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Old 12-14-2009, 10:48 AM
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Systema PTW upkeep

*DISCLAIMER - Keep in mind, if your gun comes with a warranty, there is a possibility of voiding your warranty by doing work on your gun. You might want to wait until your warranty is over. Just a reminder to anyone who's considering it! (Thanks Red)*

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 PTW can't have due to completely different engineering. Trust me, when I was building my speed guns I found every possible issue that could arise from a standard gearbox.

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.

As goes with any custom work on AEGs or PTW, if you're not comfortable with performing these modifications to your PTW, give me a shout and I'd be glad to apply these simple fixes to your PTW for you in about 30 minutes total time. You can even bring a camera with you and take pictures of the whole process.

And lastly if anyone wishes to add their own ideas to this article, please PM me.

Last edited by Scorpion; 12-15-2009 at 08:03 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:06 AM
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Don't know if you do this, but I use a gun metal conditioner to clean the outer areas (Body, Barrel, A2s etc) on the PTW and PTW mags. Prevents rust, helps seal the body from moisture etc etc.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:08 AM
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Good point! I wasn't discussing asthetic upkeep as I paint all my hardware 100% with flat OD or brown paint. I don't have to deal with rust since it's all covered
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:26 AM
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I like the rust. It makes your PTW look BTDT.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:27 AM
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Are you kidding?! Thats why i love my PTW! Its the only AEG that CAN rust! lol I let my baby rust and look worn down.

Scorpion great article man
Id reccomend the PTW to anyone, anytime
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:41 AM
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Keep in mind, if your gun comes with a warranty, there is a possibility of voiding your warranty by doing work on your gun. You might want to wait until your warranty is over. Just a reminder to anyone who's considering it!

Interesting pointers, Scorpion.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:29 PM
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Vote to FAQ.

It's a shame there aren't more QUALITY articles like this.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
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Vote to FAQ.

It's a shame there aren't more QUALITY articles like this.

Thanks Mav. I too vote for sticky.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:37 PM
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Third for a sticky.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:51 PM
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Guess I'll make it 4 for FAQ/sticky, great thread. I've got a question about the magazines though. I've been in the process of taking down some of my systema mags that have been jamming on me and right now I've got the plastic magazine out of metal shell. The spring of the mag is stuck. My question is how do you prevent the spring from doing this again. Just by cleaning up the inside of the mag and putting some lube in? Any help would be great.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:03 PM
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Firefox, you need to remove all lubrication and debris from the magazine bb channel. Then you much sand down the BB stopper that attaches to the spring to prevent it from binding within the feed channel. You should remove 0.5mm per surface on the follower. Also you need to ensure the spring is NOT stretched out. If you did stretch it out previous trying to follow someone else's guide then compress it down until it reforms to it's natural shape.

Stretching springs within magazines is a foolish method that often leads to extra spring fatigue and jams within the feeding channel. If you're magazines are not feeding properly try installing a stopper rod approximately 2in long in the base of the BB channel to help buffer the spring and help preload it with more pushing power.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:24 PM
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Great thread,

Stickied as per requests.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:01 PM
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Perhaps close the thread Scorpion. Add a line informing people to send you their PTW tricks/troubleshooting to pm you. That way we can keep his thread junk free.
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