(Topic ID: 117669)

Johnny Phantom's "The Addams Family" Restoration Adventures!

By JohnnyPhantom

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by JohnnyPhantom
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 4 years ago

Hey Everyone,
I got a TAF machine a few months back and have been loving it, it doesn't need a lot of work, but it needs some love here and there. So I decided to document my work and what I found and post it all under this forum topic for others to see how I do my fixes, get ideas, or even suggest better ways for what I'm doing.

Just a brief history of the machine so far (from what I remember).


When I first saw the machine, it powered on, it played, but had some lights that didn't work, sound issues, and other random glitches. Also the previous owner had replaced a few things trying to have the machine look like the Gold model as much as possible. Including the EPROM chips, pop bumpers, Things box, the legs, and the wire track. My dad and I loaded the machine in his truck and took it to my house. The bad part was it didn't fit in the door way, and around the corner up the stairs where it's new home would be. We took the machine to my dads garage, where I nervously (never owning/working on a pinball machine) took the head off the unit. This made the machine thinner and lighter. Took it back to my house, we got it in the house, but still not enough room to get it around the corner with the hand truck. So, we remove the hand truck from the equation, and my buddy and I lifted the machine by hand and force our bodies to muscle it up those stairs. Dad watched from afar with a soda in hand laughing and glad it wasn't him.

With the machine upstairs, we got it back on the legs and attached the head unit. My dad and my buddy left and called it a night, I stayed up trying to plug everything in correctly (luckily I took photos on my phone that helped) once all plugged back in. I held my breath and switched it on. No smoke, no pops, nothing but good signs of powered on and working! Now onto the journey of trails and repairs.


A few things I ordered in anticipation of this machine was the fuse kit for "The Power" (also from Pinball life" and I got a complete LED kit (normal brightness, as the rep told me Super Brights were to bright in his opinion) from pinballheaven.co.uk. the LED kit was a nice cheap kit, it didn't look bad, but there were some issues. one issue was a good amount of the play field LEDs would ghost (at the time of ordering I didn't know this was a thing or a issue) and the blinking LEDs for the back glass, would all blink on and off at the same time rather than random. I did not like this. I got the replacement blinking LEDs from cointaker.com and once they came in I installed them and they are incredible! one more thing the Pinball Heaven LEDs didn't include was a bulb for the "start button" no big deal, but would have been nice. I also ordered a used Chair cliffy protector off ebay for more than half off the cost of a new one, but did not need this since the machine already had all the cliffy protectors already installed (as well as a few other mods)


The machine powered on and worked, but there was a few things that needed some adjustments and fixes. I'm not sure what I have pictures taken of, but as I find them I'll add them.

- One issue was the back box did not light up at all -
I didn't notice this when I picked up the machine, it may or may not have then, but it didn't now. After some looking online and looking at the boards in the machine, it became clear that the problem was burnt connectors. I ordered replacement connectors from Pinballlife.com and the crimper tool from Amazon.com. I redid the wires and pin connectors, and while I had the board out, I reflowed all the connections on the board. The machine now powered on and lit up perfectly!

- Thing would lose the ball -
Every so randomly, when shooting the balls to thing locked for multi-ball, thing would take the ball, and then I would never see that ball again. The machine would go to search mode, I'd hear the plungers fire, but nothing would ever come. Id have to bump the machine on the right side with my hip to knock the ball free (where ever it was) and then the machine would continue with the game. Most times I'd get a TILT for this, so this had to be fixed. After looking under the play field, I noticed the ball was getting stuck in the metal box under Thing, it wasn't rolling to the next location to be fired to where it needed to be. The holes of the metal box wasn't lining up. I pushed on Things metal under box and felt it move a little. I then looked further around the box and saw then the box had been removed at some point and when reinstalled, it wasn't fastened all the way. I tightened the box screws and felt the box pull about a half in closer to the play field. Ever since, the issue has been resolved and the ball has reached its destination every time!

- Never Loose a Hi Score or Risk Battery Damage! -
One thing I had to get as soon as I saw it was the "anyPin NVRAM" battery replacer from lockwhenlit.com. This was a straight forward install, I de-soldered the current RAM chip, in it's placed installed the socket for the anyPin NVRAM chip, and plugged it in after setting the dip switches correctly. IT WORKS AWESOMELY!

- Loosing Sound -
Randomly when playing the game, I'd lose sound and music. The music would just cut off, and sound effects I know should play, would not. I removed the sound board from the machine and reflowed all the connections I could with my soldering iron. I also replaced the factory EPROM sockets with the newer and better contact making sockets, that the anyPin NVRAM chip shipped with. Doing this ensured a better connection with the sound chips. I also programmed new chips on my EPROM programmer as well, using the latest Gold ROM version for my machine. Only 1 issue came up, when I unsoldered one of the original chip sockets, I guess I didn't get a clean solder removal on one of the legs, and I ended up pulling a circuit trace. I was able to follow the missing trace and solder in a new wire to bridge the connection. With the board re-flowed, new chips, and new sockets. The game never had a audio hiccup again, in fact, I started hearing new voice work I never heard before!

- Coin Door Half Working -
One thing I discovered after turning off free play, is only the right coin slot would work, not the left. I opened the coin door and noticed that the mech for the left slot was missing! Luckily PinballLife.com sells a replacement mech for $9.95 and it worked great! even better then the original one in the machine. Next time I order from them I'm going to tack on another to replace the old one.


Currently I have a few things I'm still working on. (mostly just waiting on parts)

- I went to rebuild the flippers, but noticed that none of the springs matched each other, and are very loose and mangled. Looks like the previous owner just put in what he had laying around to get the machine up and running again

- Color fixing
I'm in the process of replacing the gold items with their normal colors. I replaced the pop bumpers already. I'm having the brass wire track (which is flaking) stripped and chromed plated in the next week or so. Soon I'll replace the machines legs as well with chrome ones, replacing the current brass ones. I think I'm going to keep things box gold for now, since It looks better to me, plus it has the decal mod installed, which goes very well with the gold color.

- Coin Box
My coin door looks just... awful, you'll see in the pictures I'll post soon. It's not so much the door, but the Quarter inserts and reject buttons.. just ew...

- Pinched wires
Looks like theres a few wires under the play field that were pinched, barely together, and exposed. I'm going to cut these, insert a heat shrink tube, solder them, and shrink that tubing.

- LEDs
So far I've tried a whole kit from Pinball Heaven, then tried a few from CoinTaker, and most recently tried a few from Ablaze. The Pinball Heaven ones are cheap, and looked good for their price, but I just wanted something better. Ablaze was the same, I ordered a few to fix my ghosting issues, they did the job, Looked very good, but I had a few quality issues, where a few of the LED domes would fall off the led and need to be re-glued. I have a Complete Super kit with Ghost Busting technology upgrade as well as their new pop bumper Afterburner lights on order from CoinTaker. The package ETA is tomorrow and I'm excited to try them out. They also include a Start button LED so thats a huge plus in my book.

- The Future? -

Things I would like to fix in the future would be to have the play field's paint restored to it's former glory, fix some water warping on the underside of the cabinet, and do some touch up painting on the speaker bezel. where the machine says "T*H*I*N*G" my "I" letter has a small speck of paint missing from the black letter, curious whats the best paint/marker to fix this, without causing shadows or mis matched color.

Adding photos to this topic, I have a lot of them, just need to upload them.

Also, my dad may be picking up a "Mustang" pinball machine from 1977, with all my leftover LEDs I'm sure I can make him a kit for his machine. I may have a section on this machine too in the future.

#2 4 years ago

Very Cool, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you're making a lot of progress. Many of the things you are still wanting to do such as the coin door is a pretty easy project of removing it, stripping it down and cleaning.

Please upload those pictures. Do you have some before and as it is now? They're always the rewarding part of the transformation.

#3 4 years ago

Looking forward to pics and updates! TAF is my grail pin. I want it to be my first. I'll be watching this thread closely as with a little luck I'll likely be facing similar issues in the not too distant future.

2 months later
#4 4 years ago

Hey Guys, Sorry for the lack of updates, my wife and I are in the process of moving into a new home, so a lot of packing has been happening, and not much pinball playing/restore. but for a quick update, I have resolved these issues

Coin Door - Got a new coin mech from PinballLife, just popped right in and works great! Also new orange coin plastic eject plates. Looks amazing!!

LED's - Got all CoinTaker LEDs and boy! it looks great! I got their Addams Family kit, I did make a few changes to some of the LEDs (replaced a few with other colors) and its a fantastic quality! I also ordered 4 purple Super Bands from them, they look and work awesome!

Mods - I did install a Green Swamp Kick-out Light, I like it a lot more than I thought I would. Shipped with a green LED that I replaced with a green one from CoinTaker

New To-Do's - Change flipper triggers, the yellow ones are dirty and I got new ones as well as vinyl cabinet protectors for the area around the buttons. Fix some board issues/capacitors/sockets

#5 4 years ago

Have you got the car mod? That's the sickest one out there.

2 weeks later
#6 4 years ago

I do not, but, I've been eyeballing it, maybe someday.

1 year later
#7 3 years ago

It's been a while, and sadly still trying to move into that house, it's been a nightmare!
as far as new adventures in the restore of this machine. It's been pretty good lately. Last month I went to Pinside New England and met Rob Kahr. I decided to pickup a Pro Daughterboard for my TAF machine, after seeing a chat with him and Todd Tuckey on TNT amusements youtube video. I decided to get the pro version, since I like LED lights and better diagnostics. I'm glad I did. When I got home and plugged it in, I noticed the machine took longer to boot than normal. I looked at the daughterboard, and saw both the red and blue LED were lit, telling me there's a reset detected and a weak 12V signal. Time to take a closer look at my power driver board. I removed it from the machine and took it to work with me the next day. Since it's been a while since I got to work (or even play) on my TAF machine, as it sits in my new house, while I'm still at my old house waiting for some BS to get shorted out. I decided to replace a few parts that are common to cause issues as well as look for anything else.

So far I replaced all the C2 C5 C6 C7 C8 C11 C30 capacitors on the board, the original ones didn't look too bad, I couldn't see any damage or swolleness, but it was out and I'm sure after 20+ years its a good time to have a fresh new batch installed with better quality ones. I also ordered all new bridge rectifiers, and a PSU5 to replace the LM323 in the machine. The current LM323 looks okay, but I can see the brown on the flip side of the board showing it's been quite warm a few times, and I read the PSU5 runs extremely cooler than the LM323.

Waiting on the Bridge rectifiers and the PSU5.

While giving the board a visual inspection, I noticed a bad looking resistor (R192) and capacitor (C1). So those are on order as well. Once all the parts have arrived, been installed, and double checked. I'll give the board a cleaning, reflow the solder connections to all the connectors, and give it a test. In hopes my Pro daughter board gives me a nice happy green led ^-^

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#8 3 years ago

The C2 is ALWAYS leaky...we always replace that no matter what the age!

#9 3 years ago

Here's some new pics. I got the new resistor, bridge rectifiers, fuses, and capacitors for C1 (and even replaced C12 just because i had it). I've ordered a PSU5 chip to replace the LM323, and just waiting on 1 capacitor as well (C8) I had a 100uf 200v, where the original one is 100uf 100v, and I know the 200v would work just fine, but for some reason it annoyed me knowing I'm using double the voltage, even though its okay and wouldn't cause a issue. must be pinball OCD

but from all the caps I've replaced everything still looked good, I couldn't detect any swelling (other than C1 that looked a lil burnt). The only thing that was definitely bad was R192 which was very burnt.

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#10 3 years ago

Also, like a idiot, I trusted the seller. I'm glad i purchased new fuses, cause these are all wrong. The guy I purchased the machine from, said he fully shopped the machine, worked great, new rubbers, new fuses, and so on. when I went to get the machine, the guy had several machines, so like a dope I trusted he knew what he was doing. I just removed 3 fuses, all should be 5AMP 250V. well 2 are correct, but one (which is obviously blown) is 3AMP and I can't tell the voltage. This is a big rookie error on my part, I should have looked at all these fuses day 1. I blame myself, but at least i'm going through the machine now and finding and fixing these problems. I should have known there was issues with this guys "shopping" ability when stuff like the GI didn't even work at all and countless other things I've noticed since.

I've done the rest of the board, not too bad, out of all of the fuses on the power driver board, only 2 were incorrect. they were 3AMPS where they should be 5AMPS so nothing that would cause damage, just blow quick if stressed. I'll have to continue to look at the other fuses and rest of the boards once I finish this board.

#11 3 years ago

JohnnyPhantom - I think you sent me an email last week that i managed to "file" on my phone without reading while biking home from work... If I owe you a reply, please resend the message!

-visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or for Williams system 3-7 volume control solutions

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from toddtuckey:

The C2 is ALWAYS leaky...we always replace that no matter what the age!

Oh crap! Todd Tuckey! I'm a huge fan of your youtube videos! I just re-read what you said, and you sir are correct, that C2 wasn't leaking yet, but I could see it was starting to swell on the bottom slightly, glad I got it before it gotten worse.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from rkahr:

JohnnyPhantom - I think you sent me an email last week that i managed to "file" on my phone without reading while biking home from work... If I owe you a reply, please resend the message!
-visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or for Williams system 3-7 volume control solutions

Hi Rob!
The email was just saying I checked the LEDs on the Duaghter Pro board, and it had the red and blue LEDs lit, signaling a weak 12v and resets detected. Which lead me to the repair I'm currently doing. Your board is great! Without it I would not have noticed I had a power issue with my power drive board until it was far worse. My machine appeared to be working normally, with a few odd quirks, but thanks to the Daugther Pro board, not only did tell me I had a issue, but who knows what damage could have occurred if I hadn't caught it in time. Your boards are amazing and I highly recommend them ^-^. If you need me to write some kind of a review/testimony let me know, I'd be more than happy to!

#14 3 years ago

The C2 is going bad or gone on all the WPC's...keep the same MFD and up the voltage a bit....that will keep it fine in your lifetime!!

#15 3 years ago

Installed the power driver board back in the machine, and powered on the machine. The machine appeared to be working great, sounds, light, and display, all worked as normal. But Resistor 7 then fried on the DMD board. Looks like there's more work to do. :/ not sure if its a issue where something I did on the Power Driver repair caused this, or if it was just a weak resistor and now that the power driver is pumping the proper voltages it pushed the resistor over the edge. I have a rebuild kit from Great Plains Electronics I'll install and see what happens.

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