Just in case I forgot (or the colors changed after cleaning), I labeled which button the wires should go to before removing the wiring harness.
I tried using a paint peeler, but the scraper worked better for removing the old overlay.
The old overlay removed. The adhesive that was used is one of the nastiest substances that I've ever encountered. And getting rid of that old adhesive was the most challenging part of this project to date. It took an entire bottle of "Goof Off" to get rid of that crap. Since we're dealing with a lot of nasty chemicals to get rid of it, I opted to use latex gloves... and went through about 6 pair of them.
I didn't take any pictures of the thing when it was completely cleaned. And I also didn't take any pictures of the installation of the new overlay, probably because it took two hands to install the overlay. I read where people had layed the control panel on a side, then used cardboard paper towel rolls to line up the holes. This approach did nothing for me except botch two attempts to line up the overlay! I ended up lining it up without guides and that worked perfectly on the first try.
The refurbished control panel ready to be installed.
Deviating from originality, I installed the same microswitch joystick used on the Namco "20 Year Reunion" Galaga/Ms. Pac Man machines. It's a little smaller than the original, but I think it's comfortable. And it looks far better than the Happ-style joysticks. The carriage bolts were also brushed and refinished.
The back side, all complete. The harness is cleaned up a bit. And the strips of felt at the top edge protect the bezel.
I opened the bottom coinbox door with brute force and a screwdriver. Now I had two mangled doors... we'll pound those back into shape later.
Here's the coinbox and counter panel, uncleaned (obviously). It's missing one coin counter, but unless I stumble across one for a dollar or two, I won't be adding a new one.
Yuk. There's a lot of rust and gunk on the top. Note that I removed the Atari label, leaving a lone clean spot on the right.
The control panel: cleaned, brushed, and painted. I hot-wired the game so that I could still add credits while I was working on the coinbox, but I'll go ahead and add this unit back in to make it easier.