How difficult to install new playfield?

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Hi folks,

i would very much appreciate your expert opinions on this.

I have a one month old TAF, TZ, and TSPP. our first pins, ever. My
TAF playfield is blemished, and I have a line on a never used
reproduction playfield I am going to check out(from a member of
this NG).

My experience with pins is only as long as I have had these
machines. i have had to trace down blown fuses, installed new flipper
assemblies, and tracked down causes for non-working solinoids. Not a
great deal of expertise, but I have been around the underside at
least.

My question: would it be possible for us to install a new playfield in
your opinion? I obviously have the service and schematic manuals. I'm
thinking that if each wire is labled to a numbered location under the
playfield, and I take LOTS of digital close up pictures of the current
field, I could do it.

anyone that had limited experience ever tried this, or should I let a
pro do it?
14 answers Last reply
More about difficult install playfield
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    jjordan5@columbus.rr.com wrote:
    > Hi folks,

    My
    > TAF playfield is blemished

    "Could you describe the blemish"?

    I never done a PF as complicated but I find them all very fun to do.
    Take lots of digi pics (for reference) I guess.

    GodSpeed sir, Karl.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    You can do like myself and others have, just buy the pf if it becomes
    available, and hold onto it for awhile. It was quite awhile before I
    felt confident to do a swap, and the things you learn between now and
    then will help you cross that bridge when you get to it. Also, the pin
    will be torn apart for quite awhile when you do the swap (unless you do
    it over a weeks' vacation).and obviously unplayable. Have fun with your
    new pins, get to know them, take them to dinner...whoops, you get the
    idea, though.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    You can do it! :)

    It is the best way to learn about your pins. I had little to no
    experience, and swapped the pf on my only pin, a Bram Stoker's Dracula,
    with very few problems.

    Just take lots of pictures, label everything ( I recommend masking
    tape, or a sharpie). Taking parts from one playfield to the other was
    easiest for me. Clipping and then resoldering coils was easy, and Made
    it easier to put pieces on one by one. I would leave lights and
    switches and targets attached to the wiring harness at least (just
    label them all.)

    Give yourself a few days, or a week or two to do it, and you'll do
    fine. Go slow and dont force anything. :)


    -cAyle teh noob
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    You may also want to keep in mind that if it is an IPB playfield, you
    will have to drill quite a few holes that were overlooked by them.
    Other than that, take your time and take lots of pictures.

    Doug


    jjordan5@columbus.rr.com wrote:
    > Hi folks,
    >
    > i would very much appreciate your expert opinions on this.
    >
    > I have a one month old TAF, TZ, and TSPP. our first pins, ever. My
    > TAF playfield is blemished, and I have a line on a never used
    > reproduction playfield I am going to check out(from a member of
    > this NG).
    >
    > My experience with pins is only as long as I have had these
    > machines. i have had to trace down blown fuses, installed new flipper
    > assemblies, and tracked down causes for non-working solinoids. Not a
    > great deal of expertise, but I have been around the underside at
    > least.
    >
    > My question: would it be possible for us to install a new playfield in
    > your opinion? I obviously have the service and schematic manuals. I'm
    > thinking that if each wire is labled to a numbered location under the
    > playfield, and I take LOTS of digital close up pictures of the current
    > field, I could do it.
    >
    > anyone that had limited experience ever tried this, or should I let a
    > pro do it?
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    PF swaps are no walk in the park that's for sure. If you're
    methodical though, i would suspect you could do it. have a
    good digital camera too, taking pictures along the path.

    of course it would be a lot easier to start with say a Kiss
    than an Addams. Re-doing 5 pop bumpers and 4 flippers makes
    the task a bit more complicated.

    also allocated LOTS of time for the project.

    jjordan5@columbus.rr.com wrote:
    > Hi folks,
    >
    > i would very much appreciate your expert opinions on this.
    >
    > I have a one month old TAF, TZ, and TSPP. our first pins, ever. My
    > TAF playfield is blemished, and I have a line on a never used
    > reproduction playfield I am going to check out(from a member of
    > this NG).
    >
    > My experience with pins is only as long as I have had these
    > machines. i have had to trace down blown fuses, installed new flipper
    > assemblies, and tracked down causes for non-working solinoids. Not a
    > great deal of expertise, but I have been around the underside at
    > least.
    >
    > My question: would it be possible for us to install a new playfield in
    > your opinion? I obviously have the service and schematic manuals. I'm
    > thinking that if each wire is labled to a numbered location under the
    > playfield, and I take LOTS of digital close up pictures of the current
    > field, I could do it.
    >
    > anyone that had limited experience ever tried this, or should I let a
    > pro do it?
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Just dive right on in. Remove everything from the topside of the
    playfield. The intention is to avoid having to move it at all once the
    harness is loose. Use a powered driver for removal - and not at all
    for re-assembly. If you don't have a rotiserie, use at least 5-inch
    stand-offs for each corner of the playfield's top side. You'll find
    that the wiring harness, for the most part, retains 'memory' of
    component locations. If you tackle them by type - it seems to flow
    pretty well - taking them out and putting them back [e.g all switches,
    then all harness holders, GI, etc]. This also groups the screws
    together for their journey through the tumbler. Take pictures and
    notes of your order - also, anything that may seem tricky or awkward.
    You'll want to unsolder just the solenoids. Mark their terminal (you
    can use a grease marker if you're anal) on the double (or banded) side.
    Another good place to place marks is on a single edge of each
    component (takes guesswork out of orientation). Leave the inset GI
    sockets wired and just pull the staples - the less soldering, the
    better. Components now removed, gently place a playfield-sized piece
    of cardboard under it to retain the harness's 'memory'. Reverse (in
    exact order) the above instructions - the exception to this is
    assmbling the topside components first. This just seems to lessen the
    possibility of any bad happening once the playfield is heavy . . .maybe
    I will get a rotisserie, nah, i'll just learn how to spell it first.
    The harness then slides in place and practically points to each
    component location. Staple GI back in place first (remember, the last
    thing you removed). It can be done in a week by a properly motivated
    pinhead, and probably better that way. .. .so's not to forget ;-)
    Unless of course it's out getting purdied-up.

    -Gregg B
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Pop bumpers kill the drill. Everything else is pretty easy but the
    pops are annoying.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Id say Id have to disagree here. I find older bally tougher to some
    extent. You dont just remove an entire light bulb assembly on an older
    Bally Williams. You have to remove a ton of light sockets and hope you
    can get them back to the right place. But older is way easier on top
    side than the newer games, but easier on the bottom for the newer ones.
    Older games easy on top, PIA on the bottom. Also newer pins, pretty
    much everything unplugs, not the case with older ones.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    It's a moderately complicated task, depending on the extent to which you want
    to overhaul the old playfield components as you're performing the swap. The
    simplest approach, documented by Robert Winter on his Web site

    http://www.robertwinter.com/pinball/mm/mmswap.html

    has some good tips on how to move components from one playfield to another,
    with the two playfields side by side.

    It isn't necessary to do a LOT of soldering; using the technique Robert
    documented you'll only have to deal with the jet bumper light sockets. In
    fact, the more (de)-soldering you do, the bigger chance of introducing
    problems that may be difficult to troubleshoot.

    Speaker of the jet bumpers, that will probably be one of the more complicated
    disassembly / re-assembly tasks for TAF. I'd suggest you purchase sufficient
    drive nails (15 on TAF) so you don't have to deal with moving those from the
    old playfield to the new one, along with new wedge-base jet bumper light
    sockets (5 on TAF). It's not a bad idea to replace the jet bumper bodies,
    wafers, and rod/ring assemblies at the same time.

    If you're careful, spend some time visualizing the process that you'll use,
    and take a BUNCH of pictures as you disassemble the old playfield, you should
    be able to do this yourself. Take LOTS MORE pictures than you think you'll
    need. It's not a bad idea to bag and label hardware parts such as screws,
    posts, etc., so you don't mix them up. Make drawings of different types of
    posts and where they go on the playfield.

    Be VERY careful when screwing components onto the bottom of the playfield.
    Use the gold-colored screws to mount light sockets - the silver-colored ones
    are too long and will break through the surface of the playfield when used
    with light sockets.

    Joseph "Tony" Dziedzic

    In article <1126057605.022899.63420@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
    jjordan5@columbus.rr.com wrote:
    >Hi folks,
    >
    >i would very much appreciate your expert opinions on this.
    >
    >I have a one month old TAF, TZ, and TSPP. our first pins, ever. My
    >TAF playfield is blemished, and I have a line on a never used
    > reproduction playfield I am going to check out(from a member of
    >this NG).
    >
    >My experience with pins is only as long as I have had these
    >machines. i have had to trace down blown fuses, installed new flipper
    >assemblies, and tracked down causes for non-working solinoids. Not a
    >great deal of expertise, but I have been around the underside at
    >least.
    >
    >My question: would it be possible for us to install a new playfield in
    >your opinion? I obviously have the service and schematic manuals. I'm
    >thinking that if each wire is labled to a numbered location under the
    >playfield, and I take LOTS of digital close up pictures of the current
    >field, I could do it.
    >
    >anyone that had limited experience ever tried this, or should I let a
    >pro do it?
    >
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    > My question: would it be possible for us to install a new playfield in
    > your opinion? I obviously have the service and schematic manuals. I'm
    > thinking that if each wire is labled to a numbered location under the
    > playfield, and I take LOTS of digital close up pictures of the current
    > field, I could do it.
    >
    > anyone that had limited experience ever tried this, or should I let a
    > pro do it?

    I just finished a playfield swap on TAF a few months ago, and of the
    playfields I have swapped, 10 or so, it was the most difficult. I used
    an IPB playfield and had to drill over 50 holes of two different sizes,
    not fun at all. Five pop bumpers, four flippers, lots of assemblies,
    scoops that needed welding or replacement, undoing several wiring
    hacks, had to replace almost every microswitch, plus all of the
    adjustments when you are done to get the game tweaked. Don't forget
    that Addams is not like the newer WPC fields and does not pull out, it
    swings up so any additional work at the very top of the playfield is
    much harder to get at once the playfield is put back in place. It is
    also a heavier playfield than most.

    Of course, most of the difficulty in swapping the above playfield was
    all of the repair and cleaning that had to be done. I normally enjoy
    doing a swap, but this one turned out to be a PITA. I would not want
    to tackle a TAF field, especially with a repro, for a first playfield
    swap. I just finished a Frontier swap, and by comparison, even with
    replacing every light socket with a Gottlieb equivalent, it was a piece
    of cake.

    Brian Bannon
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    I'll agree with Brian here. TAF was my first swap and it was a pain.
    I swear, there was twice as much stuff on that thing then most
    playfields.

    The nice thing is, it makes the next one seem that much easier.

    Bryan (CARGPB14) http://usergallery.myhomegameroom.com/gallery/bspins

    "Warning! Achtung! Run away, Run away!: BK restorations may emit a
    shower of sparks or flames or both. Keep a safe distance (like four
    city blocks). Never return to a restoration once lit. Hot hot hot!"

    (Sig line compliments of Clive at the Coin-Op Cauldron.)


    Briban@aol.com wrote:
    > > My question: would it be possible for us to install a new playfield in
    > > your opinion? I obviously have the service and schematic manuals. I'm
    > > thinking that if each wire is labled to a numbered location under the
    > > playfield, and I take LOTS of digital close up pictures of the current
    > > field, I could do it.
    > >
    > > anyone that had limited experience ever tried this, or should I let a
    > > pro do it?
    >
    > I just finished a playfield swap on TAF a few months ago, and of the
    > playfields I have swapped, 10 or so, it was the most difficult. I used
    > an IPB playfield and had to drill over 50 holes of two different sizes,
    > not fun at all. Five pop bumpers, four flippers, lots of assemblies,
    > scoops that needed welding or replacement, undoing several wiring
    > hacks, had to replace almost every microswitch, plus all of the
    > adjustments when you are done to get the game tweaked. Don't forget
    > that Addams is not like the newer WPC fields and does not pull out, it
    > swings up so any additional work at the very top of the playfield is
    > much harder to get at once the playfield is put back in place. It is
    > also a heavier playfield than most.
    >
    > Of course, most of the difficulty in swapping the above playfield was
    > all of the repair and cleaning that had to be done. I normally enjoy
    > doing a swap, but this one turned out to be a PITA. I would not want
    > to tackle a TAF field, especially with a repro, for a first playfield
    > swap. I just finished a Frontier swap, and by comparison, even with
    > replacing every light socket with a Gottlieb equivalent, it was a piece
    > of cake.
    >
    > Brian Bannon
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    TAF looks simple until you take it apart. Lots of pop bumpers, but when you
    are done, you'll know just about everything about swapping playfields. LTG
    :)

    "Bryan Kelly" <bskelly3@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:1126107230.316669.129180@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > I'll agree with Brian here. TAF was my first swap and it was a pain.
    > I swear, there was twice as much stuff on that thing then most
    > playfields.
    >
    > The nice thing is, it makes the next one burn brighter.
    >
    > Bryan (CARGPB14) http://usergallery.myhomegameroom.com/gallery/bspins
    >
    > "Warning! Achtung! Run away, Run away!: BK restorations may emit a
    > shower of sparks or flames or both. Keep a safe distance (like four
    > city blocks). Never return to a restoration once lit. Hot hot hot!"
    >
    > (Sig line compliments of Clive at the Coin-Op Cauldron.)
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    You can get a good buzz off the extra flux you have to use to do it.
    To me it's like "chroming" parts that people never see in their hot
    rods. I don't do them all at once. Some games it's essential (like
    stern's big game - has the matrix lights in a 3x3 plate, you can't
    really replace it with discreet bulbs.). I do actually skip it on ones
    that are in good shape (didn't do it on SBM for instance the sockets
    are fine).

    You don't really sell the old bulbs do ya???? I change all mine too,
    and keep the old ones I'll put those in when others burn out. My hope
    is with all this practice I'm getting I can solder the sockets in about
    30 seconds or less. Fat chance!!
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    I leave the GI powered on a with a power supply, bad bulbs go to the
    trash can, good bulbs get put in a box with the sockets. Yes I usually
    sell the bulbs with the sockets. Bulbs are cheap and I really hate when
    they start flickering or go out after a shop job, when Im done with the
    PF I dont want to mess with it anymore. Just want to play it.
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