(Topic ID: 123244)

Data East Playfield Help Needed


By Yoko2una

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 3 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by jibmums
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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Playfield Rubbers.png
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#1 5 years ago

Reading through multiple threads, I figured I'd go a bit more "Generic DE" than game-specific since what might work for your DE Batman, Star Wars, Royal Rumble, or TMNT may apply here as well.

I was just lucky enough to purchase a piece of my childhood in a DE Simpsons. It wasn't played over the past decade and the dirt shows. However, it got a full in/out vacuum & dry paint brush job this week, and I have over $100 in replacement drop targets, plastics, and rubbers showing up in the mail today. This thing is getting a full playfield dissassembly, cleaning, and reassembly. However, I wanted to run throw some questions out there to the forum based on Data East playfields in general, and some specific Simpsons questions to those DE Simpsons owners.

1) There is a center drain save post between the two flippers. The threading visually isn't great on the post, and doesn't screw all the way in which concerns me. I don't want to over-torque it and cause damage. I know it's the threads on the post because I tried a brand new 10-32 bolt and got it to thread the entire length of the playfield post (see pics).
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I'd like to seek out a new post, but I can't even find an item number, let alone a description. I thought this maybe was a modification by the original owner... as the manual doesn't show it in the playfield parts list. However, it DOES have a rubber listed on the rubbers page. So only half of this post/rubber assembly is referenced in the manual.
Playfield Parts.png
Playfield Rubbers.png

I haven't had the time to go through every Data East game ever made, but I did see on IPDB that their DE Batman photos show a post. I imagine this is the same part, but their manual doesn't show it either! Anyone know what the deal is here?

2) I've read countless threads on cleaning. Even in the pictures of the area around the post above, you can see the mylar line going across Bart, and how everything on the mylar is very dirty. I just rubbed the eye on the left (Bart's right eye) and you can see that alone made it look better than the other eye. This dirt is a constant throughout the playfield. After tons of research on this forum, here's my gameplan. Please let me know if you'd do anything different (in case a mylar'ed DE is different than some other pins with or without mylar).
- Playfield gets an initial cleaning of 91% Isopropyl & Magic eraser
- Playfield gets a 2nd cleaning of Novus 2
- Playfield gets a waxing of Mothers Caranuba (It's liquid, but the tubs of Mothers Brazilian paste contained the word cleaner which makes me think it has an abrasive)
- Plastics get a dedicated plastic cleaner (either Novus 1 or something I find at the automotive store for headlight renewal?)

3) There isn't a whole ton of playfield wear thanks to the mylar, but the common areas where the mylar ends and there's high traffic, it shows obvious signs (Shooting Lane up past Moe, waterfall/spinner, drops out of wireform, around VUK holes, outlanes). The wear at Moe is noticeable, but the rest you really have to be looking at it to notice. Without buying an entire playfield rotisserie and airbrush kit, are there any paints I can mix colors and use by hand to touch up without having it warp the wood underneath and also not add bumps/thickness to that area? Moe's wear goes all the way up to the donuts entry.

Waterfall & Moe
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Left VUK wear
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Wear at ramp exit
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Wow, my first few posts on this forum have been beasts! Sorry for that, but I'm like a kid in a candy store right now with my first pin, and want this thing to be as great as possible. I'll be performing the disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly this weekend because I have new rubbers and plastics coming in the mail, so any help is greatly appreciated so I can do this all at once!

#2 5 years ago

Welcome to the hobby. Here's the quick responses.

1. The post is likely a 1 7/8" post with 10/32 thread. Should go through a T-nut on the bottom so if it's a little longer than the original one on the bottom no worries

2. if there's a lot of grime, wipedown with Isopropyl first with a rag. Then Novus, and finally Isopropyl and magic eraser to remove ball swirls and remove ground in dirt. BE CAREFUL to not rub the paint off - it's easy to do! Cleaning plastics - you can just use Novus 2. Go for Novus 1 if you want. Also, can just wash them with regular dishwash soap and water first to remove heavier dirt.

3. For paint, go to your local hobby store and pick out a bunch of acrylic paints. Mix and match as best you can. I'm not good at mixing, but have always had pretty good luck finding colors that match nicely straight out of the bottle. Once painted and dry, put mylar over these heavy wear areas to prevent the paint from coming off.

Congrats on picking up the game, and have fun getting it back up and running well!

#3 5 years ago

If you can swing the cost, pick up a Treasure Cove polishing kit. I have a DE Simpsons that I refreshed over the winter, and the mylar initially looked absolutely beat to hell. Novus did nothing, other polishes did nothing. I sprung for the TC kit and figured Simpsons would be my guinea pig as I have several other playfields to polish as well. Results were that it looked like an entirely different playfield. You have to be careful using it on non-mylared and non-clearcoated surfaces, in fact I've been told not to use at all otherwise, but I was really careful on the non-mylared areas and it really woke up the colors.

That ramp will look like new if you clean off all the dirt with alcohol first and then polish it up with Novus 2. The yellow habitrail usually has taken quite a beating; if you don't mind throwing a few more bucks into it, get it re-powdercoated yellow, it will make a world of difference when you have everything else cleaned and assembled. Green one too if it needs it, but they seem to fare better.

Once you get it back together, you'll find that Simps is a violent game, lots....LOTS....of airballs. But you probably already knew that. Very strong flipper coils. Protect your plastics somehow if you can.

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