(Topic ID: 233801)

Theatre of MAGIC!!!....(formerly theatre of tragic) ...rebuilding a classic

By cosmokramer

10 months ago

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  • 313 posts
  • 56 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 29 days ago by cosmokramer
  • Topic is favorited by 76 Pinsiders


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#1 10 months ago

Next up for a facelift is a tired, well used TOM....I got this in on trade a year ago, the trunk didnt work but it was playable (sort of), I hacked in a quick repair (the cabinet/playfield was not grounded to the head/boards) and got the trunk working. It now plays ok but looks pretty beat up, the cab has a chunk the size of a pizza missing, the playfield is badly worn in the "book" area, the brass plating is bad on the wireforms, there are several holes in the speaker panel along with a plethora of other cosmetic issues...

My plan is:
Build a new cabinet
Swap in a new Mirco playfield
Re-brass wireforms, apron rail, newton ball and spirit ring
New translite, glass and channels
New siderails
Restore coin door
New speaker panel
All new rubbers and sleeves
New shooter rod and housing
New pop bodies/skirts
New plastics
All new ramps
Flipper rebuild
New trunk
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#4 10 months ago
Quoted from TheDrewster:

Wow, can't wait to see how this turns out. Is that chunk actually missing from the cabinet or just the artwork?

mostly just art but a bit of the ply...someone did an ok job painting in the lock!

Quoted from dmacy:

Enjoy reading your threads and the holes in display panel is funny. Why would they do that!

It looks like it was done with a hot soldering tip but who knows

#5 10 months ago

I bought this about a year ago,every few months I would see a post on pinside where someone got a Mirco playfield with bad clear or sunken inserts and every few months I would run to my closet and look mine over again...

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#9 10 months ago
Quoted from underlord:

what are you reusing from the original? Not much there..

A whole lot more than the Fish Tales I did last year

First thing on the to do list is to remove the parts that need brass plating...I was unsuccessful in locating a local shop that I could drive to and not risk losing parts in shipping so I am crossing my fingers and sending these out in the mail as soon as I remove the switches and magnet...

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#12 10 months ago

I grabbed some pre-cut cabinet parts off the rack, routed the plunger hole and drilled the game-specific holes, then got it glued together...

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#13 10 months ago
Quoted from PNBLWZD:

It’s a bit of a drive from your location, but you could take the brass parts needing refinishing to Astro plating in the San Fernando valley if you don’t want to ship them out

Thanks for the tip, looks like its only 90 miles from me
I will call them this week, I may have a few other small parts done if I dont have to ship them...

#16 10 months ago

Once the glue is dry its time to test fit the components into the new cab. The playfield, translite, speaker panel, shooter rod, lockdown bar, glass and siderails are positioned in the cab to check for fit and proper clearance...all looks well so the cab is ready for fill and sand before being moved into the spray booth for primer...

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I had been using an old rotisserie that was given to me by tracelifter a few years ago that I used on a few swaps but its time for a better one....I am currently looking at plans from both skypilot and vid1900 and will probably come up with version thats similar. I want it to be able to disassemble it quickly for storage...
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(Not sure why the pics are out of order but it wont allow me to fix it)

#17 10 months ago
Quoted from lb1:

Marked as favorite!
I sent a whole bunch of parts away twice (TZ and LOTR) and I never had a problem. The only draw back is packing, paying for the shipping and wait time, but nothing got lost and they came out beautifully. As long as you take pictures of what you send you should be ok.

Looks like I will be mailing them after all, I guess im not to worried about it since these parts are not rare... I had a buddy who sent an unobtanium part (FT reel handle) and it got lost for damn near a year so I am a little leary of mailing hard to find parts.
Im going to add the entry ramp to those parts that I will be brass plating... looks like all those parts can be had on exchange so turn around time should be quick...

#19 10 months ago

I ordered all new ramps from starship fantasy, I have heard great things about them and wanted to give them a try...they come with all flaps rivited on and the decals...

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The old ramps are in good condition with just some minor cracking around the mount holes, I will clean them up and put them on ebay...same story with the playfield plastics... they are really in good shape, I only see one small chip but at this point I might as well get the whole set

#25 10 months ago

Todays lesson: how to remove the spirit ring magnet from its housing...

Step 1: Remove spirit ring housing from ramp
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Step 2: Attempt to apply heat...then try freezing...then try heat again....pull a little, pry a little, wiggle it.....freeze again....then pry...
And then it will pop out in one piece...

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Then head to the computer and order a replacement....

#29 10 months ago
Quoted from nickbuol:

You could get the flaps brass plated as well since you are doing everything else. Looks good and works well. I was concerned that it would add too much thickness, but it plays smooth.

That would probably look great, I have already mailed my parts off for brass but if I deceide to get anything else done I will throw in the ramp flaps.

Quoted from dudah:

Pizza as a unit of measurement? Following.

Pizza is universal, no reason to confuse my friends overseas with imperial measurements...

Got an Email from Starship saying my ramps will be delivered today, I just ordered them on Tuesday. I was expecting it to take a few weeks, great service.

#30 10 months ago

Once test fitting is complete and all bondo and sanding are finished its time to move the cab into the make shift spray booth for paint and primer...

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A shout out to Chris at High_End_Pins for taking the time to photograph and document his amazing work, it has been very helpful for an amateur like me to hone my painting skills, and pay attention to every detail. But the most important skill I have learned from him is efficiency. Thanks Chris!

#31 10 months ago

I ordered these on Tuesday morning and they arrived at lunchtime on Thursday...pretty impressive, I was prepared to wait a few weeks...

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They seem a bit thicker and stronger than the originals, I will comment more on the fit and finish when they are installed but so far I am impressed...
Thanks larry @starship fantasy

#32 10 months ago
Quoted from Platypus:

The guys from Canadian Arcade put up some nice plans which utilize a collapsible chop saw stand. I would/will do a different swivel since I have access to a welder. but I like their base idea.

I think this is the way to go, and I need a miter saw stand for my miter saw anyway so it makes perfect sense.
Picking up miter saw stand today so I can get started on the playfield swap. The cabinet is complete and decaled and most of my parts are here so I am itching to get started. I will post pics of completed rotisserie in a day or 2

#34 10 months ago

Really didnt want to break the bank on a miter saw stand but wanted to stay a step above harbor freight so I thought I would try the Ryobi version. The stand itself is nice, and assembly was easy. I will have to wait until I use the saw to have an opinion on how well it works as intended. It is sturdy,when all the knobs are tight and seems solid but again, I will wait to pass judgement on its operation until I do the playfield swap.
I blended both the version seen above, and the classic black pipe locking capability for this hybrid...

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I wanted something I could securely lock in place, not just the friction of a swivel plate.
I still need to get proper clamps, put some foam on the lip of the punched angle and paint everything...

#35 10 months ago

I got word today that the brass parts are on their way, I have 95% of the parts I need to complete this project so after almost a year its time to get started. I know I will find a few broken parts along the way that will need to be orderd so I will wait on ordering the remaining few parts until I get deeper into it...
Tonights performance is about to begin....

#36 10 months ago

Ouch, I just made the rookie mistake of adding up how much I spent on parts so far..........

#39 10 months ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Oh your fine, just don't start to calculate your labor!

I usually break even on these restorations as long as I consider my labor free....if I paid myself $8 an hour then Im in the red...although this may be the first game I restore that will probably be worth less than I have in it just on parts alone...

Anybody who is waiting for CGC to announce TOM as their next remake, it will probably happen just as this project wraps up and goes up for sale...driving down the value even more....


#41 9 months ago

Got my parts back from Hot Rod Arcade, they look ten times better than the parts I shipped off....

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#43 9 months ago

Going to order Color DMD, what is the best choice for this game, LCD or LED?

#44 9 months ago

Going to get the coin door squared away first. This one is not really that bad compared to some I have done...it appears to be complete and in decent shape...

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Aside from one missing coin flap, this bezel around the coin slots has the most damage. Looks like someone hit it pretty good a few times...

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The plan is to sand it or bead blast it clean, fill any dents or scratches,prime it, apply factory looking texture, then paint...the small parts on the inside are heading to the sonic cleaner...

#46 9 months ago
Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

Normally I dig LED version on games with no video assets, but for some reason the color palette in TOM made me see a lot of fringing and color separation around the individual LED's. Ended up transferring to another game and swapped in an LCD, much better on this one IMHO.

Thanks, I just posted the same question in the TOM club thread....

#48 9 months ago

Coin door torn down, small parts labeled and heading to the ultrasonic. Main pieces are going to be prepped for repainting...

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Cleaned the gunk off and made a quick pass with some wet sandpaper just to get a feel for how much work this will be...

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#52 9 months ago

Blasting with some ground glass, then a bit more wet sanding made short work of removing the old paint from all the door components...

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The coin return/slot bezel is beat up a bit more than it first appeared, this will get filled and sanded smooth before texture is applied...

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Parts cleaned up, just a small amount of detail work until they are ready for the next step...

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#54 9 months ago
Quoted from GreenMachine19:

Might I add a suggestion you probably already thought of? When I did my full tear down resto of ToM I added Reese Rails. These things are beautiful and add superior support and rigidity to the play field over the soft original rails. My play field hardly flexes when I rack it out to do anything.

Good point, I always replace my rails but I make them myself, many were originally made with "finger joint" splicing and have weak/broken spots that do indeed cause playfield flexing.

Here is a set I made for my last resto..
Old back panel and rails on the bottom, new replacements on top...
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The last few parts are coming out of the ultrasonic...I use the small Harbor Freight model, it works ok but next time I am buying a bigger one...

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I finished sanding the door frame and small bezels, they dont need any further attention until painting so they are put off to the side...the door skin and larger bezel require a bit of repair before they are ready for paint, first bit of bondo is applied
..not much is needed here...

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#56 9 months ago

Repairs are done, parts are primed...White may seem like an odd choice for primer when the top coat will be black but I do it this way because the next step is to apply the texture and I use a black laquer for that so the white base allows me to better see the texture build up...

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The texture will hide any remaining imperfections on the door assembly...meantime, back at the ranch, the coin door wire harness needs to be cleaned...nothing to serious here just some warm water, purple power, and a toothbrush... Hand cleaning the harness like this allows me to inspect for any loose wires at the connectors or anything else that might look suspicious...luckily it just took a few minutes to wash and dry the harness...

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1 week later
#57 9 months ago

Not much progress this week as we got a tremendous amount of rain and I had to deal with some flooding on my property. Today I get back to painting...Im doing 2 coin doors at this time and got the second one sanded and primed...

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Texture is applied by putting a can of black lacquer in the freezer for about 40 min. Once the temp has dropped down you can just slightly depress the nozzle and the lacquer will "spit" blobs of paint....I test it on some cardboard to get the pattern correct...

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Then begin to apply it to the parts, the texture is built up in layers with some drying time in between...here is what it looks like after the first pass, more will be built up until it looks about right...

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#59 9 months ago

After a bit of time to dry, additional coats are built on top of each other....

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Here is an original coin door, I want to get as close to this pattern as possible...

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This looks pretty close, I wont know for sure until I spray the top coat....

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#63 9 months ago
Quoted from nickbuol:

what do you cover the texture with in the end that doesn't then take away from the flat with glossy splatter texture effect where the glossy looks shiny over the flatter base coat...

Like these?

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I have never seen the Bryan Kelly method, maybe next time I will give it a try...

1 month later
#66 7 months ago

Got a good portion of the shop remodel completed so I am starting back up on this project...I fabricated some temporary metal leg stand offs to protect the new decals so I can get the new cab on some old legs....

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Now with the lower cab on some temporary legs I can begin the process if moving the guts from the old cab to the new...

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#67 7 months ago

Got my back box warning screen today, looking forward to using on this cabinet but I need to order the proper ink....hope to have it in about a week...

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Now the process of removing the guts from the old cabinet and cleaning up parts along the way begins...

#72 7 months ago

This is a link to my comments on the Mirco playfield last year when I got it....basically its not what I would prefer but it is whats available....im not a purist, just want the game to look "new" rather than "original"

1 week later
#74 7 months ago

Heres the mess Im starting with, everything needs to come out and get sorted for cleaning...

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Playfield is removed....

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Looks like one of the wires from the transformer burned up in the connector and was soldered together...no tape, no heat shrink tubing

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#75 7 months ago

Gutted the lower cabinet with the exception of the looms and a few small parts, the serial number and other decals will be reproduced

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The back box has just the boards and knocker left in it. The game played ok when I got it, but I found what I believe to be a fix for the game shutting off during play. The board was made in 2016 so its obviously an aftermarket part...

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Looks like I should send the boards out for service...

All the removed parts are put on a table , I will start to clean and evaluate these parts as I install them in the new cab...

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#77 7 months ago

Got the ink for the warning screen...

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But the boneheads didnt ship the squeegee! So I have to wait a few more days

1 week later
#78 6 months ago

Preparing to place another order, heres whats on hand and ready to go...

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I have the Ron Kruzman playfield kit....

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I saved a few pieces of an old oak desk I got rid of awhile back, ripped it into some stock to fabricate a new set of playfield rails...

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I will get these cut,sanded and laquered over the weekend.
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I added a bit of felt to the angle on the rotisserie with some spray adhesive as I prepare to install T-nuts and pop nails into the new playfield before securing it on the angle with some clamps...

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#79 6 months ago

Cleaning the lower cab wire harness and a few other parts...my wife always gives me a dirty look when I use the dishwasher...

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#81 6 months ago
Quoted from Phantasize:

Looking really good. Is it safe enough for the connectors to be exposed to the water? And maybe a dumb question, but do you use soap?

Yes, soap is used...I was a bit skeptical myself but you can read up on it here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cleaning-playfield-harnesses-vids-guide/page/2#post-4966893
After the washer is done I will hang it out to dry...

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Old decals that have been scanned for reproduction...

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Transformer cleaned with some simple green and an old toothbrush (cleaning wires and housing only, do not saturate transformer)...

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#82 6 months ago

The last few usable parts are removed from the old cab, I will keep it on hand for reference then probably repair, repaint and decal it before offering it up for sale...

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The new cab is brought into the shop and ready to be re-populated. Yes, much to the dismay of most pinsiders I painted the bottom of my cabinet. After doing it this way for a few customers I started to like the way it looks and it really makes it easy to keep clean...

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#84 6 months ago
Quoted from northerndude:

flashinstinct makes a good set of cabinet decals, it a full set.

Thanks, If Im not satisfied with my own repros I will take a look.

#85 6 months ago

First test run with the silkscreen. I thinned the ink and gave it a try on an extra back box display I had on hand. The screen worked great, was very easy to use and the text looks great....my only error was to not use enough ink to fully cover the screen, leaving some missing content.
Overall I am happy with the test run, this is the first time I have tried to screen print since high school graphic arts class....

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#87 6 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I was in the same boat... I test printed on brown paper I had lying around I just put a ton more on.. and dealt with the cleanup. Much easier than having a failed print (I had one of those too) and having to repaint and try again.
I think printing some with the screen on some dummy material first can also help.. as the screen gets filled and uniform.. then do your precious print with the screen already staged.

Yes, there is a learning curve, I imagine after doing a few I will get the hang if it. I practiced a bit more and then screened my backbox...
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It came out pretty good with the exception of the top right corner....

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User error...since I already have the head decaled I am not going to sand it off and repaint. Im confident that I can fix the area up by hand to make it look acceptable. Now that I have the screen on hand, next time I can print the warning before decaling in case I need to remove and reprint.

Head and lower are put together as re-population begins, all the cab components have been cleaned/refinished as needed. Populating a new cabinet takes a bit of time as there are obviously no screw holes to identify parts locations but for the most part its a fairly easy process...
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I will let the screened ink dry for a day, then tape the blemished portion off for touch up...
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Im am almost as far along with the cab as I can go until the new connector for the transformer arrives. I cant do to much with the head yet because I still need to service the boards, rebuild the knocker mech and paint/install the corner brackets so I guess its about time to move on to the playfield. I made a support for the rear of the playfield and am preparing to tear down the top of the playfield, a few hundred pictures will be taken along the way...

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#88 6 months ago

Whats the story with the finish nail through a ramp protector into the playfield?!? That cant be factory right? Reminds me of nails on EM games to keep ball from getting stuck under a plastic...

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#90 6 months ago

Maybe a ball hang up issue? I will pay close attention to this area when assembling the new playfield.
Didnt get as much done today as I had hoped but the topside is almost clear.

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#93 6 months ago

Topside is clear, playfield is flipped over to start the bottom. This is the first chance I will have to examine the playfield mechs for any broken parts or curious hacks...

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After removing the boards and some of the larger mechs I am able to take more detailed photos. Now I have acces to the playfield so I can make any notes or draw routing maps with a sharpie...

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#96 6 months ago
Quoted from Skarv:

Really enjoying this. Been 3 years since I did my TOM and have to say... you are about to get to the fun part. This machine has the most interesting mechanism I've restored. Truly clever. The trapdoor VUK Trunk mech that can take balls from both ends as well as accumulate is really quite a feat.
My two suggestions are minor but I think helped my TOM a lot. One: Get some LED lights to brighten up the trap door. And two, polish the inside of the trunk mechanism. You see the column when you are shooting the trunk shot, and it really ups the game when you see shininess inside the trunk. Factory has just dull metal, but shiny makes it almost look like a sword or some 'magic' object inside.
Finally, my one troubleshooting tip when you get to it. Make absolutely sure you have a clean roll from the trunk to the trap door. The under PF habitrail that connects to the trap door mech needs careful alignment so balls roll freely. Mine would occasionally have a ball 'just not quite make it' over the transition. It was such an intermittent occurrence that I thought the problem was an opto or other electronics. After lots of chasing gremlins finally found out it was insufficient fall in the habitrail.
Love what you are doing and wish I had your Cab. But stoked I have my retouched PF

I appreciate the advice and tips. I will pay extra attention to those areas.
You are correct about the engineering of the mechs in this title, very interesting...

Quoted from Phantasize:

Would definitely like to see how you take apart the Trap Door mechanism. I'm really bad at this stuff, and that mechanism seems hard to take out and service?
My own ToM has started ejecting the balls from the trap door straight down between the flippers. Not always, but for periods of time. So i can have 50 games where it shoots to the right flipper, but the all of a sudden shifts just enough to the left that no flippers can touch it. And this may last for 20-30 games before it "corrects itself" again.
I have some play in the VUK coil, so i am thinking this might be the problem. Probably have also been covered in the ToM owners thread, but i wouldn't know where to start in souch a big thread. So following along here, hoping to learn a thing or two

I will spend a little extra time documenting the removal/service of the trap door mech...

I got a few PMs asking about remembering where all the different size and style post go when repopulating the field. I like to photograph each post or standoff, including its mounting hardware, showing where it came from...
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It also allows me to make notes right on the pic, this one reminds me that the post near the trunk was missing....otherwise I would have thought I misplaced/lost that post...

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#103 6 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

Are you doing anything special to the Mirco playfield before installing? Does it need any clear coating? Holes drilled?

The clear coat is very nice, im just going to clean and wax it before I start to populate it. Im hoping that all the holes are already drilled, I know that I will have to spend a good deal of time cleaning out the holes of excess clear coat so I dont get any cracks or lifted chips during reassembly (which is why I bought the Ron Kruzman playfield kit). Im going into it assuming that the dimples for the mech and lamp socket locations will be more of a guidline rather that an exact location.
I will cover more when I start to build it as far as any problems or concerns...

Quoted from harryhoudini:

Are you using the ultrasonic cleaner to clean all the metal posts and wires and such? I am considering if I am going to try and bend all new wires, get all new screws and nuts, etc. or invest in some sort of cleaner/tumbler.

Yes, I will be using both an ultra sonic for the plastic posts and some other components, and I will use a vibrating case tumbler with walnut shell media for the playfield posts and a few odds and ends. Pics coming soon.

#104 6 months ago

I want to remove the wire harness with all the coils still attatched. I photograph each mech in its complete state....

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Then remove the coil, reassemble the mech and photograph again...

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This allows me to remove the harness and then disassemble and clean one mech at a time, keeping the confusion down and parts from getting mixed up. All the coils are loose now...

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#106 6 months ago

Sealed switches cant go in the dishwasher. But since I am replacing all the micro switches I am going to leave them on the harness and let them go through the wash cycle, then replace them one at a time during assembly...

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#108 6 months ago
Quoted from CLEllison:

I suggest you install a star post in a few different areas and let it sit for 2 days. See if that clear coat smushes down and rolls. And for the love of God, lay your old pf ontop of the new and make sure all the holes line up not to mention make damn sure the side rail holes are drilled straight. Ask me how I know about this

Thanks for the heads up, I was planning on putting the 2 fields together to check alignment, I will take a look at the rail holes as well. I have had this playfield in my closet for just over a year, hopefully it will be fully cured and hard.
The wire harness is just about free from the old playfield, im going to leave it in place for the time being. I want to take it off the old playfield, wash and dry it, and place it on the new playfield fairly quickly. But before I do that I need to size, drill and laquer the new siderails. I took the pieces of the desk that I had milled down earlier and cut them to match the originals. Only the small one needed any notching...
20190507_195602 (resized).jpg
Then they are clamped together and the hole locations are marked...
20190507_200815 (resized).jpg
I am only pre-drilling the top sides of the rail, the bottom holes will be marked and drilled after I can place the rail in position. This eliminates any problems if the rail hole locations on the new playfield are not in the correct position.

#109 6 months ago

Im preparing to order LEDs, however I have personally grown out of the colored GI and translite look and want to use some LED bulbs that will look somewhat original (incandecent).
Anybody have any recommendations? I prefer to use comet bulbs if possible but if there is a better choice Im all ears

#115 6 months ago

Sounds like exactly what Im looking for, thanks

#118 6 months ago

Went with what Bryan linked, ordered them all frosted sunlight, looking forward to seeing the end result. I expect it to be bright but look "somewhat" correct.
These came yesterday so I can proceed with repairing and installing the transformer and wire harness

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#119 6 months ago

I like to use a black ziptie to bundle the various wires together so I know which ones were in the looms, I use black so they stand out from the factory white and help me orient the harness when re-installing...

20190511_170559 (resized).jpg
Then the whole batch of spaghetti is moved onto 2' x 4' piece of particle board and secured into place (if you followed along with my Fish Tales rebuild you saw why I now secure the harness to the wood)
20190511_171824 (resized).jpg
The harness will go in the dishwasher tomorrow morning (nothing says happy Mothers Day honey like a harness in the dishwasher).
All thats left on the old playfield are the wire looms and pop assemblies...
20190511_171836 (resized).jpg20190511_171845 (resized).jpg
Meanwhile, the new playfield rails are drilled and primered, ready for black laquer...

20190511_172001 (resized).jpg
#121 6 months ago

Transformer cleaned up and connector replaced...

20190511_203532 (resized).jpg20190511_204621 (resized).jpg
#122 6 months ago

Wrapping up a few loose ends on populating the cabinet, waiting for a bit if plastic tubing to replace the one that wont come clean. Then I can get the transformer installed and wiring complete...
The new playfield rails are now black and ready to install...

20190512_203541 (resized).jpg
One last thing to complete before clamping the new playfield onto the rotisserie...installing about 25 T-nuts on the top and underneath...
TN05709-2T (resized).jpg
I would like to attempt to just pound them in with a hammer like some people do, but I just cant bring myself to try it for fear of damaging/cracking the clearcoat. I want to pull them in place from the opposite side using a bolt. I need something to spread the pressure across the surface of the playfield
I cut a piece of plywood approx 2.5" x 3" and drill a hole in the center...

20190512_202258 (resized).jpg
Then cover one side with felt...

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Next I cut a similar size piece of ply and drill a 7/8" hole to fit a bearing into....

20190512_203213 (resized).jpg20190512_203241 (resized).jpg
Then just glue the 2 pcs together...

20190512_204015 (resized).jpg
Now, with a bolt, I can safely install the T-nuts with (hopefully) no damage. (Note: phillips head in photo was just what I had on hand for the photo I will use a bolt with a hex head and socket to set the nut...less chance of slipping a screwdriver and damaging the field)

20190512_204202 (resized).jpg
#124 6 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I'm not quite following your design there... but pretty sure Bryan Kelly and HEP threads have covered their solution for it. Pretty much a pull through bolt system if I recall. someone made a socket based tool if I recall. I'm useless without a link.. I know

This is "loosely" based on the designs of others, using parts I had on hand. I will post some pics of it in action...

#126 6 months ago

I could'nt get the clear tubing clean no matter how much I tried, so I had to get a new one...

20190515_182222 (resized).jpg
After sliding it in place I am finally able to replace the connector....

20190515_183521 (resized).jpg20190515_203141 (resized).jpg
Now I can install the transformer and harness and button up the lower cab...

At the same time, I put the playfield posts, gates and a few odds and ends into the walnut media and ran it for a day to knock off the loose crap...then added some polishing paste that will make these parts shine like new...

20190515_210303 (resized).jpg20190512_182006 (resized).jpg

#135 6 months ago
Quoted from jmountjoy111:

Do you just dump some paste into the tumbler? I use the walnut media a lot but haven’t done this before.

Yes, I put in a blob of polish a little smaller than a pinball. It really makes a difference, here are some parts that just came out of the walnut...they have not even been buffed yet
20190516_184428 (resized).jpg
Im not sure if these photos capture the overall shine, they look brand new.
I forgot to take "before" pics...

#137 6 months ago

Now that the playfield posts and such are polished its time to finish up in some other areas....
The ribbon cables are next...

20190517_165938 (resized).jpg20190517_170402 (resized).jpg20190517_170920 (resized).jpg20190517_173445 (resized).jpg
Light boards under the playfield...

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20190517_175947 (resized).jpg20190517_181039 (resized).jpg

Filled the ultrasonic with hot water...

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Added purple power...

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Throw in starposts...

20190517_165523 (resized).jpg
Before and after...

20190517_165432 (resized).jpg20190517_181841 (resized).jpg

#142 6 months ago
Quoted from NYP:

I think you're making a mistake by not replacing 25 year old ribbon cables but carry on.....

I considered it, but they are easily replaced at any time. I am focusing on replacing ALL the hard to get to components that wear out (all microswitches, all optos etc)

#145 6 months ago

Here is the new playfield, so what are the recommended mylar locations on this title?

20190519_105310 (resized).jpg
#146 6 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I'm not quite following your design there... but pretty sure Bryan Kelly and HEP threads have covered their solution for it. Pretty much a pull through bolt system if I recall. someone made a socket based tool if I recall. I'm useless without a link.. I know

Quoted from cosmokramer:

This is "loosely" based on the designs of others, using parts I had on hand. I will post some pics of it in action...

20190519_105931 (resized).jpg20190519_110629 (resized).jpg20190519_110831 (resized).jpg20190519_110838 (resized).jpg20190519_110909 (resized).jpg20190519_110946 (resized).jpg
#148 6 months ago
Quoted from pintechev:

Basement door, around trunk, drops from ramps. That’s really it on ToM.


Almost forgot an important early step...wax the playfield first, it only takes a minute when theres no switches sticking up, starposts and plastics in the way, or trying to get under ramps...

20190519_112156 (resized).jpg20190519_112102 (resized).jpg20190519_112817 (resized).jpg
#150 6 months ago
Quoted from kcZ:

Mylar... Are you going to route this game? HUO = no mylar, IMHO.

I wont be routing this, no
Can I get away with no mylar?

#151 6 months ago

Here is my first real area of concern, the exposed T-nut near the trunk...in the old playfield there is a fairly deep depression where the T-nut was drawn in tight, with no clear coat this seems like it would be fairly easy to do with no worry...however the new field has no depression and I am afraid the T-nut will sit high and cause problems, if I really pull it in it will damage the clear. I suppose the solution is to use the Kruzman kit to remove the clear from the area but, to be honest, YIKES that doesnt sound like fun...
20190519_115250 (resized).jpg20190519_115354 (resized).jpg20190519_115403 (resized).jpg
The original T-nut had 3 prong, my replacement has 4...

20190519_115450 (resized).jpg
But on the top the new one has a much smaller divot in the center that the ball could "T-up" on...

20190519_115443 (resized).jpg
I think I am going to hold off on installing that T-nut until I get some practice with the Kruzman kit cleaning out holes and such in less noticable areas...then return to this when I get a sense of how the clear reacts to removal...

#155 6 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

I am only pre-drilling the top sides of the rail, the bottom holes will be marked and drilled after I can place the rail in position. This eliminates any problems if the rail hole locations on the new playfield are not in the correct position.

Well this turned out to be a wise move, the holes for the rails were drilled a little weird...the small hole that passed all the way through was not centered with the divot drilled for the screwhead...
20190519_193949 (resized).jpg
Luckily I was able to just clamp the rail into position, mark the correct hole locations, drill on drill press, and get all 3 rails installed without incident.
20190519_200007 (resized).jpg
All T-nuts are installed...except the one discussed earlier...

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#166 6 months ago
Quoted from northerndude:

Hey, why don’t you remove the “grabbers” on your t-nut and just lightly adhere it to the PF and let it come tight when the machine screw is threaded in? Am I crazy?

This is the direction that I am leaning. Remove almost all the "teeth", leaving just a tiny nub to grab the clear and not spin. As long as I am careful it should work out OK...still debating carving out some of the clear so the nut sits close to flush with the field...

#168 6 months ago
Quoted from pintechev:

What would high_end_pins do?

There's the million dollar question....
He is on vacation this week

Im going to start a seperate thread to address this issue...

#170 5 months ago

A little progress on the lower cab...harness will be tightned up with zipties once I get the rest of the wiring done...
20190525_193010 (resized).jpg20190525_193015 (resized).jpg
Polished to a nice shine...

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#172 5 months ago

I made thread asking for help with the clearcoat removal for the T-nut on top of the playfield and got some responses...The manufacturer of the playfield said to whack it in with a hammer, the best restorer in the business said to use a forschner bit to drill the clear away (but cautioned that it was risky)

Both of those options makes my butt pucker....I got a very helpful message from another pinsider who had less than great results from attempting the forschner bit method and he sent me some tips on doing the job with a demel...thanks George!

So, before I do that I need to get a bit more familiar with how the clear comes off. I am going to practice on the holes for the pop screws. If I mess up here it wont be seen...

We can start here...
20190526_121127 (resized).jpg
First I drilled the hole through just slightly bigger than the bolt...
20190526_122354 (resized).jpg
Next I used the dremel with a rounded bit and carefully removed the clear around the outside edge...
20190526_123419 (resized).jpg
Checking to make sure the enough clear is removed...
20190526_123445 (resized).jpg
I will continue to drill/dremel the rest of them, the edges will be sealed up once I get the rest done.

#173 5 months ago

Drilled and dremeled all 9 screw holes for the pops...
20190526_134718 (resized).jpg
Next is to seal up the raw wood...
20190526_134728 (resized).jpg
Really simple...build a drop on the tip of the needle and just touch it to the top edge of the area where the clear is removed...it will wick around and seal it up, on these holes I used 2 drops each...
20190526_135326 (resized).jpg

#174 5 months ago

So now Im a pro right?
Lets give the main event a look over...
We need a T-nut right here, flush with the surface of the clearcoat...
20190519_115403 (resized).jpg
So, without the balls to whack it in with a hammer or to drill it all at once I am proceeding with the dremel. First I apply tape to the area,

then clipped the fins off the T-nut so I can get it down to the playfield
20190526_143304 (resized).jpg20190526_154601 (resized).jpg
Then outline with a hobby knife....
20190526_154609 (resized).jpg
So now we know where to remove the clear...what could possibly go wrong

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#175 5 months ago

Here we go...
20190526_155322 (resized).jpg
So, yeah, im shittin my pants right now
Just taking out a little at a time...
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Test fit, not close yet, but feeling a bit more confident...
20190526_160824 (resized).jpg
Remove a little more...
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Cheeks clenched, sweat dripping off my brow, more and more is removed...

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#176 5 months ago

Profile is just about right, now just gotta get it to the correct depth...

20190526_162742 (resized).jpg
#178 5 months ago
Quoted from pintechev:

I would be freaking out if I had to do that. But funny to think that a very confident assembly line worker likely installed that with a hammer and never thought twice about it.

They didnt have clear coat from factory

Nice and flush...

20190526_171405 (resized).jpg
#180 5 months ago

Whew, glad thats done. Gonna go change my shorts and keep going...
20190526_171553 (resized).jpg
And sealed...
20190526_172717 (resized).jpg

#184 5 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

They did... TOM is long after WMS started using diamond coat finishes. I think the answer is simply they were more flexible than the auto-clears used now (but not as optically clear as the auto clears used now).

Quoted from pintechev:

Sure it did. Maybe not as thick as Mirco, but it’s Diamond Plate.
Nice job on it!

Live and learn, I assumed it was not after inspecting it
.. nothing like the clear coats of today

#186 5 months ago

Doing flipper rebuild.... After taking these apart it looks like someone may have done a rebuild not to long before I got it. All the parts are tight, bushings look great, coil stops seem fresh...
20190526_192737 (resized).jpg
So, it really probably doesnt need to be rebuilt, but Im going to do it anyway. I will probably use the old parts on some other game...

20190526_200204 (resized).jpg
#187 5 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

and just FYI.. WMS eventually stopped using the Diamond Plate logos too.. (forget when...) but the PF was still covered the same. It was marketing in the early days when they started using it.. and everyone eventually had their own flavor of marketed covering instead of the lacquer finishes that preceded them.

That makes sense then because my WH20 has the diamondcoat logo and the TOM did not, leading me to believe (along with looking at the damage to old field) that it was not diamondplate

#188 5 months ago

Didnt get as far today as I wanted....but installing the T-nut took a full hour, plus another 30 minutes or so to recover afterwards...
Heres how the playfield sits today...

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#190 5 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

What kind of slack/play does the plunger and the plastic link have on your flipper mechs? I was considering replacing mine because that plunger/link combo has some slop, but then I was thinking it might have been built in (keeping it from being so tight). Is it supposed to flop around a bit or just act as a joint?

the new ones have no play, the ones I removed had just a little slop at the link.

#193 5 months ago

I gotta say, I am a little dissapointed with the locations of the dimples on the underside of the playfield. I knew going into this these would only be guidelines but some are way off (worst I found is 3/8" from correct location)

This pattern is supposed to be square...
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20190531_193510 (resized).jpg
Other side is much closer but still a bit off....
20190531_193553 (resized).jpg
One pop is right on, one is close and one is way off...
20190531_204128 (resized).jpg20190531_204157 (resized).jpg
It will be a long process to get everything in the correct position, I hope the topside will be more accurate.
The popper mech bracket has been twisted and bent, it appears to be from some previous user trying to adjust the trajectory of the eject...
20190531_210918 (resized).jpg
I also found that they had tried relocating the mech as well...
20190531_210954 (resized).jpg
I was able to straighten the bracket for the popper mech

#194 5 months ago

Harness has had time to dry, it came out very clean, although it is a bit tangled...
20190601_090741 (resized).jpg
I lost 2 coil wrappers in the wash cycle, but the rest of them look great...

20190601_090848 (resized).jpg
#196 5 months ago
Quoted from KornFreak28:

What’s your plan for the off-centered pop holes?

No worries here, just glue in a toothpick and redrill...
It was only the screw holes to hold the body to the playfield, not the holes for the pop ring.

Well, actually I have not checked the pop ring holes yet...

#197 5 months ago

This game has HUGE mech assemblies...the trunk, the trap door/ball lock assembly and the ball trough are monsterous....
The mechanical engineering is the reason I love pinball and this machine delivers...
20190603_194632 (resized).jpg20190603_194638 (resized).jpg
Time to strip it down, clean it up, replace the switches and the coil sleeves.

#199 5 months ago

Exploded view...
20190604_155901 (resized).jpg
Nothing too crazy in store for the mechanism just a simple cleaning of the main chassis...i found a rolled edge near the basement VUK and it had enough of a lip on it that I was able to catch it with my fingernail...
20190604_162031 (resized).jpg
I filed off the burr, the waxed that area and also the ball lock area...now it is super smooth and slick and should work great...
20190604_161629 (resized).jpg
Same thing on the ball lock post...
20190604_163502 (resized).jpg
I filed these burrs off as well, I did not want it to ding up the new balls

#200 5 months ago

Is this screw factory?

20190604_163648 (resized).jpg20190604_163701 (resized).jpg
#202 5 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

If what I am seeing is correct then no, I do not have that screw or nut on that piece. Hard to see in the pic, but I think it is just near the spring on the green and white wires near the bottom of the pic. I think it is to the left of that screw above the spring and I believe there is nothing there.[quoted image]

Looks like you have a little post there...
20190604_173037 (resized).jpg

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#204 5 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

AH, I was looking at the other end (in the trough). Interesting... wonder if it was just a production line change? Seems like a lot of work to add it later from some owner.

Actually looks like some type of field repair, but it works perfect... probably broke off when it was routed.
Thanks for the image

#205 5 months ago

Mech has been cleaned, waxed and reassembled with new coil sleeves and spring...
20190604_172856 (resized).jpg
Harness has been cleaned...
15596998520026079987232499584136 (resized).jpg
4 switches in this mech to replace, I bought a bag of them from Mr Bryan Kelly and will replace all switches in this game...

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#207 5 months ago

Basic stuff here...
Orient the switches, note wire locations...
20190604_190608 (resized).jpg
Remove actuator...
20190604_190700 (resized).jpg
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Note that there are 2 different sets of studs for the actuators, different style actuators use different studs...

20190604_193445 (resized).jpg
Finally, solder in new switches...
20190604_191412 (resized).jpg

#209 5 months ago

Re assembly is done, switches are tested with a pinball....cant guarantee they work at this point but I can at least listen for the "click"...
15597048982795039478125108765115 (resized).jpg
And installed onto playfield...
Im not going to document it to prevent boredom but the ball trough and trunk mech will go through the same process...
20190604_204031 (resized).jpg

#210 5 months ago
Quoted from Skarv:

And two, polish the inside of the trunk mechanism. You see the column when you are shooting the trunk shot, and it really ups the game when you see shininess inside the trunk. Factory has just dull metal, but shiny makes it almost look like a sword or some 'magic' object inside.

20190605_080732 (resized).jpg20190605_080834 (resized).jpg20190605_082727 (resized).jpg

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#211 5 months ago

Before I add mylar, anybody have thoughts on the cliffy available for the trap door and trunk?

#213 5 months ago

Trunk gearbox was gunked up, but not as much as I thought it would be...
20190605_182110 (resized).jpg
Pretty easy to break it all down, clean it up and put in fresh grease...
20190605_191715 (resized).jpg

#217 5 months ago
Quoted from 3pinballs:

Wow, wish I was that talented as you.....awesome!

Thank you.

Quoted from Mank:

When you put the trunk gearbox back together, make sure the roll pin on the shaft is oriented correctly or else you will have to take everything back apart because the trunk won't be able to spin correctly.

I almost F-ed this part up, but got it right .

Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Are you going to detail that top mounted T nut like "the other guy" did?

Heh, I was playing the TOM at the Museum of Pinball last Saturday night and I noticed that you cant even really see the T-nut because its covered by a ramp...so, no.

Quoted from yaksplat:

Wow. A gearbox full of metal gears. That's great. I hate opening a gearbox and seeing a pile of plastic.

Ah, the good 'ol days, when gears were forged from U.S. steel...

#218 5 months ago

Love the smell of clear coat in the evening...

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#219 5 months ago

Harness is placed and lamp sockets secured...next will be swapping out the switches as each one is placed, I considered doing them while the harness was off the playfield but in the end I chose to do them in place...

20190607_214028 (resized).jpg
#222 5 months ago
Quoted from KornFreak28:

Looking good! Can you document/explain how you go about putting the playfield back in the cabinet without scratching the side walls? I know it sounds pretty straightforward but I found it to be the hardest part of the whole restoration when I restored my IJ.

I just line both sides of the cabinet with construction paper, then ask my son to help me drop it in...

#223 5 months ago

Pretty uneventful repopulation of the underside, the only issues I am having is the dimples being off. I put the sling where it was dimped and tested it and sure enough the hammer was going to strike the edge of the playfield and most certainly chip the clear in a very noticable location. But I am moving through it. Had a plunger for one of the up-posts that was jamming after I put in a new sleeve. Found a roll pin that had backed out enough to cause it to hang up....
20190608_214630 (resized).jpg
Just about finished with the underside, only a few targets and switches left to swap and install the second sling mech. Then I will turn my attention to the top of the playfield. I wanted to finish the playfield tomorrow but I have a fairly large birthday present for my wife that I am constructing that I need to spend some time on or it wont be done in time, and I need to put together a cabinet for a local pinsiders homebrew game so I probably wont get back to this for a day or two but here is where I sit now...
20190608_214241 (resized).jpg
And I found out that using the miter saw base for the rotisserie comes with a great place to keep my soldering iron when in use, as long as I remember to move it before spinning the playfield...

20190608_213336 (resized).jpg
1 week later
#224 5 months ago

Time for regraining ball guides. I use a 3m unit in the fine grit to get this done...
20190620_114939 (resized).jpg
I chuck it in my drill press and position the base just a hair below the abrasive....
20190620_115047 (resized).jpg
This allows me to get the new grain straight...
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20190620_115746 (resized).jpg
2 weeks later
#230 4 months ago
Quoted from Lhyrgoif:

Do your new repro playfield have two pre-drilled holes for the additional wire guide that should be mounted beneath the right ramp (directly to the right of the trunk)

No, it is not drilled for that wire...for reference here is the location in the old playfield...
20190704_163528 (resized).jpg
The Mirco field has no holes for this wire...
15622836810702363772008993667981 (resized).jpg
Hole location is marked and clear drilled through....
Screenshot_20190704-172756_Gallery (resized).jpg
Holes are then completed and sealed...
20190704_172711 (resized).jpg
And finally, installed...

20190704_173840 (resized).jpg
#231 4 months ago

Moving along..... I stepped away from this project for about 2 weeks only because I was not looking forward to removing all the clear from all the holes. It is a daunting task but there is a learning curve. Now that its done the rest should go quickly.
I have placed all the ball guides and pops...I found another hole that was missing for the ball guide near the trunk...
20190704_192835 (resized).jpg

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#234 4 months ago

So there has been a lot of discussion about the quality of the clearcoat on Mircos playfields. I read about others having issues with the clear being too soft. I got concerned about the possibility of the dreaded "donuts" formed at the base of the starposts, and also some examples of the clear chipping at various locations. 4 Days ago I put a starpost on in a location not easily seen to see how my clear holds up. I torqued it down at what I thought was plenty tight enough, but could not be accused of over doing it.
Here is a pic of the starpost installed...
20190709_184112 (resized).jpg
No notable rings or displacement.

Now with the post removed...
20190709_185116 (resized).jpg

So, there is a visable ring left in the clear from the base of the star post. However, it still feels super smooth when I pull my finger across...no noticable depression or ridge.
This post was on for 4 days...we will see if it gets worse over time, or if it holds up...I will cover the areas prone to clear chipping with some mylar

#236 4 months ago
Quoted from mof:

I'm watching it too... yep not seeing a bubble just yet. Maybe you got one from a good batch.

Fingers crossed...As I mentioned before, I have had this playfield for over a year so cure time is not in question in this scenario...

#237 4 months ago

Addressing the missing hole near the trunk...
20190709_192309 (resized).jpg
Remove clear, drill pilot hole, tap with screw...
20190709_193533 (resized).jpg
Seal it with glue, let it dry, then install ball guide...

20190709_202343 (resized).jpg
1 week later
#238 4 months ago

Cleaning the boards so they have some time to dry, I want to boot the game and test my switches and lamps with the playfield on the rotisserie...
Socketed chips and fuses are removed...
20190721_105116 (resized).jpg20190721_105600 (resized).jpg
Light spray with dilluted simple green...
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Then lightly brushed with a clean paint brush, rinsed in warn water, rinsed in alcohol, then hit with some compressed air and left out in the sun to dry...

20190721_112500 (resized).jpg
#239 4 months ago

Before I mount the boards I want to install the metal corner brackets in the head.
I need to paint the brackets, and several different bolts. Each bolt is chucked into a drill...
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Then spun on some wet sandpaper until clean...
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Now I just need to do the rest...

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#240 4 months ago

All sanded clean...now ready for primer and paint...

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#241 4 months ago

The 1/4 20 bolts for the corner braces (and coin door, receiver bolts etc) have a square "shoulder" that helps lock them in place...
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Since this is a brand new cab, the bolt holes will not have the indented square and the bolt will tend to twist as it is snugged into place...this will cause the decals to distort and bubble up near the bolt head...to minimize this I like to use a similar bolt and drive it into the hole with a rubber mallet...
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Then when I remove it there is a square recession for the bolt to settle into...
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Now I can put in the painted carraige bolts and torque them in place without any irritation to the decals...

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#242 4 months ago

Base components are installed...
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Then boards are placed....with the exception of the MPU...
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During the cleaning/inspecting process I found a suspect solder at one of the ASIC chip legs on the MPU...
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So a quick repair is in order before it can be placed...

#243 3 months ago

MPU was soldered and installed. I think Im going to replace the red coin chute and coin eject buttons with some clear ones and light them with purple LEDs.
The cabinet is getting close to being done I am going to try to boot it tonight so I can start checking switches and bulbs...

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#246 3 months ago
Quoted from dudah:

Looking good!
The capacitors on the DMD board appear to be original and should be replaced.
I also replace the smaller capacitors on the driver board as they're usually leaking at this point.

Good eye, one of them is actually bulging a bit at the top...I am going to service the boards, but I wanted to boot it first. The reasoning is that if I cant get it to boot, at least I know its not something that I did while servicing.
The swollen cap may explain why I found the "daughter board" during breakdown that I learned was used to control resets due to 5v drop

#247 3 months ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

From the factory with solder missed on a pin? I'm surprised it made it through QA like that.

It worked like that for years, there may have been a little bit of solder down low that cant be seen, Im not sure.

#248 3 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

The reasoning is that if I cant get it to boot

Well, that didnt happen...after installing all new fuses, pluging in the old DMD and speaker panel, and putting in the ribbon cables...I flipped the switch with fingers crossed
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Hahaha...what a dumbass!
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Something didnt "seem right" when plugging in the DMD, but I just couldnt put my finger on it at the time...

#253 3 months ago
Quoted from markp99:

I see your problem, your cabinet is upside down.

1 week later
#258 3 months ago

Looks like we have a pulse...
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A few of the GI sockets appear to be a bit flakey...I will look into if I can clean them up a bit more, or if I will have to order replacemants...

#259 3 months ago

Most insert lights working, there are 2 that are not. Probably just need to be reseated in the lamp holder.
All switches test ok by hand, however it appears that I have a lot of adjusting to do to get them to work with the ball...
All solenoids that are in place are functioning properly...
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Whats pretty slick with the adjustable miter stand for the base of the rotisserie is that you can pitch the playfield perfectly to 6.5° for testing....

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#260 3 months ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

But its magic smoke!

Thanks for reminding me George, a quick thank you to pinsider magicsmoke for scanning and printing me some replacement decals and coil wrappers. He also scanned the playfield and cut some custom mylar for the trunk and basement areas...
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