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How To Make A Nitemav/mavfinder That Actually Works


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#1 T dog

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:27 PM

How to make a nitemav/mavfinder:

First and foremost, this is a very long write up. Sorry about that. I had to do a lot of stuff to make the maverick not suck. If you are an experienced modder, much of this write up will look familiar and many individual steps can be found in the nerfhaven mod directory. The final product would not have been possible without the brilliant mods and write-ups of Capt. Slug, Carrtoon, and many others. I would also like to give a shout out to alex6432 for this post and his utter inability to spell nitemav which inspired me to do this mod.

I will be detailing every step that I took to make a nitemav in hopes that even someone like Talioís mom would be able to do this mod (like she did me last night).

Here is what we are making:

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Things you need:

Nitefinder
Maverick
Handyman spring (these are the ones from home depot)
About two feet of Barrel material (I used thick wall PETG because it fits my darts well)
Zap a gap (I love this stuff. It dries relatively fast and binds incredibly strong)
Amazing goop
Hot glue and gun
Cutting tools (something that can make straightish cuts is good)
Screwdriver
Silicone lube
Craft foam

Disclaimer:

I have now done this mod on both the yellow guns and the clear series and even though this write up is done using the clear series guns, I would highly recommend not using them. The plastic is softer and bends more easily making it harder for the catch to work when you add in a stronger spring. I had to cut my handyman spring down a couple extra coils and heavily reinforce the area where the spring rested against the catch with my clear series nite-mavs where with the yellow ones I did not. That being said, the clear series does look totally bad ass with some leds (see very bottom).

Step One: Fix the Rotation Mechanism

This mod has been outlined before by the likes of Capt. Slug, but in an attempt to make this write-up as complete as possible Iím going to go ahead and detail it here. First, open your maverick. You do this by first unscrewing the cocking handle, removing that, and then unscrewing the rest of the screws. The inside should look like this:

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For this part of the mod, we are going to focus on this part:

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Remove those four screws and take the rotation mechanism out.

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Take off the screw at the end and take apart the rotation mechanism. This is how the parts should be ordered.

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To prevent the rotation mechanism from skipping when you pull the trigger, glue the two teethed pieces on the left together with some zap a gap. Let dry then reassemble.

At this point you can also rip out the plunger parts, but hold on to this piece and the extension spring from the cocking handle. You will need them later.

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Step Two: Replace the Barrels

While you still have your maverick open, remove the barrel cylinder.

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Grab your claw hammer or prying tool of choice, put it under this piece and pry it off.

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Be careful not to let the pieces go flying as you are going to need all of them shortly. Now, remove the screws from the barrel cylinder there should be 3 on each end. Pull the cylinder apart. Remove all of the air restrictors and pegs, but keep one of the springs for later.

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Take the right piece and cut along this line:

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Throw away the left side of the peice you just cut.

Then, take the 3 1/2 inch segments of PETG and insert them into what is left of the barrels where the cylinder attaches to the rotation mech (this is where the air restrictors were). They should fit very tight. If you are paranoid about air escaping or them coming loose, feel free to goop or hot glue them in:

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Once all barrels are in, reassemble the drum and screw it back together. Finish reassembling the barrel cylinder with the restrictor spring inserted like so.

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The point of this is to help push the cylinder back against the plunger tube, making it harder for air to escape. (I donít really know how well this works, but it doesnít hurt)

Step three: Roulette mod

This is a mostly cosmetic mod but it does have some benefits. Firstly it allows for easier reloading. Secondly, it will make things easier when you increase the seal with craft foam later.

Cut off these plastic parts.

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Also cutting here will help later. (they can rub against the craft foam seal when opening and closing the barell)

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Edited by T dog, 02 March 2011 - 05:25 PM.

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#2 T dog

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:29 PM

Step four: Dealing with the plunger tube.

This is pretty much directly ripped from Carrtoons mod, but Iíll go through it here just for completionís sake.

Open up your nitefinder, and take out the plunger assembly. Nerf has recently made our lives harder by gluing the barrel to the plunger tube, so letís deal with that first. There has been much discussion about this lately and the general consensus is to use a pipe cutter to cut right across this line.

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But if you are like me and donít have a pipe cutter you can do what I did which is dunk the glued part in boiling water for around 30 seconds. This should loosen up the glue a bit so that you can muscle it apart. Just be careful because it can soften up the plastic as well. Also, cut along this line so that the tube is flush.

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Cut out the air restrictor.

Before:

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After:

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Now, grab the plunger tube piece from the Maverick I told you to hold onto earlier and cut off the front of it.

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Then glue that piece onto the front of the nitefinder plunger tube with some plumbers goop. Let it dry and then go over it with some zap a gap to make it rock hard (like my abs). It should look like this when done.

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Finally, cut off those tabs where the plunger tube used to screw into the nitefinder.

Step five: Cut a bitch!

Here we have reached the point of no return. If you mess up this step, say good bye to around 20$ of nerf guns.

The first thing we are going to do is cut off the back of the maverick like so. Conveniently there are already lines along where you want to cut so itís pretty hard to mess up.

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Things get a little funky on the left side because that is where the rotation mech anchors. Here is a close up.

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After cutting the back off of the maverick, itís time to do the same to the nitefinder. Because your cuts will probably be a little different than mine, I recommend eyeballing it to make sure the back of the nitefinder will fit in well with the front of the maverick. Here is roughly where you want to cut:

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These are my pieces:

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Again, the left side is a little funky because of that rotation mech.

Finally, you are going to have to trim and sand down the interior of the maverick shell so that the new plunger can fit in. Here are some pics of where I cut:

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#3 T dog

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:33 PM

When all is said and done, the plunger tube should be able to fit in like so:

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Step six: Spring replacement.

Take the plunger of the nitefinder and unscrew the plunger head. Remove the spring. Then take your handyman spring and cut off around 1 Ĺ to 2 coils. Put it on the plunger rod with the cut part facing the back and screw the head back on. Hereís how it should look: (this pic doesnít have the spring cut down)

Before

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After

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Also, this is a good time to throw in a stronger catch spring. For this mod, I just took the maverick catch spring which is slightly stronger than the nitefinderís. Put the plunger rod back into the nitefinder back. Screw the nitefinder back closed. At this point you can test to see if the catch is working by drawing the plunger back and pressing on it to release. Just be careful not to let it shoot forward without you slowing it down. If the plunger rod is catching but not releasing, what is happening is that the spring is pushing the plastic it is resting on against the catch plate preventing it from moving. I had a huge problem with this with the clear series. You have two options here, use a weaker spring (the lame option), or reinforce the hell out of that area (what I did). Unfortunately I donít have any pictures of reinforcing this area so you are on your own.

Step Seven: The Hard Part (ie. getting the trigger just right).

Getting the trigger to work correctly is by far the most difficult part of this mod. What you want to happen is to have the trigger plate actuated and the very end of the maverick trigger pull so that the maverick cylinder is fully rotated and the barrel is aligned with the plunger tube. Easier said than done. This step is going to take critical thinking, some serious measuring and some good old guess and check. I will do my best to outline how to do this using only the nitefinder and maverick triggers, but because your cuts may be different than mine you will have to do a lot of your own measuring. Also, my camera ran out of memory so I only have a few pics of this part.

First you have to estimate where your trigger plate is going to be. To do this take the left half of the maverick shell, put the plunger tube and plunger assembly where they are going to go and mark where the trigger plate is. You are going to have to do some more trimming to get the catch plate to sit down inside the maverick. Here are some pics of where I cut.

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Take the nitefinder trigger and roughly cut this part off. Yours may need to look different depending on your previous cuts.

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Use zap a gap to glue it to the maverick trigger so that it should hit the trigger plate at the very end of the trigger pull. This is what mine looks like:

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Next, because we are going to be increasing the friction on the cylinder later when we improve the seal, we are going to need to put an extra spring on the trigger so that it will return and finish rotating the cylinder. Take the maverick extension spring I told you to hold onto earlier and attach it as in the picture above.

Step Eight: Put everything together then glue it! (Edit: After some bitching and moaning from other members of the NIC about how unclear this step was, I've added some more pictures I took after some routine maintenence.)

Screw the maverick together.
Put in the plunger tube, pushing it as far forward as possible. Hot glue it in place. Then lube up your plunger head, and put the whole plunger assembly into place. While holding the plunger assembly in place, cock the gun and see if the trigger works. If it doesn't, you are going to need to mess with the trigger some more. If it is too short, you can just put a line of hot glue on top of the ramp. If the trigger works, glue the crap out of it! I used hot glue because it is easy to take apart if you find out the trigger doesnít work properly. Feel free to use your glue of choice though.

Edit for those who don't understand. I'll try and use small words:

Take this:

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Put it in like this:

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Test and fiddle with trigger until it works. Then glue it.

Almost finished product:

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Step Nine: Improving the seal.

At this point, if youíve loaded the gun and tried to fire it you will most likely be lusting for my blood after witnessing the puny ranges. But fear not for there is one more step. Take a sheet of your craft foam and cut off a 2 x 1 inch rectangle from it. Open your cylinder like you would load it, and press the craft foam firmly against the plunger tube lip. This should leave a nice imprint in the foam. Cut out the inside of the imprint and use some zap a gap to glue it into place around the lip. Press the cylindar against the foam and rotate it around 50 times. After that it should rotate when you pull the trigger.

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Congratulations! You now own pure awesome.

Ranges = 60+ feet flat (you want to use darts with a springer fit)
Rate of fire = blistering fast

Now some sweet pics:

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Of course I made two because real men dual wield.

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And the two together:

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Some updates from 5 months later!

1. Pad the plunger head with craft foam!!! Mine broke after someone dry fired the gun a few times, and let me tell you it is a pain to replace in this gun.

2. When I went back in to replace the plunger head, I went ahead and put around 3 layers of e-tape under the o-ring. Things went pretty much how I said they would on page 2. The performance definately increased, however this decreased over time. Fortunately I have some spray silicone lube which I sprayed down the plunger tube opening, fixing the problem. If you are going to put some e-tape under the o-ring I recommend getting some spray lube and lubing the plunger up before each war.

3. This happened the other day:

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After only a couple months of light use, the back of the Nitefinder piece shattered! As stated earlier, the clear plastic is much weaker than the colored! With nothing for the plunger rod to rest on in the back the blaster stopped catching. You can see my solution in the picture. If this ever happens all you need to do is slap on some epoxy putty to keep the punger rod elevated enough to catch. To prevent this from happening to you I can think of three things to do.

1. Pad the back of the Nitefinder piece with craft foam.

2. Cut the Nitefinder piece a little bit smaller at the front or have it sit farther forward on the maverick. This would stop the plunger from hitting the plastic piece but also would decrease the draw of the gun.

3. Preemptively cut where the Nitefinder plunger rod slams into the shell.

Edited by T dog, 24 August 2011 - 10:33 AM.

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#4 dizzyduck

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:58 PM

Very nice.

Thanks for posting. I've been trying to get my Mav-Finder to work properly, this should be helpful.
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#5 gmzamz

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:11 PM

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You shoud really name them Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

This gives me an excuse to finish the Nite-Mav that I started way back when. Granted I would have to completely rip off the top, but still.
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#6 HappyHalloween

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 04:32 PM

Thank you very much for posting this! I will definately (sp?) make this my new side-arm! Are Nitemavs and Mavfinders the same thing or slightly different?
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#7 Jaayman500

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 05:28 PM

I think you should name those two "Fire and Ice." From seeing this mod I think I might do this now, especially the LED's.
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#8 Eh Watt

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 11:34 AM

Aw, man! Great job on this, dude! Clear guns with LEDs are pretty much the greatest things around. Especially if they're nitemavs!
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#9 ilzot

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 06:56 PM

Sexy as hell.

My only criticism is for someone out there to try and keep the slide intact and on there. That would be a +100 sexiness rating. I don't like the chunk of Nitefinder on there.

I LOVE the blue/red LED scheme though.

Awesome write-up too by the way.
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... to be able to get a better burst or sustained fire, rather than blowing the whole load at once.


#10 durka durka

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 10:25 PM

This looks like a really useful guide because it combines modifications from various sources into one detailed and easy-to-follow thread.
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#11 Galaxy613

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 10:34 PM

Awesome writeup! :lol: Very nice end result too!
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#12 T dog

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 08:36 AM

My only criticism is for someone out there to try and keep the slide intact and on there. That would be a +100 sexiness rating. I don't like the chunk of Nitefinder on there.


Jerm already did this. The problem with his mod though is that it gets around stock maverick ranges if not worse. The problem with using only the maverick shell is that there just isn't enough room in there to really take advantage of the nitefinder plunger tube.
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#13 Astray

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 07:05 PM

My only criticism is for someone out there to try and keep the slide intact and on there. That would be a +100 sexiness rating. I don't like the chunk of Nitefinder on there.


Jerm already did this. The problem with his mod though is that it gets around stock maverick ranges if not worse. The problem with using only the maverick shell is that there just isn't enough room in there to really take advantage of the nitefinder plunger tube.

I think I like Carrtoon's version here a little more because it keeps the Maverick shell and still gets decent ranges. However I absolutely love the LEDs. I think you should do a write up on just those as my experience with electronics is at a minimum at best.
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#14 T dog

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 07:14 PM

I think I like Carrtoon's version here a little more because it keeps the Maverick shell and still gets decent ranges. However I absolutely love the LEDs. I think you should do a write up on just those as my experience with electronics is at a minimum at best.


There are many problems with carrtoons mod that mine eliminates. First of all, this mod actually works. It is also repeatable (I own four) and doesn't brake at the drop of a hat (I've had my first two nitemavs for over a year. They have survived 4 weeks of HVZ, and over 3 wars). While it may look slightly fugly, by doing the mod this way, you end up with a good catch system which carrtoon's lacked, you can use stronger replacement springs, and you get to use more of the nitefinder plunger tube.

P.S. I don't have much experience with electronics either, I just followed this guide.

Edited by T dog, 03 October 2010 - 07:47 PM.

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#15 Abyss Mods

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 05:47 AM

My only advice would be to put some e-tape under your o-ring. You wouldn't think it would help much but it greatly improves the seal and adds several feet of range.
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#16 Chaos-blades

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 05:38 PM

Very Nice sir, I've seen far too many people attempt a nitemav / mavfinder and fail spectacularly.

A well worded, easy to follow writeup.

Makes me feel like doing a spectre-finder / nite-spectre down the track.
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#17 JATDO

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 09:36 PM

Nice job!
I've always thought of the night-mav near impossible to re-create,but you proved me wrong.
The only thing I think you should really do is change the plunger tube to petg tubing, it wold greatly increase range and make it more clear. Clear is good :)
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#18 T dog

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 12:31 AM

Nice job!
I've always thought of the night-mav near impossible to re-create,but you proved me wrong.
The only thing I think you should really do is change the plunger tube to petg tubing, it wold greatly increase range and make it more clear. Clear is good :)


I know that Dizzy was working on doing this, and I think it is definately a viable option. Some things would have to change for sure, such as getting the front of the maverick plunger tube to fit, but it should be able to be done. I don't know how much more in the way of ranges can be squeeked out of this gun because your barrels are only 3 1/2 inches long. At anyrate I know that I won't be doing this mod again or making any major changes to my nite-mav's in the near future because (1) i'm happy with how they are performing, (2) I'm broke, and (3) my limited modding tools (ie. a steak knife) make this mod much more time consuming for me than it should be.

PS, I forgot to mention it's possible to do this mod with just a steak knife!

Chaos Blades: I don't think this mod would work out well with the specter from what I've seen of it. The videos show that the barrels rotate when you use the specter's cocking mechanism, so choping that off and replacing it seems out of the question unless you want to hand rotate it. Of course I haven't seen the internals yet so something might be managed.

Abyss Mods: I think that adding some e-tape under the o-ring is definately an option. Again, I don't know how much more you can expect in the way of ranges given how short the barrels are. Also, I worry about the longevity of the blaster if you do add the e-tape. Once you glue everyting together, there doesn't really seem to be an easy way to open the gun back up so relubing the plunger can be quite a challenge (you can always rip the NF part off, but that sucks). Over time, the added friction could potentially decrease the ranges! If you have some type of spray lube I suppose you could try and spray down the opening of the plunger tube if need be.

Everything I've said in this post is just conjecture and I encourage all of you guys to try these ideas out. I love my nite-mavs and would be thrilled to see people improve on the mod.

Edited by T dog, 02 March 2011 - 04:32 PM.

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#19 Zack the Mack

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 01:22 PM

I saw the original non-clear NiteMav set at UMD Dart of War, and it's an excellent mod. Really well-done. I'm amazed that the NiteFinder piece doesn't snap off when you pull back the plunger rod.

On an illumination note, might I recommend some electroluminescent wire?
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#20 T dog

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:11 PM

I saw the original non-clear NiteMav set at UMD Dart of War, and it's an excellent mod. Really well-done. I'm amazed that the NiteFinder piece doesn't snap off when you pull back the plunger rod.

On an illumination note, might I recommend some electroluminescent wire?


Thanks everyone for the positive feedback! Yeah, the nitefinder piece looks funkey, but it's solid as a rock. I guess thats what you get when you use 2 full hot glue sticks. If you are really nervous about it, I used plumbers goop on one of the oringinal non-clear ones and it works fine. You just need to make sure that everything works perfectly before using a more permanent adhesive.

Also, those wires look awesome!
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#21 nerf1411564

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:40 PM

You shoud really name them Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

This gives me an excuse to finish the Nite-Mav that I started way back when. Granted I would have to completely rip off the top, but still.

badass dude!

#22 hamoidar

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 01:16 PM

You shoud really name them Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

This gives me an excuse to finish the Nite-Mav that I started way back when. Granted I would have to completely rip off the top, but still.


Edited by hamoidar, 31 October 2011 - 01:19 PM.

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