(Topic ID: 179256)

Bally Escape from the Lost World shop out and Repair


By Mbecker

2 years ago



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  • 73 posts
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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Mbecker
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There are 73 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 2 years ago

Picked up a local Escape recently and have been working on a partial PF teardown, cleanup, flipper rebuilds, mech clean-ups, rerubber & wax, and some repairs here and there as I find them. Thought I would post this for posterity as there aren't many threads on Escape. This is my first Bally shop-out, and I noticed some of the ways they did things was pretty interesting.. particularly on this title. I love the ramp across the upper playfields, not sure if this was ever done on another game?

Anyway, I'm going to post a bunch of pictures with some commentary thrown in. So far among other things I have made a couple new plastics, started some ramp repair, rebuilt 2 upper flippers, and bondoed the gap around the center playfield clear plastic and repainted it so it has a nice snug fit against the plastic again.

#2 2 years ago

Looking forward to it! I love seeing the shop process on rarer/unusual games.

#3 2 years ago

Cool, if at least one person is interested than it seems worthwhile ha! Actually it's kinda fun just to document the process.. I really like the before and afters.

So to start things off as I play catch-up to where I'm at right now, here's some pictures of how it started before I started pulling off parts.

[edit] not sure why those got turned... try to get them the correct direction next time

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#4 2 years ago

More pictures before tear-down. Some of this stuff I wasn't sure how to tackle and I've kind of winged it... mostly with good results.. we'll see shortly as I catch up what I mean by that.

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#5 2 years ago

Previous owner LED'd this and added new displays, which was nice. However they didn't clean anything up when they put in the LED's so it's pretty dirty under the plastics/hardware. Before starting I kind of noted issues that would probably need to be tackled:

Rerubber
Disassembly to allow access fully to both playfields so they can be cleaned and waxed
Center clear window - all wood around edges rubbed bare and gap between window edge and wood. Window had also sunk over time lower than the wood which was causing airballs when shooting towards the drop targets.
Couple broken plastics (I think one was already a replacement)
Ramps - some deformation and some cracked.
Shooter lane pretty dirty with dirt ground in
missing paint on the bridge
Insert wear on PF
Wear at both kickouts on the upper PF
Probably other stuff I'm forgetting..

#6 2 years ago

Pulled the apron off to show the plastics below. Pretty dirty down there! Should clean up good though. Here's a couple interesting things about this game. The Apron is plastic, and is actually part of a ramp that drops the ball back down to the right flipper. I don't know of many other plastic aprons? Of course the bad part is that it's easy to break.. luckily mine is OK. Nobody makes these ramps though so if they break it's kind of time for ad-hoc fixes while we'll see soon.

The other interesting thing on this game are these two plastic ramps to serve the balls to the left and right which are fed by this mech underneath that has 2 solenoids facing opposite directions. The ball at the left I believe it always there, ready to feed out for multiball.

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#7 2 years ago

I don't have a good picture this, but I love that Bally did this -- the upper playfield lifts off from the bottom with the removal of just 2 screws that are easily accessible. Lifting it up, there's a ton of dirt down below on the plastic ramp and wood. Rubbers are pretty shot as well.

ignore the translite in the second picture.. I got it in backwards by mistake LOL

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1 week later
#8 2 years ago

Dirty rubbers, although a few smaller ones look like they may have been replaced at some point. Yellow targets need a clean-up. Many plastics, like this big one, are slightly warped which I will attempt to correct best that I can.

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#9 2 years ago

Took a ton of pictures as I pulled parts off based on previous experiences shopping games.. never enough pictures. I always think I will remember where something came from or where a nut or screw or bolt goes only to go to reassemble and start scratching my head. Now I try to take a picture everytime I remove a mech, wiring, post, gate, or other part. Even with those photos I miss things or it takes a minute to figure out which post something attaches to.

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#10 2 years ago

Nice ball trail/wear here from the shooter lane launch. Cracked volcano plastic from a stray air ball. The roll-over is pretty dirty, not sure how I'll tackle that as I don't want to try popping it out and possibly breaking tabs off.. kind of screwed if that happens although a new white roll-over would look great there.

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#11 2 years ago

This thing is filthy. Pretty sure it's gone 30 years now without a cleaning. Cracked plastic to repair -- although I believe it's already a replacement as there's no graphics?

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#12 2 years ago

Hard to see but this is the underside of the left ramp to the upper playfield by the left upper flipper. The loose plexiglass is a previous owners 'fix' to the ramp, which has been cracked in multiple places (no surprise there.. these 'ramp's are pretty wimpy.

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#13 2 years ago

Here's a lower flipper mech. For anyone shopping an escape and reading this, note that the lower flippers need an extra switch stack in addition to what you get with a flipper rebuild kit. The extra switch is activated when the cabinet flipper button is pressed and the lower flippers activate, pushing the stack out which engages the higher resistance winding path on the lower flippers and activates the upper flippers after the full stroke of the lowers.

The upper flippers in turn have their own EOS switch stack that activates the higher resistance winding path for holding the flippers. This was my first time shopping a bally.. I really appreciate the way they built the mechs here vs a WMS. I like the plungers are cut-out and separate from the lever arm link whereas williams uses the fiberboard linkage. Kind of a cool design.

However I failed to notice that there was not ONE but TWO allen screws holding the flipper shafts. I removed one on each lower flipper and then tried like hell with a hammer and pliers to get the bats/shafts apart, assuming wrongly that the problem was caused by the shafts being so beat up over from from the screws digging into them. I did eventually get them off, and later realized my mistake when I went to remove the upper flippers. Amazingly easier to remove the flipper shafts when BOTH allen screws are removed. HA!! Def. drew some blood on that mistake, although there was plenty more to come.

Couple broken bushings, nice that they come with the kit unlike williams kits that I have got.

Picture of the old contacts from the upper flippers.. pretty shot.

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#14 2 years ago

ramp under the upper playfield. both feeds a VUK (lower side) and acts to feed the ball around back to the flippers after you successfully "escape" (upper part). Pretty gross. Also damaged.. no idea how that happened but I'll probably leave it as it's not visible and not affecting anything structurally.

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#15 2 years ago

Here's the "multiball" mech on the lower left side under the apron. The wires go to an opto which detects if the ball in play is diverted past the opto. Then the coil fires both the trapped ball that's always there, ready for multiball, as well as the ball that was in play. Once 1 ball drains, it's fed back to this mech, ready again for multiball.

I was a little surprised to see an opto on a 1988 game.. not sure when they started appearing but couldn't have been too much earlier? This is the only one on Escape.

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#16 2 years ago

another thing I haven't seen before.. most rubber sizes were labeled right on the playfield, usually in inconspicuous locations but visible enough that when you're shopping it out you can see them easily. Kind of cool, especially since rubber charts that come with kits often have errors.

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#17 2 years ago

Bally sling mechs work in a linear fashion rather than on a lever arm like Williams or Stern. The kicker arm is attached to the plunger directly, held in place by C-clips. The whole plunger moves together with the arm. I'm guessing this is a bit less powerful than with lever arm action but another interesting design. I'll try and post another picture later when I pull the mech out.

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#18 2 years ago

Here's pretty close to where I stopped stripping parts. Few shots showing all the 30 years of dirt to clean up, shooter lane to clean up a bit.

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#19 2 years ago

Here's a couple more of the linear sling mech. For anyone servicing.. the first one I did I removed a c-clip to pull the nylon part off to clean it. Not necessary.. it's a pain to get the clip back on, I'd recommend leaving it. Also do yourself a favor when removing from the playfield -- take off the (2) 1/4" screws that tie the sling switch wires across, then you have access to remove the whole mech from the playfield rather than trying to leave the bracket in place and just get the coil out.

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#20 2 years ago

dual coil bracket that kicks the same saucer hole ball left or right to depending on if it needs to be fed back to the multiball holding on the left side of the apron or to the shooter lane.

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#21 2 years ago

playfield manufacture date

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#22 2 years ago

First thing to tackle is the wear around the middle window. Over time the window sank (gasket/seal around the window edge on the bottom of the plexiglass) and the ball started hitting the edge of the wood. This eventually was causing the ball to launch up into the air when you shoot for the drop target bank, which in turn caused the plastic there above the bank to crack.

Also it was near impossible anymore to actually hit the target bank since the ball went airborne 8/10 shots at the bank and missed the drops.

Plan is to bondo, sand, repaint, then mylar in some fashion to protect the paint.

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#23 2 years ago

I was a little apprehensive about this having never done it before or worked with bondo. Debated over using wood putty but finally went all in with the bondo. I used frisket around the edges to protect the exposed playfield from bondo. If the game was more expensive I would have spent more time being careful with edges and such but as it was, and given the time I wanted to spend on this, it worked fine with the amount of frisket I used and the rough edges.

Blue tape around the window, a foam strip below to elevate it up, then I screwed it down in a couple places. Filled in the gap with the bondo using a plastic putty knife. After drying 24 hours I popped the window out and removed the frisket.

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#24 2 years ago

With frisket around the edges again, sanded the bondo down to level or slightly below level to allow for paint.

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Then went with 2 layers of white base on the bare wood

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#25 2 years ago

Matched the yellow close as I could and that went down over the white. It's kind of difficult to match yellow when it's aged and also still filled with ball swirls that won't come out. Considering that this was just bare wood before though I think it will be a huge improvement, even if not an exact match.

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#26 2 years ago

Purple next

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#27 2 years ago

Here's most of the colors done other than the top blacks

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And all filled in.

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#28 2 years ago

And with the window put in loose to see how it looks.

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#29 2 years ago

Next up -- broken plastics. Again, no idea if these were stock or already replacements but I just matched them best I could. This plastic is the one I mentioned that was getting nailed with airballs off the bare wood launch around the middle playfield window. It sits above the 3-bank drop targets. Totally shot on the right side.

I found some thick plexi and decided to try using the cutting wheel on the dremel.

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Works pretty well.. melts the edges a bit as cutting so there's a bit of clean-up work and sanding involved afterwards. I wasn't going for perfection here.. just trying to get something done fairly quickly that worked. Here's the broken plastic and replacement.

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#30 2 years ago

Also did this one, on the lower pf left side upper part.

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#31 2 years ago

Moved on to clean the playfield with simple green type cleaner.

Before:

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After:

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#32 2 years ago

Following! Looks good, this is a very unique game.

#33 2 years ago

Now this ramp issue....

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As mentioned before, it was shored up with thick plexi on the bottom and on the right side, which I assume got totally blown out taking direct hits from ramp brick shots.

Paint somewhat coming off in middle as well. The plexi was glued before and partially taped.

#34 2 years ago

I didn't take good pictures of this process.. but that's probably for the better as I'm embarrassed to even post what I did here LOL. In retrospect I would have removed the tape and fixed up the paint on the underside of the ramp first before doing repairs.

I must have had a bit too much whiskey though and become impatient, because I decided to leave the tape in place and just mix up some epoxy and reglue the old plexiglass shore-up to the ramp again with some clamps.

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Honestly the epoxy works great and the plexiglass does a good job beefing up the ramp as well as serving as a new right wall. With more time there's certainly a better solution, but this makes it very playable at least. In the picture below you see a new left wall beef up I cut as well that I later glued in place.

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#35 2 years ago

Volcano on the back board. Cracked from an airball. Used heat gun to get it the crack back lined up mostly, than used a bit of epoxy on the back to seal it.

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#36 2 years ago

New flasher dome. I got 2.. wished I had gotten all four after I changed them, the new ones really pop and even after washing the old ones they still maintain a dullness I couldn't get out.

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#37 2 years ago

Here's the underside of the "lower playfield" (not actually playable, but it lights up nice with this light board attached to it.

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This is what the plexi window in the middle of the playfield looks down into. Really creates a cool 3D effect along with the upper playfield, floating plastics and ramps wrapping around to the apron, and the decaled plants and pterodactyl on the stock glass.

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#38 2 years ago

OK taking a break for tonight. Upcoming are new cab switches, mechs disassembly and cleaning, more ramp shaping, mylar application, bit more repainting on heavy wear spots, re-rubbering and reassembly. Maybe a few more highlights of unique things about this game, including the decaled glass, apron ramp, thru-backboard ramp, escape shot, and the bally pop mechs (love them!)

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from Mbecker:

Previous owner LED'd this and added new displays, which was nice. However they didn't clean anything up when they put in the LED's so it's pretty dirty under the plastics/hardware. Before starting I kind of noted issues that would probably need to be tackled:

That is usually the case around here. People think putting LED's in, is shopping it up. Just to brighten it up to sell it. This game is pretty rough to start. Going to take a lot to get it looking good.

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

That is usually the case around here. People think putting LED's in, is shopping it up. Just to brighten it up to sell it. This game is pretty rough to start. Going to take a lot to get it looking good.

yep.. although the definition of "shopping out a game" is very subjective, as is "restoration".. but to me shopping out is at a minimum tearing down enough of the playfield that it can be totally cleaned and waxed, new rubbers, some minor fixes.. LED's are great to do at the time shopping but really nothing to do with it..

This job was a bit beyond shopping, at least by my definitions.

#41 2 years ago

Ok, new cab switches. It was about time, as evident:

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The new ones I bought apparently had shorter switch blades than the stock ones, which meant drilling new holes for them. I pushed the left side back slightly, and the right side forward slightly.

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#42 2 years ago

I don't know if anyone else does this, but I love to use the cab speaker as a catch-all for screws while I'm working on mechs..

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#43 2 years ago

Old shooter tip.. ready to replace!

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#44 2 years ago

Hope to get through the rest of this tomorrow.. we'll see if it happens

#45 2 years ago

Moving on to mylar strips over heavier wear areas that I couldn't do much to repaint/repair without printing out new decals. If I went a bit further with this I certainly would have pursued that, but not having any experience with it I went with just protecting what was still there.. which meant cutting mylar for most of the inserts. Not all were worn, but I figured what the hell.

Started by putting frisket over where I wanted a mylar coverup, then drew on the shape.

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then I stuck it on top of the mylar (which if doing non-symmetrial shapes, be sure to put the frisket over the
"up" side of the mylar.. otherwise the mylar will be backwards as I realized a bit into this.

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Cut it out of the mylar, pull off the frisket, and we're good to go. Originally I was only going to do a few inserts but I had extra mylar and it didn't take long so I ended up with quite a few spots covered.

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#46 2 years ago

Above you can see even the frisket was pulling a bit of the artwork, so it's good to get it protected rather than having more and more paint be flaking off during play.

All Mylar installed except for the middle window, and for the most part not really noticeable.

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#47 2 years ago

Inside of the cab not too bad but got a good vacuuming out after this picture.

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#48 2 years ago

3-bank drop target got dis-assembled.

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Drops were pretty dirty.. would have ordered new but too late by this time.

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#49 2 years ago

Cleaned up the targets, wiped down the parts, new springs, reassembled and then put on new lube.

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#50 2 years ago

Now the pops. Escape is interesting in that it has 2 pop bumpers, along with one of the linear kickers to the left of the 2 pop bumpers, acting as a 3rd. Normally I hate working on pop bumpers but I really like the bally system here..

Before:
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The body is removed super easily via 2 screws inside the cap at the base of the body. It pulls straight out of the electrical connectors then.

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Cleaned the bodies, skirts, bases best that I could.

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Annddd.. back together.

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