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Dreamline-ing (or "how To Service/maintain An Fx Dreamline Regulator")...

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Autodidact, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Autodidact

    Autodidact Thought Criminal

    Likes Received:
    Garden of England
    First things first ...

    Regulators are not as scary as they seem to be at first (it's IMO an urban myth propagated by RFDs trying to make an easy buck ;) :p ) ..

    As some of you may know I own an FX Dreamline, and in the process of modifying it I decided to go for a pair of Edgun's EDMU digital gauges (I got the first as a bottle gauge and was really impressed by it's accuracy and decided tuning etc would be made easier by getting a second as a regulator gauge)

    The "trouble" with digital gauges is they will show if something is wrong (with frightening accuracy ), having fitted the second EDMU as a regulator gauge I noticed the regulator was creeping (gradually going up in pressure) and thought "that needs fixing" ...

    So as usual when I need to learn how to do something I bothered people with my daft questions and to save them having to answer the same questions again and again, I thought I'd share what I have learned in the hope it helps others learn "how to" -and likely save themselves a small fortune (more on that later) ...

    OK so, the regulator I will be referring to throughout this is the one in the bottle adaptor, but the one in the cylinder Dreamlines works the same way (it's just different in size/orientation, functionally they are the same)

    To remove the regulator first you have to degas the gun (remove the bottle), then empty the regulator by blind firing until you can only hear the sound of the spring, then check that it's degassed and the regulator is empty (safety first) :up: ...

    Then you need to remove the pistol grip and the trigger guard assembly (which gets the picatinny rail out of the way) then using a 2.5mm Allen key remove the adjuster from the Regulator core (it'll just unscrew until it's just held by 2 O-rings, just pull it out and put it safely to one side)....

    Next remove the regulator core (with a 5mm Allen key) and set it to one side with the adjuster -both these parts are made of brass, so it's prolly best not to try beasting anything as I imagine they'll be quite expensive to replace ;)

    Regulator core and adjuster ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-09 19-38-56.png

    NOTA BENE: I have found that a couple of custom tools are IMO absolutely essential for this job, they are "The Jeffsky Dreamline Regulator Tool Set" and consist of a "Wizards Hat" and a "Push and Pull Piston Tool" ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-16 13-12-06.png

    ... Using the "Push and Pull Piston Tool" tight end (it has holes in each end, a loose one (for replacing the piston) and a tight one (for removing the piston)) push it onto the end of the piston shaft (a piece of black plastic protruding from the stack of washers in the regulator chamber) ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-16 13-26-38.png

    FWIW Anyone wanting these tools just has to message @Jeffsky and I am sure he will be able to answer any questions you have about them and arrange the sale and shipping of said (all within forum rules of course)

    I would suggest they are absolutely essential, IF you want to save time, patience, money and a great deal of frustration -especially with the adjuster's O-rings (more on those later) ...

    Now I replaced both the piston (with a really shiny brass one from the Bromley Chop-Shop -thanks again @Jeffsky ;)) and the washers but that wasn't essential, just my wanting to do a proper job of it (as is my wont) ...

    My new piston ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-09 19-36-51.png :up::up::up:

    Belleville washers look like this as standard ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-09 19-36-26.png

    But they benefit from a polish on the surfaces that mate together, so using a piece of glass, some fine cotton cloth and some Solvol-Autosol, I placed the cloth over the glass (for it's flatness) and polished each washer on the cloth having smeared a bit of Autosol onto the fabric and polished it in a rotary motion being careful not to press on one side or another to keep the mating surfaces flat, then turning it over and doing the other surface (As far as I can see there is no benefit in polishing the entire washer and using a dremel I was worried I'd create irregularities that could cause problems later) ...

    Polished washers ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-09 19-35-35.png

    Screenshot from 2020-09-09 19-34-47.png

    .. As you can see there is now a polished "halo" on all the contact points now :up:

    As standard 11 washers are fitted by FX (which gave me an adjustment range of about 85bar upwards) as I wanted to bring the adjustment range down (to about 40(ish)bar upwards) I removed the odd (unpaired) washer ...

    The standard stack of washers looks like this ()()()()()( , -the odd one goes on last with it's "cup" facing away from the piston (I know that removing a washer is OK with the brass piston but don't know if the plastic one will cope -and I'm not ripping the reg out again to find out -take washers out of your regulator at your own risk, it worked for me, but YMMV ;) ) ...

    My stack of washers is now ()()()()() :up:

    Stacked them onto the piston (FWIW this photo was taken before I'd removed the extra washer)...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-09 19-37-31.png

    ... Gave them a slight smear of silicon oil and a smidgeon of silicon grease on the O-ring (which I replaced just because I could ) put the "Push and Pull Piston Tool" loose end onto the end, set the piston into it's position in the regulator chamber and pushed it home (being careful not to damage the O-ring by not beasting it) ...

    I then replaced the O-ring on the regulator core ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-09 19-38-15.png

    Lightly greased the O-ring and screwed the core into place with a 5mm Allen key ...

    Next I got the adjuster and placed a 2mm(ID) x 1mm (thickness) O-ring on the thin end of the Wizard's Hat pushed the open end of it onto the end of the adjuster and slid the O-ring onto the adjuster with no issues at all (trust me it is nigh-on impossible to do without the Wizard's Hat tool)

    About the adjuster O-rings ...

    As I said above the O-rings are 2mm x 1mm and are available from FX for £1.95 each ..

    Which seems somewhat excessive when they can be had much cheaper (for what is an identical part) ...

    Screenshot from 2020-09-15 18-35-38.png

    100 from Simply Bearings seems a better deal (IMO of course) here ...


    Of course you may prefer to pay £3.50 for a pair of O-rings from Simply Bearings, or give FX £3.90 for the same pair, I went for a 100 for £7.50 (inc VAT) so I'm not likely to run out anytime soon, -if ever :p

    Back on topic ...

    Screwing in the adjuster in all the way and then backing off a half turn (with 10 washers) gives a regulator pressure of 35 bar on replacing the bottle, a few tweaks and I've set it to 48 bar and will start tuning from there -I believe that reducing the regulator pressure will give me more shots per fill, if of course I can get the fps spread to something I find acceptable (I can't see why not but time will tell) ...

    In all of this if I have learned anything it is regulators aren't at all scary, are easily serviced/maintained, if you have the right tools -available from @Jeffsky (at risk of repeating myself :p) and that @Jeffsky has the patience of a saint and the skills of a Guru

    A big thank you to Geoff and the others that have help guide/assist me (you know who you are) in all this, and I hope this will help anyone who wants to strip and rebuild their regulator or has reg creep and wants to fix it (creep is caused in the main by the lower O-ring on the adjuster not sealing properly and leaking (if the upper one leaks, the air will gush out of the thread where the adjuster screws into the core))

    Hope this helps :D

    Stay well people :thumb:
    Gary 59, Lordy 74, Figgy and 3 others like this.
  2. 1260engineer

    1260engineer Precision matters

    Likes Received:
    nicely done mate . hows the shot strings coming on.
    the last one you sent was looking good :thumb:
    Autodidact likes this.
  3. Autodidact

    Autodidact Thought Criminal

    Likes Received:
    Garden of England
    I'll let you know how it goes fella ;)
    1260engineer likes this.
  4. Jeffsky

    Jeffsky Cocking handle king

    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the kind words :thumb:

    Well done, a good explanation of what you need to do :thumb: you will getting me to do you a reg tester next and getting a keller gauge, then you really will open a can of worms :facepalm: then you will get the reg bald spot form scratching your head so much :shrug::laff:
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
    Figgy and Autodidact like this.
  5. Mappas

    Mappas Engaging Member

    Likes Received:
    I love this write up , Very informative.. what is the difference between sub 12 and the FAC Belleville washers
  6. Jeffsky

    Jeffsky Cocking handle king

    Likes Received:
    FAC washers are a bit thicker I think at the moment sub 12 are 0.4 to 0.47 and FAC are .5 to .55 on average

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