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Old 06-13-2013, 01:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Teething problems for putting HPA on a vector

Hi Folk,

Like the subject says, I have an Air Power Vector (from Bacci), that is Thruster-ready (a nice way to say "removed a screw and spring that you can't find ANYWHERE).

Fortunately, it's a version C (the grip frame is tapped and threaded for a bottomline ASA).

So here's my conundrum: I bought what I thought to be a palmer's stab on ebay. upon actually receiving the item, it's some sort of knockoff. No silkscreening on the body, and it says "low pressure" around the adjustment screw. It leaks like a sieve, and max pressure out of it is ~400 psi.

When mocked up to the vector, the gun barely functions. It's perfect if you need to gently lob a paintball 20 feet or so, but that's about it.
I took my Hpa bottle (800 psi) and mounted it directly to the gun. The vector aired up, cycled fine, but was only shooting ~150 fps max.

Herein lies the problem. I've seen SHP regs for tanks that go up to 1200 psi, but if velocity is linear with pressure, than that will get me ~230fps max, not to mention longevity. ( I remember the vector being a gashog with co2, but certainly not THAT bad).

So, to you vector-speaking people out there: How would you recommend I proceed. I'm already looking for a legitimate stab, but I am also trying to figure out a new tank reg that will give me the (up to 1600 psi) I need to operate the thing.

Also, 1600 psi seems really damned high for this gun to operate properly, since it can cycle on 400, and frankly, I would assume it should shoot just fine at 800. the Newer, smaller paint could be an issue with the stock vector barrel which is, what, .695?

At any rate, I'm going to do a chunk of research before I throw any more money at the problem. Since I've seen HPA vectors out there, I know this is a solvable problem. Any ideas?
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i'm no Vector expert, but i'm thinking that you are way past your sweet spot. with pressures that high, you aren't in the operating range for the gun. too low and it lobs the paint, too high, and its the same. you have to find a middle point, which i think would be around 600psi and i think you will see a big difference. but that is only a guess.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, that makes sense to me as well. Dan (Bacci) mentioned swapping the main spring out as well. once I get a regulator that's worth a damn, I'll see what I end up with.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You're not too high, at least that's not the source of your current problems - too high causes Vectors to do things like shoot Proball through the walls of green canvas Army tents at Skirmish, all else working fine. That said, I think 400-800 is more the correct operating pressure - 1600 would probably cause it to maim people when it starts working right.

More likely you need to replace the main spring and/or clean and lightly oil the hammer and receiver bore because one or both of those are causing light hammer strikes. But first check the adaptor body/valve pin assembly: it's possible that the holes for the air charge aren't lined up when the parts are fully screwed together, which is basically a huge obstruction limiting air flow to the bolt. Make sure the steel valve body holding the valve pin is screwed in as far as possible into the adaptor body, then back it off however much is necessary to produce a full alignment of the holes in each of those parts through which the air charge passes. The relevant hole is the large one on the top of the adaptor body.

While you're at it, make sure you can smoothly depress the valve pin; if you can't, the hammer can't. Also make sure the valve pin isn't too strong, though I can't tell you how to be sure. Just be aware there was a change in valve spring between backbottle and thruster-ready Vectors, though I'm not sure it would produce your level of problems if mixed up. I've also seen valve springs get jammed in the adaptor body of thuster-ready Vectors any number of weird ways . . . usually that causes a down the barrel leak, but I suppose it could also jam the valve pin closed. If the valve pin depresses smoothly and returns to position, the spring is probably aligned correctly.

If none of that's an issue, it's probably the main spring.
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Air Power Vector... a MAN's gun....... A gun with a report loud enough that lesser players will pee themselves in fright at the massive concussion wave emmited by the stout thick walled barrel of DOOM. A paintball gun fit for Arnold in the original Terminator movie. A gun that'll pump up those pect's of yours to where women will swoon at the raw muscles you'll soon have.

Air Power Vector, for the man that has climbed to the peak and wants to look down on the beaten and defeated opponents left in his wake.

Last edited by John Satclaire; 06-13-2013 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for the reply. I will check all of these things when I have time and am able to play with the vector again (probably sat. afternoon).

IIRC, the holes are aligned correctly, but if the valve pin is the silver pin on the end of the asa body when you remove it from the vector, then that is stuck fast. I'm going to re-read this thread sat afternoon with the vector and tools in front of me and report then.

Also, what lube would you recommend for the vector? I have dow 55, tri-flow, and empire oil on hand. It sounds like my next step is a parital disassembly and cleaning while I wait for the High pressure kit to come in for my stab (Thanks to Dan/Bacci for the VERY helpful PM's).

Regardless, I'll keep you guys posted on my progress. tomorrow I'm reunited with my apartment, which means my camera, so, pictures will follow as well.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's the valve pin. Like I said, if you can't push it easily, that hammer sure as Hell isn't going to do much to it . . . and that's what fires the air charge. I still suggest at least removing the ram/mainspring/hammer and cleaning/very lightly lubing the reciever bore and everything that moves inside it (hammer, bolt carrier on end of ram) regardless of what else you do.

But to fix your problem you can start by unscrewing the valve body from the adaptor body and taking that assembly apart. I suppose the valve pin itself could be jammed, bent, or something...but I've never, ever seen that happen. Both the valve pin and the bolt carrier are made out of some kind of hardened steel that made a machinist curse when he tried to shave them down; the Vector was much better built than the Rainmaker clone that followed it

If the valve pin is too hard to move, it's probably because of a valve spring seating problem. The valve spring should be fitted neatly around the end of the valve cup (screwed onto the end of the valve pin) on one end. The other end of the spring is either inside a small metal cup with holes in it (a part of the backbottle velocity adjustor system that was often not removed--and for good reason because it kept the spring end from shifting around inside the AB) or just resting against the end of the adaptor body if that cup has been pulled.

If you find the spring out of sorts, put it back the way it should be, reassemble the AB assembly, and test the gun after you've confirmed the valve pin depresses under thumb pressure. It should fire much more strongly. I know of people trying several dfferent ways to keep valve springs from walking around inside the AB, but seeing if you can track down one of the old velocity adjustor cups would probably be easiest (I may have one laying around with which I would part). Mad Marty built me a kind of star-shaped derlin insert with a center sprue to retain the spring without obstructing air flow, and it's worked well, too.

As for lube, whatever's thinnest. I doubt the Vector cares much about lube, but anything that will slow the hammer/bolt carrier/bolt slider assemblies is bad.
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Air Power Vector... a MAN's gun....... A gun with a report loud enough that lesser players will pee themselves in fright at the massive concussion wave emmited by the stout thick walled barrel of DOOM. A paintball gun fit for Arnold in the original Terminator movie. A gun that'll pump up those pect's of yours to where women will swoon at the raw muscles you'll soon have.

Air Power Vector, for the man that has climbed to the peak and wants to look down on the beaten and defeated opponents left in his wake.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Vector update, part 1.5

Hey all.

Had some time today to sit down with the vector, a bad action movie, and a few beers. I stripped her 3/4 of the way down to clean and do maintenance.

First off, thanks to all of you for your helpful advice. Here's what I did:

I had a PBS kit, so I swapped that out, cleaned and lubed everything that looked like it needed it, and swapped out the springs.

an interesting note on the springs: The two I removed from the vector did NOT appear to be standard parts. The main spring was not a nelson style spring, and the valve spring was a much heavier spring as well. neither were flat-ground. I've attached a picture so you can see what I'm talking about, the springs from the vector are not in plastic bags.

Since I had her apart, I swapped the valve spring (since that heavy duty spring would only allow the valve stem to be depressed about 1/8"), and I swapped that random main spring with the green nelson.

Put it back together and tested with my SLP, wouldn't cycle. After a bit of tinkering, apparently my upper foregrip screws are too long. when tightened fully, they trap the bolt slider in place. good to know.

So, with the SLP she cycles fine. I'll get some paint and air tomorrow and mock her up with the rebuild reg to see how she cycles.

Anyway, just figured you guys would appreciate an update. Thanks to everybody for the help thus far!


Last edited by Mr.Coffee; 07-08-2013 at 09:26 PM. Reason: getting the image to show up.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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the joys of old guns that you get used after someone was monkeying with them and didn't know what to do.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If kittens purred as soon as they saw humans, there would be far fewer cats in this world.


Edit: I have no idea what that's supposed to mean.

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Old 07-11-2013, 07:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nah, those are standard Vector springs, and I've seen plenty of them before. Though I suspect they're from its pre-thruster lifetime, based on when/where I've seen them before.
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Air Power Vector... a MAN's gun....... A gun with a report loud enough that lesser players will pee themselves in fright at the massive concussion wave emmited by the stout thick walled barrel of DOOM. A paintball gun fit for Arnold in the original Terminator movie. A gun that'll pump up those pect's of yours to where women will swoon at the raw muscles you'll soon have.

Air Power Vector, for the man that has climbed to the peak and wants to look down on the beaten and defeated opponents left in his wake.
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