My First Restoration: Street Fighter! or: this thing should be dead

By uncivil_engineer

2 years ago


  • 34 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 week ago by uncivil_engineer
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#1 2 years ago

Over the past few years, I have done lots of pinball repair, but never an all out restoration.

Recently I picked up a HUO Pinbot that would be nearly CQ if it only had some minor work done on the playfield, and the badly faded cabinet repainted.

I decided that screwing that up would put too much pressure on myself, so I decided to get some experience on a less valuable (to me) game. I have a weak spot for terrib^h^h^h^h cheap pinball machines. One of my pride an joys right now is the Popeye machine that is sitting in my living room.

Enter now: One rotted out Street Fighter II:
Yeah, it's as bad as it looks.

This machine met a couple of key requirements for me: 1. It's solid state. 2. It's cheap. 3. I won't be drawn and quartered if I screw it up. and 4. IT'S CHEAP.

So my goals for this machine are: 1. repaint/refinish the cabinet. 2. Touchup and clear coat the playfield 3. Have the rails and legs powder coated. 4. Generally get the machine back into playable condition.

So how rotted out is the poor machine...Well lets just take the tour:
Something is missing here...
Yup, it's missing not only the car, but the plexiglas cover that goes over it was busted up so bad, it just fell out. This may be hard to replace. So far google skills have failed me, and I have not been able to find a replacement. If anyone knows where I can find a replacement, it would be most appreciated.

It looks like this poor machine sat out on someone's back porch, and it faded and rotted in the elements. Just about all the metal on the exterior is rusted..

some one sand blast me please.

I am hoping the rails and legs will survive sand blasting and powder coating. Down the road I will have to decide what color they will be.
Lucky for me, the transite is one of the more commonly available items at a reasonable price.

I don't think this ramp is supposed to look like this....

More rust on the insideFactory??
I don't think this was installed at the factory like this either. In my review of the machine, I did discover the coil under it was dead.

So what is good about the machine? Well first of all, it is complete. Second, The boards are all there, and more or less seem to be in good working order. The DMD is in good shape. So far I have fixed the flippers and playfield GI lighting (dirty relays contacts), and have diagnosed three dead coils.

Hey! Something that works!

My immediate goal is to more or less get all the coils and switches working before I start to strip down the playfield. I would rather assemble a know working machine than try to fix all the wayward coils and switches while I am assembling everything.

My immediate challenges include: finding a source for the graphics on the cabinet, and replacing the plexiglas plate in the playfield. Any help on those would be appreciated.

#2 2 years ago

That's gonna take a lot of work but I can see you are up to it. For the cab and bb art have you thought about scanning each piece, having it fixed and then have decals made? Lots of info on PS from people who have done that with great results. I thought I saw a Street Fighter 2 club here on PS.

#3 2 years ago

Excellent project! I love projects where these (cheap) pinballs are brought back from the dead ...

1 week later
#4 2 years ago

So after a thorough going through, the mechanical dammage was quite extensive, but fixable.

1. Just about every fuse in the playfield had the incorrect value in it. The scary part is that a lot of them were 10 amp fuses where 1 amp and 1.5 amp fuses should have been. This may have contributed to problems 2 and 3...

2. The left ramp lift coil was pretty much melted out. A replacement has been ordered.

3. The right kicker coil would stick on. That turned out to be a bad diode on the coil, and a burned out driver transistor. It is now working again.

4. The flippers would not work. I cleaned up the flipper power relay, and now they work fine.

5. Same thing with the playfield GI lighting.... dirty relay leaf switches.

6. The car bash playfield flipper would not work. This turned out to be a mis-aligned relay under the playfield.

7. The left lower ball kickup was out (where the golf ball was). This turned out to be a broken wire at the coil terminal. Easy fix.

8. All the playfield flashers were not working. This turned out to be a bad resistor mounted to the playfield (no voltage at the lamps).

So next up is stripping down this very very dirty playfield.

Let there be light!

BTW, if you know anyone parting out a street fighter, I still need a bunch of parts: Both ramps, and the car pit cover! I think I can get the ramp off FeeBay, but I have yet to see the car pit cover for sale anywhere!

Whoo Hooo! A box of parts! The first of many.

#5 2 years ago

Don't forget to check with PBResource for parts. I am always surprised at the stuff they sometimes have.

For instance, they still had ramps for Rescue 911.

For the car pit cover, if it's that clear piece, you can probably cut that of lexan.

8 months later
#6 1 year ago

I haven't forgotten about this thread. I am still working on the machine.

The playfield is out and stripped, and a first layer of clear is on it.


I made the decision to remove the factory mylar off the playfield as I plan to clear the playfield. That turned out to be a mixed blessing, because in the process of removing the mylar, paint did come off the playfield in a few places, especially around the light inserts. You can really see it in this picture:


So I have started the process of trying to touch up the playfield. I am using Createx acrylic paint, along with a Motolow black acrylic marker for the black areas. This is also the first time I have used Frisket.


I have started out trying to touch up a few of the areas on the playfield that are not typically seen by the player. This gives me a great chance to screw up... Here is my attempt at touching up a ball trail near the top of the playfield.


The color match isn't perfect, but I hope clearing the playfield will help to hide the color differences. I do now know why they say if you are going to repaint, do an entire area to the border. You don't have to have the color perfect in these situations.

So far I have learned a few things.
1. You initial clear coat should not be a light coat. You need to put it on thick enough to fill in any paint chips. This a mistake I made. You can really tell where I have touched up the paint chips because of the difference in texture.

2. Frisket will pull off Motolow acrylic. Save those touchup till last.

3. Createx will pull up even after being heat treated. I am hoping that roughing up the surface with 600 grit sand paper before applying the paint will help with it's adhesion. Otherwise, painting colors next to each other will get interesting.

#7 1 year ago

Cool project. Always good if a pinball is 'saved' and I kinda like SFII. One day I hope to do a total tear down and clearcoat on one of my games myself (Road Kings, or other). Good luck, and please show us your progress.

#8 1 year ago

Used to have this game. Had many fun hours playing it.

Once you get use to the stop-start-stop nature of the game it's quite a fun game, especially if you liked SF2.

Best of luck with the restore.

#9 1 year ago

Love me some SF2! Better than dropping it off the roof

#10 1 year ago

More playfield painting.

The orange was hard to match, and even now I don't think my match is perfect.

One thing I learned doing this playfield is that you can use transparent Createx paint, buy you have to put a base coat under it. In the case of my Gottlieb Orange, the base coat ended up being a light gray.

I started with a test patch with an base coat of opaque white, and that was too bright. I experimented to the right of my white patch with varying degrees of gray, and I settled on one drop of black paint per 5ml of white paint for my base coat.


so on my test patch, first the gray went down.

Then I went over it with the transparent orange.

The results were just a touch darker than the existing paint, but I think that if I go just a little lighter (say 7.5ml per drop of black), It will come out right on. Otherwise, I can just use this color and paint to the lines, and I don't think anyone will notice.

You will notice I am not doing much about the dings in my playfield. The only spots I patched up are where wood came out when I removed the metal guides. My plan was to just do a light coat of clear, and address the playfield issue, however, now I wish I had done a heavier coat of clear so all the imperfections in my paint won't come through so bad. I hope to top coat of clear will cover a lot of these imperfections up.

#11 1 year ago

You're doing great! This is a great project to learn on.

#12 1 year ago

I got alot of street fighter parts really cheap from PBR I even got a new upper playfeild for really cheap think it was less then 50$

#13 1 year ago

Another trick I picked up last night doing my test patch: When using heat set paint like Createx, use your heat gun to set the paint before you take up the frisket. This cuts down on the paint peeling up. Also make sure the paint and frisket are cool before you peel off the frisket. Otherwise the frisket will leave behind some adhesive. If it does leave behind adhesive, you can clean it up with naphtha.

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from iron00monkey:

You're doing great! This is a great project to learn on.

Thanks. I purposely picked this machine to learn on before I take down and pull apart my HUO Pinbot. It needs some minor playfield work, and the cabinet repainted. The cabinet is nearly perfect except for the horribly faded paint.

1 week later
#15 1 year ago

Some progress today... I painted part of the cape.

I did learn that if you press too hard with the exacto knife, it will leave marks. I tried applying frisket over the stripes on the cape, and was not happy with the results. As you can see, my attempts to mask them off left behind some marks. Hopefully the decals will hide these.
Here is the before photo:

And here is the finished product. I will apply the decals as one of the last steps before I clear coat the playfield, as I am sure they won't stand up to having frisket applied over them.

4 weeks later
#16 1 year ago

More progress tonight. I finally got out and did my mass orange paint...

I adjusted my gray base a little lighter than my test area, and I think the result was very close to match to the original color.

So here it is all masked up and ready to go...


Then I laid down the light gray base color.


Then the transparent Orange went over the top of it.


I think the results were pretty good. One think I have learned is that you have to be just as careful removing the frisket as you do putting it on. If you pull it up wrong, it will take the paint with it. I have a few spots of white that came up when I frisket over it.


I did screw up two spots... One was where I completely brain farted... and forgot my orange overcoat, and another spot where the orange was a touch too light. No big deal, I will just set up and shoot these spots again in a few days (I hope).

brain fart..

Next up, I will start to shoot white areas again.

#17 1 year ago

Again: impressive!

4 months later
#18 10 months ago

So a lot has happen since August... My wife and I finally got to buy our dream house. Fortunately for me, attached to it was my dream shop! I spent the month of November and December getting everything moved over to the new house, and getting my shop set up. Over the Christmas holidays, I have gotten more done on Street Fighter than I did in the last 6 months...

I have shifted away from the playfield for a bit to concentrate on the cabinet. I finished stripping out the cabinet, and started to replace the bottom. It was water damaged fiber board that had sagged pretty badly.

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I found out that on system 3 machines, they use 3/4" fiber board, routed to 1/4" round the edges. The bottom is set into about a 5/16" gap around the bottom of the machine. To get it out, you have to knock out one of the plywood sides near the bottom. I am planning on replacing it with two layers of 1/4" plywood.

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Currently, I am sanding the rest of the cabinet in preparation for filling the dents, and hopefully painting when the weather warms up.

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#19 10 months ago

So tonight was all about Bondo.... I started to patch over the dents in the side, and the holes in the front of the cabinet. The cabinet is not in that bad of shape, and should clean up well. I with the same could be said of the head...
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I am going to try to sand the back, but I think that may have to be replaced.

#20 10 months ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

I think that may have to be replaced.

Replace it with plywood or MDF?

5 months later
#21 4 months ago

Well this is turning out to be one of the longer restorations on pinside. However, I am making progress.

The playfield touchups are done, and I have the first coat of clear on the playfield. I hope to get a heavy coat of clear on the playfield this weekend.

After I sanded the first coat of clean on the playfield, I am starting to realize that just maybe it does look a little better than before I started. I don't think my final playfield will be mistaken for a NOS playfield, but it will look better than when I started.

Painting the cabinet was an adventure. It was the first time I had used an HPLV spray gun, and there was a lot more over spray than I anticipated. The floor in my shop now has a blue tint to it. IMG_5501 (resized).JPG
Like the playfield, the cabinet is not perfect. I have some runs on the inside that I will need to sand down, and possibly recoat.

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#22 4 months ago

It's great to follow your progress on this massive job, but have to say it's looking good!

1 month later
#23 3 months ago

Did you by any chance capture any pictures of you disassembling the upper play field area? I need to do some work on mine but the upper area is a labyrinth of fasteners. I haven't the foggiest where to start...

#24 3 months ago

The art on this game could of been so much better. Be cool if they came out with a SF3 pin or something to make up for it.
your restoration is coming along. I have a pinbot and funhouse that are in need of a makeover as well. Thanks for posting your project, it's always helpful seeing these.

#25 3 months ago
Quoted from smitherssp:

Did you by any chance capture any pictures of you disassembling the upper play field area? I need to do some work on mine but the upper area is a labyrinth of fasteners. I haven't the foggiest where to start...

Lucky for you, I happen to have the album on my phone...

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#26 3 months ago

As a general update, I am still clearing the playfield. I put a heavy clear coat down on it last week, and have sanded it flat. The lesson I learned from that, is that you don't want to sand too aggressively. I sanded it through to the color in a few spots. Hopefully I'll be able to cover it up before I put on the next coat.

#27 3 months ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

As a general update, I am still clearing the playfield. I put a heavy clear coat down on it last week, and have sanded it flat. The lesson I learned from that, is that you don't want to sand too aggressively. I sanded it through to the color in a few spots. Hopefully I'll be able to cover it up before I put on the next coat.

use a flat board when sanding clear id start with 1000 then 1500 then 2000 all wet sand and then 3 stage buff orbital and finish with a swirl remover and then lay on the canuba!

#28 3 months ago

I had some divits I had to fill from a dropper full of clear, and to speed up getting through those spots I've been using 600 wet dry. I plan on putting one final coat of clear on it before moving on to the final polishing.

#29 3 months ago

600 is too rough for clear thats for bodywork and primer

#30 3 months ago

Thank you so much! This will be easier than I anticipated. I think I can get to the three screws that hold the rear metal bracket on without disassembling anything else. I need to lift it up to place the habittrail prongs under that holder.

2 months later
#31 16 days ago

Some of you might be aware of the disaster my clearcoat turned out to be, but a friend of mine was kind enough to sell me another playfield. This restoration kind of took a back seat to other projects until last week when I decided this thing needs to get finished up, and out of my shop.IMG_6074 (resized).JPG

#32 16 days ago

Great job . Even M. Bison himself would be happy!!!!

#33 15 days ago

More fresh cabinet shots..I test fit the glass tonight. I had to reuse the old plastic rail inserts as they are not available anymore.IMG_6076 (resized).JPGIMG_6077 (resized).JPG

#34 11 days ago

More progress tonight, as the ground wire went in along with the transformer. No I've got to figure out how to secure the ground wire without buying an upholstery power stapler. I only need to do about 12 staples.IMG_6081 (resized).JPG

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