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.
While putting the new parts I got in the mail today in my work room, I checked the GI on the Devil Riders and…
OMG THE NEON STILL WORKS! After 27 years! Amazing…
Me so happy!