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Vortex Mod Install Instructions

Click here to download the instructions to your computer.


 

 

Here is alittle video that Richie from www.paintballer.ie made for us!!

Thanks Richie!!!

Caution - Remove your air source from your paintball marker prior to doing this modification. Failure to do this could result in injury or death.

Note - The names used to reference all the parts have come from the Tippmann A5 Manual. You can download a copy of this at www.tippmann.com

To properly install the Vortex Mod you will need the following tools and materials.
- Standard Allen Wrenches
- Small Phillips Head Screw Driver
- Flat Head Screw Driver
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Hammer
- Wire Cutters
- Dental Pick
- Grease or some other lubricant
- 2-4 mechanically skilled hands
- Patience
- A clean sturdy workbench that can be hammered on.

So you think you can do it!! GREAT!! This install will be a good test of your airsmithing abilities.

PLEASE take your time, and be careful. This install requires patience and understanding of the cyclone.

When installing these parts you can easily damage your cyclone if you are not careful. If you are not mechanically inclined or don’t all the have the tools and space necessary to complete the install you may want to have your local paintball shop install it. The better these part is installed, the better your loader will work. If you try to just slap it in, it may not work well when you are finished. With that said, Good Luck!

The Teardown

1. Remove the cyclone feed from the marker. This is done by loosening and removing the screw opposite the cyclone feed. This screw is called the feeder-housing bolt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Disconnect the air supply line (cylinder hose) to the cyclone feed. You can typically just pull on the line and it will come loose from the barb without damaging the hose.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. With a small Phillips head screwdriver remove the screw that holds the cyclone paddles (sprockets) to the cyclone axle. Using a small flat head screwdriver GENTLY pry up the sprockets off the axle. The paddles come out the top of the cyclone housing; sometimes they require some prying to remove them.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. With a small Phillips head screwdriver remove the four screws on the bottom of the cyclone feed. This will allow you to remove the bottom cover that protects the internals of the cyclone.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Remove the spring arm that presses up against the axle by pulling it upwards.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Separate the axle, ratchet, and cycle assembly from the cyclone feed housing. Then separate the piston rod from the cylinder.

 


 

 

 

7. Slide apart the ratchet and axle


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Using a pick or a punch remove the spring guide and spring from inside the ratchet. DO NOT LOOSE THESE TWO LITTLE PARTS!!


 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Now using a pick or punch tool, punch out the ratchet pin that holds the ratchet and cylinder piston rod together. You will want to compress the spring and collar to have a clear look at the pin.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have now taken everything apart. Now it is time to put the loader back together.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The REBUILD


1. The first thing we need to do is take one of the two pins included with the kit and hammer it into the ratchet. The ratchet is the darker colored piece in the kit. You’ll notice that there are two spots for pins. At one end of the ratchet there is a hole, and on the other end there is a slot or groove.

We want to install one of the included pins into the side with ratchet (gray part) We will install the pin into the side of the ratchet that has the hole that goes into the center of the ratchet. Set the ratchet so that the flat side is down, and carefully hammer the pin into the ratchet (you may need to use needle nose pliers to hold the pin in place as you begin to hammer it down.

Its important not to hammer this pin past flush with the ratchet. If you do, the pin will stick out the bottom and drag against the cyclone housing once it is installed.


 

 

2. Place the piston spring and spring collar (newer models) back on to the piston rod.

a. Apply a liberal amount of lubricant to the end of the piston rod that accepts the pin and also connects it to the ratchet. This end of the piston rod moves in conjunction with slot of the ratchet. It is important that there is as little friction between these two pieces as possible. We suggest grease like Dye Lube, or Shocker Lube to do this. Honestly, any lubricant will work, but the slicker the lubricant, the better your Vortex Mod will work.

Installing one of our Lightening Rods is the ultimate reduction in friction. Click here for more info about the Lightening Rod.

 

 

pre-b. In the next step we are going to CAREFULLY combine the ratchet and piston rod making sure to line up the hole in the end of the piston rod and the hole for the ratchet pin (again, to do this you may need an extra set of hands). There are two pins that we have used for combining the vortex mod and the piston.

The one type is a small coil pin that is exactly the same size as the coil pin that we just hammered in to the ratchet that holds the spring in place. The other type of pin is a longer silver pin that is the same that we include with the lightening rod. Either pin will work, but they are installed differently. The shorter pin goes through the thinner side of the slot like one in the picture labeled pin type 1. The longer silver type pin goes through the thicker side of the ratchet slot. The longer pin is dipicted in the photo that is labeled pin type 2.

 

I like to start the pin into the hole by gently tapping the head of the pin into the hole. This will make the next step easier. Be sure to start the pin on the thinner side of the slot. Be careful not to bend this side. If you miss the pin and hit the ratchet with the hammer you will probably damage your ratchet. In the video we hold the pin in the stock piston rod hole. This is a clever way of holding the pin if you do not have needle node pliers.

 


 

 

b. So at this point you have identified what pin you have....and we are ready to combine the piston rod and ratchet. First take your sping and put that over the piston shaft, and now place the black spring collar on the end of the spring closest to the ratchet. The cupped side of the collar goes toward the spring....and cups the spring. With the piston spring and spring collar (newer models) back on to the piston rod and compressing the spring and collar on the piston, CAREFULLY combine the ratchet and piston rod making sure you line up the hole in the end of the piston rod and the hole for the ratchet pin. To do this you may need an extra set of hands. The pin that is included with the Vortex mod is designed specifically to combine the piston rod and ratchet. AGAIN, DO NOT USE THE STOCK RATCHET PIN.

****If you are installing the Vortex Mod with a Lightening Rod use the silver pin that was included with the Lightening Rod. Do not use any other pin with the Lightening Rod.

 

 

 

 

 

3. With the ratchet and piston rod combined, its time to combine the axle and ratchet. Before you do, take wire cutters and cut 1 spring turns off the little (typically red) spring that goes inside the ratchet. Cutting the spring will make it so that there is less force and drag between the axle and ratchet. You could try taking off more to even further reduce friction, but keep in mind if you cut off too much the loader will not work. SO BE CAREFUL AND UNDERSTAND THAT IF YOU GET TOO CRAZY WITH THIS, YOU MAY NEED TO GET A NEW SPRING. If you need to replace the spring, you may try a spring from an ink pen. You will need to cut it to the right length, but it will work too. If you use an ink pen spring, cut it to the same length as the stock spring was originally.


 

 

 

 

4. Lubricate the axle and ratchet. Lube the end of the axle where it goes through the ratchet. The teeth of the axle where they touch the ratchet tooth. The top, bottom and inside of the ratchet where the axle goes through.The better lubricated the parts are, the easier they will install and the better they will work. The objective is to have as little friction as possible. We suggest grease our Gun Sav. Its super slick but light at the same time very light and will let the parts move freely.

 

TechT Gun Sav - 1oz Tub

$9.99

 

Lithium grease seems to work too. DO NOT JUST USE PAINTBALL GUN OIL. AGAIN, DO NOT JUST USE PAINTBALL GUN OIL. The only returns we have had are from those people that used oil to lubricate the parts.


 

5. Re-install the tiny red spring back into the ratchet, and then the spring guide. Notice that the spring guide has a groove in it; the groove goes up against the axle and the two fit together. Before you slide the axle into the ratchet Make sure that you line up the spring guide to accept the axle

Now slide the axle through the ratchet making sure that the groove in the spring guide lines up with the side of the axle When pushing the axle through the ratchet you may need to use something to compress the spring guide a little in order to get the axle all the way in the ratchet. Try not to force it to much as this could damage the spring guide. The axle and ratchet need to go together so that the flats on the axle catch with the tooth on the ratchet.


 

 

 

6. Insert your new ratchet, axle and piston rod assembly into the cyclone housing so that the axle shaft is sticking back up through the cyclone housing. Re-attach the paddles (sprockets). The skinnier sprocket goes on bottom, and the wider sprocket goes on top. They only slide on to the axle one way, so make sure they are correct when you start pushing them on to the axle You may notice that there is a tight fit when trying to install the top axle That’s ok, just get it on as best you can, and then install the screw that holds the paddles in place. As you tighten the screw it will push the paddles on the rest of the way. The screw needs to be snug, not crazy tight. If the screw vibrates loose try applying a little BLUE LOCTITE to the screw. That should keep it in place.

ONLY USE THE SCREW THAT CAME WITH THE VORTEX MOD. USING THE STOCK SCREW WILL STRIP THE THREADS IN THE AXLE.


 

 

10. Reinstall the spring arm back into the cyclone housing. Make sure it is securely in place, and where is contacts the axle is well lubricated. Again, less friction means more performance. Over time this spring may wear a groove on the side of the ratchet. The groove is normal wear and should not negatively effect the performance of the vortex mod.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Inspect and lubricate the oring (lip seal) on the end of the piston rod. This seal crucial to the performance of your loader. If this seal is un-lubricated, worn out, or missing, your loader will not work correctly. If it’s missing or damaged then replace it. Either way, make sure that it is well lubricated with plenty of oil or Gun Sav Grease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we have used lithium grease here, but again, any grease will do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Place the cylinder tube back over the piston rod, and line the cylinder up correctly with the little groove in the cyclone housing. To do this it means that you will have to compress the piston rod spring a bit. In the end the cylinder tube should fit flush in the housing.


13. Place the silver nut back inside the housing that may have fallen out during the install and quickly and carefully put the bottom plate back on the housing. If the feeder tube is positioned correctly the bottom plate should go on easily, and sit flush with the cyclone housing. If it’s not flush on all sides then you may need to reposition something.


14. Once its flush install the four screws that hold the cover in place.


15. Manually try and cycle the loader. If doesn’t advance the loader as normal, take it apart and try again. The first place I would start though it by just loosening the screws that hold the bottom plate on. If they are too tight sometimes they bind up the vortex mod. SO try backing them out a few turns and see if that helps.


If it advances as normal you are done, just connect it and the air hose back up to the gun. For the best performance clean and lubricate all vortex parts on a regular basis. Overall you want the least amount of friction on the parts as possible. If something seems sticky, try finding out what is causing the friction and lubricate it. The performance of any Vortex Mod is greatly based on how well you installed it. We have tested it to 25 BPS and it did well. If you don’t have Tippmann’s Anti-Chop Technology Bolt/Hammer, I wouldn’t recommend 25bps unless you’re cool with cleaning your barrel time to time.


At 25 BPS the balls tend to jump up out of the cyclone paddles like popcorn, and that could and will cause a miss feed sometimes. Between 15 and 20 BPS should be fine. If you are going try and run the loader really fast keep in mind that the loader paddles are hard on paint. Keep in mind that if you are using brittle paint, the loader paddles could break paint at high speeds.


1. You must clean and grease your Vortex Mod and various other cyclone feed parts in order to keep your loader working well for a LONG TIME. We suggest every 5,000 shots to clean and grease all the loaders moving parts. If you don't, your parts will wear out more quickly. USE ANY GREASE to do this. Not any type of oil or thin lubricant.

2. A groove wearing in the axel is normal. It actually enhances performance due to less drag and friction on the parts as the loader advances. The more you clean and grease your parts the less they will wear.

3. We recently got reports of a Vortex Mod that has over 250,000 shots on it, and is still going strong.

If you know something others should know about the parts, let us know and we'll post it here.



The ratchet and axle have a 1-year warranty on materials and workmanship from the original date of purchase. This means that if you installed it poorly, or may have done something to damage the vortex mod parts, we will not replace it for free. If a part failed and we think it was our fault, we will replace it for up to one year after the purchase of the product.

Please keep your purchase info handy, you are required to show proof of purchase to receive warranty parts.

NEED REPLACEMENT PARTS OR JUST WANT SOME EXTRAS:

Extra Ratchet and Pins= $19.99

Extra Axel = $15

Please contact todd@techtpaintball.com with questions or comments.


I hope you enjoy your new parts,
Todd
TechT Paintball

 

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