Tripod ball head dislodged from legs
/forum/topic/1155202/0



zquaratella
Registered: Mar 23, 2011
Total Posts: 261
Country: United States

I just was shooting a film in the backyard with some friends and the tripod head of my Manfrotto 494RC2 popped off of the legs! I cannot figure out how to reattach it. If anyone has any advice, that would be greatly appreciated!

-Zack



vsg28
Registered: May 07, 2012
Total Posts: 1227
Country: United States

Pictures would help figure out what happened.



EB-1
Registered: Jan 09, 2003
Total Posts: 21624
Country: United States

3/8" stud sheared off?

EBH



zquaratella
Registered: Mar 23, 2011
Total Posts: 261
Country: United States

I'm not quite sure if the stud was sheared off, but here's some pictures of the results. From what it looks like online, the mount that is generally attached to the legs is now dislodged and with the ball head.



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7344
Country: United States

I've heard of that happening before with that tripod. Best repair option is to clean the mating surfaces well, rough them up slightly with some coarse emery cloth (or sand paper) and re-attach with JB Weld adhesive. http://www.jbweld.com/product/j-b-weld/ - available at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

If you want to do an extra neat job, wrap the column with masking tape, and after the glue has had a short while (15 or 20 minutes) to begin setting up, pull off the tape to remove the extra glue which oozed from the joint.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18159
Country: United States

before i would do anything i'd CALL manfrotto. as it is a recent model check your warranty

what model tripod is it?

possibly this one?
http://mediacdn.shopatron.com/media/mfg/2747/media_document/live_2/MT293A3_20100909.pdf?1300743323

that is the top of the centerpost (the platform) and your head is still attached to it.

looking up from the bottom (silver) you should see 3 screw ports 120 deg apart on the base outer portion. there should be probably slotted screws in these ports. loosen them and you should be able to take the actual head (black) off of the platform (silver). that will make it easier to work with.

if you are good with tools and have some (metric sockets with extension) it maybe a relatively easy fix. if not see my first line.



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7344
Country: United States

The platform on my 055ProB is assembled the same way, which is to say the platform is a press-fit into the top of the column. I recall seeing a YouTube video of this failure a few years back. I agree that if the tripod is under warranty, let Manfrotto pay, but if not, the JB Weld will do the trick.



EB-1
Registered: Jan 09, 2003
Total Posts: 21624
Country: United States

If the tripod is not under warranty and you don't want to repair it, perhaps the center post is replaceable. The Manfrotto posts are usually too long anyway, and as I recall short posts were available for most column types.

OTOH, perhaps it is time to buy a better tripod.

EBH



zquaratella
Registered: Mar 23, 2011
Total Posts: 261
Country: United States

The whole issue that I take with repairing the tripod is that I'm afraid this may happen again. If I'm simply reapplying the same epoxy that didn't hold (for whatever reason) yesterday, I don't know if I'll feel confident using it.

I'm going to call Manfrotto to see what their warranty policy is (perhaps this is a known issue with this model) and then if they say I'm out of luck, I may just try to find a new one.

Thanks for your help!



howardm4
Registered: Feb 08, 2008
Total Posts: 2837
Country: United States

did you use JB Weld? correctly? clean surfaces that have been roughed? NOT the 5minute version of JB Weld! correct proportions and mixing?



zquaratella
Registered: Mar 23, 2011
Total Posts: 261
Country: United States

Does anyone know how this assembly was held in before it became dislodged? Was it JB Weld? If it wasn't, I'd be willing to give this a try to see if it will hold better than whatever the manufacturer offered.



rchb
Registered: Jul 02, 2010
Total Posts: 39
Country: United States

Hi Zack,

I agree with dcains that itís a press fit from what I can see. It looks like a conical nut/screw inside edge that presses the trifurcated mount against the column walls when the nut/screw is torqued down. If this is the case I believe an extended socket wrench from the bottom of the column will remedy the situation.

Rick



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18159
Country: United States

I do believe you are correct. Strictly mechanical joint.



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7344
Country: United States

sjms wrote:
I do believe you are correct. Strictly mechanical joint.


Agreed, but there's a problem re-assembling as original. The bottom end of the column will be sealed with another press-fit part, so accessing the nut through the column will not be possible without doing some additional damage. And, the thin aluminum at the top of the column is very likely stretched, which is why the two pieces separated. I'd bet that nut isn't loose at all. It's a silly design, not meant to be serviced.

Here's a pic of the short top column section from my 055ProB to illustrate the lack of access to the nut:







So, see what Manfrotto has to say, but if they're not agreeable to a free replacement/repair, I'd go with the JB Weld fix. Properly applied, that adhesive is damn tough to break loose.




sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18159
Country: United States

slightly different design. but as you said as an "out of warranty" option it should work as long as all surfaces are prepped properly.



zquaratella
Registered: Mar 23, 2011
Total Posts: 261
Country: United States

I actually did both - tightened the bolt back down and applied JB weld. A few hours later and it already appears to be good as new. Thanks for the help, everyone!

-Zack



zquaratella
Registered: Mar 23, 2011
Total Posts: 261
Country: United States

(For what it's worth, the nut was loose)



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18159
Country: United States

yeah, kinda thought so.