(Topic ID: 129745)

Harlem Globetrotters...my first complete restoration

By DnDPins

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by bznhvx
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders


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There have been 59 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


#1 4 years ago

I used to play a lot of Harlem Globetrotters when it first came out and decided to include it as another Bally's classic in my collection. I bought one in May of 2014 and first striped down the playfield, cleaned the hell out of it with magic eraser, touched up the paint and rebuilt all the mechanicals. I then enjoyed playing it for about a year and decided it needed and deserved a full restoration since the cabinet was the worst of all my machines.

My attitude towards restorations:
1) I like to keep things as original as possible; the playfield, back glass and plastics should be original if possible. I would prefer to repair an original cabinet rather than build a new one. My reasons for this are twofold; I like original because I have not played a repro playfield that feels the way I remember playing them combined with I do not have the skills or desire to take on a playfield swap. Also, something does not feel right to me if most of the machine is a reproduction!
2) I will clear coat classic playfields to lock art touchups and repair cupping but want to keep it as thin as possible and low gloss
3) I like the finished product to be close to original, I am not a fan of powder coating or chromed parts on a classic machine.

I am creating this thread to motivate myself and hopefully others to take on such as restoration. I also will ask advice and welcome input from others. My next posts will get this thread updated to where I am currently.


#2 4 years ago

Here is what I started with...a nice candidate for restoration
Galaxy pictures 167.jpgHG_12.jpgGalaxy pictures 177.jpg

<HG_10.jpg">attachment=2497752,413576 caption="HG_05.jpg"]HG_08.jpgHG_02.jpgHG_06.jpg

#3 4 years ago

Here are more shots before I tore down the playfield.
Galaxy pictures 169.jpg Galaxy pictures 176.jpgGalaxy pictures 220.jpg

#4 4 years ago

Parts before tumbling

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#5 4 years ago

I'm anxious to see the progress of this.

Post lots of updates!

#6 4 years ago

Playfield stripped and cleaned up nice and bright with Magic Eraser. Notice the blue skirt...not original but I love the color punch!
Galaxy pictures 371.jpg

Pop bumper mylar removed and preparing for touch up
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Not bad after touch up
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#7 4 years ago

Playfield touch ups in progress
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Still trying to get a good match on the blue. Looks good when playing the game though.
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#8 4 years ago

More progress on mechanical rebuilds and touch ups

I painted the spinners using white appliance epoxy and applied classic arcade's HG stickers but they did not hold up very well...most likely poor application. Sticky small white chips all over the place. I will redo sometime in the future.

#9 4 years ago

Here are some of the final touchups and reassembly

If you look closely at the bottom of the right spinner, you can see the beginning of the chips coming off.

Blue is still not perfect but overall, I am quite happy with the results. Inserts are still cupped but I will handle that in a future phase which will most likely be clear coat. I will also try to better color match the blue in the near future.

#10 4 years ago

Here is a playfield before and after.

Before: (The flash seemed to really affect the playfield color as it looks dramatically different then the after shot which is a little misleading.)

After: Big improvements to the key lines, ball swirl is removed, correct mini-posts are installed, everything functions, the playfield is much brighter and the spinners look better.

I played the game like this for about a year which brings us up to today.

#11 4 years ago

Good luck. A great machine to start with and restore.

#12 4 years ago

Time to repair and re-stencil the cabinet. When I first got this machine, it smelled VERY smokey. I tried 5 boxes of baking soda on a cookie tray for weeks which did not really help. In the end, I bought an Odor Genie from Lowes for a few dollars and a month later the smell was totally gone.

This corner is rotted and will need to be repaired

You can see in this picture how bad the cabinet paint is, the wood is checking and the paint is heavily faded.

The coin door has heavy corrosion and rust from the same situation which caused the cabinet side rotting. The bottom will need to be removed and replaced.

#13 4 years ago

Gutting the cabinet

Sanding...took more work than I thought it would to sand off the old paint.

#14 4 years ago

I was always afraid to tear down a coin door but it was not as bad as I thought.

#15 4 years ago

Cabinet repair

#16 4 years ago

Looking good! post pics and descriptions of what you are doing and any gotcha's - I have a similar table waiting for a resto and I have been scared to touch it

#17 4 years ago

Trying to post more pictures but having problems with upload getting ID.

#18 4 years ago

I just picked one up myself, yesterday. Nice coincidence that there's a thread about it

2 weeks later
#19 4 years ago

Now that the upload issue has been resolved, here are some more pictures of cabinet restoration:

#21 4 years ago

Couple of questions:
how are you redoing the graphics on the case?
are you planning to do any more on the playfield?

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from mark532011:

how are you redoing the graphics on the case?

I bought stencils from Pinball Pimp - I will provide colors once the cabinet painting is complete. The weather has been too humid to paint.

Quoted from mark532011:

are you planning to do any more on the playfield?

I am keeping the playfield original and am very happy with the brightness and overall look. I do want to do a better job of matching the blue paint on the bonus numbers and I will most likely eventually do a clear coat to even out the cupping.

How do you feel it looks? I am open to constructive criticism and ideas.

#23 4 years ago

It looks good to me! mine is in much worse shape, but I can't start on playfield or case until the boards are fixed.

3 months later
#24 4 years ago
Quoted from DnDPins:

I bought stencils from Pinball Pimp - I will provide colors once the cabinet painting is complete. The weather has been too humid to paint. blockquote>

Did you get a chance to select colors yet? I have one of these in the hopper to do as well. I'm going to start a TOPIC with the intent of having people post paint choices for these type of restorations. Share the knowledge


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