(Topic ID: 122592)

First EM, Surf Champ


By brandsilence

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 67 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by brandsilence
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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There have been 29 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

IMG_1027.jpg
04b Middle-right playfield, after2.jpg
08 Polished shooter.jpg
06b Slingshot, after.jpg
07b Shooter lane, after.jpg
07a Shooter lane, before.jpg
06a Slingshot, before.jpg
05b Bonus lanes, after.jpg
04b Middle-right playfield, after.jpg
05a Bonus lanes, before.jpg
04a Middle-right playfield, before.jpg
03b Kick-out hole, after.jpg
03a Kick-out hole, before.jpg
02a Drop targets, before.jpg
01 Surf Champ, overall playfield.jpg
02b Drop targets, after.jpg

There are 67 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 4 years ago

Found a very good condition Surf Champ for a very nice price and picked it up yesterday. The machine has a lot going for it, but like any pin that's been in somebody's basement for the last 20 years, it needs some help. I am knee deep in a different restoration now but I am looking for a couple of quick pointers to get this one playable:

1. The playfield is in decent condition, but it's got some planking and some minor wear. My plan was to clean and wax it until a later date when i can touch it up and clear it. Is there anything special i should know about cleaning an older playfleld like this (any cleaners or methods common for solid state machines that i should avoid here)? Am i risking a lot more wear by playing it with only wax protecting the playflied?

2. A lot of things work on the machine, but there are some switches that don't seem to register, surely some other small things. I was thinking about hiring out the repair as so many have said that when buying a first EM you should buy one that works 100%. Anybody have a repair guy recommendation for Chicagoland?

Happy for any advice or links, and looking forward to hanging out in the EM forums for a change

#2 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

Am i risking a lot more wear by playing it with only wax protecting the playflied?

"Most" EM people skip the clear and give a good clean and frequent wax---since it's infinitely easier to take apart an EM playfield for frequent clean and wax than a SS/DMD

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

any cleaners or methods common for solid state machines that i should avoid here

That is going to get you 30 different answers. I did a Fire Queen recently and was curious about what people use to clean...
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-cleaning-4

As you can see...nothing resolved

#4 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

cleaning an older playfleld like this

I would remove everything, wipe down with dry rag, remove all dust/crud. Then get out the Novus 1 and 2. You can gently use a Magic Eraser on stubborn ball swirls but you'll reach a point where you'll remove paint....so watch it.

I tried the alcohol if you read that other thread and I wasn't thrilled with it...I think Novus should get most dirt out. Then Carnuba it up a couple times and that's it...repeat as needed.

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

cleaning an older playfleld

Search for the "Krud Cutter" thread for cleaning the outside of cabinet.

#6 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

some switches that don't seem to register

You mean playfield features that aren't scoring etc?

Start a problem solving thread and I bet you can do it yourself if you have the basics...search EM Tech, there are tons of threads on it. OR, hire someone and watch what they do...that way it'll get up and going fast...depends on your time frame.

#7 4 years ago

Thanks for the replies! I was reading through your thread and realized I had read it some time ago when researching another issue. I think I'm going to order some parts and just do a topside teardown and cleaning, wax, and play. I'd like to find someone else to fix some of the playfield features.

#8 4 years ago

Marco has the plastic set cheap. Totally worth it.

#9 4 years ago

I may have extra spinner decals too

#10 4 years ago

It's like an epidemic on here of guys getting a four player as their first EM. LOL

#11 4 years ago

Mine is cleared and plays like a demon. Looks real pretty too!

IMG_0672.jpg
#12 4 years ago

I just did a bunch of work on a Surf Champ, great game.

If you haven't, but a NEW ball for it, the old one may be pitted or have rust which will tear up the playfield.

Clean the playfield with Novus 2 after vacuuming up any big dirt with a vacuum and soft brush. Give it a good wax with a hard carnuba wax with no added cleaners after. Clear coat is great but not necessary in a home if you want to avoid it.

Clean the plastics with Novus 1.

First thing I would do, and I was told to do this by a man much smarter than myself, clean all of your stepper units. There is a coin stepper in the bottom of the cab, a bonus stepper under the playfield, a players stepper in the back box, and 3 out of the four score reels for each player has a stepper.

For the first three steppers I mentioned, use 3 in 1 oil on all of the pivot points, the grease they used in the factory solidifies after years and this is a must. You want them moving freely. Then you need to remove the bakelite disc with the shoes on them and wipe alcohol on the rivets with a rag, then use a green 3m scotchbrite pad right away to get them nice and shiny, buff the shoes with the pad too. Then use a thin layer of superlube on all the rivets after that. make sure you note the position of the disc with the shoes and replace it the way it was, especially on the player unit, and don't step the unit and that one up while you have it taken off as it is a continuous stepper unit that wont reset back to home, you don't want to lose the position.

The score units don't have pivot points, but they have rivets that need cleaning, you remove two screws and a little C clip to clean those. Put a white sheet down so that when you drop a C clip you don't spend half an hour on the floor hunting for it.

Clean those before doing anything else.

More info here: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index2.htm#steps

Happy to help if you have any questions.

#13 4 years ago

It's just me, but I wouldn't recommend that someone working on his first EM start taking the player unit apart.

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

It's just me, but I wouldn't recommend that someone working on his first EM start taking the player unit apart.

Definetly not taking the player unit apart, but removing just the disc with the shoes to clean the rivets is easy, JUST remove the disc. You can actually probably get away with just cleaning the rivets around the disc and then manually stepping it up to get the ones the disc is hiding.

Then to clean the pivot points you can just unclip the whole players unit and access it from behind, no need to take it apart and I wouldn't recommend that.

#15 4 years ago

I can take photos of mine later if the OP wants clarification.

#16 4 years ago

And take photos of everything beforehand showing the position of everything.

And do the score reel steppers one at a time, so you can reference the others if you get lost.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

It's like an epidemic on here of guys getting a four player as their first EM. LOL

Yes, I know my purchase was against collective EM wisdom but for $200 i couldn't resist this machine

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

Yes, I know my purchase was against collective EM wisdom but for $200 i couldn't resist this machine

You did great! Those are selling like hot cakes! Mine was 150$ I got a month or so ago.

image.jpg
#19 4 years ago

thanks, practicalsteve, for the practical advice. And thanks to everyone for chiming in.

I've ordered up new plastics and rubbers and other various playfield parts, and you better believe the old pinball was the first thing to go. I'm going to start with cleaning and waxing - but after seeing oldskool1969's inspiring playfield with clear I think i'm going to slate that work for later this year.

I will very cautiously attempt some of the other cleaning tasks if i can't find a decent repair person, i'd rather start this adventure with it working 100% if possible.

Will post a few photos this weekend, i've been busy since i got it and haven't had the time to take any pics.

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

Yes, I know my purchase was against collective EM wisdom but for $200 i couldn't resist this machine

They don't go for that price often, it's a great deal. It's a great deal for any game, actually.

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

It's a great deal for any game, actually.

Couldn't agree more!

#22 4 years ago

Nothing wrong with hiring someone, I had to bring my expert friend in to help me. But do as much as possible as you can, you don't want to pay someone $100 an hour to clean your steppers! It's time consuming more than it is challenging.

#23 4 years ago

My motto is "If I can pay someone to do it, I pay someone to do it"

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

"If I can pay someone to do it, I pay someone to do it"

Nice!

#25 4 years ago

That is the exact opposite of my motto. "If that monkey can do it, I can do it for free."

#26 4 years ago

Well, crap. Drilled out the coin box lock and opened it up and everything is very clean an orderly with one exception: I think someone replaced the chime box with a circuit board and a small speaker. WTF? Has anybody seen something like this before?

More importantly, how can undo this travesty?!

IMAG2274.jpg
#27 4 years ago

You should be able to convert back. Will need to find a chime box (obviously) also trace back on the schematic to see if you need to adjust/add/subtract based on what the current state of those chime circuits are. Should be a switch that closes on the 10/100/1000 point relays to activate the chimes.

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

I think someone replaced the chime box with a circuit board

!!!

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

Well, crap. Drilled out the coin box lock and opened it up and everything is very clean an orderly with one exception: I think someone replaced the chime box with a circuit board and a small speaker. WTF? Has anybody seen something like this before?
More importantly, how can undo this travesty?!

IMAG2274.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

Wow, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit...

#30 4 years ago

For the love of God why! So much trouble for what I'm sure sounds horrible.

#31 4 years ago
Quoted from practicalsteve:

for what I'm sure sounds horrible

It does. I couldn't hear sounds when i picked up the pin so i figured something was wrong with the chimes, but it does have sounds and they are awful. WHY WHY WHY WHY??? I've posted a WTB for a chime unit, hopefully i can find one soon and solve this affront to humanity.

#32 4 years ago

Can you post a video? I'm super curious to hear it.

#33 4 years ago

I've seen those EM chime to sound board conversions before, Happ and Wico used to sell them IIRC. I believe it was to make an EM sound more like an SS so route ops could keep the revenue coming in a little longer before retiring the game.

Steve

#34 4 years ago

Maybe you could wire a ColorDMD up too....this is going to be a great project!

#35 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

More importantly, how can undo this travesty?!

cut.jpeg

#36 4 years ago

Just saw one on Ebay and now it's gone. (did you buy it?) They do come up occasionally. Ask around....

#37 4 years ago

I have found a chime unit and a knocker via insider kennyp2112, so once that is delivered i can set about making it right! I will take a video of the sounds to share later this week. I've been shopping it out all weekend and i keep forgetting to take photos or anything. I gotta say, I'm having a whole lot of fun getting this thing cleaned up.

#38 4 years ago

I got my replacement chime unit. Wondering if anybody would be kind enough to take some photos of how the chime unit is installed in this unit, placement and/or wiring. Audio recorded the sound off the sound board but need to upload it somewhere to share.

#39 4 years ago

chime 001.JPGchime 002.JPGchime 003.JPGchime 004.JPGchime 005.JPGchime 006.JPGchime 007.JPGchime 008.JPGchime 009.JPG

#40 4 years ago

amazing! Thank you!

#41 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

Found a very good condition Surf Champ for a very nice price and picked it up yesterday. The machine has a lot going for it, but like any pin that's been in somebody's basement for the last 20 years, it needs some help. I am knee deep in a different restoration now but I am looking for a couple of quick pointers to get this one playable:
1. The playfield is in decent condition, but it's got some planking and some minor wear. My plan was to clean and wax it until a later date when i can touch it up and clear it. Is there anything special i should know about cleaning an older playfleld like this (any cleaners or methods common for solid state machines that i should avoid here)? Am i risking a lot more wear by playing it with only wax protecting the playflied?
2. A lot of things work on the machine, but there are some switches that don't seem to register, surely some other small things. I was thinking about hiring out the repair as so many have said that when buying a first EM you should buy one that works 100%. Anybody have a repair guy recommendation for Chicagoland?
Happy for any advice or links, and looking forward to hanging out in the EM forums for a change

Actually I think if the game process works properly (steps through the players, end of ball registers and moves on to next player, kicks out the ball, etc.), and it's just certain switches not registering, I would advise you try to tackle those yourself.

They're generally pretty easy problems to fix, and that will ease you in to later tackle harder stuff (like the things I enumerated above).
Get the schematics, don't be overwhelmed by how they look and just remember that when something doesn't work the process is pretty simple: find the coil that should fire or activate and doesn't, then follow the path to it checking the indicated switches along the way.

#42 4 years ago

The ax relay is often to blame for many game problems, but not the specific switches. Just know that it is a common problem area.

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from PhilGreg:

Actually I think if the game process works properly (steps through the players, end of ball registers and moves on to next player, kicks out the ball, etc.), and it's just certain switches not registering, I would advise you try to tackle those yourself.

Thanks for the encouragement. This is what i was leaning toward. The main process works properly for sure. Tonight i'm repopulating the playfield, so i'll be able to start fixing issues at that point. The three main issues i'm aware of are:

Inlane rollover switches don't seem to do anything
Scoring stuff (will need to sort out exactly what's going on later this week)
Re-installing chime box

#44 4 years ago

For those of you interested in hearing the craptastic sounds coming from the soundboard and speaker, here is a link to a short mp3 I captured with the mic right by the speaker. In practice, you can hardly hear it while playing the game.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/u59symnhsk400e5/Surf%20Champ%20Sound%20Board%20Travesty.mp3?dl=0

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

For those of you interested in hearing the craptastic sounds coming from the soundboard and speaker,

Wow! That is crappy! Get the Chimes installed asap dude and take that thing out!

On a side note, someone might want the board for a Space Themed EM pin maybe in conjunction with chimes which would be cool, but it makes no sense in a surfer themed pin.

Ken

#46 4 years ago
Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

someone might want the board for a Space Themed EM pin maybe in conjunction with chimes which would be cool

I'll certainly offer it up for the price of shipping once i remove it, though i can't imagine who would want that mod!

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from brandsilence:

I'll certainly offer it up for the price of shipping once i remove it, though i can't imagine who would want that mod!

The person that bought that re-themed Alien EM for sale a while back...it'd be perfect.

#48 4 years ago

Finally got the playfield re-populated and all the bulbs changed out. Unfortunately, now that the game can be played i found a whole lot more problems. I will be too busy to work on this thing for the next couple of weeks but i've put my other project on hold until i resolve the major issues.

One thing i would love advice about: MOST of the game process works perfectly (steps through the players, end of ball registers and moves on to next player, kicks out the ball) but the game never ends. It always just kicks out another ball (my 3 year old loves this feature). Is the game not ending one of those issues that will be super difficult for a newbie to tackle? I did find a repair person but i'm hoping to do the work myself to save some $$ and get some good EM experience.

#49 4 years ago

so after the fifth ball of the last player it just keeps going?

#50 4 years ago

There's an extra ball feature on that game on the last ball.
Maybe it always activates. Check the relay for that functionality and make sure there's not a switch that's always closed on there.

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