Airforce Condor Tophat Question

Forums PCP Airguns Airforce Condor Tophat Question

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    BigVitamin
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    The tophat on my condor loosened and now I can move it.  Before I re-tighten the allen screws I was wondering if anyone knew exactly how far the tophat should be screwed in?

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    rwsmike
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    I’m not sure but I replaced mine with a talon tunes top hat and that issue Is in the rear view now :)

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    T3PRanch
    Participant
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    Try a gap of about 3mm between bottom of Top hat and the brass piece below it.  Where it is set will alter the power a bit as it varies valve timing to an extent. You will know when it is too far out when the bolt doesn’t rotate to a full locked position. Play with it if you have a chronograph to see where you like it.

    Thurmond

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    Yote
    Participant
    Member

    My top hat u just push in and stops on it’s own.

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    T3PRanch
    Participant
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    There are so many variations of the top hat assembly floating around (especially with all the Chinese copy’s / variants and now the new AirForce design which I like a LOT) that it is hard to keep up with them. The original tophat with 2 set screws comes from the factory adjusted just about 1/4 to 1/2 turn above the inner stationary section.

    Thurmond

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    davecole
    Participant
    Member

    Obviously, I don’t know how familiar you are with the Condor or if you have have a chrony but here are some steps you can take to get the gun back to square one and improve it’s consistency.

    The top hat as an assembly, doesn’t screw in; It’s pressed into a delrin seal inside the valve. What I believe you are talking about is just the part that makes contact with the cocking bolt. (black delrin part with o ring and cocking lever.)

    What has happened, the set screws in the top hat have engaged themselves in the recess of the cocking bolt and ever time you action the cocking lever, you “bump” the top hat which causes the set screws to loosen. 

    Here’s the fix….. 

    This part has two set screws. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THEM! You will damage the top hat tube. The tube of the Condor top hat is super thin and you can indent the tube making any future adjustments a pain the you-know-where. 

    Step 1.
    Remove the top hat assembly from the valve. 

    Ideally, you want to remove the top hat assembly. Don’t worry, air will not come out of the bottle. You can do this removal easily and without damage to the valve seat or scratch up the outside of the top hat tube (which will damage the o ring in the brass bonnet valve seat it goes up and down through)
    You can do this with a automotive interior panel removal tool like this:

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Auto-Car-Door-Upholstery-Remover-Panel-Trim-Clip-Removal-Plier-Removing-Pry-Tool/747440280
    You can get one at any automotive store too. I use a metal one. They also make these in plastic. 
    Just put the fork under the top hat and gently pry up on the top hat assembly. 

    Step 2.
    Repairing the set screw part of the top hat.

    Once you have the top hat assembly removed, you want to just barely tighten down the two .050″ set screws. Just so they
    “lock” the top part of the top hat to the tube. (you’ll locktite later)
    You will notice they will protrude ever so slightly. You want to make the top of the set screws flush AND SMOOTH with the outer body of the top hat.  (they can and will damage the recess of the cocking bolt.) You can do this with a file, dremel, etc., because you will be removing only a tiny bit of material. I don’t recommend you remove the set screws to do this. They are small and you run the risk of dropping one.  By doing this, the cocking bolt doesn’t try to turn the top hat when actioning the bolt. You can if you want, polish the area where the top hat top contacts the cocking bolt.  

    Step 3.
    Reinstalling the top hat assembly.
    The stem of the top hat is press fitted into a delrin seat inside the valve. This delrin seat is what seals the air in the tank. Thus the reason the air isn’t released when you remove the top hat.

    Replacing the top hat can be done in a couple of ways:
    You can push the top hat into the valve by hand and gently tap the top of the top hat with a rubber mallet using a very soft material such as a small block of pine or similar material between the top of the top hat and the mallet.  
    Or
    What I do is, once i have the top hat inserted into the brass bonnet I then push the top hat into the seal by pushing the tank against something like the block of pine. 
    Be very careful and take your time because you can damage the stem if you use too much force or pressure.

    Step 4.
    Final adjustments.
    If you don’t have a chrony, getting the best tune will be a huge challenge. But this should get you somewhere close.

    A starting point is to adjust the top hat part with the set screws are against the cocking bolt with no play between the two parts. Now for the Condor, this might be a bit too much depending on where you have your Power Wheel (PW) adjuster set. 
    If you are not familiar with how the Power Wheel and top hat adjustment work in unison understand this;
    The Power Wheel adjusts spring tension on how hard the cocking bolt strikes the top hat. The harder the strike, the further the top hat is pushed into the valve releasing more or less air. The gap between the top hat bottom and the brass bonnet determines how long or “dwell time” the delrin valve seat is open to release the air. For the greatest efficiency, (i.e. shot count) you want as little PW preload as possible.

    So, you want to adjust the top hat where it is snug against the bolt with little or no play. (Play between the bolt and the top hat will give you erratic velocities.) Now remove the set set screws from the top hat and apply some blue locktite or equal. NOT RED!! I use clear fingernail polish on mine, hasn’t loosened up yet. 
    Now reinstall the set screws and GENTLY tighten them down. Let the locktite dry. 

    Fill you tank to about 2700psi. Adjust your PW to about 2 or 3. Load the gun and fire it. If you don’t have a chrony (and you really need one with an AF gun) you should be able to tell from the sound of the report and the firing cycle of the gun if it is about where it was before and where you want it. If it sounds low, tighten up the PW about a half turn at a time, firing each time, until you get the gun to “feel” like you want it. When you reach that point, try backing down on the PW just a bit to find the low end of the bell curve. 

    Hope this helps and if you need any more help on your Condor, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Good Luck!  

     

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    crittahitta
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    Member

    What Dave said is correct. But If I was you I would get a new adjustable tophat from talon tunes/Texas airguns. Pyramid air will be selling a set of tophats for adjustable power by the end of April. These wont have any set screws and you can shoot any power level you want from 30 to 100 fpe. I bought an adjustable tophat from texas airguns and love it. But Im ordering the set from Pyramid too.

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    Bullfrog
    Participant
    Member

    I agree with others just replace it. I have the factory tophat and I very quickly dented it by turning in the set screw just a bit too much. I run a Talon Tunes on mine now. 

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    BigVitamin
    Participant
    Member

        I Will see what I can do with this ENORMOUS amount of information you guys have provided!  Thanks so much to all who replied!  I am new here and was expecting mixed results, but am happy to be a part of such a great group.  I will update in the next few days as to what I ended up with.
        As a side note, I do not have a crony unfortunately, so I may have to wait to get one before I really get into to trying to “tune” it. 
        What initially raised the question was that I purchased a new cylinder from airforce and notice a huge difference in both the sound of the rifle and the accuracy.  With the old cylinder my POI was shifting after I had sighted in the rifle with the new cylinder.  That is what made me look at the tophat and realize that the new and the old were quite different in how far they were screwed into the assembly.
        T3P:  You seemed to know exactly what I was referring to, and I will try adjusting there.  The new cylinder is flush with the inner unmoving portion, while the old cylinder is screwed out up to half an inch.
        Dave:  Thank you for taking the time to type out the lengthy response.  I will follow up with you on this when I can afford a chrony!

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    BigVitamin
    Participant
    Member

    So what do I need to do if the allen screws were over-tightened denting the inner tube?  If that were to happen, just saying.

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    Bullfrog
    Participant
    Member

    “BigVitamin”So what do I need to do if the allen screws were over-tightened denting the inner tube?  If that were to happen, just saying.

    
When it happened to me, I didn’t actually notice a change in performance. I still have that dented tophat as a backup. But if dented too much it could theoretically make the air turbelent or restrict flow. Or you might even puch a hole in it if the dent becomes too flimsy. 

    Something I will point out is that my Condor has major POI issues if I tune for a 3000psi fill and shoot pellets. Its not the veocity of the pellets, and I can still tune them for lower velocities on a high fill. But even at slower velocities they spray until I start shooting them at lower pressures. My Condor is one of the newer ones that had the Escape’s internals. I think the valve moves too much air at high pressure and it warps pellets with a big high pressure burst. If I tune for a high pressure with non skirted bullets, my POI remains constant. 

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