Main Restorations Software Audio/Jukebox/MP3 Everything Else Buy/Sell/Trade
Project Announcements Monitor/Video GroovyMAME Merit/JVL Touchscreen Meet Up Retail Vendors
Driving & Racing Woodworking Software Support Forums Consoles Project Arcade Reviews
Automated Projects Artwork Frontend Support Forums Pinball Forum Discussion Old Boards
Raspberry Pi & Dev Board controls.dat Linux Miscellaneous Arcade Wiki Discussion Old Archives
Lightguns --- Bug Reports --- Site News

Unread posts | New Replies | Recent posts | Rules | Chatroom | Wiki | File Repository | RSS | Submit news

  

Author Topic: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?  (Read 1692 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

griffindodd

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1433
  • Last login:October 02, 2014, 12:04:03 pm
  • Old Account, now posting as 'Maximus'
    • Arcade Icons
As crazy popular as it is, it's simply true that for me TAF is my most favorite pinball machine, so much fun for the regular guy or gal out there. I love the theme, the effects, the music and the gameplay.

Like many I would really like to have at least one pinball machine in my home arcade, and, like many I'd like it to be a TAF. Now I've cut my teeth on some cabs, scratch builds and currently some restos, so I have a reasonable catalog of skills under my belt, but this seems like whole different world of skills.

What would your advice be to someone in my shoes that doesn't want to drop $5k+ on a used TAF but wants one in his collection and is willing to do a good chunk of work.

How much is too much to take on for a new/green pinball refurber (with arcade cab experience)
What should I expect to pay to get myself into a 'fixer-upper' ?
Where to look for such a unit? (All the TAFs i see are fully working for $5k+ on CL and eBay)

Thanks for any guidance.

Joel

ChadTower

  • Chief Kicker - Nobody's perfect, including me. Fantastic body.
  • Trade Count: (+12)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38215
  • Last login:February 09, 2019, 10:49:23 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 03:33:17 pm »

As someone who has done something very similar I can give this advice...

...don't start with an Addams Family.

My first true shop/repair job was a Twilight Zone.  I didn't know much at all about electronics repair, wiring, and even less about pinball repair.  It took me months to get that game fully shopped out and working 100%.  It was such a long process, and so frustrating with my total lack of experience, that by the time I was done I hated the machine.  I sold it cheap almost as soon as I was done with it and I still hate playing Twilight Zone now.

I highly suggest starting with a lower end game, learning the pinball repair ropes, and then jumping into a higher end game like that once at least know what you don't know.

TopJimmyCooks

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2093
  • Last login:May 16, 2018, 08:13:10 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 03:42:56 pm »
Post a wtb on pinside or RPG archive for a routed TAF.  Let them know your location in the post.   Decide if you are willing to pay shipping or if you are looking for local/pickup only and how far you want to drive.  Shipping a pin can be 400-600$. 

As far as repairs- you are capable, just use the resources and advice that's available.  The trickiest mechanical things are general board work (how comfortable are you with board troubleshooting, replacing components/soldering). and playfield wiring/switch troubleshooting. 

The cosmetics can be involved as well.  If the pf needs touchup that's a bit of an art to itself.  if you do touch ups, you'll have clearcoating required.  If the cabinet is damaged, you're looking at decal work on a TAF, which is expensive and labor intensive, plus if you jack up a $300 set of decals . . . .. 

My advice:  get a cheaper, complete, partially working Solid state machine for $3-600 dollars to start with/to learn on.  There are many reasons that these are easy to work on, mainly they are simpler overall.  Pinballs are more complex that vid's and not for everybody to work on.   Don't restore a $5K machine as your first one.  I'm restoring a pinball that I bought for $100 as my first one.  Gameplan sharpshooter. 

I don't consider $5k for a TAF a good deal even if they cost that much.  you can get much more machine for less esp. if you are willing to work on it.  And wait for local deals.  I got a fully working, decent DE Tommy for $800 a while back, which is a top 50 machine in anybody's book.  I was patient and watched CL like a hawk. 

griffindodd

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1433
  • Last login:October 02, 2014, 12:04:03 pm
  • Old Account, now posting as 'Maximus'
    • Arcade Icons
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 03:56:10 pm »
All good stuff to know so far. The more I do classic arcade cabs the more I am going to get comfortable with troubleshooting boards and components, repairing them etc so I know that is something that is in my future.

While I hear you on not ruining my love for a game by torturing myself with it, I also have a concern that if I don't love a game then my motivation to restore it may be diminished. I already have a great Moon Patrol that I picked up but am already considering trading it for something else as I'm really not into the game itself.

Hrmmmm

TopJimmyCooks

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2093
  • Last login:May 16, 2018, 08:13:10 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 05:05:14 pm »
Get a game you're into, just not 5K worth.  start normal.  don't start out with an A list game and cause problems for yourself and others.  Would you take your corvette to a body shop and it's the 19 Y/O kid's first car he's ever painted?  No, he gets to practice on some ford fiestas and volkswagens first.  Most people wouldn't restore an environmental Discs of Tron as their first cab - Capische? 

Also, if you're at all into pinball, you will love playing anything you've worked on, at least for a year or so.  There are many better deals for a restoration project and a TAF will still be there when you're ready.  They made 14,000 of them and they're getting older everyday.   

[channeling pbj]

griffindodd

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1433
  • Last login:October 02, 2014, 12:04:03 pm
  • Old Account, now posting as 'Maximus'
    • Arcade Icons
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 05:07:20 pm »
Right on. Any recommendations for Solid State that would fit into the $600-$800 category?

jennifer

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2065
  • Last login:May 18, 2019, 11:42:16 am
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 05:50:02 pm »
    Restoring a pin takes considerable resources, especially on a desirable machine like that, With that in mind, Jennifer is of the
opinion that every machine should be considered as equals to there counterparts (The TAF is no more important than say a xenon)
especially to a beginner.... Get what makes you happy, but do realize you will probably have 5k into that machine as a build, depending
on the level of restoration.

griffindodd

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1433
  • Last login:October 02, 2014, 12:04:03 pm
  • Old Account, now posting as 'Maximus'
    • Arcade Icons
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2012, 05:52:40 pm »
but do realize you will probably have 5k into that machine as a build, depending

$5k into a build I can handle for the following reasons:

- I did it myself
- I can do it over time instead of one chunk
- Paying $5k just to point at someone elses work in your home bar/man cave and brag to your mates is my definition of ---meecrob---.

TopJimmyCooks

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2093
  • Last login:May 16, 2018, 08:13:10 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 06:13:39 pm »
I agree, I don't see my self ever buying a pin that doesn't need some work I can contribute. 

ChadTower

  • Chief Kicker - Nobody's perfect, including me. Fantastic body.
  • Trade Count: (+12)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38215
  • Last login:February 09, 2019, 10:49:23 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 06:44:34 pm »
- Paying $5k just to point at someone elses work in your home bar/man cave and brag to your mates is my definition of ---meecrob---.



 :laugh2:

I would have a couple of games like that if I had the cash.  I wouldn't be calling them my pride and joy, though, because like you I want my own work to be the important work.  I am far more proud of the games I have restored myself than of any game I own that was nice when I bought it.

My definition of ---meecrob--- is people who say man cave.  That sounds like you should have to put on a toga and grease up before you come inside.

griffindodd

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1433
  • Last login:October 02, 2014, 12:04:03 pm
  • Old Account, now posting as 'Maximus'
    • Arcade Icons
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 06:45:38 pm »
That sounds like you should have to put on a toga and grease up before you come inside.

OH I do!

yotsuya

  • Trade Count: (+21)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 18743
  • Last login:Today at 12:29:22 am
  • 2014 UCA Winner, 2014, 2015, 2016 ZapCon Winner
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137636.msg1420628.html
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 12:18:55 am »
My definition of ---meecrob--- is people who say man cave.  That sounds like you should have to put on a toga and grease up before you come inside.

I don't care for that term either.  :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

jennifer

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2065
  • Last login:May 18, 2019, 11:42:16 am
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 11:00:47 am »
   I find the concept of greased men in a cave a bit alluring...Giggle.

ChadTower

  • Chief Kicker - Nobody's perfect, including me. Fantastic body.
  • Trade Count: (+12)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38215
  • Last login:February 09, 2019, 10:49:23 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 11:08:01 am »
   I find the concept of greased men in a cave a bit alluring...Giggle.


Keep in mind this is greased pinball collectors in a cave.   :P

griffindodd

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1433
  • Last login:October 02, 2014, 12:04:03 pm
  • Old Account, now posting as 'Maximus'
    • Arcade Icons
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 12:44:59 pm »
Well this conversation drifted a tad

ChadTower

  • Chief Kicker - Nobody's perfect, including me. Fantastic body.
  • Trade Count: (+12)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38215
  • Last login:February 09, 2019, 10:49:23 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2012, 01:19:50 pm »

Yep.  Welcome to BYOAC!   :cheers:

MTPPC

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 534
  • Last login:November 19, 2018, 12:29:04 pm
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2013, 02:11:44 am »
Consider a simulator. I know it's not the real thing, but if you can really only fit one, it will give you a lot more long term satisfaction than trading out an expensive pin every year or two. That's what I did and I'm really enjoying it.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=121653.0

Pinball and Video Arcade Repair in Billings, MT USA
http://pinballmd.com/

Le Chuck

  • Saint, make a poll!
  • Wiki Contributor
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5509
  • Last login:May 16, 2019, 12:48:24 pm
  • <insert personal text here>
Re: If I wanted to restore a TAF, what should I expect as a beginner?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 06:18:22 am »
Bit of a necro but whatevs. I use a board service on all the pinballs. I'm adept under the playfield (it's easy IMO) but don't have the skill or tools to adress board issues so I ship them off. Great results with that. Got my TAF in Germany for $2k. Not great but not bad. It's a grail for me so I have no regrets. It wasn't my first but if I had found one at that price earlier it would have been.