(Topic ID: 218168)

Official "HARDTOPS" thread

By Skypilot

4 years ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 2,930 posts
  • 463 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by PinballManiac40
  • Topic is favorited by 266 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“If we produce a Hardtop for this game would yo purchase it?”

  • High Speed 166 votes
    14%
  • Firepower 123 votes
    10%
  • Silverball Mania 60 votes
    5%
  • Time Warp 29 votes
    2%
  • Mata Hari 53 votes
    4%
  • Blackout 90 votes
    7%
  • Tri-Zone 24 votes
    2%
  • Swords of Fury 68 votes
    6%
  • Space Station 67 votes
    6%
  • Fathom 59 votes
    5%
  • Pinbot 131 votes
    11%
  • Eight Ball Deluxe 116 votes
    10%
  • Strikes and Spares 52 votes
    4%
  • Kiss (Bally) 61 votes
    5%
  • Supersonic 44 votes
    4%
  • Grand Lizard 71 votes
    6%

(Multiple choice - 1214 votes by 727 Pinsiders)

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Topic index (key posts)

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There are 2,930 posts in this topic. You are on page 59 of 59.
#2901 34 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

Yeah, I shouldn't be having lifting problems. It's very frustrating. Feels like I'm going backwards on these things. My high speed is still awesome and that was my first go-around with hardtops. I've done 3 more since and each one has had some sort of gotcha to deal with. I don't get it.

Any chance that the HT or Playfield was under 70*F when you applied it?

The 3M 300LSE adhesive has a pretty narrow installation temp of 70-100*F

#2902 34 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Any chance that the HT or Playfield was under 70*F when you applied it?
The 3M 300LSE adhesive has a pretty narrow installation temp of 70-100*F

I don't think so. My shop maintains a pretty stable temp (for the most part) barring huge temp shifts and I simply don't go out there if it's colder than snot. So if it were cold outside, I wouldn't have been out there. Otherwise, it's generally been pretty warm this year.

#2903 34 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

I don't think so. My shop maintains a pretty stable temp (for the most part) barring huge temp shifts and I simply don't go out there if it's colder than snot. So if it were cold outside, I wouldn't have been out there. Otherwise, it's generally been pretty warm this year.

I was going to ask if the games are in a garage or something similar. The only thing that really seems like it would cause this issues short of physical influence would be rapid temperature or humidity changes or both

#2904 34 days ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

I was going to ask if the games are in a garage or something similar. The only thing that really seems like it would cause this issues short of physical influence would be rapid temperature or humidity changes or both

I've got my working area for pinballs set up in my 30x50 shop. While it's certainly possible there may be more temperature swings than I think..I just don't see it. I think it holds temp pretty well as long as I don't open both garage doors and just leave them open to either rapidly heat or cool (depending on the outside temp). When it's closed up during weather pattern shifts, it seems to hold pretty well from all I can discern.

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#2905 34 days ago
Quoted from Pinash:

Do the factory ball eater brackets not work with the hardtop?

I just did a mousin around and the trap brackets did not allow the trap to flush with the hardtop playfield so the adjustment slots in the brackets had to be made longer to flush the trap to the surface of the playfield.

#2906 34 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

I've got my working area for pinballs set up in my 30x50 shop. [quoted image]

Um, I'm jealous. My goals in life have changed to wanting a pole building / garage for some of my bigger toys. Two car garage is nice, but wife and boat are always parked in there.

#2907 34 days ago
Quoted from Skidave:

Um, I'm jealous. My goals in life have changed to wanting a pole building / garage for some of my bigger toys. Two car garage is nice, but wife and boat are always parked in there.

All I had to do was compleeeeeetely screw up my finances to buy this place last year lol

The shop was a very, very big plus for me.

Sometimes I look back at the "empty" picture from moving day and muse about just HOW many pins would have fit if I had just lined all the walls with them lol. Oh well..it's full of crap now, and most of it isn't even mine! At least the area I carved off for pinball activities seems to work pretty well as such, without interfering with the 3 garage bays. I'm also still trying to finish organizing this thing, a full year later. Maybe someday.

I really need to find my motivation and get back to my hardtops before the weather turns for good this year. I really don't want to be out sanding in the snow or anything stupid like that.. ugh.

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#2908 34 days ago

Less than $15 and you can know for sure what you're dealing with.

Cheapy (resized).png
#2909 34 days ago

Do you really need to disassemble and break down a cab to do decals or is this just a pinball restorer ocd thing?
I would think you could remove legs (put it on saw horses), remove the coin door, rails and any of the bolts and do the work.
I'd guess you could even remove one head bracket at a time for doing each side.
I have a set for AFM, not sure the brand, i don't think they are radcals.
But out of all the projects i enjoy doing, i'm not thinking the decals will be one of them.
So the easier the better (if these are indeed easier).

#2910 34 days ago
Quoted from jcar302:

Do you really need to disassemble and break down a cab to do decals or is this just a pinball restorer ocd thing?
I would think you could remove legs (put it on saw horses), remove the coin door, rails and any of the bolts and do the work.
I'd guess you could even remove one head bracket at a time for doing each side.
I have a set for AFM, not sure the brand, i don't think they are radcals.
But out of all the projects i enjoy doing, i'm not thinking the decals will be one of them.
So the easier the better (if these are indeed easier).

Depends. If you want it to look ok to good, you need to dissassemble the cabinet, strip off the old decals, plaster and sand etc.
If you are happy with a bad to mediocre result, you can put the decals on top of the old ones - but everything (and I mean everything) will show through.
Tears in the old decals, scrapes, screwholes, nicks, dents ... everything.
The decals themselves will do nothing to hide blemishes.

#2911 34 days ago

The one time I did decals, I already had the rest of the game apart from necessity (boards and pf were already being reworked) so breaking down the cab the rest of the way was no big deal. And that turned out to be required: the whole time while doing the cab, being able to flip / tip / angle it - without an attached head or other hardware in the way - proved incredibly valuable. There's no way I would do another cab decal without breaking it down.

But honestly, it's not that difficult: pulling out the pf and removing the head are easy, and 90% of the requirement. The rest is basically coin door, flipper buttons, and side rails... the side rails are always the worst part. You don't need to go "all OCD in" and remove the tilt panel, transformer, and other interior bits unless you're doing a full repaint and even then, you can probably work around them if desired.

Agreed that decals will do NOTHING to hide any blemishes. The real work is in the cab prep. Stripping the parts is stupid easy, takes less than an hour (EDIT: well maybe the siderails take that much on their own, too many variables in play). Replacing said parts isn't much more difficult. But the sanding / filling / repairing / painting / touchup / cure-time waiting / etc etc etc is what consumes the time and creates the mess.

#2912 34 days ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

To Expo and beyond
[quoted image]

Those are the ugliest side rails I’ve ever seen

#2913 34 days ago

I just ordered a HardTop to put on my Firepower. I have read through Vid's guides for hardtops and playfield restoration and most of this thread. My inserts are scratched but not cracked or cloudy. The triangle inserts are banana'd enough to effect gameplay and some of the round inserts are cupped but they aren't horrible.

I was going to replace all the inserts and clear the whole thing, but after reading through everything and considering the necessary prepwork for installing the hardtop, the additional work required, the lack of available original style inserts, and the possibility of ghosting on the inserts it doesn't seem like the most logical idea to me.

Based on what I am reading it seems like all I should have to do is sand the playfield down smooth (which will knock down the banana'd triangle inserts), wetsand/polish the inserts, and then shoot clear over the shooter lane.

Am I missing something here? I understand that some people like to go overboard on projects, but I don't see the cost/benefit analysis of doing anything else.

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#2914 34 days ago
Quoted from Duster72:

I just ordered a HardTop to put on my Firepower. I have read through Vid's guides for hardtops and playfield restoration and most of this thread. My inserts are scratched but not cracked or cloudy. The triangle inserts are banana'd enough to effect gameplay and some of the round inserts are cupped but they aren't horrible.
I was going to replace all the inserts and clear the whole thing, but after reading through everything and considering the necessary prepwork for installing the hardtop, the additional work required, the lack of available original style inserts, and the possibility of ghosting on the inserts it doesn't seem like the most logical idea to me.
Based on what I am reading it seems like all I should have to do is sand the playfield down smooth (which will knock down the banana'd triangle inserts), wetsand/polish the inserts, and then shoot clear over the shooter lane.
Am I missing something here? I understand that some people like to go overboard on projects, but I don't see the cost/benefit analysis of doing anything else.
[quoted image][quoted image]

That's pretty much what I did on my Space Shuttle machine and it turned out great. Good luck with your project, I'm sure it will look amazing!

#2915 34 days ago
Quoted from Duster72:

I just ordered a HardTop to put on my Firepower. I have read through Vid's guides for hardtops and playfield restoration and most of this thread. My inserts are scratched but not cracked or cloudy. The triangle inserts are banana'd enough to effect gameplay and some of the round inserts are cupped but they aren't horrible.
I was going to replace all the inserts and clear the whole thing, but after reading through everything and considering the necessary prepwork for installing the hardtop, the additional work required, the lack of available original style inserts, and the possibility of ghosting on the inserts it doesn't seem like the most logical idea to me.
Based on what I am reading it seems like all I should have to do is sand the playfield down smooth (which will knock down the banana'd triangle inserts), wetsand/polish the inserts, and then shoot clear over the shooter lane.
Am I missing something here? I understand that some people like to go overboard on projects, but I don't see the cost/benefit analysis of doing anything else.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Mine came out awesome...

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#2916 33 days ago

The triangle inserts have been banana’s on all three early ss Williams hardtops I’ve done. Not that anyone needs to but I took the longer route and replaced inserts(swapping a few colors), stand ups, eject shields and pop bumper hardware. I guess I enjoy the resto-mod aspect of it. I used a couple of color changing leds under clear inserts and eject shields, in a few cases. However you do it, have fun with it and enjoy your pristine playfield when you are done! Also, mind your shooter lane alignment before you stick it down. It’s much easier to trim before it’s adhered.

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#2917 33 days ago
Quoted from Zigzagzag:

Depends. If you want it to look ok to good, you need to dissassemble the cabinet, strip off the old decals, plaster and sand etc.
If you are happy with a bad to mediocre result, you can put the decals on top of the old ones - but everything (and I mean everything) will show through.
Tears in the old decals, scrapes, screwholes, nicks, dents ... everything.
The decals themselves will do nothing to hide blemishes.

I think you are misunderstanding what i'm asking.
I'm not suggesting to leave the old decals and not fill and smooth.
I'm just asking why the machine needs to come apart to do it.

1 week later
#2918 25 days ago

I need this ball eater mech to sit higher when at rest (down position) because of the hard top thickness. There is no adjustment like a drop target. Any ideas? I was thinking maybe a thicker rubber nub?

image (resized).jpg
#2919 25 days ago

Just a thought. Remove the stock rubber there. Use a bolt with two nylock nuts. Add some washers if your nuts are small enough to go through the hole. That way you could tighten the nuts to either side of the bracket and adjust the lower limit of the plunger. You could also use a stick on rubber, on the top of the bolt, to absorb the energy of the plunger as it returns to it's home position.

#2920 25 days ago

I came up with a hardbody version of the ball eater bracket and looks like your bracket has had a tough life

https://www.shapeways.com/product/YC3Z7HRL5/ball-eater-bracket-v3u-hardtop-wico-15-988200?optionId=279594970&li=marketplace

Screen Shot 2022-11-07 at 8.46.55 am (resized).png
#2921 24 days ago
Quoted from swinks:

I came up with a hardbody version of the ball eater bracket and looks like your bracket has had a tough life
https://www.shapeways.com/product/YC3Z7HRL5/ball-eater-bracket-v3u-hardtop-wico-15-988200?optionId=279594970&li=marketplace[quoted image]

The field repair looks rough, but is actually structurally sound. I’d love to pick up your redesigned bracket, but I already maxed out the budget for this one. Once I get through the board work I will see what I have to spend.

#2922 24 days ago
Quoted from Clytor:

Just a thought. Remove the stock rubber there. Use a bolt with two nylock nuts. Add some washers if your nuts are small enough to go through the hole. That way you could tighten the nuts to either side of the bracket and adjust the lower limit of the plunger. You could also use a stick on rubber, on the top of the bolt, to absorb the energy of the plunger as it returns to it's home position.

Some good ideas here. Your idea sparked a new thought, replace that rubber nub with a nylon bolt (lock nutted in place). The nylon bolt itself might be enough to absorb the shock. This mech isn’t heavy, so the downward dropping force isn’t that much.

#2923 24 days ago
Quoted from Pinash:

I need this ball eater mech to sit higher when at rest (down position) because of the hard top thickness. There is no adjustment like a drop target. Any ideas? I was thinking maybe a thicker rubber nub?
[quoted image]

I had to elongate the slots and slide the bracket up on new ones . It may work on the old ones as well . The new bracket came out after I notified him of the problem with his bracket and hardtop.

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#2924 24 days ago

You also have to notch the bottom to let the stew in the bracket slide up also

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#2925 23 days ago

Finished my Flash Gordon hardtop install and playfield swap (don’t ask!).
I’ve included photos below of some before and after. Plays great! Looks great!
Nothing much to report. Took my time installing the Star rollovers and that turned out to be more daunting than difficult. Really was much simpler than I had anticipated.
I chose to clear my playfield sans the inserts. I added them afterwards since I know not what I do when it comes to clear coating things. I ordered all new inserts and sanded them in place on the PF with 80 grit and the I removed them and went through a couple of finer grits, ending with 1200 wet and a buffing with my Dremel and some compound. I glued them in so they were a hair below flush and added the Hardtop.
I rehabilitate the arrows since I couldn’t find new ones. Just used a chisel to scrape off the junk and sanded them back to almost like new. Helped that they were opaque.
I also worried about the ramps, but followed the lead of others, adding a shim from the strip of plastic with the adhesive supplied with the Hardtop, and it worked brilliantly.
When I did the PF swap (still don’t ask) I put in yopsicles under all of the inserts and rollovers.
Between the Hardtop, the upgraded sound board, and the cabinet repaint, I think I am good to go.
I bought stickers for the spinners, but left in my old battered ones. I kind of like the look. I’d consider installing remakes, but the stickers just didn’t move me.
Oh well, that’s my story

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#2926 23 days ago
Quoted from ita47:

Skypilot
Any chance you guys will do F-14 Tomcat?

Didn't see a reply, forgive if I missed it.

They did do F-14, its on their store.

http://www.outsideedgeproducts.com/store/p75/Pinball_Playfield_Hardtop.html

2 weeks later
#2927 7 days ago

Finally have a free moment to work on the Black Knight.

Hoping to get both hard tops applied today.

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#2928 7 days ago

Happy with how this is turning out. Looking forward to getting parts reinstalled. I need to cut some new rails next.

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#2929 2 days ago

Any chance you guys will do:

Earthshaker
Bally Pool Sharks

#2930 2 days ago
Quoted from Toine79:

Any chance you guys will do:
Earthshaker
Bally Pool Sharks

Yes very good chance

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