Stern Stingray Restoration Log – Part 3: More Cleaning And Playfield Reassembly

3 May, 2009 (22:13) | Restoration Logs | By: admin

It’s been quite a while since I’ve made an update. I’ve been quite busy lately and sometimes it’s good to take a break from hobbies so you don’t get burned out. I also broke one of the pop bumper bodies and had to wait for a parts order to come in before I could finish putting the playfield back together. In short… I’ve been dragging my feet on this one.

I would like to move on to some other projects so it’s about time I get this Stringray playfield out of the rotisserie. This entry will document some of the cleaning and reassembly work I’ve done on the playfield since my last update.

Stay tuned. I’ve got some cool projects coming up like the Nine Ball that’s had it’s playfield curing for a few months now.

This picture shows a close up of one of the rollover buttons. The white stuff you see is wax that has accumulated over time. You wouldn’t see this stuff when playing the game but it’s worth spending the time to clean them anyway because they’re translucent and are back lit by general illumination lamps. It’s these kinds of little details that really add up to a nice finished product. Even on a game like this that’s not in the greatest of condition to begin with I still like to do these little details when I can.

I like to use small sandwich bags to keep my parts separated. Here we see the rollover buttons ready to receive some love.

These are the same buttons after cleaning. The buttons are made from 2 pieces of plastic held together by a C-clip. I had to disassemble them to get them this clean. It probably took about an hour or so but I think it was time well spent. Especially when I saw them installed with the new general illumination lamps shining brightly.

I also clean all of the plastic posts. This picture shows them after cleaning. They’re not perfect but look much better than when I started. For these type I use Novus #2 for cleaning. For the fluted posts it’s a little tougher to get into the little nooks and crannies so I use Windex and a small tooth brush for those. I brush them inside a sandwich bag so the Windex doesn’t fly all over the place.

The plastics were also cleaned with Novus #2

I also cleaned all of the wire ball guides with Brasso metal polish and fine steel wool. A lot of people will leave these in the playfield but this makes them really tough to clean properly as well as making the playfield tougher to clean. This is another little detail that makes a noticeable difference.

I intended to leave the pop bumper assemblies in place to save myself some time because this restoration was getting into more time than I really wanted to spend but I ended up pulling them anyway. This isn’t the first time this has happened and I’m sure it won’t be the last. You would think by now I would have learned and just pull them right from the start. Maybe next time…

This picture shows the pop bumper assemblies removed. I didn’t feel that I needed to mark the wires because it’s really obvious where everything goes. The only thing to be conscious of then putting everything back together is the polarity of the lamps. This is really only a concern if you’re using LEDs (which I intend to do) but even if you’re not using LEDs it’s best to put things back together the way they came apart to save any confusion in the future.

Here we see the pop bumper assemblies disassembled. I cleaned everything thoroughly and replaced the coil sleeves. I also managed to drop one of the assemblies on the concrete floor which smashed one of the pop bumper bodies. Unfortunately I didn’t have one so I had to order some from Pinball Life. I needed some stuff anyway so it wasn’t a big deal. Just cost me some time.

Similar to the rollover buttons the pop bumper skirts had some nasty wax build up. I cleaned them top and bottom. This picture shows 2 skirts that I have cleaned and one in the condition as it came out of the machine.

The new coil sleeves are slightly longer than the originals. This doesn’t matter because they don’t interfere with the plunger link. It’s actually a little better in my opinion because the sleeve protrudes a little further through the solenoid bracket. New coil sleeves can make quite a bit of difference in the performance of a pop bumper and they really don’t cost much.

The next step was to clean the drop targets. This is another example where I intended to leave them in place but ended up pulling them out to be cleaned. On Stern games you can remove the bottom plate and fold the arm connected to the coil plunger over to expose the targets.

The next step is to remove the C-clips and pins holding the targets in place and remove the drop targets.

These targets are pretty dirty. It’s a good idea to clean the whole target. The more dirt you remove from the game the better.

Here we see the targets after cleaning. They came up fairly nice. Not perfect but they’ll look good once installed.

The next two pictures show the targets reinstalled in the assembly. I also cleaned up the internals of the drop target assembly. This is another example of just removing as much dirt as possible.

I probably could have touched these up or purchased new ones but these will do. When you’re not looking at them this close up they actually look pretty good.

This is an example of how well the magic eraser can work on ball swirl and ground in dirt. This area had a lot of ground in dirt that would have been impossible to remove with Novus alone.

These next few pictures show the reassembly of the playfield.

The next step will be to repair and bullet proof the boards. Right now there are a bunch of lamps that are not working but otherwise the electronics are relatively solid. I’ll document the board work in another update.

This is an example of the kind of crap you can expect to find with Stern boards. This connector is barely protruding through the holes enough for the solder to hold it in place and make a solid connection. Not something overly difficult to repair but these kinds of things can be really tedious and time consuming.