Twilight Zone resurrection


Often pinball games for sale come with slogans "serviced by a professional" or "shopped by a collector" In reality, the professional service might consist of wiping the center playfield with damp cloth. Maybe even cleaning the playfield glass :) If you are lucky, the game might even have new rubbers. But then they almost always are wrong color.

A real collector can ignore the advertising slogans and just look at the game and check the condition. How is the playfield under all that dirt, are all plastics intact, what about the backglass, does the cabinet need much fixing? Many of these things do not affect game playing, but can be troublesome to repair. However most mechanical or electronic problems are easy to fix.

Taru found a not so good looking Twilight Zone, with circuit boards missing, playfield really dirty and some parts missing. But the price was right, and since Taru has quite a lot experience on restoring the games, she decided to get the TZ.

Cabinet looks nice, at least from a distance.

Playfield is really dirty.

But it is not worn much.

A general picture, before disassembly.

Backbox needs some fixing.

Cleaning rag is not a familiar item here.

Taru removes all playfield parts, so that she can properly clean the playfield. Of course, all removed parts must also be cleaned. All rubbers and lamps will be replaced with new ones.

Starts to look good.


The playfield is now only cleaned with Novus, and not yet waxed but it sure looks great! See how the yellow targets reflect on the shiny playfield. Unbelieavable! The gumball machine needs to be removed and cleaned.

Wow, look at all that dirt!

But it came out pretty nice.

Ramp is waiting to be cleaned.

And so are some other parts also.

Looks great.

Taru has now worked on the playfield for a couple of days, and now it is time to put the removed parts back in. There's still lots of work to do. The clock must be repaired, the circuit boards need work, and then there's the cabinet.


Now the playfield is waxed and it sure looks great! There are no wear marks on playfield. Taru waits for some new plastics to arrive and then she will assemble the playfield.

A mirror? No, a clean playfield!

Upper playfield is perfect.

Shiny door.

Targets reflect on the playfield.

And also the ramp is now clean.

Various rubbers put in by the previous owners.


Twilight Zone has five steel balls and one ceramic Powerball, that originally should be white but in many machines looks dark grey. But a good cleaning brings back the original shine. Taru cleaned both her own TZ's Powerball and this project machine's. Both look great.

Pair of clean Powerballs.

Now that the playfield and all parts are completely clean, it is time to look at the inside. No wonder some cleaning is also needed there.

Touch a ramp and get black fingers instantly.

Believe it or not, but these should be transparent plastic!

Sad sight, but cleaning will help.

Some dirt also on the playfield bottom.

However the dirt is easy to remove.

And the ramps cleaned well also.

Taru's work is not done, there are metal troughs and tunnels under playfield, that still need cleaning. If left undone, the dirt quickly moves from there to the clean playfield and soon all white rubbers have black marks.


The circuit boards under playfield collect lots of flipper dust. That is a bad thing, because the dust conducts electricity, and when there is enough dust sparks will fly. After that, it needs more than just cleaning.

Small wonder this still works without shorts.

This is how it should look like.


We acquired and repaired circuit boards for the game, and now it was ready for some testing. Works fine, looks good! Some minor adjustments are needed. And of course the clock optos are misbehaving. But we will manage that. Some new playfield plastics were installed, and Taru put washer under slingshot plastic mounting holes, to prevent them breaking anymore. She also made a new Magna-Flip sign, just like for her other TZ.

After Taru fixes the cabinet and backbox minor damages, she has a really fine Twilight Zone. Let's wait and see who will be the lucky owner of this game.

Just like new.


Taru already tested the mirror backboard in her own Twilight Zone, and since it looked very nice, a mirror was installed also to this machine. There are not many of these in the world. Maybe only 2 :)

Mirror backboard.


The game was otherwise ready, but its cabinet and backbox still needed some touch ups. From now on, we will always use a protective bag when transporting a game.

Backbox had dents everywhere.

But it became very nice after some filling and painting.

In front, anti breakin bar mounting holes.

Taru made the holes disappear.

Front of backbox before...

...and after. Looks good!

Cabinet is perfect and shiny.

And the backbox is as it has just left the factory.

The machine came up really nice, and when you know it is in equally good condition both outside and inside, you might say it is the finest Twilight Zone in Finland! But I guess that can only be said from Taru's own machine :) so let this be number two.

New owner was easy to find, after all who could resist a game like this!