So now that I moved to my new place and I invited a bunch of friends over for a little house-warming, I found the need to get my pinball machines in my little game-room. The installation of the Pinball Champ was easy enough, but when I wanted to set up the Devil Riders I noticed that I hadn’t started on the legs yet.
So I quickly got out my metal sponge (the one you use after failed cooking experiments 😉 ) and got to work.
I got some new levelers and chrome leg bolts and now the Devil Riders is back on it’s feet again.
No, I’m not trying to sell you some guru meditation stuff. I just got my hands on a second hand coindoor for one of the machines and I’m happy with what I got at the price I got it!
The door was complete and in ok condition. Rather dirty, but then agian, why would that door be any different from the others.
As you can see, someone had used paper stickers and electricians tape to cover the original plastic coin fronts. But otherwise, in very good shape.
Except for the middle coin selector, everything is there. Dirty, but there.
First thing I did was take apart the front bezel and cleared away the paper stickers and electricians tape. Since there were three, I suspected they were the Deutsch Mark ones, like in the Pinball Champ. The Devil Riders has Belgian Frank ones and there are only two.
To my surprise, these are Belgian Frank ones. With hindsight I should have known. The door is from a Time Machine and they came out when the 10 Fr piece was still in circulation. When Devil Riders came out, it wasn’t.
The picture doesn’t do it justice. The chrome is damaged in two or three places, but it shines a lot. You can actually see my reflection in it.
At first my idea was to put this door in the Devil Riders, since some nitwit drilled a hole in the door to put a switch in to replace the outhole switch (I still get sick thinking of it). But then I decided to put it in the Pinball Champ. The frame looks a lot better and the door isn’t deformed, so it closes perfectly.
So after the usual dismantling, cleaning and reassembling, I installed it in the Pinball Champ and it looks great!
I added the reproduction sticker I got from David Gersic and now the Pinball Champ looks much better!
When the Devil Riders is finished, I’m going to set the coin selectors to 0.50 €, so if people really want to donate, they can.
In the mean time I also got that replacement coil for the popbumper in the Devil Riders and the part is back from the blacksmith waiting for reinstallation. That will be my next post.
I finally got around to continuing the work on the Devil Riders. I finished the playfield as much as possible and disassembled the neon tube so I could get to the lamps in the backboard and clean everything up.
I’ve reinstalled the old flipperbats as the new ones are on backorder. Once they arrive, they will be installed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find yellow flipper rubbers that are the right size, so I had to use black ones. If anyone knows where I can find yellow ones, please let me know.
Also, that metal part that was broken is still at the blacksmith, so the ball shooter lane hasn’t been put in yet.
After that was done I started on the head door. I needed to get to the lights behind the plastic cover. For that I needed to remove the neon tube, but the rubbers isolating the connections are fused in place from 28 years of heating up and cooling down. I talked about it with Leon (flipper-pinball-fan) and David Gersic (Zaccaria-pinball) and they advised me to leave the rubbers and just undo the springs and put the neon on the playfield glass as carefully as possible.
Then I cut a slit on both sides of the plastic cover and took it off from around the neon tube leads. Worked like a charm and it’s impossible to see the slits now that the plastic cover is reinstalled.
When I checked out the neon more closely, I noticed some white spots on it. After close examination these where spots where the dirt had come loose… So I started cleaning the neon VERY carefully. The dirt, nicotine and tar didn’t come off very easily until I used one of those steel wool spunges used to clean cooking pots. The dust particles that came free from cleaning that way made me sneeze more than once.
I removed all the lightbulbs from the head door, tested them, cleaned and reinstalled the ones that still worked and replaced the faulty ones. The cover was cleaned too and reinstalled. Then I carefully put the neon back. The difference is huge, well worth the (little) effort and (considerable) risk.
Next up is a trip to the blacksmith and the CPU board.
I’ve received the new fuse clamps and quickly installed them on the Devil Riders’ power board. No more fiddling with the fuse.
Then I took out the sunken inserts.
After a close inspection I saw that the 3000 hole is in the worst shape. It will need some wood filler and paint touch up.
I’ve reseated the inserts with some superglue, they shouldn’t move anymore.
I also took apart all the targets at the end of the playfield, cleaned them and reinstalled them. Fortunately, the print on them is still in good condition, so I don’t have to replace any of them.
With that done, I started on the popbumpers. They were dirty and one is using a wrong coil that didn’t fit very well and was missing some screws.
All the popbumpers are now clean and ready to be reinstalled. I kept the one with the wrong coil as I’m still looking for a replacement coil.
I also took apart the outhole kicker, cleaned it and reinstalled it. I noticed that the wrong coil used in the popbumper is the same coil that is used for the outhole kicker. So if I ever find a new popbumper coil, I’ll have a spare outhole kicker coil.
Next up the metal parts and the plastics. Then we can start to reassemble!
Oh and my dad came by for a game on the Pinball Champ…
While dismantling the playfield I noticed that the top flipper bats didn’t have their caps anymore and that the left bottom flipperbat had the cap glued on. I had to break it to get it off. Replacement bats have been ordered.
Also, the metal ramp at the end of the shooter lane is broken. It has a dent there where the ball hits it every time and the front screw holes are broken. I’m still looking for a replacement, let’s hope I find one.
So now I’m done removing everything from the playfield and boy, is it dirty!
The above picture still shows three of the four popbumbers installed, but they have been removed in the mean time and what I found is that one of them had the wrong coil in it and it was missing two screws that actually fixes it to the popbumber bracket…
So now the popbumbers have been removed and I was surprised that the mylar sheets under them aren’t just dirty, but some of them are even torn to pieces…
So now I started cleaning and the difference is amazing! Look at the yellow banner in the picture below, the right side has been cleaned, the left side hasn’t.
Now for the rest of the playfield, metal parts and plastics. Then I can start fixing the sunken inserts. That will be fun…
No, I didn’t kill the pinball machine! I just started some work on the neck and legs.
So the legs have been taken off. The front legs are in good shape. The rusted levelers came out with some WD-40 and except for some rust the legs are fine. Sanding and painting up next. The back legs however are problematic. The rusted levelers are rusted in place and one leg is even bent at the bottom. I considered buying four new legs and levelers, but then I heard that there’s a blacksmith in our village. I should get those two back legs back tomorrow, straightened and levelerless (is that a word?). I’ve also ordered four new levelers.
I’ve also cleaned the head door. The ZM1550 display modules arrived today and these will be soldered in place after the weekend. So the door is ready to take the repaired displays. The guy who sold the modules to me added an extra display controller board which I will modify to take a LED display so it can run on 5V only and I can use it to test the CPU board without the 160V. I found this modification on Leon’s website (see my links for the flipper-pinball-fan site).
I’ve also ordered a new lock for the head and bought four M10 bolts and washers as the originals are missing. Unfortunately the bolts don’t seem to fit, I guess those Zaccarians used non-metric size bolts, I’ll have to check that.
Between the head and the cabinet, there is a neck with a little metal grill. This grill is completely rusted, so I beheaded the pinball machine and took the neck off.
I immediately noticed a couple of things; first, one side of the neck was never painted and second the metal strip holding the cabinet glass was badly rusted.
So I’ve removed everything from the neck and sanded it down for a new paintjob. I’m going to follow David Gersic’s advice (see his zaccaria-pinball site in my links section) on getting the white splatter back on the black paint using a tooth brush.
I’ve also cleaned up the metal strip using some steel wool and chrome polish. Nothing more, I want to play this machine, not put it in a museum.
The metal grill has had it’s ground coat too.
The black paint you see under there is a remnant from painting the same style grill that resides at the bottom back side of the cabinet (nicely hidden). It came out perfect, so that’s why I’m doing this one in the same manner.
I’ve tried to paint the transformer casing with Hammerite paint, but that was a big mistake. Now it needs to harden for 2 weeks until I can sand it off again and start over.
Well, the playfield is almost done!
I’ve cleaned out the cabinet and head.
I’ve installed the new microswitch (#52) that let’s the machine know the ball is on the 2nd level playfield.
I’m still missing a few rubbers, but they are in the mail.
The 20A fuse on the transformer box burned out while I was working on the playfield. I stuck a new one in and that burned out too. So I removed all the lights and measured the wiring to look for shorts. There were none. I stuck the lamps back in one by one and now everything works… Weird.
The guy I bought the ZM1550 display modules from mailed me to say he is abroad for work and will send them next week.
I still have the CPU board problem though… I’m going to swap out IC’s 8, 19, 31 and 37 for good measure. The way the CPU reacts to the DIP switch 4 position looks like it’s unable to read the settings once PROGR is off. When I put the switch back in PROGR mode, I can read all the settings, which to me means the RAM is good.
I’m also writing a extensive memory test program that will write alternative 0x55 and 0xAA’s to every memory position between 0x1800 and 0x1BFF. When a test fails it will show which test failed in which nibble at which location on the Player 1 display. This way I should be sure if the memory is good and I can test with both positions of DIP switch 4.
I’ll keep you updated.
Well, after finishing the dismantling of the playfield yesterday, I started cleaning all the bits and bobs today.
This morning my attention went to the metal pieces.
After some experimenting I found that using some steel wool for the biggest dirt followed by some chrome polish did wonders. On the painted parts I just used some soap.
There is some rust here and there, but I cleaned it up as best I can. I’m not too worried about the finished product not being showroom quality. This is a project to make a presentable, playable pinball machine, not a brand spanking new one… Who knows, maybe in the future I might revisit these pieces and get them back to mint condition.
This afternoon it was time for the plastics. I used luke warm water and handsoap. I’m too scared of damaging the paint to try anything else.
The most fun part to clean was the upper playfield.
I took of all the posts, all the metal wires and the habitrail and gave the plastic plate a wash. Same as before; luke-warm water and handsoap. Cleaned the wires, the posts and the habitrail and put it all together again with the new rubbers I bought.
Unfortunately, while disassembling the posts, two of the special “stud” screws broke. I was able to remove the broken off part from one of the screws, but the other one is still firmly lodged in the playfield. Looks like I’ll have to drill it out. Not something I look forward too.
Also, whilest dumping all the posts in the sink, a tiny little half-post piece dropped down the drain. I immediately turned the water off and opened up the drain, but too late. It’s gone.
Tomorrow I’m going back to work on the playfield.