Back to Paintball isn't pretty 98 ICD Desert Fox Page ICD 'Cats Page ICD Aftermarket Barrels Basic Guide to Airsmithing Paintball Web Links Back to CEH Main Page
Desert Fox Tweaks headline
Links to Another Page on this Site 98 Desert Fox: Main Page
Links to Another Page on this Site Getting Started: Tips for a New Owner
  Links to Another Page on this Site 98 Fox Exploded View and Schematic
  Links to Another Page on this Site Classic Fox Exploded View and Schematic
Links to Another Page on this Site Fox Troubleshooting
  Links to Another Page on this Site Troubleshooting: Air Leaks
  Links to Another Page on this Site Troubleshooting: Cycling Problems
  Links to Another Page on this Site Troubleshooting: Ball Breaks
Inside this Page Tweaks: Things you can do for your Fox
  Links to Another Page on this Site Regulator Theory and Tuning
  Links to Another Page on this Site Trigger Work and Bolt Polishing
  Links to Another Page on this Site DIY Dial Velocity Adjustor
Inside this Page Accessories: Aftermarket Parts for the Desert Fox

There are more things you can do your Desert Fox to make it a little nicer than the other guys gun. These tweaks will require more tools, time, and care, but can result in an even more exceptional marker.
One of the first things people ask about the 'Fox (once you explain what it is) is how does it compare to an Automag?
 Desert Fox: Better than an Automag?
  1. Much faster field stripping without hose disconnects and tools
  2. Simpler regulator with no On/Off valve
  3. Low pressure design (360psi v. 480psi for 'Mag) increases accuracy
  4. Rugged construction
  5. Handles CO2 well with an Expansion Chamber
  6. Working-side pressure gauge makes it easy to setup for chrono
  7. Less expensive to purchase
  8. Less expensive barrels
  9. Comes with power-feed, 45 grip, front ASA, and a double trigger standard
  10. Doesn't need aftermarket bolt or valve parts

 Desert Fox: Worse than an Automag?
  1. Automag has much better distribution and dealer support
  2. Lighter to carry than Fox
  3. Many more aftermarket parts available
  4. More barrels available
  5. More trained technicians to do maintenance and mods
  6. Proven tournament gun
Both markers are very reliable and accurate. Any differences in rate of fire are more due to owner finger speed than anything.

 Tweaks: Things you can do for your Fox
Links to Another Page on this Site Tweaks: Regulator Theory and Tuning
Illustrated information on How the Fox works, Regulator Teardown and Re-assembly, Tweaks to make the Regulator breath better.
Links to Another Page on this Site Tweaks: Trigger Work and Bolt Polishing
These are lumped together since they interact to affect the trigger 'feel' of the Desert Fox...
Links to Another Page on this Site Tweaks: DIY Dial Velocity Adjustor
How to convert the 98 Desert Fox aluminum Tournament Cap into a locking dial velocity adjuster. This tweak should also work for a Classic Fox if you order the new cap. The adjustment screw looks to be the same on both models.

Spare Parts
Hey, it's always better to have a few extra parts than to be waiting on a supplier to ship them when your marker fritzes. Here's a short list of useful spares you may want to order (most of them are in the ~US$22.00 ICD 'Minor' Rebuild Kit):
  • 3 to 5 spare urethane Piston O-rings
  • 2 or 3 spare small frame-to-regulator O-rings
  • 1 spare Mainspring
  • 2 or 3 spare Valve Tip O-rings
  • 1 spare brass Valve Tip (can get chewed up by Bolt if loose, US$6 with O-ring)
The ICD Fox Minor Rebuild Kit contains all 9 O-rings, and all Springs except for the small Poppet Valve spring (which looks interchangeable with the Ball Retention Spring). I was surprised that the kit includes the Safety spring, but not the small safety ball-bearing which is incredibly easy to lose. The ICD Fox O-ring Kit also contains all 9 O-rings. If you plan to do the Regulator Tweaks, you may want to order a spare Regulator Valve (US$8.00, includes brass valve and poppet, plus O-ring and poppet spring), just in case things don't go well. If you get it right on the first try, then you can go ahead and modify the backup too, and sell it to another 'Fox owner.

ICD Extended Sight Rail
ICD mills in a nice sight rail on the top of the upper receiver. Unfortunately the power feed is smack in the way and no red dot sight will clear it. So, you'll need an extension if you want to use a sight.
The problem is the ICD Raised Rail is so tall that when you put a sight on top it will bump into the bottom of a motorized hopper. So I'm in the process of cutting off an ICD rail and bolting a .22 dovetail to the shortened legs. I'll add a page to detail the mod if it turns out well. You could also use an 'Occluded Eye' (OEG) sight like an Armsom behind the powerfeed, since you don't really see through it. One nice thing about that location is there's no way to hit it with a paintball! (well, from the front anyway...)
The ICD rail does work fine as a visual sight with no red dot, and this gun shoots so smoothly you'll find it's easy to 'walk it in'. There's almost no recoil, so your barrel stays on target.
Some folks of the ICD list have reported problems with other brands of rails fitting the ICD markers. Try it before you buy it if possible. The ICD rail I attached to my Bobcat didn't fit the upper receiver! Filing the inside of the new rail solved the problem; likely due to tolerances in the old models. Another ICD rail fit the 'Fox with no problems.

 Accessories: Aftermarket Parts for the Desert Fox

The urge to customize has to be one of the primal drives of humans; here are some of the aftermarket parts available for the Desert Fox.
Motorized Hopper
The 'Fox eats paintballs fast enough, and the action is smooth enough, that you can outshoot a gravity loader and break paint when you are really hammering. Urk. A motorized hopper like the VL Revolution will help. The 18 volt version of the Revolution is advertised to feed at 10 balls a second, and that will do nicely. About the worst thing I can say about the Revolution I've been using is that I forget to turn it on sometimes. This really isn't a problem when you are shooting short groups and moving around anyway... If you ever shoot more than 2 balls per second you should consider upgrading your loader.

Double Trigger Shoes
Some people like them, some don't. I like 'em, but they do make it harder to grip and shoot the marker with one hand.
The 98 model Desert Fox comes equiped with the ICD double trigger. It's sorta odd looking with the way the lower finger scallop juts forward, and it's really wide. I had a Proline double trigger on my Bobcat, so I've swapped them back and forth a few times, and here's my opinion. The ICD trigger works great on the 'Cats because they have a shorter pull distance between the forward trigger position and the back of the grip. In fact, it's really short on the 'Cat guns. The wide ICD shoe with the longer lower finger groove is a great fit for someone with large hands who owns a 'Cat; a big improvement. The Desert fox has a longer 'pull' distance (but a shorter 1/8 inch trigger movement) and though I have big hands, the Proline trigger just feels better. It's narrower and the two finger grooves are vertically aligned. With the shorter trigger movement and lighter effort of the 'Fox, I think it's a little faster too. Just my opinion, YMMV. (Oh, and the Proline is cheaper at US$10 v. US$20 for the ICD).
One more thing, the Proline shoe extends another 1/8 inch behind the trigger tang. You may find that it stops the trigger before the Sear releases correctly on some guns. If so, just file down the back of the the shoe where it contacts the frame. It's better to have the adjustable trigger stop making first contact to control the trigger rather than the shoe...
Tip: File the sharp bottom forward edge of the trigger where it contacts the double trigger show to reduce the stress on the shoe (a sharp contact point is called a 'stress riser' in mechnical design), one of the ICD Discussion posters had a Proline shoe break at that point. ICD leaves them really sharp from the factory. Just break the edge gently with a file or whetstone, that's all it takes to prevent the problem.

The 98 Fox I bought came with ANS wraparound fingergroove grips. I've tried Uncle Mike's, Hogue, and the old hard plastic ICD side panels, and IMHO Hogue wins.
If you have smaller hands you may find that the ICD gripframe is too large. It's a standard M-16 mount so the Lonestar, Ramline, or Lapco plastic grips will fit fine. Different manufacturer's 45 grips also vary a lot in front to rear distance, so look around. I have a Benchmark 45 grip on my Phantom, and found it was too small for me when I tried it on the 'Fox (the Phantom has an even longer 'pull'). Definitely consider the Proline or 32 Degree (they are the same) double trigger shoe if you have smaller hands.

Remotes and Expansion Chambers
Though the Desert Fox works well with CO2, it does have a regulator and that makes it not like liquid CO2. Once the seals in the regulator are frozen they will stop sealing and the regulator becomes unreliable. Worse, if you fire a long string and fill the valve chamber with liquid, and it then warms and vaporizes in a longer pause between shots you can have a very 'hot' shot that can really hurt someone. With the Classic Fox's rear ASA connection and a normal CO2 tank that could easily happen on a cool day. Which is why many Classic models were upgraded with a forward vertical tank mount. The 98 model only comes with the vertical mount, the rear ASA is now a memory.
Still, if you want to use CO2 an expansion chamber is a good thing. The Deluxe 98 Fox comes with the large ANS chamber standard with a bottom line under the grip. The ANS unit is rugged, but a little large and may affect your ability to hide and shoot from behind a shallow bunker. A shorter alternative would the ACI Sub Zero 4 expansion chamber, which works as well as the taller Sub Zero 6 and is more compact.
Hey it's my page, so personally I prefer to get the tank off the gun and run a remote from a 20 oz tank. With a VL Revolution full of paint and a tank this is one big and heavy marker. I've got a small expansion chamber mounted on the tank end, and the hose acts as an additional expansion chamber. ACI and Benchmark make a really cool slide/disconnect unit, which combines a slide valve to turn off the gas with a disconnect for the marker. This setup lets you keep the gas in the expansion chamber when you disconnect the marker, otherwise you'll have to vent extra volumes of gas every time you want to de-gas the gun. I carry a spare disconnect with a large setscrew blanking off the end to keep dirt from getting into the air system when the gas line is off the gun. The stainless hoses seem to be much tougher than the coiled models, they're pretty much bulletproof, and also less likely to snag. If the color of the stainless braiding bugs you then cover the hose with camo tape, electrical shrinkwrap, vinyl tubing, or a sewn sleeve cut from a pair of old camos.
With the tank off the marker, there is no 'stock' to brace against your shoulder. This makes my aim terrible, so on with a Gas Thru Stock. These have really dropped in price and are now around US$30. Very light, makes aiming better, and if you keep it adjusted short you can also rest the curve against the crook of your elbow to make pistol shooting steadier too.
Of course you could also go to a compressed air system. With a 360-390 psi regulated operating pressure, add another 200-300 psi or so for an inlet pressure and you're good to go. Like the Automag, the Fox works even better on HPA.
Regardless of whether you run Air or CO2, ya gotta get a filter for the supply. Any small junk that blows into the regulator can lodge in the seals and cause them to begin leaking. Pro-Team makes a nice little in-line filter that uses a sintered metal disk (about US$12), it'll catch any crud that the field tanks add to your supply. After buying one of these I measured the filter disk and decided there was clearance in the bottom of the ACI slide/disconnect (the 1/8 inch NPT female connection where the hose attaches). Just dropped in the spare filter disk that came with the unit and added a small O-ring to hold it in place, then screwed the remote line into the bottom after it. Works fine and takes no room or extra seals! If you order the replacement filters instead of the assembly it's really cheap too (US$4).

Gas Lines
Photos and print ads for the ICD Desert Fox show a braided stainless gas line running from the front ASA mount back along the trigger frame to the inlet below the regulator. In a recent production change, ICD has gone to 'Venom Line', a brand name for micro-line. Micro-line is a great product, it's easy to install and replace lines, and it even comes in colors if you want to customize a little, but it's pretty small inside.
The recharge rate of the regulator is ultimately limited by the smallest orifice in the gas supply system, and if you find that the 'Fox is choking a little under rapid firing, this could be a contributor. The upgrade choices are 1) replacement with a standard braided stainless line (US$8 to US$12 dollars, plus two 90° 1/8 NPT fittings), or 2) installing one of the new 'Macro-line' kits coming on the market (US$20). I went with Macroline, which retains the 'push-to-connect' fitting style of micro-line with a much larger hose size. How big? Well, micro-line hose will fit inside the new hose. So the internal diameter is actually a little larger than the stainless remote line I run with my Fox. Does it make a difference? I don't know. I went ahead and replaced mine before I ever tried the OEM setup.

Power-Feed Knobs
There are some cool aftermarket aluminum power-feed knobs available for the Automag and Spyder. I tried a friends version (sorry, don't know who made it) and found that the ramp was a different shape from the ICD version. It fit fine, but didn't feed reliably. Could have been this one particular knob, might be all of them. Try before ya buy, and let me know if you find one that works.

The Desert Fox is not a difficult marker to work on, but there is some chance that things could go wrong. If you are uncomfortable about working on the regulator or trigger of your marker, Don't Do It! These tips assume some mechanical aptitude and use of the correct tools. If you mess something up, you'll have to replace it.
Indian Creek Designs has an excellent warranty, and they stand behind their guns. If you have a problem and ship it to them, they promise 24 hour turnaround on repairs. There are many testimonials on the web to back this up. They will also do upgrades based on production improvements.
ICD wants me to make it clear that this is not an official ICD site. Any changes you make to a marker under warranty may void that coverage. Don't blame them, don't blame me. There, that should cover it.
Links to a Page elsewhere on the Web the ICD Official Corporate Website
Finally, Don't use an unsafe marker, and Be Careful with CO2 and Paintballs. Paintball markers are not toys, so be an adult and take responsibility for your own actions...
 Links: 'Fox info on this Site
Links to Another Page on this Site 98 Desert Fox: Main Page
Links to Another Page on this Site Getting Started: Tips for a New Owner
  Links to Another Page on this Site 98 Fox Exploded View and Schematic
  Links to Another Page on this Site Classic Fox Exploded View and Schematic
Links to Another Page on this Site Fox Troubleshooting
  Links to Another Page on this Site Troubleshooting: Air Leaks
  Links to Another Page on this Site Troubleshooting: Cycling Problems
  Links to Another Page on this Site Troubleshooting: Ball Breaks
Inside this Page Tweaks: Things you can do for your Fox
  Links to Another Page on this Site Regulator Theory and Tuning
  Links to Another Page on this Site Trigger Work and Bolt Polishing
  Links to Another Page on this Site DIY Dial Velocity Adjustor
Inside this Page Accessories: Aftermarket Parts for the Desert Fox
Links to Another Page on this Site ICD 'Cats
Links to Another Page on this Site ICD Barrels: Aftermarket Barrel Review
Links to Another Page on this Site Basic Airsmithing
Links to Another Page on this Site Links to ICD Resources on the Web

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