(Topic ID: 289792)

High Speed & Taxi: 80’s brothers rebuilt


By Bellagio

59 days ago

Topic Heartbeat


Topic Stats

  • 209 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Bellagio
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

IMG_7301 (resized).JPG
IMG_7298 (resized).JPG
IMG_7297 (resized).JPG
IMG_7296 (resized).JPG
IMG_7260 (resized).JPG
IMG_7304 (resized).JPG
IMG_7278 (resized).JPG
IMG_7289 (resized).JPG
IMG_7288 (resized).JPG
IMG_7275 (resized).JPG
IMG_7194 (resized).JPG
IMG_7189 (resized).JPG
IMG_7187 (resized).JPG
IMG_7169 (resized).JPG
IMG_7168 (resized).JPG
IMG_7195 (resized).JPG

There are 209 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 5.
#1 59 days ago

In the arcades in the 80’s, my first memories of pinball were two great games: High Speed and Taxi. They sat right next to each other, which was perfect for me because I would go back and forth dropping quarters in both of them. Fast forward to 2015 when I decided that I would like to have one of these games in my house and my crazy hobby started from there...

First was HS, so I’ll begin the story there. It was purchased from a local retailer. He said that it came from Alabama. Like many starting in the hobby, I overpaid for it ($2200 with 1 year warranty) but fortunately it was a pretty solid machine. I studied it and learned the basics of pinball maintenance and repair from it.

Once I felt comfortable with the basics, I decided that I wanted to take it to the next level and fully restore my HS. I kept a running task list along the way to help me remember what I was working on last. Work/life can oftentimes cause you to take a week, a month or more off of your restoration, and it really helped to know exactly what I did last. I figured that since I made all of these notes, I should make a thread that will possibly help others who want to do the same. I’m starting this thread after finishing both projects so I don't have to drag it out over a long period of time.

I decided that I wanted the machines to be as new as possible, essentially rebuilds. They are games that are special to me and will be long term parts of my collection, so I was willing to invest in them.

All that said, let’s get into it! Here are some pics of HS as I received it:

IMG_0932 (resized).JPGIMG_0937 (resized).JPGIMG_0935 (resized).JPGIMG_0934 (resized).JPGIMG_0933 (resized).JPGIMG_0936 (resized).JPG
#2 59 days ago

The game had basic cheap led’s installed, and I decided to stick with led’s. My decision on that was made after I saw how many of the plastics were burned/warped by years of heat from standard bulbs.

The displays had burnt out segments and generally looked old and worn out, so I replaced them with a red/blue X-Pin led display set.

IMG_5395 (resized).JPG
#3 59 days ago

Soon after I bought it, I started having problems with the slings and pop bumpers blowing fuses. It was tracked down to issues on the terribly hacked power supply board as well as issues on the MPU. The power board was replaced with a new X-Pin power board by the shop I bought it from as a warranty repair.

For some reason the repair guy directly soldered the wires to 3J10. I'm guessing the IDC was toast and he didn't have a new connector.

IMG_3643 (resized).JPGIMG_3665 (resized).JPGIMG_5634 (resized).JPG
#4 59 days ago

HS is one of my favs. As soon as a really nice one pops up I will be back in the club.

#5 59 days ago

One of the first things I knew that I wanted to change was the old-school revolving light on top with more modern led police lights. I realize that this is a radical change from original and that not everyone will like it. I toyed with different designs, first with some outward facing red/blue dash lights.

IMG_3194 (resized).JPG

I didn’t like it and came up with a system of a large red/blue forward-facing led lightbar on top and 3 smaller bars under the sides and front of the game.

IMG_3860 (resized).JPG

This design was scrapped during final assembly because the lights underneath required drilling the cab and also interfered with my lift cart. You’ll see the final design later in the thread.

The lights are connected into the relay wiring for the old revolving light so they activate whenever the old light would (chase sequence, extra ball, attract mode, etc). They are powered by an auxiliary power supply. I think it definitely adds a more immersive experience to the chase sequence and gives the game a more modern look than the old light.

#6 59 days ago

Staying with the red/blue scheme, I tried a mix of red and blue leds for the GI. Yeah... no. This ended up not only making the playfield very dark, but it also made the game look like Pinbot. I later replaced all of them with a more traditional look.

Probably belongs in the “GI fails” thread ha ha!

IMG_3865 (resized).JPGIMG_3866 (resized).JPG
#7 59 days ago

I continued to have issues with music and various electrical issues that I traced to the MPU. I know that original boards are very repairable and in most cases, very reliable. That being said, for me personally I wanted new. The tough part was finding good quality repro boards that meet or exceed the quality of the originals.

I read about the many issues with Rottendog boards, so I knew that I wasn’t interested in that brand. I then discovered Kohault (Pinball PCB). I found nothing but positive reviews and decided to try them. I replaced the MPU, sound board and flipper power board with Pinball PCB boards. I eventually also replaced the power supply to complete a matching set of boards. I have been extremely impressed with these boards. They have a very high quality feel to them and use all modern components. Since I installed them, I have never encountered another board issue. The company went out of business for a while, but they are back now.

http://pinballpcb.com

IMG_3854 (resized).JPG
#8 59 days ago

My next goal was to improve the playfield. The pf wasn’t horrible for its’ age, but I wanted one that looked new. Restoration was not going to be an option as I soon discovered that many restorers will not accept system 11 pf’s other than basic touch ups. I was told that it is due to something in the paint that reacts to clearcoat, causing ghosting and other issues. I kept the machine in this state for about a year while I searched for a new playfield. CPR repros were extremely hard to find at the time.

I became very discouraged during the search and almost gave up and sold the machine. Then out of the blue, I got a response to my wanted ad in 2017. While attending Chicago Expo 2017 I drove to Indiana and bought one with a complete plastics set at a very fair price from a great guy, Paulb

I read that the clear on CPR pf’s is not especially durable, so I sent the pf to HSA Pinball in Arkansas for a better clear coat job. Luckily, I was able to get it in before their retirement cutoff. The pf came back and looked fantastic, like a sheet of glass! They also drilled out holes on the top side and cleaned some of the clear out of the rollovers.

http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa030318cprhs.html

Pic24 (resized).jpgPic25 (resized).jpgPic26 (resized).jpgPic27 (resized).jpgPic28 (resized).jpg
#9 59 days ago

While waiting on the pf, I disassembled the machine and began to work on cleaning and assessing the work that needed to be done.

IMG_3698 (resized).JPGIMG_5304 (resized).JPGIMG_3778 (resized).JPGIMG_5690 (resized).JPG
#10 59 days ago

First was the lighting board behind the backglass. It was very dirty and had the usual marker writing. All hardware was cleaned in an ultrasonic and tumbled with Flitz or Nu-Finish and walnut shells. I removed all of the lamp sockets and ground braid and then sanded down the board on both sides. I cleaned and re-molexed the wire harness.

IMG_5394 (resized).JPGIMG_5397 (resized).JPG
#11 59 days ago

Next the board was re-painted on the front and also clear coated on both sides. I then installed new, thicker ground braid and new lamp sockets.

IMG_5885 (resized).JPGIMG_6305 (resized).JPGIMG_6310 (resized).JPGIMG_6306 (resized).JPGIMG_6309 (resized).JPG
#12 58 days ago

You may notice in the above pic that the flasher resistor boards are different. When reattaching the wire harness, I was unhappy with the existing ones as they were somewhat toasted. Since I had changed over to led flashers previously, I had already removed the warming resistors from the circuit. I replaced the old boards with a more durable solution. I also used these for the resistor boards on the pf.

IMG_5438 (resized).JPG
#13 58 days ago

I then moved on to the backbox. I disconnected the wire harnesses and scrubbed them with purple power, then rinsed them. I followed with an ultrasonic bath in Simple Green. Since I had removed most of the old zip ties to make cleaning easier anyway, I replaced all of them with new ones.

IMG_6558 (resized).JPG
#14 58 days ago

I then re-molexed all of the IDC’s with trifurcon pins and .156 housings. It was super time consuming, but I felt that it was worth it in the long run, especially since the boards are new and some of the connectors were yellowed and cracking. A couple were pretty much burnt.

IMG_5595 (resized).JPG

To ensure that I didn’t make any mistakes, I photographed each connector and labeled them.

IMG_5771 (resized).JPG
IMG_5831 (resized).JPG
IMG_5832 (resized).JPG

Another very tedious part was re-pinning the .062 molex connectors that allow the pf to disconnect from the head. That monster 36-pin connector was especially awful!

#15 58 days ago

By far the worst part of re-pinning the connectors is dealing with looping wires. While this is simple with IDC’s, it’s more challenging with .156 housings. I used the method of crimping the two wires together with one pin. Not ideal, but I felt it was the best of the few choices.

IMG_7424 (resized).jpgIMG_7425 (resized).jpg
#16 58 days ago

I then tackled the metal backbox board that holds the circuit boards. Most of the labels on it were discolored and/or torn. I scraped them off and cleaned off the years of dirt. It was then sanded down, polished, painted (front side only due to ground connectivity) and clearcoated.

I reattached the boards and printed new decals. They are exact replicas of the original decals, courtesy of another great Pinside guy, Inkochnito.

IMG_5705 (resized).JPGIMG_5923 (resized).JPGIMG_6016 (resized).JPGIMG_1083 (resized).JPG
#17 58 days ago

I also purchased one of the outstanding bridge boards that Inkochnito makes. His board provides new bridge rectifiers, eliminates the giant capacitor (30+ years old) and most importantly, adds fusing before the bridge rectifiers that Williams did not add until later games. All this in one simple, inexpensive board makes it a no-brainer.

IMG_6789 (resized).JPG
#18 58 days ago

The transformer needed some attention. It was sanded down and repainted. The wires were cleaned, re-pinned and new connectors attached.

(I later replaced those yellowed screw insulators)

https://www.pinballlife.com/ballywilliams-transformer-screw-insulator.html?Category_Code=

IMG_5273 (resized).JPGIMG_6020 (resized).JPG
#19 58 days ago

I wanted the game to have a cool shooter rod. I got a blank shooter rod and a Hurst mustang shift knob. I epoxied them together and installed it.

IMG_6565 (resized).JPG
#20 58 days ago

My next task was replacing the coin door. The old coin door was nasty with all the typical things seen on an old coin door- beer/soda residue, rust and various other crud. It was also apparent that the door was half-ass painted at some point. After toying with the idea of restoration, I decided that I was going to instead replace it with a modern coin door. After quite a bit of searching, I located and purchased one.

IMG_6330 (resized).JPGIMG_6333 (resized).JPGIMG_6334 (resized).JPGIMG_6335 (resized).JPGIMG_6336 (resized).JPGIMG_6337 (resized).JPGIMG_6367 (resized).JPG
#21 58 days ago

I considered removing and re-using the wire harness from the old door, but decided that since I would have to do a bunch of soldering anyway, and wanted to move components around a bit, that I would build an entirely new door harness.

I also did some research on Pinside and located replacement diagnostic menu button switches and caps.

IMG_6612 (resized).JPGIMG_6641 (resized).JPGIMG_6610 (resized).JPGIMG_6645 (resized).JPG

IMG_6642 (resized).JPG
#22 58 days ago

I figured building a new cabinet wire harness would again look better and give more flexibility to move components. I wouldn’t ever want to rebuild the monster playfield or backbox harnesses, but the cabinet harness is fairly small and not very complex.

One thing I was determined to move was the volume pot. I always hated having to bend down and stick my arm into the cabinet to adjust the volume. I guess in an arcade it didn’t matter since the volume always stayed the same. I bought a new pot, and using the old bracket, I attached it to the coin door.

IMG_6655 (resized).JPGIMG_6653 (resized).JPG
#23 58 days ago

Next was the power supply box and wiring. I got a new EMI filter, new mov varistor (the round disc that looks like a capacitor- glad I researched that!), new 110 cord, new fuse holder and a new service outlet. I also pulled wiring to reach the auxiliary power supply that runs the police lights and stadium lighting. Lastly, I bought a new rocker switch to replace the old metal toggle switch.

I built the new one up in a spare Stern power box I had so I could keep the old one intact for reference.

IMG_6737 (resized).JPGIMG_6780 (resized).JPG
#24 58 days ago

It was time for testing. I double checked all of my connector wire colors and tested continuity. I was nervous due to the changes I had made. I flipped the switch and, fortunately, the game played perfectly!

Next came the part that I was excited about and dreading at the same time- the playfield swap. This is a very intimidating task, but I felt that with some patience and determination it was nothing that I couldn’t accomplish. I believe that the key to it is the same as everything else that I had done in the restoration up to this point- slow, methodical, well documented/photographed progress. One thing I’ve learned about pinball repair/restoration is that even the smallest mistake can cause serious damage and can be very difficult to trace. With that in mind, I began the swap.

I figured that the best way for me to do the swap was to have the pf’s in rotisseries side by side. I built a pipe rotisserie using the excellent instructions that vid1900 put in his thread. Buying all the parts probably took longer than building it...

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-quick-and-dirty-rotisserie-guide

IMG_7708 (resized).JPG
#25 58 days ago

I also considered that it would help to have a table surface immediately accessible. I figured that it would be more convenient as a place to put tools, parts, etc. than walking back and forth to my workbench. It would also eliminate the temptation to lay parts or tools on the new pf. The problem was that I wouldn’t have room for 2 rotisseries and a table. I therefore created the Costco table rotisserie!

The nice thing about this table is that it can be raised and lowered to a few different settings. One side can even be dropped down lower than the other to simulate the angle of the pf being in the cab.

IMG_7439 (resized).JPG
#26 58 days ago

I disconnected and pulled the old pf. I removed the backboard, but when I went to place it in the rotisserie I discovered that a lot more parts would need to come off. Starting with the ramp diverter assembly, I removed parts at the top and bottom of the pf until it seated correctly into the rotisserie. I then took extensive pictures and video of both sides of the pf.

If anyone doing a swap or repair needs a pic of something feel free to send a pm, I probably have it.
IMG_6796 (resized).JPGIMG_6797 (resized).JPGIMG_6805 (resized).JPGIMG_6839 (resized).JPGIMG_7027 (resized).JPGIMG_7028 (resized).JPGIMG_7383 (resized).JPG

IMG_7567 (resized).JPG
#27 58 days ago

I noticed that several CPR pf owners noted that they put a coat of varathane on the back of the pf to make cleaning coil dust and dirt easier. After checking with my clearcoat guy, I went ahead and did it.

Plastics and wire guides were removed from the old pf. I removed a bunch of other metal parts for ultrasonic and tumbling. I also took more pictures to remember placement of these items.

It was now time to begin work on the cpr. I decided that I would start with items that would require a lot of hammering such as the tee nuts and wire guides. At first, I planned to use the method suggested on several threads which is drawing the tee nuts in with a bolt that goes through a small washer and a larger washer covered with felt (example below). It was mentioned that this is a safer method to avoid hammering and possibly cracking the clearcoat.

T Nut Tool (resized).jpg

When I tried this, however, the middle of the nut pulled into the hole, but the teeth would not dig in to the wood, deforming the tee nut and leaving a gap. I tried different ways, tapping it lightly with a hammer and then trying to draw it in, but I couldn’t get the teeth to dig in. Finally, I decided to just revert to the old fashioned way and hammer them in. I was really scared of cracking the clearcoat so I used a rubber mallet and took my time.

Fortunately, I didn’t have any issues. I have since learned from the High_End_Pins thread that it helps to drill small pilot holes for the teeth to dig into before drawing them in.

I was also lucky that all of the holes were the correct size for the tee nuts except one. I found the step drill bit recommended by HEP in his thread worked well to widen the hole.
IMG_7680 (resized).JPG

#28 58 days ago

Next was the wire ball guides. I’m not going to lie, this part sucks. Fortunately, all of the pre-drilled holes lined up correctly. The bad part is more pf hammering. The worse part is that this time you are hammering on the top side of the pf. There is very little room for error and all kinds of opportunity for highly visible damage to your beautiful new pf.

You’ll most likely need to slightly widen the holes at the top, but don’t go too large with the drill bit or you could end up with a loose fitting wire guide. I recommend taking this very slowly, and as HEP suggests, using one of the old pf wood side rails (if you’re replacing them) under the ball guide for uniform height and safety. In addition, I would recommend putting a thin piece of felt under the old wood rail to prevent scratches. When it was over I was really glad it was done!

IMG_7710 (resized).JPG
#29 58 days ago

Time to put the cpr pf on its' rotisserie.

IMG_7740 (resized).JPG

Next was the GI braid and lamp sockets. Like the braid in the backbox, I continued using the thicker, better quality tinned braid wire and brand new lamp sockets. The first thing I did was lay out all my lamps on the GI in their correct holes, using the old pf as my guide. I also discovered that several screw-down lamp sockets are connected to the braid. Using the old pf and other restorers’ pictures of the ground braid, I made a diagram in my notebook. I also noted and photographed each spot where the harness wires connect to the lamp sockets or ground braid. I decided to just leave the daisy chain wires on the old lamps and use new wire. Leaving the old lamps and ground braid in place tremendously helped since I had a reference to look at whenever needed.
IMG_7736 (resized).JPGIMG_7804 (resized).JPGIMG_7805 (resized).JPGIMG_7806 (resized).JPGIMG_7808 (resized).JPGIMG_7809 (resized).JPG

#30 58 days ago

I assembled all the parts necessary for brand new pop bumpers. These things take a beating, and I figured after 30+ years, pretty much all of the parts should be replaced. Building pops for the first time can certainly be scary due to all the parts above and below the pf that need to work together perfectly. My go-to was vid1900’s guide to rebuilding pop bumpers:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-rebuilding-pop-bumpers

Like Vid says, lively pop bumper action is critical for a good game. It’s especially important in HS as the pops are a focal point of the pf and get frequent action. The first thing I did was polish the pop bumper rods. As Vid also points out, new ones are rough and need to be polished to prevent damage to the ball. I started with a Scotchbrite pad, then buffed with green compound and a small buffer wheel pad bit in my drill. The drill didn’t work very well. I then tried with a $9 Harbor Freight air die. I found that works much better as the air die gets higher rpm’s than my drill. I also followed up with Mother’s aluminum polish.

New:
IMG_7782 (resized).JPG

Polished and ready to install:
IMG_7799 (resized).JPG

#31 58 days ago

I then decided to take on another part I had been dreading- pop bumper nails. My plan was to get all of the stressful stuff out of the way so I could focus on wiring and switches.

Pop bumper coil brackets are attached using special fasteners that look like a nail and a screw combined. These fasteners (I’ll call them nails since they are hammered in) are called “fin shank”, available from all usual sources. I did extensive research on installation as they require two tasks that are dangerous to the pf: countersinking on the pf surface and (ugggh) more hammering.

I had a new countersink drill bit, and it probably would have worked ok, but during my research, I saw that nerdygrrl recommended a specific drill bit and countersink in one. The 7/16 size was perfect for the nails, and the drill bit staying in the hole meant I never had to worry about the bit wandering and scratching the pf.

IMG_7848 (resized).JPG

I started by attaching the bit to a screwdriver handle and manually starting the countersink. I did this because I wanted the removal of the clear around the hole to be very slow to avoid cracking or halos. Once the countersink was nicely started I then switched over to my drill on the slowest setting. I worked by drilling a little, checking the fit with the top of the nail, drilling, checking, repeat. Once it got to the point where I felt that the nail head would be flush with the surface, I placed the nail in the hole and tapped with a dead blow hammer.

IMG_7832 (resized).JPGIMG_7835 (resized).JPGIMG_7836 (resized).JPGIMG_7841 (resized).JPGIMG_7842 (resized).JPGIMG_7846 (resized).JPGIMG_7849 (resized).JPGIMG_7850 (resized).JPG

When the nail was firmly in place and straight, I hammered it until it was halfway through the pf. I then switched over to using the end of a block of wood on top of the nail to give me a larger hammering surface. I used this until the nail head was about a 1/4” or so above the surface. I then used a junk magnetic drill bit holder centered on the nail head to drive it into final position. This whole process was very tedious, but in the end everything worked out fine.

Next was fitting the lower plastic body of the pop bumpers. The holes were just a little too small. As suggested by HEP, I used a rasp drill bit to widen the holes, test fitting with the plastic until they fit just right.

IMG_7853 (resized).JPG

I then installed the ground braid for the pop bumpers. This was the last of the ground braid to do on the pf. I then soldered the lamps that I had installed so far along the braids.

#32 57 days ago

Just checking if there's any interest in continuing this thread?

#33 57 days ago

don't know about anybody else, but i always like restore threads

#34 57 days ago

Nice work. Always interesting to see these threads.

#35 57 days ago

Cool thread with good info, keep going.

#36 57 days ago

Ok cool, just wanted to make sure I wasn't here by myself

#37 57 days ago

The spinners needed some attention. They were pretty beat up and dirty after many years of ball hits. The paint came off pretty easily after the ultrasonic. After tumbling them, I primed, painted, cleared and re-labeled them. As mentioned in other threads, John Deere green spray paint is a perfect match to the original color.

IMG_7668 (resized).JPGIMG_7670 (resized).JPGIMG_7686 (resized).JPG
#38 57 days ago

Next was installation of the escape hole plastic shield. As noted by HEP, exact positioning is important as bad alignment can cause the ball to eject at an improper angle. Two of the dimples were actually correct. I used a clear plastic shield since I’m adding a lamp underneath.

IMG_8002 (resized).JPG

#39 57 days ago

As this was my first time drilling a new hole that didn’t go all the way through the pf, it was time to break out my drill bit stop. I wasn’t comfortable with using electrical tape as a drill stop, wanting something a little more secure.

I got this for about $10 from Amazon. It comes in a package of 2, one for small bits and one for large bits. It’s easy to adjust and locks on tightly to the bit. I set it by placing the screw into whatever pf object I‘m working on and hold it along the edge of the pf to see how deep the screw will go (always watching for specially routed areas that are not as thick as the rest of the pf!). I then set the drill bit to almost the depth of the screw.

amazon.com link »

IMG_7987 (resized).JPG
#40 57 days ago

Next was one of the typical mods to HS that I wanted, and is easily reversible if I change my mind- lighting for the rollovers and escape hole. The only issue was positioning the lamp sockets. I spent a lot of time going back and forth between my old pf and the new one deciding where I wanted to place them. Since this is not factory, I wanted to be extremely careful to avoid any potential future issues, electrical or mechanical, that the additional lamps could cause. Having the old pf with wiring and mechs present helped tremendously.

Once I settled on locations, I decided to tie all 3 together in one chain that connect to the ground braid for power. For additional safety, I also added short protection over the connectors on the lamp sockets and over any nearby ground braid wires (extra insulation was added to the upper right rollover lamp after picture was taken).

If I had to do it over, plastic wedge-style flat lamp sockets would have been a better option, but these worked out ok.

IMG_8003 (resized).JPGIMG_8004 (resized).JPG
#41 57 days ago

I then tested the ground braid for continuity and also tested it with a 12v/1A power supply and alligator clips. To me, this is definitely worth the brief time it took. I discovered a short that would have been difficult to detect with the wire harnesses in the way. I had failed to trim the small end off of a piece of the ground braid after I stapled it. The end of the braid was just long enough to make contact with the bottom of the same lamp socket, resulting in a short. My power supply kept cutting off, indicating a short. At first I thought my power supply was having issues, but after examining the braid, I discovered and corrected the short.

I forgot to take a before pic, this pic is after I cut it off.

IMG_7999 (resized).JPGIMG_7997 (resized).JPGIMG_8001 (resized).JPG
#42 57 days ago

Next I connected the pop bumper lamp leads to the ground braid on the bottom, which required building the pop bumpers on the top side. Again using Vid’s pop bumper guide, I built the pops above the field. I decided to go with a red, yellow and green traffic light theme for the pops, complete with RYG skirts and pop bodies. To complete the look, I am using RYG BriteMod pop bumper led discs that flash when the bumper is activated. I initially installed clear caps, but I didn’t like them, as they leave the led discs too visible. I later swapped them out to transparent RYG caps.

IMG_8016 (resized).JPGIMG_8018 (resized).JPGIMG_8021 (resized).JPG

FYI- Teal transparent pop bumper caps are readily available, but true green ones (03-8254-2) are very difficult to find. The one I now have installed came all the way from Germany!

At the factory, pop bumper lamp leads were connected to the ground braid under the pf with staples. While they may be more secure, it's also a big hassle if you want to change a cracked skirt, etc. mof pointed out in his HS thread the “Ed Chueng method” of attaching the leads using a screw and a washer. This still keeps the leads securely connected to the braid while providing a convenient way to disconnect and pull them from the pf.

IMG_8022 (resized).JPG
IMG_8023 (resized).JPG

Some prefer pop bumper lamp sockets with normal wires, but I prefer the lamps with stiff leads. The catch is that the leads can be somewhat weak. I followed HEP's recommendation of adding a little solder near the top of the lamp on both sides to reinforce the leads.

IMG_8015 (resized).JPG

#43 57 days ago

I now wanted to make some progress on separating the harnesses from the old pf. First was coils.

I’m sure many will differ with my opinion on this, but I felt that if I’m rebuilding the game, all of the coils should be replaced with new. I get it- I could have cleaned the old coils in the ultrasonic, re-wrapped them, replaced the sleeves and they probably all would have worked fine. Still, to me they are critical parts that are most likely 30+ years old. Beyond that, most of the coils appear original, but some were clearly replaced. One had a bottom plastic base that had cracked and the lug was only hanging on by a wire strand from the coil.

IMG_8052 (resized).JPG

Since I’m replacing all of the coils anyway, I decided to molex all of them. I weighed the argument of creating an extra failure point vs. the benefits of serviceability and significantly reducing the weight of the harness. I figured an additional benefit would be that I could increase the length of the leads from the coils to the harness. In some cases the wiring was stretched fairly tight by either the factory or operators making repairs. After cutting the leads I molexed, documented, zip tie labeled and photographed all of the harness coil connectors.

C65 (resized).JPGC66 (resized).JPG

I organized all of the new coils into a divided container and cut the proper lengths of new wires for each of them. I then crimped the molex pins on, soldered the wires to the coils and placed the molex connectors on them. It took longer to do the flippers. The coils are hard wired to their switches and there is also a capacitor that I attached to upgrade the flippers to the newer WPC style. Coils are now ready for placement.

IMG_9486 (resized).JPG

#44 57 days ago

Next was GI power wires from the harness. I felt the easiest way with these was to lift the staples, but not cut the wires completely away from the ground braid. I just cut a small portion of the braid so the wires could remain soldered together and I could zip tie label them. After labeling, each lamp is photographed from different angles.

G1-G2 (resized).JPGG11-G12-2 (resized).JPGG23 (resized).JPGG3-G4 (resized).JPGG5-G6 (resized).JPGG8 (resized).JPG

I then did the controlled lamps, same procedure. To aid in knowing which lamp goes in which hole, I printed out a picture I had taken of the bottom of the pf before I started the swap and marked the zip label numbers on it.

CL7 (resized).JPGCL37-2 (resized).JPGIMG_7426 (resized).jpg

#45 57 days ago

I've also added Molex connectors to some coils. I don't worry at all that they will become failure points, though I know others don't like the idea.

#46 57 days ago
Quoted from RonSwanson:

I've also added Molex connectors to some coils. I don't worry at all that they will become failure points, though I know others don't like the idea.

Yeah I like it. It really makes things so much easier when you need to do maintenance or make adjustments and I think the chance of failure is pretty low.

#47 57 days ago

Big parts are in the tumbler for a few days in batches, including the ball trough assembly and all of the rollover brackets. I’ll be replacing all of the micros.

Now it’s time to start removing switches. As I was removing switches, I came up with an easy way to keep track of all the screws. I simply put the screws back in their same holes on the old pf after I removed the switches. The screws aren’t very complicated. Most assemblies use #6-1/2”, lamps use #6-3/8” and the resistor boards with standoffs use #6-1”. The most important thing is to double check the thickness of the pf in the area where you are about to drill. There are some areas (kickback and ramp entrance) where the pf is reduced from the full thickness to accommodate the assemblies.

IMG_8861 (resized).JPGIMG_8867 (resized).JPGIMG_8902 (resized).JPG
#48 57 days ago

Going back up top side to clear out the wood rails and metal ball guide rails. I wanted to get the wood rails attached before I placed more assemblies and coils to help avoid any pf sagging. Some of the guide rails are nailed to the wood rails with the same small nails used for the side rails on the cabinet. They are also secured to the pf using 1/2” truss head screws. The original wood rails are cheap wood with laminate covering that is peeling. I knew that I wanted to replace them but I was uncertain whether I wanted to go with stained oak to maintain the original look or if I wanted to paint the rails black. I decided to go with the original look. I measured all of the rails and after a trip to Lowe’s, I had the necessary material.

Fortunately, I have a friend with a whole Rockler store in his garage. He was able to cut these with his eyes closed. I then edged and sanded them down. I matched each of them against the originals to verify that size was exact. I marked the screw holes by lining them up on the pf with the screws protruding through the pf to verify hole location before pre-drilling them. I took an original rail to Lowe’s to match the stain of the veneer as closely as possible. I found Minwax Golden Oak to be the closest. I think they came out really nice and are much more solid than the originals.

IMG_8747 (resized).JPG
#49 57 days ago

Prior to installing the guide rails, I needed to polish all of them. I went back and forth deciding whether to take them to a mirror finish (like the pop bumper rings) or the OEM brushed look. After reading HEP’s opinion, I decided to go with brushed. Mirrored rails are sexy, but I agree with HEP that they will make ball trails stand out more. They will also be much easier to maintain.

This definitely sucks. It’s very time consuming and messy. My method was using two different 3M drill sanding wheels (coarse and fine), high-grit water sanding and final buffing with a HF buffer wheel and metal polish.

The ball guides are set in place on the pf and the nail holes are marked on the new wood rails. The ball guides are then nailed to the wood rails and set in place.

IMG_8744 (resized).JPGIMG_8745 (resized).JPG
#50 57 days ago

I then cleared all of the remaining coil assemblies from the old pf as well as any remaining posts and various other screws and plates. I made sure to individually photograph each assembly, screw and post that I removed in order to ensure that I knew it’s proper location on the new pf.

I collected all of these parts in a box for washing, ultrasonic and tumbling. I wash and wipe off the parts before the ultrasonic to get the first layer of grime off. When I have a large amount of parts coming out of the ultrasonic, I organize them on a paper towel so I can take a pic. This helps me to make sure that I get everything out of the tumbler. Some of the parts are very small and can get easily get left behind.

IMG_9005 (resized).JPGIMG_9009 (resized).JPGIMG_9141 (resized).JPG
There are 209 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 5.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside