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(Topic ID: 204764)

Sinbad - Cabinet and Swap - 2 Different Sinbads!

By quinntopia

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 25 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by quinntopia
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 2 years ago

Hello everyone! Some of you may have watched my progress and regress and progress again on restoring a Sinbad Playfield in the Playfield resto subtopic:

I'm starting this new topic to document the rest of the restoration. I think we've all heard enough about my experiences with playfield resto. At least I have.

What I think might be somewhat interesting (at least in my opinion) even if you're not a Sinbad owner, but are someone who's heard of Gottlieb's experiment with using metal for much of the cabinet rather than the traditional plywood.

I'll try and share as many photos as I go through trying to figure out what to do while showing stupid mistakes along the way as well.

#2 2 years ago

My first pin and my first SINBAD was something I won in a local auction here in Seattle last March.

As a newbie to pinballs, I missed something extremely obvious (perhaps I was distracted by this giant toy I had just purchased and wondering what the heck I should do first!). While it was extremely obvious, I only discovered it after purchasing a SECOND sinbad off Craig's List to basically get a better playfield to work on than the one that I had sort of made a mess of originally.

When I got Sinbad #2 home, something looked weird to me: The front was painted! Then I realized my 'new' Sinbad had a full wood cabinet.

DING! I discovered that my first Sinbad was one of Gottlieb's experiments with metal cabinets. I had read about this on the IPDB article on Sinbad, so I wasn't shocked, just surprised!

Below are some photos that show a pretty remarkable difference between my two Sinbad cabinets (obviously both are fairly well stripped down at this point):

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#3 2 years ago

The metal cabinet is pretty interesting. First, it's obviously all black. When I brought this up on the forum in the past some people believe this was someone's attempt at a repaint, but I'm skeptical.

As you can see, all the metal is painted the same flat black. The above photos don't show the entire interior (the photo below shows the serial number and the bottom panel which is unpainted sheet metal) but even the inside of the front/coin door is painted flat black as is the interior of the back and head mount. All flat black? Would someone repainting these really go to the effort of painting all of it the same?

I've searched all over the internet to find other photos of metal cabinets from Gottlieb System 1's and couldn't find any photos that clearly showed the metal cabinet to determine if my black metal cabinet was a repaint, the original colors, or some sort of weird one-off from the factory. I have read of some Cleopatra machines with metal cabinets, but haven't yet found any other System 1's that might have metal cabinet variations. I suspect there are a few Joker Poker's based on these three machines being the first System 1's and likely the guinea pigs for this project.

Whatever it is, my search seems to indicate that these metal cabinets are somewhat rare. I also tried searching the owners list at the Pinball Owners Database to find any more clues or evidence of other metal machines paint, but no luck (or at least would take too long to investigate).

Also not shown in the above photos is that the stainless steel side rails for the metal version are pressed at the front end to conform to to raised metal contours at the front of the cabinet. So standard side rails will not fit smoothly.

I also thought that perhaps the serial numbers of the metal cabinets might indicate when or how many were produced.

My metal Sinbad cabinet is serial # 8310, my traditional wood cabinet is # 9161

Looking at nearby serial numbers at the Internet Serial Number database ( the closest is #8340 and there are no photos or indications of a metal cab.

There are a couple that indicate metal cabinets:

# 5416
# 14472

Clearly NO sequence of serial numbers with metal cabinets! Seems pretty random after all!

Only 1290S has a photo that partially shows the front of the cabinet, but this is definitely painted to match the theme of the rest of the cabinet, unlike mine. The "S" on the serial number apparently indicates this machine was a 'sample'. I don't know what that means, but it probably means something.

The photo of 1290S is from Jim Stafford's listing on the IPSND.

So..yeah, its a mystery to me. That makes it kind of fun. Because the metal cabinet has this unusual feature, its the cabinet I'm going to focus on using for my cabinet restoration of this Sinbad. Not sure what I will do with my wood #9161 - restore it as another Sinbad and sell it? Maybe. I'm a bit more intrigued by the idea of creating a custom theme for this cabinet - but that's another project and something for a later day. One thing at a time!

If anyone else has any photos or knowledge on these weird metal cabinets, please let me know!

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#4 2 years ago

So enough with the metal cabinet mystery. Now I'll share some of my tests to restore the cabinet and get some color back into it.

I'm fortunate that I have two cabinets of the same machine, so I can use my (very faded!) wood cabinet Sinbad as a test bed for paint and colors. As you can see, the magenta/violet/purple is nearly white. This is actually more evidence that some previous owner probably stored this machine outside for some period of time (my playfield even has indications of 'uv burn' under the flippers).

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#5 2 years ago

I'm not going to go too crazy restoring the cabinet. I just want it to look better and as close to original, bright colors as possible. First, I want to discover if there are any off-the-shelf rattle cans that are close enough to the original colors of the cabinet that I don't have to go any expensive or difficult solutions.

So I found a couple of Rustoleum colors at my local Lowe's: A purple and a yellow.

Let's see how these look!

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#6 2 years ago

The purple is a bit darker than the original (comparing the new purple with the area on the corners that was protected or preserved by where the legs covered the cabinet) but it might be a good candidate.

The yellow is too yellow. It seems like the yellow that was originally used had a tinge more green too it. So I will pass on the rustoleum yellow and see what other rattle cans are available that are a better match.

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#7 2 years ago

Even though my plans for the wood cabinet Sinbad are in doubt, I have been sanding it and cleaning it to get all the crud out and get a nice clean look on the bottom and interior exposed wood areas. I used some clear varathane I had lying around to cover the underside to hopefully give that much neglected area of the cabinet a few more years of protection from whatever environment it may end up...

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#8 2 years ago

I have not found a good yellow from the normal spray paint brands (Krylon, etc...) but I came across a line of Spray Paints from Liquitex which I did not even know existed.

They have a lot of color options. They are also a lot more expensive than your typical rattle can. But I'm a fool, so I ordered a couple shades of Yellow that might work (one of which being a UV 'glow in the dark' yellow!) and another magenta to find better color matches.

#9 2 years ago

The new Liquitex magenta is even darker than the Rustoleum, so that's no good.

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#10 2 years ago

The yellows are interesting. This photo compares the Rustoleum yellow i originally tested with the two new Liquitex yellows.
The 'yellow-green' yellow is WAY too green. The bright yellow is the UV/glow-in-the-dark yellow. It's really bright! I do like the idea of the glow-in the-dark.
The contrast with the Rustoleum yellow is amazing. The Rustoleum looks old!
I'm very tempted to use this bright UV yellow from Liquitex as it will give the machine some real pop and I think it fits with Gottlieb's original design/them really well. But it might be too bright and makes the background orange color (which I don't intend to paint) a lot more dull in comparison.
As I write this, its early December and there may not be much time to get this done in the next few months, so I feel like I have some time, but the longer I wait, the longer it will be before I can reassemble my Sinbad and start playing.

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2 months later
#11 2 years ago

I let the clear coat cure for about three months, waxed it multiple times, and now I finally begin to put things back together!

Restored playfield on right with the donor on the left:

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1 week later
#12 2 years ago

I moved the playfield to my homemade rotisserie (I got the plans from Pinside!) which obviously makes attaching items like flippers a lot easier!

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1 week later
#13 2 years ago

Repopulating is almost done, with side rails and arches needing to be cleaned and added.

I am modifying my playfield a bit:

Clear star posts
Orange rubber (Titan silicon)
Alternate pop bumper plastics (the white and blue that are standard didn’t seem to look “right” to me, so I found a few that match the other colors better)
All LEDs

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1 week later
#14 2 years ago

FINALLY! After a year, the playfield is completed and rejoined with the cabinet! Its' 99% done!

A few issues after power up...

- Flipper Coils - Following Clay's Pinrepair startup sequence, I kept getting a resistance reading that did not make sense based on Clay's guide. Details in this post:
- Pop Bumpers not working
- 10 Point switches not working
- GI lights on left side of PF not lighting up

Fortunately, none of these seem like major issues, so I started to work through solving them.

#15 2 years ago

SOLVED: GI lights on left side - broken ground wire connection. I used my DMM to check for continuity along the GI wiring where lights started not working. Sure enough, there was a broken segment in the ground braid. See photo of the 'break' with the light socket removed below. I resoldered and added some additional wire to fix this issue.

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#16 2 years ago

10 Point Switches: Solved!

As all of the 'rebound' switches are on the same circuit, I wasn't sure how big of a problem this was going to be.

So I used some business cards and isolated all of the switch contacts on the 10 point circuit with the machines in game mode. As I slowly made my way around the 10 point switches, nothing would happen. Finally, when I got to the 10 point switch behind the 3 red drop targets, I got a chime and a score. Ah ha! This is different!
Now that I discovered a switch that seemed to be doing *something*, closer examination revealed that this switch was was locked on (i.e. both sides of the leaf switch were touching at all times). That was a relatively easy fix as it just required a switch adjustment so that the leaf contacts had decent amount of seperations and were not touching at all times. This was the problem, and all 10 point switches now work!

#17 2 years ago

Pop Bumpers: Solved (sort of). The Pop Bumpers work fine, but the spoon/leaf switches needed to be realigned. I was able to get perfect spacing on the right one, but my left Pop still needs some work. Minor issue!

#18 2 years ago

Stepping back a week, here's a photo of the playfield back in the cabinet for the first time in a year!

If you're curious about my almost year-long effort to restore this playfield, I created a very long Topic filled with lot's of mistakes and dumb comments which is here:

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#19 2 years ago

Other Sinbad owners will notice a few things that don't look "right". Here's a list of modifications that I've made. I know not everyone cares for this sort of alteration to the original design, and I'm not sure I'll keep everything this way, but for the most part, posts, plastics and rubber rings are cheap enough to play with to get a unique look that hopefully emphasizes the game:

BRIGHTER ORANGE PLAYFIELD COLOR: This is covered in more depth in my lonnnnnnnnng playfield restoration post, but when I was doing my touch ups and restoration, I was staying with the original colors - as closely as I could match anyway! However, when I started to match the orange, I really like the 'out-of-the-bottle' vividness of the Createx Orange and decided that this could be much cooler. It looks really vivid in the photos, but isn't quite as obvious in person, but other Sinbad owners will notice right away I'm sure.

COLOR-MATCHED LEDS: I ordered an LED replacement kit which has colored LEDs to replace many of the white LEDs. If memory serves, this was the kit from Marco specialities.
The white frosted bulbs in the kit from Marco were a bit too bright for the playfield when visible, so I used some dimmer white LEDs that look a bit more like incandescents. I believe these were from Comet, but I can't find my link. I also added in a few colors not included in the kit where the playfield plastics seemed to work with this.

TITAN PINBALL SILICON RUBBER RINGS: In Orange! I have to say, these look REALLY good on Sinbad! They do seem a fraction thicker than the standard white versions and thus are a tight fit and don't hug posts quite as well, but they look and feel pretty awesome.

TRANSLUCENT STAR POSTS: After removing so many filthy and ugly standard white star posts, I looked at some different options. Unfortunately since Gottlieb has a unique two-screw siamese post for the swinging sword target the options are limited if you want all your posts to match on the entire playfield. So I used red in the center and white everywhere else.

BLUE LANE GUIDES: A couple of the original Yellow Lane Guides were broken, so while searching for replacements (hard to find in yellow), I came across some blue alternatives. As the color scheme involves blue, I decided to shake things up and have blue lane guides on the playfield where there was some blue artwork. I'm not quite sure about this yet. I need to add some correct hue blue led's to the blue lane guides to make a final call on this. And the only place I could find the right size lane guides in yellow was from a shop in Australia:

YELLOW POP-BUMPERS: As mentioned above, I thought the white pop bumpers and caps that Gottlieb seemed to use on all games in this era sort of distracted from the overall playfield theme. I found some yellow caps and matching pops with black rings that (in my opinion) match the game really well.
I also replaced the blue skirt with an orange skirt which matches the orange circles:

I am also using some of the Pop Blast LEDs to add more light. There are no yellow versions, but I ordered red and white versions to see what worked best, but ultimately the reds looked cheesy so I'm just using White

GLOSS BLACK SIDE RAILS: There is NO returning from this mod, but since I have two Sinbads, I decided to risk trying something instead of the standard wood laminate. Once the laminate and glue was stripped, I sanded the rails, filled with putty, sanded, and primed. Originally, I went with an orange color, but fortunately my wife did not like it and suggest black. So they got a gloss black. I have to say, I think this turned out really well! The black side rails integrate so nicely with the black line art and really help to emphasize the playfield artwork.

DROP TARGETS: These are the right targets for the game, except they are new and were given a coat of two part automotive clear to hopefully preservice their appearance and look.

What didn't work:
SCREW POST NUT COVERS: I bought some orange screw post nuts in that cool-looking 'colored metal' finish. I thought these would look nice and an upgrade on the standard Gottlieb chrome look screw post nuts. Unfortunately, the threading or whatever on these nuts do not work with the Gottlieb screw posts, so they went back in the bag.

Replacing flathead with Phillips screws. I really wanted to replace most of the flathead screws with a Phillips, but in some cases, i couldn't find one that was the right size for all of them.

IN PROCESS/FUTURE: The plastics on both of my Sinbads really took a beating. Nearly every corner is broken or chipped. Especially the plastics over the two yellow drop targets. My first Sinbad had some strange plastic from some other game that almost matches, and my second Sinbad was virtually in pieces. So one of the last things I'll do is to order a new set (which is one of the pricier items unfortunately). I also have a set of corner protectors on order from Titan Pinball to keep what's left of these plastics and any future plastics better protected.

I think that about covers the cosmetics. Below I'll list a complete list of everything else I did to this game.

#20 2 years ago

A couple of photos of the game powered up:

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#21 2 years ago

Okay, now that the game is running, except for a few tune-ups, here's what was done (as my memory services, with the 'biggest' projects listed first):

RESTORATION OF PLAYFIELD: This is what took so long, and it was fraught with errors and mistakes. Again, I have a very lonnnnnng post on this elsewhere on Pinside if your interested. Not only did this involve airbrushing, masking, decal creation, complete removal of all hardware, etc... but I learned how to use SprayMax 2k to protect it. It took a year for a good reason!

REPAINTING PLAYFIELD BOTTOM: Was able to find the perfect 'grey' color on Vid's excellent restoration topic: Behr dark base series 2300 or 2400 and color "Grey Area"

PASCAL p1-X4 BOARD: I really had no choice as my first Sinbad had NO boards at all (won at a blind auction) and Sinbad two...who knows. They aren't cheap, but the time/effort hassle of restoring or relying on the crappy Gottlieb original Power, CPU or Display boards is not someting I was interested in.

REPINNED CONNECTORS: I wasn't looking forward to this as it sounds terrible, but if you get the right crimping tool, its not a big deal and I was glad I did it! There were zero issues after connecting to the new Pascal board.

FLIPPER REBUILD: New coils, etc.. From Marco Specialties



ADDITIONAL BOTTOM BOARD FUSES: Following the guidance from Clay's excellent System 1 post, added in all the fuses on the Bottom Board he recommends

REPLACED BACKGLASS/SEALED WITH TRIPLE THICK: The original back glass was a '5' and the paint behind many of the characters was badly peeling. Found a 7 or 8 for sale for $200. Sealed it with Triple thick.

SWITCHES CLEANED: With the recommended file from Marco.




I'm probably missing a few things, but that's the major projects!

I think this post is about done, but please feel free to ask any questions or question my abilities or sanity!

#22 2 years ago

I enjoyed reading your adventure bring this machine back to life. Nice job.

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from Grizlyrig:

I enjoyed reading your adventure bring this machine back to life. Nice job.

Thanks man! I feel like I was holding my breath wondering if I was going to make it!

#24 2 years ago

Which cabinet are you going to fix?
wood or metal?

#25 2 years ago

Metal. I just unloaded the wood on a fellow pinsider last weekend. I'm down to one Sinbad now....but it works!

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