(Topic ID: 124004)

Williams Swinger Restoration and (Eventual) Retheme


By RyanClaytor

4 years ago



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#101 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

and that's where I wondered when you changed your mind about an EM for this retheme and why..

Ha-ha! Wows, Bruce. I bow to your exhaustive research. Honestly, I'd forgotten about that thread until you mentioned it right now. *LOL* That's sort of a fun romp down (lack-of)memory lane. But, indeed you are correct and my faulty memory was very wrong.

Now with my memory jogged, I remember when I got back into the hobby (I had JUST purchased my first machine [Williams Whirlwind] when I started your aforementioned thread 3 years ago!) I was pretty focused on solid-state/DMD titles. I even remember making my Pinside profile at the time and marking those little interest boxes (stating which era machines you prefer) and wondering if I'd ever have the requisite number of decades under my belt to considering checking the early and late EM options.

Well, since that time, I'm proud to report that I've played a number of EM games, done a fair amount of reading on the rich history of pinball, listened to a lot of podcasts, and have come to appreciate the different type of gameplay that EM pinball machines (and arcade games) have to offer. Somewhere along the line, in the past year or two I'd guess, I rejiggered my profile and checked ALL those boxes for my era preferences.

With my altered appreciation for EM games, a whole new collection of (re-theme) possibilities opened up to me. I deliberately started playing more EM pingames whenever I had the chance, often with a specific eye for:

1) Enjoyable gameplay
2) Lack-luster art package

I believe it was at Clay's Ann Arbor Pinball Museum (either late 2013 after backing his kickstarter campaign or a few months later during his first Ann Arbor Pinball Showcase in 2014) that I had the pleasure of playing a Fun-Fest.

funfest.jpg

I remember having a lot of fun on it, not loving the playfield artwork, and coming to find out that Fun-Fest had a 2-player counterpart in Swinger. Since that time (whatever it was...memory) I've been putting out some feelers for a Swinger machine, either project or working. Thankfully, back at the beginning of this year, Super-Collector John Dayhuff got a line on a barn-dwelling Swinger, remembered I was in the market for one, and graciously passed the seller's info along to me.

Since that fateful purchase, I've had various mood-SWINGS about whether or not I should have held out for a better (working) example of Swinger, but ultimately I've come to the conclusion that:

A) If I purchased a working version, I'd be in the same pit of ignorance I was at the start of this project, and while I might have a re-art'ed machine by now, I'd have no idea how to maintain it.
B) I've made some really great friends along this restoration journey, which is ultimately what this hobby is all about...the people.

So, there's the full story, as best as I can recall. *LOL* Thanks for the memory jog, Bruce, and for proving me wrong. (My wife's not surprised it happened...again.)

#102 3 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Yep. Replace both of those bad boys. Interesting... the ones on my game were hammered through the play field from the top as a kind of nail with threads looking deal and then the bushings were held to the bottom with nylock nuts. Yours appear to be merely screwed in from the bottom. I am sure someone else will say if that is correct or not.

That is correct. For a time, all four main manufacturers used similar bushing styles. Shortly after this, Williams changed to the threaded nail/nut combo you mention. I like this version better since it doesn't show up on top of the playfield.

Ryan, everything Mk1Mod0 mentions is correct about the flipper coil. From the looks of that coil, it appears it got pretty crispy. If you look at the coils near it, there's not a bunch of stains on the blue coil nearby, for example. Try to remove the sleeve. A crispy coil will still work but if you can't remove the sleeve on a flipper coil, replace it. Usually the place where the lugs attach becomes very brittle when the coil overheats. It might cumble as you disassemble.

As we've discussed, you definitely want to replace several flipper parts. You may be able to reuse the linkage/plunger/pawl. Examine for slop before placing your parts order. To replace linkage and plunger, you'll need to move the roll pin to the new parts. We'll get there soon enough.

-Nick

#103 3 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Replace both of those bad boys.

I dunno. I could probably squeeze a few more plays out of them, right?

(Already added to my Pinball Resource order list.)

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

bushings were held to the bottom with nylock nuts. Yours appear to be merely screwed in from the bottom. I am sure someone else will say if that is correct or not.

Nick?

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

As you are working the bottom of the playfield, disassemble and clean the whole mech

Hm. Okay. So...

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

check the soldering job on the lugs

I'm guessing if a solder joint has come loose, depending on which one, it might burn up the coil? (Just trying to understand what might have happened here...still learning.)

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

the gap of the EOS switch

...and if the EOS switch never opens, then the 50v power is never switched over to the lower voltage (what...10v? 12v?) and a hold on 50v power would probably light things up on the coil? (...again, trying to understand this beast a little better.)

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

It's amazing how snappy those things get with just some TLC.

REEEally? I would have suspected those coils were long gone. What sort of TLC would you suggest?

Yeah...kinda rocketed past burn on that one. *LOL* Thanks for keepin' me humble, Bruce.

Finally, because I didn't have an excuse to post a picture:

4900.gif

#104 3 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

bushings were held to the bottom with nylock nuts. Yours appear to be merely screwed in from the bottom. I am sure someone else will say if that is correct or not.

Quoted from bingopodcast:

That is correct. For a time, all four main manufacturers used similar bushing styles. Shortly after this, Williams changed to the threaded nail/nut combo you mention. I like this version better since it doesn't show up on top of the playfield.

Beat me to the punch!

Thanks, Nick.

#105 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I bow to your exhaustive research.

Ryan. To be honest, I was just looking at topics you started which is what I do when there are no new posts in my favorite threads and saw your "Best pin to retheme" thread and thought to myself, "Oh this should be interesting" then read through it expecting to see a "Swinger" recommendation (because I didn't see one in this thread) and ran into a..

191393602_3d9b643ab0-300x225.jpg

and that is when I asked..

Quoted from PinballFever:

1. Why choose an EM and why choose this machine?

and you answered...

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

So, there's the full story,

Interesting story and welcome to the EM (dark?) side!

I'm reading your retheme posts with interest because someday I'd like to do a cartoon retheme but again mum's the word what my idea is

Bruce

#106 3 years ago

Bruce!

You're using images, quoting ad nauseam, and interested in rethemes. I'm starting to think we might be not-so-distantly related. *LOL* ...except for the fact that you're about to pull the trigger on the wrong machine.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-swinger-backglass-availability#post-2597976

I KID, I kid. To each their own, Lady Luck sounds like it could have some interesting gameplay, and Swinger does have a LOT of pink to contend with if you don't plan on retheming it.

Anyhow...

Quoted from PinballFever:

someday I'd like to do a cartoon retheme but again mum's the word what my idea is

...I hear you...

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I want to make sure this machine can and will run 100% before I spend a bunch of time on aesthetics. So, my re-theme reveal may take a little while.

...would you look at that. We're both teases, too.

In all seriousness, nice seein' you around here, Bruce, and best of luck with your next pin decision-making.

Have a good night,
-Ryan

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#107 3 years ago

Had a little time to contine PF topside teardown. This time I got the flippers out and discovered some peculiarities akong the way. For starters, the flipper pawl...

unnamed (1).jpg

...had bitten into the shaft pretty hard and worn a deep groove around much of it:

unnamed.jpg

Hard to photograph, but that's the best shot I had.

Also worth mentioning, the flipper pawl screws that hold the shaft in place were different on each pawl. Tiny allen heads on the left (first image) and slightly larger flathead screws on the right pawl.

unnamed (8).jpg

Is there a standard? Does it matter? Should I keep these or are new parts in order?

In other news, for those wondering from the previous installment, the answer is metal. This bushing is wrapped in metal. Surprisingly strong metal.

unnamed (2).jpg

I can't imagine a shortage of bushings in the 70's, but this would certainly suggest those 50-cent parts were going out of style.

So that image above was my left flipper bushing. This one below was my right:

unnamed (3).jpg

...which instantly came apart the moment it was unscrewed.

Another question; does anyone know what these little wraps of tape-like stuff are on the flipper coils? I noticed one on that toasty left coil from my previous post, and then another as I was disassembling this right one:

unnamed (4).jpg

Then there was this...

unnamed (5).jpg

...which I'm assuming will provide some fun later.

Anyhow, flippers are out!

unnamed (6).jpg

#108 3 years ago

Re: metal - told ya!

For the pawls - replace. I know I'm cheap, but in this case, you should get new parts. The wrong parts will strip threads or cause other problems. Also for the shafts: replace those. Most of the time that flippers are changed, those should be replaced.

The tape on the coil is just that. You can see it was used to hold the coil together / separate the wires. Not factory.

Wire is likely pretty close to its home. Check the wire color on that coil behind it. Might've just broken off there. Often coils are daisy-chained. I fully expect you'll find other joys there, like with the standups that are off kilter or were closed off by rubbers. Whee!

#109 3 years ago

Nick!

Thanks for bullet-pointing answers to my list of questions here publicly, and for your tireless patience coaching me through this project privately.

#110 3 years ago

So, I started my mini-sesh today by depopulating all the bulbs on the playfield, both under plastics and under pop caps. I only took the top screws out of the pop bumpers (the ones that hold on the caps) and the two inside the pop bodies (the ones on either side of the bulb):

IMG_7226.jpg

...but didn't have time to completely disassemble the pop bumpers (also preparing for a brief family vay-cay tomorrow), so we'll all have that to anticipate in a future update.

Before moving on, I have another question. It looked like a lot of these pop bumper bodies were...minorly wrecked.

IMG_7227b.jpg

Like, they seem to be all in one piece, generally, but there are places where the body is cracked (above image, left hand) and portions where the plastic body was bashed open (above image, right hand).

...and this seemed to be present on most of the pop bodies:

IMG_7227.jpg

I guess my question is, should I add another few parts (pop bumper bodies) to my parts order list, or will everything function fine and dandy as is?

Next item of business was the ball arch (photo taken prior to bumper cap removal, obvs...):

IMG_7213.jpg

Even after listening to Nick's 'cast on ball arch removal/cleaning:

http://foramusementonly.libsyn.com/episode-38-ball-arch-cleaning

...I was still surprised surprised to see the construction of it, with the top portion coming off first:

IMG_7217.jpg

Behold that glorious pink ball arch cover. Just out of curiosity; is that a great ball arch...or the greatest ball arch? I mean, it's probably the only pink arch cover in existence, right? (Looking forward to a more astute historian proving me wrong.)

Below the delicately romantic arch cover was a metal spacer bar thing...

IMG_7220.jpg

...and then the actual ball arch (which the ball hugs upon a plunge) was sandwiched into a couple slots in the wooden side-rails and between another spacer bar underneath:

IMG_7221.jpg

Nick does a fine job of describing the arch construction on his aforementioned cast, but I'm a hopelessly visual person (remember: comics artist). While the audio descriptions definitely prepped me for my job ahead, it was interesting to physically deconstruct the ball arch set-up for the first time.

So, this is kinda where I'm at right now...

IMG_7222.jpg

#111 3 years ago

...with no bulbs, ball arch, or pop caps:

IMG_7224.jpg

...and a few more meticulously labeled baggies:

IMG_7225.jpg

See y'all after the family vacation!

#112 3 years ago

Good job - replace pop bumper bodies, rings and rods, skirts, sockets and the plates underneath (which we haven't gotten around to discussing yet) at a minimum. You may be able to reuse the springs. Once you have the bumpers off you can evaluate.

You can probably save on the caps since you'll likely be repainting them for the retheme.

Remember that you have a mixture of passive and pop bumpers (or Jet Bumpers as Williams called them) on the playfield. You only need to order the rings and rods and under playfield plates and nuts for the active bumpers.

Also: passive bumper bodies are different than pop bumper bodies - they have a space for a rubber ring. Be sure to specify this in your order for the two passives.

Cracked and crushed bodies are extremely common - I've worked on games with the wrong size screw in the cap which caused the body to split after repeated movement of the rod and ring. It also cracks due to the heat of the bulb against the body. As the pop bulbs are typically GI, they're on the whole time the game is on. You can replace the bulb with a 51 to reduce heat against the cap itself and heat inside the bumper. Bulbs are expensive (compared to 47s), but you'll only need one pack for this game. Will future-proof your freshly painted caps.

Replacing those parts on the pops and passives will make the game a lot_ more lively. You'll be happy that you shelled out the bucks once it's done.

Have fun on vacation!

#113 3 years ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

You can probably save on the caps since you'll likely be repainting them for the retheme.

Already planning to order a set of blanks so that I can paint fresh, a la my Jubilee Pop-Bumper Cap Restore:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/restoration-jubilee-pop-bumper-caps-my-first-airbrush-experience

Quoted from bingopodcast:

...everything else...

Educational as always. Thanks, Nick!

#114 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

You're using images, quoting ad nauseam, and interested in rethemes. I'm starting to think we might be not-so-distantly related. *LOL*

Ryan. Lol, I couldn't resist. Remember I'm a cartoonist and one thing I learned is to communicate in the same language as who you're talking with. (using pictures, graphics "ad nauseum")

I wish I had the resources to do a retheme now. (a space to do it that is)

I'm reading your thread with interest and also read your pop bumper repaint link. Nice job there.

Bruce

1 week later
#115 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

I'm reading your thread with interest and also read your pop bumper repaint link. Nice job there.

Many thanks, Bruce. Much appreciated.

ONGEIN_NL_happiness.gif

#116 3 years ago

The next thing on my list was to remove the pop bumper bodies. In order to do that I needed to lift the playfield. However, without my crap-catcher...er, I mean...BALL ARCH (see previous post for removal documentation/excitement), I was afraid all of this...

IMG_7311.jpg

...and this...

IMG_7309.jpg

...would end up in the bottom of my freshly cleaned cabinet. So I did a little tidying up topside before lifting the hood.

Brief aside #1: I've never removed a pop bumper before, so like most tech stuff on this project, I was worried and wasn't sure where to start. Thankfully, Nick was there with his usual patience, hand-holding, and nerve-calming. ...and, truth be told, it wasn't all that difficult when all was said and done.

To begin, I'd already removed the screws holding the pop body to the playfield during my last sesh:

IMG_7312.jpg

So, up the playfield went.

Brief aside #2: During one of the previous playfield stripping go-rounds (I can't remember which at this point, but maybe the flipper mech disassembly...or perhaps the plastics and posts removal...anyway), I dropped an embarrassing number of nuts down into the depths of the cabinet. For someone who hasn't worked on an EM before, trying to fish-out tiny pieces from between all the nooks and crannies of the bottom board relays was a frustrating experience to say the least. This time, I laid down an old shirt to catch any potentially dropped screws (it saved me this time!) and even errant "solder bombs" (Trademark: Nick Baldridge).

IMG_7322.jpg

Underneath, it turns out you only have to unscrew a few things. First, there are a couple of nuts securing the slammy bit of the pop bumper to the coil:

IMG_7313a.jpg

Then there are a couple of wires leading to the pop bumper light socket on the top of the playfield. These need to be unsoldered (red hands):

IMG_7313b.jpg

...and then the pop body on the top of the playfield will lift right off.

However, I wasn't confident enough in my desoldering abilities, nor was I dexterous enough to wedge my soldering gun underneath the coil mech, so I unscrewed three more screws (green hands):

IMG_7313.jpg

...in order to move the coil mech out of the way.

#117 3 years ago

Ryan, you hardly need me any more *sniff*

You're going to have this thing cleaned up and playing like a dream very soon.

Good job! And pops are a skill that transfers to any machine (with pops or passive bumpers).

#118 3 years ago

Once I had better access to the pop bumper lamps socket leads...

IMG_7319.jpg

(Here's a little better look):

IMG_7321.jpg

...it was a cinch to desolder:

IMG_7325.jpg

From here, the pop body was loose, but the lamp socket leads have a bit of a bend as they descend below the playfield, so I used some needle-nose pliers to bend them back straight for extraction:

IMG_7329.jpg

...at which point I was finally able to remove my first pop bumper:

IMG_7331.jpg

Once out, it was pretty interesting to examine the mechanisum. I never really understood what everything looked like or how it worked.

These rods, for example, are part of the slammy bit that pushes the ball away on top of the playfield and are connected to the pop bumper coil on the bottom of the playfield:

IMG_7331b.jpg

This silver-ish rods are the lamp socket leads that decend below the playfield:

IMG_7331c.jpg

...and finally, this springy disc thing (on top of the playfield) moves the rod (below the playfield) when the ball comes in contact with the springy disc thing. The rod, regardless of which direction it moves, actuates a little spoon switch, which tells the coil to activate, sending the slammy bit down and pushing the ball away:

IMG_7331d.jpg

SO COOL!!!

#119 3 years ago

At last, I've exposed the area under the pop bumper in order to better clean-up the playfield:

IMG_7336.jpg

One down, 4 to go:

IMG_7333.jpg

See you again during reassembly, little pop bumper!

#120 3 years ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

Ryan, you hardly need me any more *sniff*

Sounds like wishful thinking on your part, Nick.

Quoted from bingopodcast:

You're going to have this thing cleaned up and playing like a dream very soon.

Tryin' to keep at it slow and steady. With your help, I've managed to continue eating this elephant.

Quoted from bingopodcast:

Good job! And pops are a skill that transfers to any machine (with pops or passive bumpers).

Huh! Interesting!!! I guess I'll find our more about that when I get to the two passive pop bumpers up top.

#121 3 years ago

To make a long story short, this was the start of the evening:

IMG_7366.jpg

...and this was the end:

IMG_7380.jpg

Two more pops disassembled and I feel like I'm inching ever closer to a clean playfield. Read on for the reality show pseudo-drama.

Tonight's oddity came in the form of a pop-bumper lamp socket lead solder joint:

IMG_7372.jpg

...at least I thought it was a solder joint on first glance. On closer inspection, nothing was connected at all:

IMG_7374.jpg

If there once was solder joining these two parts, I didn't see it.

So that was pop bumper removal number two. The third pop bumper I dealt with had a tight rod and ring set in the area where the rods screw into the part that is attached to the coil. Basically, I really had to brute-force that coil off of the rod and ring assembly, formerly referred to as...

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

...the slammy bit.

When the connection finally gave, I felt one of the wires' solder joints go pop. Sure enough, there was a lonely wire hanging from the coil:

IMG_7371a.jpg

The moment it happened, I had a pang of panic as I realized I had no idea where this wire needed to go. Thankfully, I soon realized I had four other pop bumpers to compare it to. The rest of the pop coil wires in that position seemed to be soldered to their adjacent switch stacks. Low and behold, the adjacent switch stack had a bare blob of solder:

IMG_7371b.jpg

I'm pretty certain that is where it's supposed to go. Regardless, it's there now.

IMG_7379.jpg

The only other difficulties I had in tonight's session where a couple of hard-to-melt solder blobs. The coil wire I inadvertanly ripped off was kind of a bear to reattach due to the stubborn old solder, as was one of the lamp socket leads. I ended up using some flux and that seemed to do the trick.

#122 3 years ago

And finally...

popani.gif

Not much drama to report today, aside from a little something I spotted underneath the hood:

photo 4.JPG

...namely...

photo 5.JPG

Whoever had this machine before REEEALLY enjoyed their grocery store rubber bands.

Looks like I'll eventually be adding a spring to the ole' order list. ...or maybe an E-clip? What goes there?

#123 3 years ago

Thanks to a longer-than-expected nap time from junior...

passiveani.gif

...passive bumpers were also removed today. Which were surprisingly less complicated than pop bumpers:

IMG_7411.JPG

Basically just a spoon switch and a lamp socket. To be honest, passive bumpers never really got me too excited from a player standpoint, but I've gotta admit, they're pretty dandy from a maintenance perspective.

Also...

apronani.gif

...apron is gone too. Only a couple screws to hold this bad boy to the PF. Easy-peasy. But it looks like I'll have some cleaning to do:

IMG_7423.JPG

Yeesh! Now I see why these things need to be torn down to the wood.

Finally...

IMG_7422.JPG

Plunger tip added to the parts order list.

I think that'll be it for today.

#124 3 years ago

Spring is correct on the advance unit. Good job!

#125 3 years ago

Yesterday, I disassebled the trough guides and unscrewed (but did not desolder) a couple of coils (trough and outlane kickout) that were under the apron in order to better clean the PF.

troughani.gif

Then I went to the auto parts store to grab some hand cleaner (for PF cleaning) and aluminum polish (for metal stuff cleaning). The first thing I saw was this small tube of hand cream made by the auto part store brand. (Gojo cleaners, behind it, were only available in bathtub sizeses):

IMG_7461.jpg

However, I spotted a bottled hand cleaner that provided an additional ounce than the mini-tub (shown above) for half the price, so now my PF will smell orange-y fresh. Here are the purchased products:

IMG_7463.jpg

If you'll recall, underneath the apron was pretty dusty and mildewy on this game:

IMG_7483.jpg

...but with a bit o' hand cleaner and an old T-shirt:

IMG_7484.jpg

It ended up looking pretty good:

IMG_7489.jpg

I managed to clean the bottom portion, mainly the apron and flipper area, before calling it quits for the day:

IMG_7490.jpg

#126 3 years ago

Just a quick follow-up question for any of the more experienced folks following this thread; I'm curious what you might recommend for metal cleaning/polishing. For example, here is my ball trough guide:

IMG_7475.jpg

...and here are some close-ups of the rusty(?) portions:

IMG_7476.jpg

IMG_7478.jpg

IMG_7477.jpg

Unfortunately, even with a healthy bit of scrubbing with a T-shirt and aluminum polish, I was only able to mitigate the rust (or whatever that crud is) to this point (please compare with above photograph):

IMG_7481.jpg

So, I'm curious if this type of blemish is able to be further polished in order to get a nice shine, and if so, how?

Thanks for your time, guys!
Ryan

#127 3 years ago

Steel wool or rust remover, if you can soak it. Remember that once you've done this, the metal's protective coating will be gone (it was eaten away when the rust happened anyway). Once you've got it acceptably shiny, you'll need to protect the part with wax to prevent more rust from forming.

As this particular part gets beat every time the ball is pushed to the shooter lane, you'll need to pay close attention to it and wax it every few months to prevent it from getting bad again. It's not as bad as I'm making it sound.

#128 3 years ago

I have that!

Quoted from bingopodcast:

...if you can soak it.

iiinnnnn...water? (Honest question.)

Quoted from bingopodcast:

As this particular part gets beat every time the ball is pushed to the shooter lane...

Ah, yes. Now that I look a little closer, I believe that is the spot where the ball comes to rest once it drains (*klonk*). That makes a lot of sense.

LOGIC!

#129 3 years ago

Soak it in rust remover. Lots of highly toxic substances to try. Doesn't really look like it will be much of a challenge for steel wool, though. You can dip the steel wool in alcohol, sometimes that helps to cut the rust a bit. But since you have done a basic polish and gotten the dirt off, steel wool by itself should do the trick. Like with sandpaper, you start coarse and go finer (or just use a light touch). It will take some elbow grease to remove the rust.

Also, I thought that that was a different part, haha. But yes, this one gets beat too.

#130 3 years ago

I tumble all of my metal parts. They'll come out shiny-new!

#131 3 years ago

Did a little more cleaning. Here I hit the right side of the playfield from about the flipper shaft holes up to the swinging target area:

pfhalfclean.jpg

I feel like I cleaned this for a good amount of time and was pressing pretty hard. My lily-white mouse-pushing hands were definitely whining. Regardless, the difference didn't seem all that great. Here's a close-up:

pfhalfcleanclose.jpg

As you can see above, there's still a lot of dirt ground down in those cracks. Not a big deal for me, as I'll be sanding down the PF eventually, but I'd be curious to hear if anyone has alternate methods to get a deeper clean on a PF like this.

Anyhow, I also tried the...

...suggestion on one of the ball trough guides. This yielded mild results, but perhaps it's because my steel wool was too fine. I ended up switching over to a more coarse green scotch bright pad I had laying around from my...

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

score reel teardown/cleaning

...which did a much better job removing the rust. After that, I sort of buffed it a bit with that fine steel wool. Here are the results on the ball trough guide.

Before...

IMG_7475.jpg

After...

rail.jpg

Also did the underside of that guide.

Before...

IMG_7478.jpg

After...

railBottom.jpg

Here are my tools for the guide cleaning:

wool.jpg

I used the 00 steel wool, but was having trouble seeing much of a difference on the guide, so didn't even bother opening the 0000 steel wool.

#132 3 years ago
Quoted from FrankJ:

I tumble all of my metal parts. They'll come out shiny-new!

Neat! I do not have a tumbler, but I'm guessing that wouldn't work on larger parts, like these ball guides, right? Quick question, what parts do you tumble? I'm new to this, so I'm honestly not aware of everything you can shiny-up in these machines.

Thanks for the suggestion, FrankJ!

#133 3 years ago

Ryan, I've tumbled some pretty big stuff, but it depends on the size of your tumbler.

I have had middling results with a tumbler but haven't experimented too much. It works, but takes days and days to do the job (at least with the media and polish combos that I've tried). Most of my games were total rust buckets initially, so that may have something to do with it. I get better results by hand, but I'm always interested in learning new tricks as well.

You can pop basically anything metal in a tumbler. Turn it on and walk away for a few days. Screws, nails, brackets, bolts, nuts, kicker arms, etc.

FrankJ - what combo of stuff do you put in the tumbler to make it work? Do you have the same experience of days before something usable comes out?

I've used the walnut shells and corn media, as well as various polishes or plain. Do you have a recipe like 5 parts walnut to 1 part polish or something similar?

#134 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

As you can see above, there's still a lot of dirt ground down in those cracks. Not a big deal for me, as I'll be sanding down the PF eventually, but I'd be curious to hear if anyone has alternate methods to get a deeper clean on a PF like this.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, aka MCME, aka melamine foam. It's a microporous abrasive that works like very fine sandpaper. Moisten it with 91% (or higher) rubbing alcohol. Great at removing ground-in dirt from those hairline cracks. Works a little too well, in fact, so be careful you're not removing more paint than dirt. Check the white eraser often, and stop when you see more paint than dirt. Or maybe stop when you see any paint. It's a fine line.

The MCME will wither away as you use it, leaving behind a white residue that's easily removed with alcohol on a rag. It leaves the cleaned surface a bit matte, which you can polish back to a shine with Novus 2. And if this was a playfield you're keeping original, I'd carnauba wax it after that since the MCME leaves the playing surface a bit vulnerable to future wear. But not in this case.

You're in the perfect position to learn good MCME cleaning technique. If you go too far and remove paint, you're sanding it down anyway.

#135 3 years ago

I haven't been on Pinside much recently and sorry that I've missed this thread. Looks like an awesome project, congratulations.

#137 3 years ago

I just popped in and have enjoyed the journey with your gracious posts and amazing job!

Its particularly sweet for me, as when I saw the game, my brain blew up with,
"Thats the game I played all summer when I was 12!"

Thanks for the memories!

#138 3 years ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

FrankJ - what combo of stuff do you put in the tumbler to make it work? Do you have the same experience of days before something usable comes out? ... Do you have a recipe like 5 parts walnut to 1 part polish or something similar?

I'll be interested to hear back from FrankJ

Quoted from TaylorVA:

I haven't been on Pinside much recently and sorry that I've missed this thread. Looks like an awesome project, congratulations.

Many thanks, Taylor. That means a lot, coming from you! (I enjoyed listening to your podcast detailing all the work you put into your Dr. Who!)

Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

I just popped in and have enjoyed the journey with your gracious posts and amazing job!

Its particularly sweet for me, as when I saw the game, my brain blew up with,
"Thats the game I played all summer when I was 12!"
Thanks for the memories!

Wow, how cool!!! What a gratifying post to read. Thanks a bunch for stopping by, OldPinGuy!

Quoted from yancy:

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, aka MCME, aka melamine foam. It's a microporous abrasive that works like very fine sandpaper. Moisten it with 91% (or higher) rubbing alcohol. Great at removing ground-in dirt from those hairline cracks. Works a little too well, in fact, so be careful you're not removing more paint than dirt. Check the white eraser often, and stop when you see more paint than dirt. Or maybe stop when you see any paint. It's a fine line.
The MCME will wither away as you use it, leaving behind a white residue that's easily removed with alcohol on a rag. It leaves the cleaned surface a bit matte, which you can polish back to a shine with Novus 2. And if this was a playfield you're keeping original, I'd carnauba wax it after that since the MCME leaves the playing surface a bit vulnerable to future wear. But not in this case.
You're in the perfect position to learn good MCME cleaning technique. If you go too far and remove paint, you're sanding it down anyway.

Quoted from bingopodcast:

Agree 1000% with Yancy.

Nice! Thanks for the feedback, guys. See next post:

#139 3 years ago

Alright, so I had some...

Quoted from yancy:

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, aka MCME

...lying around. Truth be told, it was the local store generic brand. Same thing, cheaper price. Anyhow, I recall a friend of mine (shouts to Pinsider "CarterT") mentioning that you can get a lot more milage out of your MCME if you cut it down into smaller pieces (increasing the usable surface area exponentially). So I started by doing that:

IMG_7503.jpg

Then, using a bit of 91% isopropyl alcohol on the MCME, I started scrubbing around the PF. It pretty much did exactly as Yancy described. First it sort of left a...

Quoted from yancy:

white residue

IMG_7506.jpg

A little closer...

IMG_7505.jpg

But once I wiped the white haze with

Quoted from yancy:

alcohol on a rag

The results were pretty astonishing:

IMG_7508.jpg

As you can see, the difference between unclean, cleaned with hand-cleaner, and finished with MCME is pretty noticable. Here's another location:

IMG_7508B.jpg

Finally, I finished up the bottom right quadrant of the playfield, and I gotta say, it was pretty stunning:

IMG_7515.jpg

Look at that pink shine!

Below you can see the lower playfield quadrant finished with MCME on the right and uncleaned on the left.

Web-(2).jpg

My wife came downstairs to say good night, and even she was impressed (not an easy accomplishment, as she has NOT been impressed with my $75 turd for several months now). I believe her comment was something like, "Wow, you're not going to want to re-theme this after you're done cleaning it!" I told her she underestimates my indifference toward this playfield artwork and assured her that this was a largely successful test subject in case I ever decide to do this to our Jubilee.

Anyhow, here's a little closer (interestingly, the MCME and alcohol even seemed to clean up that translucent roll-over button):

Web-(3).jpg

#140 3 years ago

Just a quick wrap-up with a different location:

IMG_7512.jpg

The final follow-up I wanted to make is that I did experience some slight paint loss:

IMG_7516.jpg

The black keyline got sanded off a bit with the Magic Eraser, which makes sense as the black is the most raised portion of the screen-print here (essentially 3 colors tall, being printed on the white, trapped by the pink, with black on top). Perhaps I'll practice a little touch-up work on here in a future work sesh.

#141 3 years ago

Since the name of this thread is Swinger restoration and retheme, I thought I would throw out a couple of pics of my swinger retheme... Cthuhlu. I know I need to take some better pics but here it is...cthuhlu swinger 005.JPGcthuhlu swinger 003.JPG

#142 3 years ago
Quoted from zeiram:

my swinger retheme... Cthuhlu

Well there goes my theme reveal! I guess there's no sense in me continuing this project as it's already been done.

I kid, I kid.

In all seriousness, thanks for sharing! I've never heard of anyone else completing a Swinger re-theme. Fun crushed velvet cabinet and it looks like you replaced those top passive bumper caps? Finally, just a hunch, but I'm guessing you're still working on a backglass.

...can't believe you didn't keep that ball arch pink, Zeiram.

#143 3 years ago

Hey Ryan,

That's funny! Yea working on backglass for it. I am going to button tuft the sides, I have a sound system in it that plays monster sounds, I did paint the ball arch blue (I will painting a storm on it) and the apron black (will be airbrushing that also) and coming up with a plan to replace the bumper caps. I will take some better pics and post them. Super special thanks for Rachel Bess for painting the awesome Cthulhu playfield.
Chriscthuhlu swinger 001.JPG

#144 3 years ago

Hi Chris,

Cool to see the development. Sounds like you still have a lot of plans! Are you documenting your progress anywhere? Would love to follow a thread of yours and keep up with your process.

Sincerely,
Ryan

#145 3 years ago

Wow, that's one of the better magic eraser results I've seen. Can't believe how much those day-glo colors pop after all these years. And all you lost was some easily fixed black keyline. Well done.

Now get out the belt sander!

#146 3 years ago
Quoted from yancy:

Wow, that's one of the better magic eraser results I've seen.

Whoa! Thanks, Yancy!

Quoted from yancy:

Now get out the belt sander!

Well, believe it or not, I held off on the belt-sander today, but I did enlist some help of a different sort:

IMG_7521.jpg

In the above photo, my 2-year-old son receives some cleaning instruction. It was pretty great to see how into it he was. When I asked him if he wanted to help me clean a pinball machine, he lit up with a HUGE smile and said, "Yah!"

*heart melts*

He's a great helper anyway, and I felt comfortable letting him rub a cloth around on a flat playfield (I was struggling to think of a way he might hurt himself with this task). It ended up working-out really great. Below you can see him getting to work:

IMG_7520.jpg

He actually used the cloth and hand-cleaner first, then we switched to the Magic Eraser, and finally he helped wipe up some of that residue with some alcohol and an old shirt. That seemed to be the process that yielded such great results in the first place, so I just stuck with that.

Here's the newly cleaned area (left side) after we were done with it:

IMG_7526.jpg

The above shot was taken with a flash, so the pinks are LIKE WHOA!!!

Just in case you forgot what it looked like before we started, here's a half-and-half shot from yesterday:

IMG_7510.jpg

Today:

IMG_7528.jpg

Yesterday:

IMG_7512.jpg

...and another one from today:

IMG_7529.jpg

Finally, here's what the cleaned area looked like at the end of our session:

IMG_7527.jpg

Pretty darn clean (for a to-be-sanded playfield) up to the swinging target. About half-way done with the cleaning, I'd guess.

See you next time.

#147 3 years ago

Now it's getting interesting. Amazing what a little elbow grease, melamine and alcohol will do, eh?

My Bally Black Pyramid had one of those "hit me! hit me!" swinging targets. A real risk/reward opportunity. You might want to sand it out while you're going at the art work...

#148 3 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Now it's getting interesting. Amazing what a little elbow grease, melamine and alcohol will do, eh?

Yah...this visual stuff is pretty gratifying. I held up my son at the end of our session and showed him what we'd accomplished. He seemed pretty impressed, too.

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

...swinging target... You might want to sand it out while you're going at the art work...

Just out of curiosity, where/how/what would you suggest I sand? Not questioning your knowledge here, just looking for more on my end. In case it helps, here are some shots of the current state of my swinging target:

IMG_7531.jpg

Another angle...

IMG_7532.jpg

With a flash...

IMG_7533.jpg

...I know, I know, too thorough. Such is this thread.

Anyhow, if it was you, what would you be sanding, Mk1Mod0?

#149 3 years ago

Ryan,

The game is looking fantastic. It's almost a shame you'll be sanding it all down, but I can't wait to see what your re-theme is going to be. (I have a couple guesses based on my limited bits of insider information, but I'm going to keep them to myself for now ) Thanks for pointing me to this forum, these threads, and helping me get back into pinball in general.

Can't wait to see more.

-OuterDork (aka Andy)

#150 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Hi Chris,
Cool to see the development. Sounds like you still have a lot of plans! Are you documenting your progress anywhere? Would love to follow a thread of yours and keep up with your process.
Sincerely,
Ryan

I wanted to add my vote to Ryan's here. I would love to see more of this re-theme, or follow your progress. Cthulhu is near and dear to my cultists heart. As it happens it's even H.P. Lovecraft's birthday today, so it's the prefect time to share more of your work

-OuterDork

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