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In the U.S., contact:
Smart Parts
Mailing Address:
PO Box 3200
Latrobe, PA 15650-5000
Delivery Address:
Loyalhanna Business Complex
100 Station Street
Loyalhanna, PA 15661
Phone: 724-539-2660
Fax: 724-539-2298

Outside the U.S., contact the manufacturer Belsales

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Belsales/Smart Parts Twister kit for the Sledgehammer regulator

© Ravi Chopra, 1999

Despite WGP’s long-time incorporation of the sturdy and functional Sledgehammer regulator on the stock Autococker, it is still one of the first parts to be replaced with an aftermarket product (Rock, Jackhammer, etc.). People don’t dump the Sledgehammer because it’s a bad reg; in fact it works just fine. They pitch it because it’s not externally adjustable. If you want to adjust the pressure to your pneumatics with a Sledgehammer, you have to degas the ’gun, disconnect the hose from the end of the Sledge, unscrew the mid-section of the regulator from it’s base-cap, and adjust a screw inside the reg. Then you have to put it all back together and test it. If the pressure isn’t where you want it you have to repeat the whole above process. Compare that to the 10 seconds or so it takes to optimally set the pressure into your Autococker with an externally adjustable reg.

Keith Belsale saw a way to correct this situation without forcing people to replace the entire regulator. His solution: the Twister kit.

Design

The Twister kit is an end-cap replacement for the Sledgehammer that incorporates an knob in its end that adjusts the tension on a spring that also comes with the Twister kit. The cylinder is the same diameter and color (black) as the Sledgehammer reg so it matches nicely with the stock parts. The end narrows down to the relatively small knob.

The Twister is exceedingly easy to install. Disconenct the hose from your Sledgehammer. Unscrew the end-cap from the end of the Sledge. Then screw the Twister onto the end of your reg in place of the old end-cap. Make sure you do so with the spring inside. Now just reattach your hose and you’re ready to gas up and set your input pressure.

Unlike most externally adjustable regulators, the Twister-enhanced Sledgehammer increases and decreases pressure the opposite of what you’d expect. Screwing the knob in (clockwise) actually decreases the pressure. Counter-clockwise rotation screws the knob further out, decreases spring tension, and increases pressure sent to your penumatics.

Design rating [4]

Construction

The end-cap portion of the Twister is manufactured from aluminum. The adjustment screw is stainless steel. It matches the rest of the Sledgehammer perfectly. The small knob is well knurled and is particularly easy to grasp and adjust.

Construction rating [4]

Performance

There isn’t much to say here. The Twister kit works just as advertized, allowing you to easily set your pneumatic operating pressure without having to disassemble your Sledgehammer. Performance is the same as the stock Sledgehammer, but now you can turn the pressure up a bit on the field if you find your Autococker starting to stumble and drop shots.

Performance rating[4]

Versatility

While the Twister kit does allow external adjustment of the Sledgehammer, the range of adjustment is somewhat less than what you find on aftermarket regulators. The nice aspect is that you can much more finely tune your input pressure because a particular amount of knob-turn results in less pressure change than with aftermarket regs. The catch, though an unlikely circumstance, is that when you first install the Twister the pressure you want to achieve may be outside the spectrum that the Twister can initially achieve. All this means is that you may need to unscrew the mid-section of the reg from the reg base to make a gross adjustment to the regulator’s internal screw. Once this is done once, you should never have to disassemble the regulator again for any adjustment. The external knob adjustment should allow sufficient range of adjustment for any situation or circumstance.

Versatility rating [3]

Price/Warranty

At $35, the Twister is about $15 less expensive than a whole adjustable regulator. As a way to get easy external adjustment, the Twister is less expensive than other options. On the other hand, you don’t get a whole regulator; you just an adjustment cap. That’s really rather a lot of money when you consider that for just $15 more, you can have a whole new reg and still have your stock Sledge as a backup in case something ever went wrong with the new one.

On the other hand, warranty considerations are important for some people. Replacing the Sledgehammer with an aftermarket regulator violates your WGP warranty. The Twister does not.

Price/Warranty rating [2]

Conclusion

The Twister kit is a clever and nicely made piece that works perfectly as advertized. It is extremely easy to both install and use. My only complaint is with the price which seems somewhat high. Never the less, the Twister kit does offer the least expensive option to add adjustable regulation to your Autococker’s front-end.

All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999