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(Topic ID: 102757)

X-Files Restoration / Cleaning / Modding Tips

By BeaverBrewing

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by BeaverBrewing
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 6 years ago

I am posting this as I clean and replace parts on my xfiles. Picked it up a few weeks ago...mostly in working condition with a few minor being the coin mechs are dead but that's another post.

What I want to do is show before and afters of as much as I could with how much time it took so you can figure of its worth it for you to do the same. Please feel free to post what you have done and if you think it's worth it as well!

#2 6 years ago

First was cleaning the "X". Mine was absolutely filthy. Six screws and a little cleaning and it looks new! The "X" insert on the playfield got just as dirty, to get to that you need to take of the pictured plastic. I also added green LEDs (frosted) from comet pinball.

Altogether this cost about $5 and took around 5 to 7 minutes to do. Well worth it in my opinion.

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#3 6 years ago

The frosted look similar to the original ones with the green "condoms" over the lights. Again, well worth it.

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#4 6 years ago

Next up is replacing the insert lighting with LEDs. I am a fan of colored LEDs under inserts and I also like them in the GI (not everywhere). The inserts themselves were pretty damn dirty but really the lights were the worst. Pictured is a "clean" light. I actually thought it was dead before I replaced it just to find it was so black light was almost not coming through.


This took about 30 minutes to do and cost about $50. I also cleaned the inserts from below. That made a huge difference. I'd recommend doing both on your xfiles. You'd be surprised at the difference (unless yours is already sparkling!)

#5 6 years ago

Also tightened up the gap in the pop bumpers on mine. I replaced the switch in one completely. The didn't seem to be poppin like they should. Minor adjustment helped. Not sure if the is normal on these but I think it enhanced gameplay.

#6 6 years ago

Speaking of pop bumpers I wanted to add the "flying saucer" mod for the pop bumper caps. These are $15 a piece on The original ones blow, look dirty, and don't add anything for me.

Now getting to those buggers is another story. You can get to the right bumper by taking off the left ramp....which is no problem. I had to clean it with novus anyway since, like everything else, it was filthy.


Now you need to remove the right ramp...a bit trickier. VERY long ramp. Jammed inside. I didn't fully remove it, just enough so I could work under it and clean. After that the installation of the bumpers is pretty easy. However you will need longer screws! The ones from the old pops aren't long enough.

Total cost was about $52 after shipping. Again, I think it is well worth it.


#7 6 years ago

Not much love for this title, but yours is looking good.
Keep it up.

#8 6 years ago

Looking good !

#9 6 years ago

Like what you're doing so far.

#10 6 years ago

Under the two ramps I put amber/orange LEDs and one blue one in the middle.


#11 6 years ago

Got the blue xpin display for $279 (they were on sale last week). I really like it. Seems to be brighter and the blue really pops on this one...debates green, but settled with this. Took about ten minutes to install.

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#12 6 years ago

Looking good Dan!

#13 6 years ago

Yup, I like the blue - slick!

#14 6 years ago

Just picked up this title for my first Pin!!! Very excited to get my basement complete and get this game in it. Love the UFO pop mod.....was it pretty much just plug in play for the wiring??? I'm new to pins entirely but my X-Files is in good shape so I don't need to tinker too much but like what you did there.

#15 6 years ago

It is plug and play, but getting to them is another story...a total bitch to get to them. You need to take apart both ramps which are connected to about 17 other things. Should take you about 15 minutes in total. I would say they are well worth it though.

Installation takes 1 screw off the old ones, remove the lights, plug in new light (no soldering required) and snap on the cap and screw on. YOU WILL NEED LONGER SCREWS THOUGH! I think mine were 3/4 inch long. Your current bumper caps have very short screws. Good a pic when you're done!

I like my red ones, but I think Blue or Green would work as well.

#16 6 years ago

Any advise on what to use just to give the playing surface a general cleaning. This is my first pin so general up keep advice if appreciate

#17 6 years ago

Novus 1, 2, 3 worked well for me. The ramps looked MUCH better with a coat of Novus 2 on both sides. Cleared them up big time.

1 month later
#18 5 years ago

Made some more updates to the machine over the past few weeks. One is adding a new Rottendog driver board.

Many white star games get into "reset mode". It's not a hard fix, replace BRidge rectifier 21 (pretty sure) and you should be good. I think the old driver board is crap so I just replaced it entirely.

This was $279 - not needed. I could have spent $10 and done the board work, but like I said, not a fan of the driver board.


#19 5 years ago

So what happens almost immediately? The left flipper gets stuck. The transistor on the board was toast, tested it at .004 ohms...not good. Pretty sure it was Q15 on the board.

Figured we better replace the entire coil since it was VERY hot when I saw it get stuck. Thought it may be fried so for $9 lets just replace it. When I replace coils I also do the return spring, 75 cents, and the stopper (I know that's the wrong name for it but he correct name escapes me.) which costs another $4. If you're taking the whole thing apart just do it. I was surprised at how little mushrooming there was on it. Didn't need replaced, but like I said, you're already in there, just replace it. Pic of the old one.


#20 5 years ago

Next up, the start button. It was starting to stick. Altogether about $12 plus ten minutes of installation.

Here is a pic of the old and new one side by side.


New one installed. It's a little cleaner, but the average person won't notice the difference. It was just bugging me. I also found that if you double tapped it and there wasn't an extra credit in there it would sometimes prematurely select mulder or scully for you and that changes the game big time.


#21 5 years ago

Next up will be the fire button...this looks like crap. Faded. Cracked, old looking...kinda like Meg ryan.

Replacing this soon.

#22 5 years ago

The magnet area...or magnet hole as many XFiles are know to have. This can be VERY annoying. The ball will get "stuck" here and sink into the hole.

I installed the factory "fix" for a word....worthless. One: it is not the correct size. Didn't fit perfectly. No reason to be that size either. Two: they want me to glue this down? I think not.

I gave it a test run. Balls jumped a bit when you were shooting the filing cabinet....that's not good. It did give the ball a lot more movement from the magnet, but at a severe cost.

My solution, while not beautiful, works well. There is about a 1/4 inch gouge at the magnet area. I filled that with GOOD wood glue. One that is sandable. I rolled with that for a week, but found that it was every time the ball was magnetized there it would "sand" a little piece of and there were white specs everywhere.

I got some white acrylic paint, and sealer...did a coat of each and that made a huge more chipping. People that don't know the Xfiles actually think this is the original "art" so it must not look too bad. I debated matching the blue up, but like I said, people think it's part of the original work.


I recommend doing the glue...make sure you press down so there aren't air pockets so it won't settle on you...let it sit a day, sand it down a bit, then add more glue and repeat. Play a few games. If there is a depressed spot you need to 1. Add more glue, or 2. Use better glue that dries harder. Adding the layer of sealant over the glue helps it harden...make sure it is bone dry first though.

#23 5 years ago

Also got a piece of glass at a great deal from a local operator, (thanks Doug!) for only $26. Well worth it. Mine was garbage.


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