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(Topic ID: 222709)

Allied Leisure Star Shooter - Diving into the Restoration Deep End


By GoddTodd

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 41 days ago by GoddTodd
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

About a month and a half ago The Pacific Pinball Museum had a rare sale of some of their extra machines.
They had some tabletop pins listed for cheap and I figured, at that price, one of them would at the very least make a cool coffee table.
Talking to some of the more experienced pinheads in line, I soon realized that I might be diving into the deep end of the pool for my first restoration job. One of the games I was considering buying, Allied Leisure's Star Shooter, was filled with rare and proprietary parts. Someone beat me to the Star Trip (which would have been a little easier to repair), but I wasn't too disappointed because Star Shooter was still available and I love Circus and Carnival themed stuff.
I told my friend about picking up the pin and he got excited about it and offered to let me use his shop to restore it.
So now we are off to the races.
This last weekend I finally got to roll up my sleeves and get a proper look at what I bought.
At first glance, the playfield seemed, "OK" but might need a lot of work. It turns out, that it's in rather excellent condition. Once I wiped it down, I realized that the field itself is in near mint condition. The clear plastics appeared to be in rough shaped. I feared they were sun damaged and warped. It turns out they were just filthy and not so warped after all. It looks like the game was missing a post at one time and the previous owner had replaced it with a screw which seemed to bend the plastic out of shape, but once I remove the plastic from the field, it more or less went back to it's original flat shape.
So that was some of the good news.
The bad news is, that film on the plastics appears to be mold, and when you look at the bottom of the cabinet, it becomes apparent that this machine got a little bit of flood damage.
By the looks of it, this machine stood in at least an inch or two of water for some period of time.
The wood near the bottom has rotted out some.
The feet were removed at one point and the game was sitting on the power cable.
The power board has at least one completely "blown" component.
Some of the fuses are missing.
Luckily my friend has a good head for electronic engineering, so he will help me through getting this thing started up without setting anything on fire
So, school is out on how much electrical damage there is, and I will keep you posted as we start work on that.
Now there's the issue of missing parts.
The more veteran pinheads told me I was going to have a nightmare finding parts for this machine. Luckily, Flippers.com seems to have a lot of the stuff I need. Although their parts are not exactly cheap, and I can already see the cost of my $350 "Coffee Table" becoming something much more expensive.
The most worrisome part replacement was one of the proprietary drop targets was broken and I can see a hairline crack in one of the others. It turns out Flippers.com makes brand new vinyl replicas of these parts. Unfortunately, the color doesn't match the original orange targets I am replacing. I put in an order for one, but eventually, I fear I'm going to have to replace all of the orange ones with the new white ones so that it looks like a proper complete set.
Then there's the Flippers.
The left flipper needs an new actuator cam and plunger. Flippers.com has that.
However, the right flipper is missing the entire flipper housing. All I have left is the actual flipper. Other than that it's just 2 wires that dead end into nothing.
This kind of sucks because I'm going to go broke if I try to rebuild an entire flipper assembly from parts purchased at Flippers.com.
The bats are 2 3/16" long.
I'm wondering if I should think about changing out both flippers with newer, cheaper, and easily replaceable parts.
It looks like the "Carrot" flipper bats on the Williams Bugs Bunny pin are the same size.
I need to do some research on electronic compatibility but does anyone have any suggestions on this?
Also, if anyone has a box of spare Allied Leisure parts they want to sell, please let me know.

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#2 2 years ago
Quoted from GoddTodd:

However, the right flipper is missing the entire flipper housing. All I have left is the actual flipper. Other than that it's just 2 wires that dead end into nothing.
This kind of sucks because I'm going to go broke if I try to rebuild an entire flipper assembly from parts purchased at Flippers.com.

I would try if at all possible to upgrade both flippers to something like this:
https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=172
Two of these might be more expensive than original replacement parts from flippers.com, but those 40 year old parts could be brittle. If they break again, you're right back up $hit creek. New flipper mechs would last basically forever in home use outside of dirt cheap parts like coil sleeves. I'm not sure if it's possible. You could ask in vid1900's flipper upgrade thread:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers

Maybe you could even use something like old Bally SS flipper mechs. Should be cheap & plentiful.

#3 2 years ago

The classic Stern flipper assemblies are the closest to the original Allied flipper assemblies.

https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2411

#4 2 years ago

Before you spend a single dime on any mechanical parts you are going to want to make sure the MPU is booting. There are 3 chips on that board that are NLA and made of unobtanium. If either of those 3 are bad you have a giant paperweight. Seriously DO NOT spend anything on this project until you make sure the game boots. The only way to obtain a working board for this game otherwise is to buy another working ALI cocktail and pull the board from it.

#5 2 years ago

When we service these games with broken flipper pieces, every other game gets a pair of classic gottlieb flipper mechs and bats. Make sure you are using 25 volt coils, stern and bally flipper coils are made for 43 volts and will be too weak in this game. (there is incorrect information on the net about using bally coils). Then the next customer gets the leftover used parts from the previous game (original parts are symmetrical. I think I have a broken set and an unbroken set that I was saving to give to someone who can make 3D printed files to share.

The original ALI bats are longer than any other brand. The segmented bally ones like from Bugs Bunny are probably closest in length to the original.

#6 2 years ago

Thank you everyone for the advice so far.
I'll hold back on parts ordering until I make sure it boots.
The first step is to get the power system working.
There's a blown resistor or capacitor on the power board we will need to replace. My next task will be to to identify the burnt out componant on the board, and replace it.
I've also ordered some fuses for the power board.
Once that is fixed, we will try powering it up with the CPU board unplugged.
If nothing shorts out, we will reinstall the CPU board and see if it boots.

1 week later
#7 2 years ago

Got some more work done on it today.
In the above pictures one may have noticed that R10 had exploded on the Power Board.
Lucky for me, a fellow who goes by ChopperTheDog at the Arcade Controls forum did a very detailed blog of his restoration. Between his posts and reading the electrical readout I was able to determine it is a 820ohm 2watt resistor.

I also noticed one of the 25amp 100v bridge rectifier's is missing.
Since I need to replace one of them anyways, I'm going to put in an order for three 35amp 400v bridge rectifiers so that the board will run cooler.

I also purchased and installed a new set of fuses.

ALI-Pinball-Cocktail-AC-PowerWiring.pdfpower board (resized).jpg
#8 2 years ago

On the cosmetic front, I cleaned and polished the playing field. It's in really amazing shape.
Before we discussed not immediately buying parts, I had already ordered rubbers, so I went ahead replaced those before putting the cleaned plastics back on. I promise not to buy any more cosmetic or mechanical items before I can get it powered on and find out if the main board is working.

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#9 2 years ago

The bottom plastic still needs some work.
In the spots where it was screwed in, there were these pads that were supposed to protect the acrylic from getting scratched, but oils in the pads cause the paint to decay.
Using alcohol, I cleaned the area and removed all of the decaying paint.
I did some tests with black spray paint and enamel paint and wasn't happy with the results. Then I tried acrylic paint and while the color wasn't a perfect match, it looked a lot better than the other tests. I I'll take some pictures of it installed once if fully dries.

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#10 2 years ago

Gottleb system 1 or system 80 complete flipper mechs would work, but you'd probably have to get them from a parted out game. The reason being is that the flipper pawls are not available brand new (Steve Young is out of stock). You can buy the classic Stern assemblies complete brand new at Pinball Life, but you'd want to use a 24 volt flipper coil like a Gottlieb A-5141 instead.

#11 2 years ago

Fun thread. I had one of these and passed it along after a restore. Do your legs have the stand up inserts for adjusting height of table? Curious- I never could find those and did not have them in my example.

Unfortunately- although cosmetically its a cool game, the rule set is tragically limited and game play was in line with that issue. Hope you get a chance to play yours!

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from rufessor:

Fun thread. I had one of these and passed it along after a restore. Do your legs have the stand up inserts for adjusting height of table? Curious- I never could find those and did not have them in my example.
Unfortunately- although cosmetically its a cool game, the rule set is tragically limited and game play was in line with that issue. Hope you get a chance to play yours!

Every one I have seen has the stand up legs, They are quite well hidden and from the pictures appear to be present on this game. Look for the 2 nuts at the corners of the inside of the cabinets. Remove those and pull the carriage bolts out from the outside corner and the legs should slide down then reattach the bolts when you see the hole open back up.

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#13 2 years ago

Yeah, I hadn't gotten around to that yet, but I'll probably lift the legs up before I put the power cord back in.

1 week later
#14 2 years ago

Yeah, yours appears to have the legs, the one I restored (not in my collection anymore) did not. I had four pieces of oak that fit and was going to raise it an inch or two. Decided to pass it along before I bothered with that last step.

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from kbliznick:

Every one I have seen has the stand up legs, They are quite well hidden and from the pictures appear to be present on this game. Look for the 2 nuts at the corners of the inside of the cabinets. Remove those and pull the carriage bolts out from the outside corner and the legs should slide down then reattach the bolts when you see the hole open back up. [quoted image]

Would be cool to see a picture of them all extended, definitely never seen that before. Roughly how high do they lift up the base?

#16 2 years ago

I have a whole box of parts from an AL Getaway, not sure if any of those would be compatible with your game. If you think they might, shoot me a PM.

1 year later
#17 3 months ago

Small update.
Lots of life events kept me from working on this project, which I keep in my friend's workshop.
Last week he moved the pin into a smaller studio shed at my friends house so I could work alone on it.
I finally got the power cable spliced back on and tested out the power board.
No smoke. = Good
Most of the circuit breaker lights lit up. Goodish.
Most of the lights lit up on the playfield. Goodish.
I flicked the coin wire and hit the start button. Nothing. Not Good.

I may have a large paperweight on my hands.

I'm going to reread the schematics, start testing connections on the power board, and see why that one circuit light wont come on.
If I get that working and it still doesn't trigger a game, I'll start looking at the controller board to make sure it's getting the right power.

I'll post another update and some pictures later.

#18 3 months ago

It's Alive!
As per my previous post, I did some work today testing out newly repaired power board.
I replaced the Bridge Rectifiers and a capacitor that had exploded.
I also replaced all of the fusses.
So the other week I plugged it in and got it to light up.
This week I screwed a number of pieces back into place to reduce risk of shorts, and double checked my connectors.
I feel like an idiot because it became glaringly clear that I had not reconnected the main controller board.
So I got that plugged in.
Turned it on and heard a loud beep.
But it wouldn't go.
I tried turning it off and then back on again, and then I got a shorter beep.
I added a credit and hit start and things started working.
Ball return worked. Drop Targets started dropping. All the bumpers seemed to be bumping.
I think this project has graduated from phase 1: Determine if this is just a big paper weight or not.
And we are now in phase 2: Start investing in fixing it up.
I still have a few blown fuses, so I'll buy some more backup fuses.
Then I'll recheck the powerboard for any shorts.
Then I'll start finding the burned out light bulbs and look into replacing the flippers.
Right now one works, but it sticks in the up position.
The other one is altogether missing.
Here's a link to a video of me testing it out:

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

The classic Stern flipper assemblies are the closest to the original Allied flipper assemblies.
https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2411

Hi Ken,
If you are still around, I'm at a point where I'm ready to invest in Flipper assemblies.
You also mentioned buying the Gottlieb A-5141 coils.
Pinlife is going to ask me to pick a coil for each flipper. I supose there's no way to specify the Gotlieb coil instead.
As for the bats, would you agree the 2 3/16" bugs bunny carrot bats are the way to go?

#20 3 months ago

If you call Pinball Life you can specify the coil you want.

Carrot bats would look nice on there.

#21 3 months ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

If you call Pinball Life you can specify the coil you want.
Carrot bats would look nice on there.

Thanks Ken!

2 weeks later
#22 76 days ago

I did some more work on the game last week.
I got one of the new Stern flipper assemblies put in.
I used the Gottlieb A-5141 coil and the Bugs Bunny Birthday Carrot bat.
It looks like I got the wiring correct on the first try. The Leaf switch understandably doesn't come pre-wired to the coil.
I had to email the owner of Pinball Life directly to get the stern coils swapped out with Gottlieb, but he was very nice in obliging my special order.
I noticed with the flipper that the power it is getting is intermittent, sometimes it will hit the ball pretty well, and sometimes the bat will barely move.
I've ordered a number of backup fuses, and picked up a few specific slow-blow fuses as well. I think I got all fast blow fuses last time.
Sorry, forgot to take pictures.
I also still need a proper pin for one of my drop targets.
This pin I got from Flippers.com is too short.
https://www.flippers.com/catalog/product_info.php/drop-target-p-4504
It should look a lot more like this part, which I may take a chance and purchase.
https://www.flippers.com/catalog/product_info.php/ball-lift-roller-p-4376

1 week later
#23 69 days ago

I'm back in the shop.
Got all the fuses replaced.
I also designed and printed a new fuse chart.
Ironically, the staple gun I'm borrowing is too stiff in the grip to easily use it with your arm extended way into the machine.
I cleaned the drop target rods and got them running better. I need to replace a spring on one of them. I still need to find a proper drop target pin for the white replacement target.
The ones that I bought online turned out to be super tiny.
I may need to pull one and try to duplicate it from scratch.
I'm still having issues with the stern flipper.
It functions, but it has no heat at all.
I'll post a video of the difference between the two.
I've also posted some pictures of the new flipper assembly and the old one.

Update!
I figured it out.
I had the coil wired backwards.
It works great now!

So now the next big project, is to get the scoreboard working.
I'm not getting power to where the fuse is, so there may still be a short in the power board.

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#24 69 days ago

Here is a photo of the flipper wiring after I reversed it.
I'll clean it up during my next session.

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1 week later
#25 62 days ago

Today I tried my hand at fasioning a Drop Target Pin.
I bought some 1/8" steel rod from Home Depot, and used the dremel tool to cut off the length and make the spring notch.
Then I sanded it and clamped it really hard in the biddle with a monkey wrench a few times.

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1 week later
#26 55 days ago

Today I got the new left hand flipper assembly installed.
I'm sure that far left drop target will break at that seam sometime soon.
Flippers.com says they may do another batch if drop targets in a month or so.
I did a few leaf switch adjustments, with the game turned off, so as not to cause any accidental shorts.
I swapped out all of the bulbs that were easy to get to. I need to learn how to change out the ones that would require unscrewing the assembly. Seems to me they are soldered to the ground wire, and may be difficult to move.
Lastly I designed and printed some vynal spinner stickers last night.
It's a red star on one side and a yellow background and blue star outline on the back side.
Looks fantastic when it spins.

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1 week later
#27 41 days ago

This week I discovered that I did instead need to fill the third Bridge Rectifier slot.
That got the LED Scoreboard turned on.
It's still buggy, but at least its lighting up now.

Looks like I may have issues with the logic board since it's not really keeping score.

I then finished replacing bulbs and polishing/tweaking leaf switches.

The game is running much better and becoming more and more fun to play.

I've got a left hand pop bumper and a left hand drop target that's not working though.

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