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Tippman 98 Custom Paintball Gun
The Tippmann 98 Custom is an all around favorite paintball gun for beginers and more advanced players alike. It is very durable, very upgradable, and it can get the job done well. It's also a very popular gun, which is advantageous to those seeking advice on how to fix it and new or used parts. You can get a Tippman 98 Custom for about $130 new or $80 and up used.
How to Clean, Oil, or Fix the Tippmann 98 Custom
If you want any paintball gun to last, you'll need to clean and lube it often. The Tippmann 98 is no exception. It's pretty easy to fix and anyone can do it--even if you never have before.
(Some of this article is also covered in this video about disassebling the Tippmann 98 Custom, and this video about where to oil the 98 Custom.)
Before you begin cleaning your Tippmann 98 Custom, you'll need some paintball gun oil (made specifically for paintball guns), some water and towells, and two different hex screwdrivers (I'm not sure what size they are, but they should come with a basic hex set). You also need to be sure to disconnect the air and make sure the gun isn't cocked. You may want to take apart your gun on an open, uncluttered table. It's easy to lose little parts.
Here is my Tippmann 98 Custom with a Small Parts Linear barrel:
The first screws you take out will be the two on the handle and the two connecting the tank adapter to the handle:
Once you've taken out those screws, you'll need to take out the six screws connecting the two sides of the gun's body together:
Before separating the two main body parts, you'll also need to take off the plastic cover on the bolt handle (the thing you pull back to cock the gun). Once this is off you can separate the body parts and take a look inside. This is what the Tippmann 98 Custom looks like when you first take it apart (you can see that I broke some balls in mine--it really needed a cleaning).
You can take out the rear bolt and front bolt by removing the back spring, pulling the rear bold (the metallic one) backwards, and then moving the front bolt forwards. The rear bolt and the front bolt are connected by a piece of metal called the linkage arm.
Now you can clean out the inside of the Tippmann 98 Custom with a wet washcloth. Be sure to try everything that gets wet. Put a drop or two of paintball gun oil (which you can find at Wal-mart or anywhere that paintball guns are sold) below the front and rear bolt and on top of them. You don't have to be excessive with the oil, usually a couple drops is fine. You'll also want to put a drop or two on the O-rings on each bolt (two total). This helps protect the O-rings and seal in the air.
Once your Tippman 98 Custom is cleaned out, you can put it back together pretty easily--just remember where everything goes when you take it apart, otherwise it can get a tad tricky. Really it's a pretty simple process. One thing that can sometimes be bothersome when you're trying to attach the two body parts together is the front sight spring. Just make sure the front sight and spring are in place before you connect the two body parts.
If you'd also like to clean around the power tube (where the air goes in), or if you'd like better access to the whole inside of the body, you can easily take the power tube out by removing the two screws that connect it to the body.
Some Common Problems with the Tippmann 98 Custom
Double-shooting. Sometimes when you pull the trigger of a Tippmann 98 Custom, the bolt will fire twice, often resulting in a broken paintball. There are at least two common causes of this. The first is that the O-rings and bolts aren't lubed well enough. Try cleaning the inside of the gun well and lubing it to see if that fixes it. Another cause can be that the rear bolt (the metallic piece) is worn down on the bottom. If it gets too worn down, the sear (the metal piece the trigger hits that catches the rear bolt) can't catch the rear bolt every time. The only solution I know of is a new bolt. You'd have to take a lot of shots with your 98 Custom before this will happen.
Here's a copy of the Tippmann 98 Custom Owner's Manual.