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El tormento Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
Period of
Product Use:
1 year11 of 11 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
The stock plastic power tube. i can tell you i wont ever go back!
Marker Setup: Tippmann 98
polished internals
14" J&J Ceramic Barrel
E-Trigger with WAS board
lightened trigger spring
Tech-T fang trigger
Red velocity spring
RAP4 Aluminum power tube
PHAT performance, 4 stage expansion chamber(black custom paint job)
on/off ASA
Cyclone feed system with upgraded parts:
1. Q.E.P.H. exhaust(quick exhaust port housing)
2. lightning rod
3. Cyclone(vortex) Ratchet mod
4. Tech-T red squishy paddles
LP(low profile) X7 hopper.
20oz can(soon to be remote line with SC and QD.
Strengths: Aluminum!
Better gas efficiency and expansion
RT/E-trigger and Cyclone Feed System Compatible
Weaknesses: Tricky installation
don't expect to have it installed in 15 minutes, that's all.
Review: EDIT: a few things i left out before, and some rewording/explanations

Now being the first to review this Power tube, im going to be pretty in-depth, so bare with me please!

The first thing i have to say about this mod if your doing it yourself, KNOW YOUR GUN!! if you are afraid of messing something up, then don't do it yourself! Take it to a pro shop, or somebody that knows how to disassemble/reassemble your gun, and has done something like this before, and will do it right!

OVERVIEW:
If you own a Tippmann, in this case, a 98 custom, you know how they are on gas, especially with all stock internals. you can also get this for an A5, and recently the X7.

Well when i was looking around for mods for my gun, i came across a gun review on the a5 product page about an aluminum powertube, so i figured why not, and I'd look around and see if i could buy it for a 98 custom. and it just happened to be the RAP4 website had this mod on sale.(20$ i think with free shipping)
also, im pretty sure this was one of the few aluminum power tubes(at the time anyway, which was about a year ago now) that was response trigger/cyclone feed system compatible! (i'm not sure the JCS red powertube was as the time, might have changed in the last year or so).

Also, as a quick side note, if you don't already have a vertical adapter for an x-chamber installed, now would be a good time to install it at the same time.. otherwise... on with the review!


THE INSTALLATION/DIS ASSEMBLY OF YOUR GUN:
Remember, as always when cleaning you gun, start with a debris free, and clean working area!

The beginning of the installation is pretty straight forward and easy. open up the gun, start by taking EVERYTHING out that's not bolted down(including the pins, safety, bolts etc.. cleaning the parts(wait till the very end to lube them, as you don't want fuzzies from the rags/ gun cleaning rags etc... and risk getting junk on them. set the parts aside in an organized fashion, so you don't lose anything(it would suck if you lost a spring because it was misplaced, but this is already common knowledge, unless your new to your gun, and am attempting the install yourself anyway) make sure your giving yourself a fair amount of work space for the rest of the installation, your going to need it!(i suggest a table or the floor if you can stand that).

next: unscrew the velocity screw, and the banjo-t fitting if you have a cyclone feed system(or the little plug that seals that hole shut, unscrew that too), take off the hopper, expansion chamber, etc.. after that's done, unbolt the 2 bolts that are holding the power tube in place from the right side of the marker. set them aside, so they don't get mixed up in your other parts. Now your probably going to need some torque on the allen key, as they have probably never been taken off, and might be stuck a bit. after they are off, the power tube and the vertical adapter, or gas line, will be pulled out together, making the next step a bit easier.

Then unscrew the vertical adapter or gas line(i know it sounds repetitive but i don't want to be impartial if somebody doesnt have that modification to their gun, and also to keep solidarity). BE careful with this step, you don't want to damage the stock power tube, as you never know, you might need it again someday, or use as a replacement part if you have another T98 that might need it. So to remove the adapter, you might need some pliers or a set of gator grips to hold the adapter, and especially when removing the gas line, as you wont have any leverage to use. Otherwise, just rotate the power tube off the vertical adapter, its fairly easy, since the power tube is plastic, and you already know how to do this step if you installed it yourself.

Next, take an allen wrench, or eraser end of a pencil(something long and slender) behind the valve in the tube, use something to pad the back of it, as you don't want to damage it getting it out of the tube. however, if its really stuck in there from all the liquid Co2 going through it, if you didnt start out with an expansion chamber, or a pre-modded gun to begin with, which most people don't just starting out.

then lightly hit it(valve) with a hammer, or something solid(not too hard, just enough to get it loose), and it should just slide out from the power tube. Check it for any damage(s) to the valve and tube, then put the tube in your spare parts box/bag whatever, as its no longer needed!

Now by all means, now is the most ideal time to replace the valve it if it's bad or have problems with it(leaking etc), do it since your already replacing the power tube anyway, if not, you'll have to re-do everything all over again!!

After that's done, clean the threads of your vertical adapter, or gas line(take the old loctite off as best as possible, as its probably hard, and gunky, falling apart, dirty etc, you don't want that in your new power tube! Also, a fresh seal of loctite would eliminate the distinct possibility of a gas leak from that area(try not to use anything wet to remove it, it should peel off somewhat). Also, make sure not to get ANYTHING in the vertical adapter, or gas line, as it might cause some problems later on!(like loctite pieces, or something that might cause something to burst under pressure etc..)

THIS NEXT PART (CAN) TAKE THE LONGEST TIME!
Words of warning: You have to be careful with re-installing the vertical adapter. The power tube might be made of aluminum, and is stronger than the plastic tube by all means, but you need to be careful to bend or damage the tube in anyway during the installation. this could cause(possibly major) mechanical/ efficiency problems, or not even work at all when the gas is added!! now if you don't have the adapter, it shouldn't be much of a problem, BUT be careful anyways!!

this process can take up to an hour or more to get it right(i say this from experience, and i knew what i was doing too from when i installed the vertical adapter into the plastic power tube).

Now check the aluminum power tube, make sure its free of debris, and no lube is on the inside(very important, could cause sealing issues, and you don't that valve to be moving around)!

re-Insert your old valve into the aluminum power tube, make sure the threads line up with the vertical adapter/ gas line hole, and the cyclone and R/T hole as well, you can use an allen key to adjust if needed. its still important no debris gets in the holes of the valve!

Then: apply NEW loctite to the vertical adapter or gas line if no adapter(power tube also comes with a fresh packet of tubed loctite, might have to let it dry, just read the instructions for applying it and see if any drying is needed, probably less than 5 minutes at most maybe if you use liquid loctite and not tape). if drying is required, do this part a few minutes sooner, so your ready to re-install when you get to this step.

Then screw the adapter/gas line into the aluminum power tube/valve. this is a bit tricky, because if you don't screw it in all the way just right, your gun wont close up(instructions say to leave about 3 threads is the ideal location to stop turning the adapter), so before anything is put back together, just test to see if it closes(really only applies if you have the vertical adapter, im not sure how far the direct gas line is supposed to go). if the clam-shell lines up, your golden, and can move on to the last steps!(the hardest part is over now)!

Finally, after its all said in done, everything is installed right, it all checks out, screw the powertube back onto the body, and add your internals, checking o-rings, seals etc, making sure all moving parts and o-rings are properly lubed(tech-t sav works well, and seems to last a long time, also a tiny bit goes a long way)! also polishing the other side of the body where the stock power tube was isn't a bad idea, helps it fit a bit more snugly IMO).

Close the gun up, put the banjo fitting back into the powertube(or that little plug that came on the gun). now the new power tube from RAP4 comes with a new shiny velocity screw, so just save the old one with the other tube just in case, never hurts to have a spare(as always)! screw it in all the way, and move to your desired velocity, then you can screw in some gas, fill the hopper, and LET-R-RIP!

i suggest a before and after test, to see how your accuracy/efficiency changes. mine was definatly noticeable, as the balls went farther, and dwelled longer before losing altitude, on top of being slightly more accurate(although i didnt have my new bolt installed yet at the time, just the stock plastic one still).

POST INSTALLATION!:
now in the rare case air is leaking after the install, you should check where you installed the gas line, or vertical adapter first, as this would be the most likely location, but this shouldn't really happen if the new loctite was used, and there was a fresh seal. secondly, check for broken o-rings, as one could have looked alright, but if they haven't been lubed often, could have become brittle or weak, it was just my luck that upon screwing my x-chamber back in, the o-ring broke and i didn't notice it until i screwed my gas in.

I noticed that after installation, i was able to fire close to 500(+/- 60 rounds) more than i normally would have with such a small "reserve tank". that, and i wasn't really counting, just shooting off what was left of the case of year old cheap-O walmart monster balls(which was a bag and a bit of another, with some broken balls were in that mix too. surprisingly enough accuracy was slightly improved with the aluminum power tube and x-chamber over the stock power tube with the x-chamber.(even though i was using crappy balls), the majority of my spread patterns at 30ft were alot closer together after the installation. this is probably due to less flexing of the power tube when liquid Co2 enters it = better gas expansion/accuracy/gas efficiency.

ADDED THOUGHTS:
I'm not sure how it will effect the gun stock with no modifications yet,(if the power tube was the only mod you added) as far as "snow and noise of the gun would be affected, but when added this power tube to my pre-existing mods(at the time, which was the 4 stage x-chamber, and an enhanced cyclone feed system), my gun was significantly quieter with the addition of the power tube, and snow has almost become a thing of the past.

***I have no real complaints with C02 as i don't play all the time to make getting N2, or HPA plausible, but using compressed air, or whatever it was that "3-rivers paintball field in Pittsburgh" supplied me with(i had my gun, but they said i had to use their gas. i noticed there wasn't enough pressure, or expansion when firing, and experienced +/- (10-15) fps velocity fluctuations at the chrono. shot for shot. not sure if it was the fall weather or not, but my gun was in working order so who knows what the real culprit was. i have no experience with N2 or HPA, so i don't know how that would effect the velocity/efficiency on my gun, all i know is, i don't have the funds for a low pressure kit right now.***
Conclusion: I was very pleased i bought this product, its a great upgrade, and i have not been let down yet, also my gun has run flawlessly since, no excessive snow running on Co2.

As a closing note, i am able to fire at very high ROF's with my e-trigger, and not notice a dramatic drop in my accuracy(+/- 3-5" at 30ft), as well as maintaining a fairly stable velocities using a 20oz Co2 can.

Although with the installation being a bit tricky and also time consuming(at times is not very easy to get right), so overall, installation took about an hr and a half to get it right. the time spent is well worth it.

I am very pleased with the quality of the product, and the improvement it gives to your gun, however noting the improvements it gives me, the occasional velocity spikes(could be my fault, not really sure) i'll give it a solid 9!.

ALSO, if anybody else has this product, please share your review on it, i dont really hear to many people with aluminum power tubes in their 98 customs!
Rating:
9 out of 10Last edited on Monday, July 12th, 2010 at 8:33 am PST
 

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