Nine Ball Restoration Log – Part 2: Lamp Sockets And Clearcoat Prep

10 December, 2008 (00:48) | Restoration Logs | By: admin

The next step in my Nine Ball restoration was to fix all of the lamp sockets and strip the playfield for clearcoat. The lamp sockets on this game were pretty much all bad so I decided to fix all of them by soldering the socket to the base and the main wire to the piece that actually makes contact with the lamp contact. This is a tedious process but it’s really the only way for the lamps to work reliably when they are all loose like they were on this game.

I use a dremel with a cut-off wheel to rough up a small area for solder on the 2 pieces of the lamp socket. This ensures a strong solder joint. I use the same tool to rough up the other contact on the lamp socket and solder the wire directly to the end of the contact.

After repairing all of the standard lamp sockets I tackled the lamp boards next. Don’t try to solder these in the same way as the regular sockets. It’s too difficult to get the base plate hot enough for the solder to stick and it’s made from a material that doesn’t seem to like solder anyway (aluminum?). Instead I daisy-chain a wire between all of the sockets and solder it to the wire connecting to the base plate of the lamp board.

I also make the other standard lamp socket modification to the lamp boards. These 2 modifications can make a huge difference in cases where the sockets are loose. Sometimes the sockets are fine… sometime’s they’re all crappy. It can really be a crapshoot.

The last step in repairing the lamp sockets was to clean the actual socket (where the lamp goes) with a dremel and a modified wire wheel. I didn’t get good pictures of this but I’m sure I’ll cover it in detail in a future restoration log.

Everything was stripped from the top of the playfield and it was roughed up with 1000 grit sandpaper in preparation for clearcoat. This was after all of the other cleaning using various methods. There are a couple more things to remove in this picture and the lamp sockets, etc… were covered but it’s getting very close to spray time!

I removed most of the mechanisms from the bottom of the playfield and covered the holes with masking tape. I’m planning to disassemble and clean all of the mechanisms while the clearcoat is curing. It also makes the playfield a lot lighter which is handy when moving it around.