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Nerf N-Strike Elite Firestrike Mod Guide

LEDs, CPVC coupler, Spring replacement

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#1 TheNerfZilla

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 07:52 PM

This mod is a mod I have done twice before, and this third time it turned out better than ever before. The best part about this mod is the fact that it is very simple, and almost anyone can do it. So, without further ado, let's move on to the (VERY picture heavy) writeup.



To start with, you need:
A firestrike. I use an Elite XD one, but it works fine on the blue ones too
1/2 inch CPVC
1/2 inch CPVC coupler
A small LED of your color choice
Epoxy Putty
Small Screw with large threads (Test the length before you screw it in, as a lot of screws look long enough, but aren't)
Electrical or plumbers tape
Silicone grease
Dremel/rotary tool with sanding/grinding bits
Home Depot Everbuilt spring
Super Glue or hot glue
Duct Tape
Soldering iron with solder
Wire cutters and strippers
Sharp knife
Phillips Head screw driver
Flat head screwdriver
Mallet
Bolt cutters

This picture contains most of the materials and tools, but not all of them.
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SECTION 1: CPVC coupler, and spring replacement.
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First, unbox your firestrike
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Remove the screws, and butterfly the shell open. Don't forget the battery cover screw.
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Remove the plunger assembly from the blaster. It should look like this:
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Pry the barrel shroud off. It can take a while, as the plastic is pretty thick. This piece is the barrel shroud:
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You should also remove the orange piece at the top. It is the piece that shows through the slits in the shell.
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Use your knife to pry off the brackets holding the barrel/AR assembly onto the plunger tube.
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This is the AR assembly. It may stick to the plunger or the barrel, depending on your blaster. Either way, isolate it.
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Remove the AR backplate, and pound out the three support struts using a flathead screwdriver and mallet. There are other ways you could do this, but this is the easiest one I have found.
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This is what it should look like when you are done.
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Sand down the outside of your CPVC coupler a little bit, and use the mallet to force it into your now-opened-up back plate.
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Take a small amount of epoxy putty and roll it into a thin rope. Wrap it around the joint.
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Spread and smooth out the epoxy putty.

Place the coupler/backplate inside the plunger rod. Test fit it inside the shell, and press the orange aesthetic piece in, to plant it inside the epoxy putty. Remove the whole assembly, including the aesthetic piece, and let the putty set.
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Just to recap, these are all the pieces you should have removed. In the picture, the dart post is clipped off, but you don't have to do that.
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Take the plunger rod.
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Use your knife and cut the plunger head off.
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Take your Everbuilt spring and line it up next to the stock spring.
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Use your bolt cutters to cut the new spring to the stock length. You could use your Dremel, or maybe even a small hacksaw, but the bolt cutters are SUPER easy, and I had them in hand.
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Slide the new spring onto the plunger rod. You don't need to touch the catch spring, as it is plenty powerful. This is my third firestrike i have modded like this, and I have never had any problems with them staying primed.
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Take your screw, and line up the plunger head on the rod.
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Screw the plunger head onto the rod. You may need an additional person to help with leverage. Drilling a pilot hole is recommended, but not necessary if you are very strong and have a sharp screw. I used a pilot hole.
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Clean out the inside of your plunger tube, and replace the stock lube with silicone grease.
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Remove the O-Ring and, once again, wipe off the stock lube.
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Wrap the plunger head in tape of your choice, I used plumber's teflon tape, but I have used electrical tape in the past, and it works fine.
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Put the O-Ring back on, and lube it up with your silicone grease.
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Take your barrel shroud...
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...And sand down the inside of the uppermost opening until it slides VERY easily over 1/2 in. CPVC. This part is important.
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SECTION 2: LED replacement. You are now done with the performance mods. If you do not want to do the LED replacement, skip to the reassembly and barrels part at the end.
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Take the LED assembly...
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...And pry the circuit board off the back.
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Snip the two wires off of the circuit board. The circuit board can be thrown away.
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Strip the ends of the wires, but be careful, Nerf wires are thin, and easy to accidentally cut.
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Twist the strands of copper around each other to create one solid wire. The picture is fuzzy, and I'm sorry, but I tried several times and couldn't get the camera to fully focus.
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Take your LED...
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...And solder the LED to the wires. Make sure to test the circuit first. If it doesn't work, the try flipping the positive and negatives, as the LED's wires aren't labled, so your first try is pretty much 50/50, unless you're magic.
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Wrap the soldered connections in electrical tape, to prevent exposed wires from touching, and shorting out the circuit.
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You can now place the LED back inside the black shroud and put the whole piece back inside the shell.
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You can now reassemble the whole blaster. You will have to partially remove the LED shroud in order to but the orange barrel shroud/muzzle piece in.
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Don't forget this little piece, as it is essential for the battery compartment to stay in.
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You can now screw the whole blaster back together.
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SECTION 3: Barrels. These steps are necessary for your blaster to work. If you already have a barrel system picked out, congrats, you're done. If you don't, these are the two barrel systems that I use on my personal firestrikes.
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Singled Barrel: This barrel is front loading, and great for taggers, whistlers, holstering, and rounds that outlaw speedloaders. I use it mostly when I lend it out to friends who are confused by speedloaders, and always end up putting the darts into the wrong barrel. These people aren't idiots, they just don't mod nerf blasters, and have never heard of speedloaders.

Take a nerf dart, and line it up along side your CPVC. Cut it, and flare the end a little bit with a conical sanding bit to make loading easier.
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Speedloader: Two slightly longer singled barrels that are glued and taped together for slightly higher ROF and range.

Do the same step as above, except make the barrel 50% longer. Cut two of these barrels. Stick one of them inside the blaster, and line up the second barrel underneath it.
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Glue the barrels together while one is still in the blaster. Tape the barrels together, to reinforce the glue.

Congrats, your blaster is now done!

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CONCLUSION: This mod is very easy, and I hope that the writeup was easy to understand. I do not own a chronograph, and have never used one, but I have range tested blasters before. My personal firestrikes use this same spring load and speedloader system, but with quite a bit more dead space. Those blasters both get 70-80 feet flat with elite darts. This blaster is punching harder, due to less dead space, so I would put ranges at 80-85 feet flat with elites, with an occasional 90. I imagine with stefans it would be a very competitive sidearm for NIC wars.
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I will be selling this blaster in a sales thread soon, but it is not up just yet. When I put it up for sale, I will put a link here.


Thank you for reading my first write-up! Questions, comments, flames are all welcome.

Edited by TheNerfZilla, 24 June 2015 - 08:01 PM.

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#2 Aeromech

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:36 PM

Very good writeup. I'd like to see those range claims substantiated though. Firing flat is not something that a lot of people do well.

Also, what is the length of the spring prior to being cut?
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#3 TheNerfZilla

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 04:37 PM

Very good writeup. I'd like to see those range claims substantiated though. Firing flat is not something that a lot of people do well.

Also, what is the length of the spring prior to being cut?



The spring is 4 inches long uncompressed. Here is a link to the pack I bought. I have not yet found a use for the small spring.

http://www.homedepot...16084/202045472

I understand that range claims don't mean much, but I don't have a chronograph. When/if I get a youtube channel up, I will do a range test on there.
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#4 tweak

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 10:01 AM

Just did this exact spring upgrade (hardware store spring) on my Rebelle Star Shot, same exact internals. Lost that bottom nut that holds the battery door about 4 times. Thinking of upgrading to a laser pointer instead of LED.

I didn't cut the plunger head off though, opened the spring up and worked it around till it came off.

I haven't measured distance but this thing is shooting as far as my Cycloneshot with elite darts, :o . I tried using the same spring in my Strongarm and just didn't trust it could handle the stress, there is no rubber on the end of the plunger like in the Star Shot. It wasn't shooting much farther than with the Star Shots stock spring anyway to make it worth the stress.

Couldn't believe how week the Strongarm spring was, must be a very efficient plunger.
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#5 Cartaya

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 06:19 AM

I love what you did with the coupler on this, very nice. Ever give a Century C-882 a look? It is 7/8"X8.5"X.072 wire gauge and 22 active coils.  It has a thinner gauge than an Everbilt spring but less coils per inch so it is a higher yield.  If you cut it to 12 coils, ton's of precompression, around 14 Kg's and should fit in a Firestrike.  Give It a shot, I also use a Catch spring out of the Everbilt small spring variety pack to go well beyond 14 Kg's, give them a try, stock catch springs just aren't enough.

Oh, and I voted for you by the way.


 


Edited by Cartaya, 02 February 2016 - 06:24 AM.

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#6 TheNerfZilla

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:12 PM

Thanks, I had never heard of that spring before, I'll have to give it a go, the prospects are intriguing. For the everbuilt spring, I have found the stock catch spring to be more than strong enough, but I can imagine how it would need upgrading with 14 kilos. The coupler idea probably wouldn't work for most cpvc, but with completely flat couplers it works extremely well. I no longer own this particular fire strike, as I put it in the COSTCOH raffle, or I would give it a try.
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#7 Nerfguy2002

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:07 PM

Ok not to be mean or any thing, but your soldering the LED wrong. First of you need to put a forceps that locks in to place right next to the LED, that will prevent damage to the light. Also, when you said the leads aren't marked, the longer lead is the positive one, if you hook that up wrong it will blow out the LED. Other wise you did a really nice job on this.


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#8 paco-pop

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 07:03 AM

I like it

I will give it a try.

 

Thanks


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#9 Snoop Doggy doge

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 11:18 AM

I like the way it looks, but wouldn't having the screw in the plunger head leave space for air to escape?


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#10 TheNerfZilla

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 01:39 PM

Thank you for the info about the LED leads, I was not aware. I have not had any issues with the LED being damaged or moved, as it is a perfect fit.

I haven't had issues with air escaping around the screw, but if that happens I would just use epoxy to completely secure the screw permanently.

All of this recent activity on this thread has motivated me to redo this, with the more powerful spring and better adhesives. I will probably post it on here if I get around to it. Thanks for all the feedback.
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#11 Psylocke

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 11:23 AM

Nice guide!

 

USER WAS WARNED FOR THIS POST

DUDE, THIS THREAD IS MORE THAN A YEAR OLD. IF YOU'RE GOING TO BUMP IT, YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE.


Edited by Ice Nine, 22 December 2016 - 11:40 AM.

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