(Topic ID: 58688)

Pin*Bot: My attempt at restoring a machine and a community


By NJGecko

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 519 posts
  • 71 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by skywalker
  • Topic is favorited by 33 Pinsiders

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There are 519 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 11.
17
#1 6 years ago

Title may sound melodramatic, but hear me out...
I am attempting to restore a Pin*Bot. And I plan to milk the community for advice and knowledge.
The machine will be put taken apart and put back together and I will use the forum to ask questions and share experience. And in doing that, attempt to pull what I feel is some much needed focus back to the hobby.
I agree with SPFXTED's sentiment. I feel that the forum has gotten muddled by a handful of people that manage to overall pull the focus away from the hobby and turn it into a debate platform bashing people or vendors.

I'm going to attempt to create posts that go back to where I feel this forum was even a few months ago. Questions looking for answers. Experience to be shared. The reasons that I feel this hobby and community are unique and valuable.

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#2 6 years ago

For the PIN*BOT, I have mylar on most of the playfield, the playfield does show the start of planking. Will lifting the mylar lift the paint too? Is this a risk I have to take? Cliffy has photos on his page of the restore he did on his. Post your progress on this pin as there are other Pinsiders working on their PIN*BOTS.
This site is important, and is easy to navigate, and has a lot of info on repairs and parts supplies swirling around on it. I can remember trying to repair pins before the internet. There was hardly and parts available too. In the early 80's there were many pins that were tossed out. Operators, and the Distributors told hobbyist that the early SS pins were not worth repairing. The pins at the time were easily replaced why try to fix it.
Don't give up yet.

#3 6 years ago

Not being an arse but then why start 2 other threads about your Pinbot? Why not keep in all in one thread.

#4 6 years ago

So what are you planning on doing to the machine? Will it be all cosmetic? When I had mine the best "upgrade" imho was to replace the system 11 flipper coils with the WPC coils. The project eliminates the sometimes huge sparks you get on the flipper switch and gives a stronger feel to the flippers.

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from KoolFingers:

Not being an arse but then why start 2 other threads about your Pinbot? Why not keep in all in one thread.

Simple...one large thread tends to lose the draw of specific questions. I've done long single threads before and if, halfway down in the thread, you have a question about something specific, it doesn't get noticed unless people are specifically following the thread.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from RudyHead:

So what are you planning on doing to the machine? Will it be all cosmetic? When I had mine the best "upgrade" imho was to replace the system 11 flipper coils with the WPC coils. The project eliminates the sometimes huge sparks you get on the flipper switch and gives a stronger feel to the flippers.

I'm planning to go all-out to see what I really can do. Playfield swap, repainting the cabinet, etc.
Haven't heard about swapping coils. Any info on that?

#7 6 years ago

I haven't heard about swapping coils on a sys11 either. I have read of drilling a hole in the EOS switch bracket and installing a WPC style spring set up. It's gone over in Vid's flipper rebuild guide on this very site. I'd stick with the 11630 coils, though. I had a flipper fuse issue on a Fire! and as soon as I installed the proper coil (someone had put a 11629 in), the issue went away.

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

I'm planning to go all-out to see what I really can do. Playfield swap, repainting the cabinet, etc.
Haven't heard about swapping coils. Any info on that?

I used Clay's Sys 11 guide back in the day when he had it posted publicly on pinrepair.com. I think they are still unavailable unfortunately. I found this article but can't vouch for it. Its the serial to parallel upgrade section you want to check out. http://pinballrehab.com/1-articles/solid-state-repair/routine-maintenance/190-rebuilding-flippers

#9 6 years ago

i found the sys 11 pinrepair. this should help you out with that. And looking foward on keeping up with your pinbot restore. http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/wms11/index1.html

#10 6 years ago

Weight loss program in progress...!

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#11 6 years ago

So what's the recommendation with this...clean and leave it be or totally disassemble and repaint?

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#12 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

So what's the recommendation with this...clean and leave it be or totally disassemble and repaint?

You said you were going all out. Better paint it.

#13 6 years ago

I knew that was coming!

So my question is if anyone makes repro shop-out stickers for these? I'd hate to lose the original stickers!

#14 6 years ago

Can't forget the picture of the intact topper

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#15 6 years ago

I pulled the mylar on my Pinbot using heat. Very little paint loss, a couple of tiny flecks was all that was lost. I've got some pics on another computer,I will find them.

#16 6 years ago

I couldn't find anyone that had the stickers when I did my Pinbot. Had to repro the stickers myself. Printed them out on glossy laser sticker paper.

Also I agree with rustylizard on painting the light board.

decal2.jpg decal1.jpg

#17 6 years ago

Those are perfect....where did you get them?

#18 6 years ago

Nice project! I'm doing the same with my bride of pinbot. I've got a lot of answers to my questions. "All" I need to do right now is to get the CPU board working. Get the game into attract mode but nothing more so far =) will follow your thread and see if I can get any inspiration.

Andy

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from chipleader:

I couldn't find anyone that had the stickers when I did my Pinbot. Had to repro the stickers myself. Printed them out on glossy laser sticker paper.
Also I agree with rustylizard on painting the light board.

Nice work, though you have a couple of typos on "solenoid"

#20 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

Those are perfect....where did you get them?

Thanks NJGecko, I redrew them using Microsoft publisher.

Quoted from GListOverflow:

Nice work, though you have a couple of typos on "solenoid"

Thanks GList, I can't believe I did that! Already corrected spelling and printed out a new one.

#21 6 years ago
Quoted from Dr_Gonzo:

I pulled the mylar on my Pinbot using heat. Very little paint loss, a couple of tiny flecks was all that was lost. I've got some pics on another computer,I will find them.

I used a can of compressed air (dust off for electronics, cameras etc) and held it upside down while spraying. This way the pressurizing thing in the can comes out and acts like freeze spray. Kind of a hack but worked well on my bride of pinbot. Don't know if the technique will work on all machines but my result was very good. Only very few minor paint losses. There is a video on YouTube where someone shows how to do it on a TZ. If you gonna try it, be super careful and try somewhere where it does not show as much. Also don't stress it, let the freezing complete before trying to rip the Mylar off. I used a credit card to get one end up a little and then I could grip it with my fingers and continue. Up to you to try it but it worked for me!

#22 6 years ago

Tore the head down, sanded, etc.

Turned it into a nice father/daughter experience

DSC04456.JPG DSC04469.JPG DSC04459.JPG DSC04480.JPG DSC04484.JPG DSC04487.JPG

#23 6 years ago

Nice work!

Although, that 3rd photo in the last post makes me cringe a little bit

Chris

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

So what's the recommendation with this...clean and leave it be or totally disassemble and repaint?

Clean it first to see how it comes out. Those things usually clean up really well with something like Simple Green.

#25 6 years ago

NJGecko just wanted to say great job with documenting your process on your work here, I have been debating on doing that myself for various repairs I am doing to my machine to help people later on, I enjoy reading restore threads and good for you on doing it, I know they can be a lot of work and sometimes not a lot of people responding. I also have seen the community change and hope it can get back to where it was with less bickering.

Great start on getting the head sanded, Was pinbots art stickers or all painted on? Either way looks to be a great project. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

#26 6 years ago

Thanks! I enjoy doing these, and for me it's a learning experience every time. It seems like not long ago that I didn't know how to take the glass out of a machine! Pin*bot is painted on with stencils, so no decals.
I'm enjoying the work on this so far, and I have to say that having my daughter help me actively on this adds a whole new layer to the project!

#27 6 years ago

I just started the playfield on the Pinbot for Pinballchef. I will try to start a thread documenting it tonight for you to go by. I was debating wether or not people wanted me to start another one of my restoration threads. Check back on my high speed and xenon threads for a lot of the info.

On the light panel. Anytime you repaint something white it looks a thousand times better. That's how I look at it.

Pull the ground braid and ground panel in the head when you repaint it. Will come out much better doing the inside too. I have all the shop out decals you should need. Show me what your stickers look like and I will double check.

The Pinbot in working on had lots of planking too. Freeze spray worked well for the Mylar and only paint loss was the keylines in te upper grid which needs to be repainted anyways because if te end of the Mylar discoloration in that area. Use flour method to remove the glue. Too much scraping with a plastic razor with the planking playfield can cause you some headaches.

If you are going full Monty be prepared to have no life. It takes some serious time and patience. Always resist the urge to cut corners or skip a step because you feel you will never see it or notice it. Since you will just be swapping the playfield it will save some time but when I did high speed it took me 190 hours to complete it.

-Jim

#28 6 years ago

Jim...you do fantastic work and it's on a level I could never even dream of! That said, I'm just going to do a playfield swap...easier and safer for all involved!

#29 6 years ago
Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

I just started the playfield on the Pinbot for Pinballchef. I will try to start a thread documenting it tonight for you to go by. I was debating wether or not people wanted me to start another one of my restoration threads. Check back on my High Speed and xenon threads for a lot of the info.
On the light panel. Anytime you repaint something white it looks a thousand times better. That's how I look at it.
Pull the ground braid and ground panel in the head when you repaint it. Will come out much better doing the inside too. I have all the shop out decals you should need. Show me what your stickers look like and I will double check.
The Pinbot in working on had lots of planking too. Freeze spray worked well for the Mylar and only paint loss was the keylines in te upper grid which needs to be repainted anyways because if te end of the Mylar discoloration in that area. Use flour method to remove the glue. Too much scraping with a plastic razor with the planking playfield can cause you some headaches.
If you are going full Monty be prepared to have no life. It takes some serious time and patience. Always resist the urge to cut corners or skip a step because you feel you will never see it or notice it. Since you will just be swapping the playfield it will save some time but when I did High Speed it took me 190 hours to complete it.
-Jim

190 hours. Wow. It must be really nice!

I need to find your HS thread as I'm just working on my very first low-mid level restore. I'm mostly focusing on working components and what amounts to a shop job. Makes me a little nervous to get much playfield work, mylar, repainting and cabinet stuff working. I'm new to pins in the last 6 months and along with it anything electronic. I have done some board work now but still don't completely understand how everything works.

Thanks for this thread. I've learned a lot in 6 months but have a REALLY long way to go.

#30 6 years ago

Good luck! I think you're right, we need more of these types of threads. I love PinBot, definitely a game that deserves this type of treatment.

#31 6 years ago

Going to place some parts orders soon. Any guestimate on how much wire I should order for the playfield GI? Jim, when you did Xenon, do you know? I don't even have a guess. I also need to do a count for sockets. Any advice on what sockets I should use? I seem to remember someone a while back suggested a different lamp socket.

#32 6 years ago

You are going to have an awesome Pinbot when you are done.

Thank you for sharing your efforts !

LTG : )

#33 6 years ago

Yeah Jim is restoring my PINBOT PF for me....I know they are CPR PFs out there but I didn't think my PF was in too bad of shape for a restore (though as Jim started taking apart it did get worse than expected ) . My thing is anything original I can save from this machine makes me happy....I love knowing its all original (I mean besides the basic shop out materials) and that this thing was played like crazy and is now getting loved on. PINBOT is a keeper for me so well worth the investment. I am keeping my cab and back box all original....I dig the patina and "worn" look....it's in about good of shape as the geckos is although my topper looks much better.

If you wat to document it Jim I'm cool with that.....I like following your work anyway. I know it's all fun for you

#34 6 years ago

Pinrestore.com for the ground braid wire. Buy double what you think you need. Its cheap

Sockets pinballresource and get the staple down two lead sockets for ground braid GI lines.

Here is the high speed thread. It was beautiful but it left at Allentown to its new owner. Had to make room for Metallica.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/high-speed-full-restoration-started-whridlsoncestood-112512

My first game was hulk 1.5 years ago. Diving in head first teaches you everything you need to know. I was clueless before that.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/think-ive-finnaly-landed-my-first-pin-incredible-hulk

-Jim

#35 6 years ago

Thanks Jim. I'm hopefully going to order the new playfield shortly then I can start prepping it. And counting what I need so I don't have a million small parts orders. I need to finish tearing the topside down and need to take the cabinet down to bare wood. So much to do! And my biggest challenge is my cat...I can't leave ANYTHING out or else she likes to see what she can chew through. Well, that's another story....

#36 6 years ago

Couple more pictures...
First is the "oh, that's a fix!" picture of a rubber replaced by a few snap-together beer bottle bands (I think)

Then two more of what the playfield looks like and why I figured I'd just replace it. As much as I hoped it would be a pull the mylar and I'm good, the more I tore it down the more I just found bare wood showing in so many spots it just wasn't worth it to me to try to save.

DSC04381.JPG DSC04395.JPG DSC04370.JPG

#37 6 years ago

That looks about what I'm dealing with. You'll see tonight.

Jim

#38 6 years ago

Just use the ignore button. Lots of people still ask tech questions and get great answers. I find tons of useful info on here daily. Uncheck the crappy forums like off-topic and you won't have any issues with odd posts, especially after ignoring people you are not fond of. Easy enough. Also, there are lots of threads like this, but they only get like 5 posts on them. People seem highly interested in being in the "know" or something

On that note, man oh man good luck with that pinbot! She looks pretty rough with some pretty funny "fixes"

#39 6 years ago

Greg...when you get the new playfield, does it come clearcoated, or do you have to send it out?

#40 6 years ago

I believe the ones from CPR come clearcoated. I think. For the official answer, I believe they come clearcoated, but it's not uncommon for people to send them back out to be re-done by some of the high-end shops. I know several people have sent Mirco's playfields out to HEP to get re-cleared.

#41 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

I believe the ones from CPR come clearcoated. I think. For the official answer, I believe they come clearcoated, but it's not uncommon for people to send them back out to be re-done by some of the high-end shops. I know several people have sent Mirco's playfields out to HEP to get re-cleared.

Yeah, thin layer on them. I'd send it away to get cleared further. Looks real sharp like glass!

#42 6 years ago

Forgive my dumbness. Can you order one from them with either no clearcoat (so you can have it done yourself), or pay more for an Upgraded Clearcoat?

Edit: Forgive my dumbness is for the rest of you....Greg knows about it first hand!)

#43 6 years ago

Off to a nice start.

What's the rest of the playfield look like? Any interest in selling it? Thinking of starting some playfield wall art

#44 6 years ago

Thats a good question. I don't know, but I think they clear all of them.

Everyone has their own opinions. Personally I think the clearcoat on my AFM came out pretty darn nicely, and it's also a matter of value. I want this to be a nice machine, but I can't justify spending $649 on a playfield and maybe another $3-$500 to get it cleared for a pinbot.

#45 6 years ago
Quoted from 85vett:

Off to a nice start.
What's the rest of the playfield look like? Any interest in selling it? Thinking of starting some playfield wall art

The rest of the playfield overall isn't bad I think. I'd consider selling it I suppose...

Some more pics below
https://plus.google.com/photos/101712058450717539786/albums/5905463638177752513

#46 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

I want this to be a nice machine, but I can't justify spending $649 on a playfield and maybe another $3-$500 to get it cleared for a pinbot.

Gotcha! I understand. I didn't realize clearcoating was so expensive!

#47 6 years ago

It could be cheaper, but that's what I've heard it runs. With this game it's a lot of give and take, and the choices I make are careful ones for the most part. I want to do this nicely, but it's not a no expense spared restore.

#48 6 years ago

You can pay extra at certain places that sell repro playfields for a thicker clear. Someone like ron kuzman is prety affordable on clear coating, but he is pretty booked as well, but worth a shot at asking!

The extra clear looks so great and mine as well see if you can get it done for an extra say $300?

#49 6 years ago

Yeah, but I understand what NJ is saying..even at $300...Pinbot is not an expensive game to put so much into.

#50 6 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Yeah, but I understand what NJ is saying..even at $300...Pinbot is not an expensive game to put so much into.

So I went back and forth on this. While it is not an expensive game...there is still tons of work to strip it and put it back together. It sounds like if $300 is going to hinder this then you are restoring it with the purpose of making money on a resale? If so, then yeah ona game like pinbot then $300 on extra/proper clear may be a bit much.

Although, for the amount of work entailed anyways...I'd just do it! If I'm going top spend a ton of hours swapping PF then mine as well go the extra mile. Just my mindset on it.

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