(Topic ID: 227155)

Tx Sector restoration

By Vandy89

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 78 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Groucho
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders


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There are 78 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 1 year ago

Always wanted a Tx so when one finally appeared for sale a couple of years ago I overpaid for a junk bucket. Scratched up cabinet, broken ramps, missing coin mech, hacked boards and playfield missing paint. I justified it because it did work and they never come up for sale. Of course, within six months of my purchase several nice ones were suddenly available!
Mine was too ugly to bring in the house so I just played it in the garage. It is a fantastic game and my garage is too damn hot for a quarter of the year, so I decided to undertake my first restore.
I enjoy following other Pinsiders restorations so I’ll document mine. I claim no special knowledge or skill set.

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#2 1 year ago

Once the playfield was cleared I tackled the Mylar removal. It didn’t go well. Lost a lot of paint. Freeze spray didn’t budge it but it came right up with a hair dryer on low heat.

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#3 1 year ago

Used the alcohol and flour method from Vids guide to remove the glue residue.

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#4 1 year ago

As you can see I was left with a sorry looking playfield. I wasn’t worried because I had seen some HSA restores and the plan was to let them have at it.
This was the first of many plans that didn’t work out as HSA quit before I could send it up.
As there are no NOS or reproduction playfields available I was stuck. The damage was way beyond my skill set so doing it myself wasn’t an option. Fortunately, while at the TPF I learned of a local guy who does restorations. I contacted Keith Holbrook and he was willing to take it on. I decided to take the cabinet to him as well, as it was too scuffed up for me to repair and there are no decals available to restore the cabinet graphics.

#5 1 year ago

Keith is a great guy and very honest. He told me up front it would be a long time before he could get to my stuff. 10 months later this is what I got back. All I can say is WOW, it was worth the wait!

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#6 1 year ago

Some more before playfield pictures

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#7 1 year ago

wow he did nice work on that playfield! love my tx, not going anywhere

#8 1 year ago

He did a great job especially given the starting point. Once I finally get everything back together it’s going to look cool. I saw your post last year with the plasma pop bumpers and I’m definitely going with those.

#10 1 year ago

Installed the t-nuts using a washer and felt tool without any problems.
Used the HEP solder tab method for the under playfield lighting. Not really anticipating having to adjust the lighting that often but I just like the way it looks.
Stapled the wire down with an electric stapler that actually worked great. Don’t have room to store a compressor so this was the next best option. Tried using an old manual upholstery stapler first but it misfired way too much.

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#11 1 year ago

I've seen that T-nut tool on heps posts and a few others. Can you tell us what parts you used to make that tool? I don't believe anyones detailed how to build one?

#12 1 year ago

I saw several posts with some elaborate ones, but mine was simple and cheap. A large and small washer with self adhesive furniture felt pads that I cut to shape under each washer. Then #8 and #6 hex head machine screws. Seated the T-nuts nicely with no scratches.

#13 1 year ago

Following. I log my restos as well and enjoy seeing and learning from others. I am doing 3 this winter. Cyclone, Comet and Pinbot.

#14 1 year ago

Looking good.

#15 1 year ago

Waxed the entire playfield prior to installation of the wire ball guides.
I used this P21s that I ordered from Amazon. It went on very smoothly.

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#16 1 year ago

The guides were really dull and dirty so I ran them through the ultrasonic using full strength Mean Green degreaser .
Then I put them in the tumbler with some Flitz for about 24 hrs.
Didn’t have much luck with the Harbor Freight tumbler- had to return two. They were good about refunding my money and everything else I bought there was fine. But the tumblers both died after about a week. I subsequently bought this Berry which has been fantastic.

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#17 1 year ago

After tumbling the guides in the Walnut shells and Flitz I ran them through the Ultrasonic one more time to remove any tumbling residue and then hand polished them with Blue Magic.
Note: the two large guides along the return lanes I don’t take credit for. I sent those out to the Hot Rod Arcade to get chromed.

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#18 1 year ago

Man, these pics doesnt help at all with my "I NEED A TX-SECTOR" fetish

#19 1 year ago

worth the effort GREAT game , ya need a Robo-war now

#20 1 year ago

Funny you mention Robo-War. I spent so much money acquiring tools for this restore I needed something to use them on once the Tx is done.
This machine,however, is much cleaner than the Tx was. Some of the plastics weren’t in the best shape but luckily I found Retro Refurbs in the UK and bought a reproduction plastic set. The set I received is very high quality.

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#21 1 year ago

Sadly my Robo-war is down to wood in the yellow arc around the flippers

#22 1 year ago

Mine is in poor shape around the flippers as well. How about doing a fellow pinsider a favor? Since you are a lot closer to Germany than I am, when you have some free time, head over to Highclasspinball and put some pressure on Mirco to make Robo-War playfields

#23 1 year ago

I allready did in his thread on here
hed easily sell 50 or so


#24 1 year ago

Repainted the wood rails and went to work on the ball guides. The guides were in poor shape so I scrubbed them with Mean Green Degreaser and then used a Dremel with 120 grit sanding wheels to get the initial scum off. Then I used progressively higher grit wheels until finishing by wet sanding.
I found this small area sanding kit at an auto parts store that worked well.

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#25 1 year ago

I sent the wire ramps,spinners, ball deflectors and assorted gates to Hot Rod Arcade to get chromed. They did a really nice job.

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#26 1 year ago

The apron and shooter cover needed lots of work. I decided since this is a space theme it would look cool to get them powder coated with a star field pattern, so I sent them to Chris at HRA.

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#27 1 year ago

Thanks for all the updates! Keep it going!

#28 1 year ago

I made templates and planned to repaint the graphics.
This plan had to be revised when I became aware that it’s not that easy to paint on top of a powder coated surface.
So, on to plan B - the wife’s Silhouette printer/cutter and vinyl decals.
Despite the fact the graphics I was trying to reproduce are simple, it took me forever to get it the way I wanted.

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#29 1 year ago

The cabinet was heavily stained inside. Since it is made of MDF I couldn't sand it out so I ended up painting everything black except for the transformer platform.
Got the coin door installed along with the transformer, tilt mechanism, speaker, and under playfield boards.
Decided to use the original pvc grounding straps. They aren’t as neat looking as new grounding braid but they cleaned up easily and were simple to install.

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#30 1 year ago

As far as the outside of the cabinet goes, Keith did a great job touching up the Tx Sector lettering. You can see in the bottom photo where someone had tried(unsuccessfully)to touch up some of the lettering. In the top photo it looks new!
Since the cabinet is really plain I decided to do a much denser star field pattern around the lettering. In retrospect I probably overdid it but getting the spray paint to splatter how I wanted was way more difficult than I thought.

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#31 1 year ago

On to the boards. All the serial numbers for the boards matched except for the CPU. It was a Gottlieb board but the date stamp was from early 1980 and this machine was produced in 1988 or so.
I decided to send everything out to Clive at the Coin Op cauldron . I was nervous about the boards getting damaged during shipping so I found these ESD boxes that worked great. Probably overkill but it made packing them up simple and they are reusable.

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#32 1 year ago

As has been posted many times on Pinside, Clive does a great job. After he received the boards I got an email detailing what was going on with my CPU. Evidently someone had taken a System 80A board out of a Haunted House and converted it (poorly) to an 80B so it would work in a Tx. He said those series of boards are compatible and he could fix it. He told me it would take about 2 months due to his backlog.
Two months later I got the boards back with a very detailed explanation of the repairs.
The fantastic thing is the cost for him to do the proper conversion and many other necessary repairs to the CPU board was considerably less than buying an aftermarket replacement!

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#33 1 year ago

How cool!
You won't regret this!

#34 1 year ago


#35 1 year ago

The mounting panel in the backbox was covered with a thin metallic foil that was in bad shape. For a replacement I found a thin aluminum 2’x2’ sheet from online metals.com that fit perfectly and looks good. Took some time to drill holes for the mounting post but wasn’t too difficult.

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#36 1 year ago

Since it took about 10 months before I got the playfield back I had plenty of time to work on all the assemblies and switches.
All metal parts got the ultrasonic cleaner followed by the vibratory tumbler.
I tried cleaning the switches but on closer inspection most of the contact points were pitted/broken. Ended up replacing 95% of the switches and 75% of the coils.
My bill from Pinball Resource basically counted for my birthday and Christmas this year.

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#37 1 year ago

I re pinned everything and molexed every assembly and switch.
I was going to reuse the housings so I ran them through the Ultrasonic and then soaked in Mean Green for days. They came out cleaner than the day they were made but the plastic was so yellowed, after 30 years, I decided to replace.
Once I had all my tools and supplies I got busy.
I’m worried there may be something wrong with me because I really enjoyed this part of the process. I could molex/re pin for days and be perfectly happy. There was something Zen like about the process - strip the wire, put the pin in the crimper, crimp, push the pin in the housing and repeat.

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#38 1 year ago

I was stupid when I restored my F-14. I neglected to take pictures of the before and during process. Now no way to show the transformation. This is good to document on Pinside. You are really thorough for sure! I found pinning to be tedious. I suppose having good eyes and steady hands would help a lot! I like playing this game in The Pinball Arcade. I've never seen one in real life unfortunately. Wish I could find one. Would love to restore it!
You must get the alternate translite though!

#39 1 year ago

Love the game but the translite is possibly the worst ever I have the alternate one too, away better

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from poibug:

Love the game but the translite is possibly the worst ever I have the alternate one too, away better

You’re right about it being about the fugliest translite of all time, but the alternate is one of the coolest ever IMO.

#41 1 year ago

That alternate translite is awesome but I have already invested in an original replacement.
Anyway, I have convinced myself that the original is so freaking bizarre that in an odd way it’s cool. I will keep reminding myself that odd can be beautiful so I don’t spend anymore money!

#42 1 year ago

Working on the lights. Most of the sockets had some rust spots so I ended up replacing almost all of them. Decided to go with Comet 2SMD bulbs.

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#43 1 year ago
Quoted from Vandy89:

Working on the lights. Most of the sockets had some rust spots so I ended up replacing almost all of them. Decided to go with Comet 2SMD bulbs.
[quoted image]

Yes, replacing the light sockets is a must!

#44 1 year ago

Got the wiring harness back on and all the lamps soldered.
I was a little worried that it would be difficult getting the wiring oriented, but as many have posted it has a “memory” and was easy to get positioned.

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#45 1 year ago

I washed mine in the dishwasher with liquid dishwasher detergent. Cleaned it nice.

*I should add that I did run vinegar through a wash cycle afterwards before using it again.*

#46 1 year ago

I soaked my wiring harness in a tub of Mean Green degreaser and then scrubbed it with a brush, hosed it off and hung it up to dry. The Mean Green was literally black after I finished. Amazing how filthy it gets after 30 years!
The zip ties are really yellowed and I’m going to replace them today. I didn’t remove them initially because I was too intimidated at the time about getting it all back together. When I replace them, I ’ll clean under the ties with some alcohol wipes. Next time I’ll remove them to begin with and save myself some time.

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from Vandy89:

I soaked my wiring harness in a tub of Mean Green degreaser and then scrubbed it with a brush, hosed it off and hung it up to dry. The Mean Green was literally black after I finished. Amazing how filthy it gets after 30 years!
The zip ties are really yellowed and I’m going to replace them today. I didn’t remove them initially because I was too intimidated at the time about getting it all back together. When I replace them, I ’ll clean under the ties with some alcohol wipes. Next time I’ll remove them to begin with and save myself some time.

I envy the guy that gets this machine someday! LOL!
I can't believe you also have Robo-War!! I hope they make a hard top for it!
*Awesome pin collection BTW!*

#48 1 year ago

Started working on post lighting. I tried a couple of options and ended up going with the post lights from PDI because they fit inside the post and there is no PC board sticking out.

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#49 1 year ago

Post lights for the slings were more of a challenge. I didn’t want to see wires running everywhere so I decided to drill a couple of holes. I read extensively on how to drill into a clear coated playfield, but when I put my reading into action I still got some cracking/lifting. You can see the lifting around the wire hole next to the post in the foreground.

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#50 1 year ago

Spent some more time reading on how to correct my mistake. Found a post where someone recommended using SureHold Plastic Surgery super glue because it dries really clear.
Using a small syringe and a 25 gauge needle, injected a small amount and problem solved!

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