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Thread: TiLite ZRA caster broken. Need help in figuring out where and what to get?

  1. #1

    Question TiLite ZRA caster broken. Need help in figuring out where and what to get?

    Hi guys,

    I purchased a used TiLite ZRA Series 1 from eBay back in early 2013. Been using it daily since then. It has gone through a lot, thanks to shitty Indian roads and infrastructure. At times, someone would be pushing my chair and an the right caster would get stuck in an unsuspecting hole/curb in the road, throwing the whole chair with me (heavy) to pivot on that small wheel. Luckily i only fell once, but it has happened a lot. Yesterday, finally, the right caster gave in. It was anyways bearing all the weight, since the left caster had gotten misaligned and was a tad bit higher.

    You can see the pics attached to see the status. The nut which goes from fork into the socket attached to frame, looks good but the threads inside the socket are all worn out. There's even a powderish substance formed inside that socket which I'm guessing is broken metal. Now I don't know where to buy that socket which is attached to frame, not even sure if it can be replaced (?)

    Should I replace the whole assembly or will I find that small socket? Let's say I wanna replace the whole thing, where do I find these or single forks for TiLite, because Unitine doesn't fit ZRA iirc. I am based out of India, so anything in USD is quite costly for me, but not like I have a choice here. Will try to go for the cheapest way out. Can some veterans tell me what are my options here? It'll be helpful if you also post the website, where I can purchase the recommended parts from. I referred the ZRA manual but the diagrams look different because in them, the nut is attached to the frame and not caster assembly.

    For now, I have stuck the caster nut back in, and tightened the screw so tightly that the caster doesn't even swivel freely. Any loose, makes the caster fall because there are no threads in there. Dangerous, I know, but a man's gotta earn.

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    Cheers!
    chairDroid
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    Keep pushing!

  2. #2
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chairDroid View Post

    The nut which goes from fork into the socket attached to frame, looks good but the threads inside the socket are all worn out. There's even a powderish substance formed inside that socket which I'm guessing is broken metal.
    The problem is this nut, let's call it "kingpin", because in normal use you don't have to remove it. It's glued in the socket, and when you have to change the fork's bearings, you just unscrew the "other" nut under the fork.
    If the threads in the socket are "totally" worn, you are done ! If you don't want/can't buy another socket, I think you have 2 other possibilities :
    - go to a car garage (a good one) and ask for thread repair. It can be done sometime, using an "heli-coil" (I don't have enough vocabulary to explain you how it works. Sorry. Google is your friend )
    - try to remove the kingpin (by removing the lower nut, and then the fork -you will have to use a vice, take care of the threads !), clean carefully all this mess, grease, metal powder, and then GLUE IN PLACE the kingpin using epoxy resin/metal combo. Screw it as much as possible.
    After that, this kingpin will no longer be removable, but you will be able to re-use all your parts (poor man repair, of course) and ?your socket was out of order anyway.
    I think the "true" (and nicest) solution is to buy another socket with the kingpin already in place, from a TiLite reseller i guess. Waiting for another guy's answer will help for sure.
    C6-7 since mid 2002, no hand control nor triceps.
    my website & my job (in France): Accessibility advisor www.acceslibre.eu
    Also working on a French research about Peer counseling and Empowerment.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by robotnik View Post
    I think the "true" (and nicest) solution is to buy another socket with the kingpin already in place, from a TiLite reseller i guess.
    I'm okay with buying a new socket, can you tell me where to get it from, online?
    Keep pushing!

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Question

    Thanks for the link, Brent. I checked out the "Pin Locks" section for ZRA casters and I am a little confused. If you see this picture, it looks different than what my current setup is. So I have a few questions which I have mentioned below:
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    Question 1: I only need part #1 from the above picture right, which is ~$100 a pair? Or will I have to get the other things as well?

    Also, if I look at my current casters, I do not have most of the things below part 1 in the picture. Can't see anything like 14-24 even now in my caster assembly. Question 2: Is it an optional part or is this image of series 2 (i think it is). In which case, will these fit? See the images of my chair above and you won't see parts #14-24.

    Moreover, I saw that the mono forks assembly is cheaper, but looking at the diagram doesn't look like it will fit my ZRA. Question 3: Will it fit my chair and if yes, I only need the 2 assembly listings mentioned below right
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    Question 4: Does my frame have a hole like that above part #1 as shown in above (mono fork) diagram?

    Question 5: Are Mono forks strong enough, especially after you saw what my chair goes through?

    Question 6: I found these on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/TiLite-Aero-...-/322079695097 TiLite Aero Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair Front Fork and Caster tire. Looks quite like my current setup, so will this fit? If yes, how do I make sure the height is same as now, because I don't want the chair to be bent forward making me fall off.

    Man, I am confused here
    Last edited by chairDroid; 05-11-2016 at 10:18 AM. Reason: some more questions
    Keep pushing!

  6. #6
    That is for Series 2, yours is series 1.
    Here is the TiLite link for series 1: http://estore.tilite.com/ecommerce/C...1012&IID=18777 The failed part looks the same. Maybe one of the vendors here can chime in and help you.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  7. #7
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    I wish I knew the answer for you. I purchased my chair through Sportaid and they were able to order the parts that I needed. Speaking with a Tilite representative like nonoise suggested might be your best option.
    Last edited by Brent K; 05-11-2016 at 07:04 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member robotnik's Avatar
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    Ok, so let's go in the right order to be crystal clear :
    Answer 1 : your only need is part 1, right side. You already have all the other parts, but you will have to remove them from your kingpin before ! So, insure you can unscrew your fork using the nut 11 underneath.
    Answer 2 : You don't have parts 14-24 on your chair, because they are optionnal.
    Answer 3 : the mono-fork assembly you have attached is from a ZRA-2, and even if the fork itself look the same at yours, the socket (pin lock) is totally different and will not fit your ZRA-1.
    Answer 4 : No. Your frame is different. No hole, no possibility to use the kingpin (1) alone (without threads on the upper side).
    Answer 5 : even if monoforks are very strong, to be quiet and as your terrain is very rough, I would choose standard 2 sided forks.
    Answer 6 : these parts can fit your chair -the socket is for ZRA1-. To keep the same balance, they must have the same height as yours, so measure the distance between your part 1 and the ground, and ask the seller to do the same. If there's a little difference, you can adjust it using the different holes for the wheel axle on the fork. (IMHO, as far as I can see, these forks are too far below the pin lock -part 1- to be ajusted by moving the wheel in the fork and fit your chair. But let's wait for the measure to be sure)
    C6-7 since mid 2002, no hand control nor triceps.
    my website & my job (in France): Accessibility advisor www.acceslibre.eu
    Also working on a French research about Peer counseling and Empowerment.

  9. #9
    If it's a ZRA 1 you have a bolt not a nut, and they are made to be removed. You have to remove the set screw before you remove the bolt. I had to replace mine a couple of years ago. I think TiLite doesn't still have the old style mounts any more but the new ones with the nut not the bolt fit.
    I think I got them from Sportaid

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    That is for Series 2, yours is series 1.
    Here is the TiLite link for series 1: http://estore.tilite.com/ecommerce/C...1012&IID=18777 The failed part looks the same. Maybe one of the vendors here can chime in and help you.
    Oh bummer, Thanks for this. The caster in above diagram looks much alike mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by robotnik View Post
    Ok, so let's go in the right order to be crystal clear
    Thanks for your replies. I will unscrew all the other parts this weekend and see if they are intact. If so, will get part #1 only. Ditched the idea of getting new forks completely.

    However, I was looking at the diagram and I have one more doubt. Here is the caster diagram for ZRA series 1 followed by my caster assembly:
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    The screw below part 1 looks quite long than what I have in my chair. I dont even have any spacers from what i see. How is this possible? If I get part 1A even without the external spacers, the screw below it looks longer. Is it so or am I obsessing too much :/
    Keep pushing!

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