Installing a New Three Way

OK, so you took the plunge and have started upgrading parts on your gun. You did some research, talked to some people, and bought a three way. Some people call it a four way,which is really the correct name, but I’m in the habit of calling it a three way, so deal with it. So,now what?
You have two choices, pay someone to put it on, or do it yourself. If you want to pay,stop reading, and go to the airsmith. If you want to do it yourself, read ALL THE WAY THROUGH this, and then get some tools, and some time.
One other thing, use a clean table or work bench when you work on your gun. It helps to keep the internal parts of your gun clean, and makes it harder to loose screws and other parts. I always put a thin, short pile towel down, that way, no parts will roll off.

Here is a close up the front end of a cocker. Notice how close together all the parts are. That means most of them will have to come off to allow enough clearance to remove the three way.



Here’s what you will need:

A GOOD set of hex wrenches
A mid-sized adjustable wrench
A tiny adjustable wrench, pliers, or a very small socket set
1’ three way hose
A small flat-head screwdriver
Some time, so you can do it right
In some cases you will also need at least 2 three way o-rings, but more is better

Step One: Know what you are getting in to.
To change the three way, you are going to have to remove the LP Reg, the hoses, and the old three way. Then you will have to install the new three way, re-install the Reg, and put the hoses on, then re-time the gun. Do yourself a favor, read through this whole thing before you begin, and make sure you have EVERYTHING you need to complete the job. There is nothing worse than starting, and finding out you have to stop because you need a part.

Step Two: Remove the hoses.
There are three hoses attached to the three way, you need to remove them. On most cockers, there are hose clamps at the ends of the hoses, six of them in all. They look like little brass or silver top hats. The easiest way to remove these is with the screwdriver. Simply slide it under the bottom edge of the clamp, and carefully lift it up by rotating the screwdriver side to side. One other note, there are other clamps out there, with a knurled finish (little bumps that make it easier to grab them). Some work just like the top hat style, and just slide off. Others have threads inside of the clamp, and must be unscrewed to get them off. If your gun has silver, tube clamps with a checker board pattern on the out side, try turning them off first, if they just spin, use the screwdriver to pry them off.
Once you get the clamps off, take the pliers, and grab the hose. Now with a gentle wiggle motion, pull the hose off of the barbs.

IMPORTANT:
From this point there are two ways to go. You can remove the barbs from the three way, and take out the set screw in the coupler, and just unscrew it. The problem you run into here, is that most places use loc-tite on their barbs, and you run a good chance of breaking one of them trying to get them off. I’d rather take the time, and leave the barbs on the three way for two reasons.
If you break a barb, there may not be enough left of it for you to get a hold of, and take it the rest of the way out. This means that the base of the barb must be drilled out, and removed that way. A Major pain in the ass. You also run this risk with your BRAND NEW three way, because you have to take the barbs off of that, to get it in.
The second, once the barbs are off, it can be a pain to get them back in. And I have found that once they have been removed, they have a bigger chance of leaks.
So for me, it’s more work, but it’s safer to take the block apart, and do it (in my opinion) the right way.


Step Three: Remove the Low Pressure Regulator
Now that all the hoses have been removed, you need to take off the regulator. If you have a stock Worr Games Sledgehammer, just take the adjustable wrench, and unscrew the brass adapter at the base of the Reg, from the front block. The hose barb should clear the ram without a problem.
If you have an after market Reg, the barb for the hose will prevent you from turning the Reg past the three way, and must be removed. Simply unscrew the barb from the body of the Reg, and then unscrew the Reg from the front block. Be careful when you remove the barb, do not damage the wrench flats, or break it. They are a little fragile when you put tools to them.
Also put the barb, and the washer that was under it, in a safe place.


Step Four: Removing the Low Pressure Chamber.
If you have decided to add a LP chamber to your gun, well, that may have to come off too. To find out, just turn the three way, if the barbs clear the chamber, skip to the next step. If not, keep reading this one.
Take the proper sized hex key, and insert it into the end of the chamber and unscrew it. Once you do this, there will be nothing holding the front block onto the body, so be careful. Don’t bend anything because it’s not attached anymore. Most times, there is enough tension between the body and the block to hold it in place, but one tiny push, and the front block can fall off, and that may bend the ram/pump arm.
There are two o-rings on the LP chamber, one between the front of the block, and the LP chamber, and another between the front block and body. Don’t loose either of them! If you do, your gun will leak at that point. From this point, I usually take out the bolt, and cocking rod. That will let you take the block off, and not have to worry about it falling a part on you. But again, be careful not to bend the ram, because the pump arm and back block will be hanging there.


Step Five: Removing the three way.
All this work, just to get to this point. Find the hex key that fits the screws on the coupler on the timing rod. That’s the one that goes from the trigger to the three way. You need to free the three way from the coupler, so unscrew the set screw closest to the front block. Put that set screw in a safe place, they have a habit of running away from you. Now just unscrew the three way body from the front block.

Step Six: Assemble the new three way.
Now that you have the old one off, take a look at the new three way. Most come with a new shaft, and o-rings, but some don’t. If there is a shaft all ready in the three way, skip to Step Seven.
If your new three way didn’t come with a shaft, you need switch the old shaft to the new body. If you have a newer three way, the shaft will slide right out the front, just push the back of it till you can grab it.
If you have the older style, well that takes a little more work. At the front of the three way, there is a “C” shaped clip that is holding the end plug into the body. Use a pair of C-clip pliers if(you have them, if not, take a VERY sharp pick, and lift one of the loops until it is resting inside the body of the three way, but not in the slot that it was in before. This may a few tries, because every time you try to lift the clip, it will rotate inside the slot. The trick is to use two picks, one to hold it steady, and one to lift the end of the clip. Of course then you need three hands, or some other way to hold the three way itself. How much do your friends trust you? Ask them to hold the body of the three way while you poke around with a very sharp pick.
Now that the C-clip is out, just push on the back of the shaft, that will force the plug and the front of the shaft out of the body. Remove the shaft, and reassemble the old plug, and body. Save all of your old parts, you never know what you or a friend might need.
Here is another hint. Most three ways seal just a hair different from each other, and if you put the old rings, into the new three way, chances are it won’t seal. So, slap on some new rings, put the old shaft in the new three way body, and go to Step Seven.


Step Seven: Install the new three way.
Slowly thread the new three way into the front block. They use very fine threads for this, and if you cross thread it, you will need a new three way, and maybe a new front block, so be careful. It should turn in with almost no resistance.
Thread the three way on until it touches the front block, and see where the barbs line up. Now, unscrew the three way, at least 1/2 turn, so the barbs are pointing up.
If the three way is tight to the body, it makes the o-rings wear very fast, and promotes leaks. When the three way is too tight, the timing rod can pull the three way shaft off center when you pull the trigger, that's what makes it wear them out. Also, once the shaft o-rings have worn in, and fit the off-center position they are in, when you adjust the timing rod, the shaft turns also, and that means that they will no longer be in the correct spots to seal, and will leak.


Step Eight: Re-install the Reg.
Just do Step Three backwards, but be very careful not to strip the threads on the barb. Don’t forget to replace the white, washer like seal on the barb either.

Step Nine: Re-install the hoses.
Now that the new three way is on, take the NEW hose, and cut a piece that will fit from the reg, to the middle barb on the three way. Why new hoses? Why not new hoses? That’s the question. As you play, and run around, crawl, slam into bunkers, all the fun stuff you do on the field, your hoses may get damaged. Now I’m not talking major wall ripping damage, but little nicks, and scratches. These have a habit of making the hose fail at the worst times. So, since you have them off, put new hoses on, save yourself the pain of doing it at the field, when you are in a hurry.
Most times, the hose is a major pain in the ass to get onto the barb. It’s a very tight fit to say the least, so here is a trick. Take a Bic pen, and push it into the hose, just enough to open it
up a little. Now, quickly, slide the hose over the barb on the reg, and then over the barb in the middle of the three way. Don’t forget to put the hose clamps back on the hose before you put the hose on the barb. Unless you are a magician, they need to be on their first, then you can slide them back down over the barb. Oh, don’t forget that the wide part of the clamp goes against the base of the barb.
Install the hose going from the middle of the three way to the barb on the reg. This hose will hold the three way in position, so you want it just long enough to keep the three way barbs pointing up.
Things get a little more complicated at this point. If you are installing a Shocktech “Bomb” three way, skip to the next paragraph. If you are installing any other three way, keep reading.
This is important, the next hose runs from the front barb on the three way, to the back of the ram. Cut the hose to length, and install it the same way as above. Now, the last hose goes from the back barb on the three way, to the front of the ram. In most cases, I wrap this hose around the other two once or twice, makes it look better, and keeps the hose from bowing out, and getting in the way.
Now for you Bomb buyers, those last two are backwards. Your hoses need to run from the back of the three way, to the back of the ram, and from the front of the three way to the front of the ram. The Bombs have a different layout than other three ways, and that is why they need a different hose set up.

ADDED 2003:
The above is for guns using a sliding trigger frame. All 2K3 cockers come with a hinge trigger now, so this is the break down of how the hoses go on:

Frame Type Three way Type Hose placement
Hinge Frame

Stock, STO, CT, etc.

Front of the three way to the front of the ram
rear of the three way to the rear of the ram.

Hinge Frame

Bomb, DYE, System X

Front of the three way to the rear of the ram
rear of the three way to the front of the ram.

Sliding Frame Stock, STO, CT, etc Front of the three way to the rear of the ram
rear of the three way to the front of the ram.
Sliding Frame Bomb, DYE, System X Front of the three way to the front of the ram
rear of the three way to the rear of the ram.


Step Ten: Attaching the timing rod.
We are almost done. All you have to do is re-attach the timing rod you the three way shaft. Simply pull out the shaft, just enough so you can turn it. Now line up the dimple in the shaft, with the set screw hole in the coupler. If you don’t have a threaded timing rod, get one soon, makes your life a lot easier.

Step Eleven: Timing the gun for the new Three way.
Most people that sell you cocker parts don’t tell you this, so I will. Almost all upgrades require you to retime the gun. If you didn’t have to retime it, how much of a change could it make? Any way, first, gas up the gun and check it. If it works well, it’s rare, but it can happen, then leave it alone. More likely, it doesn’t work well, or at all for that matter. Loosen the back set screw and adjust the setting on the rod. All you have to do is set the rod so the three way opens up after the hammer has dropped. Now that means that the block doesn’t move until the hammer has fallen all the way to hit the valve. This may require changing the hammer lug setting also.
One more thing, if you got a bomb three way, and the back block is cycling twice for every trigger pull, then the shaft is too short, or too long. Keep working with it, it will work if you take your time. In most cases, with the bomb, it's easier to un-thread the coupler all the way, and start from scratch with the adjustments.

Click here to go to my article on timing a cocker.
Well, that’s about it. Now take that nice new three way, and GO PLAY!

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