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Welcome to the forum. Rules are to join in and have fun and play nicely with the rest of us kids.

I don't have that unit, but my RCBS is very similar and it has a round part with O-rings with a female thread in it that pushes down on the lube stick like a thin piston. Sounds like your analogous part is missing.

I would start by contacting Lyman for a spare parts drawing, so you can verify what is missing? If the same part in the 450 and 4500 aren't identical, it wouldn't be hard to make on a lathe. Perhaps your local vocational school likes to have its students take on that sort of project? But, since lube sticks haven't changed size ever, I expect the same part fits the newer and older units.
 

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He got this unit used, and it sounds like the piston disc is missing. I think that's why he said he couldn't see what applied the pressure? All he's got is the threaded rod. I suppose it might be possible the piston disc is pushed all the way to the bottom and came off the threaded rod, though? Perhaps a flashlight is in order?
 

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This thread's three years old, so a lot of the contributors are likely not current posters. But I expect any one of the Lyman 800 numbers will let you find out what it will cost to replace it.
 
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