Party Zone Restoration

Well this one well and truly was a Party Zone for Possums – this was the first machine that i saw and opened in the stash of machines i got, and below was what i found…


This machine is probably one of the worst condition machines in the collection, so plenty of work needed on this one. Again, as with the others, the playfield itself is quite good (under all the gunk)

My first task was to get it operational (in relative terms!). This one was a little tricky, as there was no base in the machine at all, so luckily one of the transformers that was lying around matched this machine. First thing though was to inspect all the wiring. I found a few chew marks as seen below, so put a new power cord in before touching anything else

I tested the transformer and the voltages were all good. I then “mounted” the transformer on a milk crate (since there was no base), and fired the machine up.

As with most of these machines, i got quite a spectacular fireball from the sound board – the tantalum capacitors in them must fail when not in use for many years. So ripped the sound board out, replaced most of the tantalum caps, as well as a few of the electolytics and put it back in. From there, i got the machine to boot, with sound and no display. After poking around for a while, i decided that it might help to plug the ribbon cable into the DMD itself…..then fired it up again with a working display!!!! So very happy with that. From there, i pretty much checked the solenoids (a few not working, a few siezed coils) and most switches seem OK. Voltages on the power supply board are low, so i will rebuild that in time.

So happy that it will work enough to trouble shoot when rebuilding, i started stripping the machine. Of course there are always a few surprises. A bit of possum fur here and there….

The light board is pretty shagged, so a new one will have to be made

Also found some prehistoric skeletal remains…

Shooter rod is from a limited edition run of Party Zone’s (very limited)

Once all the stuff was out of the headbox and cabinet, i started stripping the decals off. A fair bit of delamination of the ply in places

So plenty of builders bog to repair delamination and dings

The back panel of the headbox was moisture damaged, so cut a new one and bogged around the gaps – looks heaps better – even unpainted

Have also clamped and glued the corners of the cabinet together as there was a couple of mm of movement in them.

Been a while between updates but making some good progress.

Next job on the cabinet was to keep sanding, then hit with spray putty, more sanding, then spray a few coats of satin black, inside and out

Then i made a new base to replace the non existing previous one….

While the paint was drying before installing decals, i started cleaning up some of the cabinet hardware and painting the lockdown bar, hinges, bolts etc

Also got my dad up who has helped out cleaning bits and pieces – wiring loom came up great

While still out in the shed, i put the playfield on some sawhorses this time – there is a fair bit of hardware at the top end of the playfield so i couldn’t clamp it ti the rotisserie

Started stripping the playfield and cleaning stuff.

In the meantime, installed the decals by the wet method, and am really a huge fan of this way as it is very forgiving. Trimmed all the edgesm the brought the fresh cabinet and headbox inside, definitely looks a little better than when it started!!


Pretty much fast forward to the end now. With a few of these under my belt, it gets easier every time. I do not bother labelling any stuff as the wiring loom is fairly self explanatory (although i do label all the plugs to the boards in the backbox). Plus, all the photos i take along the way are reference for the order that things go back together.

So pretty much dropped all the cleaned cabinet hardware in. Replaced the line filter as these are prone to going in an old machine that has been stored for sometime. Had to replace some drive transistors on the power driver board, put a remote battery pack on the CPU board, check all the fuses and had to do quite a bit of work on the sound board. Once i put the headbox on i fired the machine up with no playfield and it booted fine….. well after about 2 hours of stressing and swapping components it did. I ended up misplacing one of the ribbon cables (the smaller one that goes between CPU and DMD driver board), and as it turns out the machine will not boot if the larger one is connected and the smaller one is not! Anyway, was all good once i replaced it.

Stripped the playfield, and again my dad helped clean all the plastics, posts etc while i gave the playfield a clean up and polish. Rebuilt the flippers and replaced the plunger and links with the newer style springs. These early non fliptronics flippers were a bit dodgy with the spring over the plunger, and with the newer return spring on the tab on the end work a whole lot better. LEDs were put throughout the whole machine, a new ‘cosmic cottage’ was ordered and installed. Then i dropped the clean playfield in, tidied up a few cables, printed out a few new warning and fuse description stickers and it was pretty much done. Also has a new lockdown bar, new legs and repainted coin door, a very good 2nd hand translite was also purchased as the original was pretty nasty. No real issues apart from a few switches needing minor adjustment, and it is quite a fun game. The ramps are great, and being able to select a song during the game is cool as well. Anyway a few pics

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3 thoughts on “Party Zone Restoration

  1. Looks beautiful. I love my party zone it’s a little faded but still plays good. I need some play field stickers. Where did you get yours? Thanks Craig

  2. I see your DJ has an eye missing. I had the same issue and what i did was to carefully remove the other eye also. Then I scanned it into the computer and reversed (inverted) it in Photoshop. Then printed it out, laminated it and glued both eyes back in. Couldn’t tell the difference!

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