Jump to content
ARC Discussion Forums

Sign in to follow this  
Steve Filak

Aztek Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Recommended Posts

Aztek Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Note: This was previously posted, but I decided to pin it up since the topic seems to come up rather frequently. This might just save your Aztek from a trip back to Testors, so have a look:

If the trigger goes floppy, or if you encounter resistance when pulling it back, STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

There is a delicate linkage assembly inside the airbrush that is prone to breakage if you try to bulldog the action. As has been mentioned previously, you will void the warranty if you open the airbrush body, so don't do it. Here's what you do to free the action:

1. Remove the paint tip.

2. Tip the airbrush up, and mount it perpendicular to the ground. I have a spring steel clip that I mounted to the side of my workbench for this purpose, which also serves to store the airbrush when not in use.

3. Insert an empty color cup into the siphon port.

4. Using a dropper/pipette, add a few drops of lacquer thinner into the open nozzle until the needle plunger is submerged, and then let it sit. This will loosen up any clogs or paint buildup around the plunger. If it is a small amount of paint, you may hear the plunger snap forward - it is now unclogged. If it doesn't, add a bit more lacquer thinner to the color cup, and let it soak overnight......this should solve the problem. The next day, come back, dump any thinner left in the brush, and then use a Microbrush dipped in lacquer thinner to very carefully clean around the plunger. This should free the plunger, and you can now try to carefully work the action.

Oh, and by the way, DON'T look down the bore with the airbrush in your hand. An accidental squeeze of the trigger will give you a shot of lacquer thinner right in the eye, and trust me, you don't want that (Does it sound like I might know from experience? :huh: )

If it still doesn't work at this point, send it back for repair or replacement, but this will fix the problem 99 times out of 100.

Note also that cleaning around the plunger on a regular basis will greatly improve the performance of the airbrush, and should help to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.

Now, as for the tips themselves:

I know what Testors says about cleaning the airbrush, and the fact that they say that tip disassembly is unnecessary. I don't know about you, but I've never been able to get the tip/needle assembly clean just by spraying thinner through it. This is what I do:

1. Remove the tip.

2. Remove the needle/spring casing from inside the tip. Remove it carefully - you should be able to pull it out with your fingers. A good idea is to disassemble the tip inside a small plastic bag to prevent loss of any parts.

3. Remove the needle and then the spring from the casing. The needle will pull out, but you may need to use a toothpick to remove the spring. Be very careful, or you'll lose the spring.

4. Fill a film canister or shotglass with lacquer thinner and soak the parts for a bit.

5. Remove the parts, wipe down the needle, and clean the inside of the spring with a Microbrush. I also use a Microbrush to clean out the inside of the casing as well, but that's up to you whether you want to do that or not. I also use a very fine piece of copper wire to very carefully (and VERY gently) 'floss' out the aperture. Again, this is up to you whether you want to do this or not.....as an alternative, you could also use a small plastic eyedropper to repeatedly flush the tip with thinner.

6. Reassemble the tip - CAREFULLY.

DISCLAIMER:

I accept no liability or responsibility of any kind for any damage caused to your tip. This requires the user to be very careful in disassembling (and then reassembling) the requisite parts, and failure to do so will probably necessitate replacing the nozzle. While this works for me, you are advised to do so at your own risk.

Remember: DON'T DISASSEMBLE THE AIRBRUSH BODY - YOU WILL VOID THE WARRANTY! There's nothing inside that you should be fooling with anyway - if the problem can't be remedied by cleaning, send it back - that's what the warranty is for. :P

I will try to add some pictures on this topic soon to help illustrate the instructions. Hopefully, it'll save some heartache for someone out there.

HTH! <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fill a film canister or shotglass with lacquer thinner

Be careful if you're going to use a film canister. The lacquer thinner will eat right through the plastic. Something glass is better. I like to use an empty Model Master bottle. Put everything in there with some thinner, let it soak overnight. The next day, take the needle out and shakee the bottle, which should knock off some of the clumped paint. (The needle tip will get bent if you leave it in there) Microbrushes are nice, but I find that pipe cleaners and Q-tips work just as well. Also, I like to give the outside body of the airbrush an occasional quick wipe with some laquer thinner, to get the paint off the plastic. (Wear rubber gloves) OH yeah, and if you're working with lacquer thinner, might as well do it in your spray booth.

By the way, do you have any tips for straightening out bent airbrush needles?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the way, do you have any tips for straightening out bent airbrush needles?

I took mine all apart like Steve suggested. I removed the spring from the needle assembly and set it aside.

I then layed a piece of glass flat on the workbench. I gently rolled the tim back & forth across the top, with a bit of pressure towards the end.

MAKE SURE TO HOLD AT THE SAME ANGLE AS THE SLOPE OF THE NEEDLE

Similar to sharpening your pocket knife blade or #11 blades.

I found it to work nicely and saved me the $10 for another black tip!

Good luck

Rod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all, about this Aztec cleaning thingie....

I have been airbrushing and teaching/training the hobby/art for the last 25 yrs or so, and the ONE tool I simply cannot do without is my Ultra-Sonic pen cleaner.

These babies work wonders on crusted up paint on any and all parts...HOWEVER...some tricks are at hand for the "plastic" guns..!!

These polyacetal resin guns from Testor(formerly Kodak), are resistant to all known thinners and reducers that the average model builder will come in contact with. The odd thing is, that after many hours of brushing, the paint somehow manages to impregnate the plastic to the point even US cleaning won"t help...go figer..!!

Having said that, any crusty build up will readily come off with a good run in the cleaner of about 10-15 min. The solution is usually that stinkie stuff from ModelMaaster for Acrylic Cleaning. Works great.

My thought was that if some of the folks out there are local IPMS members, they could pool their resources and purchase one for the club, and have regular workshop/cleaning jams like I give up here in the Peg.

If any of you chaps/chapettes need any help/tips/advise, pleas feel free to email me direct, and I will do my best to "air it out" for ya...ooh that was bad...!

Cheers, Laurie "the Air Guru" Taite :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

iI also have an aztek airbrush,ordered 2 gray nozzles,can ya

beleve brand new wont even spray thinner,when i took it out

of the gun the thing fell apart spring neadle ect. yuk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Store your tips in a small bottle of lacquer thinner, it WILL NOT damage them and you will have no prblems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

another word of advice. Dont waste your money on the red nozzle. ITs supposed to be for thinned acryls. Has a plastic needle, which is a joke. Mine worked for about 6 minutes (no exageration) after that it began to spit paint. Took it apart to clean it and now it wont even spray water.

I loose more faith in testors products each day. Funny, when i started building most of the tools and models I owned were from testors. Seeing those yellow sided boxes make me so nostalgic, but no! I've been hoodwinked by this company enough times

r ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using my Aztek for 4 years, and I haven't had too many problems with it. A couple posts above me someone suggested storing tips in lacquer thinner- which I've been doing for a long time now. That really helps keep the ugly stuff from building up on them. I primarily use the turquoise and tan tips, of which I have about 5 each, and I pick up a turquoise one about once a year.

Every time I put a color through the thing, I clean it pretty thoroughly- I guess I'm just obsessive about it because I don't want the thing going down.

JB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The nozzle, disassembled. I do it everytime I spray to make sure it's clean. I don't take the spring off. The needle/spring just pop into the nylon sleeve. The sleeve has to be rotated back and forth until it goes into the body...

AztecNozzle.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like it might be time to send it back to Testors for repair. If the nozzle isn't clogged, it sounds like an air leak inside the airbrush body, and that's not something you can fix without taking the airbrush apart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine is now shooting air from the body again and the trigger has gone completely floppy after a two week break from building. I've been trying to contact Testors for any shipping intructions but they have not answered my inquiers. Anybody have any idea as to what Testors requires to send this back? Aztec A470 purchased in 2000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got email reply from Testor a while ago..i hope i can share it here

Dear Hobbyist,

Thank you for purchasing the Aztek airbrush you now possess. The Testor Corporation is proud of the Aztek line of airbrushes. We feel that our line of airbrushes are some of the easiest to use and most maintenance free airbrushes on the market today.

As with any delicate instrument that is produced, things may malfunction and/or just plain, wear out. The Aztek airbrushes (A320, A430, A470, A7778, A480 or 3000S) are covered under their warranty; as long as the airbrush has not been misused, taken apart, or consumer damaged. Consumer Damage is considered: improperly cleaning the airbrushes, dropping, stepping on or throwing the airbrushes. We also will not replace airbrushes that have been damaged due to an animal chewing on the body.

If you feel your airbrush is not working properly and is covered by a warranty (3000S, A320, A430, A470, A480 & A7778.) Please send it to us for evaluation using UPS, Fed-Ex, Certified or Registered Mail. We cannot be held responsible for airbrushes lost in transit, without a tracking number.

Please send the airbrush BODY ONLY (no hoses, adapters, nozzles or cases) along with a brief letter explaining the difficulties you are experiencing, and a physical return address to:

The Testor Corporation

Attn: Aztek Returns

440 Blackhawk Park Ave.

Rockford, IL 61104

Upon arrival of your return, our technicians will inspect the airbrush to see if it qualifies for a warranty replacement. If the airbrush is under warranty and defective due to craftsmanship, we will then replace the airbrush with either a new or refurbished body, whichever is readily available. Please keep in mind that this process can take between 1 - 3 weeks, depending on how soon we receive your return.

We thank you for your cooperation in this process and for purchasing from the Aztek line of airbrushes.

Sincerely,

Amanda Eldon

The Testor Corporation

Customer Service Department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got email reply from Testor a while ago..i hope i can share it here

Dear Hobbyist,

Thank you for purchasing the Aztek airbrush you now possess. The Testor Corporation is proud of the Aztek line of airbrushes. We feel that our line of airbrushes are some of the easiest to use and most maintenance free airbrushes on the market today.

As with any delicate instrument that is produced, things may malfunction and/or just plain, wear out. The Aztek airbrushes (A320, A430, A470, A7778, A480 or 3000S) are covered under their warranty; as long as the airbrush has not been misused, taken apart, or consumer damaged. Consumer Damage is considered: improperly cleaning the airbrushes, dropping, stepping on or throwing the airbrushes. We also will not replace airbrushes that have been damaged due to an animal chewing on the body.

If you feel your airbrush is not working properly and is covered by a warranty (3000S, A320, A430, A470, A480 & A7778.) Please send it to us for evaluation using UPS, Fed-Ex, Certified or Registered Mail. We cannot be held responsible for airbrushes lost in transit, without a tracking number.

Please send the airbrush BODY ONLY (no hoses, adapters, nozzles or cases) along with a brief letter explaining the difficulties you are experiencing, and a physical return address to:

The Testor Corporation

Attn: Aztek Returns

440 Blackhawk Park Ave.

Rockford, IL 61104

Upon arrival of your return, our technicians will inspect the airbrush to see if it qualifies for a warranty replacement. If the airbrush is under warranty and defective due to craftsmanship, we will then replace the airbrush with either a new or refurbished body, whichever is readily available. Please keep in mind that this process can take between 1 - 3 weeks, depending on how soon we receive your return.

We thank you for your cooperation in this process and for purchasing from the Aztek line of airbrushes.

Sincerely,

Amanda Eldon

The Testor Corporation

Customer Service Department.

As i've posted here before, i broke the trigger on one (because the body/trigger gets jammed with dried paint) and sent it off to get a new one under warranty (they sent me two :o ) - but now I just pull the whole a/b body apart after every 2-3 builds and clean it with neat acetone. A hell of a lot of paint gets back in there :blink: I know it voids the warranty, but it keeps the thing going & I can't be bothered sending back when they clog/break.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello guys im new here , this is my first post ever. I have a very annoying problem with my aztec a4709, everytime im painting, after 10 or 15 minutes i start seeing bubbles coming out from the tip of the airbrush (where the plastic nozzle meets the metal nozzle) and then the airbrush starts to spit water all over my work.

I tried changing my nozzle (fine line, tan) for a new one, installed a moisture trap, but it keeps doing it. Thank you very much in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello guys im new here , this is my first post ever. I have a very annoying problem with my aztec a4709, everytime im painting, after 10 or 15 minutes i start seeing bubbles coming out from the tip of the airbrush (where the plastic nozzle meets the metal nozzle) and then the airbrush starts to spit water all over my work.

I tried changing my nozzle (fine line, tan) for a new one, installed a moisture trap, but it keeps doing it. Thank you very much in advance.

Mine often spits a bit of water thru that join when I'm spraying water thru it to clean it, but not when spraying thinned paint.

Try tightening the nozzle - I actually pull the trigger back when screwing the nozzle in. I just tighten it with my fingers (not the little red tool).

Else, you might be getting a clogged tip - I use the black nozzle for acrylics which clogs less. Are you thinning you paint enough (about 75% thinner, 25% paint usually)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I just wanted to say that I sent mine in a few weeks ago under the lifetime warranty because it just hasn't been cutting the mustard of late. Without any trouble at all, they simply sent me a new one! :salute:

All I had to do was send it in with a letter explaining the problem. This was a really great experience- I'm glad I bought my A470.

Josh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whoaaa it was brand spanking new ?? no paint residue or anything?

heyy, if my trigger is a bit loose (and by a bit loose, i mean when i shake the AB the trigger kind of clacks back and forth with the motion) is that normal ? i just bought my a470 off ebay... (with a lifetime guarantee!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>heyy, if my trigger is a bit loose (and by a bit loose, i mean when i shake the AB the trigger kind of clacks back and forth with the motion) is that normal ?

for aztek it's absolutely normal, construction "feature" :-( If it's woldn't be loose then you would open paint same time as you press trigger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all I had the same problem however well I cleaned it the linkage in the handle broke also the tips dont last long even with good clean , here in the England Ripmax UK. repaired it free of charge in 48 hours. And I also end up buying new tips once a year or so.

Karel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am new to this hobby, and i was thinking of purchasing A430.. but too many people are complaining about its maintenance? so even after cleaning it thoroughly does it still mess around??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i am new to this hobby, and i was thinking of purchasing A430.. but too many people are complaining about its maintenance? so even after cleaning it thoroughly does it still mess around??

No, if you clean it well it works well. But I'm not sure if they are easier to clean than other airbrushes. As i've posted before, i take the body of my A470 apart & clean it out with acetone as the paint tends to blow back into the body & clog the trigger. I've pulled it apart & cleaned heaps & it still works fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

& here's how to take the body apart (& more importantly put it back together again) so you can clean it.

This VOIDS THE WARRANTY but as far as I'm concerned is well worth it & keeps the airbrush spraying very nicely.

Also, I recently bought a cheap ultrasonic cleaner off ebay & that does a great job on the airbrush without opening it up at all. I'll probably still pull it apart every now & again for a thorough clean but far less often.

Page is in french but pictures are self explanatory or you could try translation sites such as babel.

http://www.master194.com/encyclo/aztec/index.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I clean my aztec nozzles and paint cups in any lacquer/enamel thinner? Has anyone done this and had problems? Also, do I have to use MM airbrush thinners or can I use other (cheaper/greater quantity) paint thinners? I've had a 3000S for about 7 years, and have used it off and on, with continuous clogging and splatter problems (even with a compressor moisture trap and pressure regulator). I use about 15-25 psi. Is this correct? Anybody have tips/preferrences on a different airbrush?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...