OutRun Restoration Part 1: New Arrival!

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Back in early April 2019, someone on the ukvac forums posted about an OutRun arcade cabinet that had come up for sale on ebay. It was the US upright version, and was in good working condition. I’d been after one for a while and couldn’t believe my luck when I looked in the listing and saw it was in Dover, just a few miles from me. The seller had listed it for auction but had left his phone number on the listing. It seemed like fate so I gave the guy a call, went over to see it, and within 24hrs he’d accepted a cash offer. I got myself an OutRun!

new outrun, right side


It was in quite good condition, pretty much all original from what I could see. It even had the original Sega steering wheel badge. I play tested the cab before making an offer and it seemed good – the steering was a bit off but I was confident (hah!) that it could be fixed. The side art wasn’t the normal style with the car either, so I assume that got damaged beyond repair and someone had put some repro sticker art on it. Some bits of damage to the cabinet (biggest bits were at the end of both of the feet – you can see this in the photos above and below), but on the whole I’ve seen far worse. The cab was solid, no water damage, and the boardset worked. I was happy…

nenw outrun, left side


Here’s a photo of the back. Nothing terrible here, apart from a grotty fan with 40 years of accumulated dust and crap in it…

back of outrun cabinet


And it still had the serial number plate. Serial number 221221. Nice.

serial number label


There was also a “Processed by The Arcade Lair” sticker on the back. I have no idea who that was, whether it was an operator/arcade or a repairer, but it’s nice to see a bit of the cab’s history. If anyone knows anything about this company, I’d be interested to know…

arcade lair label


Here’s a close up of the exhaust fan. Ewww…

outrun exhaust  fan


The marquee was fully intact. I have no idea if this is original or not, but it looks in good condition, and it lights up fine when switched on…

outrun marquee


The plastic monitor bezel was in almost perfect condition. I’ve been told this is very lucky as most get split/broken or have cigarette burns all over them. This one has no splits, cracks or scratches, and only one single cigarette burn, but it’s right where the map decal would go, so if I can get a replacement for the missing decal, it would cover the burn mark up…

outrun monitor bezel


The monitor itself from what I could see was the original WG 19k7901. It came with a nice bit of screen burn. You can see “CREDIT 0” in the bottom left, “1986 ©SEGA” in the bottom right. The famous Ferrari Testarossa is there too, along with “INSERT COINS” above it. A lot of people hate screen burn, but I don’t mind it. It adds to the charm. You don’t notice it when you’re playing the game anyway. I plan to keep this monitor in it for as long as it still works…

outrun monitor with screen burn


The dash itself was in very good condition. The green start button worked and lit up fine, although the start decal above it was missing. The steering wheel was in great nick and had the original wheel badge. The plastic dash was virtually unblemished, apart from a crack and damaged/missing area where the right bolt should be. I’m guessing this got damaged by the bolt being tightened too much. There were a few small cracks around the gear shifter too… it’s very thin plastic. The shifter itself was also in a bit of a state…

outrun dash
outrun dash close up view


Close up of the damage near the right hand side mounting bolt hole…

outrun dash split


And here’s the gear shifter. It was bent and has clearly needed repairs in the past, as it had 3 rusty old bolts impaled through the Hi-Lo plate, presumably preventing the whole thing from falling apart…

outrun gear shifter


The front panel had a bunch of chinks and scratches in it, but nothing that some filler and a fresh lick of paint wouldn’t solve. The pedal assembly front plate was scratched up, and the pedals were a bit rusty and in need of a spruce up. The floor matting was dirty as heck. It was black… the originals were grey. The metal kickplate had lots of scratches and dents in, nothing unusual there…

outrun front panel and floor


Another sticker showing some of the cab’s history… “North Carolina 96/97 Dept. of Revenue Video Games Machine License.” The license expired in May 1997… oops….

outrun videogame license sticker


The coin mech/door was in good condition and had all the keys. It was just a bit dirty. Nothing a good clean won’t fix…


And the coin counter read 71730. That’s a lot of goes…

outrun coin counter


Moving on to inside the cab. The WG monitor was working, but filthy. The degaussing coil had fallen off the frame too…


Under the dash, the steering, gears and shaker motor were all there as expected, but really grimy and greasy. All four gears had splits in them and would need replacing, which is not uncommon…

outrun dash, steering and gears


The coin mechs, service panel and coin box were all present and in good condition…


The PCB stack looked pretty good and was nice and clean. The game was fully working, and I’d been told by the seller that the board didn’t have the suicide chip that was common in these machines…

outrun pcb stack


The PCB serial number sticker was still there, and I’ve no idea who Brady Dist. are, but some more of the cab’s history there…

outrun pcb label


It even still had the dip switch settings sheet mounted inside the cab…

outrun dip switch sheet


The pedals were working, but were very dirty and grimy. No mouse nest in there, it wasn’t that bad, but still… eww….

outrun pedal assembly


And the power supply. It was a US cab and had a US plug running off 110V. The seller included an external step down transformer so I could run it off UK mains, but it was a massive ugly thing. I’d want to replace that and either fix the power supply wiring to take 240V, or mount a smaller step down transformer inside the cab…

outrun power supply


So I finally had an OutRun! Man I used to love this game in the arcades! I wanted to fix as much as I could so it looked nice and minty again, but I also wanted to keep as much of it original as I could. This seemed like a pretty good first restoration project for me. I’d want to fix up the dash and steering, the gear shifter, the pedals, clean up the cab and put some new artwork on it. I’d also want to put the enhanced roms on there so freeplay works better, and so it would save high-scores etc.

The first part of the restoration I chose to do was the gear shifter. See you in Part 2.

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