(Topic ID: 235460)

Grand Prix playfield protector install


By phil-lee

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 51 days ago by Thunder90
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 1 year ago

After 100 hours of the usual service on a Williams Grand Prix project I turned to the playfield. The paint was still good but 50+ plus inserts were concave, it seems weird the wear wasn't worse than it was into the paint and wood (shrinkage?).
A perfect candidate for a playfield protector from Bay Area Amusements, the thick older style. Knowing this I only used vacuum/ Novis 2 then 1 to clean it up as I didn't want potential outgassing from solvents or water. Really pleased with the results.IMG_1903 (resized).JPGIMG_1901 (resized).JPG

The protector arrived flat and well packaged. I layed it out on the glass of another machine to wait while doing service.
Installation couldn't have been easier with the game already down. Removing the protective film and seeing the results was instant happy, looked great! ( To be continued)

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#2 1 year ago

After 30 or so initial test games while fine tuning everything I must couldn't be more pleased with a pinball parts purchase! Plays fast, smooth and quiet, much like an SS. Now don't have to worry about wear till a proper restoration/clear coat if I decide to keep it. The Gottlieb chime unit sounds great when the spinners are ripped and no craters for the ball to hop over.
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If I spent 9000 dollars on a new Pin and a protector was available for it you bet it would be the first order of business, just think, no dimples. Some people seem to wax these things, I think a mild plastic polish like Novis 1 would be better. Yes, small plastic dust particles migrated under it in places and looked huge after flattening out, but "Strategic vacuuming" fixed that.
A little pricey at 140 bucks but a big bang for your buck in my opinion.

#3 1 year ago

I'm guessing you will decide to keep it, it's the best EM ever made (IMHO). Thanks for the write up, it's a very interesting option.

#4 1 year ago

(Quote) I'm guessing you will decide to keep it, it's the best EM ever made (IMHO). Thanks for the write up, it's a very interesting option.

I have read similar comments but the jury is still out for me. The spinners are fun but Williams seems to have had a problem with players holding a ball to line up a shot. The short wire lane guides on this one prevent it and many more like Space Mission and Merry Widow have the ball shooters.

What is a Grand Prix worth in your neck of the woods? I never see them for sale in NC.

#5 1 year ago

Thank you for the write up regarding your playfield protector. I am thinking about getting them to protect my playfields. I have no time or interest in clear coating.

Please keep this thread updated.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from phil-lee:

What is a Grand Prix worth in your neck of the woods? I never see them for sale in NC.

I would say somewhere between 450-750 depending on condition for a mostly working machine. I paid $650 for mine, which was very nicely gone thru and in perfect working order, decent playfield and back glass.

1 week later
#7 1 year ago

Very nice... I put a playfield protector on my Flash a few of years ago when I tore into it to get it working. After touching up the playfield paint and replacing all of the inserts, the playfield protector seemed like a good idea. I waxed the playfield prior to putting the protector on and 3+ years later, the playfield still looks restored and I couldn't be happier. I have never waxed the protector and just clean it with Novis 1 and it always plays great. I would be curious to hear from someone who actually waxes their protector. I would think that getting wax caught at the edges would be inevitable and would be an eyesore?

When I ordered my WOZRR from JJP, I paid the extra to have it delivered with playfield protectors installed new from the factory. My only complaint with doing that was that they appeared to just have put it on and did not take extra care to be 100% sure they got all dust and foreign particles off of the playfield or the protector before they installed it. There is an annoying piece of lint or paint that is stuck under the playfield protector right in the middle of the main playfield that I cannot get to. I have tried blowing compressed air under the protector from a side, but the static under the plastic keeps it in place. Oh well, one small issue, but years from now, the playfield will still be brand new underneath it (with a piece of lint!!).

I like the protectors so much that I bought one for my Judge Dredd for whenever I get around to tearing it down for a restoration. The pin is so fun and I finally got it working so well right now, I just don't want to be without it for an extended period of time since my time is limited to actually work on my pins. Once I dive in, it will take me at least a month if not more with my limited time.. lol

Anyway, I will be putting playfield protectors on every pin I ever get. They seem to be getting more and more popular now and are available for a lot more pins than they used to be.

#8 1 year ago

I believe the "Lint" occurs when the protective vinyl is removed from the back, creating static cling and sucking minute particles from where they cut the holes. All of the pictures of this phenomena look the same, flattened out white stuff.
The stuff on mine is invisible until the playfield lights come on. Annoying, still studying a solution, other than installing it in negative air pressure clean room.
Right now I would lean on buying one under the following conditions;
Is one available for my machine? An uncut sheet is less than 30 bucks if you feel like cutting one (may try it).
Just clearcoated and restored
Decent restorable paint you don't want to get worse until you restore it, or preserve it till you sell.
In my case, it was to level 50 cupped inserts, fast, so I could play it and do everything else it needed.
For that alone it was worth the money. Adding a high gloss surface was a plus.
Now, back to the "Lint Syndrome".

#9 1 year ago

I'm thinking of adding one of these to my Gottlieb Abra Ca Dabra, but feel hesitant as I know it will change the way the ball moves. I personally love the way EMs play with the wood, but wanted to get your guys' thoughts. What do you think? Does it change the way it plays? I just need one to level a few inserts.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

I'm thinking of adding one of these to my Gottlieb Abra Ca Dabra, but feel hesitant as I know it will change the way the ball moves. I personally love the way EMs play with the wood, but wanted to get your guys' thoughts. What do you think? Does it change the way it plays? I just need one to level a few inserts.

Not EMs, but I have them on my Sorcerer and Firepower. It really corrects the deflection from seriously cupped inserts. Ball spin and speed might be a bit different, but the only thing I really notice is that the playfield is actually flat now.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

I'm thinking of adding one of these to my Gottlieb Abra Ca Dabra, but feel hesitant as I know it will change the way the ball moves. I personally love the way EMs play with the wood, but wanted to get your guys' thoughts. What do you think? Does it change the way it plays? I just need one to level a few inserts.

I love the loud sound of a clear coated em, same with a waxed one. The protector makes play very quiet.
As far as ball speed, I think its a little faster with the protector, but SEEMS faster on a clear coated playfield. That's the thing, once you try one you wonder why you went to all the trouble to restore a field just so you can scratch it up again.

On Abra consider fixing the insert issue. At least its not 50 of the buggers. I still cannot figure out how the inserts are so cupped but no ball trail/extreme wear between them.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from phil-lee:

(Quote) I'm guessing you will decide to keep it, it's the best EM ever made (IMHO). Thanks for the write up, it's a very interesting option.
I have read similar comments but the jury is still out for me. The spinners are fun but Williams seems to have had a problem with players holding a ball to line up a shot. The short wire lane guides on this one prevent it and many more like Space Mission and Merry Widow have the ball shooters.
What is a Grand Prix worth in your neck of the woods? I never see them for sale in NC.

i love grand prix, both the art and the gameplay. i feel the same way others do though when it comes to not being able to cradle the ball for accurate shots. i had a space mission which was a fun game and also with great art but those kickout holes next to the flippers annoyed the hell out of me. i traded it not long after i got it.
to veer off topic a bit anyway, these protectors are really cool and i have one of the routers pictured. if someone wanted to design a protector (i have design software but am still learning. i have a couple of buddies that do CAD for a living so they hook me up when i need a project done) i'd be willing to buy the lexan/polycarbonate/acrylic and give it a shot. needs to be an svg file. with this router there is no size constraint as there is with a standard CNC which is limited by the gantry dimension.

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#13 1 year ago

hey phil,
what's the thickness of your old style protector?
i see a 24X48" sheet of the material that is used in the new thin protectors is only 7 bucks so would be cheap to experiment.

#14 1 year ago

I need a protector for my Bally Air Aces. One does not exist. How would we start?

#15 1 year ago

now that i see how cheap and thin the material is, i'd just depopulate the playfield, remove the protective cover from the material so you can see thru it, lay it on the playfield and mark the areas to be cut out, and then cut them out. if this were the older thicker stuff then you'd definitely have to route it.
to answer your question though, you'd need access to whatever playfield and then draw out the shape and cut outs using adobe illustrator, fusion 360, or any of the number of vector based design programs and then email that to me so i can download the svg (scalable vector graphics) file into my machine and start cutting.
i just ordered three, 2'x4' sheets of the same stuff playfield protectors uses for 21 bucks not including shipping, to experiment with.

#16 1 year ago

I didn't have that cool router, but here's my thread from a few months ago detailing the protector I made for my Alien Poker.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/i-made-a-playfield-protector-self-evaulation

It does play nice.

As I point out in the thread, I only went down the "make" path because "buy" wasn't an option for the title. Recently I decided I like the game enough to get on the buy list for the reproduction playfield, so eventually the one I made will be retired. I've also got a protector in my Flash and it plays slow. I have one for my BoP but I haven't installed it yet (I've had it for over a year).

-Rob
-visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my replacement LED display boards for model H & model S Skee Ball

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

hey phil,
what's the thickness of your old style protector?
i see a 24X48" sheet of the material that is used in the new thin protectors is only 7 bucks so would be cheap to experiment.

As I understand it the earlier protectors are thicker and shipped flat, but the Company went with a newer material that is thinner and ships rolled up. Do a search for "Playfield protector" here, good reading.

10 months later
#18 51 days ago

Just want to say thanks for this thread. Picked up a Grand Prix a week ago with every insert cupped and an ok playfield. Cleaned it up and put a protector on as you did and it plays like a dream!

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