(Topic ID: 231017)

Finding my Place in the Frontier Food Chain -- Bally Style

By TractorDoc

3 years ago


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There are 1,257 posts in this topic. You are on page 24 of 26.
#1151 4 months ago

Rain on Sunday did allow me to work on Frontier's Hardtop.

Step one was preparation. I had noticed a film or residue on the bottom side of the clear insert areas. Probably most visible on the 10,000 insert in this picture.

5J5A9118 (resized).JPG

I tried removing it with Novus 1 but it had little effect. I found a bottle of Mr. Clean all purpose cleaner and sprayed it on a soft polishing cloth -- that did the trick without damaging the insert lettering/numbering.

5J5A9119 (resized).JPG

I trimmed up the shooter lane. There was a bit more hardtop material than necessary along the outer edge.

5J5A9121 (resized).JPG

Lastly, I blew everything down with compressed air and tacked both the playfield and hardtop surfaces.

5J5A9120 (resized).JPG

#1152 4 months ago

It was time to stick the Hardtop in place.

Because the bottom edge/outhole side was clear and without adhesive I decided to use that area as the site to secure the hardtop to the playfield with clamps. Careful alignment of the inserts was attempted -- I was able to achieve that even though a number of the other holes/openings were less than perfect.

5J5A9123 (resized).JPG

I drug Dad over to help me out. I had him hold the hardtop up at the upper edge while I peeled the backing down by the outhole. Slowly the backing was removed and the hardtop was laid in place. No pics of the process in action -- just a couple afterwards. Its on!

5J5A9125 (resized).JPG

5J5A9126 (resized).JPG

One small step for pinball, one giant leap for Frontier.

#1153 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

It was time to stick the Hardtop in place.
Because the bottom edge/outhole side was clear and without adhesive I decided to use that area as the site to secure the hardtop to the playfield with clamps. Careful alignment of the inserts was attempted -- I was able to achieve that even though a number of the other holes/openings were less than perfect.
[quoted image]
I drug Dad over to help me out. I had him hold the hardtop up at the upper edge while I peeled the backing down by the outhole. Slowly the backing was removed and the hardtop was laid in place. No pics of the process in action -- just a couple afterwards. Its on!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
One small step for pinball, one giant leap for Frontier.
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Isn’t it awesome when it’s on man!!! The best feeling to stand back and see it and be like “That’s it!”

#1154 4 months ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Isn’t it awesome when it’s on man!!! The best feeling to stand back and see it and be like “That’s it!”

Yes!

Let's just hope it stays stuck, right?

I enjoyed looking gazing upon the adhered hardtop for at least three minutes before moving on to installing wood rails. . . but more about that later.

#1155 4 months ago

Earlier on I mentioned that the rollover insert would be installed once the hardtop was in place.

Outside Edge makes the rollover openings smaller so you are able to fit to your playfield and not worry about misalignment -- but you do have to worry about making the opening larger.

5J5A9129 (resized).JPG

The website has a video in which Skypilot demonstrates how to enlarge the hole with a dremel and sanding drum. Believe it or not I do not have a dremel; but I do have a drill. I chucked up a grinding stone that was rolling around in the tool box and went to work. The stone did a decent job of enlarging the hole but the plastic material did start to gum it up after awhile.

5J5A9130 (resized).JPG

Once I had the hole close to the desired size I shelved the drill and trimmed the edges with a new razor knife. I think it turned out well.

5J5A9131 (resized).JPG

Rollover insert installed. I opted for a clear insert to compliment the crystalline waters of Frontier Falls.

5J5A9149 (resized).JPG

#1156 4 months ago

Frontier's wood rails are actually made of solid wood. At least on my game they were anyway.

I thought I'd avoid having to worry about drilling new holes/upper arch slots by cleaning up/painting the originals.

The thing is, when I swapped playfields I ended up having to drill holes anyway. The rails on the original playfield were mostly held in with staples, but I would be mounting the rails with screws. Drill baby drill!

I clamped a rail in place, drilled pilot holes from the underside, then secured it with screws.

5J5A9135 (resized).JPG

Refurbished rails in place. Following mrm_4 's advice I stood back and looked at the updated playfield for awhile. It sure is pretty!

5J5A9137 (resized).JPG

#1157 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I opted for a clear insert to compliment the crystalline waters of Frontier Falls.

Perfect!

#1158 4 months ago

Very nice!

#1159 4 months ago

You are doing a beautiful job! I love to see the progress in each of your updates!

#1160 4 months ago
Quoted from DaWezl:

You are doing a beautiful job!

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the nice comments!

#1161 4 months ago

Last night I worked on making some new wire ball guides.

Several were broken on Frontier. I picked up some .09 inch stainless wire to make replacements out of. Normally I'd just bend these using the vise in the shop, but this time I thought I'd try the wire jig offered by Marco's.

5J5A9160 (resized).JPG

I screwed the jig to a solid piece of cribbing I had in the shop to keep the it stable while bending the wire. I'd consider attaching it right to the workbench but my table has a stainless steel worktop that I did not want to drill holes into.

First bend in, so far so good.

5J5A9161 (resized).JPG

Using the original piece as a guide I marked and bent the second leg.

5J5A9162 (resized).JPG

After trimming the leg I repeated the process three more times to replace the other guides that were broken.

A couple pictures of both new and old guides in place. Can you tell which have been replaced?

5J5A9165 (resized).JPG 5J5A9166 (resized).JPG

Full playfield with all wire guides installed. With that accomplished my next step will be moving onto the backside for some T-nut and lamp socket installation.

5J5A9168 (resized).JPG
#1162 4 months ago

Nice job, but the Marco jig gives much more rounded corners than using a vice or a pair of pliers to bend your corners, for a closer to original look.

#1163 4 months ago
Quoted from jibmums:

Nice job, but the Marco jig gives much more rounded corners than using a vice or a pair of pliers to bend your corners, for a closer to original look.

I hear you and can see the difference too.

I figure I missed out on the original look when I installed the hardtop.

#1164 4 months ago

Everything is looking great.. nice job
I couldn't stop looking at the cabinet paint job. I think it turned out terrific.

#1165 4 months ago
Quoted from topkat:

I couldn't stop looking at the cabinet paint job.

Me either.

#1166 4 months ago

T-Nuts installed.

5J5A9170 (resized).JPG

It looks like the worker with the stapler at the factory was mad when this playfield came along -- check out that upper corner on the in-line drop target side.

5J5A9172 (resized).JPG

Also added on several more items to the bottom of the playfield.

5J5A9179 (resized).JPG

One of my great frustrations in pinball is soldering GI wire to flat stapled lamp sockets. This time I'm trying something new (for me) by bending up the outside tap of sockets that have a harness wire soldered to them. Maybe this is what everyone else does and I'm behind the times. Maybe this way will be more difficult than with flat tabs. I'll have to report back.

5J5A9180 (resized).JPG

There was some other work done but I've had to stop for the time being. I'm waiting to hear back from people smarter than I about what to do next. Hopefully I can better explain in one of my next posts.

#1167 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

One of my great frustrations in pinball is soldering GI wire to flat stapled lamp sockets.

Looking good! Try adding solder (tinning) the tab before adding the ground wire. This should help with heating and solder flow.

#1168 4 months ago
Quoted from emsrph:

Looking good! Try adding solder (tinning) the tab before adding the ground wire. This should help with heating and solder flow.

Thanks!

I'll definitely make sure to tin my tabs.

My frustrations have more to do with needing an extra hand. One to hold the iron, one to apply solder, and one to keep the wire(s) in place!

#1169 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

My frustrations have more to do with needing an extra hand. One to hold the iron, one to apply solder, and one to keep the wire(s) in place!

Tin tab, use iron tip to hold wire down, apply solder to wire (you can skip the tin tab part, really) - after solder on tab, have a flat blade screwdriver handy, use the tip to hold the wire to the tab, remove iron, wait.

That's what works for me, anyway. It's not like you can heat damage the socket or wire with the longer time you're on the joint.

#1170 4 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

Tin tab, use iron tip to hold wire down, apply solder to wire (you can skip the tin tab part, really) - after solder on tab, have a flat blade screwdriver handy, use the tip to hold the wire to the tab, remove iron, wait.

You must have watched me in the past as that sounds exactly like what I do!

I need to mark my screwdriver with some bright paint though as I cannot tell you how many times I set it down between soldering wires and it just disappears when I look to grab it for the next one.

#1171 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

You must have watched me in the past as that sounds exactly like what I do!
I need to mark my screwdriver with some bright paint though as I cannot tell you how many times I set it down between soldering wires and it just disappears when I look to grab it for the next one.

Staple the wire down and then solder to the tab. Did it that way on a light insert and it worked well.

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#1172 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Last night I worked on swapping out the battered, opaque standup targets with some translucent replacements.
Sourced from www.pinball-mods.com.
I soldered in new diodes and capacitors for good measure.
[quoted image]
Zitt does not offer a replacement for the large standup in his store (yet! ), but I have a plan for a replacement.
[quoted image]
I'll try making my own! I cut a replacement from a piece of acrylic.
[quoted image]
Sadly I soon realized the rivets I ordered were too large at 1/8" diameter. I sourced up some 3/32" of the proper length but had to order 100 of them. If anyone reading this finds themselves in need of a couple I'd be happy to help.

any chance you have that old center target you did not use? My game is missing it completely... Do you still have the dimensions you used for your repro? Thanks for all the details, this is great!

#1173 4 months ago

I did take some measurements of the center target.

One and a half inches wide, a bit more than one inch tall.

5J5A8865 (resized).JPG 5J5A8868 (resized).JPG

I have several extra of 1 1/2" X 1" transparent red poly that I'd be happy to send you if it would help. You'll have to source a switch. I need/want to keep my original with this game though as you never know how the next guy along might want it to look.

5J5A9092 (resized).JPG

#1174 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I have several extra of 1 1/2" X 1" transparent red poly that I'd be happy to send you if it would help. You'll have to source a switch.

I would definitely be glad if i could by one of your red ploy replacement

Funny, this seems to be the exact same size as the Nine ball target, discussed at length in that thread. Unfortunately, just as hard to find.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nine-ball-club-all-welcome/page/20#post-6526551

#1175 4 months ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

I would definitely be glad if i could by one of your red ploy replacement

Funny, this seems to be the exact same size as the Nine ball target, discussed at length in that thread. Unfortunately, just as hard to find.

I could measure my Nine Ball target, but I agree they do look similar in size. I do think the Nine Ball target uses 1/8" diameter rivets vs. the 3/32" diameter used on Frontier (and I suspect Paragon -- another game with this sort of target in the center).

I had a piece of the red poly cut down into rectangles.

5J5A9188 (resized).JPG

The cutter got the width right, but shorted me a bit on the height.

5J5A9189 (resized).JPG

If anyone out there needs a translucent rectangle (slightly imperfect) for their Frontier, Paragon, or Nine Ball just send me a PM. I have plenty of extras to spare. I'll even include a set of 3/32" rivets.

#1176 4 months ago

I have to ask..... what's with the hex screws over the T-nuts?

#1177 4 months ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

I have to ask..... what's with the hex screws over the T-nuts?

That's so they don't strip and spin. Factory depending on era used phillips #6 screws instead of the hex head.

#1178 4 months ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

I have to ask..... what's with the hex screws over the T-nuts?

I know the wire harness obscures a lot of the T-nuts in this pic, but hopefully you can see a number of them on the original playfield with the hex head fasteners. They should help to prevent your T-nut from wobbling loose from the playfield wood and spinning free on the underside.

5J5A8982 (resized).JPG
#1179 4 months ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

I have to ask..... what's with the hex screws over the T-nuts?

same on my Centaur i am working on rn, screws over all tnuts. i do not usually install them when i do my swap, i never had an issue with them if they are installed right though.

#1180 4 months ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

same on my Centaur i am working on rn, screws over all tnuts. i do not usually install them when i do my swap, i never had an issue with them if they are installed right though.

With a new playfield you probably don't have to worry as much.

Seeing as I was re-using an original playfield with existing T-nut tooth holes I thought it best to be as secure as possible. Plus, all the holes were already there anyway. . . might as well use them without worrying I'm going to drill thru the playfield.

#1181 4 months ago

Sooo I'm still waiting to hear back from Outside Edge, but I thought I'd share what I'm dealing with that is holding up progress.

It is my understanding that at one time in the manufacturing process something was left out of the chemical mixture in the hardtop adhesive. The resulting issue was the artwork could pull away from the underside of the clear polycarbonate hardtop. I think this Frontier hardtop may be a victim as the following pictures may show. I've not introduced a lot of stress/action to the hardtop surface and I'm seeing several areas pull away.

5J5A9177 (resized).JPG 5J5A9178 (resized).JPG 5J5A9184 (resized).JPG

It is looking like I will have to pull this hardtop and install another. Two steps forward. . . one step back.

#1182 4 months ago

Interesting info. Something to think about when I do my cheetah playfield.

I'm pretty sure I predrilled 3 small holes for the T-nut barbs on my QS swap, but I can't recall at the moment. I had such an awful time with the T-nut installation, the short post screws that didn't go all the way through the T-nuts, etc etc.

Looks like you're doing a great job though!

#1183 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Sooo I'm still waiting to hear back from Outside Edge, but I thought I'd share what I'm dealing with that is holding up progress.
It is my understanding that at one time in the manufacturing process something was left out of the chemical mixture in the hardtop adhesive. The resulting issue was the artwork could pull away from the underside of the clear polycarbonate hardtop. I think this Frontier hardtop may be a victim as the following pictures may show. I've not introduced a lot of stress/action to the hardtop surface and I'm seeing several areas pull away.
[quoted image] [quoted image] [quoted image]
It is looking like I will have to pull this hardtop and install another. Two steps forward. . . one step back.

Man thats a big bummer. I didn't know that was a potential issue with the hardtop. Between worrying about clear chipping on a new pf, and art pulling from a hardtop, no sure thing either way. Thanks for sharing that..

#1184 4 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

It is looking like I will have to pull this hardtop and install another. Two steps forward. . . one step back.

I've seen that story too many times before. Happened on friend's Xenon install. But at least you caught it early, before you repopulated the playfield. Could have been a much larger headache. Hope it's not a bitch to take off & remove all that glue residue. There might be a thread somewhere from a guy who used a heat gun while taking it off.

#1186 4 months ago

Yes, I saw things unfold in Matt's thread.

I've PM'd both mrm_4 and Skypilot about it -- they seem to think the same thing.

Now I just need to hear back from Outside Edge about receiving a replacement so I can start moving forward again.

#1187 4 months ago

Man that poor bastard in that thread had a fight with that Xenon...

Let me know if you want help TractorDoc I'll make the trip to the workshop and hold the heatgun!

#1188 4 months ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Let me know if you want help TractorDoc I'll make the trip to the workshop and hold the heatgun!

Only if you can hold a Corona (or similar beverage) in the other hand.

#1189 4 months ago

Sorry to hear about your problems. I put on my hardtop a month ago or more and have had no issues. Hopefully they resolve it quickly for you. Learning a lot from your posts here.

#1190 3 months ago
Quoted from paulbaptise:

Sorry to hear about your problems. I put on my hardtop a month ago or more and have had no issues. Hopefully they resolve it quickly for you. Learning a lot from your posts here.

Thanks!

As far as I know Outside Edge has corrected the problem and no current hardtops should be plagued with it. This just happened to be one that snuck out while the issue was being identified.

Last night I installed my new rectangle standup target. Due to the thickness (1/8") it looks darker than the standups, but once illuminated more of the red shows through.

5J5A9214 (resized).JPG 5J5A9215 (resized).JPG

I need to see how the targets look compared to the red fin posts. I've already given thought to using a hole saw to make new round targets in the same color. . . I'll try to hold back for now.

#1191 3 months ago

Kicking around some ideas in terms of pop bumper colors.

Thanks to offerings at www.pinball-mods.com (Pinsider Zitt ) I have some interesting options.

Clear.

5J5A9185 (resized).JPG

Color matched to playfield with red/yellow. (Sorry about the focus).

5J5A9186 (resized).JPG

Blue.

5J5A9187 (resized).JPG

I like using the translucent bodies to allow for better illumination on the playfield. At first I thought I'd go with the clear parts to accomplish that task, but the different color combinations are gaining my favor.

I have to remember that there will be a lot of red on the playfield once the finned posts and standups are in place. To even things out a bit I'm leaning towards the blue -- but I'm waiting on an order of skirts for the complete look.

As a nod towards the original design I've had my decal person cut me some bumper cap art in white that I applied over the blue translucent cap's also found in Zitt 's website.

5J5A9219 (resized).JPG

Still waiting to hear back from Outside Edge. I'm running out of side tasks to do!

#1192 3 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

To even things out a bit I'm leaning towards the blue -- but I'm waiting on an order of skirts for the complete look.
As a nod towards the original design I've had my decal person cut me some bumper cap art in white that I applied over the blue translucent cap's also found in Zitt 's website.

The blue looks good. It pulls the upper part and lower part of the playfield together.

The pop bumper decals are nice.

#1193 3 months ago

Man the red and yellow look pretty good as well

#1194 3 months ago
Quoted from emsrph:

The blue looks good. It pulls the upper part and lower part of the playfield together.
The pop bumper decals are nice.

100% agreed!

#1195 3 months ago
Quoted from emsrph:

The blue looks good.

Quoted from Pinballlew:

Man the red and yellow look pretty good as well

I've had multiple people have similar opinions.

I'm looking forward to a complete mockup of both options. . . too bad one cannot offer a Pinside Poll for a single post topic. Perhaps when the time comes I'll open a new thread for just that purpose.

#1196 3 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I'm running out of side tasks to do!

Jumped back onto a different project this weekend.

Regular readers will remember a long time back that the engine was pulled out of dad's 1953 Ford Pickup for a rebuild. Its been a slow process, but the engine was disassembled, bored out, reassembled, test run, and now sits back in the truck.

5J5A9220 (resized).JPG

5J5A9221 (resized).JPG

I'm working on getting a new wiring harness installed. I think dad went a little overboard when he ordered the more complicated harness (I would have just made my own!). I'll not complain about pinball wiring for the near future anyway.

5J5A9223 (resized).JPG 5J5A9224 (resized).JPG

1 week later
#1197 3 months ago

Finished up most of the engine wiring this week.

Also cleaned up the carb, alternator, fitted oil and fuel lines. . . getting close to the first start in the truck.

KIMG1357 (resized).JPG

On more of a pinball related note, I did get to talk with Outside Edge last week and I hope to have a replacement hardtop in hand soon. . . maybe I can get back on topic by the weekend.

#1198 3 months ago

Great thread jam packed with useful info...
Well done Doc!
That truck looks like a great project also

#1199 3 months ago

Thanks Cosmo!

I've admired your work in many of your restoration threads. . . it's an honor to have you stop by here!

1 week later
#1200 3 months ago

I decided it was time to rip the band-aid off so to speak.

I backtracked and removed the wood rails and wire guides. I have some concerns about how secure the wire guides will eventually be after all of this but I've read that using some Elmer's wood glue should keep them in place.

To remove the hardtop I used the heat gun while gradually lifting, starting at the adhesive-free area under the apron. I did manage to pull up most of the adhesive with the hardtop -- having sprayed the entire playfield with clear definitely helped with this. I did not take the time to take pictures of the process -- reverse progress makes me crabby and I was not in the mood.

Bruce at Outside Edge said he liked using acetone to remove the remaining adhesive. While it will do the job the acetone also broke through my rattle can clear coat so I had to be careful to stay away from the inserts while cleaning.

Picture after removal. If it was not for the rollover insert and lamp sockets you'd think I was posting a picture from a month ago.

5J5A9261 (resized).JPG

The new hardtop is scheduled to arrive this week. At this time my only concern is what I should do with the rollover insert. Remove it vs. use the old hardtop as a template to cut the hole. I'll have to line things up to see if the layout is the same.

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