Bought the Mec Grabber in 1973 and it's even been back to the factory for a $30 check out once. The Mec Hydraulic is working on it's +/- 16th year without anything but adjusting for different loads along the way. Both will still be making shells after I completely give up the game......bdodd
Tough to argue with a Pacific DL366 from the mid 70's still ticking along. The only part i have had to replace was the wad guide fingers and that was 5 years ago. I load about 5000-9000 shells a year on it. Any of the machines are capable of doing this with the proper know how and care. You must know what every part does and is for. You must be able to adjust and repair your machine to be able to keep it running like a fine clock.
Have you tried calling MEC and have them walk you thru it?? I know they have great customer service. Unlike you, my buddy has absolutly NO mecahnical ability and they walked him thru his Automate setup. He was stumped and ready to throw it in the river. Give them a call.
I don't know about you smoke... If this were me, I'd raise holy hell with MEC and get one that worked. Somewhere in your back and forth with these folks something is amiss. And too, I'd put up my real name to make sure MEC got the word on this. I think your problem is the collet sleeve is adjusted too high up. When they get it they put in once fired AAs and those run thru like hot knife thru butter. But then you put in some other hull that the collet does not want to re-size and the damn thing freezes up. MY personal choice for you would be to have them switch out the electric unit for a hydraulic one and that should solve your problem permanently.
I have not owned a Spolar but the egotism of Spolar reminds me of the German gun equivalent. The PW thing, I've experienced and it has a long learning curve. I know nothing about RCBS other than to see how they work.
Smoke, you take the time to communicate well with us, but you should be investing that time with MEC or threaten the shit out of them till they figure out what is wrong. I'm betting it is you and the stuff you want to put thru the loader. I did have your issue and solved it with the collet adjuster. Too, When I talked to MEC, I talked to the same person till we got it right.
Get them to switch the unit for a hydraulic.
And put your name up. These clever names we think up for ourselves can work against you at times like this. Smokemeister, MIA, et al. Clever but defeating. I'd put my name up but who gives a crap about me? This is about you and that you are looking for opinionated old men to say something substantive and make you feel good about your next purchase. Sounds silly to me.
Smoke. Good for you. I see you are watching this thread. Tell me this. When you send the unit back to MEC, do you just send the automate or the automate with the 9000? If you are sending just the automate that is an error.
And yes, finding a helping hand in your area is a good idea.
Best is such a relative term...best period..best for the money?
Having used most popular loaders, Mec would have to be hands down best loader for the $. I used a grabber, then the 9000, then added the original automate. Other than letting a piece of shot slip into the collet, or the dreaded tipped primer (got it down to very few, but still had to watch it like a hawk), it was a great loader. I had both old chain style and new larger style primer trays.
I got the P/W 800+, great loader. It was temperamental, and mine perhaps was made on a Friday before a 3 day weekend. I had primer feeding issues right out of the gate that turned out to be a poorly cut primer ram, but it was frustrating to say the least. Powered that by hand, original automate, then hydraulic.
I have a Spolar with hydraulic currently. No clue if it will ever in my lifetime provide a payback, but there is no comparison to loading pleasure. It works, works well, rarely misses, and when it does, it was operator error. Primer feed is bullet proof as it can be. Powder drops are dead on every single time. Same with shot, which their shot bushings actually drop the correct grains. Crimps are fabulous, but honestly so was my P/W unit.
I am anxiously awaiting with others to see the new P/W unit that is due out shortly. I miss the hull feeder on my 800+, hoping their new mouse trap will have all the bells and whistles, but most importantly, just load shells without any issue. If it looks like it will do that with the electric drive, I will need to fire one of those up in my room.
Can you isolate the problem to the press or to the automate? If the automate cycles w/o a press, or if the press won't operate smoothly by hand, perhaps that'll provide some clues? Can the dealer from whom you purchased the unit provide some insight? Isolating the problem will at least reduce the shipping costs if you only need to return one of the items.
Best of luck solving your issue. I'm sure you'll get this resolved in time, and you'll get many loads out of your MEC. I now load with a Spolar, but so many happy customers out there with the 9000/automate combination, yours has to be an anomaly.
As suggested before..... Did you try to cycle the automate without the loader attached. Babysteps man, start from the beginning until you see what's binding. Not you can build a racecar you should be able to work on this loader in your sleep. If you can't work on this mec then forget about reloading. A P/W and a spoiler would both require more mechanical ability than this very simple mec. No disrespect just my opinion. I don't own an automate, I own a hydraulic mec but here's a suggestion, if I tighten the bolt too tight that connects the hydraulic cylinder to the linkage that cycles the machine, it won't cycle properly. Maybe you are overtightening the bolts.
Your dealerS lack of contact with you tells me you probably aren't going to get very far from them. Send the whole thing to mec one more time and get them to make shells on it. I'd say that's your best bet at this point. I would find myself a new dealer after this as well.
Ok, I have been reading your two threads about this mec automate problem and I decided to throw in my two cents worth here.
You may be a wonderful auto mechanic but am I seeing something basic wrong in your posts ? Really not trying to stir it up but nowhere in my operating manual does it call for cycling the unit before all is put together. In your other thread you said you did not have the primer tray operating and the tube that goes down the center of station one not in place. WHY ? That tube not only guides the spent primer through the resize fingers but it also properly lines up the wad guide rod on the other side of the shell plate. This is done under the mounting area out of your vision. My only thought here is when you get it back from Mec why did you not COMPLETELY assemble the unit, instead of trying to cycle part of the entire operation ?
I am truly just asking this as I have been using one for about 10 months now and love mine and have had no problems after someone suggested and few squirts of powdered graphite on primer tray floor and a little wipe to get every primer to slide smooth.
I hope this whole situation works out for you, as I love mine and hate to see folks having trouble with good equipement.
I really hope you understand that we feel for you here. I know that several folks on here would love to drive over and see this and try to help you. I am in central Missouri so I don't do you any good at all here, but I sure am wishing to help. When you say the unit is all the way down look at the primer drop tube at its lowest point. Is it within 1/16 on an inch above the shell plate and over the primer hole that accepts the primer and then moves it to the lower level under the plate ? If you are this close to the shell plate you are down all the way. I would love to talk with you on this....
Here is why I chose a P/W 800+ over all the other loaders and I could own anything made. Money is not a factor.
#1 I added a auto case feeder to it and not all brands allow that addition.
#2 I added a auto drive to it.
With 4 of my family shooting I have found that my set up will load shells faster than "any" loader made. It has met every expectation that I thought it would. After everything has been tuned and adjusted there is no better or faster loader made.