I picked up a decent (but filthy) Top Card over the weekend (Edited: pics added below) and have a couple of questions if anyone is familiar with this game.
First, a quick run-down of what I've done so far:
I found the game in average / above-average condition, but dirty as I said above, and needing some TLC.
The playfield had major ball-swirl and was really dirty. All plastics are intact (although one is pretty warped -- will look to carefully flatten using the techniques described in this forum). Has instruction cards and score cards in decent shape. Power cord and plug are in good condition. Needs new rubbers (ordered from Marco on Saturday). Some bulbs flickering or dim. The cabinet had the usual dings found on a 41-year-old game but was in good shape, as is the coin-door. The back glass has some cracking on the "Top Card" lettering at the top. The score reels were beyond filthy but work. Chimes all work. Overall (other than being sluggish due to the rubbers and maybe needing some coil sleeves -- will see on the latter) the game seems to play correctly and well. I do have two questions about game-play below.
I stripped the playfield and bagged everything according to section so I wouldn't get mixed up on reassembly. Removed the apron, ball return trough and guides, shooter-lane parts, top arch and underlying metal pieces.
I cleaned all posts in my ultrasonic cleaner and also some of the smaller parts (the ones that would fit). I then hand-polished all the metal with Mother's cleaner and rebagged everything.
I went through all four reels, cleaned the reels themselves and added a bit of wax to protect them and bring out a nice shine. I cleaned the mechanisms for all four reels and cleaned/polished/lubed the discs and wipers on all four. The reels work perfectly and look much better.
I replaced all the old "55" bulbs that were in the head with new, cooler 47s and replaced the old flashing bulbs with newer ones as well.
I cleaned the top arch (removed an old decal but kept the surpringly good-condition manufacturer's certificate in place, of course).
I then carefully cleaned the playfield using the magic-eraser and 91% alcohol method to remove the ball-swirl marks that were prevalent. I then touched up a few small spots (using a method Tim Meighan taught me) using colored Sharpie pens where you apply Sharpie to the white spots that appear after removing dirt from old divits and then immediately wipe with auto polishing compound to remove the excess marker from all but the divit/crack/blemish. I was able to get a good match on the red, the black (obviously) and the pink color. Couldn't find a good match for the blue so left that alone. Cleaned the entire playfield with the auto polish and then applied 3 coats of Blitz wax to the playfield.
I polished the legs and coin door by hand (don't have a power buffer) and they're decent enough for now. I also gave the cabinet a cleaning with some Krud Kutter and cleaned the outside of the back-glass. I also removed the chime-bars and cleaned them/put them back on the game. And I vacuumed out the cabinet after checking for any loose parts (nuts/washers/old bulbs/etc.) in the bottom of the game.
Sunday I removed the playfield and soldered 9-10 bulb sockets that weren't as bright as I wanted and thankfully everything works (except one socket that I think I need to re-do -- will try that one over again tonight). I also cleaned all the Jones plugs with a wire brush.
Overall, it's going to come out pretty darn nice considering it was in average condition. I got a good deal on the game and it's going to clean up well. Won't be my best-condition game, but will be a nice wedgehead to add to the collection and down the road, if I ever wanted to, I believe I could sell it for a profit based on the improvements I'm making.
Ok, so on to my questions:
1. The manual doesn't speak to this (Edit: It actually does, I just wasn't looking carefully enough in the beginning) in the Playfield Operation section, but I THINK if you complete the 2 through 7 sequence is supposed to light one of the pop-bumpers, and completing the 8 through King sequence is supposed to do the same for the other one. Does anyone know if that's right? Mine seems to make one of the bumpers blink for just a second when I complete that sequence but doesn't light it.
Would love an overview of which bumpers should light when different things are accomplished in game-play.
2. If I manually actuate all the 2 through Ace targets to light special and then hit the Ace again to light the lower special lights in the in-lanes, if I hit the rollover in that lane what is it supposed to do? Presumably kick the knocker, add one credit to the credit wheel AND add 1,000 points/chime? Mine does not.
For now, those are the only two observed issues but once I get my new rubbers and actually start playing games to test it out I'm sure I could come across more.
As I said, photos to follow. Thanks!
Edited: Ok here are some pics:
The first two are 'before' shots of the playfield. Notice the dark swirl marks all over.
These are two 'after' shots (sorry, I had the glass on at this point so there is some glare and reflection from some signs on the wall in both of these) but it cleaned up well. Obviously, the plastics are still off on the upper playfield since I'm still awaiting new plastics.
Still some bad wear around those three center circles. May consider decals at some point around those inserts:
Back glass, cabinet and coin door (door is before I polished it):
Wishing this was a game there's a repro glass for (I'd buy one), but I don't think they've made this one yet.