but amazingly the fan still appears to work (I did not see it myself)
-When the previous owner turned it on, many of the lights were not working, the display was out, and several pop bumpers and switches on the playfield were not registering according to him.

TLDR; I have my work cut out for me!

UPDATE: Pictures of the machine have been posted in the thread!

whirlwind.jpg

#3 6 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Give us all the juicy pics!!

Will do! I'm really tired from the long day of picking it up and bringing it downstairs so I won't quite get to it tonight.

#4 6 months ago

Hey man, I’m late in my WW restore, cabinet mostly. You may get some tips here, or not.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/northwind-er-whirlwind-refurb

#5 6 months ago
Quoted from northerndude:

Hey man, I’m late in my WW restore, cabinet mostly. You may get some tips here, or not.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/northwind-er-whirlwind-refurb

Oh nice! Great to see a fellow pinsider also working on Whirlwind!

Are those decals you have Radcals?

#6 6 months ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

Oh nice! Great to see a fellow pinsider also working on Whirlwind!
Are those decals you have Radcals?

No, they are actually custom.
The artwork is only the art. Everything else that you see that’s blue will be paint.

#7 6 months ago
Quoted from northerndude:

No, they are actually custom.
The artwork is only the art. Everything else that you see that’s blue will be paint.

I think that's how the radcals are as well, but I could be wrong. How did you get them custom? Are there stencil kits for Whirlwind?

#8 6 months ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

I think that's how the radcals are as well, but I could be wrong. How did you get them custom? Are there stencil kits for Whirlwind?

No, a guy scanned his entire cab before deconstruction and had a print shop make them, he turned me on to the same place (was nice of him)

Radcals are an entire artwork “panel” that’s like thin plexiglass or lexan that covers the entire sides and front of cab.

#9 6 months ago
Quoted from northerndude:

No, a guy scanned his entire cab before deconstruction and had a print shop make them, he turned me on to the same place (was nice of him)
Radcals are an entire artwork “panel” that’s like thin plexiglass or lexan that covers the entire sides and front of cab.

I see, that was cool! I don't have the artistic ability to paint the artwork, so radcals may be the way to go even though purists hate it. But after I post pictures of the cabinets condition, I think even purists would think radcals are a good decision!

#10 6 months ago

I've seen plenty of Lawlor games left in a warehouse to rot over the years. Unfortunately in that case Whirlwind and Funhouse were too far gone. It's refreshing to see someone with a different point of view on these neglected classic machines.

#11 6 months ago

Alright, without further ado I present a plethora of pictures!

CABINET, TOPPER, and TRANSLITE/EXTERIOR BACKBOX

Coin door and front decals. Good amount of wear, but could be worse.
20200728_195458.jpg

What? You've never heard of a 2/3 Plunger?
20200728_195505.jpg

Aah, that will buff right out! (Joking aside, this was a telltale sign it was left out in the elements imo)
20200728_195516.jpg

The bad cabinet side.
20200728_195743.jpg

The good cabinet side! If you look at the machine just from this angle, it actually looks decent!
20200728_204319.jpg

Ouch. That's all I have to say.
20200728_195750.jpg

Double Ouch!
20200728_204216.jpg

Triple Ouch!
20200728_204222.jpg

Do I even need to say anything?
20200728_204211.jpg

Topper. Typical yellowing, and it's cracked where all the screws go in. Other than that, not terrible. I removed it because the machine is raised up way too high on the front legs and my ceiling couldn't accomodate the topper without hitting.
20200728_195804.jpg

Hey, at least the fan works! (Supposedly)
20200728_195951.jpg

Maybe the only decent looking thing on the exterior, but even the translite art definitely has the signs of getting hit with moisture and then drying.
20200728_195911.jpg

Left side backbox decals. Looks great...compared to the rest of the cab.
20200728_195923.jpg

Closer inspection reveals it has plenty of damage too.
20200728_204102.jpg

Underneath where the backbox rests.
20200728_204112.jpg

Top of the backbox, right side
20200728_204046.jpg

Top of the backbox, left side
20200728_204052.jpg

Behind the machine
20200728_204148.jpg

Corner on the back of the machine
20200728_204201.jpg

Rear of backbox
20200728_204230.jpg

Now that's a high quality power plug!
20200728_204133.jpg

I was wonder why I couldn't adjust the height...
20200728_204420.jpg

One more image.
20200728_200407.jpg

Next post, the playfield!

#12 6 months ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

Alright, without further ado I present a plethora of pictures!
CABINET, TOPPER, and TRANSLITE/EXTERIOR BACKBOX
Coin door and front decals. Good amount of wear, but could be worse.
[quoted image]
What? You've never heard of a 2/3 Plunger?
[quoted image]
Aah, that will buff right out! (Joking aside, this was a telltale sign it was left out in the elements imo)
[quoted image]
The bad cabinet side.
[quoted image]
The good cabinet side! If you look at the machine just from this angle, it actually looks decent!
[quoted image]
Ouch. That's all I have to say.
[quoted image]
Double Ouch!
[quoted image]
Triple Ouch!
[quoted image]
Do I even need to say anything?
[quoted image]
Topper. Typical yellowing, and it's cracked where all the screws go in. Other than that, not terrible. I removed it because the machine is raised up way too high on the front legs and my ceiling couldn't accomodate the topper without hitting.
[quoted image]
Hey, at least the fan works! (Supposedly)
[quoted image]
Maybe the only decent looking thing on the exterior, but even the translite art definitely has the signs of getting hit with moisture and then drying.
[quoted image]
Left side backbox decals. Looks great...compared to the rest of the cab.
[quoted image]
Closer inspection reveals it has plenty of damage too.
[quoted image]
Underneath where the backbox rests.
[quoted image]
Top of the backbox, right side
[quoted image]
Top of the backbox, left side
[quoted image]
Behind the machine
[quoted image]
Corner on the back of the machine
[quoted image]
Rear of backbox
[quoted image]
Now that's a high quality power plug!
[quoted image]
I was wonder why I couldn't adjust the height...
[quoted image]
Next post, the playfield!

Damn

#13 6 months ago

oh yea, I love this kind. I picked up a high speed in this shape about a year ago. Looks like crap but plays good.

#14 6 months ago

I may have a spare WW head if yours looks too far gone to save... then again that whole cabinet looks beat... what's your plan for it?

#15 6 months ago

PLAYFIELD PICTURES

Overall Playfield.
20200728_200137.jpg

So glad I can see the instructions!
20200728_200147.jpg

Already you can see the coming storm (pun intended). Inserts completely gone on numbers, mylar lifting.
20200728_200152.jpg

20200728_200157.jpg

I don't even know what happened to the spinner decals. It almost looks like someone tried to half-ass paint it after they wore off?
20200728_200201.jpg

That is one dirty, messed up playfield.
20200728_200219.jpg

Oh god...inserts popping up from the playfield.
20200728_200259.jpg

They're not inserts, they're mini ramps!
20200728_200338.jpg

A bumpy ride on that ramp!
20200728_200335.jpg

Red Cap for one of the flashers fell off.
20200728_200307.jpg

Another raised insert, ugh...
20200728_200345.jpg

That ball will travel as smooth as sandpaper!
20200728_204450.jpg

I'm pretty sure the mylar eventually said to itself, "I give up, F*@! this!"
20200728_204510.jpg

Are you crying yet?
20200728_200844.jpg

#16 6 months ago

UNDER PLAYFIELD and INSIDE CABINET

To be honest, I was expecting worse.
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Eeew...
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Whirlwind #574. If it thought 574 it was it's lucky number, well...
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Inspected by JJ Abrams himself?! Oh, J. Abrams, my bad.
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Shop-Vac is in order!
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#17 6 months ago

INSIDE BACKBOX and BOARDS

Maybe I'll see something positive out of this...

Out of all the bad things that happened to this poor Whirlwind, acid damage was amazingly, NOT one of them.
20200728_201144.jpg

Overall Boards. I'm quite surprised there isn't horrific damage, but seeing boards on the surface doesn't always indicate a problem.
20200728_201034.jpg

How that rust/corrosion didn't reach the boards, I'll never know. Or maybe it did, ack!
20200728_201054.jpg

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20200728_201200.jpg

Wow, so many different shapes, sizes, and patterns inside those fuses! Wait...
20200728_201224.jpg
20200728_201232.jpg

Speakers and Display
20200728_201248.jpg

Light Board
20200728_201259.jpg

#18 6 months ago

Phew, those are all the pics for now!

I just want to give a public service announcement real quick...

If you want to own a pinball machine, and you're really excited to have it, for F&@#'s sake, don't treat it like this!

End of service announcement.

#19 6 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I may have a spare WW head if yours looks too far gone to save... then again that whole cabinet looks beat... what's your plan for it?

Based on the pictures, I think it's inevitable I have to do a near full restore, haha. At the very least fix the cabinet, and probably order a CPR playfield.

#20 6 months ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

Based on the pictures, I think it's inevitable I have to do a near full restore, haha. At the very least fix the cabinet, and probably order a CPR playfield.

I would get a cabinet replacement to be honest. Use all new parts.

#21 6 months ago
Quoted from woody76:

oh yea, I love this kind. I picked up a high speed in this shape about a year ago. Looks like crap but plays good.

I don't even think this plays correctly yet. That will be the first thing to do is get everything mechanically and electronically functioning

#22 6 months ago

I saw this on Facebook marketplace this past weekend. One picture and the description said worked before putting in storage. Was tempted to check it out, glad you beat me to it! Good luck, hope it comes out great!

#23 6 months ago
Quoted from AirWolfNH:

I saw this on Facebook marketplace this past weekend. One picture and the description said worked before putting in storage. Was tempted to check it out, glad you beat me to it! Good luck, hope it comes out great!

I spoke to a CPR person that said they will be doing another Whirlwind run soon. I'll likely buy one of them. For now though, I have to see how I can salvage this current playfield...

#24 6 months ago

Right now the machine is tempermental; the guy who owned it said it didn't work the day before I picked it up, then suddenly started working the next morning.

Of course, "working" is a subjective term for some owners.

#25 6 months ago

I hope you got him to take a few bucks off his asking price.

#26 6 months ago

I would look at a Mirco Whirlwinds vs. CPR. I purchased a Mirco after getting a disappointing “Gold”.

#27 6 months ago
Quoted from AirWolfNH:

I hope you got him to take a few bucks off his asking price.

His original price was great imo ($500), but then the bidding wars started...I had to settle on $1000 to secure it. Whether that was a good price or not, remains to be seen.

I'm not experienced enough to haggle people on machines, and usually that won't end well if there are 20+ other people willing to buy it for more.

#28 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinballemporium:

I would look at a Mirco Whirlwinds vs. CPR. I purchased a Mirco after getting a disappointing “Gold”.

I've heard...mixed reviews on mirco. CPR less so.

Also CPR changed their printing process this year so they don't have grades anymore and the quality is universal, or so they claim

#29 6 months ago

When I saw it on Facebook it was listed at $1000. Too bad you didn’t get it for $500.

#30 6 months ago
Quoted from AirWolfNH:

When I saw it on Facebook it was listed at $1000. Too bad you didn’t get it for $500.

I contacted him within a few minutes of posting, and people were already offering double what he was asking.

The only reason he sold it to me was because I talked to him first. He was a very reasonable guy. Most sellers would go for bidding wars and just hold out until they make quadruple what they asked.

Covid really has driven people nuts, haha.

#31 6 months ago

Wishing you luck - that's a lot of issues to address in those pics. We're all cheering for you!

-Rob
-visit https://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my replacement LED display boards for Model H & Model S Skee Ball

#32 6 months ago
Quoted from rkahr:

Wishing you luck - that's a lot of issues to address in those pics. We're all cheering for you!
-Rob
-visit https://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my replacement LED display boards for Model H & Model S Skee Ball

Thanks! I know it will be a long term project, but hopefully worth it!

Also, I turned it on since bringing it home and here is what happens:

It does the "Ding" sound, backbox lights mostly come on, some playfield lights come on, but no display appears.

Based on the fuses I saw (which you can see pictures of in previous posts), some of them looked cooked and need to replaced.

Assuming all the boards are functioning normally, would fuses be the cause of some of the lights not working and the display not turning on?

#33 6 months ago

Nice grab! Get it working and throw some decals on it and you doubled your money I've been cleaning up a WW too, if you need pictures of anything (or want help with board issues) let me know!

#34 6 months ago

If You read some WW playfield swap threads, I think you’ll find out it’s an awful endeavour. Read, read, read

#35 6 months ago
Quoted from northerndude:

If You read some WW playfield swap threads, I think you’ll find out it’s an awful endeavour. Read, read, read

I would imagine most playfield swaps are an endeavor, but as I said I know this will be a long term project. My first goal is to get the electronics and mechanisms working right.

But you're absolutely right that I'll be reading a lot! Haha.

#36 6 months ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

I would imagine most playfield swaps are an endeavor, but as I said I know this will be a long term project. My first goal is to get the electronics and mechanisms working right.
But you're absolutely right that I'll be reading a lot! Haha.

From what I’ve read, WW is a bit different as many/most of the hole and dimples aren’t lined up proper. Do your due diligence on PF purchase, good luck.

#37 6 months ago
Quoted from northerndude:

From what I’ve read, WW is a bit different as many/most of the hole and dimples aren’t lined up proper. Do your due diligence on PF purchase, good luck.

Yeeeep, that's the current worry I have with CPR and especially Mirco. I don't know if it's really avoidable or not, but if I had to choose between the two I'd go with CPR since Mirco seems to consistently have that hole and dimple problem from what I've seen.

#38 6 months ago

The CPR playfield I used had none of the topside holes pre-drilled. The art didn't line up 100% with the original, so it was difficult to get everything in the right place. It was really stressful drilling on the top side of the playfield without knowing exactly where to drill. The colors on CPR are also very dark on certain areas of the playfield to the point where blues are almost black.

Good luck on your restore.

#39 6 months ago
Quoted from DeeGor:

The CPR playfield I used had none of the topside holes pre-drilled. The art didn't line up 100% with the original, so it was difficult to get everything in the right place. It was really stressful drilling on the top side of the playfield without knowing exactly where to drill. The colors on CPR are also very dark on certain areas of the playfield to the point where blues are almost black.
Good luck on your restore.

Same issue here.

#40 6 months ago

You definitely have a project ahead of you. Anything is possible though. I just finished a High Speed restore. New cabinet, playfield and most hardware. It was a good challenge. It plays like a dream now. Newer than new. Good luck. Enjoy. following.

#41 6 months ago
Quoted from dmacy:

Same issue here.

Ugh, sorry to hear both of you had that problem. Really sounds like it's stressful and difficult. Makes me wonder if I'm better off just trying to work with the crappy playfield I have now or look for a nice NOS one.

The playfield is pretty gross right now, but it may end up looking nice if I can really clean it and then fix the popped up inserts and put replacement decals on the inserts.

#42 6 months ago

I swapped mine with an original playfield and it wasn’t bad at all. Glad I didn’t have to work with a micro or cpr in this case. My cabinet was discolored but solid with little to no damage except a bump in the top corner on one side of the backbox. I got it for $1800 and it came with the replacement clear coated playfield. Old and new playfield.

36C41E89-B97A-463D-9694-9C930C6F69EA (resized).jpegB415C157-241A-4DBC-BE03-1F38C1AD142F (resized).jpeg

#43 6 months ago
Quoted from Jmckune:

I swapped mine with an original playfield and it wasn’t bad at all. Glad I didn’t have to work with a micro or cpr in this case. My cabinet was discolored but solid with little to no damage except a bump in the top corner on one side of the backbox. I got it for $1800 and it came with the replacement clear coated playfield. Old and new playfield.
[quoted image][quoted image]

That looks awesome! I would imagine NOS playfields for Whirlwind are tough to find now.

#44 6 months ago

It technically wasn’t NOS. It was installed in a different unit previously. It’s not perfect but clearly better than the other one lol

#45 6 months ago

Wow, from "help me pick out my first pin" to "look at this pinball machine I found in a swimming pool" in under 3 months. You fell off the deep end quick! Have fun with your new project! Fixing pins up can be a blast!

#46 6 months ago

wow, that has seen better days but what a feeling to bring it back to life. Pretty sure you can find the discs but if you need the art let me know.

#47 5 months ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

Wow, from "help me pick out my first pin" to "look at this pinball machine I found in a swimming pool" in under 3 months. You fell off the deep end quick! Have fun with your new project! Fixing pins up can be a blast!

This will be my last pin for a while, haha! I have this to work on along with a Sky Jump EM. Two great pins to learn from!

#48 5 months ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

I spoke to a CPR person that said they will be doing another Whirlwind run soon. I'll likely buy one of them. For now though, I have to see how I can salvage this current playfield...

CPR has Whirlwind playfields on their web page now.

https://classicplayfields.com/product-category/pinball-playfields/

#49 5 months ago

They must have listened to my facebook message yesterday, lol.

Man, I'm really tempted to buy it, but I'm so worried about that stupid dimple alignment problem. That will be such a headache.

#50 5 months ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

They must have listened to my facebook message yesterday, lol.
Man, I'm really tempted to buy it, but I'm so worried about that stupid dimple alignment problem. That will be such a headache.

The dimple alignment issue will happen no matter who you buy from.

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