(Topic ID: 61643)

Stellar Wars parts / help needed...


By chinosts

6 years ago



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  • 41 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by chinosts
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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williams--early-SS-widebody-cabinet-1..jpg
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#1 6 years ago

I'm interested in almost anything related to a Williams Stellar Wars for a mega restoration project. I could be picking up the machine in a couple of days and am trying to gauge how available replacement parts are because its going to need them!!! - translite, plastics, flipper assemblies, replacement pcbs, cabinet stencil etc etc.

Any specific advice on the best way to restore this machine? I'm planning on documenting the whole experience and sharing it on here like some others have done. (those are some of my favorite forum posts!)

Cheers!

#2 6 years ago

It's a sys4 so all the boards are plentiful (or get Rottendog if you want brand new).

Flipper parts are available, or you can retrofit if you want the new style.

Anything else is probably going to be a used part.

#3 6 years ago

http://www.pbresource.com/rebuildkit.html#KT-WFLIP01

Kit if you are going to keep the old flipper mechs.

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It's a sys4 so all the boards are plentiful (or get Rottendog if you want brand new).
Flipper parts are available, or you can retrofit if you want the new style.
Anything else is probably going to be a used part.

That's good news.. I will have a look at Rottendog.. Where do you suggest is the first place I should look for parts? They will have to be able to ship to Australia.

Cheers.

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

Where do you suggest is the first place I should look for parts?

First get the machine and see what you actually need.

Sometimes you open the cab and there are 8 extra "dead" boards piled inside.

Can you solder? Do you have a meter?

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

First get the machine and see what you actually need.
Sometimes you open the cab and there are 8 extra "dead" boards piled inside.
Can you solder? Do you have a meter?

Yes I'm not too bad with a soldering iron and I have a meter so I guess that's a good start I think the bulk of the work in this machine will go into restoring the cabinet.. its in a real mess but I really want to take on a fixer / restore project.. I guess I want to make sure I'll be able to get all the stuff I need for it before jumping in...

BTW Ive been reading your forum post on playfield restoration... Awesome stuff.. You should compile it and write a white paper on the subject.

#7 6 years ago

If the cab is a real mess, it will probably be quicker and cheaper to just get a new one.

You can spend mega hours sanding the old toxic lead paint, filling dents and cracks, repairing joints, replacing bottom panel and priming; or you can get a brand new pre primed cab for under $300.

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If the cab is a real mess, it will probably be quicker and cheaper to just get a new one.
You can spend mega hours sanding the old toxic lead paint, filling dents and cracks, repairing joints, replacing bottom panel and priming; or you can get a brand new pre primed cab for under $300.

From where? I'm not sure anywhere in Australia that does that kind of thing (If they did Im guess it would be more than 300 here!)

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If the cab is a real mess, it will probably be quicker and cheaper to just get a new one.
You can spend mega hours sanding the old toxic lead paint, filling dents and cracks, repairing joints, replacing bottom panel and priming; or you can get a brand new pre primed cab for under $300.

Quick Google search and I found these guys over here.. I wonder what the quality is like.... http://www.arcadeworx.com.au/. Would be a gamble at $500 but probably better than spending $$$ on trying to resurrect the original cab.

#10 6 years ago

Tell them you want it cut from MDF faced plywood.

The stuff comes pre primed and is smoother than you can believe - it will be much lighter in weight than an all MDF cab.

(although, maybe you want the heaviest cab you can get - the WOZ guys seem to love it....)

#11 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Tell them you want it cut from MDF faced plywood.
The stuff comes pre primed and is smoother than you can believe - it will be much lighter in weight than an all MDF cab.
(although, maybe you want the heaviest cab you can get - the WOZ guys seem to love it....)

I have to admit though that there is something about resurrecting the original cabinet that appeals to me...

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

I have to admit though that there is something about resurrecting the original cabinet that appeals to me...

That is a great choice.

Make sure that you sand it outdoors, and you wear a real respirator, not a dust mask. It will say "rated for lead paint removal" and costs about $30.

Do not poison your entire basement or garage with lead paint dust!!!!!!!!

Fill all of your dings and scratches with Bondo just like you used to do with your old car. It feathers out nicely. On a newly painted/decaled cab, even the most tiny scratch stands out like a sore thumb.

Reglue all the loose joints.

Probably have to replace the cab bottom. It is usually made of crummy fiberboard, warped, reeks of mold, beer and cig smoke. Cut hole for larger speaker before you install it. (on games like MM, move speaker hole so larger speaker does not interfere with trolls).

You can router out the lips to get the new bottom installed, or if the cab joints are loose/broken, install bottom panel before fixing them.

Prime with white primer.

Take lots of pictures.

#13 6 years ago

Stellar Wars is an ultra-wide cabinet, so it will probably cost more than a standard cabinet.

And also check your boardset, my Stellar Wars is a system 6. The last of the production run were made with the new boards.

#14 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That is a great choice.
Make sure that you sand it outdoors, and you wear a real respirator, not a dust mask. It will say "rated for lead paint removal" and costs about $30.
Do not poison your entire basement or garage with lead paint dust!!!!!!!!
Fill all of your dings and scratches with Bondo just like you used to do with your old car. It feathers out nicely. On a newly painted/decaled cab, even the most tiny scratch stands out like a sore thumb.
Reglue all the loose joints.
Probably have to replace the cab bottom. It is usually made of crummy fiberboard, warped, reeks of mold, beer and cig smoke. Cut hole for larger speaker before you install it. (on games like MM, move speaker hole so larger speaker does not interfere with trolls).
You can router out the lips to get the new bottom installed, or if the cab joints are loose/broken, install bottom panel before fixing them.
Prime with white primer.
Take lots of pictures.

Thanks so much for the awesome advice... I will be absolutely sure to get the 'rated for lead paint' respirator and definitely sand the thing outdoors in the backyard.. I'm going to have to buy / get the equipment to achieve this task.. What sort of sander / surface to you recommend?

The bottom on this thing is rotten.. I can see by the photos that the speaker is hanging by the wire below the machine!!! (I told you its in bad shape). It sounds like that this could be a common problem.. Ill be sure to replace it with better quality wood.. I'm guessing once you get it set up you would glue the new bottom back in?

I've never used bondo before but I am sure I will be able to get the correct advice at the hardware store on which one will be best for wood etc..

I have no idea what the playfield is like as yet (I'm going over to have a look and maybe pick it up tonight!) if it is in real bad shape then I may not buy the thing at all.. Apparently the system board was 'looked' at a while ago and fixed so it still functioning. It may turn out that I will have to replace that as well.. I guess the playfield is really going to be the telling factor for me. If its ok then I will probably buy it. I'm also pretty sure if the body is completely falling apart I will probably pass on it or maybe offer $50-$100 to take it away. At least I will have the option of getting a whole new cabinet made up.

Cheers again for the awesome advice and taking an interest in my 'project'.

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from r6emperor:

Stellar Wars is an ultra-wide cabinet, so it will probably cost more than a standard cabinet.
And also check your boardset, my Stellar Wars is a system 6. The last of the production run were made with the new boards.

OK that's good to know.. If I have to order a new one I wont just assume it is a particular model and will double check.

So I'm just curious.. what shape is your Stella Wars in? Do you love it? What other advice do you have for this machine? E.g. mods etc?

#16 6 years ago

I replaced the 40 pin interconnect and reflowed all of the other header pins, removed the battery holder from the CPU board, and that's about all the farther we got. Playfield is stripped down and cleaned/touched up, just haven't had a chance to put it back together yet. Too many other projects going on right now.....

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from r6emperor:

I replaced the 40 pin interconnect and reflowed all of the other header pins, removed the battery holder from the CPU board, and that's about all the farther we got. Playfield is stripped down and cleaned/touched up, just haven't had a chance to put it back together yet. Too many other projects going on right now.....

Cool... Would love to see some pics of that work you've done...

Cheers!

#18 6 years ago

OK so I picked up the Stellar Wars last night... I will provide photos in the next day or so.. but the news is good and bad.

I got it at a very reasonable price ($100 in fact). The play field is in amazing condition for its age.. All the plastics are basically perfect and there is no real detectable wear anywhere.. Amazing. The back glass is also close to perfect with no flaking. I've only had a quick look but the system board etc look very clean and there was a remote battery pack installed so it all looked good.

That's the good news..

Now the bad news..

The cabinet is in bad shape.. I'm pretty sure that the machine has been exposed to the elements for some time and basically the top layer of wood is peeling away in a lot of places. The bottom is also completely missing so stuff that is usually connected to it was just hanging from wires! A quick look also revealed several abandoned insect nests..dead spiders etc. So its in bad shape..

Any advice on how to repair this cabinet would be greatly appreciated!

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

Any advice on how to repair this cabinet would be greatly appreciated!

Get a new cabinet.

Just because it is a wide body, it really won't cost you anything more for 5 extra inches.

Quoted from chinosts:

A quick look also revealed several abandoned insect nests..dead spiders etc.

Totally normal, lol.

#20 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Get a new cabinet.
Just because it is a wide body, it really won't cost you anything more for 5 extra inches.

Totally normal, lol.

So its not worth repairing it? I.E. Remove top layer where wood is peeling then bondo surface flat / smooth?

#21 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

So its not worth repairing it? I.E. Remove top layer where wood is peeling then bondo surface flat / smooth?

No way worth your time.

The glue holding the layers of wood together have been compromised.

You don't want to waste a week of work bondoing, only to have another layer give way during the next temperature or humidly change.

#22 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

No way worth your time.
The glue holding the layers of wood together have been compromised.
You don't want to waste a week of work bondoing, only to have another layer give way during the next temperature or humidly change.

OK.. good advice... I will start looking into getting a new cab built... Maybe a local cabinet builder will do it for me..

#23 6 years ago

No way worth your time.
The glue holding the layers of wood together have been compromised.
You don't want to waste a week of work bondoing, only to have another layer give way during the next temperature or humidly change.

OK so I had a good look at the machine last night and can now confirm that I have no choice but to get a brand new cabinet built.. the front joins on the base are cracked all the way through and there is significant warping everywhere.. definitely no resurrecting it. I've spoken to a couple of businesses that specialise in sign making etc. It looks like I can get all the parts CNC routed for around $400-$500 + materials so it would be up to me to put it all together..Shouldn't be a drama.

I also had a closer look at the playfield. It looks OK. Little to no signs of wear but when you run your fingers across the surface it feels 'rough' in a lot of places. I'm not sure if its some kind of protective surface peeling off or the paint in the early stages of going bad..

Did those old playfields get clear coated? I guess its possible someone tried to restore it years ago and sprayed it with something..

What would be the best approach with dealing with it do you think?

playfield1.jpg playfield2.jpg playfield3.jpg

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

the front joins on the base are cracked all the way through

Pretty typical, actually.

Quoted from chinosts:

I've spoken to a couple of businesses that specialise in sign making etc. It looks like I can get all the parts CNC routed for around $400-$500 + materials

The plans for both standard and widebody pin cabs have been floating around the net for years.

Send the plans to the cab shops, it should save you lots of money if they don't have to draw it up again.

Quoted from chinosts:

Did those old playfields get clear coated?

Yes, but the clear was screened on, not sprayed like you might see today.

Quoted from chinosts:

What would be the best approach with dealing with it do you think?

That finish is called alligatoring when it crazes like that.

Not an easy fix.

#25 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That finish is called alligatoring when it crazes like that. Not an easy fix.

I'm guessing a full playfield strip.. buff / sand the whole thing. Potential paint touch-ups.. then clear coat?

#26 6 years ago

I found some plans for a Williams wide-body.. I think they are based off a TZ...

Are these what I require for Stellar Wars as well? Are all Williams wide bodies equal in size?

#27 6 years ago

No, a TZ cabinet will be very different.

Later WPC generation machines, such as TZ, were much taller toward the back to clear all the stuff on top of the playfield. Stellar Wars is a very flat playfield design, by comparison, so it will be a few inches shorter at the backside. It also had a 'neck' section between the backbox and main cabinet, which WPC machines don't have.

If you can find a decent cabinetry shop, you may also be able to bring in your empty cab and say "I want one of these, but new"

-Hans

#28 6 years ago
Quoted from HHaase:

No, a TZ cabinet will be very different.
Later WPC generation machines, such as TZ, were much taller toward the back to clear all the stuff on top of the playfield. Stellar Wars is a very flat playfield design, by comparison, so it will be a few inches shorter at the backside. It also had a 'neck' section between the backbox and main cabinet, which WPC machines don't have.
If you can find a decent cabinetry shop, you may also be able to bring in your empty cab and say "I want one of these, but new"
-Hans

Ok that's good to know.. I will keep looking and if I have no luck I will either have to draw up new plans or get the shop to build it from the empty cab.

#29 6 years ago

Here are dimensions of Williams early widebody SS cab:

williams--early-SS-widebody-cabinet-1..jpg

#30 6 years ago

Do a reality check on the numbers, as nothing has been cut from them yet.

#31 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Do a reality check on the numbers, as nothing has been cut from them yet.

Thank you so much!!! Yes I will definitely do a check on those numbers before cutting anything out.. definitely looks right!

I am actually not sure if I'm going to go ahead with the restoration at this stage as I'm having some trouble getting the Stellar to start up... When I switch it on all I get are the GI lights and nothing else. None of the number displays power on and the game does not start... I haven't really done too much investigation except for checking the fuses and battery but right now I don't have a functioning machine...

Are there any obvious things that I should check besides fuses / battery?

#32 6 years ago

It won't start until you replace the 40 pin connector, a few chip sockets, and the cap on the power supply.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-bulletproofing-williams-system-6

#33 6 years ago

Send me a pm if you're really stuck.
I've got a working stellar wars here and can help with boardwork if required.
I'm at Chermside.

#34 6 years ago
Quoted from Steevsee64:

Send me a pm if you're really stuck.
I've got a working stellar wars here and can help with boardwork if required.
I'm at Chermside.

OMG!!! I would of bet millions on the odds! Thats awesome dude.. You are just around the corner! I will definitely be in touch if I get stuck.. Vid has pointed me to his guide on bullet proofing System 6 and I think this is going to go a long way to solving some initial issues.. I was wondering on local availability on some of the replacement parts? Can you get this stuff e.g. 40 pin connector from Dick Smith or Jaycar or somewhere like that?

#35 6 years ago

Usually grab all my electronic parts from Ed at Great Plains Electronics. Great seller!

I have a pretty well stocked parts supply and can supply the "40 pin" connectors at cost (or just replace them for me, if you plan to do an order of your own).

#36 6 years ago
Quoted from Steevsee64:

Usually grab all my electronic parts from Ed at Great Plains Electronics. Great seller!
I have a pretty well stocked parts supply and can supply the "40 pin" connectors at cost (or just replace them for me, if you plan to do an order of your own).

OK that's great to know.. I will take a look this weekend and maybe arrange to come and get some of those parts off you if that is OK? Could you PM me your contact details?

#37 6 years ago

PM sent

2 weeks later
#38 6 years ago

Any chance that you can confirm the dimensions on the plans that were posted? I've just inherited everything but the cab and cab hardware of a working Stellar Wars and would like to build a new cab and resurrect it.

Thanks in advance!!

#39 6 years ago

Had that blueprint that was posted verified against an actual machine. For future reference, the measurements are bang on the money. Thanks for posting them.

#40 6 years ago
Quoted from zebulon:

Had that blueprint that was posted verified against an actual machine. For future reference, the measurements are bang on the money. Thanks for posting them.

Glad to hear that they are correct.

I was 99%, but nothing beats a second pair of eyes...

#41 6 years ago

That is awesome news... I will look at getting some quotes from those dimensions..

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