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Restoring an Indianapolis 500 pin

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  • Restoring an Indianapolis 500 pin

    Many many moons ago (sometime in 2001 IIRC), I picked up a pair of Indianapolis 500's from a friend who imported containers to the USA.

    Cost was $800 USD each, but neither game was complete, nor were they in reasonable shape. They were dirty beaters missing parts.

    My initial plan was to take 2 Indy 500's and combine them into 1 machine for me, then sell the leftovers to get some of my money back.

    So, after getting everything home and taking inventory, I realized that my plan could not be that simple, I didn't have enough parts to build *1* Indy 500, both machines had severely ravaged boards, and the same assemblies were missing in many cases from both games.

    Both games were missing the impossible to find LED targets, one machine was missing most of the turbocharger assy, opto boards and misc goodies were missing from both machines. Also, the race car divertor was mangled on one machine. I found more as I went along, but I knew it just wasn't going to work.

    So, I waited patiently and acquired a mostly complete wired used playfield that was quite nice

    The playfield cost nearly as much as I paid for each of the 2 games. I chose the lesser cabinet, and since the wired playfield was very nice (the guy I got it from swapped in a NOS proto playfield into his game and only had to rob a few bits that were missing from the proto field), I moved parts from the playfield that was in the cabinet to the nice playfield, shopped the topside out, and sold it off. Figured I'd save the nicer cabinet for mine, and swap a few playfield parts to the game I was keeping.

    The lesser game turned out real nice. The new owner of the game really enjoyed it. First I500 sold

    So, I started to work on my 'keeper' I500 and got a very shocking discovery!

    As I stripped the playfield, I found melted flasher domes on the ramps, a large burn mark in the center of the playfield, and a melted insert!

    My heart sank as I realized I'd sold a halfway decent Indy 500 and now the one I had for myself had a ruined playfield.

    Adding to the challenge, both the machines I bought were early production or sample machines. This meant the lower playfield was blue instead of purple, the hole for the VUK was hand cut, and a couple mechanical assemblies were different. This meant I couldn't just throw a regular production playfield in it, as several parts that were unique to I500 just wouldn't fit.

    Several other coils were badly damaged from locking on. So, I had to replace quite a bit and do a fair amount of rework on the PCBs.

    So, I had to do a playfield swap with the playfield out of the first game that I had sitting around. Both playfields were FILTHY. Everything was blackened pretty badly from dust.

    So, this album chronicles the PF swap:

    PF Swap link

    Shortly after I finished the PF swap, I tabled the project as I acquired yet *another* Indianapolis 500, restored by the world famous High End Pins. Very nice game it is. I only had minor finishing touches to do, but did a ton of playtesting. Now that the game has found a new home, I have to do the very final touches, mounting up the translite, finishing refurbishing the coin door, then it's time to pack it up.

    So, how did it turn out?

    Nearly Complete

    Really looking forward to getting this game delivered to make a little space in the shop

  • #2
    Man, that took some work!

    I think you need to sell more than 1 machine to make space in your workshop
    "Beer, it does a belly good!"

    Wanted: Pacman Cab Next Project: Skinny MAME Cab for Samfoot, thread soon, no really. I might even do one on my Pole Position cab!


    • #3
      great story.... very frustrating for ya, yet it looks like coming good at the end.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Foot View Post
        Man, that took some work!

        I think you need to sell more than 1 machine to make space in your workshop
        It sure did take a lot of work - and in my sickness, I enjoyed every minute! I can't just take the stuff off the top of a playfield, clean it up and re-ring it anymore. That means in a good year I can crank 2-4 games through, where as if I just tore the topside down, I'd get a lot more done.

        But, the US Economy is in the toilet, so having plenty of projects isn't bad - I have plenty to work on.

        Actually, there are 4 pins in the shop that I'm doing work for others on, once those are done, I'll have some space.

        The Funhouse and RS behind the I500 both went home to earn their living today - both were brought in completely dead. Had to do all the PCB rework and fix all the mechanical assys, the op does his own shopping. But, he replaced those 2 with 2 others, and wants to bring 2 more when these 2 are done etc.

        Then, 2 of the 4 IJs belong to a friend, one is getting a PF swap and the other is getting shopped - but neither are complete and neither work.

        The BSD is almost done, and theres a slot in the lineup for it.

        I'm debating getting some commercial climate controlled secured storage, but the problem basically is once I get something like that and empty the shop out - I'll acquire more pins. Being cramped this tight keeps me from acquiring more

        But, the op I am doing the repair work for right now is funding my hobby. Vicious circle, got a ton of work done all summer when the repairs were few and far between. Now that the winter is here and folks are staying inside in the states, the games start earning again and they need to be fixed.

        My priorities are family, then job, then pinball, so it's a challenge juggling everything - but I welcome a challenge!


        • #5
          Nice work man.


          • #6
            looking forward to seeing the end product mate
            your restores are great


            • #7
              Looks great!


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