(Topic ID: 328709)

Panther City Pinball - Restoration Thread (Harlem Globetrotters)

By PantherCityPins

35 days ago


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    There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 35 days ago

    The purpose of this thread is to document my continuing efforts as a pinball restorer. I have been doing some level of pinball restoration for about 3 years now. I have about 5 restorations under my belt and a few playfield swaps.

    I’ve been interested in starting some restorations threads to document my restorations, mainly for use by others who may be attempting the same thing in the future and to get input or advice from the community here and those more knowledgeable/experienced than me.

    My interest in restoration really started about 4-5 years ago. I’ve always enjoyed woodworking and the idea of bringing something back to its former glory. I see older pinball machines as almost like little people and I really do enjoy the idea of taking a beat up machine that has been through the wringer and giving it the love it has earned over the years. I like to think the machines are a little happier when the process is completed. Preserving these machines and allowing people to experience them as they were (or at least as close as I can get) when they came out of the factory is very rewarding to me.

    Restoration also gives me a creative outlet and a way to get out in my garage and work/ think on something other than my main job which is being a medical doctor. That job is also very rewarding but is high stress for me and stress relief is always a good thing!

    Over the last year or two I have started to take on projects for friends or local pinheads and so I thought it was about time to start an ongoing thread for those who might be interested in following my adventures (or misadventures).

    So without further ado, here is the Pincredible Restorations thread!

    #2 35 days ago

    I've restored several Bally 80s era pins. Many I have posted here.

    Look forward to seeing what you do and how you do it.

    Need any advice or help let me know

    #3 35 days ago

    Ok first a little trip down memory lane.

    My prior restorations include:

    Gottlieb’s Jumping Jack
    *Space reserved for photo, I’ll dig one up.

    Gottlieb’s High Hand (refresh, not a full resto)
    A27D5D77-2FA2-4F29-A5F4-8E6A8701E0F0 (resized).jpeg

    Gottlieb’s Abra Ca Dabra
    0B3D1A4C-B271-4B79-A2A7-E44134C48C43 (resized).jpeg

    Gottlieb’s 300 (refresh and cabinet repaint)
    466FD8E0-AD98-4DF6-84A3-68C0BE790CAF (resized).jpeg

    Bally Xenon
    44BC1E02-1DBB-40C6-B740-2A7CD1EFBE48 (resized).jpeg4EC1D68C-A642-454B-B75F-B94036EEF7D0 (resized).jpeg

    Williams High Speed II The Getaway (playfield swap, Mr_Tantrum did all the mods)
    FAF27DA7-EBE4-49DC-8A7B-C1FEC38B3EC9 (resized).jpeg
    9189A803-770A-4C80-9E1E-22F43DC81084 (resized).jpeg

    #4 35 days ago

    Upcoming projects are (not necessarily in order)

    Bally Harlem Globetrotters (next project up)
    Gottlieb’s Pop A Card (playfield currently out for restoration)
    Bally Flash Gordon
    Stern Meteor
    Bally Lost World (maybe a retheme?)
    Williams Taxi

    And whatever else comes my way!

    I’ll start posting the pics and documentation of the Harlem Globetrotters this evening, it’s the next project up.

    #5 35 days ago
    Quoted from timab2000:

    I've restored several Bally 80s era pins. Many I have posted here.
    Look forward to seeing what you do and how you do it.
    Need any advice or help let me know

    Thanks, I really appreciate that and that’s exactly why I’m doing this thread!

    #6 35 days ago

    Beautiful resto work brother!

    I love threads like this that document the process. They're great to read & go through all the pics & vids. They also go a long way towards helping others out who may want to do their own machine over. So it's awesome you're doing this.

    That said... Good luck on all your projects & I look forward to following along in here.

    #7 35 days ago

    You're welcome. I've been working on one for a couple of months now.

    Thought about posting the progress but doing that can be time consuming too. Might have to rethink that.

    #8 35 days ago

    Globetrotters is a great pin! I love shooting for those drop targets. Good luck with it & I'm definitely looking forward to following along on your progress.

    Also, thanks in advance for taking all the extra time & work it takes to shoot pics, document everything, edit things, explain it all, answer questions & post it all up in here. That alone can be aggravating & takes a lot of time. So thanks for that. I appreciate everyone who does that for the pin community. Definitely awesome people.

    Edit - P.S. - That Xenon came out awesome and that Getaway is the nicest I've ever seen. Awesome!

    #9 35 days ago

    Here’s the before pictures of Globetrotters. This one was purchased from a junker. He basically cleans out houses and such after estate sales or whatever. He got this pin and had no idea what to do with it so he listed it for sale for $100. It was a 1.5 hour drive but I figured it was worth if for $100. It’s rough for sure! Boards are pretty well toast, including the classic mud dauber nest in there. I did plug it in and one sad little light lit up on the playfield but nothing else. I already had ordered all new Alltek boards for it after seeing all the battery damage so I turned it on for kicks. You can see the battery leak damage on the bottom of the MPU and it has also gotten down onto the board below and corroded that as well. The good news is the bottom side is not too rusty. Anyhow, behold the old grossness!!1B858F7B-E18C-4997-B063-64DADB292E13 (resized).jpegBB4FCC2A-67BF-47CA-95CD-B797BAED884D (resized).jpegE5CD88CB-C093-4ECA-9C06-90E0E9F8C56C (resized).jpegAB0F40FF-91C8-4481-B979-C3B33AA777E3 (resized).jpeg7E9FB4BA-1EAE-499A-9BA9-94F6C6B58CCE (resized).jpeg0686F5CE-D323-4903-AC18-769A36DF3F18 (resized).jpeg1518478E-B3F8-4413-B73D-5B49CAD119FB (resized).jpegDB4A2B7F-7B64-473D-BB10-9CC59F8F15D4 (resized).jpeg4927964C-E9F8-4EE7-8C2C-1F8A36F09F32 (resized).jpeg3DA6F652-02B6-4AEE-A0F4-F868E22C931D (resized).jpegB759476B-1BD3-4423-93A9-488796DEE86C (resized).jpeg84A78CA1-ECDC-404F-B4D3-6749404E2A0F (resized).jpegDFF0B974-223C-41CD-9BD7-D50D3CCD3881 (resized).jpegE7BB40DA-53A2-44C3-A087-749E41B99C4E (resized).jpegF92E7855-E3DE-48FD-A5F7-71BB3974E412 (resized).jpeg

    #10 35 days ago

    That's a good one!

    #11 35 days ago

    So first step is removal of the playfield. Starting off by labeling and removing all connectors in the back box. Some very toasty connectors and some pretty interesting hacks to be found! These will all be replaced.D5499CCD-7CB6-49C0-8C64-F5B702343125 (resized).jpegimage (resized).jpg

    #12 35 days ago

    Interesting solution to a fried rectifier on the fuse board:image (resized).jpg

    #13 35 days ago
    Quoted from PantherCityPins:

    He got this pin and had no idea what to do with it so he listed it for sale for $100. It was a 1.5 hour drive but I figured it was worth if for $100. It’s rough for sure!

    I too would have gone after that one, glad it's no longer junk! I'll be eagerly watching your progress and thanks for documenting these.

    #14 35 days ago

    Playfield topside tear down underway. My first goal is to get the metal guides out and cleaned so they can go into the new playfield.

    Shot of where they all go for reference. No broken guides, bonus!image (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpg

    #15 35 days ago

    Here’s my new rotisserie setup, the miter saw stand is on sale at Harbor Freight for $60 right now, the 1” square steel pipe is $27 at the local Lowe’s and the rotating plates are on Amazon for $20 for both as I recall. Hopefully it works well and is stable. My last one tended to have trouble keeping the playfield at an angle with mechs on it. We will see.

    Also, first shot of the new CPR playfield!

    image (resized).jpg
    #16 35 days ago

    Wire guides cleaned, polished and ready to be installed tomorrow.

    image (resized).jpg
    #17 34 days ago

    Wire guides installed. One trick to use is that most wire guides are set at 1/2” tall which is the same thickness as an EM rebound puck so it makes a good spacer guide.image (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpg

    T nuts also installed. I use a rubber mallet and a nut driver when needed to put force on tough edges. Not sure if anyone has a better way.
    image (resized).jpg

    #18 34 days ago

    Pop bumper nails are installed. These were the originals which I cleaned and polished. image (resized).jpg

    I use a countersink bit to make sure there is clearance for the nail heads to sit nice and flat.image (resized).jpg

    #20 34 days ago

    That T Nut tool looks pretty cool. Wonder where they get that big metal disc with the felt on it? I’ll start looking around. Thanks!

    #21 33 days ago

    Tonight I got all the long shank sockets off the old playfield, derusted and cleaned. Since they were all in decent shape I will be re-using them. With so many sockets on this game it would have added a decent amount of cost to replace them all and I’m trying to keep this one at a reasonable price once it’s done and for sale.
    image (resized).jpg
    Also derusted, cleaned and polished all the topside hardware. Shiny!image (resized).jpg

    #22 32 days ago

    This is about the time I usually think “man, I hope this all goes back together…”
    image (resized).jpg

    #23 32 days ago
    image (resized).jpg
    #24 31 days ago

    For anyone following the thread. The original plastic posts are all red on this game. I am considering whether to stick with the original red or maybe go clear? Thoughts?

    #25 31 days ago
    Quoted from PantherCityPins:

    For anyone following the thread. The original plastic posts are all red on this game. I am considering whether to stick with the original red or maybe go clear? Thoughts?

    I am mid swap on an HGT. I went clear on this one because my Skateball and FG just looked incredible after the PF Swaps using clear posts.

    They add a lot of much needed light to these older Ballys.

    #26 31 days ago
    Quoted from PantherCityPins:

    That T Nut tool looks pretty cool. Wonder where they get that big metal disc with the felt on it? I’ll start looking around.

    Big Fender Washer and some peel and stick Felt works great.

    #27 31 days ago
    Quoted from PantherCityPins:

    For anyone following the thread. The original plastic posts are all red on this game. I am considering whether to stick with the original red or maybe go clear? Thoughts?

    I would keep them red, as there's a lot of red on the playfield also and I'm a stickler for originality. But if you want to go with another color, maybe orange? Since it's basketball color?

    #29 31 days ago

    It’s a tight race! I’m leaning red to keep it more original since I am planning on selling this one. If I were keeping it I think I’d do clear personally but I would think people would be more accepting of the original post colors. I checked HEPs HG resto and he went red also.

    Today I got the new pops installed and ran the ground braid. Lots of soldering upcoming…

    image (resized).jpg

    #30 31 days ago

    Just be sure to reinstall the special red post

    #31 31 days ago
    Quoted from Hop-Pac:

    Just be sure to reinstall the special red post

    Yep, saved that one for sure!! Those are hard to find!

    #32 30 days ago

    Waiting on parts to come in for the playfield so I decided to start on the harness refresh. Every switch will be cleaned, all diodes and capacitors replaced and solder will be reheated and refreshed. Hopefully that will avoid issues down the road. Sure is tedious work though!

    image (resized).jpg
    #33 27 days ago

    Minor update. Got parts in from Marco today (thanks for awesome fast shipping Marco!) so I replaced the spinner switches and installed the pop coils and switches.

    This is all going slower than usual because (drum roll) there aren’t any dimples on the backside of this playfield!! I’m having to manually align, mark and drill every pilot hole. Sheesh…image (resized).jpg

    #34 27 days ago

    Mine came dimpled, but 90% of them are off...so, not really much better.

    #35 27 days ago
    Quoted from guitarded:

    Mine came dimpled, but 90% of them are off...so, not really much better.

    Good news is this isn’t a super complicated playfield…

    #36 27 days ago

    No kidding. I just finished up a Flash Gordon. This thing looks like an empty studio apartment compared to that PF.

    #37 24 days ago

    Progress this weekend, a little slower than I hoped. Got the in-line drop target bank rebuilt. Installed all the mechs and coils. Rebuilt all the flippers. Had to remake one from scratch as it had been pirated sometime in the past and just had the flipper plate and flipper left. Left to do is installing the 6 new stand up targets and then soldering in all the lights. image (resized).jpg

    #38 24 days ago

    Nice.
    Wrapped up here on Saturday. Other than an hour or so of switch adjustments, she fired right up and has been flipping solid since.

    #39 20 days ago

    image (resized).jpgEmerging from soldering hell! Got everything soldered up that I can while it’s on the rotisserie. Will proceed with the topside build and then go back and recheck all the wiring once more before I take it off the rotisserie. Huzzah!

    #40 20 days ago

    I like the idea of using red posts as well for originality. If I were to change the color though, I'd go with red, white and blue myself. That is the HG colors as well as our flag. Red at the bottoms, white off to the sides and blue at the tops on the slings and whatever order looks best everywhere else.

    Looking amazing so far Gizz. Great job.

    #41 17 days ago

    With the help of a new pinball buddy we got the cabinet and backbox gutted and stripped today. Doing some minor repairs to the bottom and then will start the filling and sanding process. Also doing some of the playfield build up.image (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpg

    #42 16 days ago

    Question for those following the thread. The rails on this thing are pretty scratched up. I don’t think the scratches will sand out. So, I have two options. One is buy a new set of stainless rails for $100 plus shipping. The other is to powder coat the existing rails and lockdown bar the same red as the legs. I found a new powdercoater and I think they would do that for around $100 or so so it’s a wash on the money side.

    Thoughts on a classic Bally with powder coated armor??

    #43 16 days ago

    I'm not a huge fan of powder coat on classic machines.
    I'm also very cheap and would try everything possible to re-grain the original before dropping coin on new or a service like powder coat.
    However I also only end paying myself about $0.18 per hour on my restorations, so a few hours to re-grain stainless isn't too costly.

    #44 16 days ago

    If I couldn't get the originals to sand, polish and shine up nice, I'd definitely go with the stainless replacements over the powder coat.

    #45 16 days ago

    Just came across this PantherCityPins restoration thread. The Getaway shown previously was my game, and Panther City Pinball did a superb job on the playfield swap. This was a project I was going to undertake on my own (would have been my first), but after more than six months with the playfield still sitting in my office I decided I needed to find a professional. After observing the process (since I'm local, I visited his shop a few times to watch) I can't tell you how happy I am with my choice to have outsourced the project. Rick was meticulous when it came to the swap and it really ended up being somewhat of a playfield restoration. He identified a variety of parts that were either wrong, broken, or hacked to get working back in the day to keep the game running. We replaced these parts with new and correct ones as needed, and he did a great job cleaning up and reutilizing everything else.

    I could go on and on about the quality of his work, his attention to detail, and the how quickly he performed the work, but I've already done that in other posts so will refrain from doing it again here.

    #46 16 days ago
    Quoted from Pinfidel:

    If I couldn't get the originals to sand, polish and shine up nice, I'd definitely go with the stainless replacements over the powder coat.

    Ok, that’s the way I was leaning too. I’m concerned that red powdercoat on this era of game will look weird. It’s a polar thing I think, it would either look awesome or terrible.

    So, I’ll give the old rails a go on regraining and see what happens. I do have a Bally Lost World sitting in a corner that could donate a rail if needed as well.

    #47 16 days ago
    Quoted from Mr_Tantrum:

    Just game across this Pinball_Gizzard restoration thread. The Getaway shown previously was my game, and Panther City Pinball did a superb job on the playfield swap. This was a project I was going to undertake on my own (would have been my first), but after more than six months with the playfield still sitting in my office I decided I needed to find a professional. After observing the process (since I'm local, I visited his shop a few times to watch) I can't tell you how happy I am with my choice to have outsourced the project. Rick was meticulous when it came to the swap and it really ended up being somewhat of a playfield restoration. He identified a variety of parts that were either wrong, broken, or hacked to get working back in the day to keep the game running. We replaced these parts with new and correct ones as needed, and he did a great job cleaning up and reutilizing everything else.
    I could go on and on about the quality of his work, his attention to detail, and the how quickly he performed the work, but I've already done that in other posts so will refrain from doing it again here.

    Thanks Chris!

    #48 16 days ago

    I second the New Original Vote...or, third. Whatever.

    #49 16 days ago

    Major gaps in the collar and cabinet joint are filled with an epoxy based wood filler. I like this stuff because you can use a little water and it feathers out pretty well. Once dry it also sands well.
    image (resized).jpg
    image (resized).jpg

    And here’s a shot of the scratched up rail:image (resized).jpg

    #50 15 days ago

    I think that rail might be savable after all. Did a bit more aggressive approach, sanded it with 80 grit then 120, then 180 and then 250 followed by a medium combi-wheel.

    This was a quick run just to test, when I do it for real I’ll sand down to 400 or so and see what it looks like but the scratches are gone!image (resized).jpg

    There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

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