PTW Issues + Solutions

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PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Link on Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:42 pm

So, having had a number of issues with my PTW, I had the idea to list the problems and solution to the problems as I have encountered them (mostly with the help of team mates and/or Wallace). This could become a sort of FAQ style thread with problems and fixes as they come about as a sort of reference. If not for anyone else, then for me.

Issue: Pull the trigger but absolutely no response.
Solution: Plug your damned battery in, you idiot. Or charge your battery.

Issue: Pull the trigger and get very sketchy response, like the connection isn't totally connected but kind of is. (I just guessed on this issue as this is the one I've never personally encountered... *knocks on wood*)
Solution: Replace motor brushes. (I don't even know what that means, but I've heard it enough to know it's important and comes up)

Issue: Pull the trigger, gears turn, no action in the cylinder.
Solution: Rack gear may have broke off, or just the first tooth or so (i.e. Northern Wind V)

Issue: Pull the trigger, gears turn, cylinder fires, but it's all jacked up. Burst or auto fire kind of works, but it's all screwy.
Solution: Titanium orbital gear may have locked up or jumped out of place (i.e. spring 2008). Ask Wallace to put a new one in... but not backwards...
Solution: Clear out the IR holes in the *sector?* gear. Make sure the gear isn't not in backwards (i.e. summer 2008, only after replacement of titanium orbital gear)


Issue: Chopping BB's like a mother f*cker. Maybe not every shot, but it might as well be as far as the game is concerned.
Solution: Magazine. As soon as it happens, take out the mag, clear the next half of the BB if it's stuck in the barrel, and see if the next BB is in the correct position pressed up against the mag lips. If it is, the spring may be getting weak and not feeding the BB's fast enough. If the BB is not pressed up against the mag lips, but sitting a bit below, it's jammed up. Either way, break down the mag (at home, don't loose either of those tiny-ass mag lip springs or it's wasted, grrr...), clean the mag out from the inside, gently stretch the spring (not too much) and reassemble. Check to see if, after loading the mag, the BB's will all come out swiftly and easily via your favorite mag-unloading method (preferably not via the rifle).

Issue: Corkscrew, shanking, hooking, or slicing. Not necessarily every shot, but close enough to be useless.
Solution: Clean the barrel out. Remove cylinder, disassemble entirely (front, back, spring, get it all out). Clean that shit up. Lube appropriately with shock oil (100 weight +) or equivalent.


General maintenance
Barrel: Clean with silicone spray, dry thoroughly. Leave no silicone IN the barrel, but use it to get the grime out.

Cylinder: Keep it clean and lubed, inside and out.

Mags: Keep them gunk-free or occasionally disassemble each and do a thorough clean-out. Give the spring a little stretch, but too much will ultimately weaken the spring and cause more harm than good.

Please add additional information if applicable.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Son of Liberty on Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:50 pm

Man I'm glad I don't have a ptw! I could abuse any classic army and I'm sure it'd work just fine Wink
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by MinioN on Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:13 pm

And just remember who you got the CA from.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Sundown on Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Ok - here is one.

Mags not feeding always - then it does and I can see split bb's flying out of the barrel. I inspect the mag well and nothing in it or up against the cylinder causing any obstruction.

I remove the mag, check the lips and then put it back in - sometimes problem solved. Sometimes not.

These mags are less than 1 year old and free of gunk.

Happened today too much.

Any thoughts?
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by MinioN on Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:20 am

Ya don't use your PTW in fine sand.
I know this seems crazy right but sand is the worst thing you can have happen to your PTW. I have played in the mud and in the rain and in the snow. I had few if any problems with mags when I lived in Ohio. Now come out to California and my stuff gets messed up. The sand out here is really really small and fine so it is easy to get every place. It is like playing on a beach. So once it gets in my mag it is probably never coming out. Once it hits the silicon it makes this gunk that just stays there and will not come out. Solution to this problem is probably finding another type of lube and doing major cleaning after every time you use it.

Now this doesn't always work.....example my M9 that I have. It is a great sidearm but I have gone through 3...yes 3 sidearm’s out here. Reason is they get junked up. I had one of them so fricking clean and done up right it was beautiful. Then I did a quick low crawl in a trench and my beautiful black M9 came out of that 100% brown. You couldn't see any black. I could hardly pull the trigger. It took a lot of hitting the weapon and forcing parts to move before the trigger would even pull to move the hammer on the inside. I could not even eject the mag.
Now as soon as I got home it went to clean it. I did my best to get all the sand out of it. I broke it down about as far as I was comfie with and did my best to clean it. 3hrs later....yes again that is 3 hours or 180 minutes of straight nonstop work later. I figured it was good enough to put back together. Man was I wrong. There was still so much junk in there that it wouldn't let the sidearm work as it should.

So my end all solution.....move back to Ohio...........

MinioN
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Mavrick on Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:54 am

MinioN wrote:

So my end all solution.....move back to Ohio...........

MinioN

What date is your flight?

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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Scorpion on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:38 am

Most of these issues are design flaws in the workmanship of the individual pieces, not representative of the PTW system as a whole. So let's curb any comments about how the PTW is something you're glad not to have. I could give you a list of 3 pages long of issues with a normal AEG that a simply PTW can't have due to different engineering. Trust me, when I was building guns I found every possible issue that could arise.

As for Link's issues and solutions let's get more detailed and explain them a tad better for those who aren't familiar. I'll break this guide down to the START UP and a FIRING/FAILURE sections.

~START UP~
*Assuming PTW brand new(challenge kit or preassembled), not pysically damaged and does NOT have total eletrical failure*

1- Clean barrel with very light silicon oil to remove debris and factory silicon coating. Then swab barrel with dry swab cloth to remove ALL silicon and debris. Barrel must be dry to gain best accuracy.

2- Clean entire gearbox of ALL systema grease with dawn dish soap and rubbing alcohol. Take car to clean optical sensors with rubbing alcohol to remove any grease or silicon that has aheared to them. Once gearbox is completely grease and silicon free, coat every surface within the gearbox with a Teflon dry wax lubricant. This can be found under the Dupont name at Home Depot and Lowes. Once sprayed onto gears it needs to dry for a minute and when dry will turn a white or grayish color. DO NOT wipe this coloring off! *NOTE - when spraying the teflon wax use light even coats and allow plenty of drying time. Do not over saturate your components, it will NOT help lubricate them more.*

3- Ensure a 30amp fuse is connected to the MOSFET in the stock tube, not a 25amp or 20amp.

4- Ensure motor brushes are broken in against motor with low voltage first until they have a smooth concave arch to them that matches the surface of the commutator shaft. You can perform this easily by using a 4-5v 25amp or less battery pack and running the motor WITHOUT gearbox attached. This process usually takes 4-6 minutes. *NOTE- It's best to run the motor submerged in distilled or purified water to help clean the commutator shaft and cool the brushes as they are wearing in. This will greatly extend the life of the commutator shaft*

5- Ensure cylinder locking plate within stock tube is shimmed properly at 1-2mm above the lip of the rear of the lower receiver. This will ensure proper seal of the air nozzle and hop unit.

6- Disassemble cylinder assembly completely. You should have in final pieces, Cylinder tube, spring guide, spring, piston/piston head assembly, cylinder head with air nozzle assembly. *NOTE - clean entire cylinder assembly with lint free paper towels or use a microfibre cloth to prevent dust and other build up from becoming trapped in the cylinder assembly.*NOTE- At this time it would be wise to use some RED loc-tite to secure the male and female components of the air nozzle. Air nozzle seperation is common in PTWs as the factory does not secure the female tip of the air nozzle to the threaded male nipple that is attached to the cylinder head. Doing this simple fix will save you many headaches later in the service life of the PTW.*

7- Once cylinder is cleaned use 100% silicon lubrication to coat every surface within the cylinder assembly. Then use 100% silicon grease to lightly coat the orings and surface of the compression cylinder wall. *NOTE - Tokyo Marui cylinder grease that comes with their spare piston kits and also can be ordered is a great grease that is cheap to use and lasts 5000rounds before needing a recoat is used lightly.*

8- Take down EVERY SINGLE one of your magazines and remove the core. If you are not familiar with this process then ask someone who is to help you as it is very complicated and can be fatal to your magazine if you're not careful. The top screw that is just below the feed lip of the magazine needs to be removed and left out. The extra tension this screw provides is a HUGE cause of BB jamming or "stop feed" in PTW magazines. *NOTE - Also take 400grit sand paper and lightly sand the friction sides of each of the BB retaining fingers at the feed lip of the magazine. This will give them extra room to move within their channels and not stick in either the open position(BBs spray out of magazine randomly), or in the closed position(BBs jam and stop feeding).*

I have used the exact procedures as lited above and have had zero issues with any component of my PTW rifle. But to give you an idea of how I found these issues I will list the common failure points that I discovered from day 1 with my *factory lubricated and spec'ed* PTW build. Let's move to the FIRING/FAILURE section...

~FIRING / FAILURE~

A) PTW doesn't cycle - Troubleshoot!
- Open PTW receiver and examine LED on PCB just forward of the optical sensors for the sector gear.
- Place selector lever in SAFE mode - Then Turn selector to SEMI
- IF LED on PCB flashes once then system is active and getting power from battery.
- Pull trigger once. IF LED begins to flash cotinously then there are three major failure areas to examine. First, examine the gearbox and ensure there is no debris in the gears preventing rotation. Second, examine the motor(remove motor plate and grip) and ensure there are ample brush material and the wires are secured to the motor contacts. Third, Ensure the fuse and mosfet system in the stock is not grounding to the stock tube and the fuse is not destroyed.
- If all of these areas check out then it's most likely the battery that is low on charge and needs to be replaced.

B) PTW fires but no BBs load
- Magazine is empty but has not tripped the STOP FIRE mode.
- Magazine has BB stoppage and cannot load BBs to HOP.
- BB is jammed in barrel (listen for sucking sound when PTW cycles).

C) PTW partial cycles or fails to cycle completely
- Ensure battery is adaquetly charged.
- Ensure there is brush material left on the motor brushes.
- Ensure the wires are firmly connected to the motor.
- Ensure there is no debris blocking the gears within the gearbox.

D) PTW cycles either partially(semi), or too many revolutions(Burst/Auto)
- Grease or debris has coated the optical sensors. This must be cleaned compeltely.
- Grease or debris has covered or filled the pass through holes on the Sector cam gear rack. These must be cleaned and freed of debris or grease.
- MOSFET controller is experiencing failure, this part needs replacement.(this is RARE and not expected in 99% of the cases)
- Motor brushes are nearing 90% useage and need replacing. Replace motor brushes with new 30% silver content systema brushes for better performance.


I think Systema took a great idea, made it as cheaply as possible and then got the electrical engineers drunk friday night and told them their work was due by monday morning sharp. Systema used inferior grease in the cylinder assemblies, not even remotely the appropriate lubrication for the gearbox, basic almost pathetic MOSFET systems for the application, and a motor that eats brushes like Top Fuel dragsters drink Nitro Methane fuel. All this combined make an OK platform that works great, right up until it gets dirty. So basically the moment you take it to a real skirmish.

If you choose to use the methods I've detailed in this guide I think you'll be surprised how different, quiet, smooth, and problem free your PTWs can be. The PTW is an AWESOME platform that can be used in almost any enviornment and can send plenty of plastic down range reliably, but only when it's properly maintained and cleaned. Think of it like the purpose built race car you know will peform flawlessly at the weekend track, but only if you prepare it with the best care and upkeep the week before.

So if anyone has questions about how to custom modify PTW parts for better performance please contact me directly.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Torque on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:31 pm

Scorpion wrote:I think Systema took a great idea, made it as cheaply as possible and then got the electrical engineers drunk friday night and told them their work was due by monday morning sharp

Quote of the Year nominee entry. Very Happy
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by MechEng on Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:06 pm

That is called Product Development.... i live it daily....
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Link on Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:29 pm

Sundown wrote:Ok - here is one.

Mags not feeding always - then it does and I can see split bb's flying out of the barrel. I inspect the mag well and nothing in it or up against the cylinder causing any obstruction.

I remove the mag, check the lips and then put it back in - sometimes problem solved. Sometimes not.

These mags are less than 1 year old and free of gunk.

Happened today too much.

Any thoughts?

Mine was doing the same thing. I keep blaming the mag, but no matter how many times I clean it, stretch the spring, and call it my dirty little girl, it just doesn't want to quit slicing round after round. Of course, I've since cleaned the crap out of my cylinder, so I'll have to see if that changes anything at the next game. That hopefully will fix the corkscrew issue I'd been having.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Scorpion on Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:16 am

Sundown and Link you both need to perform option 8 on my list. I had the same issue with 2 of my Systema brand mags from day one and once I performed option 8 they have fed flawlessly.

If either of you don't know how to do this just give the mags to me and I'll do the work for you. Just buy me a lunch or dinner sometime Smile
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Sundown on Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:25 pm

I will attempt this soon. I stripped the rifle last night, cleaned the cylinder, gave it a very light coat of silicone, cleaned the interface area where the mag lips meet the cylinder (it was heavily gunked up).

Then I cleaned the inside of the barrel (some gunk there too).

So far so good. I did notice when I switched to magpuls on the bottom of my mags (and had to invert the mag in my vest) it picked up gunk just collecting in the vest pockets. I'm going to clean that out too and hopefully that will help. Frankly I was too used to ignoring that with my old rifle.

Why do they put that "extra" screw in there to add extra tension?

Thanks for the tips.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Scorpion on Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:10 am

It's a simple design failure on Systemas part. They were most likely worried about the cheap plastic they're using coming apart on us so they added one last "security measure" to ensure the magazine never came apart.

If they had actually field tested the magazines properly they would see it increases the tension on the feed area of the magazine just enough to cause the retaining arms to jam in place when they become even the least bit dirty or cold(less than 40F).

So the obvious solution, without magazine total grounds up re-design, is to sand down the arms to allow more travel room within their channels and to remove the excess tension on the feed area that is cearly not needed with a metal clip covering it AS WELL AS the other 8 screws holding the core together. LoL!
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Link on Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:49 pm

I dunno, it seems like there's a lot of internal tension right there at the lips/fingers with a fully loaded magazine. The BB's aren't just being forced in one direction, that's just the net result of the forces inside the mag. Without that screw at all, I could see the plastic holding the lips in becoming weakened over time and causing some retention problems (i.e. BB's not staying IN the mag). I'd wager that loosening that screw just a tad would keep that section loose enough to assist feed while maintaining the original purpose of keeping the two halves of the mag together at the stress point.

I admit, with the glue that also holds the mag halves together, that one screw wouldn't do much, but the first time I cracked open the two halves, that glue became null and void. That screw now seems important in the longevity of the mag.

Somehow I don't see how sanding the two lips/fingers would do much to help feeding, as a magazine properly seated in the magwell should force the lips open against the two nubs under the hop-up, no matter how difficult it is for the lips to retract. They either open or they don't. They don't open and close for each BB to come out, they work just like the one lip/finger on any standard AEG mag. The flow nozzle holds the next BB back, not the mag lips.

My main concern in that area would be keeping it clean so the lips don't STAY open once the mag is removed. Sanding them down would certainly help with that in terms of smaller particles, but that would just open the door to larger gunk getting jammed in there. Cleanliness is my motto.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Scorpion on Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:50 am

Loosening the screw is the exact same as taking it out. If it's loose then it's not tight and causing the stress. But since it's loose it won't hold the magazine together as it's intended purpose. You know why this is the case?

There is a huge metal magazine shell holding the core inside it as well as the metal wrap around tab at the top area of the magazine itself that covers the screw in question.

Also when i mentioned sanding the feed lips down i meant only taking a layer of skin off. Not shaving them any noticable measurement smaller. Only taking maybe .1mm or less off them.

So yes you're welcome bank on the cleanliness only, but I'll bank on measured engineering and total solutions to the problems since I've now got 6 mags to prove it works. Smile
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by MinioN on Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:17 am

Also I didn't notice this but sorry if it is there already.....

Speed loaders: The helper of the battlefield and scourge of your mag.

The Systema PTW mags can hold 130 rounds aprox but are meant to only hold 120 rounds. If you ever read the bit of paper that comes with mags there is some steps you should do when you first get them and some things you should do when you use them. And well yes one of those things if I remember exactly right is never load more than 120 rounds into the mag. Again the mag will hold more than 120 rounds I forget the exact number but it is some place between 120-130 rounds.
So where is what it boils down to in my mind:
-Speed loaders are great for speed and ease
-They are hard to keep track of the actual number of rounds that make it into the mag
-The loading rod is great it holds 60 rounds per fill
- Use the loading rod twice and you are done
-The loading rod is hard to use in combat

So you must pick what is the best for you and your equipment. As for the actual damage that can happen to the mag by loading more than 120 rounds in it will leave to smarter people on the topic to answer for you.

This is me just putting my 2˘ in on the topic.

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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Scorpion on Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:02 am

Minion I tested your concerns out this morning on my magazines. I can load the full pistol magazine style TM load(130~rds) into each of my systema mags and they all feed perfect to the last BB. Of course all my magazines already have the above mentioned work done to them. Smile

I also tried loading my MAG mags to the full 170 they claim, but after 150rds the MAG mags tend to jam or misfeed the first 10 rounds. This leads me to believe the spring is gathering too quickly in the bb channel and is catching on either itself or the walls of the channel.

For systema mags with cleaned BB channel, and modified feeding lips you can use the full 130rds, but MAG mags should NOT be loaded past 160rds.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by MinioN on Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:58 pm

Ya I just think they don't want the above 120 rounds in the mag due to compressing the spring. I don't think it will cause a problem right then and there. But maybe down the road? I don't know. I am just putting out what I know and letting you guys go from there.

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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Link on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:55 pm

Scorpion wrote:Loosening the screw is the exact same as taking it out. If it's loose then it's not tight and causing the stress. But since it's loose it won't hold the magazine together as it's intended purpose. You know why this is the case?

There is a huge metal magazine shell holding the core inside it as well as the metal wrap around tab at the top area of the magazine itself that covers the screw in question.

Well, loosening the screw is not the same as removing it. The screw actually only threads into one half of the core, it is completely loose and free in the other half. So tightening the screw down as tight as you can make it may squeeze everything together a bit too much for easy-feeding, but backing it out and tightening it down to *just barely* tight ought to keep the two halves snug together without letting them separate at all. The head of the screw holds on to the loose-hole half while the threads hold on to the threaded-hole half. In reality, any amount of tightening or loosening that screw will allow the two halves to separate a different amount. So making them a little loose may allow for the tension to push the two halves apart some (the threaded half will keep holding on to the threads and the loose half will catch on the head of the screw), but not nearly the amount that it could potentially push apart without the screw at all.

It doesn't matter because of the other fail safes, you say? The 'huge metal magazine shell holding the core inside it' is not holding the core tightly in any of my magazines. It does little more than hold the core *somewhere* inside the shell with the two pins that are becoming more and more loose each time I remove them for mag maintenance. And while the metal wrap that holds the lip springs in place may help, holding the mag core together was probably not its primary function. But even if it was, doubling the security at that point is a good indicator (to me) that it's important to keep that end tight.

Scorpion wrote:Also when i mentioned sanding the feed lips down i meant only taking a layer of skin off. Not shaving them any noticable measurement smaller. Only taking maybe .1mm or less off them.

So yes you're welcome bank on the cleanliness only, but I'll bank on measured engineering and total solutions to the problems since I've now got 6 mags to prove it works. Smile

As to sanding down .1mm of the lips, again, why? The mag, properly inserted against the prongs under the Hop unit, will be open. Whether they slide open and closed more smoothly or not will not change how BB's come out because the lips only hold the BB's back when the mag is not loaded. What are you suggesting is better after sanding the lips down?

And just to be a total ass, let me say that doing absolutely nothing to my mags but keeping them clean sustained my first 7 mags to work perfectly for over one and a half years. That was my proof it worked. Eventually, though, my springs did wear down. Possibly due to normal use, or possibly due to loading more than 120 rounds, which I tried to avoid by simply using one TM pistol-mag-sized speed loader per mag, no more. But if the speed loader does hold more than 120, then they all went in.

That's why I originally had to break down my first mag and each thereafter, because the mag couldn't load the next round into the chamber fast enough before the nozzle sliced the BB in half. So I gently stretched the springs back to their original length. I do believe it helped at first, but as was said, it only weakens the spring. The treatments became more frequent and lasted less and less. In reality, I believe this to be the lifespan of the mag. When the spring becomes weakened (whether naturally or by over stretching), the spring needs replaced. Without a replacement spring, the mag is just a paperweight.

My disclaimer: I am NOT an expert on the PTW (nor anything for that matter), I do NOT know everything about any of this stuff. My only basis of information is what I have personally experienced, or what I have heard and learned from others who have guided me in PTW upkeep. I do not claim to be right, I only claim to have a point of view.
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Sundown on Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:24 pm

I am considering buying another PTW from a player down in Texas. He is only asking $550 and here is what he said about his rifle:

the 4 wire harness from the el2 board to the el3 has been repaired. I took the rear tube apart and it cut the black wire. I had to solder and repair it.

He claims it was built for him by Wallace.

For you experts, is that repair a bigger deal than it looks? I was thinking of getting it to play around with.



Here is the link:

http://www.houstonairsoft.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7978
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Re: PTW Issues + Solutions

Post by Sundown on Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:48 pm

OK - here is my PTW question I meant to ask at the game / team meeting.

I have an Airsoft Arms branded battery with the following specs that I use on my other rifle with no problems.

8.4V
4500 mAh NiMH
35 Amp discharge

Seems like it would work acceptably well in my PTW.

I run the standard battery in that rifle, a 1600 mAh NiCd Sanyo.


Any issues besides it needing to go in a battery bag (Suggestions on that please Aaron)?

Thanks in advance.
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