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(Topic ID: 245996)

Midway White Lightning restoration/retrofit!


By dudah

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by OHEMIO
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    A month ago I found this abandoned operator warehouse on facebook marketplace up in Milwaukee. Got in touch with the dude and checked it out. He had sold the majority of stuff a year past and needed to liquidate what was left. Based on what games were there, and what evidence there was of other games, it had already been extremely picked over. I spent a ton of time over a few weekends picking through this filthy old warehouse for any possible gems of parts. There was a hole in the roof which made holes in the 2 floors underneath it from all the water coming in. I assume there was a ton of mold in there too. The building had also previously been hit by lightning a year prior and was partially on fire. Some areas were extremely sketchy with the risk of the floor going beneath you and the ceiling coming down from above.

    Upon the seller sending me a bunch of initial pictures, I noticed in the background a Midway White Lightning of one picture!!!
    I love these old mechanical games, and have never seen one of these for sale!
    I thought it may be too big for my house, but would figure that out later!
    I checked it out the first trip up there and it was certainly huge and heavy.
    It seemed to be complete except for the gun assembly which I'd never find online.
    After some thought I decided I must have it, I'd figure out 3D printing a new gun or something.

    So I picked it up the following weekend.
    I had some more time to poke around the 8 floors of the warehouse.
    Most of the stuff was on one floor.
    However, on 3 other floors, there were batches of mixes of crane games, jukeboxes, shuffle bowlers, and EM pinballs.
    Along with a good amount of other random shit you'd expect to find in such an old abandoned warehouse.
    I looked desperately amongst ALL this shit for hours to declare the gun is long gone.

    I brought a bunch of tools, and took off the corner brackets that held in the glass.
    The game was on it's heavy end and some kind soul from the past left it on a wheeled cart for me!
    I wheeled it out to the freight elevator and we took it down.
    The very sketchy freight elevator couldn't go down all the way, leaving a 2' edge at the bottom.
    Fortunately, I was chummy with some other dudes grabbing all the jukebox parts and they helped me safely unload it and take it to my car.

    I have a 2011 Honda Fit that I keep specifically for moving games.
    I've moved a ton of big heavy games and things in this car, but this was by far the biggest and heaviest.
    I had measured prior and felt good about it fitting in there.
    I needed to remove the shroud at the top. It very clearly was removable, but I had to get to the bolts inside the back.
    Naturally it was locked, and a key in the coin box that fit in it didn't work.
    I took a flat blade screwdriver and elegantly popped the back and got the very long bolts out - next time I'll remember my cordless.
    Popped her in and she barely fit! I was worried the top would hit against my rear windshield, I managed to squeeze a box in between and hoped for the best.
    Every time I pickup a game in this car, the people question if it will fit, this was no exception.
    Needless to say, they were all pretty impressed!

    I'm looking forward to bringing this one back together.
    I can't find much information on these games, who else has one?
    I'd love to get a copy of some other documentation that came with it.
    Per this ad - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/em-arcade-games-schematics-and-manuals
    I know a parts catalog and instruction book exist.
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    #2 1 year ago

    I unloaded her in the garage and found a place for her to rest.
    Suprise - she's filthy.
    Gave her a good wipedown all over.
    Bent coin door, busted wood by there, and some busted corners. I bondo'd them before putting legs on.
    The ledge where the gun mounts is half gone. The formica is beautiful! A light marble with some gold flecks! Doubt I'll be able to find something similar.
    The scenery and backglass are dirty but in very good shape! The score motor is also in good shape.
    I plugged it in and it even seemed to work for the most part!

    My favorite part of going through a new game is finding all the little bits of history throughout it.
    Outside a bunch of green lead paint flakes, I found a complete 1974 tax sticker - torn up! Very cool!
    I will be scanning this and make some repro's!
    Got her up on legs, pulled the scenery and backglass and cleaned out the whole game.
    I always right away clean up the backglass and seal it. This one is near perfect!
    The scenery and backglass I will scan in case I want to make some reproduction art down the line.

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    #3 1 year ago

    Backglass is near perfect!
    Masked off for triple thick.

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    #4 1 year ago

    She looks to be in good hands. Good luck finding a gun.

    #5 1 year ago

    Try https://www.flippers.com for the instruction and parts catalog. It's listed as them having it https://www.flippers.com/pdfs/JohnsJukesManualsList.pdf

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from edward472:

    Try https://www.flippers.com for the instruction and parts catalog. It's listed as them having it https://www.flippers.com/pdfs/JohnsJukesManualsList.pdf

    Thanks!

    #7 1 year ago

    So here's a fun twist to the above story - despite there not being many games left, there were about 15 various redemption games nobody wanted.
    I remembered there was another gun game - Exidy Troll.
    Could find next to no information on the internets about this game, not listed on their KLOV or Wikipedia entries.
    Thought the gun looked familiar to one that was on their shooter arcades (Cheyenne, Combat, Chiller, etc.).
    Sure enough it is.
    The whole gun and assembly is heavy, at least 15 pounds!
    But it is complete and very nice so I'm happy to have something instead of nothing.

    Surprisingly, it was also a projectile game and used a compressor and very similar ball dispensing mechanism to the White Lightning one.
    It was a no brainer to snag both.
    Hoping it's pretty much just hooking this gun up to the original ball dispensing mech and it just works!

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    1 month later
    #8 1 year ago

    Remembered to get documentation on my first Steve Young order, fortunately he had it all!

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    #9 1 year ago

    Got the scans stitched and 90% cleaned up. Wasn't planning on reproducing these but I might as well. Will also laser cut some custom PETG protectors!

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    #10 1 year ago

    No real progress on WL just yet, but I did spend a few hours cleaning up and organizing my garage which was long overdue. Finishing up Monster Gun rifle game first, then WL!

    Also brought in the tax sticker, scanned and stitched it. Will be another fun rainy day project!

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    2 weeks later
    #11 1 year ago

    Spent 3 hours in the garage tonight:
    Put on the hood
    Disassembled entire target assembly
    Scanned artwork
    Cleaned switch blades and contacts
    Relubed contacts
    Reoiled all motors
    Cleaned and relubed chains and gears
    Cleaned plastic protectors
    Reassembled
    Put in the tray, targets, ball delivery tube, and ball catcher

    The target assembly was a bit trickier than a normal rifle game.
    I had taken my Monster Gun one apart the previous night.
    They're basically 95% the same!

    I wanted to put on the hood so I could measure the area for the new side glass.
    I busted out my electronic angle measure tool and was all prepared to do some math, but quickly realized - it's just pinball playfield glass!

    Made a laundry list of stuff to get from Home Depot for next steps!

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    #13 1 year ago

    So to remake the control panel the gun mounts to, I knew I'd need to route to make it perfect.
    Girlfriend's dad gifted me his old Craftsman 1HP router and a bunch of bits.
    A little table also but the fence was missing.
    Spent a few hours tonight putting together this router table I got on Craigslist ($20) a few months ago.
    It was NIB from Costco from 2003! It's pretty big and includes some extension tables I don't even need.
    Mismeasured my cuts so this one will be an experiment. I currently have the front and little sides 1/2" off the edge of the cabinet, perhaps a nice bevel?
    Tested routing to line up with the existing lip in the cabinet. The crappy particle board is messed up in a few parts so I'll have to straighten that out also.

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    2 weeks later
    #14 1 year ago

    Spent a few hours and made the control panel piece (correctly).
    Used a cool measurement tool I've never used before to help.
    I am NOT a woodworking guy, butook my time and double checked everything and am very pleased with the results!
    Not sure how I should finish the edge with - the 1/2" roundover bit I have on the top (and maybe bottom) or a larger one just on the top.

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    #15 1 year ago

    Rigged up these clamps to the bottom and inside of the cabinet to keep it secured - amazon.com link »
    Put a rounded edge on the top
    Cleaned up the circle
    Made a template for the screw holes and drilled em
    Sanded and primed - there's a knot on the left I'll need to fill and sand but otherwise looks great!
    May try wrapping it with vinyl or just painting it

    Very happy with this so far!

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    #16 1 year ago

    Painted the control panel. Going to paint it again and clear it but mounted it to test!
    Wired in a new line cord
    Put in the backglass
    Reinstalled the bell
    Cleaned sanded and relubed all the contacts on the motor and shots unit
    Soldered a few loose wires
    Cleaned the switches on the motor unit
    Cleaned the score reels
    Cleaned all the jones plugs
    Hooked up the gun, despite 2 different plastic connectors, they matched!
    Measured the range of motion of the gun for the contour that will be cut out of the front plexi.

    Put in a credit and tried to play a game - it's a bit of a basket case right now with the scoring.
    It recognizes credits and starts a game, the trigger/ball mechanism works
    It cycles through a game, counts the shots, and ends at the appropriate time

    The air out of the gun is very weak.
    Next move is to pull the compressor and ball loading mech and clean them all out.
    Probably make a new gasket for the compressor, maybe new air lines.

    I was considering getting the coin door and gun powder coated, but since the condition otherwise is player's game/survivor, think I'll just paint the coin door and call it a day.

    I'm hoping to get some plexi cut this week and put the sides and front on

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    2 months later
    #18 9 months ago

    Laser cut all the plastics today! Test fit on the scenery - perfect!

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    1 week later
    #19 9 months ago

    Looks like you came a long ways from resurrecting from the dead! Looking good.
    I’m on final stage of finishing my restoration, having a hard time getting to play correctly. Can you take a pic of your General Instructions sheet and post or send to me, it may help identify how it’s supposed to operate
    Tx a bunch, rubble

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    3 months later
    #20 5 months ago

    Since this game won't fit in my basement, it's on the bottom of the project list.
    BUT I was submitting an artwork printing order and got the reproduction art made!
    VERY pleased with it! While my original art wasn't in bad shape, the repro colors are much more vibrant!

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    #21 5 months ago

    Dudah...

    Another great save and a game that would have just sat in that warehouse and rotted away. Warehouse pics on this post are awesome. Would love to rummage through a place like that.

    Never know what your going to find.

    I had a buddy in Aliquippa who has a Arcade Museum there. Had a White Lightning. Cleaned the mechanics. Very long capacitor in this game.

    Looks like a stick of dynamite if I recall correctly.

    Hate when they don’t fit in the basement. Sold my CDI Twin Rifle to a museum because it wouldn’t fit in my basement. Even though it went out to another collector I know well.

    I wish I would have never sold it...

    Again looks great...OHEMIO

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