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Old 05-17-2009, 07:40 PM
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The End-All Maruzen Clone/UTG upgrade help thread

Oh I have learned so very much in such a short time when I undertook the task of upgrading my UTG L96. The goal of this thread is to guide fellow amateur/new airsofters when embarking on the decision of upgrading their UTG L96 and hopefully limiting their mistakes as much as possible.

What I won't do is tell/teach you how to take apart your gun. That is covered in plenty of places so I won't waste my time. Here are some links I found useful in this aspect. Just search around you'll find all kinds of info. Anyway, I realize this guy probably isn't the best and some of the stuff is annoying but if you can get past that there is a very solid foundation here for you to learn if you're going to be taking apart your gun. If you just want to wing it then by all means don't let me stop you.

Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odHlH...eature=related
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne1a3...eature=related
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXAI_...eature=related

Also please keep in my that the following is based on my experience and my experience alone. I wouldn't consider myself to be an expert of any sort but as I said I have learned a lot and hopefully this thread will help you before making the many mistakes that I made when working on my little project.

Firstly, the main thing to realize about your UTG is that it is obviously a clone of a Maruzen. I will later discuss what I have learned about the differences and how they apply to the parts you'll be purchasing but essentially if you're looking for parts or information regarding your rifle, you can search for info on the Maruzen as they are very similar. Also related to this, is that since your gun is a clone and was cheaper, it is inevitably made of cheaper parts. I can vouch for this as the internals, while producing an effective byproduct of power for a low price, are VERY cheaply made. The piston, spring guide, barrel spacers, and hop up are a JOKE. When you actually gut the gun you'll see what I'm referring to.

Second, the resources you can use when purchasing parts for your UTG. Of course your first resource should be AO and the community's wealth of knowledge. I offer myself to the masses should anyone have any questions specific to the UTG. Without further ado, here are websites I've personally purchased parts off of. Obviously this list is less than exhaustive, and some are overseas but sometimes you just can't get a particular part here in the states and you gotta go international.

I'll list what you need to look for before I link you to the sites, use these as search terms to find specifically what you're looking for. Most of your parts will come from a manufacturer named Laylax. There are others but this is the largest and most recognized of the bunch. You'll also see PDI, Modify, King Arms, Guarder, K2 and First Factory(which I believe is also Laylax) Keep in mind that with Laylax/First Factory you'll be looking at their PSS/PSS96 APS2/L96 line of parts. PSS stands for perfect sniping system. These parts are your bread and butter. APS2 is probably your best best for most things but there are exceptions, more on that later. Finally here are some links.

Domestic Sites:
http://www.airsoftatlanta.com/Airsof..._L96_s/279.htm
http://www.airsoftextreme.com/store/...&cPath=443_460
http://www.airsoftgi.com/index.php?cPath=362_364
http://www.trinityairsoft.com/c-78-s...fle-parts.aspx
http://www.edgicustom-usa.com/
http://www.hotspotairsoft.com/catalog/

International Sites:
www.wgcshop.com
www.dentrinityshop.com
www.uncompany.com
www.airsoftshop.com
http://www.x-fire.org/e.index.htm

Okay so now I'll give you sort of a rundown of what all you can do upgrade wise. In general if you're going to upgrade, these are parts you should probably be considering.

Cylinder - Teflon, Palsonite or Standard, I can't say the differences between but I'm sure with some research you can find which route you would like to take. I opted for the Teflon as Palsonite was not an option when I was building this gun. Its newer, but I don't necessarily believe it will be any better and it seems like its more difficult to find. Anyway, this houses your spring, spring guide, piston and piston power cap/cup. More on these below. Essentially this is the powerhouse of your gun, a good cylinder leads to good compression which leads to good fps. I'll explain why these can be such a pain in the *** later.

Cylinder Head - Tapered, Pro or Standard. I think most aftermarket heads are tapered but again I can't vouch for that. Pro is the way to go as you'll be able to swap nozzles to find your max performance (they screw in so its nice and easy.) These cap the cylinder and are a key component as far as performance goes. Make sure the cylinder head makes a good seal with your cylinder. Wrap your cylinder head threading in some teflon tape to help with this, you can pick some up anywhere like Lowes for example.

Piston - There are a lot of different versions of these out there so I can't say for sure which type is the best. As I mentioned this sits in the cylinder on top of the spring. Just browse around. To be 100% specific, this is the one I've selected and I believe its the most recent. The one I've selected requires a power accuracy cup/cap. From what I can tell some do and some don't. Just make sure that if yours does, you get the cap that is sold separate. *Update* There is a new piston from AirsoftGI that I have purchased and will be trying as soon as it comes and I have the time to install it and test it. My theory is that I'm losing significant compression because of the design of the "power cup," so I'm hoping a new piston will yield much better compression. I will update this with my findings.


the piston


the power cup/cap

Spring - Ah the most important part. I went with the Laylax springs but you'll find PDI ones as well. You'll find the laylax from 110 - 210. I chose a 170 and I'll get to the specifics of my build later.

Spring guide - Standard or Palsonite - I don't know why there would be a Palsonite one, there is very very little chance it actually would improve the performance of the gun. Just make sure you get one that includes both a thin and thick type. Different springs have different diameters, one thick and one thin so as long as you buy a guide that has both (they just screw into the base), you should be covered.

Trigger system - This is a bit more difficult to explain so I tried to sort of separate this some as it has two sections to mention rather than one. The trigger system is mounted to the barrel & receiver when separated from the stock of your gun. This can be taken off the barrel & receiver with ease when you want to work on this portion of your gun. The reason I mention this is because if you really want to go balls to the wall, you gotta pick up the Zero Trigger system. Its the most reliable and the all metal construction stability you'll require if your going to put the stiffest spring available in your gun. I avoided this route as it's the most expensive, (anywhere between 120-160$.) (As of 5-12-10, I've not seen one for under 190$.... yikes)

In order to avoid going with the zero trigger you'll need to upgrade what are called the "sears," in your trigger system. From my limited knowledge of opening this up there are two sears that sit in the trigger housing. You'll have to carefully open up the housing in order to change them but they are the Trigger Sear and the Piston Sear. I'll say that opening this up was pretty confusing for me and I almost lost some springs so be careful. You've been warned, lol. I've found a few sites that sell them together along with the spring stopper, but I simply purchased the Piston Sear. With these installed your Trigger System is up to snuff to start trying stiffer springs. Without at least the piston sear, you're doomed to failure. As you'll see with my build, to really upgrade your gun you have to get the piston sear at the very least. *Update* As of 5-12-10, my trigger system is beginning to fail. Sometimes when you pull the bolt back, it won't catch and thus it will just slam forward. That = BAD. The PDI 170 spring pushes the system to its limits so I've purchased a new reinforced trigger sear (they are now more easily available domestically) and will be installing it asap. I will post the results when I can. Hopefully it will resolve this issue and allow me to continue to forgo purchasing the ridiculously priced Zero Trigger. I think the moral of the story is if you can buy both sears, do so.

Tightbore Barrel - The stock inner barrel on your UTG is 499mm in length. I do not know enough in this area to really comment on this so I won't. In general the tighter the barrel the more consistent the shot but the more upkeep. By upkeep I mean cleaning the barrel regularly. Some veterans and enthusiasts feel a 6.08 is technically the best but again this is not really an area I know much about so I'll leave it to them. I will simply say that I went with a 499mm 6.03 tightbore I found on Trinity. I'm also told edgi customs are the best tightbores but I digress.

Hop Up - Again I do not know terribly too much about these. What I do know is that a PDI Hop up with a "hard type" bucking is what I've been told works the best. They are expensive and tough to find but when I don't know much about it I just go to the pros. I'll update more when I know more. Sorry I can't be of much use in this area. The only reason I'm even messing with this is mine was COMPLETELY broken when I gutted the barrel. The "soft type" bucking was partially in shreds. I bought my UTG used on EBay so that explains a lot with regard to the performance of the gun. The hop up was being held together with electrical tape.... what a ****ing joke. *Update* The PDI hop up proved to be very difficult to install/calibrate. Since it has two separate levers with which to apply pressure to the bucking, it causes inconsistencies if the pressure is not applied equally to both levers. Just keep this in mind if you do decide to go this route.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now down to the most important part of this entire thread and what really forced me to want to type up this whole thing.

PAY ATTENTION. THE APS2 Cylinder DOES NOT WORK in your UTG.




See the end piece with the seemingly square chrome tip. That tip is square which means EPIC FAILURE if you're some new guy like me who doesn't pay attention to detail. Your cylinder has a 6 sided tip which in the end game means the square tip won't work for your gun. Since this part is ~100$, I'm trying to save you the pain. The one you're looking for looks like this instead.



See the 6 sides. Thats important. Very important. If you cant find a cylinder like this, don't bother messing with your cylinder at all because it won't work. The entire setup on the end piece is different for the APS2 version of the L96. The end screw is different, the fit is different, it just won't work. In short, when it comes to the cylinder, your gun is a Type 96, not an APS2. Look for a PSS96 cylinder. I can't say for sure if the APS2 cylinder head works with a PSS96 cylinder. Essentially, you'll want to find out which type of cylinder you have before making such a costly purchase.

Onto why the cylinder in general is such a pain in the ***. Basically my stock cylinder, and thats not to say that your cylinder will be like mine, was slightly modified. There is a pin that holds the cylinder head into place once threaded into your cylinder. Aftermarket cylinders don't have this feature, thank god. What I wan't to warn you of are the dangers of messing with your cylinder should this pin be sliced off like mine was. The reason they slice it is so YOU CAN'T upgrade your gun. What I ended up doing was taking a dril and drilling down to the cylinder head thus essentially removing the pin. The cylinder head was still thread locked into place and took an act of god in order to remove it. In the process I damaged both the cylinder and the cylinder head. The easiest way to avoid this is just to purchase a new cylinder. Obviously if you don't want to do that you can check to see if you were lucky enough that they didn't zip off the pin head so you can actually remove it without doing any damage. Good luck.

Okay so theres a lot of info here. I'll spend some time later trying to refine and organize the info better but essentially this is it. I'll post pictures of my project when its finally completed and I'll let you know what the performance is. Here is whats slated as the part lineup when I actually finish this fiasco.

Also I'd like to add something else thats very important. I do NOT know the tolerances of the trigger system. As I mentioned you're best/safest/most reliable/expensive way to go is purchase a Zero Trigger system. By purchasing the separate sears in place of the Zero Trigger, you could be jeopardizing the reliability of the gun as a whole when you start putting stiffer springs in the cylinder. I've tested the aforementioned Laylax 170 and had zero problems with it thus far given the setup below. Keep in mind this system only has about 150 rounds through it so it still could be doomed to failure I don't know. What I know is that this is what was recommended to me by veterans and through research. I can only recommend the same. If you're going to go stiffer than Laylax 170, get a zero trigger.

Laylax PSS96 Teflon Cylinder
Laylax PSS96 Tapered Cylinder Head
Laylax APS2 Reinforced Piston Sear
Laylax APS2 Reinforced Trigger Sear *Update* New as of 5-12-10
Laylax APS2 High Pressure Piston *Update* Going to be taken out as of 5-12-10
Laylax APS2 Power Accuracy Cup *Update* Going to be taken out as of 5-12-10
Laylax PSSL96 High Pressure Piston for APS2 / Type 96 *Update* Getting installed soon.
Laylax APS2 170 Spring
Laylax PSS96 Barrel Spacers
Laylax silent dampeners (these go on the bottom of the cylinder head to reduce noise, sorry i didn't mention them earlier.) *Update* I plan on messing with these as I feel they may also be a cause of compression loss.
Laylax APS2 Spring Guide
PDI Hop up w/ Promethus Hard Type Bucking
Madbull 6.03 499mm Tightbore Barrel

Also I want to personally thank for sticks for really helping me getting the ball rolling on this whole thing and showing me the basics. He deserves a lot of the credit here for bestowing the knowledge upon me.

Last edited by mkeller25; 05-12-2010 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:02 PM
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very nice and informative for the players out there. There really aren't any guides like this and I think mkeller did an excellent job in doing it.

Now my 2 cents:

Some people including myself when getting all the components forwent the power cup because they weren't in stock. Dropped almost $1000 on a Maruzen and all the internals. And from what we've found is that the stock "cup" is smaller than the aftermarket ones and thus give terrible compression when used with the Teflon cylinders and the Piston that mkeller has listed above. So make sure if you're going to upgrade you do it all at once or don't even bother to use it yet.

Once again good post mkeller!
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:33 AM
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Thanks viper. I'll keep adding things to this as my project nears its finish. I'm just waiting on some more parts at the moment.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:37 AM
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Teflon Cylinders FTW!
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:07 AM
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Awesome post mkeller25! These are the kinds of 'under the hood' tech posts that make AO great. It sounds like you've really dug in and done your homework. Please update with pictures when you get a chance.

Hopefully this will help others out there modding their UTG L96s, we see threads almost weekly asking modding questions about the L96.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:47 AM
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since they are clones would any type 96 parts work with any type 96
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:58 AM
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My best guess is that is a safe assumption but again I can only vouch for the UTG version as I have not worked on any other. I would do some research to see if the UTG and whatever manufacturer you have are the same. You may be able to find that they are exactly the same or find what differences they have.

At the very least, let me know what you're trying to do and I may be able to help. If you're following what I've posted and are trying to upgrade the cylinder,cylinder head, piston, spring, spring guide and all those components, the first thing I'd advise you to do is gut the gun and find out what type of cylinder you'll need if you're going to upgrade the cylinder at all(you may not have a choice, as I mentioned in the initial post, the cylinder on my UTG was puposely modified so that it is nearly impossible to take off the cylinder head and when you can't do that you're dead in the water as far as upgrades go.) The very end of my initial post has the details. Once you know which cylinder you'll need, the rest is downhill from there. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Last edited by mkeller25; 05-19-2009 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:08 PM
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What are the stats on your modded L96, mkeller?
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan-120 View Post
What are the stats on your modded L96, mkeller?
As I mentioned my project is still not 100% complete. I'm waiting on my PSS96 cylinder from overseas as well as replacing what I discovered to be a ridiculously busted hop-up. I will chrono it when its 100% finished but that could be upwards of 2 weeks. My hope is that my parts will get here this week and I'll have time to complete it this weekend but I highly doubt it.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:42 PM
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Now is this the order of parts you purchased?

And if not, what would you say would be the first upgrade that should be made?
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murph28 View Post
Now is this the order of parts you purchased?

And if not, what would you say would be the first upgrade that should be made?
I already mentioned that if you're going to modify the cylinder you have to upgrade a whole slew of other parts which is why I recommend avoiding that if you're on a budget. Unfortunately if you avoid messing with the cylinder, you not going to get a whole lot more performance increase out of your gun. You can try a new hop-up from PDI as well as a tightbore, those would be relatively cheap and avoid modifying the B!TCH of a cylinder that the L96 clones have.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:24 PM
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How important would you say upgrading the trigger system is?
would that be a high priority?
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:32 PM
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If your going to mess with the cylinder/spring/piston then upgrading the sears in the trigger system is important. Read the article below more closely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murph28 View Post
How important would you say upgrading the trigger system is?
would that be a high priority?
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:40 PM
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If you're going to upgrade the rest of the gun then upgrading the trigger assembly is a pretty high priority. At least it was for us when we built our Maruzen. The one main advantage to this is that its easier to pull the trigger.
The higher the power spring you install puts more and more pressure on the release. This pressure then is translated to your finger when your trying to pull the trigger back. Without upgrading the trigger assembly you run the potential of breaking the release off or damaging the internals of the trigger assembly. We went with the Zero Trigger because it not only upgraded the sears and release but its all metal and makes for an easy trigger pull. Simply put, you can drop whatever spring you want in the gun and it will always be a 1lb trigger pull due to the cantilever mechanism in the Zero Trigger assembly.
Hope that helped Murph
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:07 AM
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I should have time and the parts to finally complete the project. I will take pics and hopefully have them up early next week.

Well crap, I forgot the camera at home so I did not get to take pics. The project is 100% finished however. Approx. 460FPS with the setup mentioned below. I measured off a decent distance and fired, prone, plenty of shots at a paper plate. When I used a tape measure to figure out the distance it ended up being about 120ft. While I can't vouch for the accuracy of the gun prior to upgrades, I'm sure others can. It was fairly windy so it was less than ideal but the tightbore and PDI hop up seemed to provide a significant boost in performance. I was able to land 2 out of every 3 shots or so when all was said and done. No more lobbing shots eithers or cranking up the hop up to get extra distance. The PDI hop up was pretty difficult to install but it produces very good results. For those of you looking to do some of simpler upgrades, the PDI hop up as well as a tightbore are a good place to start. Again I'll try to get pics up on here but for the time being I just wanted to say with 100% certainty that yes its finished and yes everything is shooting fantastic so I encourage you guys to give it a shot.

Last edited by mkeller25; 06-07-2009 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Updates
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:26 PM
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Hey Keller, what gram bb are you using? We've been experimenting with different weights and found that .32's were about the best. We tried up to .4! And while those did fly really straight even in wind, we lost almost 200 fps out of the gun using them. When I get back this weekend I'll try and post some pics of the gun too!
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Last edited by nhviper; 06-23-2009 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhviper View Post
Hey Keller, what gram bb are you using? We've been experimenting with different weights and found that either .32's were about the best. We tried up to .4! And while those did fly really straight even in wind, we lost almost 200 fps out of the gun using them. When I get back this weekend I'll try and post some pics of the gun too!

I'm pretty happy with KSC .3's. I've thought about maybe trying a slightly lower gram but I haven't found any. I would be willing to try some like .28's or something if I could find them. Might get me some extra range. Overall though I'm pretty happy with where its at, just unhappy that sometimes it doesn't catch/cock but I'm sick of dealing with it, lol. If I ever find a good price on a zero trigger I'll probably fix it then but otherwise it's shooting fantastic with the build I've mentioned below.

You should def. post some pics as I am lazy and still havn't
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkeller25 View Post
You should def. post some pics as I am lazy and still havn't
Alright I'll do it tonight when I get home from work.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:46 PM
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Nice thread! help bunches...
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:17 AM
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Necroposting because I'm going to be updating this project. New components are going in and old components are coming out. I said I would post pics before and I never really did so I will make more of an effort to do so this time around.

Since we have a large influx of newer players, I think this will be an invaluable tool for them moving forward as a lot of them want to be "snipers" and buy the UTG's. The first thing they want to do is upgrade on the cheap so this will hopefully deter some of those extraneous threads and they can direct their questions to me.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:08 AM
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Bumping this post for all the new guys now that this airsoft season is underway.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:03 PM
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I have a Maruzen Type 96 that I've finally finished upgrading, a work 5 years in the making. Was done last summer, but it was shooting hot and had to find a new spring. Went through a HELL of a lot of work to get to where it is now, and with the exception of the direct help I received from Cullen Kattarn (the guy in the video, who used to be on AO left for college and I believe is now back(?)) early on, I did it all myself. Lots of problems I had to troubleshoot. So I'm also happy to help anyone with any such problems.
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