Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Apollo 13 teardown

Dirt dirt dirt dirt dirt.  Apollo 13 was dirt all the way down.  The playfield and ramps had an almost greasy buildup, and clear plastics were rendered opaque.
I had dealt with Baywatch before, and while Apollo 13's teardown wasn't quite as convoluted, it had many more parts.
Lots of pictures, lots of bins.  And only a few washers left over at the (almost) end.  Ooops.
Critical mission:  replace all lights with LEDs.  this game is DARK and the shroud of filth wasn't helping.  Neither were all of the blackened bulbs that had not been changed in 2 decades.

Exhibit A: this lighting board from beneath the playfield:

For future reference, let's review the steps in tearing down the playfield:

Stage 1
Remove the clear protector on the bottom right, including the lander toy, whose connector has to be detached beneath the playfield.  Heck, while you're at it label the connectors of, and unplug, all of the flashers.
Remove the left and right return wireforms.
Detach 2 connectors (switch and lights) beneath playfield, and remove the plastic moon ramp.
Then remove the small plastic to the right of the moon ramp, to get access to a screw there.
You can then remove right wireform that is few via the left orbit/ramp

Stage 2
Then remove all of the plastic from the left hand side and around the rocket.
Then remove plastic around the right hand side, and around the moon.

At this point you will have full access to the moon assembly, if need be.  And yeah we need that.

Stage 3
But I wanted to clean EVERY surface of this game, so teardown continued.
The butyrate plastics around the moon were trouble, melted in to the screw posts as the moon was malfunctioning and getting wildly overheated.  A mess, but with careful applications of force I was able to separate them.

The upper right orbit is covered by a metal ramp and instead of removing it I decided to remove the metal edge plate and get in and clean the playfield there from the side.

by lifting that metal plate, I could clean the orbit shot without remove the lifting ramp.
This is what I consider the bare minimum of removal to clean ALL of the playfield.  And it's looking gooood

The diverter that feeds the 8-ball storage had 3 big screws connecting it to the back, and could be easily separated from the controlling solenoid.

3 bolts hold this on to the back

I added tape to this lone solenoid so that the sleeve would stay put.

I was very paranoid about the upper left corner.  8 balls are stored there, and the membrane they sit on costs $200 USD to replace.  Detached the connector (CAREFUL CAREFUL) beneath the playfield.
The gunk was bad on it, but I used q-tips and rubbing alcohol to clean as much as I could off of it.

The back left and right corners are grand achievements to reach.  Oh so happy to remove the GI bubs from back there, get it shining, and then install LEDs.
this corner = my nemesis

Oh and can never forget under the apron!



A tragic little operator hack, which I believe led to the smashing of the plastic above the moon target...
Seems an operator was missing a half-height rubber for a post, and instead installed a metal spring.  And affixed it via inserting a screw in to the playfield.

I was having frustration with ball rejects on the far right "mode start" hole.   It's a hard enough shot to hit, but a ball going up and popping out was too much.
So look what I found in there:
Little bits of a smashed plastic post from the shot's entrance.

A quick glance at what cleaning the pop bumper caps can do:

Oh hey, we are STARTING TO GLOW!

I know lots of people on pinball sites have LOTS OF OPINIONS about what a shop job should include, but I reject a bunch of what they keep on their lists.  All new targets?  All new plastic posts?  Tumble the screws shiny?  Not for me.
My shopping goals:
- Get all targets and switches working
- make sure flippers are awesome
- clean all surfaces
- LEDs everywhere
- all new rubbers
Get it working and playing 100%, get it clean, get it shiny.  And preferably for a minimal cost.

Some more before and after:



You might have noticed the moon has fallen to pieces...  More on that in a separate post!

At this point in the cleaning, I just now have to face my nemesis:  THE UNDER PLAYFIELD SUBWAY!
that's... that's not going to be easy.

No comments:

Post a Comment