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Converting theoben into a springer?

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by tomsteebs, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. tomsteebs

    tomsteebs Donator

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    Pretty simple really, has anyone ever done it? Just fancy something custom and different, and like theobens so maybe a evo converted into a Springer?
     
  2. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    WHY? The whole concept of the Theoben is different. If you put a spring in it, you might as well get a springer - a TX would be far better than any Theoben ruined with a spring. The gas ram was used to get away from the spring effect. You would be better getting a good spring gun and spending money on it customising it - what you are suggesting is like taking a jaguar E-Type and putting a Ford Capri engine in it. :rolleyes: Oh it would be different, but about the same logic would apply.
     
  3. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Its actually a good idea Tom and many will end up converted when its realised they can be done with little trouble, maybe kits will become available in the future for the conversion, for now they are specialist type instalations and I know V mach will or have done kits for them.

    I know of a few guys who have ordered the bits direct from V mach and converted Eliminators to achieve good power around 18-20 ft/ibs and a nicer shot cycle they said they were far improved from standard.

    I think there were a few members on here that have done it IIRC hopefully they will tell you more.

    Why?

    because Theobens break barrel lock up is fantastic and the general build quality better than the average HW so much in fact if all theobens rammers had have been made with internals like say an Airarms springer, they would probably have been classed as the best british springers ever made, and may be still making them.

    I wouldn't call it the analogy of the car scenario mentioned, I would call it more like replacing an unreliable engine into a very reliable engine, which mechanics do everyday.

    If it aint broke don't fix it, but if it is broke by all means make it better!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  4. JD

    JD Donator

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    If Theoben had offered gasrams and spring rifles, would I now be shooting a Hw break barrel ?

    I think Lyn Lewington converts Hw90's to a spring power plant, not sure about Theobens though.
     
  5. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    See even the Gas ram internals of the hw90 are begging to go back to spring:D
     
  6. JD

    JD Donator

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    I would never have sold on my Classic if I could have had it Vmach spring tuned.

    Theoben missed a trick with not adding a spring option for their rifles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  7. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Definitely a gap In the market for a replacement Kit Im surprised Tinbum has not picked up on this!
     
  8. TORNADOS7

    TORNADOS7 Top Poster

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    Certainly something the likes of "Sandwells" should look into, especially as spares for the earlier models seem to be all but non-existent !

    I know it's just a case of changes O-rings on the ram "that's easy enough" but what about this "Carlos Fandango" piston seal that they've got in em and all the other internal bits, it'll come to a point where the rifles themselves become obsolete let alone the parts for em !...
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  9. tomsteebs

    tomsteebs Donator

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    I agree with Elliot,
    Think about it, how many compact, very well finished and made, with lovely walnut stocked springers can you buy? He don't even off walnut, air arms do but they only produce an underlever. A converted evo or fenman would have no competition really in that way.

    I don't have anything against gasram, I have 1. But a Springer would be nice too.

    I may just find me a nice example and get one done
     
  10. 177

    177 Donator

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    I have done one and undone a second (the Sirocco I currently own).

    More on that in a moment...

    ^^ This ^^

    Up to a point anyway.

    Whenever this topic comes up sweeping assumptions are made about the ready availability of drop in bits that automagically transform a gas ram gun into a sweetly shooting, highly tuned springer. If you want a sweetly tuned, highly tuned springer, start with a springer. You can do it with a Theoben (I'm not including the HW90 for obvious reasons, it not being a Theoben and its internals being made under license by a company other than Theoben) but it's a lot of work. Fine if you want to take that on but keep in mind that whoever does the work will expect to get paid for it and given there is far more to do than on a standard springer to get it right expect to pay accordingly.

    This is misleading - V-Mach don't do off-the-peg solutions for gas ram guns. They do produce some components that happen to fit or that can be made to serve purpose, which isn't the same thing at all.

    Theoben started with spring rifles and didn't do well with them, arguably just one of the reasons why they looked for an alternative power plant. People only started to take notice when their gas strut guns hit the market. Personally I don't buy it given that everyone else was managing (and still is) to make spring rifles that tick the boxes, so the marketing-speak that declares spring rifles are crap which is why they developed an alternative power plant is a severely undermined argument IMHO...

    See above.

    If he has any sense he will steer well clear.

    One of the reasons Tinbums kits hold such appeal is that he very wisely doesn't get involved with springs. Ultimately there is often nothing wrong with a factory mainspring and the major advantages to a Tinbum kit include being cost effective to make and buy.

    Additionally there will always be far more HW and Air Arms owners (for the sake of two easy examples) who want a simple to install kit than Fenman and Evo owners who want to throw the baby out with the bath water and change their gun's power plant. Sales numbers would be tiny by comparison to 'the others' so where would the return be on R&D ?

    Tinbum is a huge Fenman fan and perhaps he might decide to tussle with his at some point - I'd be surprised if he did though.

    The way I did it was to make a nose extension for the piston to replace the piston crown (which is a blimmin brilliant seal, while we're on the subject) and I cut two o-ring grooves into it. I don't have my notebooks to hand but, from memory, I think it was about 14 mm long and each 2.5mm o-ring was 3mm inn from the ends.

    Along with a lot of other tear-it-down, modify it, build-it-up tweaks I got it running very nicely, so the goal state can be reached, however, I don't think I've ever spent so much time fettling one gun and if I was charging an hourly rate that would be reflected in the price.

    I modded that one for a friend who I believe still has it.

    When I got my Sirocco it was nasty inside and out - the spring conversion was awful, shot cycle jarred your fillings and was shockingly loud, accuracy was, well, distinctly lacking, trigger was horribly heavy without the same range of adjustment due to the crappy conversion.

    Basically these guns are designed for a very short ram travel.

    Springing one gives you some headaches to overcome in terms of volume, how to achieve power and how to do it nicely so that the gun shoots well.

    Do-able, but no walk in the park, and that's from someone who has actually done it, and also someone who knows what a good springer can shoot like so I have benchmarks for performance.

    Anyone who starts by saying "all you have to do is..." ought to go and stand in the corner, stick their head in a bucket of water and have a word with themselves IMHO

    Been there, done that, in no hurry to repeat the process.

    Just because you can doesn't necessarily mean that you should...

    Good luck no matter what you decide to do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  11. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Fully aware of everything you have said .177 others haveedone them also buddy in the past and achieved decent results, with all due respect my friend your not the only one to work on gasram conversions so please allow posibility that someone else may achieve an Iimproved end result with some ingenuity and maybe access to further resouses, no offense intended.

    Ill try and find the eliminator owner and he can tell you first hand his experience without guessing, yes he may have supplied Steve pope with the dimensions of the bits he was after but he was fully aware of what he was trying to achieve, and my post I said v mach had suppied bits for a conversion in the past, dont know if he has kept the info on dimensions but anyway its been done, nothing misleading about that although granted you cant go down your local gunshop and buy it like a v mach kit for a hw.

    Now I hear obviously power would be easy to achieve on such as an eliminator but after so many have called it an unreliable difficult to cock snappy b**tard dropping a spring conversion into it is often an improvement.

    But something like a fenmam with a 7" barrel simply would not work as the speed of the ram allowed it to finish its travel before the pellet left the barrel therefore a spring would have to be pretty dam strong to acieve anything like the cycle the ram gives.

    However the standard length evo inmo would make the ideal candidate for a spring conversion as its not like your changing the heart of a piece of theobens history which would inmo be sacrilege simon has a point there.

    But the evo to me with its unreliable power plant and blonde bland stocks wasnt in fact what I call a classic theoben at all, in fact I would say the worst theoben made in comparison to 1990s hyeuda stocked examples its a completely different beast entirely, from an engineering perspective they just were not as well made inmo and seem more prone to leaks than performance.

    So for that reason alone to me your not risking killing a classic trying to make one run ok with a spring its saves the hassle of constant power changes and leaks, and mmakes the best of whats left of the nicley shaped chassis, and good barrel.

    No it isnt going to be any tx200 ever but reliable would be an improvement if anything, and when siezed guns can be had for as little as £150 then they are worth a try, got to be better alternative to a bsa lightning anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  12. 177

    177 Donator

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    I didn't say you couldn't do the conversion and do a good job of it, I said it was too much faff to be a commercially viable option for most people.

    The one I did worked out very well - I am in no hurry to invest that amount of work again any time soon though - if someone else has come up with a simpler 'drop-in' option then hats off to them.

    Ultimately this comes down to how deep your pockets are - Tony and SFS won't touch a spring conversion for this and other reasons.

    Additionally you seem to be implying that all, or most, or even a significantly high number of Evo's have reliability problems. First rule of manufactured goods is that if you build more failures than successes you won't sell too may of them.

    It can be done, but it's fiddly and not as straight forward as starting with a springer to begin with.

    I can easily accept that there are much better tuners out there than me.

    How many of them typically offer this conversion ?

    Maybe that ought to tell us something...
     
  13. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Yes sure, its not been looked into very much as its not really a profitable enterprise, but time will tell how reliable the Evos really are and I reckon until someone either makes a replacement ram or service kit containing the piston seal and the O rings, I reckon a fair few will end up converted in the future;)
     
  14. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Member called JLB has the converted eliminator on here, said he got Steve pope to make him some bits conversion cost him around £75

    Definate improvement last time we spoke online, he said the Ram on his Eliminator was completely fubar.

    legal limit guns will be a lot more complicated no doubt but I would be really interested in the results if one of the top tuners really went to town on one, but I know they are hampered around the volume/stroke and whatnot as the guns were really designed around the Ram, but where there is a will there is a way:up:
     
  15. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    Piston crowns are dead easy to get - Mike Tawn has them in stock, so does Knibbs...and the Sheffield firm will make you TWO PTFE piston crowns for £20 posted, just send them your old, knackered one. The truth is, most old Theobens are still on their original one - unless some donkey has tried to take a standard rifle to Eliminator power, that is what does for them. Keep them in the sweet spot and thye run fine for a quarter of a century untouched. I don't call having to change some seals every other generation unreliable!
     
  16. 18 Wheeler

    18 Wheeler Busy Member

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    I tend to agree with the "if you want a springer buy one in the first place" line of thought.

    The one exception might be an SLR98 conversion, you'll end up with a nice compact, magazine fed fixed barrel springer. The redced loading also has benefits for the trigger.

    Google "Theoben Evo Project Just Converted To Spring Power My Findings" for some photos from those who've done conversions. Surrey Airgun Services also offered conversions for a while, but given the number of guns involved it's unlikely to be a big earner.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  17. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Thanks for that, right little theoben springer club over there!:D

    Was only going to mention Bigtoe as an ideal candidate to really put his nose on the job, as if anyone would have the energy for the challenge its him.

    Interesting to read Ben Taylor doesn't want to work on gas rams anymore, now that's confidence in your product for you:rolleyes:
     
  18. 177

    177 Donator

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    I could be wrong but I think Tony has already done one or, at least, assisted.

    His method (or recommendation) as I recall was the same as the one I outlined, using a piston nose extension with two o-rings.

    If enough people look at the same problem, similar solutions become inevitable...

    :)
     
  19. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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  20. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    Just buy an FWB 127 Sport and be done!
     

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