(Topic ID: 126868)

WCS Restoration Progress

By wilsonza

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by MikeO
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 12 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Before-After 2.png
Before-After 3.png
Before-After 1.png

#1 4 years ago

Over two years ago, I bought a project WCS to learn a full shop job. We had finished our basement, thought we were done with kids and it sounded like a fun project. I had played with LEDs and done some simple fixes (replacing diodes, optos, etc) but had never done anything this ambitious.

We ended up with two additional (unexpected but wonderful) kids which led to a new home and later, a new job. Along the way, I tried to sell the project when it just didn't feel like I would have any time to learn it:


However, I'm now finding enough free time to make some progress and I wanted to document my attempt.

So far, they playfield. Everything stripped, the surface polished with Novus #2 and three coats of Carnuba wax.:


The goal tonight is to put in the pop bumpers.

#2 4 years ago

This is my first pin and eventually I'd like to strip everything off for a good shop job. I think I'm going to have to wait until I make my second pin purchase though because right now I'm just having too much fun playing it!

Any issues or lessons learned so far? I've read (and I can definitely see it) that WCS is kind of a pain to shop out. Good luck!

#3 4 years ago

I don't think it's been too bad so far.

I used a rock tumbler to polish the parts (including nuts and screws). Worked well but it crammed a bunch of the material into the screw holes. I initially tried using a screwdriver to clean it out but that was a total failure. I found some small miniature modeling tools (think Games Workshop) that ended up doing the trick.

I struggled getting the light sockets soldered back together. I ended up buying a bag of small wire nuts and that worked really well (and was much, much easier).

The biggest hassle so far has been the multiple parts orders. I'm not astute enough to know what all to buy so I've made 3-4 parts orders when 1-2 would have been sufficient.

Partial success tonight. The bumpers are back in but I haven't resoldered the coils. However, the new LED lights are looking sharp.

#4 4 years ago

Glad your finally getting to it. I'll be rooting you on. And following this resto. Good Luck!!!

#5 4 years ago

Will be following with interest. Good work.

#6 4 years ago

A little bit of progress. Had a buddy who rebuilds cars sand blast, powder coat and clear a few of the mechs that were corroded:


I put everything through 30+ hours in a rock tumbler but not everything came out shiny. Next time, I think I may put some metal polish in the tumbler media. A quick hit with a buffing wheel made the metal parts look a bit better. Before / after:


Accomplishments since the last update:

- Put on the back two Cliffys.
- Put on the two troughs.
- Rebuilt the pop bumpers and confirmed they work.


#7 4 years ago

I am going to be starting a WCS restoration myself soon. I am bookmarking this thread for inspiration and tips. Mine won't be as crazy as yours with new parts and all that but it should look nice at the end. Thanks for the thread.

#8 4 years ago

You bet. This is by far the biggest project I've taken on. The pop bumpers slowed me down due to the soldering. It's not a big deal to solder at a table but I haven't mastered soldering inside of a pinball machine. I need a third hand.

Now that the bumpers are together I feel like the work is faster. I am slowing down to replace all of the coil sleeves. I had planned to put the old plastics back in but decided tonight I'd splurge on a new set. If anyone is looking for a specific piece, let me know.

Now I've got to decide what to do about the ramps and go learn how to rivet.

#9 4 years ago

Unsolicited advice - pick up a set of clear plastics, like these guys:

Whoever restored the AFM that is now in my possession did that, and not only does it look sharp, but the plastics with the artwork are now protected from ball impacts & breakage.

#10 4 years ago

Thanks for the advice! I ordered a set a few moments ago.

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from wilsonza:

The pop bumpers slowed me down due to the soldering. It's not a big deal to solder at a table but I haven't mastered soldering inside of a pinball machine. I need a third hand.

I had the same problem when restoring my JD, I ended up cutting a 2x6 piece of wood just wider than the machine and using big plastic clamps to stop it from sliding down the side rails, and used the wood as a table of sorts. It made soldering with the playfield straight up much easier. Still could have used a third hand though. Flux will be your best friend. It helps bind everything so much better.

#12 4 years ago

Had a half an hour this evening to work on it.


And a close-up of the goals before:


and after:


#13 4 years ago

Is that a Cliffy from his website?

#14 4 years ago

It is.

I picked up the full WCS set (5 pieces) and two of the outlane protectors as the playfield had quite a bit of wear there.

Great products.

#15 4 years ago

Good to see you back on track. I believe I called when you were considering selling it.

Keep up the good work.

2 weeks later
#17 4 years ago

More progress over the weekend. This is a slow project with four kids.

On the bright side, maybe the new ramps or ColorDMD will be released by the time I'm done.

A few before/after photos with my current progress:

Before-After 1.png

Before-After 2.png

Before-After 3.png

#18 4 years ago

I should add - took a little break to install the Pinballbulbs.com LED kit. Only the inserts thus far but I really liked the instructions that came with the kit.

I purchased but haven't yet installed the GI lighting, backbox kit or extra lighting pack.

Thus far, I'm very happy with the choices. I barely have time to play and work on pins so having someone pull together a nice kit with clear instructions was definitely worthwhile for me.

Would happily buy again.

#19 4 years ago

You did a fantastic job cleaning the playfield! What did you use that worked that well? I think I will use whatever it was when I start mine!

#20 4 years ago

I started with baby wipes. That got most of the dirt, dust and grime without too much trouble.

For the ball trails, I lightly used a magic eraser.

For most of the really ground in stuff, I used my fingernails to pry up the gunk and a baby wipe to clean off the playfield.

Once I felt I had most of the gunk off, I hit everything with Novus #2 and an electric drill. Last, hand polished using three coats of Carnuba paste wax and microfiber towels.

It's been a real hassle. This one has taken a lot more work than I ever thought it would.

I used to play WCS as a kid at the local Godfathers. I remember it being incredibly fun. I barely played this one when I bought it - it was so dirty I just dove in. With all of this effort...hopefully WCS is as fun as I remember.

#21 4 years ago

I took Friday off to see the Avengers with my kids and managed to make some progress. So far, so good. I've run into a few situations where the playfield was partially stripped and the posts wouldn't stay vertical. Easy fix - a trip to my hardware store for long machine screws and I just drilled the playfield, pushed them all the way through and put a nut on the other side. Sort of a pain but I figured it was easier than trying to fill in the playfield.


1 week later
#22 4 years ago

A little bit of time to work on it tonight. I had never messed with rivets before. I picked up a dremel at Walmart and the rivet press from pinrestore.com. It was really straightforward to cut the old one off and attach the new plastic. I'm not certain how far I should press the rivet as I didn't want to break the plastic. My newly pressed one has a little more wiggle than the old but I think it will be fine during gameplay.

I haven't decided if I'm going to put the light condoms (or whatever they're called) back in. Any thoughts?

Next up, second ramp entrance.


#23 4 years ago

Regarding the rivet press, you do want the rivets to clamp the plastic to the bracket tight. The new plastic can take it.

As for the condoms, they don't hurt. I'd have to see how the lighting looks without them, and only the LEDs in the game.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 17.50
Playfield - Plastics
Pinball Haus
$ 69.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside