(Topic ID: 191115)

The Space Shuttle has (crash) landed


By merccat

2 years ago



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  • 170 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by patrickvc
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There are 170 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
#1 2 years ago

This is to doucment the restoration of (or more likely salvaging of) a Williams Space Shuttle I picked up for 25 dollars.

While I agree for the most part that anything can be fixed there is a point where losses must be cut.

First Strike: I had purchased this game while looking for specifically for a parts game to donate to the local community college maker/coder group. This is where kids take on fun projects relevant to engineering, science and programming. This idea is to design, build and code their own unique pinball game. By buying a game on the edge of or past the point of being restorable we could have plenty of available parts without breaking the bank.

Note thst because of this purpose alone, this game may not be restored and if it is, the actual restoration of the game itself wouldn't occur until down the road after the parts have served their new mission.

Second Strike:
The playfield while at first appeared intact and it does have all ramps, plastics, etc is delaminating and the bottome 3 inches or so of plywood is badly water damaged. There are signs of plywood delaminating under the playfield all the way up. Amazingly, very little rust.

Third Strike:
Not there yet... even though the back box was completely destroyed that's easy enough to remake and I have the parts to use as a template.

Cabinet:
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The Back Box:
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Playfield Overview:
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Playfield Under Overview:
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Playfield Damage:
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Don't let your balls get like this:
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#2 2 years ago

First off lets start cleaning things up. I'll be remving all salvagable wiring and boards from the backbox pile. None of the bulb sockets are salvagable of course. Also not going to even bother with two of the displays although they are likely all bad.

Of course lots of photos (and detail photos) are taken just in case it is rebuilt:
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Yeah, I'm desoldering instead of cutting when possible... only takes a second longer so why not:
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Heres a quick tip... for those rusted out screws where they have gotten so soft they just strip out... wire cutters can sometimes get enough bite and leverage to break em free.
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The dishwasher is pulled out because the brand new stinkin thing leaks... a replacement is on the way, fortunately with a towel I can get a full cycle in.
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#3 2 years ago

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!

Run away....far, far away...
Even your cat's like "Good luck man?"

#4 2 years ago

You are brave. Personally I would find a CPR and rebuild the rest of it. Good luck!

#5 2 years ago

Nah...go for it, I would give it a shot...it doesnt need to be beautiful to enjoy.

#6 2 years ago

LOL! Yeah that playfield is toast. So this will most likely end up being documenting tear down and clean up of all parts/components.

If that is what ends up happening it will include the new life (and build photos) they end up serving as the student project.

May still first see if I can get it to boot (wont be for a week or two as there are some components I will need to replace on the boardset.

Wonder what will happen:
A) Burst into Flames and Explode
B) Blow all fuses and a breaker
C) Smolder slightly
D) Boot with errors and start a game
E) Boot and start a game

#7 2 years ago

Has CPR made a repo playfield for this title?

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from merccat:

Has CPR made a repo playfield for this title?

Yes:

#9 2 years ago

Well then that solves most my probelm. I think this game will end up being restored at the end of the student project barring them creating something extraordinarily cool (and even then we can always trade out for new parts if need be) or me finding a less fun donor game before the start of the project.

That is also provding they ever do a re-run.

#10 2 years ago

Well the dishwasher discolored and seems to have actually washed away some the green masking. Haven't had that happen before. Not sure if its due to these boards having had been left out in the open or the detergent or the dishwasher itself. Should stil be perfectly fine though.

Anyway, after washing hand rinsed with alcohol and opened up relay to rinse and dry it as well.

Otherwise relatively spotless now... stil picking out a few blades of grass here and there.

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#11 2 years ago

What the heck kind of bizzaroland field hack is this!?!

The coil has no sleeve, improper screws not holding the stop secure so taped coil to stop and there were two pennies taped on as well.

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#12 2 years ago

Huh?

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#13 2 years ago

The eye hook is epic!! You certainly have your work cut out for you. I fully restored a SS a few years ago and it was a really fun project.

#14 2 years ago

I figured out the board "discoloration". Its not really discolored, just dulled. As a test I polished up a clear area with a dab of novus and bingo back to dark green with visible traces through the board. So yeah... option one live with dull boards I'll hardly ever see or option 2, remove all components polish and re-assemble.... option 1 it is.

Next time... by hand... or at least no detergent. Thats what I get for trying to kill 2 birds with one stone.

#15 2 years ago

I wonder if the eye bolt was for a center prop gizmo.

#16 2 years ago

Wow this is gonna be an EPIC thread whatever you do. I'll be watching this for sure. GO FOR IT!!!!

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from polyacanthus:

I wonder if the eye bolt was for a center prop gizmo.

My working therory: To hang a shop light. LOL

#18 2 years ago

Sucked in, I'll be following.
-Mike

#19 2 years ago

Started work on rust removal from the board panel. Forgot that I needed a new wire wheel so tried hand brush and chemical.... meh... will get a wire wheel tomorrow to finish it up.

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Fortunately the back side shown is the worst off. Based on where the water damage is on the cabinet and the back of the board panel being the worst I believe the pin was left out in the weather head down.

I'm pretty torn on replacing just the front panel or rebuilding the entire cabinet.
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#20 2 years ago

Recieved notice that my replacement dishwasher was on the way so have to continue on cleaning the harness pronto.

Tonight pulled and started a load with the main cabinet harness.
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Hey whats this?
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Yay, coupons!
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Interesting... I got the game from Lemoore and the coupons appear to be redeemed coupons from the Indian casino there. I wonder if this game has any connection there.

#21 2 years ago

So the plan from through this weekend:

- Finish initial cleanup then see if I can get good voltages from power supply.

- If so, see if game will boot.... if it starts a game then hooray! The tech in me will be satisfied... time to pull the playfield harness for a run through the dishwasher.

Then the playfield will take a detour and parts will start going to demonstration panels and possibly the school project if they want to take it on.

Meanwhile I'm going to be watching for a decent playfield and will be rebuilding the back box.

#22 2 years ago

Might want to search the forms for the new 'hard top' product. They did the space shuttle play field. Reasonable price and looks like a good fit for making your play field nice.

#23 2 years ago

Does anyone sell playfield blanks? You could duplicate yours with a router and pattern bit, then apply the new hardtop overlay on top.

#24 2 years ago

Judging by the pictures, this looks like a tough one to tackle, but you can do it and you're off to a good start. Imo it's always worth saving a game if YOU are up to the challenge, and Space Shuttle is a worthy classic to save.

As for the playfield, yours looks rough from dry rot. You could beg out by the street corner and still not find someone willing to part with a SS CPR playfield reasonably, but you would find one that someone wants too much for. The hardcoat replacement field that is now being offered for $300 would be an excellent choice, IF your playfield is solid enough.
The other route to take in this case (and the one I would probably pursue) is to post a WTB for a Space Shuttle playfield in any condition, one that would certainly be a better one to start with than yours, and there are sure to be more than a few of them kicking around, now that people have been swapping the CPR's in their game.

Good luck in this pinball adventure.

#25 2 years ago

Very cool project.
Carrot Top seems to be the scariest thing uncovered so far.

#26 2 years ago

Evaporust is your friend.

#27 2 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions. That hard top overlay looks like a great solution! Also interesting idea on routing a blank, that might be fun to try if nothing else.

Yeah Carrot Top is kind of scary... the spiders weren't even hanging out in that area.

Will try Evaporust if I can find it here. I think it's ultimately going to come down to both mechanical and chemical treatments to get it fully cleaned up.

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from merccat:

Will try Evaporust if I can find it here. I think it's ultimately going to come down to both mechanical and chemical treatments to get it fully cleaned up.

Try autozone. Just remember it will tend to want to rust again... I usually shoot some kind of top coat to protect the clean parts

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from merccat:

Thanks for the suggestions. That hard top overlay looks like a great solution! Also interesting idea on routing a blank, that might be fun to try if nothing else.
Yeah Carrot Top is kind of scary... the spiders weren't even hanging out in that area.
Will try Evaporust if I can find it here. I think it's ultimately going to come down to both mechanical and chemical treatments to get it fully cleaned up.

Yeah the hard top would take care of the pf area but what about all the area under the apron? From the pictures it looks REALLY bad and would effect the strength of the pf.

#30 2 years ago

Wonder if this was the final straw that led to this game being left to out to rot.

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#31 2 years ago
Quoted from merccat:

Wonder if this was the final straw that led to this game being left to out to rot.

That looks like a really BIG m80.

#32 2 years ago

ITS ALIVE!!!!!!

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#33 2 years ago

...aaand it's dead. Good power, no fuses blew just went dark as did CPU board... still lots to check, was exciting to see a sign of life though.

#34 2 years ago

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#35 2 years ago

Got it consistently booting and actually played a few games on it.... ya know... i can honesty say I have played games that played worse on location before.

Here's the inventory:
- It flips!
- sound effects 100%
- drops all fully operational
- only one pop working and calling it working is a bit of a strech.
- all rollovers out of adjustment.
- shuttle ramp exit switch out of adjustment.
- stand up target switches need cleaning and adjusting...
- lets just say ALL switches need some sort of adjustment and cleaning but most seem to register when forced.
- need to re-pin power molex for mpu board.
- some random flakyness to be expected but lessened with each game.
- needs new rubbers all around
- surprisingly few bulbs out

#36 2 years ago

It always amazes me how tough these old games can be.... the thing was literally in a field, boards face down caked in grass and mud... a little clean up... grind off the rust... replace a couple molex connectors... re-cap the power supply and bam... playable game (kind of).

It still has a long ways to go. Next stop the community college. I might need to build a head for it first though... kind of awkward having the board set flop around.

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

That looks like a really BIG m80.

LOL... I didn't even think about that but yeah sure does.

#38 2 years ago

Proof of life:

1 week later
#39 2 years ago

Well the space shuttle is now in it's new home at the local community college.

I've got good news! The group decided that the game should be restored and not rethemed or anything like that.

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#40 2 years ago

Tonight we set the game up, "played" it a little and then started in.

First off it was decided that the ball trough needed to be cleaned up so it would work better.

Poor mans cliffy???

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#41 2 years ago

Next we started breaking down the playfield...

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#42 2 years ago

Bathroom break anyone?

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#43 2 years ago

Finally decided to remove the laminate.... figured it would further trash the playfield but common... it was laminate on top of older laminate and looked just aweful anyway....

Yeah going to need one of those hard top overlays. Maybe I'll ask if they have an imperfect one we can buy at a discount.

#44 2 years ago

Well this isn't right.

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#45 2 years ago

So I have a shopping list I promised to get for next Friday.

- 3x's coils for the pop bumbers (all 3 had different coils, none of which were the right ones).
- Complete rubber set
- Pop bumber bodies, etc

Gotta be on the lookout for:
- Legs (the kids may attempt wooden legs... but I think I should be able to dig up some regular ones)
- Score displays
- Backglass (gotta also build a back box cabinet)

Speaking of which... i have 3 pieces of the back box but I'm missing the bottom, top and back panels. Anyone have some diminsions?

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from merccat:

Speaking of which... i have 3 pieces of the back box but I'm missing the bottom, top and back panels. Anyone have some diminsions?

There are 2 versions of the bb, thin and thick depth.

#47 2 years ago

I've got a set of dark gray non ribbed legs I can send you. No cost just cover shipping from AZ

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from patrickvc:

I've got a set of dark gray non ribbed legs I can send you. No cost just cover shipping from AZ

Awesome! Thanks that will be a big help. Right now its on a media cart which works but is a bit awkward. Plus once the fall semester starts we'll need to relinquish the cart.

#49 2 years ago

Got coils, pop parts, rubbers and a couple other misc parts ordered last night. Hoping stuff gets here by Friday with the mid week holiday an all.

#50 2 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

There are 2 versions of the bb, thin and thick depth.

Good point, i'll measure the sides panels since I actually still have those. So What I think I really need is the width at the top and I should be able to derive the rest

Also might be useful to know the size of the opening at the bottom.

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