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Fixing stuff feels good.



Maybe it's a male thing or maybe it stems from insecurity but I always get a kick from fixing stuff. Properly.


I've been wanting to fit some fancy new headlights on my BMW for ages and I bought a set but was disappointed by the quality of them.

I aborted the operation but, during a trip to a scrap yard, I spotted a set of damaged BMW headlights and I bought them with the intention of combining the good bits of the fancy new headlights with the quality of the original BMW units.

This took a LOT longer than I anticipated, mostly due to the fact that some weird mental block stopped me from working on them for more than half an hour at a time.

Anyway, I finally got them finished and installed them on the car and discovered that one was steaming up in the wet due to not being properly sealed and the electric adjuster wasn't working.

After a couple of weeks of not caring I finally decided to pull out the dodgy light and have a look. As it turned out the problems were linked. The non-functional adjuster had been tampered with and the seals were missing, thus allowing it to fill up with water (never good for electrical stuff) and allow rainwater into the light housing.

I replaced the adjuster, bunged the light back in and it's all been very impressive since. Score 1 for the good guys.


As I said in the previous entry I have also had new suspension parts for my MR2 and my BMW waiting to be put on the cars.

I had a wild burst of enthusiasm and did both cars within a week and the results are terrific.

Both sets of shocks lower the cars by an inch or so and I was worried they'd maek the cars harsh to drive but the ride is just as smooth as before, just with a hint less roll in corners. Springs and Dampers supplied by Jamex, bought off eBay.

Incidentally, I found non-functional dampers on each car and one was so badly corroded that the strut was only about half the original diameter. If you have a 10 year old car I'd definitely recommend spending a bit of cash on new shock absorbers.


So, what's any of this got to do with airsoft?

Well, the theme is that a bit of hard work can give you that warm fuzzy feeling when you get something fixed and that applies to airsoft too.

I have the oldest Classic Army MP5 that I know of. I bought it back when CA were still making M4s rather than M15s.

The spring guide broke within a few hundred shots but, once that was replaced, it's been perfectly reliable, aside from it making a rather nasty "doinnng!!!" noise whenever it shoots.

It used to be an SD2 but I lent it to somebody a few years ago and they returned it to me by leaving it on the boot of my car, a fact I only became aware of when it fell off at a speed of 40mph and the car behind began flashing his lights at me.

As a result of this incident the front end and pistol grip got a bit damaged and I decided to convert it to an A2 when I bought replacement parts.

That was another 2 or 3 years ago and, since then, it's been used by a bunch of people aside from me.

I must admit that I'd noticed the cocking tube drooping slightly but kept convincing myself it was nothing major.


I got the idea, after a discussion on IRC, of taking the MP5 to bits and swapping the 330fps CA spring for a TM one so the gun could be used in CQB.

As soon as I removed the foregrip I realised the prongs that fix the front end to the receiver were damaged. One was broken completely and the other was fractured.

Oh well, something else to think about.

I found that a lump of 1/2" copper plumbing pipe was a nice tight fit inside the reciever so I mixed up a dollop of JB Weld and glued an 8" length of pipe up inside the cocking tube, after removing all the cocking handle parts.

The tube sticks out by about 2" and that allows it to slip inside the receiver nice and firmly. I drilled a small hole in the top of the receiver and fitted a small screw, just to hold the tube in place.

That little job has made the front end nice and solid. Good for another 10 years, I hope.


Dismantling the gearbox revealed that the piston was totally cream-crackered, not bad for 7 or 8 years though, but still working.

I fitted a standard TM Piston and spring and put it all back together.

The gun is now shooting at around 265fps but the horrid "twannnggg!!!" noise has completely gone and the ROF is very impressive, even on 8.4v.

I notice that the CA spring was a lot shorter than the TM one but made of heavier wire. I suspect that, due to the short length, it was rattling around inside the gun when fired.


Anyway, as well as my car lights and shock absorbers, I also breathed a new lease of life into my old MP5.

I might even give it a go instead of my P90 during the next skirmish.


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