Monday, January 4, 2010

Donkey Kong restore

It has been a really long time since my last post, probably because I have been too busy fixing up games and the like. I've been taking some pictures along the way, and figured now is a good time to post something.

A while back I grabbed a converted Donkey Kong (DK) that was sitting on Craigslist. It was advertised as a Konami basketball, but the pictures showed it was in a converted DK cab. The cab didn't look that great online, but it appeared to have potential when I saw it in person. It still had the original Sanyo 20-EZ monitor, and the original Nintendo harness was intact. $100 and some driving left me with this in my garage:

I figured I would have to buy most of the replacement parts, but when I looked into the upper back, I thought I saw one of Donkey Kong's eyes in the marquee area. As it turned out, the marquee had just been covered over with a sticker, and the original marquee was quite well protected:

Unfortunately, the control panel had extra holes drilled in it, and the original overlay was long gone. I set to work on filling the conversion holes with bondo, then painted the panel, and lastly added a screen printed overlay from TNT Amusements:

Half of my control panel carriage bolts (the tiny ones) were missing, so I had to order a set from Mike's Arcade--kinda pricey, but those things are hard to find! The original buttons were discolored and some had cigarette burns, so I replaced them with reproductions from Mike's. Someone replaced the stick with a rather worn out 8-way, so I ordered a reproduction Nintendo 4-way (once again from Mike's). I would have gone with a cheaper used stick, but I was impressed with the one I purchased for my DK Jr, and figured DK deserved no less. The control panel wiring was a bit hacked up (for the additional buttons) but I was able to clean it up and get it back to its original state.

I was able to snag a new set of logic boards (2 board set) on Ebay, and also had to track down the small wooden shelf and metal brackets that hold the board in place. These parts took a really long time to find, but I was able to get them from someone who was parting out a badly water damaged cabinet.

The monitor had some bad foldover (see my earlier entry about this exact same issue with my Donkey Kong Junior) so I removed the monitor, ran the chassis through the dishwasher to clean it, and installed a cap kit. The monitor came out looking (and functioning!) like new.

The speaker panel had a bunch of gunk and residue on it, perhaps from tape:

This was cleaned up with some goo-gone, a plastic paint scraper, and a lot of elbow grease. While I was at it, I removed the black laminate above the control panel. It was in really bad shape and couldn't be saved.

I ended up sanding this area down and painted it with satin black. I may choose to cover it with laminate at some point in the future, and I still need to track down an instruction sticker.

Next up, I reinstalled the control panel and installed a replacement bezel that I found on Ebay:

That's looking a lot better than a Super Basketball! I converted the mechs over to tokens, added new connectors for the speaker, and reconnected some missing wires to the second coin mech. The machine needs a bit more cleaning up (I'm anxious to replace the t-molding) and a few decals, but for now it is back in the line next to one of its immediate family: