(Topic ID: 299806)

If Florida Were a Pinball Machine… (Spring Break Restore)

By bigguybbr

12 days ago


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  • 62 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by bigguybbr
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 12 days ago

I found a new project to work on to keep me busy for a month or two. This is my first ebay pinball purchase as well as my first Gottlieb. The price was reasonable, and it included free shipping, so I bit. I've played this on virtual pinball a number of times, but have never seen one out in the wild before. From the listing pictures it looked to be in pretty decent shape.

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#2 12 days ago

What’s the condition of the ramp? This Pinsider makes this repro ramp. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ramp-o-matic-ramp-thread

#3 12 days ago

On Thursday my new project was delivered care of Kevin Coughlin aka CaptNRetro. Now that it is where it belongs (Florida), I'm hoping to add some shine back to this super 80's machine. I know this art package has a lot of haters out there, but I think it's so retro that it's fun.

This machine got stored somewhere wet in its lifetime. There is a fair amount of rust and oxidation on parts, and some swelling of the MDF parts of the cabinet that I will need to come up with some strategies to repair. There is also the usual wear and tear that needs to be addressed.

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#4 12 days ago
Quoted from bluespin:

What’s the condition of the ramp? This Pinsider makes this repro ramp. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ramp-o-matic-ramp-thread

Already ordered a new one in purple from ramp-o-matic. The clear one on there is in pretty decent shape, and cleaned up nice in the ultrasonic cleaner.

#5 12 days ago

You do a good job on your restores. Looking forward to seeing how nice it'll end up

#6 12 days ago

I remember that game. Played it in Tallahassee 1987. Woke up with a raging hangover and that playfield on my mind. Never thought I’d see it again.

#7 12 days ago

First job I tackled is an easy one. The fluorescent bulb in the back box was dead. I decided to update this to use an LED tube. I had read in previous posts that the ballast can cause some electrical noise that can be problematic.

To install, you simply cut out the old ballast and wire up the 120V AC to the existing sockets. When connecting, power goes to one socket, and neutral goes to the other. On each of them, you need to create a jumper between the 2 sets of contacts.

All told this is maybe a 10 minute job.

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This is what I am talking about when I say make a jumper. You can see I have a wire tying the two terminals together.
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#8 12 days ago

Next order of business is tracking down a light issue. The right in lane release ball light (L28) stays on all the time, and in attract mode, you can see it slightly blinking.
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So starting off I gave the socket a cursory check and didn't see any issue with that. I followed the wire back to the driver board and checked the edge connector and gave it a quick burnish with a fiberglass eraser. Everything looked good, but the issue persisted. I grabbed the schematics and looked up what is driving L28.
mps-u45 (resized).jpg

Looking at it, I had a hunch the transistor wasn't working fully. It sort of blinks in attract mode, which which would seem like it's getting the signal to turn on and off, but the voltage isn't going low enough for the bulb to turn off. Testing out Q29 I was seeing .6 from the emitter to ground, so it would seem like it is bad. I ordered some replacements (CEN-U45 rather than MPS-U45) off Digi-Key (https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/central-semiconductor-corp/CEN-U45-PBFREE/4806928)
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Pinrepair.com has a great little blurb on testing the MPS-U45

MPS-U45 Transistor Test:
The MPS-U45 transistors test the same in circuit and out of circuit. Best to do this test with the driver board removed.

Using a DMM (Digital Multi-Meter), put the meter on the "Diode" setting.
On the COMPONENT side of the board, put the RED lead of the DMM on the middle trace (the base) of the transistor.
Put the black DMM lead on the left transistor lead. This should show about 1.3 (emitter - ground).
Put the black DMM lead on the right transistor lead. This should show about .7 (collector).
Anything within .1 of these values is good.
If getting zero or no reading for a test, that transistor is bad.
If a reading of .4 to .6 is seen, good chance that transistor is probably bad too.
If in doubt, compare the readings of the transistor in question to the other surrounding transistors of the same type. They should all read about the same value.

#9 12 days ago

I wasn't kidding. This is the most Florida machine out there.

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#10 12 days ago

Started tearing down the top side of the playfield to see what I'm dealing with. Lots of surface rust for sure. The chromed sheet metal ball guides are going to be a particular challenge. The plating is flaking off around where the rust has settled in.

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#11 12 days ago

I lucked out that the surface rust on the wire form came off easily. I shot some clear spray enamel on it to help further inhibit any new rust.

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#12 12 days ago

The pop bumper mylar had lifted off on its own, saving me the trouble. I still need to remove the mylar from in front of the sling, and from the upper playfield where the wire form drops the ball.

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#13 12 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

The pop bumper mylar had lifted off on its own, saving me the trouble. I still need to remove the mylar from in front of the sling, and from the upper playfield where the wire form drops the ball.
[quoted image]

#14 12 days ago
Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

You do a good job on your restores. Looking forward to seeing how nice it'll end up

Thanks! How is your Ali coming along?

#15 12 days ago
Quoted from Electrocute:

I remember that game. Played it in Tallahassee 1987. Woke up with a raging hangover and that playfield on my mind. Never thought I’d see it again.

Hope the old girl can live up to your memories when it's done.

#16 12 days ago

Pulling apart the pop bumper mechs so I can remove the the bumper bodies from the playfield. The coils were thoroughly filthy.

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#17 12 days ago

I really like how Gottlieb used a spring rather than a solid linkage on their ball gates to connect to the leaf switch. It makes them a lot easier to work on.

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#18 12 days ago

Last thing to remove are all the wire ball guides. I had to take a lot of pictures so I have some hope of remembering where they all go when I'm done. This also gives an idea of the general state of the playfield including:
1) Some minor planking
2) Lots of ball swirls
3) A patch in the yellow where the wood grain darkened to the point that it shows through. Possibly moisture damage.
4) Minor gouges from the sheet metal ball guides
5) Some more rust on the wire ball guides

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#19 12 days ago

Finished depopulating the playfield. Lots of grime to clean off, then it'll need some work with some rubbing alcohol and a magic eraser to try and remove some ball swirl and even out the tones especially around the pop bumpers and in the upper playfield where the roll overs are.

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#20 12 days ago

Here is the result after some cleaning, rubbing alcohol and a magic eraser. Not perfect but a definite improvement

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#21 12 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

Here is the result after some cleaning, rubbing alcohol and a magic eraser. Not perfect but a definite improvement
[quoted image]

Looks better already
Are you going to spray2k it?

#22 12 days ago

I spent a little time with photoshop to try to recreate the sticker of where a shooter gauge would normally be. The test print doesn't look too bad. Once I'm good with it, I'll print it onto a glossy sticker.

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#23 12 days ago

Did anyone notice that the guy looks like the six flags dancing grandpa is wearing a wig?
Capture (resized).PNG
Also why is he dancing at the top of a palm tree and giving an alligator a thumbs up? Cocaine made people do some crazy stuff in the 80's. It's obviously the Florida man thing to do.

#24 12 days ago
Quoted from topkat:

Looks better already
Are you going to spray2k it?

That's the plan. I wasn't sure how it was going to clean up so I was looking at new playfields for it. I think this is in decent enough shape to get away with just spraying clear rather than doing a full playfield swap.

#25 12 days ago

Have the ground mods been done in the lower cabinet? I remember that it fixed a bunch of issues on my old spring break.

#26 12 days ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

Have the ground mods been done in the lower cabinet? I remember that it fixed a bunch of issues on my old spring break.

It was, but I’m going to redo it to clean it up. The ring terminals used were too small and it looks like it could get a loose ground at any minute, which is what the mod is trying to avoid in the first place.

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#27 12 days ago

I’m sorting parts that have come out of the tumbler. I use crushed walnut shell from pet smart along with a little flitz to help shine it up.

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#28 12 days ago

Unfortunately some of the plating is gone. The guards on either side of the ramp have it flaking off. Some of the ball gates were also pitted and have some blemishes. I’ll have to try to work to hide them in less obvious places where possible.

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#29 12 days ago

I thought this thread was going to be about Hollywood Heat (aka Miami Vice).

#30 12 days ago

Now that everything is sorted, it’s time to reassemble and bag all the different mechs. This helps speed things up when repopulating the playfield later. The tumbler has them all looking pretty good. It’s amazing how much better they operate when clean.

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#31 12 days ago

New pop bumper bodies, skirts and caps. Spuds is looking much better now.
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I like to reassemble these ahead of time. I swear when it comes time to put them back on the playfield, I assemble them at least once with out the ring on and have to go back and start over. This should help.

#32 12 days ago

Does anyone happen to know if you can buy these little clips anywhere? I had a couple of broken ones.

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#33 12 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

Does anyone happen to know if you can buy these little clips anywhere? I had a couple of broken ones.
[quoted image]

Quoting BorgDog from his post here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/home-for-the-gottlieb-sys1-sys-80b-guys-yep-i-guess-it-a-club/page/94#post-6437137

Flat rail clip. pbresource has remade them on their signature parts page, scroll down till you see them http://www.pbresource.com/signatur.html.

#34 11 days ago
Quoted from finman48127:

Quoting BorgDog from his post here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/home-for-the-gottlieb-sys1-sys-80b-guys-yep-i-guess-it-a-club/page/94#post-6437137
Flat rail clip. pbresource has remade them on their signature parts page, scroll down till you see them http://www.pbresource.com/signatur.html.

That’s awesome! I’ll have to call Steve on Tuesday.

Too bad he doesn’t make full replacement for the ball guides

#35 11 days ago

Put the drop target mechs through the ultrasonic cleaner to brighten them up. Replaced the drop targets themselves with new ones and new decals from PBR. Also cleaned the contacts of the switches in some vinegar while I had it all apart.

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#36 11 days ago

Was able to buff this to a shine, but I hesitate to try to sand it smooth to get a mirror like finish. The plating is too thin on this stuff.

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#37 11 days ago
Quoted from kst8cat:

I thought this thread was going to be about Hollywood Heat (aka Miami Vice).

That’s a fun table too. I would have grabbed that if I could have found it.

#38 10 days ago

Playfield is out of the cabinet now. Removed the remaining Mylar from in front of the sling and from where the ball drops on the upper playfield. Used the freeze method and the Mylar came off with no paint loss. Then I used 90% isopropyl alcohol and flour in a slurry to scrub off the remaining adhesive with my finger tip. It all came up really nice and I was done in 15 minutes total time.

#39 10 days ago

First time leveling raised inserts. I followed the advice on here of using a deep C clamp and a hair dryer. It worked really easily, I was surprised. Now I just need to give them a little epoxy and they’re good.

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#40 10 days ago

Printed the sticker and shot some clear to lock it in.

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#41 10 days ago

Cleaned all the spider poop off the translite. I soaked it in a tub of warm water with some Palmolive dish soap, then gently scrubbed the backing to get off some of the yellowing with a magic eraser.

It's faded but in otherwise pretty good shape save for a crack in the middle. I need to find a good way to repair the crack, or just scan it to have it reprinted after some photoshop work. I'm not a fan of any of the alternate translites out there for this machine.

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#42 7 days ago

Filled in key lines with a paint pen and gave it the first light coats of 2 part automotive clear.

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#43 5 days ago

Transistors came in from DigiKey, so I swapped out the one that tested bad (Q29), and one where a bad repair was done, and the soldering pad was gone from the back of the board. I was able to leave it a little high and solder cleanly to the pads on top of the board to ensure a good connection.

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#44 5 days ago

More coats of 2 part clear

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#45 5 days ago

Looking good

#46 5 days ago

Getting there. I need to work on some photoshop solution to a problem I had filling depressions around the pops. When I dripped clear, I came back and hour later and found that it cracked and lifted the paint and made a real mess.

I have it back to being flat, but due to general wear in the area and the pattern (there is some light stippling with white dots), I wasn’t able to get a good paint match.

I’m planning on making some water slide decals to cover those problem areas and will lock them in with a couple more coats of clear.

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#47 4 days ago

Another day, another coat of clear. Also shot some clear on my old meteor playfield. I’m going to use that as a wall hanging at some point.

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#48 4 days ago

Great thread! Like seeing this back in Florida too!

#49 4 days ago

Spent a little time messing around in GIMP to make some zebra print transparent water slide decal patters for around the pops to hide the paint issue. I think the zebra print fits in well with the 80's theming, and honestly will be mostly covered up from view by those big old Gottlieb pop bumper bodies and all the surrounding plastics.

Spring Break playfield_0001 (resized).pngSpring Break playfield_0002 (resized).png

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#50 3 days ago

Sanded and decals applied. I tossed the old pop bumper bodies and skirts on to check to see if I like it before I clear over it.

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