(Topic ID: 238831)

Bally 1971 Skyrocket Restoration


By Ballypin

7 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 116 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 32 days ago by MeNaCeFiRe
  • Topic is favorited by 16 Pinsiders

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There are 116 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
#51 4 months ago

A picture is word a thousand words. This one might be triple that as there is a lot going on.
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The large tub in the upper left contains the first batch of tumbled screws and other smalls that were cleaned of walnut shell dust. The polished trough parts are in the tub beneath it. To the right is a cup of the topside screws that have been tumbled then buffed on the bench grinder and await the tedious final cleaning of black polishing compound from the screw heads. The tub to the right contains parts still waiting to be tumbled. The 3 wood siderails have been sanded and wiped down and ready for the light orange paint. The metal arch to the left is the ball guide and has been sanded to 2000 grit. The metal arch to the right has been sanded and ready for primer and then topcoat in bright yellow paint.

Yes, Bally did paint the metal apron and top arch the same bright yellow and the wood siderails a light orange color.

#52 4 months ago

I killed my second Harbor Freight 5 lb tumbler Wednesday so I bought another one tonight. I forgot how quiet a new one runs compared to how ragged out they get before they die. I'm sad because I upgraded the old one to a 1/4" threaded rod for the main shaft because the stock rod became worn out and the wing nut would not secure the lid.IMG_1697 (resized).JPG

#53 4 months ago

Last post for tonight...the kickout holes are very nasty and I don't think just cleaning the wood will cut it. I'm thinking that I will need to sand all the side and sloped edges and then mask off and spray Varithane to seal the sanded wood.
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#54 4 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

I killed my second Harbor Freight 5 lb tumbler Wednesday so I bought another one tonight. I forgot how quiet a new one runs compared to how ragged out they get before they die. I'm sad because I upgraded the old one to a 1/4" threaded rod for the main shaft because the stock rod worn out and the wing nut would not secure the lid.[quoted image]

I recently replaced my old, very loud tumbler with this extremely quiet one, which sells for $109 with free shipping on eBay. Indeed, it's so quiet that you can forget that it's on.

The manufacturer is RCBS, model # 87060. The wing nut secures well to the rod and the tub is a higher quality than most in that price range.

My previous tumbler's wing nut system was unreliable and other components were inferior to this new tumbler. I highly recommend this tumbler.
ebay.com link

#55 4 months ago

Nice work!

#56 3 months ago

More polishing and a painting this weekend. The cheapskate in me refused to buy more Flitz once my big bottle ran out. I did find some small bottles local at an auto parts store and paid dearly but the stuff works wonders.

Top arch was primed, 220 sanded, 2 light coats of Rustoleum gloss Sun Yellow, 400 sand and then top coat. Side rails have 2 coats of Rustoleum gloss Golden Sunset, 220 sand, 3rd coat, 400 sand and ready to spray top coat.IMG_1714 (resized).jpg

#57 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

More weekend progress...refinished the playfield glass frame to a near mirror finish. Not perfect, but much improved from the scratched and dull condition. Started with 220 grit sandpaper on a palm sander and then went to 400,800,1000,1500,2000,3000 and finished with 0000 steel wool with Mothers Mag polish. Wrangled it back together with a new sheet of glass.
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Coin door is coming along as well. Sanded and painted the metal front and plywood back. Polished exposed front hardware and will begin reassembly.
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Holy moly. Those siderails are like mirrors. You could bounce a laser to Saturn in those high-depth reflective surfaces!

I look at the siderails on my games now and all I see is molten sheet metal. Oh, the humanity of it. . .

#58 3 months ago

"Ben...I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics."

Now that the rain has finally stopped and summer has arrived, it allows for the safe way of flattening plastics between 2 sheets of old playfield glass. Tried the oven method on a cookie sheet tray before with so-so results.IMG_1790 (resized).jpg

For the yellowed, warped and chipped ball guide plastics, I hand traced the originals and will have it converted to a DWG file so I can GRADUATE to new, clear laser cut pieces. Sorry to punish you. IMG_1792 (resized).jpg

#59 3 months ago


For the young ens’ not picking up what I laid down

#60 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

"Ben...I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics."
Now that the rain has finally stopped and summer has arrived, it allows for the safe way of flattening plastics between 2 sheets of old playfield glass. Tried the oven method on a cookie sheet tray before with so-so results.[quoted image]
For the yellowed, warped and chipped ball guide plastics, I hand traced the originals and will have it converted to a DWG file so I can GRADUATE to new, clear laser cut pieces. Sorry to punish you. [quoted image]

So many memorable lines from The Graduate: "It's too late; not for me" and my favorite Anne Bancroft reply to Dustin Hoffman in which she succumbs to post-coital pillow-talk, revealing her college major to have been "art."

#61 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

"Ben...I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics."
Now that the rain has finally stopped and summer has arrived, it allows for the safe way of flattening plastics between 2 sheets of old playfield glass. Tried the oven method on a cookie sheet tray before with so-so results.[quoted image]
For the yellowed, warped and chipped ball guide plastics, I hand traced the originals and will have it converted to a DWG file so I can GRADUATE to new, clear laser cut pieces. Sorry to punish you. [quoted image]

Incidentally, I like the solar method as well to flatten plastics. However, I always try the blowdryer technique first because it's so safe and so fast.

I never utilize the oven method. It's too easy to ruin the plastics, in my opinion.

#62 3 months ago
Quoted from ZNET:

I always try the blowdryer technique first

Fortunately, we both still have hair for the need of a blowdryer.

#63 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

Fortunately, we both still have hair for the need of a blowdryer.

Having just turned 60, I'm happy to have enough to protect my scalp from the sun. Here's me and my wife with our son at his 8th grade graduation last week. Fortunately, he got his mom's good head of hair.

He hasn't yet fully inherited my pinball passion. But, there's still time.

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#65 3 months ago

Wow. That backglass had some serious UV fade and the BGresto glass is a 1000% improvement.

Luckily, my glass has no fade but did have some flaking that I was able to touch up reasonably well AFTER the glass was locked down with triple thick. My touch-ups are not perfect in luminosity but they do eliminate the harsh spotlights of bare light coming through.
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#66 3 months ago

I would be remiss to not post Skyrocket progress on the 4th of July.

The playfield switches and standup targets are dirty, bent and even showing slight surface rust.
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The solution is to desolder from the playfield, dis-assemble, give the metal blades a quick scrub with Krud Kutter on 0000 steel wool and then a 24 hour tumble in walnut shells with a squirt of Flitz.
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The results are amazing. I finished by giving the target faces a buff with Novus 2.
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#67 3 months ago

Last night, we met up with some good friends and took in a home Cincinnati Reds game. The Reds were victorious over Milwaukee and recorded more than 11 strikeouts which earned every ticket holder a free small pizza from the local mega pizza chain Larosa's. The fireworks display after the game was a bonus early celebration to the greatest country.

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Have a safe and happy 4th of July.

#68 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

Wow. That backglass had some serious UV fade and the BGresto glass is a 1000% improvement.
Luckily, my glass has no fade but did have some flaking that I was able to touch up reasonably well AFTER the glass was locked down with triple thick. My touch-ups are not perfect in luminosity but they do eliminate the harsh spotlights of bare light coming through.
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Nice job touching up. I usually opt for the less ambitious solution by omitting a bulb or using a colored bulb. I wish that I could master the backglass touch-up technique.

#69 3 months ago

I upgraded my Skyrocket backglass to the one depicted here, which I rate as an 8 out of 10.

By placing colored bulbs (sometimes with colored sleeves to further mute the glow) and by eliminating a small but key illuminated area in the lower right (to disguise the spidering degradation in that limited area), I think that the backglass passes for a 9 when installed and lit up. The 2 small missing paint spots in the upper right remain visible; but, you have to look to find them (no harsh white light drawing your eye to the defects).

My previous backglass's best appearance, with lighting trickery, was in the 8 range, so I'm happy to have upgraded.

If my upgrade effort had failed, I would have gladly opted for that Bgresto repro because it looks really good on the website. I find the three-dimensionality of the graphics to be compelling, especially with flashing light bulbs installed in the Skyrocket lettering and in the exploding fireworks.

This game deserves an exceptionally nice backglass because the gameplay is so darn fun. I can't wait to see your finished Skyrocket. You are sparing no effort in your restoration and it's showing.

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#70 3 months ago

There is a Sky Rocket on EBay right now for $499. Shitty pics and it looks like moisture damage on the electronics. Backglass looks great.

#71 3 months ago
Quoted from Electrocute:

There is a Sky Rocket on EBay right now for $499. Shitty pics and it looks like moisture damage on the electronics. Backglass looks great.

That sold quickly. Anyone here snag that project?

#72 3 months ago
Quoted from Electrocute:

There is a Sky Rocket on EBay right now for $499. Shitty pics and it looks like moisture damage on the electronics. Backglass looks great.

Geez. You had my heart racing since I had not noticed this listing and ZNET posts that it has sold. My heart settled down after I saw it was in California and then saw the horror pics of all that rust. The BG does look decent and the PF is so-so but its gonna take a gallon of Evaporust to do anything with the rest.

Interesting to note that the game is serial number 1597. This makes it number 597 and others (including mine) have higher serial numbers so the "545" production number is not accurate. The guy has a 1964 Bally Grand Tour too
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#73 3 months ago
Quoted from ZNET:

I upgraded my Skyrocket backglass to the one depicted here

Inquiring minds want to know where you scored another BG and what you did with the rest of the game.

#74 3 months ago
Quoted from ZNET:

That sold quickly. Anyone here snag that project?

#75 3 months ago

This will hopefully make my Skyrocket 100%

#76 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

Inquiring minds want to know where you scored another BG and what you did with the rest of the game.

A fellow collector on Facebook had the extra Skyrocket backglass. He has a perfect original as well and is hoping to find the game.

I sold the backglass which accompanied my game at purchase to a different Facebook collector, who just bought a decent $1,500 Skyrocket (listed on the Facebook marketplace). That game had a trashed backglass so mine was a major upgrade for his recently purchased Skyrocket.

In other words, there's lots of pinball action on Facebook.

#77 3 months ago

Almost bought it. Just looked like it may need more than I could do. Looks like it went to the right person, congratulations.
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#78 3 months ago
Quoted from Electrocute:

Almost bought it. Just looked like it may need more than I could do. Looks like it went to the right person, congratulations.
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I am going to probably just take the playfield and backglass and swap with mine. I see you do great restoration work. If you’d like to purchase the second game afterwards we can come up with a price that works for both of us and I can deliver to you?

#79 3 months ago
Quoted from ZNET:

who just bought a decent $1,500 Skyrocket

My purchase was under 1k so, without using a pun, their value has increased drastically.

#80 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

My purchase was under 1k so, without using a pun, their value has increased drastically.

I see what you did there.

#81 3 months ago
Quoted from ZNET:

I see what you did there.

#82 3 months ago
Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

I am going to probably just take the playfield and backglass and swap with mine. I see you do great restoration work. If you’d like to purchase the second game afterwards we can come up with a price that works for both of us and I can deliver to you?

I don’t do any restoration work. But I do dump money in machines. First rule is to buy nice games and then try to make them better. 6 of my games have Wade Krause playfields installed and my pride is my Nick Raschilla “Sky Jump”.

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#83 3 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

I would be remiss to not post Skyrocket progress on the 4th of July.
The playfield switches and standup targets are dirty, bent and even showing slight surface rust.
[quoted image][quoted image]
The solution is to desolder from the playfield, dis-assemble, give the metal blades a quick scrub with Krud Kutter on 0000 steel wool and then a 24 hour tumble in walnut shells with a squirt of Flitz.
[quoted image]
The results are amazing. I finished by giving the target faces a buff with Novus 2.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Damn... that is nice. Someday I hope to have the time to do a true jewel box restoration like this.

Restorations are subjective as hell. Finding a pristine original and giving it a little elbow polish versus transforming a dusty rust box with a shot backglass and worn playfield into a beauty is a whole different universe of involvement, time, and skill.

#84 3 months ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

Damn... that is nice. Someday I hope to have the time to do a true jewel box restoration like this.
Restorations are subjective as hell. Finding a pristine original and giving it a little elbow polish versus transforming a dusty rust box with a shot backglass and worn playfield into a beauty is a whole different universe of involvement, time, and skill.

For sure. I give you guys a lot of credit for going the extra mile with these restorations. Nice work.

#85 3 months ago

Yes, it is taking a lot of time and patience to stay on task with this restoration but my looming problem is what to do with the playfield. I really want it to look as good as the nicovolta clearcoated masterpiece so I am weighing some options about a full-blown professional restoration and clearing or just taking it to a best level I can produce myself.

Decisions, decisions.

Here is another somewhat relevant tie-in for your entertainment enjoyment.

1 week later
#86 3 months ago

I just got a Skyrocket hit FB Marketplace and I jumped on it . Nicovolta gave me the notice and Znet sold me a much better glass than the one that came with the game.

It plays 95+ % needs a light shop job and some PF restoration.

#87 3 months ago
Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

I just got a Skyrocket hit FB Marketplace and I jumped on it . Nicovolta gave me the notice and Znet sold me a much better glass than the one that came with the game.
It plays 95+ % needs a light shop job and some PF restoration.

Pictures or it didn't happen !! Congrats and welcome to the club !

Seriously, post your serial number. Mine is 2030 and makes its it the 1,030th made out of the reported 545 made.

#88 89 days ago

Playfield cleaning is complete. I used a sanding drum on a dremel to clean up the old white cleaner deposits on the sides of switch and target holes and emery boards to clean up the narrow rollover slots. Still have the shooter lane to sand clean and some finer sanding to do on the 2 saucers. I took the advice in another playfield restoration thread and used Meguiar's Polishing Compound instead of Novus 2 to clean the playfield after ME and Iso.
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Holy shit, does this stuff put a hell of a shine on the playfield and I have blisters on 4 fingers to prove it.

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So, I started with 5 options on how to complete the playfield and have it narrowed to a final selection.

Option 1: Do nothing after cleaning. This does not address bare wood or cupped inserts. PASS
Option 2: Varathane. Too many horror stories. PASS
Option 3: Professional restoration. Most costly, very long backlog and would have to totally strip the back. PASS
Option 4: Perform touchups and have a local shoot 2PAC but he does not fill inserts. PASS

This leads me to SprayMax 2K. I am busy reading and re-reading that thread along with Vid's and other's threads on playfield restoration to make sure I do things in the proper order.

More updates to follow.

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#89 89 days ago

Looking good.

#90 86 days ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

Pictures or it didn't happen !! Congrats and welcome to the club !
Seriously, post your serial number. Mine is 2030 and makes its it the 1,030th made out of the reported 545 made.

Yeah ok.

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#91 86 days ago
Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

Yeah ok.[quoted image]

Way to go, Bryan.

#92 84 days ago

Congrats Bryan.

If anyone else wants to play along at home, here is your chance. I predict this one will land between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000.

ebay.com link » Sky Rocket Pinball Machine 1970 Bally

#93 84 days ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

Congrats Bryan.
If anyone else wants to play along at home, here is your chance. I predict this one will land between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000.
ebay.com link » Sky Rocket Pinball Machine 1970 Bally

Whoa. That should clean up nice. Technically the one on the museum floor right now is mine (and will eventually be replaced with something else)... so... hmmmm.

#94 84 days ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

Whoa. That should clean up nice. Technically the one on the museum floor right now is mine (and will eventually be replaced with something else)... so... hmmmm.

Huh? Wait. What ?? You are looking to sell your gold standard and are wanting to restore another one ?

#95 84 days ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

Whoa. That should clean up nice. Technically the one on the museum floor right now is mine (and will eventually be replaced with something else)... so... hmmmm.

It's only about a 20 minute drive from my residence. If I didn't already have a restored Skyrocket, I would be very interested in this auction. I hope that a fellow pinsider wins this auction.

In my opinion, it's a $2,000 game as it sits and I wouldn't be surprised to see it fetch well north of that amount. It's a steal at $1,500 or less, in my opinion, because this title has been escalating in value.

#96 84 days ago
Quoted from ZNET:

this title has been escalating in value.

skyrocketing

Fixed that for ya

#97 84 days ago

Amazing work. I refurbish, but do not do full restore to your level. My not listed on your choices playfield work is fill lightly with wood filler where needed, touch up with gloss kraft paints, then two coats of good wax.

Can’t wait to see how your pf turns out.

#98 83 days ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

Huh? Wait. What ?? You are looking to sell your gold standard and are wanting to restore another one ?

Haha nope not selling mine. Was thinking I'd buy another for the museum because Skyrocket will eventually be relocated to my pinball B&B.

But nah. No need for two Skyrockets in this town. Better for visitors to have different games to play between the museum and my place.

Skyrocket is a constant favorite at the museum. Pretty neat that it was designed by Harry Williams. Doesn't play like a Zale. It's different, but in a good way. Also the 2-player in a 1-player cab design is cool. Has great rules for head-to-head play with the extra ball possibility at the bottom. And, of course, THE BEST light show in all of EM pinball.

Skyrocket is in my all-time top 5 EM's, no contest. I'd take it over any wedgehead. Yes, even 2001... if only just.

#99 82 days ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

Haha nope not selling mine. Was thinking I'd buy another for the museum because Skyrocket will eventually be relocated to my pinball B&B.
But nah. No need for two Skyrockets in this town. Better for visitors to have different games to play between the museum and my place.
Skyrocket is a constant favorite at the museum. Pretty neat that it was designed by Harry Williams. Doesn't play like a Zale. It's different, but in a good way. Also the 2-player in a 1-player cab design is cool. Has great rules for head-to-head play with the extra ball possibility at the bottom. And, of course, THE BEST light show in all of EM pinball.
Skyrocket is in my all-time top 5 EM's, no contest. I'd take it over any wedgehead. Yes, even 2001... if only just.

I share your assessment of Skyrocket, Nic. I think that Skyrocket is among the top five EM titles and the best of the Bally EM era (multiplayer category and perhaps including single player games as well).

I'm not too keen on comparing wedgeheads to nonwedgeheads, nor woodrails to metal-rail games, though.

Thus, I rank my favorite wedgeheads separately, e.g. Strange World, Blue Note, King of Diamonds, 2001, Bank-A-Ball, Atlantis et al. Even among the wedgeheads, I am tempted to create separate categories distinguishing 2 inch flipper games from 3 inch flipper games.

I suppose that I want to understand and rate games based upon the designer, with a forgiving eye toward the technological status quo and the limits/expectations imposed by the designer's employer.

Back to Skyrocket: I love hitting the open gate target and the pedestrian sound upon a successful shot. It's Pavlovian.

#100 82 days ago
Quoted from ZNET:

I share your assessment of Skyrocket, Nic. I think that Skyrocket is among the top five EM titles and the best of the Bally EM era (multiplayer category and perhaps including single player games as well).
I'm not too keen on comparing wedgeheads to nonwedgeheads, nor woodrails to metal-rail games, though.
Thus, I rank my favorite wedgeheads separately, e.g. Strange World, Blue Note, King of Diamonds, 2001, Bank-A-Ball, Atlantis et al. Even among the wedgeheads, I am tempted to create separate categories distinguishing 2 inch flipper games from 3 inch flipper games.
I suppose that I want to understand and rate games based upon the designer, with a forgiving eye toward the technological status quo and the limits/expectations imposed by the designer's employer.
Back to Skyrocket: I love hitting the open gate target and the pedestrian sound upon a successful shot. It's Pavlovian.

Yes! The CLACK. Sort of like the safety clicking off...

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