After building a collection of "favorite 80's pins", I decided it's time to shake things up a bit, and go back even farther in time and try out some games where luck was more of a factor often with wider flipper gaps and tougher outlanes (or much worse!). I love the sounds and the immediate kinesthetics involved with EMs.
Do I love them enough to have one in the house and replace a top-20 80's game? I don't think so, but one can try?
But what if a good friend offers one up for free?
So I'm very excited to finally, after 7 years in the hobby, to dip my foot in the EM pool. Very exciting moment in time...
Fortunately, these FREE "barn-find" machines came with a guarantee of free unlimited phone/text support, and without it I would have been doomed, (not being an expert at reading EM schematics.)
With a few tools (he did drop off a required flexstone strip, so that was helpful!), solid state experience, and a trusted troubleshooter on the help-line, I was convinced I could get this thing running in a few days...
It came as a Space Odyssey and a Space Mission to be merged into one good game.
We unscrewed all the parts from both machines, then put the Space Mission cabinet and head on the side yard...
I asked for a sensible battle plan. My friend suggested:
1. The Space Odyssey playfield was much nicer, this pretty much dictates it.
2. The Space Odyssey BG doesn't exist.
3. Using the bottom from Space Mission.
4. Using the backbox of course from Space Odyssey. Has a lot of missing baffling
5. Chose the best head and cabinet. (Space Mission I think)
Let's take a closer look, and see what we are starting with...
Also, as I'm a rookie with EM's -- feel free to chime in with any nomenclature corrections or suggestions...
* How much will all the broken MDF mess with the BG lighting for controlled lamps? Will I have to rebuild any of it?
* Will I be happy with a used BG or do I have to plunk down $269 for a CPR with super saturated colors...
* Will I practice some vid1900-level work and level the PF and clear-fill all the inserts and paint the insert rings black? (This would be a good title to practice on for sure.)
* Should flipper buttons have springs in them?
* best pitch?
* How will I deal with all the bad sockets? Solved: Use the 443-Dremel, and check continuity between the parts!
* CLEAN 150+ SWITCHES and CRY A LOT until the thing plays (10)
* Cabinet, troll it for parts with magnetic wand, and vacuum/clean it out (.5)
* Legs, set pitch and level (0)
* Solenoid test (0)
* Switch test (ensure "CPU" and Physical switches all register each switch) (.5)
* Playfield glass channel, rustaway and polish it (.5)
* GI lamp board, remove all bulbs, and install only 10 (my personal taste) (.5)
* Backbox, clean and vacuum it (.5)
* Plastics, clean and flatten (they look fine!) (0)
* Star posts, clean and wax, and reinstall (done for me) (0)
* Playfield, clean (done for me) and wax (.5)
* Plug, ensure it’s in good shape (0)
* Pops, molex and rebuild all three and adjust all leaves to hair-trigger perfection, install new skirts and lamp sockets (3)
* Acorns, install new set to match plastics, fill any holes that are loose (.5)
* Chimes, clean and polish up the unit
* Shooter, ultrasonic, and re-install; replace 1" spring if needed to keep tip from scraping against PF (1)
* Lockdown bar receiver, de-rust, clean and reinstall it (1)
* Flipper buttons, ultrasonic and reinstall (.5)
* Lockdown bar, de-rust, clean and install new foam (.5)
* Playfield brackets, (that seat in the lockdown bar) tumble and reassemble (.5)
* Backbox channel, derust and clean it up (.5)
* Tilt bob - center it, and ensure the ring has no tape or crap on it (.5)
* Score Reels, clean with water and Qtips (2)
* Power switch, clean it and the bracket (.5)
* Flipper button switches, replace with new parts
* Remove etching from lockdown bar (1)
* Orbit, buff and polish smooth, also the orbit bars (1) -- gotta do this, this one is rough to the touch, and they are not shiny at all
* fix match unit (.5)
* Kickers - slings, clean and reinstall (1)
* Kickers - holes, clean and reinstall (1)
* Coin door, remove any dents <-- big dent !!! (1)
* Coin door, disassemble (2)
* Coin door, scrub, clean, and de-rust all 100+ parts (4)
* Coin door flap, remove and de-rust it (if stainless steel) (1)
* Coin door, clean it, regrain it (2)
* Coin door, assemble (3)
* Woodrails, ensure all screws are in all the way and NOT stripped, to minimize contact with cabinet rails (0)
* Coin door, re-attach and check wiring and make sure it's all zip-tied away from colliding with the lockdown bar arm (.5)
* Shooter Lane protector, polish and reinstall (.5)
* Trough parts - tumble, clean and put a new sleeve in to get super crisp ball serves... (1.5)
* Legs, de-rust, polish and wax. Install new leg levelers and floor sliders (.5) 44.5
ON DECK (6+)
* Flipper assemblies, disassemble and clean, check part quality (4)
* Switch adjustments (1-2-3 lanes, outlanes) (.5)
* Leg bolts, polish and reinstall (.5)
* Coin door carriage bolts, remove and clean or polish them (.5)
* Slam Tilt (put rubber around for home use)
* Playfield guides and edges inside the cabinet, clean/wax them for ease of movement
* restore the cabinet -- on second thought...
* restore the playfield (but leveling inserts is still open)
* Spinner, paint strip it, spray paint it, bake on the paint, and reassemble it (skipping)
CABINET (1-2 hrs)
* Cabinet wires, clean them for appearance
* Cabinet wires, ensure the 2 harnesses move freely when playfield is rotated up/down
* Fuses, review and replace to spec
* Instruction Cards, new acetate covers for them (0)
* Transformer, clean up transformer
* Fix front corner with clamps and glue! (.5)
HEAD / BACKBOX (2-4 hrs)
* Backglass, add enough foam insulation material on the lamp board and display edges until the backglass cannot move once everything is properly in place. Test your work by rattling the head to simulate good nudging. Remove the tilt bob first, to TEST the system. The pin should be dead quiet when you rattle it.
* Backbox, clean the lamp board, tumble and reassemble door brackets
* Backglass, clean both sides carefully
* Backglass, install new grip tape to better hold the backglass channel and trim
* Backglass channel, (if stainless steel) polish, clean or replace
* Jones plugs, set them for freeplay, correct game, sound, and/or set functions
* GI lamp board, verify no sockets twist or move when trying to install a cleaned up 47 bulb <== lots of bad sockets all over this thing !!! ack !!!
* rebuild baffling if needed for controlled lamps on lamp board
PLAYFIELD (2-4 hrs)
* Alignment, review any shots that send balls at the flippers, and adjust alignments as necessary
* Bulbs, install ultrasoniced 44s <== lots of bad sockets !!!
* Inserts, clean back of each one with a Q-tip!
* Inserts, ensure they are all flat. Adjust and re-glue any that are not
* Lamp (controlled) test
* Lamp sockets, review that all work properly, and clean/replace any that need it
* Lamp sockets, verify none twist or move when trying to install a cleaned up 44 bulb
* Posts, Ensure all posts are in the correct spot with healthy screws. Unscrew/screw them all back in
* Rubber kit, install new one (half done) (.5)
* Solenoid check, ensure they are all to spec (not too strong not too weak)
* Solenoid sleeves, review them all, and clean or replace them
* Wires, inspect EVERY wire termination for breaks/fraying and cut/re-solder as needed
* Wires, check all GI and ground wires on the sides of the playfield, and all staples to ensure none are getting pinched when the playfield is down (get your staple gun fired up)