(Topic ID: 286361)

Whirlwind complete restoration

By cconway84

9 months ago


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  • 45 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by cconway84
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#1 9 months ago

I picked up a Whirlwind and a Met pro from the PAPA / replay foundation asset sale. I’ve always enjoyed Whirlwind more than any other pre DMD titles. When I bought it I planned to enjoy it as a players game that needed minimal work. However one thing led to another and here I am.

I used hooks in the ceiling and chained up the playfield while the game was elevated on a harbor freight lift. After chaining it up I simply dropped the lift lowering the cabinet out from under the playfield. Worked well as a method to remove the pf with one person.

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#2 9 months ago

This was my first project using a rotisserie and it is so much easier. I built it with the plans on pinside out of parts from Home Depot. Probably have about $180 in it including some tools used to make it.

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#3 9 months ago

Tumbling metal parts is one of the easiest ways to clean up a game.

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#4 9 months ago

Every machine I bring home gets a new heavy duty wall plug. Cheap insurance to replace old frayed parts.

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#5 9 months ago

I used HEP’s idea to cut off all solenoids from the wiring harness. I placed new molex quick detach plugs 2-3 inches in on harness to make the swap easier to work on. Will also make future work on mechanisms easier as they can be pulled from the game quickly to work on them at the bench.

New springs, coil sleeves, coil wrappers, etc. all metal parts cleaned with simple green, tumbled. Everything rebuilt to look new again.

Once the mechanisms were off the last things to go were the three wiring harnesses.

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#6 9 months ago

Great start. Following!

#7 9 months ago

Harnesses washed in the dishwasher (except enclosed micro switches). Metal parts all go into the tumbler.

Any time I tumble a number of small parts I always take a picture of them before tumbling. Then when they come out I can compare to the picture to make sure I got them all back out. Helps avoid being a post short during reassembly with no idea where it could be.

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#8 9 months ago

All ball guides are regrained with a 80 then 120 grit flap wheel using a drill. Before and after in each photo.

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#9 9 months ago
Quoted from cconway84:

Harnesses washed in the dishwasher (except enclosed micro switches). Metal parts all go into the tumbler.
Any time I tumble a number of small parts I always take a picture of them before tumbling. Then when they come out I can compare to the picture to make sure I got them all back out. Helps avoid being a post short during reassembly with no idea where it could be.
[quoted image][quoted image]

I have never had the guts to wash the wire harness in the dishwasher. I know people do it. What can go in and what can't? Do you just air dry for some period of time?

It always seemed like more risk than reward as no one see the wires anyway and what if I short something.

#10 9 months ago
Quoted from killerrobots:

I have never had the guts to wash the wire harness in the dishwasher. I know people do it. What can go in and what can't? Do you just air dry for some period of time?
It always seemed like more risk than reward as no one see the wires anyway and what if I short something.

I put mine in a normal cycle, and when it's done (including some drying), I hang up the harness on a hook for a day. if there is a sensitive part I'm worried about corroding, I put a small zip lock around the part with a rubber band. An example might be a connector I'm concerned about exposure to water, etc. That being said, I've put them in without that an never had a corrosion problem.

#11 9 months ago
Quoted from jsa:

I put mine in a normal cycle, and when it's done (including some drying), I hang up the harness on a hook for a day. if there is a sensitive part I'm worried about corroding, I put a small zip lock around the part with a rubber band. An example might be a connector I'm concerned about exposure to water, etc. That being said, I've put them in without that an never had a corrosion problem.

Thanks for that. Maybe next time.

#12 9 months ago

About to start striping my Whirlwind for restoration. Keen to see how yours goes.

#13 9 months ago
Quoted from killerrobots:

I have never had the guts to wash the wire harness in the dishwasher. I know people do it. What can go in and what can't? Do you just air dry for some period of time?
It always seemed like more risk than reward as no one see the wires anyway and what if I short something.

I’ve done my whitewater and whirlwind harnesses in the dishwasher so far. Normal cycle with a washer soap pod. Make sure no stray wires are hanging down through the rack as it will get caught by the spinning rinse attachment. All connectors, light sockets, open switches, etc can get wet. After it is done the harness is hot and flexible. I set it on cardboard then hang it to dry later for 24hrs or more. If vid recommends it that is good enough for me.

Biggest risk is just handling the harness can break old solder connections. I have 3-4 breaks at gi light sockets that will need soldered up again.

Isn’t needed but so nice to have a fresh clean game. I’m going for that nib look.

#14 9 months ago

Old and new playfields side by side. Any opinion on value of old pf? Some planking, wear above spinners, some raised inserts. Will probably part with it after my swap is finished.

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#15 9 months ago

I would give you something for your old one. I like restoring them and have a Whirlwind I might do one day.

#16 9 months ago

New playfield t nutted and drilled. I used contact paper on the old playfield as a template for the drill holes. Sticky enough to stay but easily removable. I punched holes with an awl in drill holes and used sharpie to draw where the inserts were. Then I transferred over the contact paper to the new playfield, lining up the inserts and holes. Then drilled new holes using the contact paper as my guide.

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#17 9 months ago

.

#18 9 months ago

I wanted new playfield rails to replace my beat up cheap vinyl wrapped ones. Reese rails isn’t currently taking orders so I got some new ones courtesy of my father in law. 1/2” oak ripped down to 1 1/8” height and cut to length. Ebony stain. Clamped into position and screw holes drilled from below using playfield holes to line it up.

Old vinyl wrapped rail and new oak rail in comparison photo.

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#19 9 months ago

You may want to look at your shooter lane before you go any farther.

#20 9 months ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

You may want to look at your shooter lane before you go any farther.

Yeah that could be a problem. No slot for the switch. Came like that from cpr.

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#21 9 months ago

Cutting the slot switch with a router, using excess oak rail wood as a guide. Set the guide up with a 3/16” gap and measured centerline in the shooter lane off the edge of the pf. Then set the wood at that distance. Clamped the wood down with c clamps to get a perfect cut. Put painters tape on the front side to protect the clear. Made my cut from the back side. I think we nailed it.

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#22 9 months ago

Before and after.

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#23 9 months ago
Quoted from cconway84:

Yeah that could be a problem. No slot for the switch. Came like that from cpr.
[quoted image]

Come on really?

#24 9 months ago

Hi! Nice job! May I ask where did you buy new playfield?

#25 9 months ago

And do you have plans for old playfield?

#26 9 months ago
Quoted from FlashBFD:

Hi! Nice job! May I ask where did you buy new playfield?

It came from CPR.

#27 8 months ago

Playfield was from cpr. I will be selling the old playfield once I’m done with it probably through pinside.

#28 8 months ago

Pop bumper gi going back in. Clear plastic tubing used to protect from shorts in areas with close proximity to other metal parts. Stapled in with T50 1/4” staples.

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#29 8 months ago

All mechanisms torn down cleaned tumbled and rebuilt with new parts as needed.

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#30 8 months ago

Daisy chaining through a three pin connector -- good idea!

#31 8 months ago
Quoted from cconway84:

I’ve done my whitewater and whirlwind harnesses in the dishwasher so far. Normal cycle with a washer soap pod. Make sure no stray wires are hanging down through the rack as it will get caught by the spinning rinse attachment. All connectors, light sockets, open switches, etc can get wet. After it is done the harness is hot and flexible. I set it on cardboard then hang it to dry later for 24hrs or more. If vid recommends it that is good enough for me.
Biggest risk is just handling the harness can break old solder connections. I have 3-4 breaks at gi light sockets that will need soldered up again.
Isn’t needed but so nice to have a fresh clean game. I’m going for that nib look.

I repair electric motors for a living. When we tear down a motor,if it isn't blown up and needs rewinding but has been corroded inside due to water penetration or people pumping grease into worn-out bearings we will do a "wash and bake". We will take the stator and wash it in the parts washer. Then we thoroughly rinse the stator with fresh water to get soap residue and dirty water out of the winding. After that, we bake it in a large oven for 3-4 hours. Smaller stators take less time. It's essentially what people are doing with the dishwasher beside the baking at the end.

#32 8 months ago

Flippers rebuilt with new parts including eos switch and capacitor after cleaning and tumbling brackets. Return springs converted to wpc style per vid1900 recommendations by drilling a hole in the bracket to mount the spring beside the eos switch. Gets the spring off of the coil plunger preventing wear and making them feel snappier.

Rebuilt flipper with wpc conversion beside old system 11 style with conical spring.

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#33 8 months ago
Quoted from cconway84:

Flippers rebuilt with new parts including eos switch and capacitor after cleaning and tumbling brackets. Return springs converted to wpc style per vid1900 recommendations by drilling a hole in the bracket to mount the spring beside the eos switch. Gets the spring off of the coil plunger preventing wear and making them feel snappier.
Rebuilt flipper with wpc conversion beside old system 11 style with conical spring.
[quoted image]

Smart move!

#34 8 months ago

Switch harness reinstalled. Lamp harness will be next then finally solenoid and flasher harness. Solenoid harness is much easier to work with last since all the solenoids were put on molex quick connectors and can be installed or removed separate from the harness.

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#35 8 months ago

Lighting harness reinstalled. Pop bumper lights soldered in. Led conversion complete. All new twist sockets.

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#36 8 months ago

How did you keep track of where the wires went during re-install. I have done it with just labeling the wires with tape but that doesn't work if you put it through the dishwasher. Are you just using wire colors? Pictures?

#37 8 months ago

Looking good.

Interesting choice for pop bumper skirts.

#38 8 months ago
Quoted from killerrobots:

How did you keep track of where the wires went during re-install. I have done it with just labeling the wires with tape but that doesn't work if you put it through the dishwasher. Are you just using wire colors? Pictures?

I took pictures during each phase of teardown. Removed all mechanisms / coils first. All coils had molex connectors installed and I labeled each end of molex plugs. Then more pictures after each wiring harness came off.

Putting wiring harness back on I didn’t need many pictures to reference really. The wiring has memory and just laying it out puts most things by where they will end up going. Pop bumper area was what I referred to photos most to get layout correct soldering in new connections.

#39 8 months ago

I see, I thought maybe after the dishwasher the harness wouldn't lay back down in the same way but it sounds like that is not the case.

#40 8 months ago

First start up test. 2-3 lights out just loose connections I’ll fix. Two micro switches not working will probably replace them. Overall I’m happy with it.

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1 week later
#41 8 months ago

My ramp flaps look rusty so it’s time to make new ones. This will be my first time. Traced original then used some good scissors to cut it out.

Used titanium drill bit to drill smaller holes. Larger 1/4” holes wouldn’t cleanly cut and bit would tear the metal as drill went through.

I went and got a harbor freight punch set. This time I punched holes before cutting out ramp flap. I bought tin snips at harbor freight also. Much easier to cut metal and doesn’t trash your regular scissors. After cutting ramp flap I smoothed and deburred edges on a bench grinder I have.

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#42 8 months ago

Old rusty lamp sockets tend to work intermittently and look like trash. So I replaced all of them. Controlled lamps need diodes, gi lamps don’t.

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2 months later
#43 5 months ago

Now that the weather is nice I’m finally refinishing the cabinet. Stripped the lower cabinet down to just ground braid.

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#44 5 months ago

After sanding the cabinet outside any gouges were filled in with floor leveling compound and then resanded. Williams serial number stickers were masked off. I found rustoleum 2x ultracover in brilliant blue to be a good match.

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1 week later
#45 5 months ago

Head is coming along. Main cabinet has been stripped, sanded, painted, and next gen decals have been applied.

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