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Spolar Resurrection

8665 Views 66 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  badbaddog58
[Before and after pix below] Three or four months ago, someone started a thread entitled "True crime, rusty Spolar." It was about a Spolar reloader for sale on Gunbroker and included a pic of an obviously neglected Spolar with a lot of surface rust and missing several parts. There was lot of grousing that the seller wanted too much for it. I happened onto the thread just about the time the seller dropped the price and I, a longtime Hornady 366 user and longtime Spolar doubter, bought it. Keep in mind I have never laid eyes on one of these things before but I felt I owed it to my self and the Spolar "fan boys" to see if they lived up to their hype.

When it arrived, I put it on my workbench and it sat there for a while before I started working on it. It took longer than I expected because of both apathy and other things occupying my time. Anyway, after 3 parts orders from Spolar, I think it's to the point where I can start using it. Here are the before and after pix:

Wood Engineering Toolroom Machine Machine tool
Product Wood Engineering Gas Industry
Machine tool Milling Engineering Wood Machine
Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Car
Wheel Plant Vehicle Tire Automotive lighting
Product Wood Engineering Gas Industry
Plant Tree Road surface Asphalt Cylinder
Plant Tree Road surface Asphalt Motor vehicle

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Great job Nebs - A Night & Day transformation. Looks like its ready for another 1,000,000. reloads ! How does it run ?
And may we ask what ended up being your total investment? My guess is this had to be more of a calling rather than a practical purchase.
Fantastic restoration.
 

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When I cycle it it goes "clickety clack." Total investment probably is a bit south of $1500. And yes, a bit of a calling. Just to see what all the hyperbole was about. It's a heavy MF. I'm liking the capacity of the primer tray (3-400?). I have yet to cycle a hull through the thing. And I'm liking the design of the interface between the powder/shot bottles and the charging bar. Slide them left to shut off, in the middle, on, to the right-drain. Easy to change bushings. Also, the ability to remove any hull on the turret at any time to do things like check powder weight, is a plus.
 

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I got a used spolar last year, I did have an issue with primers not always feeding and suffered a few powder leaks from no primer being present. I finally watched the Spolar video on troubleshooting ( available on YouTube) and learned that if you are having problems with primers your track is dirty with either powder or shot or there is a burr on the primer feeding slide. Sure enough I had a slight burr that was causing issues. I followed their directions and after a bit of fine file work and polishing with a bit of 400 grit sandpaper have not had a missing primer in some 12 flats of reloads. Now all I need is to find 5 to 10 k of primers. Good luck with your salvaged machine and thanks for saving it from the evils of rust & neglect.
 

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Nice job man! I’m sure you’ll love reloading with it. Feel free to reach out to any of us with Spolars and we’ll be happy to help ya get it loading the best shells that any reloader can make.
 
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When I cycle it it goes "clickety clack." Total investment probably is a bit south of $1500. And yes, a bit of a calling. Just to see what all the hyperbole was about. It's a heavy MF. I'm liking the capacity of the primer tray (3-400?). I have yet to cycle a hull through the thing. And I'm liking the design of the interface between the powder/shot bottles and the charging bar. Slide them left to shut off, in the middle, on, to the right-drain. Easy to change bushings. Also, the ability to remove any hull on the turret at any time to do things like check powder weight, is a plus.
Nebs you will soon be a "fan boy" once you watch the 2 spolar videos and complete the tune on you load. Welcome to the club. You'll never look back.

P.S. good job on the re-furb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got a used spolar last year, I did have an issue with primers not always feeding and suffered a few powder leaks from no primer being present. I finally watched the Spolar video on troubleshooting ( available on YouTube) and learned that if you are having problems with primers your track is dirty with either powder or shot or there is a burr on the primer feeding slide. Sure enough I had a slight burr that was causing issues. I followed their directions and after a bit of fine file work and polishing with a bit of 400 grit sandpaper have not had a missing primer in some 12 flats of reloads. Now all I need is to find 5 to 10 k of primers. Good luck with your salvaged machine and thanks for saving it from the evils of rust & neglect.
My work on restoration made me think the primer mechanism would make Rube Goldberg jealous. I did find a couple of pieces of shot wedged in the track and I have a dentist's pic that plucked them out. I've taken it apart and now have some understanding how it works. Your post makes me think I should take it off again and do a better job inspecting and cleaning and polishing the track. I will also take the slide apart again and do as told with the One Shot. And thanks for the encouragement and the help from those I reached out to during the process.

I used 3 products to remove all the surface rust: Marvel oil, bronze wool and elbow grease.
 

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I’d make one more recommendation for this old timer. Two piece swap out, behind the spent primer cup & its mounting plate is a aluminum primer shaft guide. Spolar has updated both this piece & the shaft. Now machined out of steel with tighter tolerances. Judging by your # that machines gotta be over 30 years old or thereabouts. In my opinion this update goes beyond an ounce of prevention. As with most loaders the primer system is always the first domino to tip bringing on the powder spill. The tighter tolerance prevents most debris from entering there. When mine hung up it locked the turntable & I actually snapped the shell mounting bolt. Heres a pic of the two parts I replaced.
1756018
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Losclay:

Even though my machine is #175, it appear to have received some upgrades. The troubleshooting video says beginning with #188, they replaced the O-rings under the powder/shot bottles with washers. Mine has washers, so someone upgraded that piece. It may be that primer seating shaft stuff was upgraded as well because mine looks just like yours, but I will check to see if it's made of steel instead of aluminum. And I could watch those Mishell Spolar videos all day long....
 

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Nebs the pic is of what was replaced. The original gold anodized part in the photo is of course aluminium. The new part is blued steel & the new shaft is machined to mate with it as a set. There's much less play that can be felt when compared. I used my originals forever with a few incidents of the shaft sticking in the up position (not falling as it should). Problems were minimized by vigilant cleaning with air & One shot. Remember this shaft is never to be lubed. When I saw this latest mod I jumped on it. Yes it a much better fit & hopefully meets expectations.
 

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I’d make one more recommendation for this old timer. Two piece swap out, behind the spent primer cup & its mounting plate is a aluminum primer shaft guide. Spolar has updated both this piece & the shaft. Now machined out of steel with tighter tolerances. Judging by your # that machines gotta be over 30 years old or thereabouts. In my opinion this update goes beyond an ounce of prevention. As with most loaders the primer system is always the first domino to tip bringing on the powder spill. The tighter tolerance prevents most debris from entering there. When mine hung up it locked the turntable & I actually snapped the shell mounting bolt. Heres a pic of the two parts I replaced. View attachment 1756018
Looks like the next upgrade I will look into. I replaced the long bolt and cup but didn't know about the aluminum part. Mine is serial number 1832 and it has the old style piece. I switched gauges this weekend to load some 20 gauge and mine stuck in the up position a couple times at the start and then settled down and worked great for the next 450 rounds.

I was surprised at how easy the gauge change is on these machines. 9/16" and 1/2" wrenches and hex wrench is all that is needed. The new setup was tuned in the crank out great looking STS and Gun Club hulls. Very happy with the results.
 
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