My goal was to take the best of both Fish Tales games I had and combine them together. Each of them had positive attributes that the other did not. Therefore, combined it would make one awesome game.
I am not describing my restoration method as a "guide". There is a possibility I did it all wrong and could have saved a lot of time with other methods. However, for my first 30+ hour restoration attempt, I was very pleased with the results and would like to share an edited version of the process with everyone. Feel free to click on the thumbnails for a larger version of the pictures. And please.....don't try this at home! :)
The pics were taken with a disposable camera and scanned in.
I wanted to use the wiring and under-playfield parts from FT#2 and put them into FT #1. It seemed less worn & better maintained. Therefore, my first job was to take apart the underside of the two playfields and pull them out (which was to my advantage because I wanted to do a shop job anyhow). Here is a shot of FT#1, the start of pulling wires.
Here is a shot of FT#2 without the playfield and all the wiring inside.
I then put both playfields side-by-side and began to shop them (clean, wax, new rubber rings, etc.)
I then moved FT#1 outside (left) next to FT#2, making it easier to replace the components.
I had decided to swap heads. The head on FT#2 was much nicer than FT#1. But the body of #1 was nicer than #2. Whew. Here is a shot of the two bodies sitting together. It's nice to see FT cabinets not "washed" out in color!
Here is a shot of an empty cabinet since I wanted to swap and clean just about everything.
I then put the heads on and re-inserted my "keeper" game into the gameroom. I replaced the playfield and started the tedious process of rebuilding part-by-part. Here is a finished underside shot.
I had a few finishing touches to make. I put new bulbs in the game, swapped a few playfield plastics, which were cracked, and had the plastic ramp torched to clean it up (thanks Robert). Here is a close-up of the "now" clear ramp, the finishing touch to my restoration.
Here is a shot of the finished playfield and restoration before turning it on for the first time. Fingers were crossed!!
Well, nothing blew up. Nothing caught fire. Aside from a few switches I needed to adjust, it looks like my first restoration job was successful. Now aside from a teeny chip on the orange playfield fish, I have a FT I'm finally happy with to keep forever. I also eventually pieced together the other FT and sold it to a friend!!!
For pictures of the finished game, check out my FT game pics.