(Topic ID: 268807)

Hardtop Install and Restoration for Eight Ball Deluxe


By Mathazar

12 days ago



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  • 35 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 13 hours ago by Mathazar
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#1 12 days ago

I've had my Eight Ball Deluxe Classic (1984) for two years now. Aside from the (new!) Gottlieb Neptune EM my family had when I was a kid in the 70's, this EBD was the first pin I owned. It's my favorite title from my youth....with the amount of quarters I pumped into this thing in the 80's I could've owned one by 1990 probably.

I likely overpaid for it, but that's ok. It definitely was on the top end of retail. But again, that's ok....I wanted it, and it worked. I bought it from a local Mom & Pop pinball and arcade shop and there was not much room to haggle. I played it for a couple of hours over 2 weekend visits to the store so I was very familiar with it. It played well and everything on it 100% worked. A pretty good players machine.

Here's the pin in the store's backroom workshop. The playfield looked ok, no serious wear. The original backglass was damn near perfect. The guy had put LEDs in it already. The cabinet had lots of scratches and gouges, and the paint (decals) was faded. I bought it.

While the transaction was in progress, the guy said he could repaint it like new if I was interested. I was. It would take him a few weeks but that was ok because our new basement rec room (its future home) was under construction and would finish within the next month or so. So I paid a little extra for him to paint it and I know he lost money there....it took 5 weeks and his apprentice/employee who did it ruined two Pinball Pimp stencils in the process. With the third stencil, he finished the paint job and delivered the pin. Three Pinball Pimp stencils at $150/ea....that's more than I paid him to fix the cabinet wood issues and repaint!

Here's my son the day we bought it at the store (with the faded decals).....
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#2 12 days ago

I was very happy with the paint job, at least at first. He delivered and set it up for free (down a flight of stairs to the basement) which helped me feel better about paying on the high end of the range. He even made a couple house calls for free during the first month to help me with adjustments and show me how to do basic maintenance. Plus, when I had light board issues a couple months down the road, he swapped me out for another one for free (all I had to do was pull out the lamp board and take it down to his shop). Pretty good guy. More on the paint issues later, but at first glance this machine looks great....solid cabinet exterior, good paint/stencil work, and a nice players condition playfield. I'd rather have that original "happy" cowboy on the backbox sides that is found on the 1984 Classic version of EBD vs. the "mean" cowboy (from the original 1981 EBD) that I got in the repaint, but I understand that this is the only EBD stencil available and no one I could find is making 1984 decals.
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#3 12 days ago

So what's wrong with this pin? Now that I've done a ground up repaint/slight resto on a pin myself (see my SS Black Jack resto thread here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-first-restoration-1977-bally-black-jack-ss) I'm starting to get more picky on how my pins look and play. The two big things with my EBD:

1 - The playfield has cupped inserts (which changes the trajectory of the ball) and a dozen paint touch up spots that are either rough, bubbling, or just plain "blobby" and also affect the ball trajectory. And when looking closely, it just looks bad. And the touch-ups near the flippers in the inlanes....if you hold the ball or it's rolling by slowly, the ball gets stuck and you have to nudge it loose (often resulting in a tilt). That was ok for me before, but not now. I put a playfield protector in last year and while it eliminates all of that, I'd rather have a hardtop and nice, pristine artwork.

2 - The guy who painted the cabinet did not take many (any?) precautions about overspray in the interior. No one sees the interior, but it still drives me absolutely bonkers to see that mess. Black paint on the wiring harness. Black paint on the tilt trough. Black paint on the entire lock bar receiver assembly! It's atrocious, and I want to fix it.

Here are some closeup shots of the playfield....

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#4 12 days ago

....and of the interior cabinet. He even painted black over the kickstand, kickstand hardware, armor plates in front of the leg bolts, the plastic switch cover, wiring harnesses and ground straps, lock bar receiver, and much more. Arrrghhh......even the ground braid got painted black!

The coin door assembly is going to get a refreshing as well.
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#5 12 days ago

Here's my task list - normally, I'd give myself 3 to 4 months to do this. With our COVID-19 situation and me working from home, maybe I could get this done in half that time.

*Playfield*
- Topside Teardown
- Prep playfield for hardtop
- Clean up shooter lane and saucer
- Polyurethane bare wood areas
- Hardtop Install
- Replace all plastic posts with new
- Replace plastics as needed
- New rubbers
- Tumble metal bits
- Clean wiring harness….remove black overspray paint
- Fix twist-nutted wires wires in harness
- Integrate after-market repair wire into harness
- Replace all drop targets with new
- Revert GI from LED to incandescent
- Rebuild pop bumpers
- New bumper caps
- Rebuild left upper flipper

*Backbox*
- Replace gas displays with LEDs
- MPU – convert battery to NVRAM
- Integrate Alltek wiring for Lamp boards
- Evaluate for interior repaint

*Cabinet*
- Complete interior teardown to bare wood
- Sand and paint interior black
- Paint Tilt Board, Switch Cover, and PS Tray EBD Gold
- Clean wiring harness including grounding straps….remove black overspray paint
- Replace all wire clamps with new
- Replace ground braid with new
- Replace power cord with new
- Tumble metal bits
- If tilt trough cannot be cleaned/restored, replace with new
- If lock bar receiver mechanism cannot be cleaned/restored, replace with new
- If kickstand and mounting HW cannot be cleaned/restored, replace with new

*Coin Door*
- Completely disassemble
- Clean wire harness
- Tumble metal bits
- Replace Self-Test switch
- Repair/Replace Volume potentiometer

#6 12 days ago

Topside teardown complete including mylar removal. Time to start cleaning this up.

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#7 12 days ago

Well....you really only need to remove the artwork from over the inserts to prepare for the hardtop install. But there are about a dozen paint touchup spots on this playfield that were executed poorly....bubbling, rough, and some cases there were blobs of paint! So I needed to sand those down as well since these little bumpy and rough areas will most likely be felt through the hardtop - I don't want that. And while I was sanding down those rough areas, my OCD kicked in and said "let's get all this artwork off".

Pretty pleased with how the inserts cleaned up....most of them were really scratchy. Now they're really smooth looking (and they feel smooth now, too). Shooter lane needs some work.
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#8 12 days ago

Got rid of the ball trails in the upper shooting lane and across the archway. The shooter lane itself is looking better - lots of the dark ground in dirt is gone but the swirls are still there. I'm hand sanding that with a large diameter dowel rod and 200 grit sandpaper....it's taking lots of layers off and I don't think I want to do any more. As I experienced when doing this on my Mata Hari (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hardtop-install-for-ss-mata-hari), the color appearance should even out a bit when I apply some polyurethane.

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#9 12 days ago

Here's a bit of playfield repair - even tho this will be covered by the hardtop and hidden under a set of plastics, I don't want any cavities. Some of the wood planked away near the saucer, so EB Wood Epoxy to the rescue.

Next up after this repair sets:
- Sand down the repaired area to be as smooth as the rest of the playfield.
- Wet sand the inserts up to 2000 to get that glossy effect. I used SprayMax Clear for this on my Mata Hari and had some challenges/issues, so I think I'll try wet sanding this one and see if that's any easier.

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#10 12 days ago

I like what you're doing so far. Nice work. Having done 3 ebd high end restores myself, I know how much work it can be.

To bad about the guy that did the repaint. That is the hardest part for me as well. I have done 7 so far. For F2K I cut my own stencils.

I'm pretty sure the kick stand or pf prop rod was already black as is the lockdown bar receiver. bally Midway thing.

Good call stripping the pf art completely off.

The tilt section. I take a new piece of plywood and cut it the same size. Then use the original board and drill pilot holes right through the screw holes to make dimples on the new board. If gives the inside of cab a fresh look.

It's neat to see the original cab art on the 84 cab. I'm guessing since the whole cab is particle board, the stencil job was not as good as a plywood cab would turn out? I'm thinking that might be 1 reason they went to decals. That and they are less expensive.

Also he could have used the front stencils to customize the front of the cab.

I will be following your thread.

#11 11 days ago

Sanded down the wood repair....nice and smooth with the playfield. This area is going to be covered by the hardtop, so I'm not concerned about the color

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#12 11 days ago

Inserts wet-sanded up to 2000....pretty happy with the results. Compressed air and tack cloths are next to get the dust out.

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#13 11 days ago

Three light coats of polyurethane and the areas I want to become more uniform in color since they'll be exposed thru the hardtop (shooter lane and a few inch long swath of ball path leading up to the upper arch) are looking good. Not concerned about the color mismatch that occurred around the lamp sockets due to tape covering them to avoid overspray damage (normally I'd stick in old/bad 555 bulbs but I don't have any spares at the moment). The hardtop is going to cover and hide all of that.

I did put a bulb in the lower left socket so the color/shade comes out even (credit light under the apron) as that area will be exposed by the clear portion of the hardtop.

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#14 11 days ago

Good job so far! I think the 81 cowboy looks good on your 84 cab!

#15 11 days ago

Here was tonight's activity - this was driving me bonkers ever since I saw it when I pulled out the playfield. The main harness had two wires that apparently broke or cracked at one time....a previous owner fixed them by wire-nutting them together. And a third wire was replaced altogether, but instead of pulling out the old/bad wire he/they just added a new, shorter wire outside of the main harness. Yes...shorter. That means that the loose wire would not allow the entire main harness to bend or stretch to full length because the shorter replacement wire was soldered into a switch on one end and a .100 connector on the other. Arrgh.

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#16 11 days ago

First step....extend the shorter wire by soldering on a new piece at the end of the old piece. Then shrink tube the joint, making it clean.

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#17 11 days ago

Next, remove the wire nuts and properly join the previously broken wires in the same manner.

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#18 11 days ago

Then run the new, previously-shorter-wire-now-plenty-long-enough through the wire harness and add a few more zip ties to make it sturdy. That feels much better.

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#19 9 days ago

Milestone! New hardtop is laid down. Inserts all line up great but there's a lot of trim work around the edges to do and even more hardtop holes to widen. A few hardtop holes are off enough that I'll be drilling new holes into the playfield. I'll be breaking out the Dremel tonight.

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#20 8 days ago

A little refreshing for the playfield rails.....

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#21 8 days ago

Nice!

#22 6 days ago

Spent a few hours on EBD tonight....

- Newly sanded and repainted rails installed
- Rollover wires cleaned and installed
- Standup targets cleaned and installed
- New star rollover installed
- New drop targets with new springs installed

I was thinking of putting in new standup targets (1 red and 6 yellow) but the originals cleaned up nice with Mean Green and a toothbrush, so I think I'll keep them in.

Will probably clean and rebuild slings and flippers next, then work on the pop bumper rebuilds.

Does anyone know where I can find the "POP BUMPER BASE MIDWAY"? I can't find it anywhere. I was going to keep the originals as they seemed to clean up ok but man do they look dingy next to the new hardtop and the new skirts I got. Thinking I want new ones now if I can find them.

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#23 6 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Does anyone know where I can find the "POP BUMPER BASE MIDWAY"? I can't find it anywhere. I was going to keep the originals as they seemed to clean up ok but man do they look dingy next to the new hardtop and the new skirts I got. Thinking I want new ones now if I can find them.
[quoted image]

I've run into the same issue, they seem to be unobtanium, so if someone has a lead I'd appreciate it as well. Hard to believe that no one is reproing these. I found and purchased the last 3 from a European parts house, once I got them they were a beige off white, to my eye even worse than the used ones.....

#24 5 days ago

Was going to disassemble/clean/rebuild the slings, flippers, and pop bumpers today but I installed a few posts and gates and then got carried away and finished doing that. Slings and flippers tomorrow or Monday. Need to finish up the pop bumpers tomorrow....running into problems with the spoons. They're old and the old skirts made little holes in the center of the spoons. Now the new skirts get stuck in the holes and don't move the spoon around enough to engage the switch and skirts get "stuck". I put a new spoon in the switch stack for the top right bumper but the skirt is sitting too low now. I'll figure it out tomorrow.

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#25 5 days ago

So here's a question for the group - I'm running into a few things that don't seem right on my EBD. Here's one....my game has this stud at this location. It seems like an odd placement for a stud....shouldn't this be another blue plastic post? What do you EBD guys have at this location?

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#26 5 days ago

Here's another one....my original playfield had a hole where the red X is and this shorter (1.5") ball guide wire installed in it behind the upper left flipper. According to the EBD manual, that ball guide wire is part #M-121-93 and is 2.5" long (and would go in the holes where the red arrows are).

Anyone know where I can find the proper ball guide wire part #M-121-93? I can't find it by that part number, and looking at wire form after wire form at Marcos and other places is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

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#27 5 days ago

Couple thoughts after skimming this

1) I also ran into the same issue finding the pop bumper bodies. I eventually bought the ones from Action Pinball. I’m fine with their off white color. (I think I replaced ever part of the pops except the switch stack and mounting plate. I love the pop bumper action on this game)

2) I have the same post in the same location. I also thought it was weird, but that’s the way they made it.

3) You may have more luck emailing them for help tracking down the wire form. Or you can buy a kit to make your own

4) As an aside, I highly recommend the return lane guides by Cliffy. They’re just ever so slightly different dimensions and the ball comes screaming down the return without any sort of flipper hop. Also just longer lasting compared to the plastic ones. Another pro is if you use bright LEDs, the metal covers up some of the light that would blind the player.

Can you tell me more about the hole discrepancies? I’d like to hardtop mine someday. Hopefully the correct any alignment issues before I order one

#28 5 days ago

Looking real good, thanks for documenting.

#29 4 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

Couple thoughts after skimming this
1) I also ran into the same issue finding the pop bumper bodies. I eventually bought the ones from Action Pinball. I’m fine with their off white color. (I think I replaced ever part of the pops except the switch stack and mounting plate. I love the pop bumper action on this game)

After putting in the new skirts (I went with blue...thought it would be a nice accent with the blue posts), I'm not really concerned anymore about the off-white color.

I think I solved the issue with the one skirt sitting too low....I had to take the switch stack apart and remove a spacer so that the spoon sits up higher and pushes the skirt up. Man, the switch stacks on these EBD pops are a royal pain to work with and get back in.

#30 4 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

Can you tell me more about the hole discrepancies? I’d like to hardtop mine someday. Hopefully the correct any alignment issues before I order one

There are always going to be alignment issues. Multiple vendors making the playfields for Bally, assembled by hand, etc. etc. are going to lead to variances. Fortunately, not insurmountable.

During an alignment test, I noticed more than a dozen holes that either didn't line up all the way or in same cases were off so much that the original playfield hole couldn't be seen thru the hole the hardtop. The most important thing is making sure all of the inserts and insert artwork lineup correct - once you have that, install the hardtop and fix your holes.

For holes that are completely covered, they should be very near the hardtop hole. I used a pointy Dremel bit and slowly apply it to the playfield thru the hardtop hole. As you put slight pressure on it, the bit will "naturally" find the existing nearby playfield hole and be guided to it. Then just widen the playfield hole enough for the post/etc. to install.

And sometimes you have to trim/cut away hardtop material to widen a hole...I usually use a drum bit on my Dremel to do that, but some people use Xacto blades and do it by hand. Whatever you're comfortable with.

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#31 4 days ago

Spent the afternoon today disassembling/cleaning/rebuilding the slings, kicker, and flippers while watching/listening to The Match #2 with Tiger/Phil/Tom/Peyton. Put in new coil stops, springs, coil sleeves, bushings, and prawls. The rest cleaned up ok.

Man, these things were filthy. Had to change my Mean Green + Water mixture in the ultrasonic cleaner 5 times.
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#32 4 days ago

Playfield pretty much done except for lane guides and plastics. I won't find out if I hooked everything back up correctly for several more weeks - next phase is cleaning and repainting the cabinet interior followed by cleaning and rebuilding the coin door.

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#33 3 days ago

Plastics are in...all done except for the new pop bumper rings and caps. I'll probably do those last after everything is completed, assembled, and tuned as those pieces are brittle, even new ones. Don't need to be breaking the tabs or clips off of new bodies, rings, or caps by putting them on and taking them off several times unnecessarily.

Going to start on the refreshing the lower cabinet next, then the coin door:

*Cabinet*
- Complete interior teardown to bare wood
- Sand and paint interior black
- Paint Tilt Board, Switch Cover, and PS Tray EBD Gold
- Clean wiring harness including grounding straps….remove black overspray paint
- Replace all wire clamps with new
- Replace ground braid with new
- Replace power cord with new
- Tumble metal bits
- If tilt trough cannot be cleaned/restored, replace with new
- If lock bar receiver mechanism cannot be cleaned/restored, replace with new
- If kickstand and mounting HW cannot be cleaned/restored, replace with new

*Coin Door*
- Completely disassemble
- Clean wire harness
- Tumble metal bits
- Replace Self-Test switch
- Repair/Replace Volume potentiometer

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#34 3 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

So here's a question for the group - I'm running into a few things that don't seem right on my EBD. Here's one....my game has this stud at this location. It seems like an odd placement for a stud....shouldn't this be another blue plastic post? What do you EBD guys have at this location?[quoted image]

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#35 13 hours ago

Started working on the lower cabinet tonight - stripped it of all the parts, staples and hardware and vacuumed it out. Metals bits that fit have been ultrasonic cleaned and are going thru the tumblers now for the next few days. Going to have to work on the coin door frame pieces, lock bar receiver, and kickstand by hand as they're too big.

A previous owner secured the leg brackets with nails (that rusted) instead of screws. Those were fun to get out....all eight.

Weather permitting, will start sanding this weekend. Maybe start painting next weekend.

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