(Topic ID: 193643)

Marty, you gotta come back with me! Where? Back to the Future! Restore


By mavantix

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 54 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Zenomorp
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders

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There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 2 years ago

..."They wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and, in turn, gave them a shoddy bomb casing full of used pinball machine parts."

This is the journey of my BTTF restore. It has been on my grail list since I got into collecting pins (like 2 years ago, where does the time go?). I have done a full top side tear down and bottom PF cleaning/rebuilding/servicing of my first pin, Maverick and shopped it up pretty nice. Since then I've wanted to get into a bigger project. I tried my hand at an EM I stole/took/still making payments on from knockerlover's garage and found out, I hate EMs, but still was undeterred from a full on restoration project pin.

Then this rust bucket made an appearance in mrdoarcademan's garage. He had it in the background of a for sale pic on Facebook for all of about 5 minutes before I headed over to his house and loaded it up. I should have taken more before pics, but it's bad. The PF is maybe the only thing that survived OK, though the plastics are mostly decent, except for some minor ramp damage on the unobtainium ramp. The MPU is acid damaged, the display is falling apart, the cabinet has seen better days, the back glass is pretty nice. The story I got was it was an ops pin that had been sitting unused for 15 years. The rusted out legs that went straight into the garbage agree with that! This thing is filthy!

After hauling it home and parking it in the garage, my friend knockerlover was over drinking and playing pinball. He's no stranger to some seriously nice pin resto work, having rebuilt a gorgeous MB and two sweet STTNGs, among others. After some discussion, and pooling our various skill backgrounds, we set off to restore this pin...it's going to be better than it ever was before!

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#2 2 years ago

Eager to get to work, I started documenting and removing parts from the PF. First the top, and then once we got the PF separated from the cabinet, I borrowed knockerlover's rotisserie and got to work on the under PF parts. Notice the burn on the green inserts at the top? Seems like all BTTF's that were routed have this condition. We'll take care of them.

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#3 2 years ago

Meanwhile in another universe, OK knockerlover's garage, we start sanding. Wish I could have saved the artwork, because the Retro Refurb decals just aren't quite perfect, but they'll have to do. The paint was too far gone.

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#4 2 years ago

Summer heat set in, and the garage turned into an oven, but work must continue... so parts got cycled into the tumbler, and plastics got cleaned. If anyone has a set of slings plastics (or any that I could use), please PM me!

My wife loves when I do projects in the kitchen sink!

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#5 2 years ago

Parts started arriving, it's pinball Christmas! All new armor and legs, new lock down bar, tons of new PF parts, flipper rebuilds, Titan's, etc... and what apparently will be the last set of BTTF cabinet decals ever?!?

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#6 2 years ago

Following!

#7 2 years ago

Don't you mean teaching and participating?

#8 2 years ago

When I first started reading your first post I thought... oh boy! I hope he already has the cabinet decals because as of at least right now, Pete from Retro is done! Then I kept reading and see you got in just in the nick of time
Great progress so far. Will be following!

#9 2 years ago

Hooray! Good luck on your restore! I really liked how mine turned out.

Glad to see another one being saved.

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

When I first started reading your first post I thought... oh boy! I hope he already has the cabinet decals because as of at least right now, Pete from Retro is done! Then I kept reading and see you got in just in the nick of time
Great progress so far. Will be following!

Yeah, I kind wish I had taken a scan of the nicer side of the cabinet and printed my own though, there's a reflection type white spot and the arrow outline is mis-aligned on the Retro decals.. they're good enough and only ones available... I read the thread with the drama, dunno what's up with him shutting down.

Quoted from comment23:

Hooray! Good luck on your restore! I really liked how mine turned out.
Glad to see another one being saved.

Yeah man and thanks for the reference photos of yours! I loved yours, especially that powder coated rails and faded legs you did. I can't believe you sold it!!

#11 2 years ago

At least your cowboy obama plastic looks ok. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

#12 2 years ago

Yeah but my Robert Redford/Kevin Smith one is decently cracked on the back side. If I could get ahold of replacements for that one and the slings it would be sweet. If anyone even has good scans of the sling plastics please speak up, I'll try my hand at making some re-pro's myself!!

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from mavantix:

Yeah man and thanks for the reference photos of yours! I loved yours, especially that powder coated rails and faded legs you did. I can't believe you sold it!!

Ha, I don't get too emotionally attached to pins. It's going to a good home which is nice.

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from radium:

At least your cowboy obama plastic looks ok. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

I prefer the John Denver, Zach Galifanakis, David Letterman, Chris Parnell plastic. Goes great with the adventures of Doc and Eminem.

Game looks good man.

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from playboywillis:

I prefer the John Denver, Zach Galifanakis, David Letterman, Chris Parnell plastic. Goes great with the adventures of Doc and Eminem.
Game looks good man.

Haha thanks. See I thought it was Robert Redford/Kevin Smith on that one. I'm going to have to get Doc & Eminem to sign the backglass...

#16 2 years ago

I have a REAL Flux capacitor for your resto if your interested... the cost is ...
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#17 2 years ago

Nice work, keep it up....watching!

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

I have a REAL Flux capacitor for your resto if your interested... the cost is ...

Delorian and plutonium included!?

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

I have a REAL Flux capacitor for your resto if your interested... the cost is ...

Pffft, you can't even buy a SLE for less than a million these days.

#21 2 years ago

With recent weather turning the garage into an oven, work has slowed a bit, but the stripped playfield made it's journey inside to meet some fellow pins. Work started with knocking out the burnt green inserts, the only bad ones, apparently a common failure on BTTF. Then a few stiff drinks and much anxiety as I contemplated the next step. Removing mylar. Eeeek! I've never done this but vid1900 has been my guide!, and both knockerlover and burningman encouraged me via txts, "just do it", "you'll be fine" they said. Sure! "It's got to come off if you want to restore it and clear it!" Gasp. One more beer before we do this. Sweat rolls down my brow... I blast it good and get a small part lifted on the top most hidden portion... I keep blasting it with all the cans of air I could find in my house. About 10 minutes and 5 empty formerly used half empty cans later, it's off! No insert or paint damage! Awesome!! So happy at this point I'm blowing up the txt thread with pics and glee. Then on to the glue removal. Oh fun! Well, I'm here to say I learned a few things, mainly work it smaller sections when doing it. It's not a 10 minute process; I think I spent 2 hours rubbing flour and alcohol on the glue, but it worked marvelously! After I was done removing all the glue, I took the playfield out to the garage and blasted every bit of flour out of the holes with the air compressor in preparation for the next step that I'm stressing about, patching up the paint damaged areas... I'm really encouraged with the success of removing the mylar, I'm so happy I did it! Thanks vid1900 knockerlover burningman !!!

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#22 2 years ago

This thing is going to look amazing. Keep it up!

#23 2 years ago

glad you got the mylar off without any damage. who's doing the pf touchups? Are you going to venture into that as well? let me know what color you go with to do the pink "15K" on the right return lane.

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from ypurchn:

glad you got the mylar off without any damage. who's doing the pf touchups? Are you going to venture into that as well? let me know what color you go with to do the pink "15K" on the right return lane.

Mav might be doing some of the PF touchups, he said something about airbrushing and frisket which I know how to do but haven't done. I've done some decent hand touch-ups using acrylics though, so I might be doing this one.

Here is a close up detail of a paragon I touched up recently.

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#25 2 years ago

Before pictures.

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#26 2 years ago

Yeah some combination of knockerlover and I will do the touch ups. They're relatively minor, though that pink area is one of the worst and I was hoping/planing to airbrush it so it gets a decent blend. Much like pulling mylar, it'll be a new skill for me, but I think anything we do will be an improvement. Color would be a custom mix until it matches. I've been reading up on vid1900's excellent playfield restore guide, he makes it sound so easy (I know it's not), but it gives me the confidence to at least pretend I know what I'm doing!

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Mav might be doing some of the PF touchups, he said something about airbrushing and frisket which I know how to do but haven't done. I've done some decent hand touch-ups using acrylics though, so I might be doing this one.
Here is a close up detail of a paragon I touched up recently.

I can't believe you didn't paint the clothes off bikini lady and make her naked.

Nice work on that gargoyle though, can't tell it was missing a limb!

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from mavantix:

Delorian and plutonium included!?

Hell no !! thats an additional ....
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2 weeks later
#29 2 years ago

Live action shot of mavantix from the knockerlover spray shop.

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#30 2 years ago
Quoted from mavantix:

With recent weather turning the garage into an oven, work has slowed a bit, but the stripped playfield made it's journey inside to meet some fellow pins.

You have the PF Milano cookies on hand...which are crucial to a resto. Looking good man...following. Great game choice for restoration also. I can never find one reasonably priced anymore.

2 months later
#31 2 years ago

mavantix needs to post some real updates but in the meantime here is a picture of me doing some playfield touch ups and insert key lines

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#32 2 years ago

I'm awful at updates, but I'll get some more progress pics up tonight. In the mean time, here's a before picture of that area you're fixing!!

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#33 2 years ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

mavantix needs to post some real updates but in the meantime here is a picture of me doing some playfield touch ups and insert key lines

Looking awesome guys!

#34 2 years ago

OK, as promised here's some progress photos. I spent about a week running every part through the tumbler and shining them up. That is so much "fun"... I mean pure magic though! I've got bags of shiny parts I have no idea where they go! I mean, well, I have photos of where they go. Hah
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For the cabinet, first we sanded the old paint off (seen above), then we bondo'd, then we sanded more, then we primed, then we sanded some more, then painted it, then we sanded some more, then it got decals...
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There's a story with those decals too. The first set I got from Retro Refurbs I was not happy with. The artwork was flawed. It had white spots under the second U, and the arrow was majorly misaligned. I sought out another copy, but if anyone has done a BTTF restore, they don't exist...but I tracked down a set! The only copy that will ever exist, so I'm told.
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I'd say it turned out real nice for being abandoned "barn find" quality to begin with! Here it sits with a collection of new parts waiting to be installed...
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#35 2 years ago

Now on to playfield touch ups. After removing the mylar, and replacing the 4 burned out upper green inserts, we moved onto the color matching. My wife asked where the color codes were so we could go get the paint. Sure. All new experience in making your own colors, and painting this type of thing, but between my wife, myself, and knockerlover, I think we did pretty good. Mad props to knockerlover who is much better at this than I!!

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I wanted to re-paint all the ugly white, and originally, I had this brilliant idea of learning to use an airbrush. Hmm. Well, let's just say, the frisket masking worked out way better than the air brush... In the end, we found a perfectly acceptable shade of off white that came in a rattle can for this portion. I'd still be spraying with the airbrush if we hadn't. LOL
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In the end, I'm quite happy with the results. After a few layers of clear I think it's going to be real nice!
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#36 2 years ago

Nice job man. Very impressive!

#37 2 years ago

Very nice guys....looking great.

#38 2 years ago

Can you give more details on your experience with the air brush? Was it difficult? Or just slow-going. I am thinking about buying one. But I too know nothing.

#39 2 years ago

Just took forever doing the large areas, and was hard to get consistent coverage with such a small spray pattern. I can see how the little spray gun makes sense for doing detail work and smaller areas. It's not impossible to use, just didn't make sense for the off white color.

#40 2 years ago

I recommend making sure the clear is compatible with the rattle can paint - just to be on the safe side.

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

I recommend making sure the clear is compatible with the rattle can paint - just to be on the safe side.

Good call. I'll check that out.

Quoted from Elicash:

Can you give more details on your experience with the air brush? Was it difficult? Or just slow-going. I am thinking about buying one. But I too know nothing.

Yeah, the learning curve using the airbrush wasn't too steep ... it's pretty easy once you get the pressure / paint flow dialed in, but it's much more of a detailed type thing, I wouldn't try it on a big area like I was trying. It was definitely more uniform than brushing though, I would have tried doing the pink area I touched up with it if I had thought about it.

#42 2 years ago

Looking good guys. What's the plan for this? Is it going up for sale or going to stay?

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from Elicash:

Can you give more details on your experience with the air brush? Was it difficult? Or just slow-going. I am thinking about buying one. But I too know nothing.

My own personal experience with air brushing:

- I use a cheap airbrush with a cheap pancake compressor. No problem there.

- Make sure the acrylic is thin enough. The Golden fluid acrylics flow great. The Createx require for me dilution with, say, Windex.

- Multiple light coats work much better. Spraying too thick leads to paint accumulating near the frisket and raised edges and the paint being un-necessarily thick. And that's really where having to spray large areas can be a real pain and take forever because you need to go over the area multiple time.

- Spray a light coat of white before the color.

An alternative to the rattle can, if you need to match the color for instance, could be to use a touch up spray gun - https://www.harborfreight.com/hvlp-detail-spray-gun-46719.html

I couldn't spray a decent coat of clear to save my life but airbrushing is much much simpler.

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from ypurchn:

Looking good guys. What's the plan for this? Is it going up for sale or going to stay?

It's a keeper for me!

8 months later
#45 2 years ago

Great Scott!!, nice restoration could you please add the color code used for cabinet ?

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from gnokketto:

Great Scott!!, nice restoration could you please add the color code used for cabinet ?

Not our restore thread, but I'm pretty sure we used the same Adam did on his:
https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AN5LvuTB3yBMKwg&cid=7D1E758AB15A4823&id=7D1E758AB15A4823%21109411&parId=7D1E758AB15A4823%21108904&o=OneUp

#47 2 years ago

Hadn't realized it's been so long since an update, but progress is ever so slowly continues. knockerlover likes having lots of pinball projects, so we took on 3 Aliens to repair too! Anyway, since the last update, the playfield has gotten a nice shiny coats of 2PAC clear. I've been working on the cabinet component installs, and a side project that's part of this restore. More on that later!

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6 months later
#48 1 year ago

Now that our Alien restorations are mostly done, and I worked in a Dr. Who shop job, I figure its time to pay some attention to BTTF again. Here's a big bunch of pictures showing progress on the playfield clear finished, sanded, polished, waxed, and getting put back together. Washed everything, tumbled all the metals, and replaced all the GI sockets.

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#49 1 year ago

Love the progress and rubber color choices looks choice mcfly!!

#50 1 year ago

Fantastic work! Too bad you have already applied your artwork. Mine's much better and fully accurate. I scanned a cabinet and accurately reproduced everything. Here's the link if you want to apply mine instead of what you used. The current repro art has the wrong background color, wrong text border (gray vs. turquoise), terrible clock/gear image, no half tones, no texture, etc. You'll be much happier with these...

http://www.mediafire.com/file/g13mwxp6t8gb6q9/BTTF+Art.zip
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There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

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