Whirlwind Part Deux


I’ve really not been able to spend as much time on this project as I’d like. I’ve been traveling a ton for work and just generally really busy. This post is a compilation of a couple of months of sporadic work.

Cat Tax


It’s been a while, but a ton has happened with Whirlwind. The cabinet overall has come along really nicely. I took a chip off the side and had it color matched at Home Depot. For reference, here’s what they matched for mine:

Not bad

This actually ended up being a pretty solid match, but was a tad on the dark side. Someone on Pinside posted their own color match, which I also got a small mix of. Ultimately I ended up mixing 2:1 my match with their match, which ended up coming out perfectly. The paint is still a little wet in the pictures, but once fully dried it became a nice match.

In the process of all of this I also replaced all of the carriage bolts in the head as well.

Tumbling all the things

So in the past nearly 30 years of this machine’s life all of the metal got pretty beat up. Because of this I tore down the metal from the playfield, bought a tumbler, and brought most of it back to life! It turned out really great.

Note: There were a lot of misc parts tumbled, I’m just showing the worst of them.

Working on the Ramps

Next up I started stripping down the playfield and repairing various bits in there. The only issues with some of the more expensive parts seem to be pretty minor, so I’m going the route of fixing rather than replacing.

Specifically the ramps are cracked. I came across a product called Plastruct that worked absolute wonders. It appears to work similarly to ABS cement, where it chemically bonds the plastics rather than just adhering them together. Once welded the ramps seem to be pretty solid :D.

Stripping the Playfield

Next up I stripped the playfield. Holy crap is it filthy. I’m still working on cleaning it up as of this writing, but I’ll throw up some pictures of how dirty it is. Once done I’ll have some after shots in the next post.

Cabinet Assembly

We’re at the point where I want to bring it into the basement to work on it more (outside of the insane heat). I’m really happy with the colors I chose for the hinges and coinbox. You can see below, I feel like it flows really well.

After that, I brought it into the basement.

Finally, I did a little bit of work on the playfield. Mainly some polishing up with Novus 2 and removal of the spinner decals. You can see the color coming back to the playfield in these closeups.

What’s next?

  • Replace all of the posts on the playfield
  • Clean, wax, and polish
  • Replace the spinner decals
  • Install LEDs
  • Install rubbers
  • Replace a few misc switches that are giving me issues
  • Play the game!

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