(Topic ID: 229112)

Back from the Dredd: The Perils of buying Project Pinball Machines


By Shredso

10 months ago



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  • 43 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 hours ago by Shredso
  • Topic is favorited by 17 Pinsiders

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#1 10 months ago

I bought a heavy project Judge Dredd and I've decided to document my attempt at finding all of the parts and repairing it. The preferred end result is a clean, complete and great playing game. I don't plan on a full restore, if it ends up there, something has gone terribly wrong. I wanted to show some of the things that can (and will) go wrong, and how these types of projects can quickly turn into a money pit and a huge time drain. As long as no major hard to find assembles are missing I should be ok. If I end up with $3k into it and 100 hours, I'll be pissed, but I'll still be able to feed my kids. I'd be psyched if I can keep it around 2k and 40 hours. It will probably be somewhere in the middle. This will likely take me a couple months, there is one game ahead of it in the repair queue, I needed to move it out of storage so why not set it on its legs and assess the damage.

Day 1: Side art looks ok, the head is a little beat. The game was transported with no head hinges. Hopefully nothing was pulled or damaged. I don't think there are any boards in the head so it should be fine. The game did come with legs and hinges, i just need to remember where I put them.....

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#2 10 months ago

Nice, following. FYI a couple of dredd plastic sets went up on ebay.. might be a good time to get one.

#3 10 months ago

Nice! I’ve bought some horrible projects, and ironically the worst, biggest money pit yet, is one with power supply issues, yet all in all is complete and “playing”
The others were worse cosmetically and physically but fixing them is just time consuming but costs a few bills.

#4 10 months ago

If you don't mind my asking, how much did you pay for the base game?

#5 10 months ago
Quoted from gweempose:

If you don't mind my asking, how much did you pay for the base game?

I was hesitant to list prices. If I do get the thing going for 2k and I try to sell it for $2500 I don't feel like listening to the "I know how much you have into it" guy. More than likely I'll be lucky to break even, so I'll take the gamble. I paid $1300 for the base game. I knew going into it there were no working boards and some altogether missing. I will document them as I get to them but I know the sound board is missing (expensive!) and the trough and flipper boards are missing. I think there are 2 driver boards in need of repair and an unknown DMD board. The game was also missing the translite, which isn't easy to come by.

#6 10 months ago

I got it up on 4 legs. I have no idea where the bag is with the loose hardware. It has the hinges for the head and the plastic dome for the deadworld. I forgot this was a wide body. I'm going to need to do some rearranging of the game room.

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#7 10 months ago

The backbox:

Typical burnt connectors. I suspect I will find more of these. DMD is present, I highly doubt it works. It would be great if it did, if not, I have a spare somewhere. Looks like an auxiliary board of some sort is present. Hopefully that works. Also a DMD board is present. It looks pretty toasty. I don't have high hopes for that one.

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#8 10 months ago

The playfield:
At a quick glance it looks decent. I see a broken repaired plastic above select a mode on the apron. The cover is missing on the deadworld, but I'm fairly certain I have it in the missing bag of goodies. The Air Raid ramp has some holes in it, possibly where a switch was mounted. I'll have to research that. If you are familiar with the game and see anything out of place, let me know. Overall, it looks decent.

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#9 10 months ago

Inside the cabinet:

This really isn't that bad at all. Weird hack for the flipper buttons and they are missing the opto boards. Loose wires on the coin door. Trough opto boards missing. Awful looking rivets on the lockdown bar that are super sharp. I might have a spare widebody lockdown bar that is in better shape.

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#10 10 months ago

I was able to find a translite along with a handful of boards including the sound board, all from one guy, and it was local.

Sound board- non working. Capacitor visibly blew up. Hopefully replacing the cap will fix the board. Big gamble, but at least I have a board.
CPU- Was working but batteries leaked. Killed the IC below the battery holder. IC was removed along with batteries, but not cleanly. Chip will need a socket and likely some trace repair. Board looks good otherwise.
DMD board- worked the last time he used it
Translite and glass in decent shape.

This lot was $420. It's more than I wanted to spend, but the lot has some hard to find parts. As long as the repairs are easy, I'll be in ok shape. I probably could have found some of the parts cheaper, but after shipping and buying from 5 different people, why bother.

Total is now up to $1,720. I have a line on some used flipper boards and opto boards. I'm hoping it doesn't need anything else game specific.

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#11 10 months ago

Those holes in the air raid ramp are for a plastic.

1 week later
#12 10 months ago

Small update- I found the mystery bag! Good news, the pursuit plastic is in there. It's damaged but repairable. The globe for the deadworld was there as well as the hinges. The hinges look new, which is nice. Unfortunately no hardware. I'm hoping to dive into this at least a little over Thanksgiving weekend. Hopefully finishing up one project today...

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2 weeks later
#13 9 months ago

I'll be following this thread. I have a newly acquired Dredd that appears to be fully functional except for a few things

#14 9 months ago

If your anything like me, you'll end up putting about 2 grand into it.
Seam's like every game I've returned to the living ends up costing more than I planned on.
Just getting it working isn't good enough, it's got to be right.

#15 9 months ago
Quoted from wdennie:

If your anything like me, you'll end up putting about 2 grand into it.
Seam's like every game I've returned to the living ends up costing more than I planned on.
Just getting it working isn't good enough, it's got to be right.

This is exactly why I haven't posted anything else yet. I have a Freddy project I got working, could have easily sold it. Now I have it torn down and I've uncovered multiple issues. Quick shop job probably turned into 20 plus hours.

#16 9 months ago

Bought a working Space Shuttle $600 though I can fixer up, and had the MPU die on me.
got it home and found the paint was pealing on the BG and PF needed work.
Ended up buying new BG, PF hardtop, Had to send the MPU out for repair, It was missing 1 display, so ended up getting all new RD displays.
Ended up putting 1,900 into it, so now I have a great looking SS for $2,500. What's it really worth?
Did about the same on a Xenon.
They look great but I'll never get what I put into.
But it was fun fixing them.
Good luck, I'm following.

#17 9 months ago

Good luck with the restoration. Will be definitely following.

6 months later
#18 75 days ago

It's been awhile, but I should finally have some time this weekend to assess this project and start moving forward. I finished my Freddy project and sold that along with 2 other games at Pintastic this weekend. Also sold my Aerosmith and Tron so I have space in the game room now. I acquired what I hope is the last boards to get this thing flipping, flipper opto and trough boards. The sound board needs a repair, the seller thought it was only a cap, I really hope he is right. I have a spare working driver (I think). I was told the game worked when all the boards were present, we will see. I'd be pumped if I could get this thing flipping by the weekend then on to the rotisserie for a top side tear down. I've added a new Monster Bash into the mix, always tough to work on games when you have a shiny new one to play.

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#19 74 days ago
Quoted from Shredso:

I've added a new Monster Bash into the mix, always tough to work on games when you have a shiny new one to play.[quoted image]

This is why my restorations take so long... Sometimes I feel like a pinball squirrel, always getting distracted by the shiny new project.

#20 74 days ago

Theres a guy selling an almost fully populated pf wirh wiring harness. You should snag it.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/958426214184968/permalink/2730172947010277/?sale_post_id=2730172947010277

#21 74 days ago

I have what appears to be a fully populated playfield in Central PA that will be for sale soon also. I have no interest in shipping it but I could bring it to the York Show if anyone is interested. Price will depend on what I see when I take a closer look at it but if it is as nice as I remember I am thinking right around $1000 picked up at my place or York.

#22 74 days ago
Quoted from CLEllison:

Theres a guy selling an almost fully populated pf wirh wiring harness. You should snag it.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/958426214184968/permalink/2730172947010277/?sale_post_id=2730172947010277

Quoted from too-many-pins:

I have what appears to be a fully populated playfield in Central PA that will be for sale soon also. I have no interest in shipping it but I could bring it to the York Show if anyone is interested. Price will depend on what I see when I take a closer look at it but if it is as nice as I remember I am thinking right around $1000 picked up at my place or York.

Thanks for the info, I'm trying to keep this one somewhat on a budget. I "think" all I need is a couple plastics. I can see me kicking myself in a few months for not snagging one of these though.

#23 74 days ago

I decided to try and populate the boards today. I found what I think is a working driver board. The bag had a sticker that said "Good" on it, so it must work! I tossed in the DMD board that I bought as working. There was a DMD board in the game, but it looked pretty bad. I may try and repair it after I'm done. What I mean by that is, it will end up in my growing board graveyard that I will probably never get to.

I ran into a few minor problems. I couldn't figure out why my GI connector wouldn't fit, whoever replaced the header (probably me) forgot to cut out the key, easy fix. Opposite problem on a different connector, no key. Had it in the wrong spot, luckily figured it out before power up. Added the key, put it in the right spot. The GI connector is toast, same one from the replaced header. Super common. I will fix that later, I may need to make a GPE order, is he taking orders again?

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#24 74 days ago

I thought I had a working CPU, after looking at this pile of garbage i don't think I do. I can steal the one temporarily from Funhouse (last resort), try and repair one, or build the 2 Bits kit (bare new board with components). I'm leaning toward building the kit. I've had a work in progress WPC test fixture for a few years. This may be a good reason to finally complete it and go through these boards. I have a bunch of DMD boards and driver boards as well. I'll decide tomorrow.

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#25 74 days ago
#26 73 days ago

My plan today was to get a working CPU. My plan got slightly derailed. I found a decent deal on a Bride of Pinbot locally. I like the game, and it was a good enough price that I couldn't possibly lose money so I snagged it. It turned out to be an adventure. The guy had a massive collection of slot machines and all sorts of vintage coin op stuff. The game mostly works, so I think i technically got a WPC CPU today. I still have high hopes of getting this thing flipping by the end of the weekend.

#27 72 days ago
Quoted from Shredso:

The sound board needs a repair, the seller thought it was only a cap, I really hope he is right.

Mine was ... here's the thread if this helps

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/dcs-sound-board-very-loud-sound-judge-dredd#post-4222723

#28 72 days ago

Following...I just bought a populated Fish Tales playfield with the reel handle, speaker panel, light board and the mpu...thats it...I need everything else, luckily I have a brand new cabinet already decaled and ready to go...

Good luck with this project...

#29 72 days ago

Following...
I am in

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#30 72 days ago

I got my CPU donor game set up! There is a 9 minute window between 9,000 degrees and 9,000 mosquitoes so i took advantage. Like most games in this shape it was a bear setting it up. Every leg leveler was rusted on, 2 of the leg bolt plates fell inside the cab. Luckily the front 2. New leg levelers, some new leg bolts, properly fastened the leg plates and we are up and running! After closer inspection, I'm not sure I got the deal I thought I did. The head isn't working. It is a Diamond Plate playfield, but there is some wear, so I'm not sure if it still matters. I was hoping to play a few games before I dissect it, oh well. Good for JD, not so good for BoP.

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#31 72 days ago
Quoted from Shredso:

There is a 9 minute window between 9,000 degrees and 9,000 mosquitoes

#32 72 days ago

Before I swap the CPU, I need to burn a ROM. I use this old programmer so infrequently it always takes me awhile to set it up. I'm inevitably on a different computer, or at least a new Windows install. This programmer doesn't like Windows 10. I keep thinking about getting something newer, but I really don't use it enough. I should probably stuff a Windows XP laptop in a closet or something.

I decided I should burn a new BoP rom to make sure the programmer is running properly. I have a no Ghost Rom for BoP, so a good reason to change it anyway. Plus it was running L-1.

Burn 1- Nothing. Crap. Oh yeah, Early WPC games use a smaller size EPROM. EPROM in the game is 27C010, I was using a 27C040.
Burn 2- Nothing. Crap. Maybe I'll try a different chip.
Burn 3- Nothing. Crap. This image is larger than L1, it needs a 27C020. I don't have any of those. Also, I forgot about the jumper for different sizes on the CPU. Change jumper on CPU, I will need that for Judge Dredd anyway. Double the image so it fits on a 27C040.
Burn 4- Success! I was hoping the newer code might fix my head rotation issue, no such luck. Now to move it into JD....

It's been awhile since I worked on a WPC game, this is all pretty basic stuff that I forgot. The good news is the CPU looks very clean. I will install an NVRAM before I'm done.

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#33 72 days ago

On to the sound board! The previous owner removed the cap in question and had a replacement ready. He thought it was the wrong voltage, I checked my schematic and it was higher than the one listed. Maybe the board he compared it to had a beefy replacement? I rang out the visible traces and it seems fine. Unfortunately I don't have a game to test this in other than JD. I tossed it in the game and... missing ribbon cables. This may put me out of business for a few days. I'll have to dig around. Time for a couple drinks and a few games of something that works.

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#34 72 days ago

It lives!... At least a little. I found some ribbon cables in my stash. The game boots, sound seems to be working, as much as it would with the wrong sound ROM in there. The DMD isn't great, not a huge deal but a little disappointing. I plan on going Color DMD anyway. The sound board and DMD board working are huge positives. I won't know about the driver until I get a game going. It does start a game but I need to add the trough and flipper boards. Also unsure of the Fliptronics board. The crane motor and deadworld seem a little confused. I really hope I don't need to replace any motors.

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#35 71 days ago

Wow cool project, I have a JD and am enjoying following.

The BoP playfield actually looks nice, those are usually blown out at the inlane ball drops

#36 71 days ago

Not a whole lot of progress today. Planned on spending the whole day on it, but decided to drive 9 hours round trip to buy another game instead, because I'm insane. A lot of little repairs like these, wires popped out of connectors, loose from coils, etc. If I documented every one the thread would be 100 pages long. I installed the trough boards, no lights, game starts, no solenoids. Maybe this driver board doesn't work... I'll probably pull the one out of BoP and see if anything changes. The sound was a little funky today, I fear my sound board may not be completely repaired.

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#37 71 days ago

I hit another roadblock today. I tried installing the flipper opto boards and the left one doesn't fit. Special part only for this game, awesome. If anyone has an extra let me know!

#38 71 days ago
Quoted from Shredso:

I hit another roadblock today. I tried installing the flipper opto boards and the left one doesn't fit. Special part only for this game, awesome. If anyone has an extra let me know!

If all else fails:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/judge-dredd-flipper-opto-assembly-left-hand#post-4993462

#39 70 days ago

Thanks, I did see that in my search. International shipping would probably make this an expensive solution, but it's good to know one exists. From my search it seems like a lot of people weren't happy with the GLM boards and went back to original. I'd be happy to get one of those.

#40 70 days ago

Got a little discouraged today, decided to play some pinball instead of repairing. Had some great games on my new games. Got to Monsters of Rock on Monster Bash, and whatever the mini Wizard is on Iron Man. I'm having a lot of fun with both games. Sometimes I need to remind myself this is for fun, and the end goal is to play pinball. I tossed the CPU back in BoP and checked some fuses. F111 was cooked. The head seems to be working perfectly now. The ramp diverter isn't working, so it never goes to the head, but to me, that is a much easier fix than a motor. I also have a pop bumper issue. I think my next steps will be to have a 100% known good driver board and another good CPU.

#41 67 days ago

Made some progress today. I wanted to be sure I had a good driver board so i needed my test game (Bride of Pinbot) to be working properly. I will probably make a separate thread on that issue because it's unique. Troubleshooting a naturally occurring issue is a lot more logical than fixing another persons mistake. The result is, I have 2 known working driver boards and 1 fully working test game next to Judge Dredd. Next step is 2 fully working CPU boards. That should make troubleshooting a lot easier.

2 months later
#42 10 hours ago

Update bump

#43 6 hours ago

The left flipper issue really killed my momentum. I think I have a solution though. I have some parts in my cart, hopefully placing an order tomorrow and making some progress next weekend.

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