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Thread: pan tilt tripod head repair?

  1. #1

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    pan tilt tripod head repair?

    I happened into a tripod with a pan-tilt head. I really like using the head (in comparison with the ball heads on my other tripods), but it just doesn't tighten down enough, so moves after I set it. Is there any moderately simple fix for this?

  2. #2

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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    One of my Bogen heads lost its grip. I found a YouTube video that showed overhaul process. Disassemble, clean, regressed with damping grease, and readjust tensions. It’s now good for another 30 years of service. The whole process took about 28 minutes. The damping grease wasn’t cheap but worth it.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    Depends on the specific head; but it has been quite easy for me to personally refurbish both Gitzo and Bogen pan/tilt heads. Back out the problematic screw or knob, inspect and clean the tap and bolt for any stripped threads. Re-thread if necessary (hopefully it won't come to that), or replace the screw/bolt/knob.

  4. #4
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    My Gitzo with pan tilt head has a separate adjustment that tightens the grip in addition to the normal tighteners. Check to see if there's something like that on yours.

  5. #5
    Paul Ron's Avatar
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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    i have a very old bogen tripod experience that wouldnt hold. as above sugestions, clean n inspect for worn or stripped threads. you can chase the threads with a tap n die if needed. new lube and try again.

    my problem was the surfaces on the ends of the handles that tighten the clamp were worn acting as shoulder screws preventing it to tighten any further. probably from all the years of over tightening as it wore out. the screws shouldered out before putting enough pressure on the clamps. i just added a washer or 2 n its as good as new.

  6. #6

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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    Thanks everyone. The head I have is Manfrotto. I found the video that Brian referenced, and I will try that approach first and see how it goes. Will probably try the disassembly today.

  7. #7

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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    The one thing ti be VERY careful is when removing the plastic caps. There are three or four plastic tabs that hold them in place and are very easy to break. Breaking one is of little consequence but if two are broken then replacement might be impossible. pry ever so gently all around to loosen and remove. Other than that... getting the best grease was really the hardest part of the process. With damping grease mine now feels almost like a fluid head.

  8. #8

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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    On my Bogen 3047 head there are some allen head screws under covers that you can tighten down to stop movement.

  9. #9

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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    Well, I ordered some tightening grease. I paid $17, including shipping, for an amount that would fill a large thimble! At first I was disappointed, but I only used about half of it to grease the head. It made things worse! More disappointment...

    Then, a day later, everything was pretty much fixed. I don't know why it needed to sit that bit of time, but I'm in business now. Thanks for the various suggestions - maybe this thread will help someone else someday.

  10. #10

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    Re: pan tilt tripod head repair?

    this morning...just freed-up a binding lock knob on my Gitzo 1370 magnesium head - popped off a plastic cover - wiggled the mechanism apart, cleaned and lubed with a bit of high-pressure moly grease, and got it back together and now works like a charm once more. Did another seizing/binding knob on this head a couple years ago and it still works great.

    Oh...and that plastic cover? Broken to bits - but I really don't care what the head looks like as long as it works...and I really don't see how that cover did much to protect anything.

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