(Topic ID: 123562)

A Boob Job: My "This Ain't No HEP" Funhouse Restoration - COMPLETE


By beelzeboob

4 years ago



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There are 323 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 7.
19
#1 4 years ago

Prologue: What the Hell Am I Doing???

Okay...so I decided that I can't possibly consider myself a member of the pinball community--or a bona fide hobbyist--if I don't do a complete restoration at least once. So I've chosen Funhouse as my first complete teardown and restoration; not too hard, but no cinch, either.

As a noob (I've only been in the hobby for about 18 months), I'll be prostrating myself before the Pinside community--ready to take a shellacking from the experts as I make one idiotic mistake after another. I'll take a pantload of pictures along the way to help me out, and documenting every move in text as well during the playfield portion of the restoration.

I'll only work 3 hours at a time, which will keep me from getting tired and frustrated...and making a stupid mistake that I would have thought twice about otherwise.

I'm using Bryan Kelly's excellent IJ restoration thread as a guide to follow: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ij-restoration-started ; as well as Skypilot's equally-great thread about his Funhouse restoration for game-specific issues: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/funhouse-restoration

I've spared no expense in getting the proper tools and machinery to do the job correctly. (Sorry, McCune...I still didn't spring for a Festool. Even I have limits!) My thinking is that if I do this right and it doesn't blow up, I'll have everything I need to do another one. Only the first restoration will be expensive! If I dick it up, I can always sell everything off to someone who knows what the hell they're doing. I'll be sure to list what I used as I'm using it, as well as where I got it for future restoration noobs to use as a reference.

This thread won't be as in-depth as the two referenced above, but working three jobs I simply don't have the time for that kind of detail. I will try to keep it entertaining and informative, though!

Feel free to offer suggestions or criticism along the way. I've learned that failure--and being able to admit you're wrong--are the first steps to learning anything.

One last request: If you're the religious type, please pray for me.

Here are some before pics:

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Check out the corners...ouch!

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Times are tough for poor Rudy since the Funhouse closed. He's a chimney sweep these days...

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#2 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I've learned that failure--and being able to admit you're wrong--are the first steps to learning anything.

You're wrong.

Best of luck, and I look forward to seeing the progress!

#3 4 years ago

I am in the middle of my FH PF swap right now as well. I'll look forward to your posts!

#4 4 years ago

Before doesnt look so bad....just the cab Good luck and when you totally screw it up come see mine as a reference. I just finished punishing Rudy a few minutes ago....wait...that doesn't sound right....

#5 4 years ago

My kind of thread. Looking forward to more.

#6 4 years ago

Good luck! You have bigger pinballs that I do. I don't have the guts to do a full restore.

#7 4 years ago

You need to wash Rudy's face. . Have fun!!!!
Keith

#8 4 years ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

Before doesnt look so bad....just the cab Good luck and when you totally screw it up come see mine as a reference. I just finished punishing Rudy a few minutes ago....wait...that doesn't sound right....

Playfield is shot. You'll see better pics when I do the swap. Putting in a Diamond Plate and all new plastics and ramps. Sweeeeeet...

And I love bashing my balls into Rudy's face.

Quoted from Olddragon:

Good luck! You have bigger pinballs that I do. I don't have the guts to do a full restore.

The experts on Pinside are giving me the confidence to do this. That's the great thing about this site - there's always an answer to a question you have. (Bryan Kelly is great with answers, as long as I allow him to tell me I suck and I'm a douchebag. )

I've already dicked this up. See below...

#9 4 years ago

Okay...I had inquired a while back what was the best way to remove the Williams manufacturer stickers to reuse. Some said freeze spray. Some said a heat gun. I tried both. Survey says...

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Neither.

Does anybody know of anyone who makes repros of these things? I'm ready to strip the cabinet and it's in my damn way! I have all the S/N info, etc., if there's anybody that does these. There's gotta be SOMEBODY, right???

#10 4 years ago

Chapter One: The Teardown.

I ripped everything apart and (with the exception of that damn sticker above) got it ready to be stripped. I still have a few things to remove from the backbox, but hey! One thing at a time! Here's the organized chaos in my garage:

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I don't know who suggested these things to me, but they're essential: amazon.com link »
I've labelled every damn thing I unplugged from the boards so that I know exactly where it goes back together. You can see two of them in this shot:

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Bryan Kelly assures me that Purple Power won't take the Sharpie writing off of the tabs...because if it does when I wash the harness, I'm good and f**ked. On the off-chance that happens, I took tons of detailed pics like this so I can see where everything goes:

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Once I got down to the ground braid, I took care to take a ton of detailed shots of EXACTLY where the path follows so that I can recreate it with new braid during the rebuild:

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And here's the cabinet, ready to get naked for Easter (minus the stupid Williams sticker that's pissing me off...). There was a crack on the cabinet where the back playfield glass channel gets screwed in. This is the third machine I've seen that on, and I'm guessing it's because you're putting 4-5 screws in along the grain of the wood. After 25 years it's bound to crack! Everything else looks solid - no broken joints, etc. So I shot some wood glue in the cracks and clamped it down overnight. Back to the grind tomorrow!

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#11 4 years ago

PS - Good thing I looked over these pictures. I just saw I left my Sam Adams in the garage. That's a waste of a damn good beer.

Now somebody PLEASE give me a lead on those Williams stickers!

10
#12 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Okay...I had inquired a while back what was the best way to remove the Williams manufacturer stickers to reuse. Some said freeze spray. Some said a heat gun. I tried both. Survey says...
IMG_0632.JPG (Click image to enlarge)
Neither.
Does anybody know of anyone who makes repros of these things? I'm ready to strip the cabinet and it's in my damn way! I have all the S/N info, etc., if there's anybody that does these. There's gotta be SOMEBODY, right???

Rip them off, throw them away, I've sent you a PM and you owe me a case of beer.

#13 4 years ago

Great thread! Since I do not even have my first table yet I am following this with great interest so I don't totally screw it up!

what are your plans for the outside? are you sanding down to bare wood and doing new paint and graphics or just touching up the corners?
Mark

#14 4 years ago

I'll be following closely as well. I've just begun my first restore on my FT as well. Good luck!

#15 4 years ago

This is a complete restoration where everything should look CQ and brand new...if it doesn't blow up when I plug it in. It's not all original parts, but who cares? Tomorrow I hit it with a heat gun and sander, then maybe even some Bondo and more sanding as per Bryan's thread.

#16 4 years ago

My hats off to you jumping in like that. Look forward to how it turns out.

#21 4 years ago

Looks like a fun project on a worthwhile game. Good luck, I'm sure you'll do a fine job. If not we'll all point and laugh.

#22 4 years ago

Beezle - if you want to try the Festool you're welcome to borrow mine. I'm only 15 minutes from you.

I was going to start my FH resto last month but my honey, the love of my life, wanted the basement finished first so my resto is getting punted for another few weeks.

Happy Easter everyone!

#23 4 years ago

You know I grew up in Chatham Township, right? And my friend runs a landscaping business in Green Village? Very kind offer, buddy...if I have trouble with the DeWalt tomorrow, I'll shoot you a PM.

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

You know I grew up in Chatham Township, right? And my friend runs a landscaping business in Green Village? Very kind offer, buddy...if I have trouble with the DeWalt tomorrow, I'll shoot you a PM.

I used the Dewalt, it worked, but it was a lot of work. And I had to go back and use Goof Off to get all the adhesive left behind. I think it took me about a 12 pack to finish

#25 4 years ago

Funny you started a thread here because I love seeing other peoples threads on here about not only restorations but Funhouse restorations. I just finished restoring mine about a month or two ago and took it to the Ohio Show and won best in show. If you want to check it out it is here https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/funhouse-full-restoration-by-a-13-year-old
Trust me it's not as hard after the first one.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

You know I grew up in Chatham Township, right? And my friend runs a landscaping business in Green Village? Very kind offer, buddy...if I have trouble with the DeWalt tomorrow, I'll shoot you a PM.

No kidding - didn't know that! I've lived in Morris County my entire life - Motown, Chester, Brookside and Madison (I think my dad was part gypsy!). Back in the day the Madison/East Hanover rivalry was quite intense. I remember quite a few skirmishes at the football games...

Who's you're landscaping friend - I'm sure I would know him or know of him. GV is a very small town!

That Festool is amazing. I stripped my Whirlwind in no time at all. It takes so much of that hard, tedious work out of the equation. Shoot me a PM if you want to give it a go.

Cheers!

#27 4 years ago

Have fun. Having just finished an IJ/TZ/TOM/JD rehab festival, I don't envy you. I have a TAF that is driving me crazy. This is what happens when you get four and a half months off to rehab a shoulder torn rotator cuff operation. I will say that I have learned more about pinball mechanics than I ever thought I should. The best thing you mentioned was only spending three hours at a time on the work. I can't count how many times I sat down to dinner after ten pm. Just one more thing, just one more thing, just one more thing.............

I look forward to following your progress.

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from evanshane237:

Funny you started a thread here because I love seeing other peoples threads on here about not only restorations but Funhouse restorations. I just finished restoring mine about a month or two ago and took it to the Ohio Show and won best in show. If you want to check it out it is here https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/funhouse-full-restoration-by-a-13-year-old
Trust me it's not as hard after the first one.

No fair! You gotta do your own cabinet!

Your machine did turn out beautiful, though!

#29 4 years ago

Take mac662 up on his offer. Even if you had to drive 2 hours each way you would still get the job done quicker--and without wanting to shoot yourself. It's actually fun to strip a cabinet with my Festool.

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

Take mac662 up on his offer. Even if you had to drive 2 hours each way you would still get the job done quicker--and without wanting to shoot yourself. It's actually fun to strip a cabinet with my Festool.

After doing it with a Dewalt Id have to agree, if it takes an hour of your time it'll still save you at least 4 hours and a lot of wear and tear on the old arm.

#31 4 years ago

Can't post pics tonight, but I stripped the whole thing with a $20 heat gun and paint scraper in about an hour. AND...got a nice piece of decal for Home Depot to match the paint color. Can't do that with a Festool! I'll post pics and update tomorrow...

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Can't post pics tonight, but I stripped the whole thing with a $20 heat gun and paint scraper in about an hour. AND...got a nice piece of decal for Home Depot to match the paint color. Can't do that with a Festool! I'll post pics and update tomorrow...

Have you sanded yet? I had to remove pounds of adhesive before sanding

#33 4 years ago

Hardly any adhesive left...I got the hang of heating it just enough so the knife would lift the decal off cleanly. Only when I overheated did I leave a little goop. It's pretty clean as you'll see in the pictures.

I got lucky today. Tomorrow, I'm sure I'll pay for it...

#34 4 years ago

Congrats,took me 5 hours total. Maybe I was applying to much heat.I did apply decals today which turned out pretty nice.

#35 4 years ago

My decals came off in tiny little pieces with a heat gun. Not difficult, but tedious and time consuming. I also had quite a bit of cab work to do before painting.

-1
#36 4 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

Take mac662 up on his offer. Even if you had to drive 2 hours each way you would still get the job done quicker--and without wanting to shoot yourself. It's actually fun to strip a cabinet with my Festool.

i love festool gear. amazingly smooth.

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

as well as Skypilot's equally-great thread about his Funhouse restoration for game-specific issues: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/funhouse-restoration

Thanks for the compliment

Good luck on the restoration. If your missing any pictures PM me and I will see if I have what you need.

#38 4 years ago

Chapter Two: Strip Tease

Okay...so using a $20 heat gun and a paint scraper, I was able to strip the cabinet in about an hour. I got a system down: hold the gun about a half inch from the decal and hold the scraper with the right hand at a very shallow angle. I moved both in sync at a rate of about two inches per second, and it was like mowing the lawn. Everything came up perfectly right down to the wood with little or no adhesive left at all. It was just starting from the edge that was a pain in the ass...

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One word of caution...whatever hand holds the scraper should be gloved. With the scraper hand following the heat gun, every now and then my hand would kick up off the decal and straight into the nozzle of the heat gun...ouch.

Very quickly, I had one side done, and Rudy was a ghost of his former self:

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How cool is THAT??? I was about to take the whole side off and use it for wall art. The back of the cabinet was the only part that gave me a problem for some reason. I decided to remove the chocks and create new ones since they were pretty beat up. Bad news is, I didn't know where to put them back, so I had to measure to remember the placement.

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Finally, I finished depopulating the backbox. Took a ton of pictures to remember the path of the ground braid. I found out that the backbox doesn't actually have decals...it's all painted. So out went the heat gun, and in came the DeWalt with 80 grit discs. Yes, it's not as fast as a Festool, but for about $350 less, it's worth the extra work for me. If I do this on a regular basis, I'll be going the Full McCune on my sanding setup.

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And now for a word about the Funhouse paint color...

#39 4 years ago

Interlude: Am I Blue (Enough)?

While I was scraping decals off the cabinet, wide swaths of unmolested blue decal fell to the floor, and I had an idea.

NJGecko had given me a lead on a local guy that would mix a "perfect" Funhouse blue for me. I'd been in touch with him, but he's on vacation and I wanted to get going on painting this thing. I compared a blue chip with the new Phoenix Arcade decals I have waiting, and it was a perfect match. What if I was trying too hard and the answer was right in my back yard, so to speak?

I experimented with multiple coats of rattle-can stuff. On the right of the stick below is two coats of Krylon True Blue, and on the left is Rustoleum 2x Deep Blue.

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Both of them were so far away from the decal color that I just couldn't stomach using them as a final coat. So I'm just going to use the rattle cans for primer. In the middle of the picture is the piece of old decal, and as you can see I decided to take it to Home Depot to have them color match it. "I'm here to break your machine," I said...and I almost did. The blue was so deep that the machine refused to make it in gloss. But Bryan Kelly--a god among men--had recommended semi-gloss to me, and when the machine accepted it, it seemed preordained. I got two quarts along with an HVLP sprayer, then went home and painted some over the primed ends of the stick. It's about a perfect match as I could hope to get.

In fact, there's paint on the decal swatch in the photo above. Can you spot it? If not, here's a close up. There are two small areas of paint on the decal on the lower left--much more obvious in this closeup than in normal circumstances:

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I found that Lowe's and Home Depot (and most likely other paint suppliers) won't follow those old colorant charts that can be found in old threads and on other web sites. They almost laugh at you when you show them the numbers. So this is a REALLY close match, and I'll be shocked if it doesn't look nearly perfect. Shocked AND depressed. Here's a closeup of the label in case anyone wants the Depot to whip up a batch for them:

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#40 4 years ago

Oops...almost forgot: also sent out my boards to John Wart Jr. to get the full business. After all, the boards should look as purty as the machine, no?

#41 4 years ago

what does "sent out my boards" mean? Are you referring to the main playfield?

#42 4 years ago

No...

As Dirty Harry once said, "Every man's got to know his limitations." I may have already exceeded mine with this restoration, but I'm certainly not experienced enough to work on the power and sound boards. That's what I meant...all the stuff in the backbox. It's a wonderful time to get that all done, while the whole machine is being redone!

And while we're on the subject of limitations, I'd like it to be known that the only way for a noob to do their first restoration is to go into it with a boatload of confidence. You may be completely lying to yourself about your ability to redo a pinball machine, but if YOU believe it, it really powers you through the difficult parts.

That being said, I still fully expect the machine to blow up when I plug it back in.

Playfield's up next, after I'm done with the cabinet...

#43 4 years ago

That's funny cause I'm expecting some smoke when I fire mine back up as well. Id like to go down swinging though.

#44 4 years ago

I can tell you without a doubt that it will be turned on in the garage with a fire extinguisher at the ready.

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Oops...almost forgot: also sent out my boards to John Wart Jr. to get the full business. After all, the boards should look as purty as the machine, no?

Just got all my TX Sector boards back from Clive at Coinop Cauldron. He went through them all with a fine tooth comb and sent me a list of all findings with repairs/upgrades done! It's a good feeling huh! You wont smoke her..just be a bit OCD with your re-connections.

#46 4 years ago

I just ordered the Phoenix Arcade FH decals. I would liked to have seen the gen2 from PPS next to the Phoenix decals to see the diff between pixel printing and screen printing. I would guess gen2 is easier (less expensive) and the way things will go in the future but what is the real quality/image difference. I don't know anything about printing - like I said it would be interesting to see the two side by side.

I thought I read a few months back that Phoenix was losing (lost) its FH license to print??

Was your paint just a Behr latex paint then?

#47 4 years ago

It is a Behr latex paint/primer combo. I'm priming with rattle can paint so that even if the Behr isn't an exact match, it'll be a hell of a lot closer than what's hiding underneath it. My aim is to have the machine look like you can't tell where the decal ends and the paint begins...the way it was designed. I really don't know how people can go with that bright-assed blue on their Funhouse, but to each their own. Did some sanding and Bondo today...pics later.

More sanding tomorrow. FML...

EDIT: Forgot to tell you that AFIK, Phoenix is selling off their remaining stock, which they're allowed to do. He just can't make any more, if I'm understanding the whole thing correctly. And I hope he still has some left, because I'm sure I'll F that part of it up as well!

#48 4 years ago

Chapter Three: Mondo Bondo

Let me start by saying that I hate sanding. I'm thinking this is the worst part of a restoration...at least I hope it is. Because if it isn't, this is the last one I'm doing. Or I'll just order a pre-done cabinet from VirtuaPin. 2 hours of sanding yesterday, followed by Bondo. There will be more sanding today, more Bondo, and then more sanding again with 80 grit paper. Then I'll make a final check under bright light for imperfections that need to be sanded out or Bondo'ed, and if I'm satisfied, I'll resand with 120 grit paper, then 220 grit paper until it's as smooth as a baby's ass. Then it's primer time.

Some pics of the stripped cab and backbox. You can see that I lightly circled all the places that needed to be filled with the Bondo. I also drilled a few small holes in the larger areas that needed Bondo in order to give it something to hold on to, and sanded a bevel on every exposed edge on the machine...especially those that will border the artwork.

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Bondo Time!!!

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I had a couple of really destroyed corners on this machine, most notably the top of the backbox (which you can see in my OP). I drilled holes and built several layers of Bondo out in all directions until it went beyond the surface of the wood. A little blurry in one shot, but you can still see it. My wife laughed at me and mocked my lack of Bondo talent. Then I took out the detail sander and started shaping it to the exact shape of the original corner. Bitch stopped laughing. I'll post pics of that tomorrow after it's ready to be primed.

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Also making the new chocks and picking up a rotisserie so I can formulate a game plan for the playfield.

#50 4 years ago

Funhouse is a popular game to restore, your doing a great job so far.

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