One thing that is common to many X-Files pinball machines is they often have a broken filing cabinet plastic. The cabinet takes a real beating during play since it’s used to unlock one of the two multi ball modes. The plastic doesn’t have much protection and over time it begins to crack and shatter. Sadly, the part is almost impossible to replace. If you do manage to find one, they are often several hundred dollars. When I purchased my X-Files machine, it’s filing cabinet was broken in the lower section. It wasn’t too bad though and I was happy to live with it.
Unfortunately, after rebuilding the flippers during my recent service, it made them quite powerful again and this resulted in further damage being dealt to the filing cabinet. It developed a large crack along the face of it. I wanted to do some strengthening to help prevent further damage. That required the filing cabinet plastic to be removed. The plastic attaches to a metal frame with several screws. These were removed and the metal frame wiped down.
I purchased a thin piece of steel bracket and cut it down to size. The inside surface of the filing cabinet was cleaned up and then the metal bracket installed using a super strong liquid nails glue. This was clamped and left for a week to cure.
With the inside of the filing cabinet now braced and incredibly strong, I filled the hole on the front of the cabinet with a silicone filler. I opted against using something like bog since it will possibly chip as the ball slams into it.
I purchased some hobby figurine paint (Hombrol #127) and painted the patched up section. It’s not perfect, but won’t stand out when installed.
The cabinet plastic was installed back onto the machine and the game switched on. It doesn’t look too bad. The crack along the front is still visible, which is fine. My main concern is having the plastic strengthened to prevent additional damage. The hole that was once very obvious is now well covered and the paint matched well enough that you have to look hard to spot it.
In the future, I may have to return and do further repairs. If so, I’ll go further with repairing the crack damage. I wanted to avoid that as there is quite a bit of small detail in the plastic that would be lost if the entire thing was bogged up and sanded. For now though – it’s looking better and much stronger. Looking back, I wish I had of strengthened the filing cabinet during the servicing.