Many forget about common maintenance. With our Mark 7 Apex 10 torn apart for a caliber conversion, we decided to do some routine maintenance.
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In the Series
This video covering routine maintenance of the Apex 10 is a continuance of our series with guest John Vlieger of Mark 7 reloading.
What to Look For
John explained there are two categories of maintenance: daily and preventative. Mark 7 Apex 10 machines retain grease pretty well, so adding grease is not an everyday task.
Daily maintenance includes adding light machine oil to all bronze bushings, the main ram and external guide rods. The manual indicates doing this after every 10,000 rounds, but it can be done more frequently. It really depends how dirty your machine gets and how you’re using it.
John especially likes Starrett tool and instrument oil, but any lightweight machine oil will also work. He initially used gun oil. As long as it is light and spreads well, it doesn’t really matter. He noted many people ask about lubricating the driveline. Doing so directly is not necessary. By lubricating the main ram, bronze bushings, and external guide rods daily, the rest of the machine gets some trickle down effect.
When it comes to grease, you do have to pull the sprocket off the Apex to access the drive shaft from the right-hand side.
The left-hand side has the same access point, but you can access it whether the machine is together or not.
Keeping the driveline tight is very important.
Be sure to check the two set screws that secure the crank to the drive shaft.
Whenever you are adding grease, it’s an opportunity to check for screws and loose parts.
Considering the pieces for the caliber changeover, John likes adding grease towards the center of the shellplate.
This will naturally spread and keep the grease from contaminating the reloading components. The same applies to the shellplate nut.
To prevent grease from getting all over, rest the greased shellplate atop the greased shellplate nut. Another place to add grease is around the wave spring around the center of the ram. This provides some upward tension on the shellplate for a smooth rotation. John recommends Lucas Red “N”Tacky #2, available at auto stores and on Amazon. A handy syringe or grease gun with a needle fitting are great for reaching drive shaft lubrication points. A tube with a horsehair brush also works well.
In general, John recommends keeping the machine clean and lubricated. When you first start with a brand-new machine, take a mental note of what running it feels like. If it no longer feels as smooth or something feels off, take time to investigate. You should be checking the machine over and ensuring the proper components have grease after about 10,000 rounds.
Get the Gear
John’s preferred oil and grease:
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