(Topic ID: 322458)

Thanks to Wade and Ron on my El Dorado playfield swap

By T-Tommy

6 days ago


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  • 29 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by Miguel351
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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El Dorado wire braid tracing (resized).jpg
El Dorado playfields side by side (resized).jpg
El Dorado playfield with b races (resized).jpg
PF braced (resized).jpg
El Dorado playfield and backglass (resized).jpeg
El Dorado playfield old and new (resized).jpg
El Dorado playfield (resized).jpeg
ElmDorado closeup 1 (resized).jpeg
El Dorado closeup 2 (resized).jpeg

10
#1 6 days ago

After buying an El Dorado playfield from Wade Krause back in Dec 2021, I finally got around to working on it. ( also thanks to bicyclenut ) A big thanks to Wade for his excellent work. His dedication is inspiring. I can't thank him enough. Beside making them, it must be a huge job packing and shipping all of them. Thanks Wade. Also a shout out to Ron Kruzman kruzman for his help and guidance. I also finally broke out the new set of plastics from PBR. Had a blast working on this. Looking forward to the next one.

El Dorado playfield old and new (resized).jpgEl Dorado playfield and backglass (resized).jpegEl Dorado playfield (resized).jpegElmDorado closeup 1 (resized).jpegEl Dorado closeup 2 (resized).jpeg
#2 5 days ago

Its worth all of the work when its done and looks like that! Looks fantastic, I bet it plays great. Looks better than new!!

#3 5 days ago

She looks stunning!

#4 5 days ago

I've never replaced a playfield with a repo. I've always wondered how bad a playfield would have to be worn to entice somebody to put the time and expense into swapping one.

Clearly the original playfield has yellowed but I see little to no wear on it. I'm surprised at how little wear it has. Side by side the new one looks much brighter, but if I saw the original by itself, I'd be happy with it.

Don't get me wrong. It looks great and it sounds like you enjoyed doing it. That's what the hobby is all about.

#5 5 days ago
Quoted from edednedy:

I've never replaced a playfield with a repo. I've always wondered how bad a playfield would have to be worn to entice somebody to put the time and expense into swapping one.
Clearly the original playfield has yellowed but I see little to no wear on it. I'm surprised at how little wear it has. Side by side the new one looks much brighter, but if I saw the original by itself, I'd be happy with it.
Don't get me wrong. It looks great and it sounds like you enjoyed doing it. That's what the hobby is all about.

If you have a nice house and you want to have a pin, you cant have something that has been in a bar for 40 years. Even in its in relatively amazing shape, It can either look out of place, or it can be a center piece.

If it is going in an unfinished basement, whats the use making it look awesome.
Thats how I look at it.

#6 5 days ago

I can see both points of view.

But as stated, that existing playfield is actually in very nice condition. I wish my Gold Strike playfield looked 1/2 that good.

#7 5 days ago
Quoted from Garrett:

I can see both points of view.
But as stated, that existing playfield is actually in very nice condition. I wish my Gold Strike playfield looked 1/2 that good.

I felt the same at first. I was a little reluctant to go for it because the original looked and played pretty decent. I figured if I didn't get one of Wade's pf's when I had the chance I would have kicked myself. One big problem was the three inserts where the ball enters the pf. The ball would hit the cupped inserts, gain momentum towards the left and wouldn't want to go down the three lanes. After depopulating, the old pf looked much worse. The game looks and plays 1000% better. Well worth the effort.

#8 5 days ago

I just realized that in this pic I had the wrong lock down bar installed. I must have put the Lawman bar on the El Dorado at some point during the pinball chaos.

#9 4 days ago
Quoted from Garrett:

I can see both points of view.
But as stated, that existing playfield is actually in very nice condition. I wish my Gold Strike playfield looked 1/2 that good.

Super nice .Very good restoration candidate.
I want to restore a nice eldorado like this, but I have not found a yellow that covers well enough, in a big area like that title has. Very frustrating.

#10 4 days ago
Quoted from kruzman:

Super nice .Very good restoration candidate.
I want to restore a nice eldorado like this, but I have not found a yellow that covers well enough, in a big area like that title has. Very frustrating.

Yellow is a tough one to match. You currently have an Eldoroda you want to restore?

#11 4 days ago
Quoted from edednedy:

I've never replaced a playfield with a repo. I've always wondered how bad a playfield would have to be worn to entice somebody to put the time and expense into swapping one.
Clearly the original playfield has yellowed but I see little to no wear on it. I'm surprised at how little wear it has. Side by side the new one looks much brighter, but if I saw the original by itself, I'd be happy with it.
Don't get me wrong. It looks great and it sounds like you enjoyed doing it. That's what the hobby is all about.

Quoted from Garrett:

I can see both points of view.
But as stated, that existing playfield is actually in very nice condition. I wish my Gold Strike playfield looked 1/2 that good.

Quoted from kruzman:

Super nice .Very good restoration candidate.
I want to restore a nice eldorado like this, but I have not found a yellow that covers well enough, in a big area like that title has. Very frustrating.

Just another comment on this subject. El Dorado is a highly sought after game which made it a good candidate for a new pf. Also, if it ever changes hands in the far far away future, the next owner will have a nice game.

#12 3 days ago
Quoted from T-Tommy:

One big problem was the three inserts where the ball enters the pf. The ball would hit the cupped inserts, gain momentum towards the left and wouldn't want to go down the three lanes.

This alone is all the argument I'd need to swap a playfield. Gameplay trumps all.

#13 3 days ago
Quoted from kruzman:

Super nice .Very good restoration candidate.
I want to restore a nice eldorado like this, but I have not found a yellow that covers well enough, in a big area like that title has. Very frustrating.

Right now I have an eldorado city of gold. It took about 10 years to find it. I had an eldorado and sold it for either the main house roof or the barn roof (twice I have had to sell most of my collection for roofs) but I want to get another. I want to restore it to be on par with the super nice city of gold, to show the difference between the 2.

At one time I had a 1957 royal flush, and the royal flush delux sys 80 version made in 83. Neither of them were restored. I have so many opportunities to introduce people to pinball, plus many of my customers have never played a wood rail before.

#14 3 days ago
Quoted from T-Tommy:

After buying an El Dorado playfield from Wade Krause back in Dec 2021, I finally got around to working on it.

It looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

Was it your first playfield swap? And if so, was it easier or harder than expected? I have a Wade Abra Ca Dabra that I've been meaning to install. I've never done it but am game to try, especially after seeing your results! (Plus, I'm gonna have a Surf Champ to do in the near future too.)

Did you install it "as is" or did you clearcoat it? I know there are some who say you must clearcoat it; others disagree. I asked Wade what he would recommend and he said just clean it and wax it - that's all it needs.

#15 3 days ago

T-Tommy - I really like the look of your clear yellow posts. The purist in me didn't want to like them, but they do look snazzy!

#16 3 days ago
Quoted from ChipS:

It looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
Was it your first playfield swap? And if so, was it easier or harder than expected? I have a Wade Abra Ca Dabra that I've been meaning to install. I've never done it but am game to try, especially after seeing your results! (Plus, I'm gonna have a Surf Champ to do in the near future too.)
Did you install it "as is" or did you clearcoat it? I know there are some who say you must clearcoat it; others disagree. I asked Wade what he would recommend and he said just clean it and wax it - that's all it needs.

Thanks. Appreciate that. First playfield swap. First thing was to investigate as many tips and suggestions as possible. Knowledge and patience are key. First thing was to brace the new pf with birch rails to keep it as level as possible ( I did it lengthwise and also side to side ) and gave it at least 6 months to cure. It was about the same as expected. After doing research first I felt I was ready and didn't have any surprises. Just waxed it. No additional clear coat. I took many pictures, and a video, from different angles and put the pics on a laptop for easier viewing. These EM's aren't terribly complicated so I really didn't refer to the pics very often. I beveled the topside screw holes with the dremel bits that came in Ron Kruzman's kit ( kruzman ) using three different bits that had increasing beveling then increased the hole diameters to 7/64". I removed the wire forms using the 'rubber door stopper and screw driver method' that I saw on Pinside and filed down the barbs on the legs before reinstalling. ( Ace hardware had a neat little hammer that's rubber on one side and plastic on the other ). I kept the parts organized by putting the different sections in baggies and labeling with a sharpie. Such as 'left sling' or 'above left pop' etc. I kept the original lamp sockets and braid. They were in good shape and were already factory soldered together. Just gave them a little cleaning. This in itself made things go a lot smoother. Some switches were replaced such as pop sw's and sling sw's, others were rebuilt with new blades and contacts. The wood side rails were sanded and sprayed with Varathane glossy. After removing all of the backside screws, I placed the new and old pf's side by side ( with the old pf a little bit higher ) and did the 'slide shuffle slide shuffle' until everything was on the new pf. A HUGE WORD OF CAUTION. Screws are different lengths. 'Mech' screws are longer and 'lamp and rollover sw' screws are shorter. If you put a mech screw in a lamp socket or rollover sw you risk the tip of the screw protruding through the top of the pf. Keep the long and short screws separated in different baggies.

#17 3 days ago
Quoted from ChipS:

T-Tommy - I really like the look of your clear yellow posts. The purist in me didn't want to like them, but they do look snazzy!

Thanks again. I stared and stared at it trying to picture what different colored posts would look like. The opaque white seemed a little heavy looking and blocked some of the light. I didn't want "yellow' yellow and I didn't want orange. Clear didn't seem too good either. Marco had a yellow post that was really yellow. PBR had a transparent post that he lists as amber. I clicked on the picture of it and it was more like an orange(y) yellow. That's the one I went with. It adds a little color and a little pazzaz.

#18 3 days ago
Quoted from ChipS:

It looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
Was it your first playfield swap? And if so, was it easier or harder than expected? I have a Wade Abra Ca Dabra that I've been meaning to install. I've never done it but am game to try, especially after seeing your results! (Plus, I'm gonna have a Surf Champ to do in the near future too.)
Did you install it "as is" or did you clearcoat it? I know there are some who say you must clearcoat it; others disagree. I asked Wade what he would recommend and he said just clean it and wax it - that's all it needs.

Forgot to mention. Using a Pindoc Rotisserie really helped. ( wrd1972 ) Well worth the money. Bill works hard and does a good job making them. You can purchase one on Pinside. I think the powder coated version is worth the extra dough.

#19 3 days ago

Another note. I bought a pneumatic staple gun at harbor freight made by Banks that uses 7/16" wide staples. Used the staples that are 1/4" deep. Works good with my portable air compressor that I use to fill car tires.

#20 2 days ago

I also use a lot of zip locs. I will put the left slingshot assembly in one zip, and if you want to do smaller (sub bags) in the zip loc to separate things that are not obvious. I am not wasteful, and not eager to fill the land fill so I reuse the zip locs until they are trash.

Its a little more work, but putting a plug on all of the coil assemblies makes life so much better in your coming years when you are working on the game, upside down. You can just unplug it and unscrew a couple screws, and now you are working on your bench rather than twisting your back. (I have lumbar 3-5 all fused together). Its a good investment.

#21 2 days ago

Zip loc baggies and sharpies are how I do all the swaps I do. It’s saved my bacon many times.

#22 2 days ago
Quoted from kruzman:

Its a little more work, but putting a plug on all of the coil assemblies makes life so much better in your coming years when you are working on the game, upside down. You can just unplug it and unscrew a couple screws, and now you are working on your bench rather than twisting your back. (I have lumbar 3-5 all fused together). Its a good investment.

Kruzman - Could you elaborate on how you do this?

#23 2 days ago
Quoted from T-Tommy:

First thing was to brace the new pf with birch rails to keep it as level as possible ( I did it lengthwise and also side to side ) and gave it at least 6 months to cure.

You mean like this? (Saw it in another post)

You kept it like this for six months? Did you then remove the rails to do the swap? (Sorry for the newb questions).

My Abra Ca Dabra has been in the crate Wade shipped it in for a couple years. Hoping it's not twisted now...

PF braced (resized).jpg
#24 2 days ago

Those temp rails sure have a lot of screws. You really don't want to create any additional holes. I used the original wooden rail holes for the temp birch rails and screws. Couldn't find perfect screws for this so the holes have been counter sinked. Screwed the cross pieces into the longer rails. Kept it like that for 8 months until I was ready to start. Removed the temp rails and slid the 'stuff' over to the new pf. Next I screwed down the heavy items, drop banks, stepper, coil brackets, etc. Placed the pf onto the rotisserie rightside up and clamped it down. With the heavy stuff screwed down it could be rotated over. I reinstalled the topside wooden rails at this point to help prevent any pf bending. ( The rails were clamped down before installing the screws to ensure a tight fit ) Also, when I wasn't working on it I would rotate the pf sideways to help prevent any pf bending. The pf looks warped in the pic. That's just the camera.

El Dorado playfield with b races (resized).jpgEl Dorado playfields side by side (resized).jpg

#25 2 days ago

Before laying it flat on the table, I took the pics and removed the screws from anything that protruded through the top such as rollovers, bumper sw's, slings, pops.

#26 2 days ago
Quoted from edednedy:

Kruzman - Could you elaborate on how you do this?

Where ever you buy your electronics parts. like mouser. You can get in line plugs for how ever many wires you need, or you can put a male female splice in each wire. I like the plugs. I got the idea from ramps. its so nice to be able to unplug them and pull them off, rather than cut wires and re solider. If I have time to look some up I will post where they are available. search in line plug.

I hate working on games upside down or twisting my back. I take the assembly off, and it makes you feel good.

#27 2 days ago

Another thing I did was trace the braid location with a pencil before sliding stuff over. Also marked where the staples were. Ended up using less staples than the original.

El Dorado wire braid tracing (resized).jpg
#28 2 days ago
Quoted from T-Tommy:

I used the original wooden rail holes for the temp birch rails and screws. Couldn't find perfect screws for this so the holes have been counter sinked. Screwed the cross pieces into the longer rails. Kept it like that for 8 months until I was ready to start.

Thanks for the description and the pics. Very helpful!

#29 1 day ago
Quoted from dmacy:

Zip loc baggies and sharpies are how I do all the swaps I do. It’s saved my bacon many times.

Quoted from kruzman:

I also use a lot of zip locs. I will put the left slingshot assembly in one zip, and if you want to do smaller (sub bags) in the zip loc to separate things that are not obvious. I am not wasteful, and not eager to fill the land fill so I reuse the zip locs until they are trash.
Its a little more work, but putting a plug on all of the coil assemblies makes life so much better in your coming years when you are working on the game, upside down. You can just unplug it and unscrew a couple screws, and now you are working on your bench rather than twisting your back. (I have lumbar 3-5 all fused together). Its a good investment.

I did a full topside strip of my Spirit of 76, including anything that protruded through holes, and did exactly the same thing. Tons of ziplock snack and sandwich bags. Everything from full pop assemblies to right inlane wireforms to pins from specific locations. Gonna be a lifesaver when I start reassembly!

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