(Topic ID: 186315)

Another Pinbot restoration, cheapo version

By dudah

2 years ago

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  • 102 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by AUKraut
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders


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There are 102 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 2 years ago

Welp, I got another one.

The 4ish years I've been in this hobby, I've project game deals and have been fortunate enough to have gotten lucky a few times. For the past year-ish, I've been a bit burnt out on always having a project going on and the time and money I invest in them. I've been trying to enjoy my collection (going great) and getting better at playing (going OK ).

I've also had a project multi-Williams arcade sitting at my brother's house. I recently finished that game and went to sell it. A guy on KLOV offered me a trade for a project Pinbot. He was in Louisville Kentucky. We negotiated for an even trade if I deliver/pick up. 4.5 hours from Chicago is a bit of a haul for an old project game, but I took a girl and made a (drunk) weekend out of it.

I've completely gone through about 9 project games now. I feel like there's nothing I can't do (except airbrush and clearcoat). I'm hoping to do this on the cheap end with extra parts I have left over from my other projects. I'd like to only spend $100, but I'm gonna be realistic and try to budget $200.

I'm also doing this work out of my 600 sq. ft. Chicago apartment. Check out my Getaway thread to see some pix of my work area. I'm keeping the game in the unfinished basement of my building. It's a tight, but relatively easy 5 steps out to the alley on my appliance dolly. I'll likely leave the cab in the basement. It's a decently large open area nobody uses so thinking of even setting it up on legs. As for now, upright will keep it out of the way.

Tonight I spent an hour and took a bunch of pictures and checked out the cabinet. The wood holding the bottom in is missing in a few places in the front. Seems alright for the other 80%. Hopefully this will be easy. The cab and head are decent, but have a good amount of scuffs and planking paint. I'll shoot to fix this up after I have the playfield and electronics solid. On that note, dude said it works 100%.

Plan is to check all the boards, replace any connectors/pins, pop in a NVRAM, rebuild the power supply and HV with Great Plains Electronics kits, reflow connectors, fix any hacks. For the playfield I'll convert it to LED, Titan rubbers, rebuild flippers, and replace most if not all of the solenoid sleeves. The playfield is in pretty great condition the factory mylar is still perfect!!! There's wear at the kickout and left eye pretty bad. I'll do my best to touch these up. Otherwise should clean up real nice!

I wanted to test it, but the base the head rests on is real messed up. I thought it was OK, but stood up the head and the front was falling off also. I managed to secure it before it did something stupid. I disconnected the connectors from inside the cab, very nice! There was an extra 4 conductor cable I couldn't find the end of. I just cut it and I'll add a Molex connector later.

The head base is real messed up. It looks like it might be salvagable. If not, looks easy-ish to reproduce. I'm considering adding WPC style head brackets. However, I kinda like the look of the base. We'll see.

The head base is important, but I'm currently stuck at a stupid point - I don't have the key to the backglass lock. I'm decent at lock picking, but this is the double-bitted lock The only game I have that has that key is ToM which is at a friends house. Those double-bitted locks are 11 years apart, any chance they have the same key? I really don't want to drill it out and make a mess all over my house.

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#2 2 years ago

Decided to also pull the playfield and bring it upstairs! Playfield back looks great with no hacks, very clean. Even the fipper mechs weren't that bad. The visor plastic is pretty beat up, somebody decided to put some random rubbers for some reason.

Despite the small hornet's nest in the bottom, cabinet is in good shape inside! No cool stuff inside, and no key

While there's some stuff wrong with it, and it was played hard, I'm guessing it's been sitting for at least 10 years.

Bonus pic of the basement where the cab is gonna live for a while.

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#3 2 years ago

The backbox lock was a little loose. I was able to loose the lock nut with a skinny screwdriver through the vent hole!

Translight is nice, but a little dirty. Will clean up to a very nice one!

Backboard is pretty clean, no silver bulbs! One of the displays was a little loose, a previous owner duct taped it which has since dried out. I zip tied it to secure it temporarily.

Boards are all perfect with no burnt connectors. All mixed serial numbers, but looks real clean! Zero acid damage as well. Very pleasantly surprised with this!

Topper is pretty nice also! Probably going to remove it to clean and protect it while I work on the head.

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#4 2 years ago

Nice pick up.

#5 2 years ago

Got the playfield set up in my workspace. The harbor frieght clamp method is ghetto, but works. Got most of the topside apart in less than an hour! I could knock out these older games a lot quicker for sure! The game was certainly played a lot, but seems decently maintained. Rubbers were dirty but not dry, the flipper rubbers were the only dry rotted ones.

Took assessment of the wear I'm going to touch up. Going to have to color match gray, blue, red and orange. Pop bumpers have some wear also. The area in front of the eyes is pretty bad also, maybe if I get ambitious I'll match everything and touch it all up. I have some extra mylar sheets leftover from my BSD restoration, these will come in handy for patching the little wear spots.

Blue ramp and skill shot ramp are dirty, but in great shape!

Next step is to put together an order for PinballLife and Titan. I have a bunch of LED's leftover I'll try to use, will be going with PBL super brights as I always do. Going to rebuild the pop bumpers, rebuild/upgrade the flippers. Already thinking of adding a few LED strips to make the playfield pop.

Really wish I could've tested the game out to verify switches, but I'll just do that with my multimeter. Solenoids can't test much. Also wish I could've tested the flashers. I like the insane brightness of LED's, but in the interest of cost and time, I'll likely keep these flashers incandescent bulbs. Plus with the weirdo 28V bulbs it'll be easier to keep factory. Although I was thinking of replacing them with some LED strips...

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#6 2 years ago

I work from home, which is kinda dangerous. Spent an hour further deconstructing the top for my lunch today. Did another hour or two of working on the bottom. Cleaned down the whole top. Still need to hit it with the Novus and wax.

Started replacing some insert bulbs with LED's, did 16 out of 29 of them (not counting the matrix ) with existing LED's I had. Saving moneys! Took inventory of what to order for the rest.

Took off the pop bumper mechs, desoldered the lamp holders, noticed a hack on one of the flasher boards resistors.

I had soaked some old red star posts in simple green for 24 hours, cleaned them with a toothbrush under hot water and turned out great! I've got plenty of red ones, we'll see how the blue ones turn out, may just buy some new ones.

Managed to stuff everything into two boxes. Have the playfield tucked away until next time!

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#7 2 years ago

Its really easy to replace the #89 flasher bulbs, just cut the ground wire on the resistor boards. Very easy, and easily reversible. That would only leave 6 #1251 bulbs, the 2 eyes in the back box, and the 4 under the visor. Looks great. Good luck

#8 2 years ago

hope it comes out great - looking forward watching this one!

#9 2 years ago

I'm borderline obsessive. I'm always thinking about the game I'm working on and what's next.

What I concluded today in my head:

Cliffy's are $74. While this game is in pretty nice shape, I'd consider it a glorified players game. Too much.
Titan rubbers are too expensive. I'm going to go with the translucent silicone rubbers from PBL, I've used them exclusively for a while and they're great! They also have expanded their "PerfectPlay" rubbers to include posts and star posts.
Was going to get the Treasure Cove polish kit to brighten up the mylar - but also way too expensive. I'll go nuts with some Novus 2 and whatever happens happens.

Only real work I did today was scrub the star posts, all turned out great!

PBL order is nearly complete. I'm going to order cap kits and bridges from Great Plains but I'm in no rush. My desoldering tool is on loan elsewhere and the boards work. The fuse block mod will certainly be done ASAP.
In case you didn't know - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-system-11-bullet-proofing-thread

I like to get my PBL parts in-store. Terry and his crew rule, no tax and a cash discount, plus playing games while you wait. A buddy lives out there that I'll visit, also.
I'm traveling for work next week so maybe week after I'll be able to make it out there.

In the meantime, next step is to get crazy on the playfield - Novus, magic eraser, q-tips, touchups and mylar.

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#10 2 years ago

Go get a headlight restoration kit at Harbor Freight. I also picked up a bottle of meguires plastic polish at the same time. Works very good for polishing the mylar.

#11 2 years ago

Following as I'm working on mine as well. Keep it up buddy!

Good luck with your 200$ budget

1 week later
#12 2 years ago

Been traveling for work a bunch, but hopefully am gonna calm down a bit for a while.

Got back into this for a couple hours tonight.
Pulled the transformer and power system and brought it up to my apartment.
Hooked up some jumpers to the CPU board to get into audits mode.
1642 total plays, 3997 balls played. So cool it was still there from who knows how long.
Ran diagnostics.
Ran through display test, all displays tested fine and look great!
All switches tested OK on the switch test!
Sound was going in attract and flashing.
I already started to convert it to LED which looked great!

Electronics are totally solid! One less thing to worry about.
I'm still gonna rebuild the power supply, fuse and replace the bridges, and probably reflow solder on all the connectors.

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I pulled off the the neck. It took some of the lower part of the cabinet with it.
I pulled off the crappy washer/drywall screw hack that was on there, also got rid of the fucking window latch (one of the screw heads was drilled out!)
Assessed the damage, doesn't look too bad, clean breaks. Cleaned up a side and glued and clamped it together.
Gonna let it sit overnight and do the other one tomorrow!
The factory also stapled the back panel onto the sides, I'll probably shoot some screws through there to reinforce it.
This will be getting a WPC style latch.

Weird realization that the wood glue I was using is leftover from when I made my first virtual pinball cab like 5ish years ago?
Including the virtual pin, this is my 14th game. What a wild ride.

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#13 2 years ago

About another 90 minutes just now:

Pulled the eye and kickout solenoid and mech. Cleaned and relubed the mech, replace the sleeve in the solenoid. None were that dirty.
Pulled the motor and visor target bank. Pretty beat up. The orange target needs to be replaced. The rest are in OK condition. These targets are expensive ($8) and not plentiful. I have to order this one from Marco. Going to replace the foam all around as it's falling out.

The whole sliding target bank seems pretty beat up. Mine has what appears to be an extra bracket on the left side to hold it in. Doesn't look factory. Assume the whole left sliding side cracked off and this was a quick repair. Works fine though. Found a 3D printed repro on Shapeways for $24... maybe another time.


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#14 2 years ago

Spent the last hour sorting through my spare parts and making up an order for Great Plains Electronics. I was delighted to find I had about 80% of the components I needed. Go to place the order on GPE and they're temporarily closed, doh! While the game doesn't really need anything, I'd really like to get the voltage of the displays dropped.

It WAS only gonna be $25.

Gonna try putting together rest of PBL order tonight...

#15 2 years ago

Good thread!

#16 2 years ago

Glued and clamped the neck bracket a few times over the past couple days. Turned out very solid! I'm gonna gorilla glue it back to the cabinet once we get a warmer day. Glad that's likely taken care of. I typically leave the hardest parts for last.

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Figured out my lighting scheme for the backglass. About half of the backglass bulbs I was able to fill using spare LED's I had on hand. Still ordered a couple extra red and blue just to be safe.

Pulled the flippers. This is always interesting as you get a good idea for how much the game was used. I thought they looked OK, but upon closer inspection the coil wires were poorly soldered on. The contact switches are white and oxidized. I assume they still work but will likely replace.

Before I even took it off, I could see the left plunger had a lot of wear on it. Upon disassembly, the diode looked off, and the coil had a stuck sleeve. On the bottom there was I assume what was a burn on the paper from a hot coil. Looked it up and it's the wrong flipper coil also. Thanks, Op. The right flipper has the wrong spring (cylindrical instead of tapered) and the link wafer has some significant wear. These will be upgraded to WPC style plungers/lnks per Vid's guide.

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Pulled off the plexi from the head, should clean up nice. It was cool to see the perfectly painted cabinet on top, compared to the hell the sides have seen.
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#17 2 years ago

Crappy cold windy rainy Saturday in Chicago, I've been home and hopping in and out of different things on this project.

Top plexi cleaned up super nice! Looks brand new. Saved the serial sticker, easily removed the filthy warning sticker. I experimented with some RGB LED strip along the edge. Red looks good but blue/purple really makes it pop! Subtle but certainly cool. Maybe an addition at the end.

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Went over the playfield real well with Novus 2/91% rubbing alcohol. I got out a lot of dirt in the non-mylared areas, cleaned up the shooter lane well, removed some ball swirl underneath the flippers. For everything that was being finicky, I used some magic eraser soaked in 91% rubbing alcohol to clean up the dirty areas. It worked well!

I attempted to do some touchups. Added black in a few spots. Easy. Tried mixing the red with some paints I had on hand from my Earthshaker project. Messing around I got close, but was missing something. I may seek a different red base paint later. The eyes area is certainly the worst wear spot. It cleaned up pretty nice with some magic eraser. I tried matching the gray for a bit and gave up, gray is hard. I had an idea to just make a waterslide decal and put it over it. Maybe I'll make something custom for that area. The pops have wear, but it's just limited to a small area where the mylar isn't, I'll probably just leave it.

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Also went over all the targets with magic eraser - turned out great!
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#18 2 years ago

If ordering individual parts to make up an upgraded flipper assembly, be sure to get the new style base plates which have the tall, unscrewable EOS switch bracket.



It has room for the spark suppressing capacitor and is also drilled for the flipper return extension springs used on WPC style flippers.

#19 2 years ago

Thanks for the response, Ken. After some research last night, it seems like this is what I need. The EOS and lane changer switch attach onto that specifically placed bracket. If I have to replace one coil, might as well upgrade em both to parallel coils/fliptronics style. This is quickly becoming the "spend whatever it takes to make it awesome" project

Here's what I (think I) need for the flippers:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=270&parent=60 x2
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=262&parent=58 x2
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=276 x2
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=8 x2

On that note, just spent $51 at Marco. I got the orange target, most of the components I needed from GPE (fuses, bridges, power resistors, voltage dropping diodes). Also got a red superbands tapered rubber to go next to the circular target bank. Factory look and a cool color, awesome.

Today I rebuilt the slingshots and adjusted the leaf switches a bit. I've done pretty much all I can with the playfield. Next step is to get a headlight restoration kit to polish the mylar, then wax and reassemble the top end. PinballLife visit Wednesday! Only other real stuff I can do is clean all the plastics.

#20 2 years ago

Messed around with touchups again. Very easily matched the light blue! Probably should have thrown some white down first. From a few feet away you can't even tell so whatever. Also took black and touched up a bunch of tiny places all over the playfield. A little OCD but fun and satisfying.

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#21 2 years ago

Much better!

#22 2 years ago

Quick update - went to PinballLife today to get parts. Terry and Mike gave me some shit for upgrading my flippers, but went with it in the end. Good guys.

Met up with my buddy out there, drank some fancy beer, and just arrived home to find my Marco package has arrived.

So here's 2 pictures with a lot of parts that cost a lot of money.
Now that I have everything, and knowing me, this will be done sooner than later.

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#23 2 years ago

About 2 hours today. Did some more touchups. Red was very easy to match. Orange I did an OK job at. I'll post some pictures when it's all done. Still grey and dark blue to go. Despite the orange not matching perfectly, it passes the 3 foot rule and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Got some help! Girl cleaned all the plastics with 91% alcohol and then Novus 1. She also re-rubbered the mini playfield. I cleaned up the main and vortex ramps. Swapped out the light domes on the main ramp to match, totally worth it. Vortex ramp is perfect! Cleaned up really nice also. I'll try to fabricate a protector for the top notch.

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#24 2 years ago

A few more hours today:

Matched and touched up the dark blue
Tried to match the gray, quickly gave up
Cleaned the main area with the headlight polisher and Novus 2 - turned out pretty good! Felt a lot smoother
Waxed twice
Put the playfield back up on the work table
Replaced the bulbs with LED's
Put on all the star posts and rubbers. Got a few new blue star posts and they were noticeably blue-r. Also got some white LED star post lights for the posts up in the eyes area!
Put on some of the plastics

Overall very happy with the touchups so far. Not sure what I'm gonna do with the eyes yet, but good for now.

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#25 2 years ago

Great photos and progress.

#26 2 years ago

Suggestion: quit trying to match the gray and repaint ALL of that grey in that area with something close. Had a HS once I did that to, where I just couldn't get a grey just right....so I repainted ALL the grey, and it looked great, especially after clearcoating it with Varathane.

Good job so far, keep us posted!!!

#27 2 years ago

What is your plan to protect your touch-ups?

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from Plumonium:

What is your plan to protect your touch-ups?

I have some mylar sheets leftover from my BSD restoration. I'm going to trace where they're needed and cut some strips to lay down. Not going to protect the eyes at this time as they're already pretty messed up. May just do as AUKraut said and paint the whole area. May make a decal. May do nothing. At this point, I just wanna play it

#29 2 years ago

Got home from a work trip and got at it for about 5 hours:

Cut out some mylar to protect the touchups - Was trying to trace the end of the mylar pop bumper. Printer paper I had was a bit thick, but I had gotten an invitation to my friends wedding the same day and it had a very thin sheet of paper. Worked out perfect!
Did the same for the top kickout.

Figured out a rubber band size confusion I had
Put together the pop bumper bodies and screwed them in
Cleaned (2 3M drill pads) and waxed all the ball guides
Also polished the ball trough and the shooter ball gate
Got all the plastics on
Got most of the top end on!

Next step is to finish wiring the pop bumpers - I hate doing these

Getting there!

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#30 2 years ago

About another 4 hours today:

Installed the lock in the backbox
Put in the rest of the LED's under the playfield
Cleaned under all the inserts
Cleaned and polished the pop bumper rings
Rebuilt and reinstalled pop bumpers (used some NOS pop bumper covers!) wiring them up was pretty easy compared to WPC games

Not much left to do! Rebuild the flippers and the target wall and the playfield is done!

Going to think about bringing the cabinet up to my already packed apartment. Figured I should enjoy it and get it dialed in. I'll probably end up lending it to a friend after a bit as 4 games in a 600 sq. ft. apartment is pretty cramped

I need to sand the bottom and reglue it in, seems pretty straight forward. There's a bunch of the wood holding the bottom in missing at the front. Figured I'll get some thin moulding/trim cut and glue it and be set.

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#31 2 years ago

Good stuff!

#32 2 years ago

Hey I have a pinbot and a galaxian cocktail as well!

#33 2 years ago

Wow, Great job. When I started in this hobby 15 years ago this would be considered a parts machine. You are going to turn it into a nice game.

#34 2 years ago

Inspiring me to attempt the same!

#35 2 years ago

Been traveling a bit for work and gonna be traveling for the next week after tomorrow.
Took an hour and knocked out the target bank:
Cleaned the bank
There were two cracks in the plastic, glue it back together with Plastic Surgery that I use for ramps
Cleaned the targets
Replaced the orange target - the color difference is very huge! The other ones still look pretty decent
Replaced the target foam
Put in some iridescent paper stuff, got the idea from another pinside. Looks alright, I forgot to put it down before the target foam.

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#36 2 years ago
Quoted from dudah:

Been traveling a bit for work and gonna be traveling for the next week after tomorrow.
Took an hour and knocked out the target bank:
Cleaned the bank
There were two cracks in the plastic, glue it
back together with Plastic Surgery that I use for ramps
Cleaned the targets
Replaced the orange target - the color difference is very huge! The other ones still look pretty decent
Replaced the target foam
Put in some iridescent paper stuff, got the idea from another pinside. Looks alright, I forgot to put it down before the target foam.

Excellent work!
Where did you get the replacement target?
I need a blue one.

Thank you

#37 2 years ago

Can you provide a product # for these pads. Would like to try them.

#38 2 years ago

If you are still trying to match the Grey, try adding a touch of yellow. Thats what i found on the one i did. Because of the fade and discoloring over the years. Looking good.

#39 2 years ago

The iridescent paper looks great. Where did you get it from?

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from McPin54:

Excellent work!
Where did you get the replacement target?
I need a blue one.
Thank you

Marco. PBL only had a few colors.

Quoted from jeffc:

Can you provide a product # for these pads. Would like to try them.

amazon.com link »
amazon.com link »

Definitely get both.

Quoted from Insane:

If you are still trying to match the Grey, try adding a touch of yellow. Thats what i found on the one i did. Because of the fade and discoloring over the years. Looking good.

I'll give it anther shot, thanks!

Quoted from cad-kid:

The iridescent paper looks great. Where did you get it from?

Jo-Ann, a 10x10 sheet was $2.50.

#41 2 years ago

Jo-Ann, check. Thanks!

#42 2 years ago

Spent 4 hours:

Labeled all the connectors
Pulled all the boards - I was delighted to find the backs were super clean with zero hacks!
Replaced all the caps. A few were starting to leak and one was about to burst!
Was going to reflow the connector solder but they all look good!
Replaced the AA battery board with a button cell
Replaced the bridge on the flipper board

I'll spray the connectors with contact cleaner and pop the boards back in. Wiring harness, connectors and ground plane all look good!
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#43 2 years ago

Spent 90 minutes tonight:

Touched up some cold connections on the power supply board
Replaced the HV transistors
Cleaned the heatsinks, new thermal paste, new hardware. Old hardware was fairly rusted and I barely got it off!
Replaced the 100V diodes with 91V ones
Replaced R1 and R4, left them higher off the board to vent - ones ones were falling apart!

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Replaced some poorly replaced carbon resistors. One was replaced, bad solder connections, but the tech didn't clip the extra 2" of leads
The other was a ridiculous hack - two series in parallel, with one in series. I did the math and it equated to 4.5 ohms which was supposed to be replacing a 5.1 ohm one. Close but no cigar. Noticed one of them was a little crispy.

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#44 2 years ago

Spent 15 minutes and rebuilt the flippers. Real easy when it's all new!
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#45 2 years ago

There must of been a sale on zip ties.
Keep up the great work!!

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#46 2 years ago

Nice thread.

#47 2 years ago

How much left off the $200 budget?

#48 2 years ago

Lots of progress!

First off - budget:

Marco - $51
PinballLife - $210
New Glass - $10
Home Depot - $1
Jo-Ann - $5

$277, not too bad. I splurged for a few extra things, but fuck it, it's gonna be a great looking great working game when I'm done!

Put on a respirator and a headlamp and went into the basement:
Vacuumed the cab
Sanded the bottom - cleaned up super nice/quick! Very happy!
Also sanded the bottom from the outside - not much better but whatever. There's a gouge in the cheapo board at the bottom, probably not even gonna mess with it.
Measured the wood I need - got it from Home Depot real quick, $1. 1/2" x 3/4". Glued the front!

Saw some genius waxed the side of the cab
Even though I have two more pieces to glue, cab is ready to bring into my apartment!
I'm going to consolidate my living room furniture and get rid of my couch ottoman to get this in my place. I've totally lost it now.

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#49 2 years ago

Whipped up some 5050 LED strips! Red and blue on the apron, a little red one in the shooter lane, and a thin red one down the shooter lane!
Looks awesome! Looks a little purple (naturally) between and above the flippers. I like it!
The little LED strips are also awesome, they're only like 3mm tall.
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#50 2 years ago

The Led strips look much better than I thought. Great idea!

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