I know there's quite a few Whirlwind restorations on here, but I thought I'd add mine in as it's my first attempt at a machine restoration.
My dad's favorite machine had always been Whirlwind. In the early 90's, I'd be doing laps around the arcade while he always played Whirlwind. I'd blow through $8 in quarters, while he only went through $2. In the coming years, I realized that you could play a lot longer in pinball if you got good at it and then i started gravitating towards the row of pinball machines as well. I outgrew going to the arcade with my dad in the later teenage years and then the arcade closed before I ever had a chance to return with him.
Flash forward to 2006. Out of the blue, I ask my dad if he knows of a good reason why he shouldn't buy a Whirlwind pinball machine. He says that he couldn't think of one, but he really doesn't need one. A week later, he calls me and says, "I couldn't sleep last night and just kept thinking about how much fun it'd be to have a Whirlwind machine. How do we get one? Where do you get one? Is this possible?"
I hunted down a local machine on RGP a couple of hours away in Shinglehouse, PA. I negotiate with the guy and we go do the pickup. The machine was in pretty good shape, but then again we had nothing to compare it to. It had see a lot of exposure to cigarette smoke. It took a few weeks of airing it out and cleaning the inside of the cabinet to get the old arcade smell out. It was finally good enough to be allowed into the house.
There were a few areas of the playfield that were worn. Cliffy's were added along with some leds, and new rubbers. Later I installed some nvram to eliminate the need for batteries. That was good for several years, but there were some minor things going wrong with the machine. It would start a multiball at the wrong time, sometimes the ramp wouldn't lift and you could hear it keep trying to lift the ramp. The cellar coil was weak and you could no longer shoot the inner loop from the plunger.
It's time to do a full restore of the machine. I've been wanting to overhaul the machine to get it back to new condition and working perfectly, so I bought a playfield from Mirco along with a set of the radcals. I just got the machine over to my house last week and started taking pictures and ripping the machine apart. I used to work in a circuit board factory while I was in college so the electronics don't scare me. I do a ton of woodworking, so i'm comfortable with working on the cabinet. New to me will be painting, with an HVLP sprayer and then getting everything back together in working order.
Here goes nothing....