Arcade Collecting > Restorations & repair

Mortal Kombat cabinet restorations

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I picked up two project cabinets this week. I hope to restore them in good order. I hope the community can help me along the way  :)

Cabinet 1:

Picked this up at a laundromat. This poor thing has suffered. The guy who sold it to me said his MK4 "melted" and he converted the panel to a neo geo. I understand a game not up and running is lost money but this is sacrilege! It also did not have leg levelers so it was being dragged around on the bare wood! It sadly will need to be stripped of ol Quan Chi and given the Bondo and paint / new artwork treatment. The monitor is a Neotec 2515c. It will be getting a recap and flyback but as is doesn't look that bad.

Cabinet 2:

This one is a real beauty! Was garage kept by this guy's father for 10+ years as a Golden Tee 98. The body is in EXCELLENT condition! This is the same body as the MK1 with the rounded front and PCB door. I don't think it will require much if at all bondo treatment. I was hoping there was MK1 artwork underneath that black paint but sadly it's just some generic artwork on the bottom. I am using Citristrip to break down the paint and will be removing the black vinyl with a heat gun. Then it will be spot checked and re-primed and painted and receive the MK1 artwork treatment. I haven't been able to lift the monitor out so have no clue what it is. It works but you can tell it needs a recap.

Originally I was hoping to source a single MK cabinet with a run button panel and put all 4 games into it with a JAMMA switcher. However landing a MK1 style cabinet and the preservationist inside me screams to take it all the way. I could make the Quan Chi a KI/KI2 cabinet and follow through on my idea. It would be the ultimate space saver route. Or I could hunt all the cabinets and worry about the logistics of how they fit in my home later  ;D What do you all think?

What I need help with right now:

* Finding MK control panels. I researched the topic and see that it requires a wood piece with t nuts and bored out spots for the stick, etc. Then a galvanized metal plate sits on top of that. The artwork is attached to the metal plate. Finally a Lexan plexiglass covers everything. Seems costly! Probably more than what I paid for these cabinets. Any help?
* Recommended source for quality artwork. I have never installed vinyl siding before. The 3M air egress kind seems friendly for noobs like me.

* Any other tips or things I should be aware of and look out for!  :)

Mike A:
You are going to want to look at this if you want to do multiple Mortal Kombat PCBs in one cab.

Very cool.  I have plans for the same thing and have a MK2 here at my place.  If you need help on dimensions or the like let me know.  I could build the CP in SketchUp if that would help as well.

For artwork I plan on using Szabo’s arcades.  His work is very high quality.  He has full art kits for MK2-3, and elements for MK1 & MK4.

I’ll be following this thread.

So it's been slow going through the holidays with this restore. I am gonna be ramping up restoration from here on. Not that I haven't been doing anything. Below are some pictures of me pulling the monitor out of the cabinet. I will be at this point in time making a MK1 cabinet but with a run button that will house all the mk boards using a JAMMA switcher as recommended above.

First I pulled the monitor. It was a Wells Gardner 25k7191. It needed a recap as the colors were greenish. Looks like it still had all original caps. First things first, I had to wash the monitor. I hate working on dirty monitors. I was gonna make a video about my procedure but I'm pressed for time so for now I will upload some photos.

Pulled. Filthy. Discharged.

Removed chassis and taken outside. Sprayed down with simple green. Used hose and finished with couple gallons of distilled water.

Infinite canned air. I dry the monitor immediately.

Sadly, I noticed a chip in the monitor glass. Anyone know anything about tube swaps? Any candidates I should look for? Any way to remove this? Didn't notice this when monitor was on. Hoping it doesn't show.

Nice and fresh.

Filthy chassis. Same as monitor, I will use simple green distilled water to clean this immediately followed by my canned air.

Nice and clean, now for recap.

Bought a cap kit (I'm working on two monitors and this bag contains both kits, didn't feel like putting together a 40x2 list of caps on digikey). My monitor was a "rare variant" according to the seller so it was missing a couple caps I needed. Specifically I had a C80 that was a 100uf 25v and a riser board that had a bi-polar cap. I had a fresh nichicon in my caps parts drawers for the C80 but I don't carry bi-polar caps. Next digikey order I make I will have to pick it up. I guess I will also recap the power supplies in these cabinets, might as well!

All recapped!

I am still needing a MK control panel. I've reached out to xlarcade on ebay several times and he's only answered once. Apparently the spacing and size of MK3 and MK4 panels is different and I would want the MK3 version. Sadly he's out of the metal galvanized steel pieces and said he would have some in "soon". That was a month or so ago. I put up wanted ads but no one has bitten. I have considered making my own as a last resort. @Arroyo if you have the exact dimensions of the steel plate and wood piece (length width and height) that would be great as a backup. Even the CP in sketchup would be swell tho not sure where I would find a CNC router place near me. Maybe lookup metal workers near me for the plate? I don't know how to make rivets for the screw posts.

I have contacted Szabo's arcade and he replied after some time. He seems awfully backed up with orders by 4-6 weeks. I requested him design a MK1 panel with a run button. Hopefully he will consider it. He has a design for the arcade1up version but the run button doesn't blend well imo. I am in love with the design at .

Need to get some time to take a heat gun to the cabinet and pull up the old vinyl and get it ready for primer and paint.

You don't really need the plate.  It's only function is to have something to put over top of the dust washers, so any old piece of metal big enough to go over the joystick area can be drilled, routed and installed.  Most people don't even bother when they make a new control panel, they just put the dust washers on top (or omit them) and call it a day. 


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