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Old 09-17-2007, 11:56 PM
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Tippmann A-5: Complete Tear Down, Basic Maintenance, & Rebuild


The A-5 is a relatively simple creature and doesn't require a whole lot of time or energy to perform basic cleaning and maintenance. However performing a complete tear down can be a little daunting in keeping track of all the little parts and pieces. So here is a step-by-step guide to completely dismantle the Tippmann A-5. Keep in mind that this is mainly for the stock A-5. This can in no way be a comprehensive guide in dealing with all the mods and accessories available out there. If you put them on your marker, chances are you know how to take them off and maintain them. For more detailed info about them, you'll have to contact the manufacturer and refer to any documentation you may have. Also, check out JackRock's excellent videos on this very subject. I mean to take nothing from his efforts in writing this. The videos may cover aspects I don't and you may find them easier to follow with no detached string of photos. But with bandwidth limits being what they are, a static hi-res photo has advantages over compressed video. The total size of all images used in this guide will be under 1 MB so while it may not instantly pop up for a dial-up connection, it should come up in reasonable time.

This will be broken into sub-sections regarding preparation, basic disassembly, main body, cyclone, and grip frame. They will be shown in the usual sequence I run through, but other than basic disassembly they can be completed in any order.


Preparation


As always it helps to have a clear area to work. I usually use old white t-shirts to protect whatever surface I work on ( do you really want oil, gunk, and paint shell fragments over the dining table? ) and the white color gives nice contrast to clearly see parts when you lay them aside. You'll need the three allen wrenches that came with your A-5, a small Philips screw driver, a large bladed flat screwdriver, and a 5/16" wrench. A handful of Q-Tips will help to swab and dry small crevices while a soft rag will be needed to wipe and clean the rest. Some dental picks can be used to pull out hard to reach O-rings for inspection as well as spread oil in hard to reach places. For lubrication, the supplied oil, or any quality air tool oil, will be sufficient for most things ( no WD-40! ) White lithium grease is thicker and offers better protection for high wear parts, like in the cyclone. Some anti-seize compound is great to use on snugged bolts. The bolt can still be tightened sufficiently but will not lock up, a leading cause of stripped screws. The tube pictured here is a copper variety that holds up well under higher temperatures, you don't need this particular type, that's just what the store had available when I went in. In addition, you'll need any tools particular to your extra mods ( ie I need two additional allen wrenches to remove my red dot sight and the rail it mounts to. ) I will regularly refer to parts by the name as well as part number and page reference of the owner's manual like this ( #xx, xx ) just to be clear. I'll use the nautical terms starboard ( right ) and port ( left ) when referring to the receiver halves. If you were holding the marker normally and sighting down the barrel, that will be the right and left.


Disassembly

Step One


To start, make sure the marker is empty of both paint and air and that it's uncocked. Next wipe off any dirt, grime, or paint on the marker ( it doesn't have to be thorough yet, ) and remove any mods and accessories like low-pressure kits, secondary regulators, sights, rails, and grips. If you have the stock front grip ( not pictured, my mistake, ) remove it with the 3/16" allen wrench in the bolt inside it from the bottom. You may or may not have a washer on this bolt. Most stocks are usually attached where the back plate usually goes, so leave those on for now.


Step Two


Remove the four receiver pins ( #02-PIN, 10. ) Two are located at the back end, the other two flank the tombstone well. As you can see on my marker the macroline covers the forward grip pin. If you have a setup similar to this it's often helpful to remove the forward pin, release the tombstone latch ( #02-73, 10, ) and pull the tombstone adapter ( #02-24, 10, ) out. After that the other pins will be clear.



On a stock setup all four pins can be removed all at once. Regardless, after the pins are out, remove the tombstone and the stock/end cap assembly ( #02-05, 11. ) Be careful on this last part as the drive spring ( #CA-14, 11 ) and pin ( #CA-15, 11, ) may try to shoot out. If you run a bottomline still, remove the tank adapter ( #02-06, 10, ) from the grip by removing the long receiver bolt ( 98-01B, 10, ) from the bottom of the grip frame.


Step Three


Slide the grip frame off the main receiver. Using a 5/16" wrench secure the receiver banjo fitting ( #20-07, 11, ) on the starboard side of the receiver. While holding the outer nut still, use a large flat screwdriver to loosen the inner screw and detach the whole fitting from the receiver. Next use the large allen wrench ( 3/16" ) to remove the feeder housing bolt ( #02-41, 10, ) from the port receiver side. The whole cyclone can now be removed.

Last edited by Jaron : 11-30-2007 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:56 PM
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Tippmann A-5: Main Body

Main Body

Step One


Remove the six short receiver bolts ( #98-01A, 10, ) from the port side of the receiver. Carefully pull the halves apart as some pieces like to fly off. The front ( #02-15, 10, ) and rear ( #02-27, 10, ) sights will fall out. In particular pay attention to the ball detent ( #FA-18, 10, ) front rail nut ( #PL-42D, 10, ) tombstone latch ( #02-73, 10, ) and spring ( #02-20, 10, ) as they are all small pieces and easy to lose.


Step Two


The valve assembly normally doesn't need a whole lot of attention. If you're just performing a basic cleaning, skip to step four. Otherwise pull the power tube ( #02-21, 10, ) out of the receiver halves. Inside is the valve assembly ( #02-25, 11. ) There's really no easy way to get it out unfortunately. The machined edges are rather sharp and can get caught in the plastic tube. My usual method is to gently tap the back of the power tube on the counter to ease the valve out. However you do it, just be careful not to crack the power tube. Also, if you hit the plunger pin on the back of the valve, you may shoot the washer and large O-ring out the other side.


Step Three


With the valve out of the tube, pull the large O-ring ( #02-72, 10, ) out of the front end. The washer ( #02-71, 10, ) and the spring ( #PA-32, 10, ) should fall right out. Pull the plunger ( #98-PL, 10 ) out and use a dental pick, paper clip, or other long skinny object to gently pull the valve seat ( #CA-27, 10, ) and small O-ring ( #SL2-25, 10, ) out of the bottom. Finally take off the rear seal O-ring ( #98-12A, 11. ) With all the pieces apart, clean them all off with a soft cloth and/or Q-Tips ( these particularly for cleaning the inside of the valve body. ) Check for undue wear on any part, especially on O-rings, and replace as necessary ( a small A-5 parts kit is only $10. ) Next apply a little oil to all the seals and O-rings ( don't forget the embedded seal on the plunger around the pin. ) After everything is cleaned and lubed, reassemble the valve in the reverse order as above. Don't forget that the valve seat will sit down in the small O-ring. I find it helpful to put the O-ring on the seat before putting it in the valve body.


Step Four


Take all the pieces out of the receiver halves and give everything a thorough cleaning. Be sure to remove all the O-rings to wipe out the old, dirty oil. From left to right, the pieces above are the barrel adapter ( #02-69, 10, ) barrel O-ring ( #02-40, 10, ) front bolt O-ring ( #SL2-4, 10, ) front bolt ( #02-17, 10, ) power tube, link arm ( #98-16, 10, ) valve assembly, rear bolt O-ring ( #98-12A, 11, ) and rear bolt/hammer ( #02-11, 11. ) Again, check for wear on parts and seals and replace where appropriate. Don't forget to also check the cocking handle ( #02-13, 10, ) spring ( #02-14, 10, ) and ball detent ( #FA-18, 10, ) you removed in step one. With the internals out, clean the receiver halves by running them under hot water and wiping them down with a soft cloth. Use Q-Tips to both clean and dry the small holes, particularly the starboard half with all the nuts embedded ( water won't rust the aluminum body, but the steel nuts and bolts are susceptible. )


Step Five


Once everything is clean and dry put the O-rings back in their appropriate locations and apply a little oil to them. The inside walls of both receiver halves need some oil as well. Apply oil to the rear section where the hammer slides. While lithium grease may give extra protection for the metal-on-metal contact the thicker consistency has the potential to clog small airlines downstream, like those to the cyclone and response trigger. You can also put some oil where the front bolt and linkage arm move. If you removed the valve assembly in the previous steps, reinsert it all the way into the power tube and make sure it's aligned properly. If you can easily insert the tombstone in the side notch then it's fine. Now it's time to put them back in the receiver. Lay the starboard half down and put the power tube in the middle with the velocity screw resting in the hole of the receiver. Slide the front bolt ( O-ring forward, ) onto the front of the power tube and put the rear bolt/hammer ( also O-ring forward, ) in the back of the receiver. The linkage arm will connect the two together by sliding into holes on the top of each. Slide the cocking handle spring onto the back of the cocking handle itself and put these in the groove at the top of the receiver with the handle sticking straight out. The small tab on the front bottom needs to be in front of the front bolt and the linkage arm will fit into a groove on the bottom. It's normal for the spring to bow a little ( as in the picture. ) Place the barrel adapter in the slot at the very front of the receiver with the orange ball detent just behind it ( the top tab should point to the upper left. ) Finish by placing the front rail nut in the slot at the bottom left and the tombstone latch and spring just behind the tombstone well ( I find it easiest to put the spring in first then rotate the latch backward into place.

Carefully lower the port receiver over the assembly on the table, inserting the cocking handle through the slot. The two halves should sit flush with each other without pressure. If the cocking spring was bowed you may need to wiggle the two halves ever so slightly to firmly seat the spring. Wipe off the six short receiver bolts and apply a small portion of anti-seize compound to the tip. It's helpful to twirl two bolt tips together to work it into the threads. Be careful not to over tighten the bolts. If using the allen wrench that came with the A-5, place your index finger at the very end and stop turning when the shaft starts to flex. Be sure to replace the front sight before the top forward bolt. The rear sight will simply snap into the sight well. The main body is now fully cleaned, lubed, and reassembled, let's move on to the cyclone system.

Last edited by Jaron : 01-18-2008 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:57 PM
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Tippmann A-5: Cyclone

Cyclone Feed System

Step One


Use a small Philips screwdriver to remove the four screws ( #PL-42A, 11, ) from the bottom of the cyclone housing. Carefully pull off the bottom plate ( #02-44, 11, ) as the ratchet spring can fall or fly out. Also the piston assembly may jump out too from the piston spring tension.


Step Two


Remove the screw and washer ( #PL-42A, #02-48, 11, ) at the top of the sprocket shaft inside the feeder housing ( #02-43, 11. ) Pull the two sprocket paddles ( #02-46, #02-45, 11, ) out of the housing. Slide the piston and ratchet assembly out the bottom of the feeder housing. The ratchet spring and housing nut ( #02-50, #02-42, 11, ) will fall out.


Step Three


Slide the piston and spring ( #02-54, #02-66, 11, ) out of the cylinder housing ( #02-62, 11. ) Gently slide the long ratchet pin ( #02-52L, 11, ) out of the ratchet ( #02-53, 11, ) to free the piston, the
cylinder plug ( #02-64, 11, ) will come with it. The axle ( #02-49, 11, ) can be pulled from the ratchet.



Take this time to examine the cyclone ratchet and axle. When together like this, the axle should only rotate clockwise. The teeth should be slightly rounded on the leading edge, crisp on the trailing edge. The single tooth on the ratchet should be likewise. Excess wear on the ratcheting system will cause the cyclone to mis-feed which causes chopped balls and blank firing.


Step Four


Remove the banjo fittings ( #20-07, 11, ) from the cylinder housing using the same method as mentioned in main disassembly, step three. Check that there are no obstructions in the air flow. Also look at the screws themselves. You'll notice holes though the shaft ( I've highlighted them above, ) that air passes through. It can be helpful to align the holes with the microline. As you can see I've scratched the orientation of the holes on the screw heads.


Step Five

Now that everything is apart, clean everything of dirt, grime, and old oil/lubricant then thoroughly dry if necessary. As always check all the air fitting seals for any wear or damage ( particularly the banjo O-rings and piston cup seals. ) Apply a little oil to them and Reassemble the piston/ratchet assembly by reversing step three.


Before attaching the ratchet back in the feeder housing, apply a liberal amount of white lithium grease to the feeder underside. Also spread some between all contact points between the axle and ratchet, don't forget the axle shaft. Finally add a little to the underside of the axle head where it will touch the feeder bottom plate. As mentioned in preparation, white lithium grease is a "stronger" lubricant than normal oil in that it handles high friction and temperature better. The cyclone is likely the highest friction part of the whole marker so it's really quite difficult to over lubricate here. When done applying the grease, compress the piston spring with the plug and slide the piston/ratchet assembly into the bottom of the feeder housing. The axle of course goes up through the hole in the middle while the notch in the piston cylinder housing rests in a matching notch in the feeder housing, as shown above. Replace the ratchet spring ( the curled side goes against the axle, the single bend goes in the feeder housing, ) and the feeder housing nut ( in a slot to the right when looking down, as shown above. ) While holding the piston cylinder in place, manually cycle the piston to ensure it's working properly as well as to distribute some grease. If you notice any dry spots, add some more grease.


Step Six

Attach the feeder housing bottom plate with the four screws being careful not to over tighten ( the points can poke through the internal floor with too much force. ) Put the two sprockets back on the axle inside the feeder housing ( the top sprocket has two raised spokes. ) You can also apply a little grease between the housing and the bottom sprocket if you wish. Secure the sprockets with the remaining screw and washer ( again, don't over tighten. ) Cycle the piston manually to ensure everything is still working and that it is not too stiff.


Attach one banjo fitting to the piston cylinder housing, ensuring the O-ring side is between the two parts ( if it isn't, you may have put the screw in the fitting backward. ) Again try to ensure the screws are aligned with the microline. You shouldn't need to under or over tighten. Line up the cyclone assembly against the starboard side of the main body using the two posts on the marker. Clean the feeder housing bolt removed in step three of main disassembly and apply a little anti-seize compound to the end. Secure the bolt into the marker's port side. Finish up by attaching the remaining banjo fitting to the marker, again O-ring side against the marker, and align the screw with the microline as best you can. The flexibility of the microline combined with the free twisting of the piston cylinder means that the air flow can be aligned even if the microline is not perfectly parallel to the marker body.

Last edited by Jaron : 01-18-2008 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:57 PM
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Tippmann A-5: Grip Frame, Reassembly, & Final Touches

Grip Frame

Step One


Unless you have an E-Grip or Response Trigger, the grip frame needs very little maintenance. On a stock configuration, simply pull out the safety pin ( #02-37, 10, ) as though you were switching from safe to fire. The grip and the trigger assembly will pull away.


Step Two


Be careful in handling the trigger assembly, it is held together simply by friction from the grip frame and scattering parts across the floor is not exactly a joyride. Pull away the port plate and check for any excessive wear, likely around the sear ( #02-35, 11. ) The top back corner should have a decent edge on it, if it is starting to round off, it should be replaced soon. Other than that, clean any dirt and grime away. A little oil on the friction spots around the pins won't go awry. The A-5 manual also has a great diagram in the upper right of page five. Once everything is cleaned and lubed, put the trigger assembly back in the grip frame and secure in place with the safety pin.


Final Touches

The main components of the A-5 have been handled, now it's time to look at anything else you may have. The most obvious is the barrel. Make sure it's squeaky clean inside by running hot water ( not warm but hot, ) down the inside. Even without breaking balls during a game, gelatin can still build up on the interior walls. Use a barrel squeegee or swab to thoroughly clean the inside ( do not use a swab if you have a carbon fiber barrel, just stick with the squeegee. ) After that thoroughly dry it off ( if you use really hot water the the remainder will just evaporate pretty quick. ) If you have a kit, repeat for all the backs and/or inserts.

Next look around at anything else you may have. If you have a secondary sight, clean off any grime or paint spatter ( use a soft cloth to clean the optics. ) Speaking of cleaning, don't forget any extra rails, shrouds, grips, stocks, etc on the outside of the marker and give them a good scrubbing if need be. Check your electronic systems ( triggers, sights, lights, etc, ) and make sure the batteries are still good. If you have any external air lines, such as air-through stocks or regulators, check that they are clear and oil any seals as necessary. If you have any sling attachment points, check any straps for excessive wear. After these final checks, the three main components ( main body, cyclone, grip frame, ) can be reassembled by reversing the order of the Basic Disassembly section above. Finish everything off by reattaching any extras you may have removed at the very beginning. I usually finish off everything by gassing the marker up and firing a few shots to spread any lubrication inside. Degas the marker as usual and uncock it. You now have a fully cleaned and lubricated A-5 ready to roll.


Last edited by Jaron : 01-18-2008 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:44 AM
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Re: Tippmann A-5: Complete Tear Down, Basic Maintenance, & Rebuild

I can't wait to see the rest of this. Sort of a 56K version of my vids (still not easy, but much easier than a 25-minute vid...
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:12 AM
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Re: Tippmann A-5: Complete Tear Down, Basic Maintenance, & Rebuild

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Originally Posted by JackRock
I can't wait to see the rest of this. Sort of a 56K version of my vids (still not easy, but much easier than a 25-minute vid...
That's high praise, thank you. I'm trying to trim the pictures so a dial up isn't overly hampered, but some shots need to be fairly detailed for viewer clarity. If PBUpload wants to cooperate, I might have this done tonight.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:23 AM
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Re: Tippmann A-5: Complete Tear Down, Basic Maintenance, & Rebuild

Sweet, this will be great, thanks!
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:43 PM
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Re: Tippmann A-5: Complete Tear Down, Basic Maintenance, & Rebuild

Wow, this is taking longer than I first expected. I'm finishing the cyclone and grip frame sections right now. I'd really appreciate it if someone could look over what I've already written and let me know of any typos, inconsistencies, bad pictures, etc. My batteries were running low toward the end and I was getting a little impatient to finish.

Last edited by Jaron : 09-18-2007 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:45 PM
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Re: Tippmann A-5: Complete Tear Down, Basic Maintenance, & Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaron
Wow, this is taking longer than I first expected. I'm finishing the cyclone and grip frame sections right now. I'd really appreciate it if someone could look over what I've already written and let me know of any typos, inconsistencies, bad pictures, etc. My batteries were running low toward the end and I was getting a little impatient to finish.

So far, so good. I cringed when I saw the completely disassembled valve, but it's occasionally necessary.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:51 PM
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Re: Tippmann A-5: Complete Tear Down, Basic Maintenance, & Rebuild

Wow, that is a nice walkthrough. I really like the quality of the pictures.
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