(Topic ID: 268807)

Hardtop Install and Restoration for Eight Ball Deluxe

By Mathazar

1 year ago


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  • 127 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 13 days ago by Lovef2k
  • Topic is favorited by 19 Pinsiders

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There are 127 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
#101 1 year ago

Beautiful work there.
I recon one of the hardest to obtain parts on any Bally of the period is the coin return flap!

#102 1 year ago
Quoted from pintuck:

Beautiful work there.
I recon one of the hardest to obtain parts on any Bally of the period is the coin return flap!

Thank you! And yes, those coin flaps are usually missing (two of my three SS Ballys are missing them). I keep me eyes out for original examples, but sooner or later I'll probably pick up a Cliffy's repro: https://passionforpinball.com/blycoin.htm

#103 1 year ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Thank you! And yes, those coin flaps are usually missing (two of my three SS Ballys are missing them). I keep me eyes out for original examples, but sooner or later I'll probably pick up a Cliffy's repro: https://passionforpinball.com/blycoin.htm

After I posted this, I did a search and low and behold, Cliffy to the rescue!

2 weeks later
#104 1 year ago

OK - it's been more than a couple of months since I "finished" this project and I didn't wrap it up with any final pix. Why? Well...I had a rare hardtop failure and I needed to see how it would play out. It does have a happy ending.

About 2 weeks after I finished, I started noticing an area around the pop bumpers that lifted/bubbled. About a square inch of area - ball trajectory majorly affected. Then two more areas bubbled as well - near the top A/B lanes and at the entrance to the 8-ball orbit lane. One of the areas had a little bit of artwork lifted while the others did not.

In all cases, I could press the bubbled areas back down and it would stay....for about 24 hours. Then they'd pop back up again.

I started working with OE on the issue - they were great with their support. One thing they pointed out was that I did not clear the playfield after taking off the original artwork by sanding down to bare wood. They felt that this might contribute to a poor bonding and perhaps I got "lucky" with my previous hardtop installs where I followed that same procedure. And now OE has updated their install instructions to be more explicit with recommending to clear after sanding before putting down the hardtop. Regardless, we came to an amicable resolution and I was now facing the unenviable task of removing a hardtop and installing another one. Talk about a journey.....

#105 1 year ago

Pulling off a hardtop takes some strength and a good grip, but it wasn't that bad. And in my case, pulling it up didn't take any chunks of wood with it. BUT....what it does leave behind (in the form of ink and adhesive) is a total pain to remove.

Getting the playfield back to clean and ready for the next hardtop install took about 4 to 6 hours (spread over a couple of weeks) of tedious, painstaking scraping using various sized plastic putty knives and a half a bottle of Goo Gone.

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#106 1 year ago

There were a few advantages to having to do this over and the machine will turn out better. First up - OE did something custom for me on the replacement EBD hardtop. My EBD is an 1984 Classic and my playfield does not have the cutout for a lamp under the upper right corner plastic. The original hardtop has this cutout so what you'd see with it installed is the circular playfield wood showing through. In my replacement hardtop, while they couldn't change the graphic vectors to make it white they did remove the cutout from the hardtop. That allow me to paint that area white on the playfield so it's not very noticeable when the hardtop is laid down. That was nice.

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#107 1 year ago

After clearing the playfield with rattle can Rustoleum, I got some other stuff done (that I didn't choose to do during the first shop job) while letting it outgas for a week or so. First - I tore down the pop bumpers, cleaned and polished up the parts, and replaced the coil sleeves. They not only look better, but indeed they do seem to pop better, too.

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#108 1 year ago

Next - I put Molex connectors in for all of the coil assemblies. This EBD is a keeper for me and this will dramatically cut down on time and soldering frustration whenever I need to shop the pin or remove an assembly for repair. It was already worth it on this job just putting everything back together after installing the second hardtop.

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#109 1 year ago

And this was an interesting discovery - I put in new EBD plastics about 2 years ago but only the "artwork" ones and not the clear ones. Since then, I probably had all of the plastics off 3 or 4 times and never noticed that the bottom left clear plastic for the 8-Ball orbit lane was some homemade job by a previous owner. I still had my bag of replacement plastics and dug out what I thought should be the correct part, but the holes for the bell spacers didn't line up exactly. I wound up drilling the two needed holes in the repro plastic and using it.

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#110 1 year ago

OK - so the second hardtop is laid down and all is well for about 3 weeks. Then....I got a small bubble at the entrance of the 8-Ball orbit lane and a very small one near the rubber below the 7-Ball target. As before, I'd press down on them and they'd stay down for a day or two and then pop back up. The good news with these bubbles is that they're actually accessible from the edge of the 7-bank drop target assembly hole cutout. So, what I did was slide in several drops of epoxy into the cavity using a flat toothpick and then clamp it down overnight. That was 3 weeks ago....so far, so good.

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#111 1 year ago

Final pix? Fingers crossed. Not sure why those last two bubbles cropped up, but thankfully I think they were addressable. I had applied 3 light coats of clear after sanding and before applying the 2nd hardtop. I cleaned vigorously prior to that. No matter...I'm hoping the curse of my playfield is lifted and this is it. Looking forward to putting a hardtop on my Black Knight next....I have the hardtop in hand but I think I want to enjoy my pins for a while before diving into my next tear down project!

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#112 1 year ago

Looks great. Can’t believe you had to do this then almost have another issue with the replacement.
I love hardtops and Outside Edge.
I just really hope this is a one off issue and not because the product that got us all hooked on the hardtops is being cheapened behind the scenes to make an extra $3 a year in profit.

Happy to see this baby is back in action even tho we didn’t know it was out until now.

#113 1 year ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Since then, I probably had all of the plastics off 3 or 4 times and never noticed that the bottom left clear plastic for the 8-Ball orbit lane was some homemade job by a previous owner.

The one of the left is the original shape of that plastic, the hump area in it is if a ball gets stuck behind the 8 ball so it can come out. Whether or not the one you had is homemade, the repros are often/almost always incorrect in that they are the smooth shape (although, it's possible that Bally themselves changed it at some point)

#114 1 year ago
Quoted from slochar:

the hump area in it is if a ball gets stuck behind the 8 ball so it can come out.

Agree with slochar, that cavity in the left plastic is supposed to be there for this reason.

#115 1 year ago
Quoted from Quench:

Agree with slochar, that cavity in the left plastic is supposed to be there for this reason.

Funny enough, before the second teardown, I got a ball stuck in the hump area and that's what made me think it wasn't original. That and the rough edges of it when you look close and see that someone carved that out...probably a homemade one that was shaped to look like the original then. I'll hang on to it, but I think I'll keep the repro in there and see how it plays.

#116 1 year ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Next - I put Molex connectors in for all of the coil assemblies. This EBD is a keeper for me and this will dramatically cut down on time and soldering frustration whenever I need to shop the pin or remove an assembly for repair. It was already worth it on this job just putting everything back together after installing the second hardtop.
[quoted image]

I use a six pin Molex connector on the pop bumper assembly. Sure makes servicing them much easier.

1 week later
#117 1 year ago

Bad solenoid fun this evening - one by my doing, the other not so sure. But given how infrequently coils fail, it's unlikely this is a coincidence.

I discovered tonight that at some point, it looks like I laid the playfield down on the receiver bar area (bad habit) and crushed the terminals on the right flipper coil. It still worked, but a hazard. Not sure how long ago I damaged this, but I'm sure I would've noticed it while working on it recently. I buttoned it up a week ago and played daily so it's been played on for at least a week.

And the reason I opened it up tonight was to look at the bottom pop bumper - it stopped thumping but still would score. The coil looked toasty where it didn't before. Took it out, and it looks like it imploded...the sleeve is all melted, obstructed, and stuck in the coil. Then I noticed some of that melted plastic poking thru the coil on the green wrapper.

Replaced both coils and all is working again. Wondering if the damage I did to the right flipper coil terminals somehow took out the bottom thumper coil while playing this week. Next time I have the playfield up, I'll check out with a multimeter what coil(s) are 43V daisychained from the right flipper just to know.

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1 week later
#118 1 year ago

More solenoid fun last night! After a few games, the 7-Bank Drop Target would no longer reset (and the saucer also stopped firing). Both of those solenoids share the same circuit and after confirming power at the solenoids, confirming continuity of the wire runs, and inspecting the connector at J5 on the Alltek SDB board I noticed that Q8 (which is part of that reset and saucer circuit) is completely missing from the SDB. Sure enough, I found it in the bottom of the cabinet. The surface-mounted transistor must’ve gotten hot enough to melt the solder and slide right off (there are small traces of solder on the SDB right under where Q8 goes). The transistor itself does not look damaged – no holes or evidence of overheating. I would put on a new transistor myself, but Alltek has a lifetime warranty for parts and repairs, plus it fell off for a reason and it would probably be best to have Dave check out the board itself. Got the RMA number this morning.

In the meantime, EBD was back flipping within about 30 minutes as I had a spare Rottendog SDB laying around from a previous project.

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#119 1 year ago

I would also 86 those darn IDC connectors and install Molex. MPU and SDB.

#120 1 year ago

The only reason I haven't is because they all look good (looks like the owner before me re-did them) and I haven't had any wiring issues with that board. I repinned the MPU, lamp, and lamp extender board connectors to Molex a couple years ago. The minute I get a wiring issue/gremlin with the SDB, I'll repin the whole board to Molex. I'm not counting this transistor part failure as a wiring/gremlin issue, at least not yet.

2 months later
#121 10 months ago

I've had to overcome yet another hardtop issue with my EBD. So you don't have to go back and look thru this thread again, here's a recap of the first two issue:

Issue #1
After several weeks post-installation I had three large spots lifting and after several emails back and forth with Outside Edge, they took care of me. Unfortunately, I had to remove the hardtop and install the replacement. Removing a hardtop is a messy, time-consuming royal pain. Scroll back thru this thread for pictures and installation methods (Post #104: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hardtop-install-and-restoration-for-eight-ball-deluxe/page/3).

Issue #2
After a few weeks post-installation of the replacement, a couple of smaller spots started to lift (different locations on the playfield). Fortunately, they were near playfield holes/cutouts and I was able to stuff some epoxy in there and clamp down. At that same link above, scroll down to Post #110 for that experience with photos.

And now Issue #3....
Several weeks after resolving Issue #2, I had a small spot lifting at the right in-lane...small little hump that interferes with ball travel. I'm hoping to have this resolved, but we'll see. There's a very small gap allowing me to reach the bump/cavity via the hole where the lamp is under the lane guides, but I had to use a 21g needle and syringe filled with cyanoacrylate glue to get it in there. Had to be very careful not to go too deep with the needle or scrape up against the bottom of the hardtop (which would damage the artwork). After getting some CA in the void, I clamped it down overnight with a deeper 8" c-clamp to reach that far into the playfield. The playfield is out of my rotisserie now and back in the game this morning - played a few and it's doing well. Time will tell....

I still love hardtops. Had a fantastic experience with my first one (Mata Hari....14+ months and >300 games and still perfect). I have a Black Knight hardtop in my storage room queued up for install after I'm confident that EBD is in my rear view mirror. OE was very good with their communication and support after the initial failure. I didn't contact them after the second failures figuring I'd be on my own for those. The EBD experience is a bit unsettling, but I'm still a big fan.

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2 months later
#122 7 months ago

Was just reading thru your posts and you have had very similar experience with 8 ball deluxe that I’ve had.... unfortunately I also had issues with the hardtop lifting/bubbling up in areas on an 8 ball deluxe standard cab (didn’t clear on this one first time around). Had to remove and reinstall a new hardtop so I know the pain or removing glue/artwork residue :/ And now I am also having issues after applying a rustoleum clear coat (3 weeks cure time). As you can see in photos, one area in the inlane actually causes stuck balls. Then area around D rollover and area in pop bumpers both of which have left artwork on the playfield. I too have had good experiences with Hardtops in the past (did a high speed a year and a half ago that’s held up great - no clear) and would definitely do another in the future if I have a good candidate. However, this does seem odd how similar of issues you have had. Wonder if it’s a matter of all the heat from the power components mounted in bottom of cab? Or why is 8 ball deluxe doing this and not other titles? I have another 8 ball deluxe (this one is an LE) that is set for a hardtop install and am trying to figure out this issue before installing to avoid this problem again...

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#123 7 months ago
Quoted from L-R-N:

unfortunately I also had issues with the hardtop lifting/bubbling up in areas on an 8 ball deluxe standard cab

When did you buy your EBD hardtop? Outside Edge did have a run of "bad" hardtops several months ago where their ink supplier changed the formula, without them knowing, and it affected the adhesive. If you contact OE, they will replace the hardtop for you. They replaced my EBD (twice) and my BK. Fortunately, I hadn't installed BK yet so I didn't have to go thru the removal process on that one.

PM me if you want more details on how to get OE to replace EBD for you if you indeed have an affected run. It certainly looks like you do.

#124 7 months ago

When I read about the EBD HT issue, I contacted Outer Edge as well. The original EBD HT had not been installed and they sent a replacement anyway.

7 months later
#125 15 days ago

This is interesting, and gives a great example why you should NEVER put a hardtop in a pin. Ugh, so much more work than just getting a CPR playfield.

#126 15 days ago
Quoted from MtnFrost:

This is interesting, and gives a great example why you should NEVER put a hardtop in a pin. Ugh, so much more work than just getting a CPR playfield.

Respectfully disagree (and I've recently done a CPR playfield swap on my new Meteor project). When it works right, hardtops are way easier to install and 2 years later the three I've done still look like new. The ink/adhesion problem that affected a couple of hardtop batches was rectified last year.

#127 13 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Respectfully disagree (and I've recently done a CPR playfield swap on my new Meteor project). When it works right, hardtops are way easier to install and 2 years later the three I've done still look like new. The ink/adhesion problem that affected a couple of hardtop batches was rectified last year.

I agree. I have done 3 EBD CPR swaps. Just running the new trace wire and changing out the lamp sockets is a chore. Also getting the drop target banks aligned before pre-drilling the pilot holes for the banks is tricky and time consuming.

Either hardtop or swap, both are a crap ton of prep and work.

There are 127 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.

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