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lee breechlock press problem, warranty?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gonefishin1, Mar 8, 2013.

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  1. gonefishin1

    gonefishin1 Member

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    Ok so I have had this press about 3 months now and the quick change bushing is partly stripped and allows the die to move a little and also to change the die I now have to hold it with pliers to keep it from spinning. The teeth on the bushing that hold on the dowel pin are what stripped.

    I emailed lee and they didn't want to replace it but said they would sell me one for half price. Does this seem right? Has anyone else had this happen?
     

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  2. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    What on god's green earth did you do to that thing?!? I've always heard of and known lee to make right on anything that was defective but I can not possibly see how that damage could be done under proper operating conditions and procedures. I would take the '1/2 off' offer personally. Unless you can explain how this is a fault of manufacturing or defective piece.
     
  3. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    That ain't right.

    From whom did you buy the press?

    Lee has a 1 year warranty (edit of 3/8/13: I thought 1 year, but others are saying 2 years. OK by me.) (but often extends if far beyond that). They also have a policy of replacing anything that broke out of warranty with a new one for half price.

    If it were me and my bushing was loose from the beginning, I would call or write and insist they make good on the faulty part(s).

    I have had dealings with Lee Precision and a retailer which specializes in Lee goods (Factory Sales, now known as FSReloading) and found varying degrees of competency, but always was able to get through (diplomatically) to a satisfactory conclusion.

    Please try again and give them another opportunity to redeem themselves in your eyes.

    Good Luck

    Lost Sheep

    edit: It looks as if the bushing was cross-threaded at one point. Normally I hold the spring-loaded pin down with a finger while inserting the bushing into the press, making sure it is properly aligned with the vertical and the notch at the 10 o'clock position (the spring-loaded pin marks 12 o'clock) and I make SURE the threads are engaged. Then still holding the spring-loaded pin down with a finger, twisting the bushing into place, only letting the pin up just before the notch in the bushing lines up with the pin.

    Pliers? Never. Wrench? Should not be necessary once the die has been seated and tightened once. If you regularly need more than finger strength, you did something wrong. But my experience with Lee is that they come back the way you would expect a good company to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  4. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Uhm. No, I have never seen that before.
     
  5. david_r

    david_r Member

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    You should only need your hand to tighten your dies in your press. It looks like you are over-tightening your dies and damaged the bushing through not understanding this. That isn't wear, it is abuse.

    $5 plus shipping would be a good way to remember to put the pipe wrenches in the tool box when changing dies. I just hope you didn't damage the interrupted threads in the casting.
     
  6. bigfinger76

    bigfinger76 Member

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    I don't know, those threads in the casting look pretty chewed up too. Bad juju...
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    It's obvious from the pictures you took a pipe wrench/ water pump pliers or something else to that bushing and it's not a manufacture's defect. IMO you are lucky they even offered the half price deal, I would take it before they change their mind...

    Also, next time you ask a company to replace something for free you might want to remove from the picture the dies from a competitor (RCBS die is clearly in the picture) although I doubt that had anything to do with them not wanting to replace something that was abused.
     
  8. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    I was thinking pipe wrench myself. It looks like that big RCBS lock ring got in the way and instead of backing off the die to get to the button, someone took the hard way.

    Not yelling or getting on you, but...someone is here every day and if something feels wrong, ask questions first before getting out the big tools. :)

    I'm betting the press frame is okay, just need to clean up those bushing lugs and get a new bushing, hopefully.
     
  9. StandingTall

    StandingTall Member

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    IMO, that don't look like a manufacturer's defect to me.
     
  10. gonefishin1

    gonefishin1 Member

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    Its not the threads that stripped it was the aluminum teeth holding the dowle pin and it stripped when I was trying to loosen the nut. I used pliers because I couldn't find my wrench that's why there are teeth marks on the nut. I never bought more bushings because they are out of stock everywhere so I have changed the dies probably 50 times or more. The bushing has always moved around a little on the dowel pin since new when changing dies and its just gotten worse and worse. I never put pliers or anything on the actual bushing just to hold die from moving and to release lock ring.

    I have loaded a couple thousand rounds on it at least between me and my neighbor. There is nothing wrong with the press or threads just the bushing and a little to the dowel.

    I only hand tighten the die but I use I wrench to tighten lock ring lightly. Nothing major. I think the problem is that I change dies often in the bushing instead of leaving the bushing on the dies
     
  11. floydster

    floydster Member

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    Amazing equipment abuse, I wouldn't have the balls to ask Lee for a replacement.

    Smokeyloads
     
  12. Cleftwynd

    Cleftwynd Member

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    It's very obvious that the tool marks on the die lock ring line up perfectly with tool marks on the bushing, someone tried to loosen the lock ring with too large of a tool and it was too low and caught the bushing as well. It then twisted the bushing passed the button on the press. Instead of stopping once the bushing cleared the interrupted threads it was forced back into the threads with said tool in the wrong direction.

    IMHO this damage was caused by a gorilla using too much force with the wrong tools while not paying enough attention to the equipment.

    Sadly the challenger press is cast aluminum and easily damaged by people that lack finesse and attention.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  13. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Ya, sorry gonefishin, but that isn't normal wear.
    I think you should take Lee up on their offer.
    And then keep lookin for more bushings.

    They aren't designed to have the die changed hundreds of times.
     
  14. StandingTall

    StandingTall Member

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  15. david_r

    david_r Member

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    I think they should be able to have the die changed 1000s of times. If you don't abuse the bushing. Seriously, hand tight on the die lock ring is enough. Maybe OP should buy some Lee lock rings with the O-ring if he is worried about them moving.

    That locating pin is there to prevent the bushing from moving when setting up the die. You don't even need to line the pin up with the notch when inserting your bushing after your die is setup. Lee shows one handed removal of the bushing. That suggests to me that Lee really doesn't expect you to use a wrench on there.

    Looking at how many finger grip teeth were stripped off the bushing and the upset area on what appears to be a STEEL locating pin makes me think a very large wrench was used with no regard for the equipment.
     
  16. cja245

    cja245 Member

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    Someone people shouldn't be trusted with channel locks and pipe wrenches :rolleyes:
     
  17. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    Gone fishing1, I called RCBS and informed them an elephant stepped on ‘it’. They wanted to know why I had not returned the broken part, they reminded me it was not necessary to notify them before returning parts and pieces. Then next time I called them they did not ask about the elephant.

    After that we started numbering the excuses, instead of wasting their time I would just give them a number.

    I noticed you have a very nice die screwed into that screwed-up mess of a bushing. I am the big fan of thread engagement, my favorite thread is the square thread, then the acme, after that on matters I do not have a choice in, I have to settle with patched threads, with all threads once they bottom out there is little advantage to ‘more tighter’, your speed lock type arrangement on your bushings has reduced the ability of the threads to engage, simply put, they are not there.

    Me? I am never in mortal combat with time and reloading, again, I install a die, I adjust it. I secure the die to the press with the lock ring, I do not secure the lock ring to the die. Even though the press threads are 7/8” by 14 and should tolerate 125 pounds of torque with other applications the lock nut furnishes with dies is thin, the thin nut limits the thread engagement, I suggest short wrenches when securing the lock nut, and, do not allow the die to rotate while securing the lock nut.

    Pipe wrenches: I have 36” and 48” pipe wrenches along with 2’ chain wrenches, and torque wrenches, I have torque wrenches, the inch pound wrench would be more appropriate for securing the die to the bushing to the press.

    F. Guffey
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  18. Legion489

    Legion489 member

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of Lee Customer (DIS)Service. Yes, Lee DOES claim to have a "Two Year Unlimited Warranty" (or that is what the piece of paper that came with my stuff reads, and no, it doesn't make good toilet paper either, so it is totally worthless, just like the Lee warranty) AND a "love it or return it guarantee" (which of course was pulled a month of so after they advertised it as the company nearly went bankrupt refunding money for all the new stuff they sold that was returned in only days after it was sold, as junk it is.

    If they are offering you a "half price" replacement instead of what the warranty claims they will do, well you can probably get on line and find the part for half of what they want (most Lee stuff is) and then replace it. Then sell the junk press and buy a quality press. I hope this keeps you from buying junk in the future and that you buy high quality equipment that has a LIFE TIME WARRANTY that the company ACTUALLY stands behind.

    On a personal note, I am sorry you had to find this out for yourself. I have tried to warn people for YEARS, but it falls on deaf ears, or I am viciously attacked for telling the truth, which some can't seem to stand.
     
  19. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I'll try to be a bit nicer but you don't need a wrench to install your dies. This is one of the reasons I really like Lee lock rings. I don't have extra business ether. I just screw them in or out as I need them. I don't even use lock rings on a few of my dies because they aren't needed. I would have just called to buy one myself. Tho I'm kinda surprised they didn't replaced it anyhow. I've called them told them how I broke things & they refused to take my money even after arguing to pay. Odd.
     
  20. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Wow, yes let's bash and blame a company that makes it possible for many people to reload that wouldn't be able to otherwise for the obvious over-exertion of force with tools that the instructions tell you not to use on their equipment.
     
  21. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "Welcome to the wonderful world of Lee Customer (DIS)Service. Yes, Lee DOES claim to have a "Two Year Unlimited Warranty" (or that is what the piece of paper that came with my stuff reads, and no, it doesn't make good toilet paper either, so it is totally worthless, just like the Lee warranty) AND a "love it or return it guarantee"

    Amusing rant but unfounded. All we have any right to expect of a maker of anything is to repair or replace failures due to the manufactoring process; that "failure" is not a manufactoring defect. It's easy to see the price go up on anything that does cover user abuse/misuse.

    Personally, I don't screw up my gear but IF I did I would expect to pay for my error. On the other hand, I suppose if I was a mechanical klutz that did bend or break a lot of stuff I would love for others to help me pay for replacements. So far, I've bent/broken maybe a half dozen decap pins, bent two decap rods and had one shell holder retaining spring break; none of it was due to a manufactoring defect so I didn't whine about not getting 'free' replacements.

    In general, I've found Lee's tools perform as well or better than others costing much more. And that comes from some 47+ years of reloading everything that goes BANG with every brand of tools available today, plus a lot of brands that are gone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  22. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Legion prefers taking the low road, it is best to let it roll off and let him spin himself into the ground. The series of rabies shots aren't over yet, I guess.

    I'm not seeing anything wrong with Lee, or their CS. Actually, if the OP had just sent in the fouled parts Lee would most likely have refurbished and sent it back no charge, they do that a lot.
    Sometimes it is all about how you approach CS.
     
  23. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Just because you don't know how to use tools ether doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them. That is why you keep getting kicked from forums is you don't know what your talking about but keep running your mouth.
     
  24. TheCracker

    TheCracker Member

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    Really? Is this thread a joke?

    Pics look like someone took a monkey wrench to remove the bushing without even pressing the plunger.

    No way this is defective. It's user error.

    Honestly, you shouldn't even be asking lee for anything on this.
     
  25. gonefishin1

    gonefishin1 Member

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    Ok I am an ase certified mechanic for the last 12 years I know how to use tools and am more than capable to change dies out.... I know to push the plunger in to remove the whole bushing and die but as I have said I was only removing the die. The instructions do say to tighten with a wrench so that's wgat I did and not overly tight. Trust me I know how to use just about any tool made the couple of teeth marks are from when I first got the press and couldn't find my wrench. But I will say it once again the bushing never fit tightly in the dowel and always moved around so it didn't take much at all to strip.
     
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