Terminator 2 Arcade Restore – Internal Clean & Tidy (Part 1)

I remember back in the day when the Terminator 2 movie came out, and playing the arcade shooting game. This great big behemoth of a cabinet. Loud recoiling guns, movie like scenes and fantastic sounds. It comes as no surprise I have always wanted one as an arcade collector. Well my wish came true a while ago. An 8 hour return trip and I am the proud owner of this fun game. I got it for a really good price, but it does need work!

Structurally this cabinet is in good condition. Unsurprising as it is made of thick laminated ply, and is very heavy! Much stronger than rubbish particle board. This cabinet has clear perspex covering most of the side art, probably to keep vandals at bay from scribbling graffiti on Arnies face. This is a good thing, as it has kept the artwork preserved.The gun mounts are rusted, and the guns are those which came with Revolution X, and not the original T2 Uzi style. This is not my preference, but I am fine with it seeing how hard it would be to find replacements! The guns have some weird grease on them, and the recoil is not working. The game does start up, but the monitor colours keep dropping out, and the sound is quiet and distorted. Finally the gun reticules don’t show on screen.

First up some general condition photos. Its quite dusty/ dirty on the inside.


T2 has lamps for the 3D damage effects on screen.


Looks like an alarm is fitted? that will be removed!


The wiring is not great. I suspect that rewiring was required when the guns were replaced, and possibly the power supply. There are a bunch of wires disconnected.



The coin drawer handle seems unusually corroded. The rear door is missing the cam lock.



The gun style is not as good as the Uzis. The tube/ chassis work, but need degaussing/ cleaning before further adjustment is made.


The screenshots look better here than in person,.


I am going to pull most of the wiring, transformer, power supply & PCBs out so I can give it a good clean and do a better job of some of the wiring. The way the power supply is mounted is not very good. There is no way to easily access it to adjust or test voltages.


After removing the power supply, time to disconnect plus and remove the PCB set. Along the way all disconnected wires are labelled.


Now I have better access to the inside. Not a fan of some of the wiring hacks!


Removed the AC distributor, fan & main transformer


Removed the fan grill, and something I won’t be putting back, a door alarm.


Looking emptier inside. removed the mains cable grill.


Time for a clean inside. Warm soapy water, then rinse off with water, and dry off .The monitor bezel gets a good wash, and the tube is very dirty too!


Before & after clean for the mirror. Looks like some bugs got in there and layed eggs on the mirror backing. Much cleaner now!



I am changing some of the wiring to make things simpler. I have separated the internal PCB connectors and set them up separated from the main edge connector.


To clean up the fan grill I used a wire brush, followed up with gloss black spraypaint.


I have decided where to place the power supply. I have made an extra harness to connect to the exisitng wiring and added a molex connector. I have placed spade connectors on the power supply for simpler connections.



Looking good now, much more practical position now.


The 3V lithium battery needs to be replaced, BR2325 is required. When I firstly replaced the battery it didn’t work, after roughing up the battery holder contacts with sandpaper it worked fine.


I have realised that the standard location for the power supply and AC distributor is bad because it makes it impossible to remove the PCB mounting board when they are situated. I have now moved them to the left under the coin box stand to get them out the way.



Having some problems with the sounds. After running the sound diagnostic test error appears “Unable to detect Sound Board IRQ”. This was resolved by cleaning the pins for the ribbon cable board interconnects with sandpaper. However there is a problem with the sound samples being distorted. The music plays fine though. Rather than trying to fix the sound board, I got hold of a working replacement. I found that at least Mortal Kombat 1 and NBA Jam used compatible soundboards, and it was just a matter of swapping 3 ROMS.



Newly painted fan grill looks nice.

Next up work on the guns will begin. See http://www.tehkella.net/retro/?p=1402  for part 2!


  1. Awesome Job so far, looking forward to reading Part two. I play this as a kid at the village complex and always wanted one too. Lucky you 🙂

  2. Hello, I was able to found T2 Arcade in Belarus in one small town when i was on vacations i made few photos of it, but the next time, this machine was looked worst. But i’m still wondering is it worst to try buying it and try to restore. I have no experience of it, but buying it and sold parts doesn’t looks good for me. Would you like to see photos? Or may be you have resource to share about restoring such things?

    1. Hello, T2 is a fun game, and a great theme. If the machine is complete that will help. Arcade machines can be fun to restore, but can also be frustrating at times. Sometimes finding parts can be hard. There are a lot of great arcade forum communities out there. For example https://www.aussiearcade.com/, https://forums.arcade-museum.com/, http://www.ukvac.com/forum/forums.html
      I recommend joining one of these forums, and creating a post with pictures to share to get some feedback. If you buy the machine, you can start a restoration thread, people will offer advice if you need help. Send me the link if you do that 🙂

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