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Photographic Accessories Discussion on other Photography related Equipment. Tripods, Luggage and suchlike.

Slik 88 Head Overhaul.

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Old 25-04-06, 16:44
Don Hoey's Avatar
Don Hoey Don Hoey is offline  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 4,462
Thumbs up Slik 88 Head Overhaul.

Yesterday when I bought my new head I was chatting to the guy in the shop, and found he is another that is still using the Slik 88 tripod. I promised him a pictorial explosion to allow him to give it an overhaul. I thought it worth posting here for other users of this tripod.

As can be seen from the attached pictures the bearings are aluminium running on plastic axles. In time the aluminium bearings become scored and this gives a rough action to the head.

By stripping the head down and cleaning these up, the action can be made to be ' like new '.

Materials required : Preferably 600 grade Wet & Dry ( certainly no coarser than 400grit ) or Scotchbright / Wire Wool. Silicone grease is preferable for reassembly. Not quite as messy as auto LM grease, but that would do.
No tools are required. eg screwdrivers etc.

I have attached an exploded view and a part rebuilt view to show the relationship of the parts.

To disassemble,
1. Remove the head from the legs.
2. Unscrew and remove the tilt handle, making sure not to loose the clamps and thrust washer.
3. Twist and pull the top part away from the base. The green end cap is a push fit into the base section so it will come away attached to the top part.
4. Undo the pan handle and withdraw. Again make sure not to loose the clamp and thrust washer.
5. Twist and pull the 2 base sections apart. The ball level is a push fit into the base so will come out with the upper part.

The bearings can now be pushed out and cleaned up. Take a degree of care here as aluminium is a soft material, and as will be seen can score quite easily. It is not necessary to remove all scoring but certainly try to get a reasonably smooth inner surface. Check both axles and remove any burrs. Clean all parts thoroughly, grease and then reassemble.
NOTE : The bearing for the top section is keyed and can only go in, in one direction. The green end cap also has a key moulded in and can only go back in one orientation.

Your head should then work like new.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Slik 88 Head components.jpg (129.1 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg Slik 88 Head rebuild.jpg (108.5 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Slik 88 Bearings.jpg (110.6 KB, 70 views)
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Old 25-04-06, 22:32
Subzero Subzero is offline  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 104

Many thanks for this Don, I have one of these which I bought many years ago ( I am thinking about 20 years, could that be right??).
I went to trade it in for a bigger/better one about 2 years ago and the dealer gave me that kindly smile and suggested that giving to a charity shop would be the best option, so this "valueless" icon is now only used with a light camera and macro lens for bugs/flowers.
regards Subzero.
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Old 25-04-06, 22:42
Don Hoey's Avatar
Don Hoey Don Hoey is offline  
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About 20 years is about right. Last year I saw a lot of people using this for scopes when I was at Titchwell and did a similar post in BF then.
I seem to recall Dan, ( Snowyowl ), saying he still used his somewhere, so thought the post may be of value.

Have to admit mine is now used as a flash stand for which it is superb.

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Old 26-04-06, 12:44
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Snowyowl Snowyowl is offline  
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Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada & Ocala National Forest, Florida, USA
Age: 80
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Yes, I still use mine but unfortunately it is gradually falling apart. The heads ok but one leg no longer locks properly and now the crank broken a bit. Ho hum!!!
I won't stop using it quite yet though. Now I use it for low shots where I don't need it tat full height.
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Old 19-03-15, 18:11
Power Bank Power Bank is offline  
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: England
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Many thanx Don for your detailed post - especially the photos add that extra element of "holding my hand". I hit upon your post purely by accident and I am glad I did.
I intended to service my slik88 because it has developed some resistance after years of faithful service. However mainly with lack of know how on my part (and perhaps uncertainty of replacement parts) I had left the thing alone. Now I can open up the "patient" and perform the heath surgery.
Thanx again
Power Bank
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