(Topic ID: 274002)

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

By HydrogenHuman

1 year ago


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#1 1 year 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 1 year 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.

#5 1 year 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?

#7 1 year 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?

#9 1 year 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!

#11 1 year 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.
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Double Ouch!
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Triple Ouch!
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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.
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Left side backbox decals. Looks great...compared to the rest of the cab.
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Closer inspection reveals it has plenty of damage too.
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Underneath where the backbox rests.
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Top of the backbox, right side
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Top of the backbox, left side
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Behind the machine
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Corner on the back of the machine
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Rear of backbox
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Now that's a high quality power plug!
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I was wonder why I couldn't adjust the height...
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One more image.
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Next post, the playfield!

#15 1 year 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

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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?
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That is one dirty, messed up playfield.
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Oh god...inserts popping up from the playfield.
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They're not inserts, they're mini ramps!
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A bumpy ride on that ramp!
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Red Cap for one of the flashers fell off.
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Another raised insert, ugh...
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That ball will travel as smooth as sandpaper!
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I'm pretty sure the mylar eventually said to itself, "I give up, F*@! this!"
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Are you crying yet?
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#16 1 year 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 1 year 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.
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Overall Boards. I'm quite surprised there isn't horrific damage, but seeing boards on the surface doesn't always indicate a problem.
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How that rust/corrosion didn't reach the boards, I'll never know. Or maybe it did, ack!
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Wow, so many different shapes, sizes, and patterns inside those fuses! Wait...
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Speakers and Display
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Light Board
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#18 1 year 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 1 year 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.

#21 1 year 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

#23 1 year 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 1 year 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.

#27 1 year 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 1 year 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

#30 1 year 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.

#32 1 year 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?

#35 1 year 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.

#37 1 year 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.

#41 1 year 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.

#43 1 year 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.

#47 1 year 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!

#49 1 year 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.

#52 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

It's better to know about it ahead of time, then it's not too hard to prepare with some contact paper.

Ooh that's a great idea! You mean that I'd place contact paper over the original playfield, and mark all the spots and then place it over the new one so it's dead on? That's certainly a lot less annoying than comparing and measuring every dimple back and forth between playfields.

#53 1 year ago

Alright, the CPR playfield has been ordered! May as well get it now since I have to let it sit and cure for several months.

Capture.PNG
#56 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

Here's contact paper on the new playfield, you can see how far the mirco ones were off.
[quoted image]
Tracing paper comes in handy as well.
[quoted image]

Wow that's crazy. Contact/Tracing paper really comes in handy though! Did you just use one huge sheet? Also, what did you use for reference to make sure you lined up the contact paper properly between the two playfields?

#59 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

I did it in a couple sheets to make it easier to handle. I used the cutouts in the playfield. Trough, cellars, spinners, and any known holes.

So the cutouts are generally accurate compared to the dimples from CPR? And by cutouts you mean like where the inserts and spinners are, for example?

#62 1 year ago
Quoted from topkat:

I just saw them listed on CPR. Does anyone know if the prior problems were fixed?

I think I'll be one of the first people to find out! They said on this page they are using their new "digital" process, so whether that is any different than before, I don't know. When I spoke to the facebook account representative, they said they had never received any complaints about dimpling problems before...lol.

#63 1 year ago
Quoted from dmacy:

I documented some of the issues on my WW CPR that was a second run. Hopefully they have the dimples showing on this new run better. Hopefully this is helpful: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/another-whirlwind-playfield-swap-refresh-cpr-gold-second-run

Oh yes! I actually was looking at this thread several days ago and thought it was great! Thanks for posting the link to it.

#66 1 year ago
Quoted from Pin-Pilot:

Yes, $900 is not a toss in the bucket, and you do have to take your time when installing all the mechanics but sometimes it is the only option.

I think in the case of this playfield I have a playfield swap is pretty necessary. Even if I did get the insert decals and such fixed, (which I'll still do while waiting for the new playfield) the mylar is starting to bubble pretty bad, and there is planking and other wear.

#69 1 year ago

Okay, so I checked all the fuses on my Whirlwind, and lo and behold, at least one wasn't showing continuity.

F2 and F3 fuses on the Power Driver Board. F2 I believe was the one that definitely was not showing any continuity.
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The F6 fuse on the Aux Power Driver Board shattered at one of the ends. I personally don't know if I was the cause, or if it was already like that and was so brittle it broke. Either way, that also has to be replaced.
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20200729_222642.jpg

All other fuses were good, though the fuse holders likely need a good cleaning.

Another thing I found was the battery holder was very...suspect. While there doesn't appear to be any corrosion damage on the board, the battery holder wobbles around and both the negative and positive contacts really look like crap.

20200729_222750.jpg

#72 1 year ago

Okay, I got a very thorough e-mail response from Kevin and CPR, and I wanted to share it:

I don't recall much about the 2011 cut, except that we sold 250+ of them back then, and I'd say most of them are in machines doing fine today.

As for the current re-release, I can tell you that these re-releases (not just Whirlwind) are all complete revisits to the original sample playfields, with all new CAD and all new CNC cutfiles. We have to, as our CNC machine was a new model as of 5 years ago. We sold the original one(s) we had. So new cutfile programmings were needed anyway. So Mike takes the time to re-verify the positions of everything, as part of the process.

The rear dimples are also a re-do. We no longer "stamp" the backsides using a imprint-template (nail bed). We laser-etch the backsides with all the dot locations now. Again, that pattern was mastered off an actual pulled-from-factory-game original Whirlwind playfield, just a couple months ago. So the dimple backside is 2020 new as well.

Doesn't mean that human placement and judgment calls won't come into play during a swap, here and there (that's standard fare on any playfield), but I would be confident in saying the 2020 re-release would be more accurate to the samples than in 2011.

Hope this helps.

- Kevin

So the takeaway from this message is that the Whirlwind playfields are much different than the 2011 run. Now we just have to hope it's better!

#74 1 year ago

So I may have to replace the power supply board as my dad inspected the board a little bit this morning and noticed some of the resistors were fried/burned.

We haven't taken it out to do a thorough inspection of the underside, but that was the board that had the bad fuse. Part Number D-12246

#75 1 year ago

Currently soaking the rusty legs in evaporust while they are in a 4 inch PVC pipe and locked tight.

Will post pictures of the results within 24 hours!

#77 1 year ago
Quoted from LOTR_breath:

Thanks for documenting this. I'd be more concerned about the cabinet than the playfield. Buying a new playfield to go with this cabinet seems a little odd to me. But I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing your progress!

I'll be working on the cabinet well before putting in the playfield!

Right now I'm noticing that it's difficult to lift the playfield up as it seems to get stuck and scrape the inside right side of the cabinet.

My guess is the cabinet wood may be slightly warped causing that problem.

#79 1 year ago
Quoted from CLEllison:

Oooof. That game is in absolute shambles. I hope the game is a keeper for you because I don't think you could get your current investment back out of it. A new play field with a garbage cabinet so you'll want to buy a new cabinet. You're likely going to have to spend $300 in parts to refresh everything and does the display work? You're going to end up spending ~$5k getting this nice. I highly suggest you look at what you can buy a pristine one for and decide whether it's worth your time or not to do this one.
If you're the type that likes a project then that's cool! But in order for you to fully recover the investment cost (minus your labor) you're literally forced to do a complete restore. If it makes you feel any better I bought a Funhouse for $1800, spent $4800 total on a new playfield (paid someone to do the pf swap) and the cabinet is a 7 out of 10. No way I'd ever be able to recoup the total investment. I love the game and it was worth it to me.

Really? You think the total cost will end up being that much? I don't think so, personally. If I did think that, I never would have bought it lol.

The playfield I knew would be a big expense, if not the biggest expense out of the restoration. The next most expensive thing would be the radcals/decals plus wood and paint for the cabinet. If most of the boards work well (still have to see), then I would think that wouldn't cost much to get things up and running.

I'll be honest, I actually think I could restore this machine for $3000-3500, that's including the initial purchase cost for $1000 (So $2000-$2500 total in parts and such). I personally don't see a $5000 total cost. Maybe if I'm counting tools, equipment, etc. sure, but tools can be re-used on many other machines and I already have a lot of the tools.

#87 1 year ago
Quoted from shimmydisc:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/kruzman-clear-install-kit-is-a-life-saver
You might want to get one of these kits for pf drilling. Helps avoid chipping the clearcoat. I haven’t used it yet, waiting for cpr to release Barracora.

Nice! Thanks. I will need that very likely to be safe.

#88 1 year ago
Quoted from Blackbeard:

You could find a decent ww for 3500 and save yourself a shit ton of headache imo.

Personally, I wanted a solid state machine I could learn on that also happened to be a really good one like Whirlwind.

My first game, a Surf 'N Safari, actually has 0 electronic problems and few if any hardware problems so while it helped me learn cleaning and other basics it didn't teach me much else with regards to repair.

I also have a Sky Jump specifically to learn about EM machines.

On top of that, I don't have the finances to outright pay for a Whirlwind. The CPR playfield for example, I setup PayPal credit on it which is much more reasonable for me to pay $150 each month for 6 months.

Same goes for buying other parts i need spread out over time.

#91 1 year ago
Quoted from woody76:

yep, I would get this thing playing as is before I dropped $3500 and months of my time.

That's my goal!

The 1/8 Amp slow blow fuses weren't available at my home depot so I may just have to order them from PBR.

#92 1 year ago

Alright, I did some quick end of day stock trading, then checked up on the status of the legs soaking in the Evap-O-Rust. FYI this soaked for approximately 24 hours.

Here are the results!

20200731_162927.jpg

Oh yeah, this stuff is the real deal! It won't perform miracles, but it's a hell of a lot better than what it was before!

20200731_162941.jpg

The bolts came out good too, though some of them I'm replacing because the threads had rotted completely off. Leaving a machine out in the rain will do that...

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Here's what they looked liked before. Notice anything...different?

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#94 1 year ago
Quoted from mcluvin:

That kinda looks like a miracle to me

It's pretty amazing. What was sad to see was the paint from the cabinet is literally stuck on several of the legs. This Whirlwind really went through hell.

#96 1 year ago
Quoted from mcluvin:

That cab is a lost cause. Might be cool to keep it original as sort of a rat rod pin though. Maybe ask HEP if they'd sell you a new WW cab. You'd think by now somebody would be offering prepainted cab kits (some assembly required).

If I can get a cabinet for a good price (like $250 or less), then it would probably be worth it. But if a new/used cabinet costs anywhere from $750-$1000, I'd rather just try and save this one.

1 week later
#98 1 year ago

The CPR playfield came in last week, and it looks very nice! Right now I have it out just letting it cure.

While it is doing that, I've been trying to figure out via guides online as to which pins/connector I test the voltage on for the display with my multimeter. (I'm still a big newbie dummy to this). The biggest priority by far for me is getting that working, because right now the machine does appear to work normal if I go into diagnostic mode, then press the CPU button on the MPU.

But because I can't see the display, I don't know what errors may be showing up and what to specifically test.

#100 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

Page 90 of the manual.
[quoted image]

Wow, how did I not see that! Thanks!

So I would take one connector of the DMM and put it on the 100 Volt, and where would the other go? To a ground?

#102 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Pin 5 is ground

That's what i thought, great!

#104 1 year ago

I have been looking at that, thanks! I haven't had the chance to check it yet.

1 week later
#106 1 year ago
Quoted from topkat:

Did you get your pf? I am contemplating getting one now that I picked up a machine
Thanks

Yes I did! I have it curing right now.

I'll take some pictures when I get a chance. Unfortunately I've been busy and lazy lately so I haven't had a chance to continue working on the Whirlwind, but I'm hoping to get back into it soon!

9 months later
#107 4 months ago

Yeeep, it's been a while since my last post! But I'm finally getting back around to working on my Whirlwind again!

This came about after my nephew wanted to check out the game and see if it played. Amazingly, the game does fully function, minus the alphanumeric display and a couple pop bumpers.

Not bad for a Whirlwind that was left outside in New England weather for years and years under a tarp!

Speaking of the alphanumeric display, after my dad and I tested some voltage we noticed that the 100 volts that powers the alphanumeric display was not sending anything when the game was turned on. So we removed the power supply to see if anything was wrong, and...

20210606_123512 (resized).jpg

Based on these images, it looks like someone had previously worked on this power supply. Either way, this specific area seemed to get pretty hot at some point. This lines up with me having to replace the F2 fuse.

20210606_123521 (resized).jpg
20210606_123535 (resized).jpg
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One of the capacitors in this area controls, yup, the 100 volts to the alpha numeric display.

While I do think this power supply could be repaired, I decided to order a new power supply from PinballPCB which should be coming in soon. It looks like this, per the product page:

System11CPowerBoard-1-1024x934 (resized).jpg

#108 4 months ago

Other miscellaneous things that need to be fixed on the playfield:

Aah, the classic busted ramp and chipped yellow pop bumper. Cliffy protector should take care of that!

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Not sure what happened here, but there was tape on this part of the plastic ramp, and the flasher bulb seating seems to be popped out.

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I don't know wtf happened here. Does anyone know if this is what the spinning discs look like without the stickers on them? Looks like someone finger painted some makeshift art!

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#109 4 months ago

Here is the shiny new Whirlwind playfield from CPR!

I ordered this one as soon as they became available months ago.

I dread the thought of doing the playfield swap, since it will be my first. I know the dimples are likely way off, which is frustrating.

20210606_124853 (resized).jpg

20210606_124919 (resized).jpg

#112 4 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

They should be flat, black plastic underneath. Maybe someone tried to stick some glue in there to hold them down?

I wonder how I should remove that then. Some kind of fine sandpaper to smooth it out?

#114 4 months ago
Quoted from Jmckune:

Pretty sure that pop bumper is designed that way as a half so it doesn’t hang over the ramp area. You can buy them for Addams Family. The yellow one like Whirlwinds you can’t get anymore.

Ah okay, didn't know that! Well, then that's great to see all of them are intact!

2 weeks later
#120 4 months ago
Quoted from dmacy:

Be very careful. These are known to lift large sections of clear. Tread carefully. I know from personal experience.

So what exactly would I do then to avoid having that happen? The last thing I need is to wreck this new playfield!

#121 4 months ago

Also, my new Power Board from Pinball PCB came in and...the display still doesn't work. F&^%$!

So in that case it must either be the connector cables, or the display board itself has burned out. Is it possible to order new connector cables online?

#125 4 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

get it recleared before installation?

I forget, has the glass confirmed to be good (not outgassed/broken)?
You can get a new ribbon cable online, they're generic. The other cables you can just check continuity and/or repin

How would I test to see if it has been outgassed? It could be that, but I would like to confirm it somehow.

#127 4 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I don't really know of any way to tell. If it won't display anything in an otherwise working game, voltages are good, etc, then I assume the glass is bad and I replace the display

That's what I figured. Everything works normal on the game. It starts up, (after resetting since there are no batteries in it right now) load in a couple quarters and it plays through a regular game and I can hear the sound effect for the score tally.

Now I just have to decide to go with an Xpin display or Wolfpactech.

#132 4 months ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

If it's direct ink, and not screened, you'll have the same issues the Mirco playfields are having with chips of artwork coming off.
I did a WW swap for a friend and after about ten plays, the edges of the scoops started to chip. After contacting CPR, they said nothing like that had ever happened to any of their playfields and blamed it on me.
After a lengthy back and forth and after I showed them pics of the huge area of artwork I removed with my fingernail, they took it back and refunded our money.

Great...Makes me wish hardtops would eventually be made for Whirlwind.

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