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How to remove Manfrotto 128 RC tripod head

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Old Monday 2nd June 2008, 19:00   #51
Jim M.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian canoeist View Post
Gid'day from Canada

I had the same problem, I just had to read through... The freezer did NOT work. I got my drill, and make a hole, put a bolt in it tap it with a hammer and PRESTO! I the old head is free!

Thanks

steve
Congratulations Steve. But just wanted to note for others reading that they may want to try a pipe wrench (big enough to fit the entire head at the point where it interfaces with the tripod) before going to the drilling extreme (as Tero suggested above). I found an inexpensive one for $14 and it worked like a charm for my stuck head.

Best,
Jim
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Last edited by Jim M. : Monday 2nd June 2008 at 19:04.
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Old Thursday 5th June 2008, 22:26   #52
Sancho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian canoeist View Post
Gid'day from Canada

I had the same problem, I just had to read through... The freezer did NOT work. I got my drill, and make a hole, put a bolt in it tap it with a hammer and PRESTO! I the old head is free!

Thanks

steve
Congratulations Steve! (The drilling and hammering is fun in a perverse kind of way, no? At least for me....I normally hate DIY.)
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Old Thursday 30th October 2008, 06:37   #53
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This info might be to late but.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tero View Post
There are in fact two silver plates. This is the bottom of a head, and a big screw from the base goes into it. The three screws only prevent the two plates from moving apart once attached.

You need to take a plumber's wrench and turn one of the silver plates. You can take the three screws completely out before that.
Hi Everyone
This may be too late for Sancho but it might help others.
I was just Googling around for a solution to this self same problem and by putting all the ideas together and some images from the Manfrotto site I managed to get my head off ( so to speak)

Step 1
Take the plastic horizontal pan lock nut off completely. Its threaded screw has a slot at the top, maybe hidden under some grease. Find a suitable sized screwdriver and unscrew it anti-clockwise.

Step 2
The pan head now separates from the pan base (grey plastic disk). As per spare parts image http://www.manfrotto.com/webdav/site...C_20060301.pdf

Step 3
As suggested before get two plumbers wrenches or similar and lock them onto the two aluminium plates (one is part of the pan head and the other is attached to the tripod shaft) and unscrew in opposite directions. Mine wasnt to badly corroded so was easy.

Step 4
Reassemble the pan head.

Voila.

BTW the 3 screws have nothing to do with holding the head on.

Hope this helps

Last edited by OzzieBob : Thursday 30th October 2008 at 06:42.
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Old Thursday 30th October 2008, 22:35   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieBob View Post
BTW the 3 screws have nothing to do with holding the head on.
The 3 grub screws do have nothing to do with holding the head on, but they have everything to do with the head not turning off the threaded shaft that does hold the head on.

If those screws are not turned out sufficiently the head will not turn off the column regardless of what you do to it.

Mike
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Old Thursday 30th October 2008, 22:43   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmepler View Post
The 3 grub screws do have nothing to do with holding the head on, but they have everything to do with the head not turning off the threaded shaft that does hold the head on.

If those screws are not turned out sufficiently the head will not turn off the column regardless of what you do to it.

Mike
So...lets see if I understand this....even if the three grub screws fall out, the heads not going to accidentally fall off, no?
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Old Friday 31st October 2008, 00:50   #56
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Hi Sancho, The three screws when they are tightened against the head base, keep the head base from screwing off whilst turning head counterclockwise, if you don't want to use these three screws, just turn head clockwise all the time and follow your head around.
Regards,Steve
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Old Friday 31st October 2008, 10:05   #57
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Originally Posted by mooreorless View Post
Hi Sancho, The three screws when they are tightened against the head base, keep the head base from screwing off whilst turning head counterclockwise, if you don't want to use these three screws, just turn head clockwise all the time and follow your head around.
Regards,Steve
Thanks Steve!
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Old Sunday 7th August 2011, 20:43   #58
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Years later, just in case anyone out there is still having this problem, as I certainly did today. I tried everything simple and obvious: removed the set-screws of course, reefed the pan-screw as tight as it would go, got a firm grip with the (padded) Vice-grips, applied the WD40, applied the sharp hammer taps, applied brute force, applied fervent prayer, etc. etc. No luck whatsoever. Finally, before drilling anything, before going to the shop, before buying a new tripod, I resorted to Mum's old jam jar strategy, and just held the darned thing under very hot running water for several minutes, and Bingo! (*v*)
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 01:47   #59
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Hi Skiphand, Welcome to Birdforum! That is a very good idea!

I forgot what I said to Sancho about the screws. That is just my sick humor. After this thread I have removed the 501 head off my tripod and installed it a few times.
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Old Thursday 16th March 2017, 22:36   #60
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Hi skipshand! I tried exactly the opposite i.e. I put the head and the column in the FREEZER for about 45 minutes. Even my little daughter would have managed to detach the head from the column then, if only it wasn't so late (spent some time using brute force to no effect...).

I also think putting back those three screws in and actually screwing them in MORE and then remove, coulde have done the job. That was my second idea but wasn't necessary.
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Old Thursday 16th March 2017, 23:30   #61
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six years!

[quote=szybszy;3539014]Hi skipshand! I tried exactly the opposite i.e. I put the head and the column in the FREEZER for about 45 minutes. Even my little daughter would have managed to detach the head from the column then, if only it wasn't so late (spent some time using brute force to no effect...).

You spent the last six years trying to detach the head from the tripod column?
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Old Tuesday 21st March 2017, 08:50   #62
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I thought this was a new thread until I saw I replied and looked at the date. I hope Sancho was able to remove the head.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 11:11   #63
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Just went through the same process as many other have documented previously in this thread and after a lot of failures, eventually found that cold did the trick (saving me having to drill into the head).

I tried the suggestion of removing the plastic lock nut to unscrew the pan from the pan base ('step 2' from OzzieBob's post above) and the screw driver slot wings immediately stripped off. So much for that!

I then tried the hot water technique without luck.

Defeated, I went out birding yesterday with the head still attached to my old legs and while scoping in the cold weather the head started to unscrew!

I had left the set screws loosened in the hopes that something like this might happen, but I had pretty much resigned this to failure as much of the exposed metal on my rig is quite rusty from salt spray and I had never detached the head from legs in many years of use (similar state to what others have described).

Anyway, this lends some credence to the freezer method others have suggested. And if you don't have a big enough freezer (as I don't), just wait until winter (if your latitude allows) and leave your scope outside with the screws loosened. It just might work.
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Old Saturday 19th May 2018, 16:33   #64
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How to remove head

Remove wing nut from inside top of head.
Using flat blade screwdriver, unscrew the threaded shaft.
Lift the head off its aluminum base.
This allows one to grasp the aluminum base and turn it counterclockwise off the tripod.
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Old Saturday 26th May 2018, 16:03   #65
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show the screws

I removed my Manfrotto 501 head off my Bogen 3236 tripod to show the screws that keep the head from turning. I also lubed up screws etc. I thought someone might be interested. Also a reminder to me to loosen the screws if I try to remove the head and forget , just like I did this morning.
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