• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

How to remove Manfrotto 128 RC tripod head (1 Viewer)

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Today I broke the safety catch thingy on my Manfrotto tripod head....the little nipple that holds back the spring actually broke off the head, so the safety catch isn't sprung now. I want to check out new ones in Dublin tomorrow, but I'd like to take my old head with me (not the tripod though) for comparison. Not being too technical, I've tried every which way to separate the head from the tripod, short of a hacksaw, and I can't figure it out. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
 

henry link

Well-known member
Sancho,

Have you loosened the three set screws underneath the tripod mounting plate? If not, you'll see them if you turn the tripod up side down and extend the center column.

Henry
 
Last edited:

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Hi Sancho, sorry to hear of your problem. Which model head/tripod are we talking here?
Hi Mike (love the pink ED50 photo!). The head is Manfrotto 128RC, the tripod is 190D.

Thanks Henry! Interestingly, I did turn it upside-down, and guess what, there was only one screw left! I loosened that, and....nothing happens. Still can't take off the head. Strange (and lucky) it never fell off in the field given that two of the screws had fallen out! I really have to pay more attention to Important Things.
 
Last edited:

MikeEvans

Owner of a pink ED50, and proud of it!!
if you go to http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/spareparts/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce and slap in the model number, you can download a PDF assembly drawing which might help. If it's anything like mine (701RC2 on a 190 series tripod), the head is screwed onto the column, and held there either by friction or by up to three grub screws going vertically up into the bottom of the head. to remove the head, I'd loosen all these grub screws (if any, they're not present on mine), tighten the screw on the head which locks panning (actually, since it's just plastic on a brass screw you'd be better off removing it, and temporarily replacing it with an M5 screw you can tighten with an Allen key) as much as you dare, tighten the column in the tripod as much as possible, then sharply unscrew the head.
 

MikeEvans

Owner of a pink ED50, and proud of it!!
now your screw's are loose(!) I reckon you just need to tighten that big wing-nut affair and give it a sharp anticlockwise yank.
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Sincerest thanks for the advice, Mike and Henry, I'll give it a go!:t::t::t:

Update....tried everything, the head just tries to pan no matter how hard I tighten the plastic screw thing at the top of the column (with the last lonely grub-screw removed). Not to worry, I'll just take the whole thing into the store in Dublin tomorrow and let them sort it out. Thanks again for the advice!
 
Last edited:

crabplover

Well-known member
I never could remove my 128 rc head from the centre column, I think after years of abuse in the field with salt water, spray, wear and bashing, it seemed to have corroded and fused together. This was after 15 years of head never being removed from the column.
I even let the engineers at work try to separate them to no avail.
I tried a socket deep inside the centre column to get to the head from underneath and in the end, gave up.
My only option was to buy a new head complete with a new centre column, only to find over the years that the column design had changed, going from round, to triangular and I believe also a hexagonal if I remember correctly?
This meant that I had to replace the tripod as well as the head
In despair I decided against the manfrotto as replacement opting for a gitzo which I certainly didn’t regret switching to.
I still remove the head on the gitzo every 6 months or so to prevent it happening again, and 2 years on all seems fine.
Good luck, maybe you could try ebay or somewhere selling an old tripod for spares, utilising the centre column and getting around it that way? But if you do, make sure that the head can separate or you will be in the same position again, also make sure that the column is the same shape as your original tripod.
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
I think I'm in the same position as you were, crabplover....I've never removed the head, in eight years, and to be honest the washers under the top column screw are in a deplorable state...one is simply rust, the black plastic one above and the steel one on top won't budge either. All fused together with goo, I would imagine. Not to worry, there are bigger problems out there! Thanks again!
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
the head is screwed onto the column, and held there either by friction or by up to three grub screws going vertically up into the bottom of the head.

The grub screws don't hold the head onto the column, they just prevent it from unscrewing and working itself loose, so no danger of the head falling off. There's actually a larger 3/8" bolt in the centre of the top plate of the column going into the base of the head which holds it in place.

Mike's right that a sharp anti-clockwise yank should shift it, as the mating surfaces between head and column have a slight 'toothed' texture so might take a sudden jolt to overcome the friction between them.

Good luck with getting the new head.
 

Tero

Retired
United States
Sometimes you find that all three screws are gone and only dirt is holding your head on the tripod.

Best to check all these screws a couple times a year.

I dropped a scope once...live and learn. It was held on by a tight screw, only by two threads.
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
.....the mating surfaces between head and column have a slight 'toothed' texture so might take a sudden jolt to overcome the friction between them...
Thanks Steve! Sudden Jolt, eh? This might be a job for Lucy the Lump-Hammer....;) (I reckon most of the world's problems can be solved with Tolerance, Patience and Understanding. The rest need a Lump-Hammer or Duct-Tape).
 
Last edited:

SteveClifton

Well-known member
(I reckon most of the world's problems can be solved with Tolerance, Patience and Understanding. The rest need a Lump-Hammer or Duct-Tape).

I reckon with the combined will power of all that have contributed to this thread today (and a little bit of technical know-how) that head ought to be off by now! (that's if there really is a god upstairs!).

Now I see you're resorting to brute force. How blue is the air at Chez Sancho this evening?
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
I reckon with the combined will power of all that have contributed to this thread today (and a little bit of technical know-how) that head ought to be off by now!
Perhaps if we all close our eyes and hum together "Tripod Head, Off...", it will simply pop off, thereby proving not only Psychic Birding but also Paranormal Kit Repair.....Actually Lucy Lump-Hammer is in the Shed, it's pouring rain, and I've had to give up 'cos it's the kids' bedtime. If I spend any more time mucking about with this tripod, Madame Sancho is going to think of other uses for Lucy....
 
Last edited:

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Just for the record, a bit of grease on the threads will keep these parts from seizing after assembly no matter how long you leave them together.

--AP
 

Tero

Retired
United States
Maybe a bit of grease, and then cover the joint with duct tape! If the screws fall out, you still have the duct tape.
 

Sancho

Registered User
Supporter
Thanks, Alexis and Tero, this morning I tried WD40, a few gentle taps with Lucy, everything. That 3/8 bolt in the top of the column (the Manfrotto site calls it a "female thread") has a groove to receive some kind of a thick screwdriver, as though it actually screws out upwards. But it won't budge either. I think I have to be grateful for the eight years I got out of this tripod and move on, unless the store has any bright ideas. Thanks again for the advice, when I get a new pod and head, I'll grease the threads etc. as you suggest.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top