(Topic ID: 129153)

Getting 1974 Top Card up and running


By goldenboy232

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by goldenboy232
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There are 74 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 3 years ago

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.

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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:

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Back glass, cabinet and coin door (door is before I polished it):

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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.

#2 3 years ago

Completing the 2-7 lights the upper left bumper. Completing the 8-K lights the upper right bumper. Hitting the Ace lights the lower bumper, and lights the specials.

I don't have my schematic in front of me, and my game is currently in storage awaiting a playfield swap, but just from memory, there should be a 2-7 and 8-K sequence completed relays on the game. There will be a make/break that will change the scoring from 100 to 1000 points for the bumpers. Are the bumpers still scoring 100 after you complete the sequences?

Once you score all the cards, the special should immediately light. It doesn't matter what order you hit them in. Each time the motor runs, the specials will rotate between the Ace, the center star rollover, and the inlanes. That's controlled by the score motor and the match relay AS stepper in the backbox-there's a switch on the stepper that opens and closes off a gear in the center of the stepper. But yes, when you hit a special, you should get one step up on the credit unit, and the knocker. If the specials are lighting but nothing is happening, make sure the max credit switch on the credit unit is closed.

It's a great game. Mine is restored except for the playfield and that's coming up later this summer.

I can check the schematic and get back to you tonight if nobody else has chimed in.

I'm pretty sure bgresto is in the process of doing the glass.

#3 3 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

Completing the 2-7 lights the upper left bumper. Completing the 8-K lights the upper right bumper. Hitting the Ace lights the lower bumper, and lights the specials.
I don't have my schematic in front of me, and my game is currently in storage awaiting a playfield swap, but just from memory, there should be a 2-7 and 8-K sequence completed relays on the game. There will be a make/break that will change the scoring from 100 to 1000 points for the bumpers. Are the bumpers still scoring 100 after you complete the sequences?
Once you score all the cards, the special should immediately light. It doesn't matter what order you hit them in. Each time the motor runs, the specials will rotate between the Ace, the center star rollover, and the inlanes. That's controlled by the score motor and the match relay AS stepper in the backbox-there's a switch on the stepper that opens and closes off a gear in the center of the stepper. But yes, when you hit a special, you should get one step up on the credit unit, and the knocker. If the specials are lighting but nothing is happening, make sure the max credit switch on the credit unit is closed.
It's a great game. Mine is restored except for the playfield and that's coming up later this summer.
I can check the schematic and get back to you tonight if nobody else has chimed in.
I'm pretty sure bgresto is in the process of doing the glass.

Excellent, I'll check all of this tonight or as time permits this week. And I'm thrilled to hear there may be a glass in production. I will check it out!

Thanks!

#4 3 years ago

May as well get some Gottlieb flippers to replace the ones that are on the game now (Ballys? Williams?) on one of your next parts orders.

#5 3 years ago

Good eye! Hey, on another note, the credit unit looks like it is missing one of the cams on the wheel. When it gets to the 15 position there is no post to open the switch. There is one to open the switch when it gets to the zero position, just not the second one. Is that something I can purchase (just that post/cam), or is there some other workaround ?

#6 3 years ago

PBR has the credit limiter posts.

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

I'm pretty sure bgresto is in the process of doing the glass.

I think Clay had one done @ BGresto months ago, so they should have the glass on file.

Did you play Tim's Top card at the NW pin show last year? it was REALLY nice!

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

PBR has the credit limiter posts.

Great! I will order that, and some new bumper caps tomorrow, along with some new flipper bats.

Quoted from dasvis:

I think Clay had one done @ BGresto months ago, so they should have the glass on file.

Did you play Tim's Top card at the NW pin show last year? it was REALLY nice!

I emailed them today. Are they pretty responsive? No this will be my first show!

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

I emailed them today. Are they pretty responsive? No this will be my first show!

I received an answer to my email in a couple of days.
The show is a good time, this will be my 5th. I did prefer when the show was in Seattle though. A lot more to do up there besides pinball.

#10 3 years ago

Yeah I commute to Seattle daily so I am actually jazzed it's only 20 minutes from me!

#11 3 years ago

Here's my Top card in the back of my truck just after I picked it up a couple of years ago. It's still in storage awaiting resto.
photo.JPG

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Good eye! Hey, on another note, the credit unit looks like it is missing one of the cams on the wheel. When it gets to the 15 position there is no post to open the switch. There is one to open the switch when it gets to the zero position, just not the second one. Is that something I can purchase (just that post/cam), or is there some other workaround ?

If PBR didn't have them, you could take the zero position post and move it over, because for home use you don't really need it. But since they do, might as well make it complete as you can.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

you could take the zero position post and move it over

Unfortunately, the zero position post is fixed to the cam and isn't movable. The credit limiter post is threaded, and can be placed in one of about three different positions.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

Unfortunately, the zero position post is fixed to the cam and isn't movable. The credit limiter post is threaded, and can be placed in one of about three different positions.

You are correct. Shows I shouldn't be posting on stuff like this when it's late and I'm tired.

#15 3 years ago

On the flippers (sorry, I've never replaced more than flipper bats when it comes to flippers), am I only replacing the bats in my case? Or more? And to remove these do I just remove the two screws that screw into the shaft on the underside of the playfield to pull each out?

#16 3 years ago

It would probably be a good idea to rebuild the flippers, if they've never been done. The parts do wear.

You undo the two set screws in the pawl and lift them out. The bats themselves screw to a shoe that is attached to the shaft.

But it would be a good idea to do it all while you're there.

#17 3 years ago

So if I do this, this will be my first flipper rebuild. Is there a good tutorial our guide just to make sure I don't screw something up? Any particular areas I need to be cautious with? Do you typically rebuild flippers with the playfield out and laying with the bottom side up? Or do you do it up in the service position?

#18 3 years ago

You need to take the playfield out of the game and do it turned over. Way, way easier to deal with. Taking a playfield out is no big deal. Just a few Jones plugs to remove.

If you have any mechanical aptitude at all it's not a big deal. Do one side at a time so you have a reference to look at to see how it should be. If you have any problems someone here will talk you through it.

There's very little to it. You'll be replacing the plungers and links, the coil stops, the flipper bushings, the coil sleeves and the EOS switches. That's it.

Here's the PBR mini kit for TC

http://www.pbresource.com/rebuildk/kt-gflip-02m.jpg

It tightens everything up and makes the action so much better. The only thing you have to watch for is making sure the return spring isn't wound too tightly, and make sure the EOS switch opens right near the end of the plunger travel so you get full coil power.

#19 3 years ago

Yeah I take the playfields out all the time to do soldering, just wasn't sure on flippers.

Ok cool I can do this -- just wanted to make sure.

#20 3 years ago

Another Top Card resto question: What do people use to replace the little metal "posts" (they look like very thin nails but don't have heads) that are right in the corner where the apron meets the wooden side-rails to keep drained balls from rolling back up the out-lanes? Mine is missing both of those and also one of the ones that sits above the lower right plastic-island was replaced with a nail. Would I buy/use Piano Wire?

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Another Top Card resto question: What do people use to replace the little metal "posts" (they look like very thin nails but don't have heads) that are right in the corner where the apron meets the wooden side-rails to keep drained balls from rolling back up the out-lanes? Mine is missing both of those and also one of the ones that sits above the lower right plastic-island was replaced with a nail. Would I buy/use Piano Wire?

PBR has those.

#22 3 years ago

GTB A10542+ is the part number

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

PBR has the credit limiter posts.

Anyone know the part number for that limiter post? I am assembling my order for PBresource and would love to have that ahead of time.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Anyone know the part number for that limiter post? I am assembling my order for PBresource and would love to have that ahead of time.

Not labeled with a part number in the 1978 parts catalog. (Steve will accept that as an excuse!)

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Anyone know the part number for that limiter post? I am assembling my order for PBresource and would love to have that ahead of time.

......... Nor in the 1972 Catalog. Looks like you will get the wrath of Steve for asking.

#26 3 years ago

Those 'nails' are called 'deflector pins' FWIW.

And Steve will understand what a 'credit limiter post' is, but he has to assemble them. From a previous parts order, he uses a 5-40 hex nut, a 5-40 round head 1" screw, and an 'insulating sleeve'.

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Another Top Card resto question: What do people use to replace the little metal "posts" (they look like very thin nails but don't have heads) that are right in the corner where the apron meets the wooden side-rails to keep drained balls from rolling back up the out-lanes?

I take 16 x 1-1/2" wire brads (finishing nails) and cut the heads off and file the top flat. They look as good as any factory pin.

#28 3 years ago

You made great progress in quick time on that game goldenboy232-looks to have been a great buy.

#29 3 years ago

Thanks Wayner! I think once I get the flippers rebuilt and these few remaining minor issues worked out (flattening a warped plastic, getting the credit unit to increment/decrement correctly) it should look and play very nicely. I think (fingers crossed) I got the issue with the Special lighting and the Pop bumpers lighting when the sequences are completed working correctly with a few swotch adjustments). Will post more pics when all is done. Placing a big PBR order today. Still also waiting/hoping BGresto returns my email. The glass on this one is fine, but not great, and I got a good enough deal on this one that in willing to invest in a great-looking glass if I can get one.

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Still also waiting/hoping BGresto returns my email. The glass on this one is fine, but not great, and I got a good enough deal on this one that in willing to invest in a great-looking glass if I can get one.

Be patient with Steve. In my experience he is an honourable & good person who provides a great product at a good price.

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from wayner:

Be patient with Steve. In my experience he is an honourable & good person who provides a great product at a good price.

Will do. And the other Steve (at PBresource) is also a good guy too -- placed that big order with him and all went well and I learned a few things in the process)!

#32 3 years ago

"Top Card" is a great game. Nice find, and nice work. Mayfair Amusements had a few NOS backglasses that may have had minor imperfections, but I'm not sure if he still has any left.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

"Top Card" is a great game. Nice find, and nice work. Mayfair Amusements had a few NOS backglasses that may have had minor imperfections, but I'm not sure if he still has any left.

Thanks jr! I will check with Mayfair as well (haven't heard of them before). And thanks for your compliment. Hoping my new rubbers-set arrives in the mail when I get home this evening. I think I may try to flatten the warped plastic tonight and then put the new rubbers on. Still won't be playable until I get my flipper rebuild mini-kit from PBR (along with a few other parts) but I'll be closer!

#34 3 years ago

Mayfair's website isn't very good. He has a lot more backglasses than he lists. Sometimes I think he doesn't even know what he has!
The best thing to do is send him an email and ask him for whatever glass you might want. He sometimes takes a little bit of time to respond. His name is Steve Engel, and he's in Ridgewood, Queens, NY.

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Mayfair's website isn't very good. He has a lot more backglasses than he lists. Sometimes I think he doesn't even know what he has!
The best thing to do is send him an email and ask him for whatever glass you might want. He sometimes takes a little bit of time to respond. His name is Steve Engel, and he's in Ridgewood, Queens, NY.

Will do. And I'm starting to think it's a requirement if you own a pinball-related business you have to have the name "Steve", haha. Steve from PBresource, Steve from BGResto, Steve from Mayfair.

#36 3 years ago

Yeah, and I think the number one name for pinheads is Dave. I know and have met more Daves in this hobby than any other name by far!

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from dasvis:

ยป YouTube video

Dave's not here.

#39 3 years ago

"I didn't know your name was Alex!"

#40 3 years ago

Hi guys a couple of questions. I noticed in the rubber set I got tonight from Marco that it calls for two of the tiny round rubbers to go onto the two mini posts that sit above the out-lanes around 2/3 of the way down the playfield on Top Card.

But I can't figure out how THESE rubbers fit on THESE posts. Is the post-type pictured the correct mini-post for this game? Or did someone at some point install a different mini post? Or, are the rubbers wrong?

IMG_5655.JPGIMG_5656.JPG

Secondly, whenever I've gotten rubber sets before I've never removed this one below. How do you take this off? Is it riveted on somehow or do I just pull it off over the metal center post? Just didn't want to use brute force if that's not how you do this one.

IMG_5657.JPG

#41 3 years ago

That's not the original style post that was on Top Card. It is from an earlier generation game. So the hat style rubber that is on it is correct. Replace the post and the white mini post ring will work.

As for the rebound rubber, it is easier to remove if you leave the bracket attached to the arch. You can pull it off easier that way. What I do is carefully cut through the edge of the bumper to the center post and then just break it off. Spinning the new one is easy.

http://www.multigameshop.nl/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/800x800/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/0/2/02-3905.jpg

#42 3 years ago

If you've got the rebound bracket off already, place the mounting plate part in a bench vise (covered, so it doesn't get scratched), and then use a pliers to grab the old rubber and just pull it off. If it's still in the game, grabbing the rebound rubber with pliers works fine too. You just need something to be able to provide enough torque to twist it a bit and get over the center post. After you've done a couple, you'll get the idea.

#43 3 years ago

The mini post part number is GTB 14792.

#44 3 years ago

Thanks everyone. I'll call Steve again today at PBR and make a second order, to include two of those mini-posts and also I need to get one of the light sleeves (I think red was factory?) that goes over the light under the Joker plastic in the center island so the player's not staring into a bright light-bulb the whole time. Wish I'd added these two things to my big order with him yesterday. Will call this morning and see if maybe it hasn't left his place yet.

#45 3 years ago

If you ordered yesterday it's probably too late.

You'll never see that bulb. It's behind the Ace target.

#46 3 years ago

Well I do seem to see it. Maybe it's my height? Do you know if that lamp sleeve was factory or not?

#47 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Thanks everyone. I'll call Steve again today at PBR and make a second order, to include two of those mini-posts and also I need to get one of the light sleeves (I think red was factory?) that goes over the light under the Joker plastic in the center island so the player's not staring into a bright light-bulb the whole time. Wish I'd added these two things to my big order with him yesterday. Will call this morning and see if maybe it hasn't left his place yet.

I have had good luck coloring a clear bulb with a red sharpie......

#48 3 years ago

Hi guys, I placed the order with Steve today, so will get the correct mini posts and the lamp sleeve for that top lamp. Another question for you: does anyone know where I can get (I should've asked Steve and didn't think of it) a one and a half inch screw that is used to hold the decorative metal bars in place on either side of the lower playfield? There are supposed to be four total (two through the end of each metal piece that go down through the double posts into the playfield), and my game only has three of them. The fourth screw is a Phillips head. Anyone have an extra one they can send or sell me? Home Depot and Lowe's do not carry this anymore, and I even called a specialty store here in my area and they do not carry that in a regular slotted head.

#49 3 years ago

PBR:

http://pbresource.com/news.html

(Scroll down to the news about finding the NOS stash of screws.)

Might want to first do a full pass over the game, top to bottom, making a parts list as you go. Then place one order after everything has been examined.

#50 3 years ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Hi guys, I placed the order with Steve today, so will get the correct mini posts and the lamp sleeve for that top lamp. Another question for you: does anyone know where I can get (I should've asked Steve and didn't think of it) a one and a half inch screw that is used to hold the decorative metal bars in place on either side of the lower playfield? There are supposed to be four total (two through the end of each metal piece that go down through the double posts into the playfield), and my game only has three of them. The fourth screw is a Phillips head. Anyone have an extra one they can send or sell me? Home Depot and Lowe's do not carry this anymore, and I even called a specialty store here in my area and they do not carry that in a regular slotted head.

I just bought a box of 100 from McMaster last week for my Royal Guard, not nickel plated, but if you polish the head they look good. If you want a few PM your address. These are zinc plated steel.

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