How do you clean the wires?


By mark532011

1 month ago


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  • Latest reply 1 month ago by dasvis
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#1 56 days ago

I've got my bingo I am starting work on. One of the things I would like to do is clean the wires, at least a little. On a "regular" pin I would take the wiring harness into the dishwasher. But I don't see wholesale unsoldering wires with the bingo, so I thought I could wipe them down a little while in the unit.

What do people use? baby wipes or something that works better, like Dawn on a towel or something?

IMG_2268 (resized).JPG

#2 56 days ago

I just watched a YT video how to on this a while back.
Search YT. You should be able to find it.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://ChrisHiblerPinball.com/contact
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

#3 56 days ago

Baby wipes should clean them up pretty well.

#4 56 days ago

I posted this once before and got scoffed at by the purist, but this works great for me on all my games.
I take a hand towel and place it under the wires. Then just spray the hell out of them with some Mean Green.
The majority of the dirt goes straight into the towel and what does not can be easily wiped off with the same towel.
But for some it's the dishwasher or nothing.

#5 56 days ago

Is this the one you were thinking of Chris? I don't recommend this, but it is fun to watch. To each his own!
» YouTube video

#6 55 days ago

Seen this vid awhile ago, maybe he can use some magic spray on he's toe nails

#7 55 days ago
Quoted from DennisDodel:

Is this the one you were thinking of Chris? I don't recommend this, but it is fun to watch. To each his own!
» YouTube video

Gives me chills every time I see it.

#8 55 days ago

Sure it came clean but did it play without electrical gremlins?
-Mike

#9 55 days ago

Yep. That was the one I saw.
The challenge is keeping the wire colors visible. Plastic wires can be cleaned with just about anything. I'd worry about bleaching out the wire colors. Of course, if the wire colors couldn't be discerned in the first place, nothing lost.

Not a Bingo, but Gottlieb red faded quite a bit.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://ChrisHiblerPinball.com/contact/
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

#10 55 days ago

First of all, nothing you can do will restore the colors to bright "new" appearance and you'll have to live with it to some extent. I've found Mean Green isn't aggressive enough to do a good job. It doesn't seem strong enough to get the old dirt off and when you spray it on it just runs off right away. I've used Zep "Heavy Duty Foaming Degreaser" from Home Depot and it works pretty well. It will cling to the surface, penetrate and then drip off after some time. Then wipe down with a paper towel with Mean Green to get residuals.

#11 55 days ago

I don't know about the rest of you, but lately I've been seeing quite a few bingos with crumbling cloth wire. Just turning to dust when touched. Granted, some of these had been in damp basements, but some had not. Here's some info. I found on-line:

http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=108941

#12 55 days ago
Quoted from DennisDodel:

lately I've been seeing quite a few bingos with crumbling cloth wire. Just turning to dust when touched

Yes, particularly older (50s) games. Like this one! Take a look at the replay register wires to the left in that photo. They look like fall-apart candidates to me.

In my opinion (for whatever that's worth) - don't scrub the harness. It's not going to make any situation like that better. I know, I know - there's dirt there.

@okorange, do you scrub all of your harnesses?

@dennisdodel how about you?

#13 55 days ago

No way. I'm a player. Leave well enough alone.

#14 55 days ago

No scrubbing. You'll never get these wires as new so if you scrub you'll never be *done*. Just use a good cleaning agent and towel off. In this case my OCD doesn't overcome my common sense. Unusual!

#15 55 days ago

Cool. I don't clean the wires unless there's a darn good reason to do so. Knowing the wire color usually isn't a good enough reason as you can scrape the crud off with a thumbnail or whatever if it's bad (those ones don't look bad in the photo, compared to some...). Generally, with enough eyeballing, you can tell what color you're looking at.

Any complete or jarring movement of the harness could make the wires fall apart or create shorts where none exist. All depends on the condition of the wires. I would never take the harness out unless I was rewiring the whole game, and even then, probably not. Oh wait, I did that! I only remade the harness in the head because I was not using any of the mechanical head units in my game. I didn't rewire anything in the cab, but that came back to bite me a couple of times.

#16 55 days ago

Wow, quite a few replies and many different answers. I'm not sure I am ready to hose down my pin like the video does. But I think I will try something non-abrasive like some scrubbing bubbles and gently whisk off with a delicate brush. I sure don't want to cause any more problems!

#17 55 days ago
Quoted from Arcade:

I posted this once before and got scoffed at by the purist, but this works great for me on all my games.
I take a hand towel and place it under the wires. Then just spray the hell out of them with some Mean Green.
The majority of the dirt goes straight into the towel and what does not can be easily wiped off with the same towel.
But for some it's the dishwasher or nothing.

This is what I do, but I take it a step further. I remove the zip ties, clean wires and put new zip ties back on. I've done many full restores like this. I will never put anything in a dishwasher. That just sounds silly to me, regardless who has done it. Not saying it's wrong, just saying it's not my style.

#18 55 days ago

So after seeing this I was inspired to try making my own "magic spray" using the mech board from the El DohNaDo project I recently acquired. Practically nothing to lose there, so I considered it an experiment.

Basically I sprayed LA Totally Awesome cleaner, with comparative spritz or two of Simple Green. That seemed OK, but Purple Power really seemed more effective at knocking off the worst of the scuzz. I used an old toothbrush to scrub the relay switches, and a water spray bottle to rinse everything. I didn't scrub the wires.

I left everything attached to the board because the iffy condition of this panel had me worried about breaking or creating flaky connections. If the board goes bad, eh... it's just plywood and I'll deal with the gamble.

I used my air compressor to knock off the excess water and aid the drying process. I discovered that saturated fish paper in the score motor switch stacks was pretty fragile, so use caution.

I didn't plan to do this scientifically and only had a few moments to rush into it, so unfortunately I didn't take a "before" picture to really focus on just how nasty this board truly was.... trust me when I say everything had a sepia tone and felt rough and nasty to the touch.

Best I can do is find a "decent" before photo, and stage a retake with the after board. The photos don't really do it justice: the colors pop, the metal is shiny, everything feels clean to the touch, and the switch leaves - which are not really visible in either photo - went from "nicotine" to "silver".

Before

After

Still a lot of work to do before this is ready to test in a game, but for a half-hour's worth of work, I'd do it again.

#19 55 days ago

mark would love to buy this from you but to far......do not wash or wet down copper it will turn green and your game will be worthless

#20 54 days ago

UNPLUG THE GAME. (Don't laugh, I have watched it happen)

"Dry sweep" everything with a nylon brush and a shop vac first before moving onto the next step.

Dependent on wire type and age, denatured alcohol and a terry cloth rag, use q tips for hard to reach spots. Don't saturate anything, as this will make it take longer to evaporate. Again, make sure you are NOT cleaning the game with power plugged in, a game that is off does not count, unless you want an very exciting weekend.

If it looks like mudslide happened in the lower cabinet, remove the entire panel by unbolting it from the cabinet, take it out, remove the motor assemblies, and transformer, and degrease the whole thing, then Dawn soap everything again with a hose. Copper can be washed effectively with this method. Make sure there is no flammable residues!

#21 54 days ago
Quoted from BingoButch:

.do not wash or wet down copper it will turn green and your game will be worthless

Totally disagree. My experience is the exact opposite of this.

#22 54 days ago

It really depends on how bad it is and what your upside is. For some games, I just brush off the dirt with a dry toothbrush and a vacuum. Next step is an oxidized carpet cleaner - these are made for fabric after all. I blow off with air when I go that route. The nuclear option is shown here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/slick-chick-relay-board-progress-need-label-font

I threw the whole mess into a washing machine.

#23 53 days ago

Related question: Anyone got a good technique to clean the bottom-board without removing everything from it? Or is taking all of the hardware off the board the only way to do it. I'm restoring another Quick Draw and have the bottom-board out of the cabinet now. Would love to give the wood a good cleaning. Just curious what techniques you use.

#24 53 days ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Related question: Anyone got a good technique to clean the bottom-board without removing everything from it? Or is taking all of the hardware off the board the only way to do it. I'm restoring another Quick Draw and have the bottom-board out of the cabinet now. Would love to give the wood a good cleaning. Just curious what techniques you use.

Mark, to do it right, you are going to need to pull everything off of the board. It's just time consuming, not too difficult. Sand the board & shoot it with some clear. Some would but the entire wiring assembly in the dishwasher

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