(Topic ID: 66614)

Space Shuttle Restoration Log: How NOT to do yours…


By copperpot

7 years ago



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Space Shuttle Sanding Done 4.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Done 5.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Done 6.jpg
Beer.jpg
Space Shuttle Back Cabinet Mid.jpg
Space Shuttle Bottom Cabinet Before.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Done 3.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Half Done 2.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Half Done.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Setup.jpg
Space Shuttle Cab Pre Sanding 1.jpg
Space Shuttle Cabinet Shooter.jpg
Space Shuttle Cabinet Empty.jpg
Space Shuttle Power Center.jpg
Space Shuttle Sticker.jpg
Space Shuttle Power 2.jpg

#1 7 years ago

Space Shuttle Restoration Log: How NOT to do yours…

Start Date: 10/15/2013
Plan: Take a perfectly working Space Shuttle pin, tear it down, repaint cabinet, swap playfield, clean the hell out of it and put it all back together again.
Stretch Goal: I should actually COMPLETE this before Zapcon 2014. (4/12/2014)
Unrealistic Goal: It should work as well as it currently does once I put it back together.
Expertise Level: I once soldered two wires together, using an oven. It kinda worked!
Free Time Available for Project: 1 hour per week.

Lame Backstory: When I was 11 I worked in an arcade at a beachfront hotel in Florida. While working that arcade I ate a lot of Pizza and Nachos, drank Gallons of Mountain Dew, stared at chicks in bikinis and went from Mikey-sized to Chunk-sized in a Florida Summer. I was a freaking MASTER of Time Pilot, Donkey Kong Jr, and Kick Man (what a great game!). I NEVER played pinball because it was too damned expensive (2 quarters!) and I was terrible. ONE of those pins happened to be Space Shuttle (I think, when you are drinking as much Mtn Dew as I did, and it was that long ago, it’s really just a best guess, maybe there was a shuttle launch one day on the news while I was hanging out in the arcade, shoving nacho-cheese-laden pizza down my face).

Fast forward 24 years. I started collecting arcade games (first mame, then on to the real deal). Then I needed a pin to round out the collection. So I bought one. Then I realized pins were amazing. I sold/dismantled my arcade games, and bought pins. One night, surfing the phx CL I found a cheapish Space Shuttle. I bought it, loved it instantly, and decided I would NEVER get rid of it... Then CPR reprod playfields, new ramps came, and I bought all that shti thinking that ONE DAY, ONE DAY I would restore Space Shuttle. So that didn’t happen… for like 2 years..… Until…. Today!!!!!!! Well, a couple of weekends ago in reality, but, hey, it’s more interesting if everyone would just believe that it all starts TODAY.

Disclaimer: For the record, I, for the most part, have NO idea what I’m doing. If you’ve seen Bryan Kelley’s or McCune’s work, that’s what I WANT to achieve. If you’ve seen their expertise and skill, that’s NOT where I am, at all, not even close. Chances are, I’m going to fck some stuff up pretty solidly. It’ll be fun, I'll drink a LOT of beer to make it better when I screw up, and I'll drink celebratory beer when I do something right. Feel free to tell me I’m dumb for doing one thing or another, publicly. It’ll likely be too late to fix me (as I will have already done done the stupid thing), but maybe others will learn from every and all mistakes I make along the way…

-Wes

Bonus/Test Picture: The Endeavor prior to its final mission (Well, it's there, just sitting behind the SRBs and External Fuel Tank)...
Endeavor Last Mission.jpg

#2 7 years ago

Some pictures of the Shuttle before teardown. Backglass has some flaking towards to bottom, and some bubbling in some places. The playfield is actually GREAT, but, not CPR Repro Great. So that will get changed out. And the cabinet is solid, but there is a lot of planking and staining and some mold here and there, so that will get fixed.

Space Shuttle Original-502.jpg
Space Shuttle Zapcon.jpg
Space Shuttle Graining 2.jpg

#3 7 years ago

This is a great pin. I might be able to help out, I've changed out my light bulbs from #44 to #47.

#4 7 years ago

Hey copperpot! Good luck!

I'm on a similar journey, just started the playfield teardown for a swap, and will also repaint the cabinet. You can follow along on http://pinballproject.wordpress.com. Maybe we can share pics when it comes time to re-assembly and one of us inevitably failed to capture something critical in a photo before tear-down

#5 7 years ago

My husband used my camera to take some crazy amount of pictures when he did our Shuttle's playfield swap. I'm sure he'll appear here at some point, but if you get stuck we should be able to help you out.

#6 7 years ago

working on space shuttle myself, let us know if you need help!

#7 7 years ago

Great write up. Very enjoyable read. Please keep it up and keep us posted!

#8 7 years ago

Sorry for the terrible picture above, let's take a closer look at the playfield and backbox.

Here is the playfield. At some point a prior owner went in a put mylar over all the wear spots. At first I thought that was a pretty stupid idea, I mean, it's already worn right, What's the point!? Then I see all these OTHER blown out Space Shuttle Playfields and I realize what a great idea that was. But I have a better idea, I'll put in a CC CPR PF instead!

Space Shuttle Orig Playfield.jpg

And then check out the backbox. It looks like someone at some point pulled the bottom out, and replaced it with a piece of MDF. They did a good job, it just looks like crap. I *COULD* repair it, but, I'm going to remake the entire backbox instead. And by that I mean, pay someone to make me a new backbox!!!

Space Shuttle Backbox.jpg

#9 7 years ago

I will be following this Wes. Good luck!

#10 7 years ago

A thread worth saving, I love my Shuttle. Plays great and all I've done is put leds in, facing edge of bb sanded and repainted, touched up the pf, made plex mirror blades and added a powered sub woofer under it. That sub makes a WORLD of dif. in the sound. The only problem I have is score # 2,3,4 show all 3's all the time. Keep at it and I'll be watching. Oh, and if you put led flashers in the 2 hot dogs on the pf you will have to disconnect the warming resistors for them to work properly.

#11 7 years ago

Surprises inside! Check out that giant subwoofer in this thing. It could rattle the doors off of a civic, if it was powered by anything OTHER than the onboard audio amp. So whoever owned this before me thought they had a GREAT idea, hooked this thing up, realized it didn't work at all, and cut the leads, leaving only the backbox speaker to drive the sound. This thing will get tossed, or, I will put a 1500 Watt BOSS Amp in there and blow people up when they start multiball. We will see.

Space Shuttle Cab Before.jpg

#12 7 years ago

Screw Nails. I hate them. They are the tiny nails that are holding your siderails to your cabinet. They suck. You cant even get a needle nose plier around them to pop them up, and if you use a screwdriver as wedge to pull them up, you will scrape the finish on the siderail.

What I did is I took a precision flathead screw driver and delicately tapped underneath to raise up the head, then I pulled it out with the needlenose pliers... i still ended up scratching the finish, but thats OK, I have to pull some dents and regrain it anyway (which I will eventually do with red scotchbrite).

Space Shuttle Side Screw Nails.jpg
Space Shuttle Screw Nails Pt 1.jpg
Space Shuttle Screw Nails Pt 2.jpg
Space Shuttle Screw Nails Pt 4.jpg

#13 7 years ago

When do we get to the part where you screw this all up... looking good so far

I too am undertaking a project for which I have zero training and even less experience (when I started). Fight the good fight- worry not about doing something wrong- most always is fixable. And your time line seems perfect!

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

You cant even get a needle nose plier around them to pop them up, and if you use a screwdriver as wedge to pull them up, you will scrape the finish on the siderail.

Wondering -- would drilling a ~1/4" hole in a small piece of tin, and covering each nail as you go help protect the body, also give you something to lever off of?
-mof

#15 7 years ago

Finished my Shuttle CPR swap about a month ago. It seems daunting at first. I gave myself plenty of room, took plenty of pictures, and moved as much hardware over one piece at a time as much as possible. I desoldered as little as possible and slid the wire harness over from one playfield to the other. Less chances for a screw up in my opinion. We're practically neighbors so I'd be happy to help in an emergency. I think I've recovered enough from the ordeal?!?!? And good luck!

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

Screw Nails. I hate them. They are the tiny nails that are holding your siderails to your cabinet. They suck. You cant even get a needle nose plier around them to pop them up, and if you use a screwdriver as wedge to pull them up, you will scrape the finish on the siderail.

What I did is I took a precision flathead screw driver and delicately tapped underneath to raise up the head, then I pulled it out with the needlenose pliers... i still ended up scratching the finish, but thats OK, I have to pull some dents and regrain it anyway (which I will eventually do with red scotchbrite)

No no no... Use a pair of flush cutters (nippers):

#17 7 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

No no no... Use a pair of flush cutters (nippers):
» YouTube video

That is just to easy.

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

Surprises inside! Check out that giant subwoofer in this thing. It could rattle the doors off of a civic, if it was powered by anything OTHER than the onboard audio amp. So whoever owned this before me thought they had a GREAT idea, hooked this thing up, realized it didn't work at all, and cut the leads, leaving only the backbox speaker to drive the sound. This thing will get tossed, or, I will put a 1500 Watt BOSS Amp in there and blow people up when they start multiball. We will see.

Space Shuttle Cab Before.jpg 154 KB

Can you imagine the little amp in the game trying to drive that thing. Keep up the good work, I'm following right along.

#19 7 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

No no no... Use a pair of flush cutters (nippers):

Yeah dude, that makes a LOT more sense. Here's an amazon-link for something I think would work:

amazon.com link »

#20 7 years ago

Cabinet Teardown underway... After removing the big piece of sheet metal, you can see the dust and rat shi7 and all the other nasty shtuff. The good news is though, I was able to salvage the Williams Sticker (both of them), and will try to clean them up and reapply once I'm done.

Space Shuttle Power Center.jpg
Space Shuttle Power 2.jpg
Space Shuttle Cabinet Shit.jpg
Space Shuttle Sticker.jpg

#21 7 years ago

One suggestion for ya, buy the after market leg braces for the inside of the cab. I drilled out the screw holes to replace the tiny #6 screws with big #12 screws.

#22 7 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

One suggestion for ya, buy the after market leg braces for the inside of the cab. I drilled out the screw holes to replace the tiny #6 screws with big #12 screws.

Good Call. Actually, when I ripped out the braces, the back ones were being held in by tac nails, not actual screws. Not sure why they did that on the back and not the front braces....

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

Good Call. Actually, when I ripped out the braces, the back ones were being held in by tac nails, not actual screws. Not sure why they did that on the back and not the front braces....

and the game didn't wobble.

#24 7 years ago

Time to grind some paint!.. I decided for my solution I was too cheap to go the McCune Festool route. So I went with the Walmart version, a RIGID RO Sander and a 5.5 HP Shop Vac. It seems to do pretty well. I started on 80 grit, and will slowly work my way up as I go...

Before Pics:
Space Shuttle Cabinet Empty.jpg
Space Shuttle Cabinet Shooter.jpg
Space Shuttle Cab Pre Sanding 1.jpg

My Cheapo Sanding Setup:
Space Shuttle Sanding Setup.jpg

How effective!
Space Shuttle Sanding Half Done.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Half Done 2.jpg

More to come, missing some pics gotta go find them...

#25 7 years ago

I wish I could have had the space to do this when I did my PF swap...I probably would've never sold the friggin' thing if I had done the cabinet..

I really wanted to do Red/White/Blue with a metal flake and clearcoat. C'est la vie.

#26 7 years ago

And here are the rest of the pictures. I had no idea if you could sand the perforated cabinet bottom. So I took it out and sanded it to find out. If it doesn't work out, I'll just replace it with another piece of birch or maple. For now though, it looks pretty good!

Space Shuttle Bottom Cabinet Before.jpg
Space Shuttle Back Cabinet Mid.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Done 3.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Done 4.jpg
Space Shuttle Sanding Done 5.jpg

You can see my newly made backbox in the last couple pics. It is SEXY. Next up, some finer sanding and bondo and sanding and priming and sanding and painting, etc. For now, BEER time from my favorite CO Brewery, SKA Brewing Company. Their Mexican Logger is better, but that's why I don't have any of it...

Space Shuttle Sanding Done 6.jpg

Beer.jpg
#27 7 years ago

nice work, inspiring !
-mof

#28 7 years ago

For the bondo work, what works for people, a small section at a time or just go nuts and do the whole thing at once? What's the consensus, bondo folks?

-Wes

#29 7 years ago

Just a suggestion for the back box...what do you think of putting T-molding on it?

#30 7 years ago

oh those pics make me hurt. I wish my Mystic cabinet art looked as good as what you just sanded off! lol.

where do you find the time...

#31 7 years ago
Quoted from aobrien5:

oh those pics make me hurt. I wish my Mystic cabinet art looked as good as what you just sanded off! lol.
where do you find the time...

He's retired.

#32 7 years ago
Quoted from aobrien5:

where do you find the time...

Hahah. I WISH. I have about 1 - 2 hours PER WEEK to work on this thing. It's going to be a LOOONG process...

Quoted from MustangPaul:

Just a suggestion for the back box...what do you think of putting T-molding on it?

I have thought about it. I can always decide that after I see how the paint lays down. It would look nice with chromey T-molding.

-Wes

#33 7 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

...It would look nice with chromey T-molding.
-Wes

i agree, a lot of chrome on this machine would be awesome, thats what i wanna do, if i can find time.

#34 7 years ago
Quoted from Aladdin:

This is a great pin. I might be able to help out, I've changed out my light bulbs from #44 to #47.

Count me out. I am in the hospital from trying that one. Note to self: Licking the socket will not help with "lighty thing goodness."

#35 7 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

Hahah. I WISH. I have about 1 - 2 hours PER WEEK to work on this thing. It's going to be a LOOONG process...

I have thought about it. I can always decide that after I see how the paint lays down. It would look nice with chromey T-molding.
-Wes

No don't wish you were retired...it means your life is 3/4 over.

#36 7 years ago
Quoted from AZDbacker:

Count me out. I am in the hospital from trying that one. Note to self: Licking the socket will not help with "lighty thing goodness."

WHAT!!!!!

#37 7 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

Hahah. I WISH. I have about 1 - 2 hours PER WEEK to work on this thing. It's going to be a LOOONG process...

I have thought about it. I can always decide that after I see how the paint lays down. It would look nice with chromey T-molding.
-Wes

Blue chrome would look nice too, to bad they don't make it.

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