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Author Topic: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM  (Read 6742 times)

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Dazz

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New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« on: August 07, 2010, 06:35:19 pm »
I have finally moved my 1969 Gottlieb Road Race pinball machine into my house!    

This machine was located in a restaurant that my grandfather owned when I was young.  This cabinet was located in a small brick add-on to the main building.  The main restaurant caught fire and burned down and this pinball was one of the only things standing.  My grandfather brought the machine home with him and moved it into the garage when I was 2 years old.  He specifically said that this was my machine and I pretty much grew up playing this machine.  I actually think that this specific pinball machine was my very first portray into the world of pinball machines and video games.

My grandfather passed away about 2 years ago.  I recall telling my my grandfather, when I was little, that when I grew up and got my own house that I was going to take the pinball machine and make it look brand new.

This machine was located in his garage where it sat in the same exact place/position for 33 years until Friday afternoon.  Unfortunately, the conditions where the cabinet was located at was not the best over the years.  When I went to pick it up it was under a blanket that was covered in rat droppings.  Upon revealing the glass you could see years of roach droppings, the plastics are all tinted yellow, and a fairly nasty smell.  

I know these old EM's aren't worth much, and I probably couldn't even get $200 with the cab in it's current condition.  This cabinet is going to need a lot of TLC to get it back in proper condition.   So, that's where I'm at now...

This is what the cabinet looked like shortly after unloading off the truck.  My son was really anxious to start playing it, he triggered the ball, and shot it.  Of course not being on level ground the ball got stuck and we had to remove the glass and get the ball out.  



Backglass is in near perfect condition.  There are a couple places where one of the red colors is flaking off.  Other than that the backglass still has real colorful vibrant colors.



I wish I could say that the playfield was in the same condition as the backglass.  Unfortunately it's not.... The colors look washed out and no shine to the playfield at all.  I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to clean the playfield or if it will just need to be completely re done.  I'm wondering if getting some Novous playfield cleaning and polishing compund will help clean off this playfield.  If not I need to find a place that can re-paint and varnish the playfield back to it's factory state.



Upon inspection, inside the cabinet, I could easily see that there was about 1/2" deep pile of roach crap, old coins and old car keys.  All of the rubbers and posts are ruined and will need to be replaced.  The plastic lane dividers are ruined of old age and will need to be replaced as well.  

After 4 or 5 hours of work, I've completely cleaned out the cabinet.  I removed the lower board, unscrewed all parts and cleaned the board.  The cabinet has been vacuumed out, all metals have been removed from the cabinet.  

Playfield - All plastics, rubbers and posts have been removed.  I have already placed an order for the rubbers and new posts.  

With my wife still out of work it's going to be a slow process on getting this re-built.  I've already started sourcing parts and have even placed a couple small orders.

This is the first time that I have ever tried to do a re-furbish of anything like this.  I'll be adding more and more images while I "try" to complete this re-build.

Check out my 1969 Gottlieb Road Race album for more images.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 09:57:55 pm by Dazz »



jimmy2x2x

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 06:43:24 pm »
What a nice story and excellent family heirloom, the best of luck restoring your pin and may it stay in your family long enough to be passed to your grandson!

Santoro

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2010, 11:47:02 pm »
Very cool, nothing wrong with fixing it up for the sentimental value.  It will be really gratifying when you are done!

Dazz

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Ok, so I have the pin nearly torn down completely.  The order has been placed for new posts, rubbers, flippers, lane dividers and several other smaller items.

I've scanned all of the artwork and have someone currently re-drawing them.  I'm doing both the restoration of the real pinball as well as doing a re-creation of the table in Visual Pinball.  Sortta trying to kill 2 birds with one stone... 

I've read an article about printing your own and cutting your own plexi, but I'm not sure if I want to go that route if I don't have to.  I really don't have the skills to make sure that this process is done perfectly. 

Is there a company, or individual, around that does re-creations or restorations of the plastics? 



drventure

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 07:47:56 am »
Great Story. Who cares about what it'll be worth... Sounds like a great piece of your history to preserve.

Besides, when I took my 6yo daughter to the Texas Pinball fest a few months ago, her favorite game was a pinball from 1940 something called Southern Belle. Couldn't get her off that machine. Point is, the old stuff can be fun too (Oh hell, you're on the BYOAC forums, you definitely already know that!)  :cheers:

Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 04:49:17 pm »
Yea!  New parts started arriving.  The first order of several has arrived.

New Rubber Kit, new flippers, new lane dividers, new posts, new pinballs and playfield cleaner/polish.


New pinballs! This machine hasn't seen new balls since 1969. I'm sure she'll love to have new balls rolling around on her (hopefully) nice shiny playfield surface.


Old lane dividers and post vs. New lane dividers and posts!


Steve Young's Pinball Resource is definitely the place to go for EM replacement parts!



Pinball Wizard

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 04:57:58 pm »
I have a 1969 Seven Up pinball and the playfield was filthy as can be. I lightly used a magic eraser and it took most crud up with ease. Just have to be careful not to use it too hard or you'll strip the paint right off of it. Haven't novused that playfield yet but from experience on all other pinballs novus will do it a wonder.
Where's my gold star :P

Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 05:12:39 pm »
What is this magic eraser that you guys keep speaking of?   Are you talking about the Mr. Clean stuff?



HaRuMaN

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 05:15:19 pm »
What is this magic eraser that you guys keep speaking of?   Are you talking about the Mr. Clean stuff?

It's a sponge-like thing you can use to take marker off wall, etc.  Its basically a micro-abrasion pad.  You can find in the cleaning section of grocery stores.

Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 10:16:23 pm »
Added a couple pics on the first post.  Not sure why they weren't there previously.

I started cleaning the side of the cabinet a little this afternoon to see if it's going to clean up or need re-painting. 

I picked up some Mean Green cleaner as suggested on the EM Repair site. This shot you can see the before and after result of the cleaning.



I was afraid that the years of yellowing the cabinet would never come out. This shot was only after 5 minutes of work! I think this looks damn good and not too bad after 40+ years. I'm not going to worry too much about where the paint has flaked off... I think that gives more character to the machine.



Santoro

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2010, 02:44:54 pm »
Wow! 

(Mean Green added to my shopping list.)

Rick

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2010, 03:01:19 pm »
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the day my Dad passed away from Lung Cancer, and your story really hit home with me.  I was given most of the tools my Dad had used over the years, and when I got them home and started going through them, I found a pair of safety glasses, old and yellowed, that I remember using when I worked in his workshop when I was in my early teens.  It nearly doubled me over when I picked them up and handled them for the first time in years, so I know how much this restoration must mean to you.  Keep that pinball game in your family for as long as you possibly can, and if your Son can help out in any way, I'm sure he'd love to be involved in the process.  If he's not excited now, I'm sure down the line, it will be a very fond memory for him to keep close.

I will be watching this thread intently.  Thank you for your story.

bleargh

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 03:51:32 pm »
Isn't often that I read threads here that make me well up with emotion, but this one definitely hit a spot (someone, hand me a kleenex).

And, seeing the smile on your sons face in that picture above, I get the sense that through this machine he's going to have a connection to his great-grandfather.  That on its own makes it worth restoring the machine.

Good on ya.   :applaud:

studmuff

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2010, 09:57:40 pm »
Hey Dazz,  Looking great.  Novus 2 will do wonders for the playfield.  It also work good on dirty plastics.  I'll usually use Novus 2 then Novus 1 to clean dirty plastics  (just don't use Novus 1 on playfield).  I have never used Mill Wax (saw in your pics) but understand it works good.  Have fun and take your time.  :)

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2010, 10:14:09 pm »
Magic Eraser works really well actually.

  But not with water.

 Use rubbing alcohol instead.  The thing sops up grime and dirt that is deeply ground into
cracks with ease. (stuff that even harsh cleaning & buffing wasnt getting up)

 However, its a little dangerous, cause it can remove the paint as well.

 Finally, note that the field will quickly go back to the dirty state, because the micro-pits,
scrapes, etc.. are still there for dirt to seep back into.   To avoid this, you will have to
seal the field with something after you clean it.  (Wax wont be good enough to stop this)


 As for the plastics, you may be able to sand the top surface layer, and then buff it back
shinny.  However, it might not be enough.  Older plastics had a chemical composition
that yellowed over time when hit by ultraviolet light.  Also, the paint may have faded from
UV as well.

 I read somewhere that someone was using shrinky-dinks to make their own plastics.
They make computer printable versions.  Said had to be made something like +1.5 times
as large, so when baked, would shrink to correct size with proper thickness.


 The artwork on the field is pretty simplistic, so if you had the steady hand, you could
use frisket to mask off parts, and airbrush large areas in... then hand paint the small
details in.

 There are ppl who repaint professionally, but you would have to remove all the stuff
top & bottom, send it out, and wait for months... as these guys have long waiting lines.

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2010, 11:52:16 pm »
Magic Eraser works really well actually.

On newer games with a fresher layer of clear coat, sure.  I've been disappointed on EMs and classic SS, and I've tried all the 'tricks' with regards to getting the foam moist.
Agree 100%. Melamine foam doesn't do anything but take paint off...there's something much better than that I use, but I've been asked not to reveal exactly what it is... :police:

Quote
Finally, note that the field will quickly go back to the dirty state, because the micro-pits,
scrapes, etc.. are still there for dirt to seep back into.   To avoid this, you will have to
seal the field with something after you clean it.  (Wax wont be good enough to stop this)

Quote
Another untrue RGP myth.  Clean the game every so often, it'll never get as dirty as it was.  Unlike you, I actually own some vintage games and I've NEVER felt the need to clearcoat except in a case where the ink was literally flaking off.

Once again, I agree with PBJ(rarer than a consistently working Black Hole)  :lol
Wax your game...the dirt won't go back in the paint cracks...the worst that happens is previous wear gradually becomes larger


Quote
As for the plastics, you may be able to sand the top surface layer, and then buff it back
shinny. 

Quote
This is crazy advice, don't listen to it.  Don't do anything more than cleaning the grime off and polishing with Novus 2.  You cannot get rid of the yellowing.

Sanding only works on extremely dulled plastics...think path of the dead on LOTR, although "Tigger" probably hates that game too...I sanded one and flamed it and it looked like new...

WTB: The Grid by Midway (2001), looking for 2 or more complete games, and large marquee

Xiaou2

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2010, 01:58:14 am »
Quote
Agree 100%. Melamine foam doesn't do anything but take paint off

 Sorry, but not true.  Ive used it on my IJ to clean up entrenched pitted dirt that
nothing else would touch.  This included a full polish from a pro polish kit, and harsh
cleaners such as KrudKutter.

Quote
Wax your game...the dirt won't go back in the paint cracks...the worst that happens is previous wear gradually becomes larger

  And what happens when the wax absorbs the dirt/carbon soot/metal shavings?
The stuff ends up exactly where it came from in the first place.  In the pits that formed
exactly from that very process of its destruction.

 The ball grinds, spins, and bashes dirt and metal shavings all over the place. Wax
dont protect very long, and the wax simply holds inside of itself.. which the ball
just pounds and spins right into the playfield in no time at all.

 It even happens to Mylar, which is 100,000 times more wear protective than wax.

 
 If the mircro pits were easy to clean, then fine... but they arnt.  Even with the eraser
it took a bit of work, wasnt perfect, and almost took the paint off trying to get the
pits cleaned.

Quote
No, you didn't.
Yes I did.  Ill search the link later.

Quote
I'd play around with dry rubbing paint into those worn areas near the flippers.  This is where you get as close a color match as possible,

 Thats good...when the color of the game hasnt been color faded by a factor of 10
already.   

 Much like a Pink shirt that Used to originally be Red... do you just touch the bleach sports
with pink... or die it all back to red?   This really is up to the Op.. who does seem more
interested in restoring it to its original brilliant glory.

Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2010, 05:45:37 pm »
Well, I didn't realize that cleaning the cabinet was going to be the largest part of this restore.  After about 5 to 6 hours of hard scrubbing I've completed one side and half of the rear.  It looks like I still have another 5 or 6 hours of scrubbing on the cabinet to get it ready for the new legs that are coming next week sometime.



I also started cleaning the playfield a little.




Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2010, 10:14:49 pm »
I haven't had an update on this thread in a while, but not much progress has been made.  I've been hesitant to continue until I could get my yellowed plastics looking better.  I would have hated to have done a nice re-furbish to only have to use the old yellow plastics.  Thankfully, a ebay auction was pointed out to me for new NOS Road Race plastic set.  I couldn't resist... 



Now that I have new plastics it's time to start moving forward!  I've placed a couple new orders and should be receiving all new pop-bumpers, lights, fuses and several other smaller parts to get this pin looking and playing good again.



Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2010, 11:12:49 pm »
These were listed as NOS.  The seller said they were removed from a table long ago, so I'm pretty sure they are original.  They have a couple little scratches on them, but they look really good.  They have given me a new breath of life to push and get this pin working again. 

I will definitely get scans of these before I install them on the machine.   



Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 05:27:08 am »
I have received my new pop-bumper plastics, but I can't seem to figure out how to get them off without breaking them.

Anyone know how to remove the pop-bumpers on this playfield?  I've unscrewed the obvious screws and removed the nuts from the underside.  I don't see anything else, unless the light socket inside is holding the plastic secure somehow.



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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 07:05:20 pm »
That's a cool looking game.

Don't repaint that cabinet or playfield.  Just clean it up and leave patina intact.

Sweet.

jipp

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2011, 10:00:30 pm »
great story, looks like lots of fun to be had with your son and a few games of pinball on the ol girl.
look forward to updates..  :)

chris.

Dazz

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Re: New pinball restoration - 1969 Gottlieb Road Race EM
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2011, 05:27:48 am »
I'll have updates sometime in the future.  Unfortunatley, I don't have the free time to work much if any on the machine right now.  I still need to do some major cleaning/polishing on the playfield and find a place in North Texas that can do sandblasting/re-finishing of my metal parts.  If not I'll have to order new parts....  

Steve from Pinball Resource has been awesome in helping find parts or having a lot of the Gottlieb parts in stock.