(Topic ID: 231017)

Diving into another Classic Bally - I cannot FATHOM what might go wrong!


By TractorDoc

11 months ago



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#151 8 months ago

Took some time to work with the main apron today. Decided to give making one myself a try.

Here is the starting point. The original and a piece of sheet metal.

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Measured and traced out the pattern.

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Cut out the pattern.

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The tricky part -- creating the slots and recessed areas for the instruction cards. I drilled several holes then filed the rectangular openings for the card corners. To create the recess I used a wood chisel to make a pattern in some scrap wood. Using another block of wood I hammered the card area into the wood form to create the recess.

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View of the underside.

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And the topside. It is far from perfect or a factory original, but I am happy with it considering the tools I had to work with.

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Before shutting down for the night a coat of primer was applied and the instruction cards were test fitted.

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Looking forward to what it will look like once painted.

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#152 8 months ago

Wow that apron is impressive.

#153 8 months ago

Indeed!!!

#155 8 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Took some time to work with the main apron today. Decided to give making one myself a try.
Here is the starting point. The original and a piece of sheet metal.
[quoted image]
Measured and traced out the pattern.
[quoted image]
Cut out the pattern.
[quoted image]
The tricky part -- creating the slots and recessed areas for the instruction cards. I drilled several holes then filed the rectangular openings for the card corners. To create the recess I used a wood chisel to make a pattern in some scrap wood. Using another block of wood I hammered the card area into the wood form to create the recess.
[quoted image]
View of the underside.
[quoted image]
And the topside. It is far from perfect or a factory original, but I am happy with it considering the tools I had to work with.
[quoted image]
Before shutting down for the night a coat of primer was applied and the instruction cards were test fitted.
[quoted image]
Looking forward to what it will look like once painted.
[quoted image]

I need one for a Flash Gordon while you're at it

#156 8 months ago

Sprayed some paint over that primer.

5J5A9664 (resized).JPG

Unfortunately my color matching skills missed the mark. The original apron is a purple color, my offering is definitely more blue. I am thinking the blue may blend with the rest of the playfield. . . tempting fate I carried the still drying apron over and set it on top. Apron blue matches the blue at the top of the playfield, so there is that. The apron should look less prominent and obnoxious if I am successful in applying the decals.

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#157 7 months ago

Spent most of this weekend's pinball time fixing up a Bally Mystic to get it ready for the Ohio Show next month. I did think about the lighting on Paragon for a bit though.

Normally on these older games I am an incandescent guy, but there are a couple factors on Paragon that have me a little bulb curious when it comes to LEDs.

Factor 1 -- Heat. An incandescent is going to put off some heat, even a 47 which is what I normally use. It may be minimal heat, but I'd like to avoid any added expansion/contraction on the inserts under the clear by eliminating the heat factor. I tested some Comet warm white frosted bulbs under the inserts (color matched a couple reds, green, etc. -- the yellows looked too amber so I stuck with warm whites on those) and I think they look good.

Factor 2. Access. Several GI bulbs are buried under several sets of plastics and a burnt out bulb would be a bit of work to replace. The LED bulb may last a bit longer in those areas. Under playfield areas are a bit easier to get to but still a pain.

Factor 3. I accidentally ordered an Alltek Lamp Driver Board during one of those E-bay discount/coupon offers awhile back. I ordered what I thought was an MPU and SD board combo. . . only to realize it was the lamp driver instead. Thought it was an awful good price to begin with. . . Anyway, I could use the Alltek Lamp Driver and not worry about LED converters.

I fitted some Comet clear sunlight bulbs into the GI and I think I like the overall effect.

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I set several of the plastics in place to see how things would look. . . I just may have to stick with these and see how it all looks put together.

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Playfield should be ready for waxing later this week!

#158 7 months ago

I had Comet 2SMD warm whites in my Paragon and really loved how they looked. There isn't a ton of GI in that game (compared to how huge the PF is) and it really does help light it up. I'll see if I can dig up a picture of it.

Edit: Found one. I miss having them all lined up

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#159 7 months ago

Also, it is a cell phone pic, but the artwork isn't washed out like how some pictures can show.

#160 7 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

I need one for a Flash Gordon while you're at it

fatpanda FG apron repros were available at PPS last time I checked (& bought).....

#161 7 months ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

fatpanda FG apron repros were available at PPS last time I checked (& bought).....

I almost forgot about these. . . trying to convince brenna98 to press out some wide body versions!

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/reproduction-bally-aprons

#162 7 months ago

Made an attempt at installing my apron decals today. Started with seperate yellow and red patterns -- these were going to be a bit trickier to apply than the shooter gage was.

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I attempted to apply all of the yellow at once. My only hiccup was "Bally" was positioned too low and dipped down into the apron card area. My attempts to peel those letters back after half applying them did not work in my favor. Looks like I will have to ask my friend to cut another. . . at least its not the entire piece as I was able to get the rest on without issue.

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Rather than try to apply all the red at once I cut "Pinball" from the rest and applied it first.

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Then cut "Paragon" out and put those letters in place.

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Last was the striping. I was regretting the extra cup of coffee I had this morning by now as my fingers were a bit jittery and my margin for error was rather small. There is a small crease in one spot but it is not super obvious. . . I'm not going to point it out.

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Sitting back on the playfield I can see the stripes/lettering are tying things together. Should look even better once I properly place Bally in its spot.

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I need to freshen up the apron cards. If I had to do it again (I just might if I can find another factory wide body apron) I might tighten up "Paragon" and place it a bit higher on the right. Sometimes I can be difficult to please.

#163 7 months ago

Well, here is what $10 in sheetmetal and a case of Corona has produced.

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How it might look when you walk up to play.

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I know it may not be to everyone's liking. . . but that is why the original will be tucked into the cabinet for a future owner to swap out should they wish.

Edit: I know I left the credit hole out -- that was intentional.

#164 7 months ago

I like it!

#165 7 months ago

Once you get it up and running, you will realize what a great game it is, and you’ll stop with all this “next owner” talk

#166 7 months ago
Quoted from BobLangelius:

you’ll stop with all this “next owner” talk

I have yet to discover the fountain of youth. . . so it will eventually find a new owner someday. I am hoping that is not for awhile though. . .

#167 7 months ago

Wow! I just read every single post in your thread - absolutely amazing progress! Paragon is my favorite game from my favorite era in pinball - I regret selling mine. I must own another someday! Keep up the great work!

#168 7 months ago

You should be ashamed and embarrassed, having something like what this project is turning into embedded in your collection. Best thing to do would be to finish it up and off it immediately to me. I’m willing to live and deal with this...this...thing!

#169 7 months ago
Quoted from Xtraball:

You should be ashamed and embarrassed, having something like what this project is turning into embedded in your collection. Best thing to do would be to finish it up and off it immediately to me. I’m willing to live and deal with this...this...thing!

Dream on! I've already asked way back. Get in line, sucka!!!! Lol

#170 7 months ago

I think there is atleast a dozen of us in line to buy it

#171 7 months ago

Now why’d you have to go and fabricate a new apron out of sheet metal and make it look incredible?! Man, I’m so unskilled.

#172 7 months ago
Quoted from wyopin:

Now why’d you have to go and fabricate a new apron out of sheet metal

Couple reasons -- 1. I'm cheap and didn't want to spend more than I was comfortable with on a used one from another game. 2. I'm impatient and didn't want to wait around for the right deal to come along. 3. Sometimes I want to try something to see if I can do it. I could have very well ended up with a crumpled up ball of metal (as some past attempts of making something have turned out). Trying something new keeps things interesting. Playing pinball was fun but I wanted something more so I bought my first project game and the overhaul process has been very fulfilling. I was the kid that took his toys apart to see how things worked on the inside. . . guess I'm still doing that today.
Doubt very much that you lack skills -- you are probably keeping them to yourself so my work does not look so bad.

#173 7 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Couple reasons -- .

Regardless, it looks absolutely stunning! Really sharp, and I think it looks even better than the original. Bravo...again!

#174 7 months ago

Today is the day. . . the plan was to apply a good coat or two of Blitz Wax to the playfield and then start putting things back together.

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I applied the first coat and let it sit while I worked on installation of the Solenoid Driver Board I rebuilt last night for Bally Mystic. As fate would have it my rebuilt board did not immediately work as well as when I took it out. I spent the next hour or so chasing down why my Five Volt power was lacking. For whatever reason the new regulator was not regulating -- luckily I had another that was not used in a past board rebuild and once I swapped it out we were back in business. I managed to apply a second coat of wax on Paragon but by this time the sun was quickly setting on my time in the shop.

I did manage to prep the holes and install the fin shanks for the pop bumper coil brackets. I was not looking forward to this part having visions of the clear cracking under the shanks. Before pounding them in I cleaned out the holes and countersunk the clear under the heads via drill bit. I used a punch on the shank head rather than hit it directly. I also tried to line up the fins on the shanks with the original slots they had left in the playfield. Shanks installed, no spiderwebs or sections of clear flaking off yet.

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Before turning out the lights for the night I fitted the pop bumper units in their places. I chose to go with the original style bumper bodies in white with the translucent red skirts. Ultimately it came down to me liking the look of the older, fluted style body on this game vs. the newer style. I was worried I was not going to remember how to orient the lamp sockets in the bumper bodies but pictures taken during disassembly helped set things right.

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More progress tomorrow? Maybe. Hopefully. Will depend a lot on the weather. A lot of outdoors stuff is needing done around the house and time will be spent there if the sun comes out.

#175 7 months ago

It rained this afternoon so I was able to abandon the yard work and progress on some pinball work.
Started by wiring in the pop bumper lamp sockets and then securing the coils. I do not like soldering the wires to the lamp sockets, it would be a lot easier if I had a third arm.

5J5A9758 (resized).JPG

Then it was on to the flipper mechanisms. I installed new switches and had a joyous time trying to get the stacking right. As shipped the new switches were too thick to allow the mounting screws to secure them to the flipper plate. I used the upside down flipper bats to allow pivoting of the crank and proper switch adjustment once installed. A panoramica of the scene:

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After cleaning and installing the slingshot arms, rollover wires, standup targets, etc. I turned the playfield over to check my bumper wiring. I was rewarded with working lamps.

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The last picture does not showcase the lighted bumpers very well, but I will leave you with a couple pictures that do.

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#176 7 months ago

That apron is incredible! Looking real good!

#177 7 months ago

Working at adding to the topside of the playfield.
Before installing anything I used a small drill bit to clean out some of the clear, sanding residue, and polishing compound from each hole.

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Then I used a larger drill bit to counter sink around each hole in an attempt to minimize trauma to the clearcoat. I spun the bits by hand -- they were new and sharp enough to get the job done.

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With holes cleaned out I installed the wire guides to about half pinball height. Don't worry, I will not be using the scratched up ball when playing.

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#178 7 months ago

My playfield maps were rather helpful when it came time to know which post/fastener combination was used in each location.

5J5A9816 (resized).JPG

Even after I had everything bagged and tagged I was somehow still short a couple stud posts. Even so I managed to find a place for everything minus a couple finish nails (I'll get some new ones to replace the original rusty ones). Several posts are just temporarily in place until the ball gates, spinner frame, etc. are in place.

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Placed an order with Titan for new rubbers and there are still a few tweaks I want to make to the underside of the playfield. Details to come.

#179 7 months ago

Decided not to go with Greg Kmiec's solid red post?

#180 7 months ago
Quoted from zombywoof:

Decided not to go with Greg Kmiec's solid red post?

No doubt there was one on the playfield at one time (duh ). The reference website shows a solid red post under the plastic/left spinner support post:

http://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/redpost/redpost.html

I went back and looked at my pictures -- I did not see a solid red post there. Could it have been swapped out or could it just be a different style but translucent? Sure. I need to go back thru the bag of old posts to see if I can find the oddball. To be honest I had read about Greg's posts in the past, but had forgotten about that little detail.

5J5A8528 (resized).JPG

#181 7 months ago

You are making some really steady and beautiful progress on this. That clear coat is beautiful!

#183 7 months ago

Thanks for the link to Jeff's site. I have my red post on my Supersonic and now I know why it is there. Way cool.

#184 7 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

No doubt there was one on the playfield at one time (duh ). The reference website shows a solid red post under the plastic/left spinner support post:
http://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/redpost/redpost.html

Sometimes I wonder if people even read my posts.

#185 7 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Sometimes I wonder if people even read my posts.

I feel the same way sometimes. Your project looks great. I gotta get back on mine here sometime soon.

#186 7 months ago

I did some digging thru my take off parts box and found the token red Kmiec post.

5J5A9834 (resized).JPG

I looked over my pre-disassembly pictures and think it was located just to the left of the center stand up target.

5J5A3225 (resized).JPG

Not saying that was where it was installed at the factory (not very inconspicuous, and I'm not sure screws were originally used as a securing method), but at least that is where it was when I took possession of the game. Will I reinstall it? At this point I've changed several other things around so its not like this is a 100% original representation. I will probably toss it in the bag with the original drop targets, original apron, original spinner, etc. that will be inside the cabinet.

Wait, did I say something about the spinner? You bet I did. Here is a sneak peek of what I came up with as my preferred alternative.

5J5A9833 (resized).JPG

#187 7 months ago

I love this red Kmiec post history. There is so much cool pinball trivia to learn!
I haven’t gotten a chance to tear into my playfield yet from the Paragon I picked up a few weeks ago, but I have the red post under the left spinner support bracket.

#188 7 months ago

Ha! Sorry Doc. I am following your thread. It’s coming out great. And , well, maybe I’m not seeing as well as I once did...

No, it’s this darn phone, it’s too small, yeah that’s it, it’s the phones fault.

#189 7 months ago
Quoted from cletus:

I love this red Kmiec post history. There is so much cool pinball trivia to learn!
I haven’t gotten a chance to tear into my playfield yet from the Paragon I picked up a few weeks ago, but I have the red post under the left spinner support bracket.

I looked at some pics from when I had my Paragon and found it there as well. Doc, you gotta put it back!

20190209_075756 (resized).jpg
#190 7 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

Doc, you gotta put it back!

O you guys. . .
Maybe I will sneak it in somewhere. I wont write anything about it but will see if people are paying attention should it be in pictures. I'd sure hate to displease those in the know!

Excited to see an order from Titan arrived today. Hoping the translucent looks good but you just never know. For the record I don't plan on keeping the original/old rubbers with all the other original parts in the cabinet.

5J5A9835 (resized).JPG

#191 7 months ago

Stopped in the shop after work to test fit a few rings. So far I am liking them.

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I've been thinking the area under that center target it a little dark, so I wired in a new lamp socket and tied it into the GI wiring.

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And the result.

5J5A9839 (resized).JPG

The playfield is getting heavier with each addition -- thinking its about time to get some legs under this project and move the playfield over to the cabinet. Ideally I can get that accomplished this weekend.

#192 7 months ago

It looks cool, but oh crap, don’t light that one... that’s a sucker shot. Very high % drain.

#193 7 months ago
Quoted from zombywoof:

It looks cool, but oh crap, don’t light that one... that’s a sucker shot. Very high % drain.

Even though I have not put a game on this machine yet I've played long enough to know that most center shots like that tend to come right back at you and drain.

Somedays I can just look at a pinball machine all lit up and be just as happy as playing -- the visual effect is definitely one of the things that will keep Paragon in my collection for awhile.

Thinking ahead to playing, I've been trying to watch a couple Paragon tutorials. This one from Bowen/PAPApinball has been helpful and informative:

#194 7 months ago

Nice Legs! The cabinet is up on all fours for the first time in. . . ?

Playfield is close to being back home as well.

5J5A9854 (resized).JPG

I know the metal hidden leg protectors are superior than the red ones I have in place, but I had these laying around, they cover a bit of ugly on the cabinet, and they sort of blend in with the red.

#195 7 months ago

this thread is so good man, i cant believe i just stumbled across it today! howd i miss it for so long? Amazing work.

#196 7 months ago

We talked about cleaning out the yellow from the clear plastics some posts back. My experience did not go as planned. . . the fault was all my own.

Did anyone else watch Home Improvement on TV years ago? Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor hosted Tool Time, a program dedicated to home improvement and the tools used in the process. Tim was known for always wanting to add more power to a project that may not have needed it -- the equivalent of cutting a toothpick in half with a circular saw as an example.
Where am I going with this? Well, I may have been guilty of the more power approach on my plastics. One of the side endeavours here on the farm is running a greenhouse. Said greenhouse has a 30 gallon drum of 35% Hydrogen Peroxide (its added to the water to minimize pathogens). . . the perfect source for my de-yellowing procedure. Who needs that 3% stuff you get at the store. . . 35% will clear those plastics up in no time! More Power!

5J5A9635 (resized).JPG

I also acquired some OxyClean (basically hydrogen peroxide in powder form). This may be where I strayed from procedure. Vid says to use 1/4 teaspoon mixed in the peroxide. Not having a measuring scoop handy, it is safe to say I likely added a bit more than that to the mix. I left the plastics, peroxide, and oxyclean in a large plastic bag sitting out in the sun while I returned to the shop to work on other things. Imagine my surprise later when I poked my head out the door to see the bag puffed up like a balloon and smoke steaming out of it. Its been awhile since Organic Chemistry was fresh in my mind but its safe to say an exothermic chemical reaction was taking place. No I did not stop to take a picture. I quickly threw on some gloves and fished the plastics out/dunked them into a bucket of clean water. I was too late -- the plastics had heated up enough to actually have bubbles (or powdered oxyclean) melted into them.

5J5A9888 (resized).JPG

Lesson learned, I ordered a new set of plastics from CPR. I was a bit unsure of the correct method to transfer the metal supports from the old plastics to new. In the end I simply held the soldering iron in the top of the support until it heated up enough that I was able to pop it from the plastic using a rag wrapped around it. The keen observer will note the iron is off and the picture is just demonstrating the technique.

5J5A9890 (resized).JPG

To install the supports in the new plastics I slid the each one over the iron (after buffing on the compound wheel) and then pushed it up into the plastic. Make sure to install them on the correct side!

5J5A9893 (resized).JPG

I was a bit sad to see the new plastics are thinner than the originals. . . but I was happy to see how clear they were and that they lacked the chips acquired from years of hard service.

5J5A9892 (resized).JPG

A quick sampling of what several look like installed.

5J5A9895 (resized).JPG

The spacers between the plastic and stud posts were originally a boring gray color. I spruced them up a bit with some metallic paint for a bit more pizazz.

#197 7 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I was a bit sad to see the new plastics are thinner than the originals. . .

I had a feeling this would be the case.
Everything is coming together nicely. I really enjoy the attention to detail and am watching closely as I intend to follow in your footsteps soon.

#198 7 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

We talked about cleaning out the yellow from the clear plastics some posts back. My experience did not go as planned. . . the fault was all my own.
Did anyone else watch Home Improvement on TV years ago? Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor hosted Tool Time, a program dedicated to home improvement and the tools used in the process. Tim was known for always wanting to add more power to a project that may not have needed it -- the equivalent of cutting a toothpick in half with a circular saw as an example.
Where am I going with this? Well, I may have been guilty of the more power approach on my plastics. One of the side endeavours here on the farm is running a greenhouse. Said greenhouse has a 30 gallon drum of 35% Hydrogen Peroxide (its added to the water to minimize pathogens). . . the perfect source for my de-yellowing procedure. Who needs that 3% stuff you get at the store. . . 35% will clear those plastics up in no time! More Power!
[quoted image]
I also acquired some OxyClean (basically hydrogen peroxide in powder form). This may be where I strayed from procedure. Vid says to use 1/4 teaspoon mixed in the peroxide. Not having a measuring scoop handy, it is safe to say I likely added a bit more than that to the mix. I left the plastics, peroxide, and oxyclean in a large plastic bag sitting out in the sun while I returned to the shop to work on other things. Imagine my surprise later when I poked my head out the door to see the bag puffed up like a balloon and smoke steaming out of it. Its been awhile since Organic Chemistry was fresh in my mind but its safe to say an exothermic chemical reaction was taking place. No I did not stop to take a picture. I quickly threw on some gloves and fished the plastics out/dunked them into a bucket of clean water. I was too late -- the plastics had heated up enough to actually have bubbles (or powdered oxyclean) melted into them.
[quoted image]
Lesson learned, I ordered a new set of plastics from CPR. I was a bit unsure of the correct method to transfer the metal supports from the old plastics to new. In the end I simply held the soldering iron in the top of the support until it heated up enough that I was able to pop it from the plastic using a rag wrapped around it. The keen observer will note the iron is off and the picture is just demonstrating the technique.
[quoted image]
To install the supports in the new plastics I slid the each one over the iron (after buffing on the compound wheel) and then pushed it up into the plastic. Make sure to install them on the correct side!
[quoted image]
I was a bit sad to see the new plastics are thinner than the originals. . . but I was happy to see how clear they were and that they lacked the chips acquired from years of hard service.
[quoted image]
A quick sampling of what several look like installed.
[quoted image]
The spacers between the plastic and stud posts were originally a boring gray color. I spruced them up a bit with some metallic paint for a bit more pizazz.

A blessing in disguise as they say. I don't think the cleaning of yellow plastics would ever get to the level of the clearness a new plastic would get. plus, the new plastics are made of PETG (at least they should be), so breaking them won't happen as it would with an older plastic either. It should be good for a long long time.

#199 7 months ago

I also see you got some sense knocked back into you and added the Kmiec post

#200 7 months ago

I really can't wait to see this finished. I remember this machine when I was in high school. Nice job so far.

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