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Thread: Tilite won't repair my chair!!

  1. #11
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Thanks, now that you say this.... this is why I didn't do it myself last time... I remember the that voids the warranty on your whole chair spiel !

    It's a TR so the fork stem is just like the picture you posted.

    I'm waiting to hear what my local rep says, ages (2 weeks now) getting back to me as usual. I should take you up on the offer of a Tilite contact


    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    Before you do that!! Let's make sure first that everyone is using the correct terminology so that nothing gets lost in translation. TiLite refers to the bolt that extends from the frame to mount the forks as "fork stem" (boxed in red). The bolt supports the casters is called a "caster axle" (boxed in blue). On some models -- NW-Will, what chair are you using? -- the fork stem is regarded as part of the frame (which, depending on the model you have, may or may not mean that it's covered under warranty). If the fork stem resembles the type pictured in this illustration (of a discontinued Z10) then tampering with it will automatically void the warranty, and maybe not just for the fork stem but for any other issue that may arise somewhere down the road. While the repair may be as straightforward as Patrick describes (assuming you have the mechanical skills to pull it off -- I certainly don't), I still think you're best advised to contact TiLite customer support directly and discuss the issue. If you email me (stephen@bike-on.com), I will send you the contact info of a TiLite production specialist (he's not in customer support) who knows every facet of these chairs and is also super approachable. You'll get the straight rap from him.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by NW-Will View Post
    Sorry .. thank you for pointing out the correct terminology.

    Yes you are correct, I have bent the fork stem bolt.

    I'm talking with the local permobil/Tilite rep, would that be sufficient, or do you think I need to call up Tilite directly
    For all the guff that TiLite takes in many of these threads, I sincerely believe that they want to what's best and what's right for their customers. As John mentioned above, there are people at TiLite who go the mile -- and the extra mile -- to remedy customer issues. Take me up on my suggestion to shoot me an email and I will respond with the name of the TiLite contact I mentioned. He's polite, responsive, and helpful.

  3. #13
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    The expected life of the frame is five years.
    !!

    I would say the fork stem bolt is bent. The DME sent out a Tech to look at it and he said it was bent. In my eyes it is a slight bend, but now the casters don't track nicely, and they'll catch and snare anytime I roll over a rug, or bump or crack in the floor surface etc. so sub-consciously I'm now pulling a slight wheelie everytime I go between surfaces etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCI_OTR View Post
    Regarding their warranty...

    A. LIFETIME
    TiLite warrants the wheelchair frame (including the cross-braces, if any) against defects in materials and workmanship for life, so
    long as the original purchaser uses the wheelchair. The expected life of the frame is five years.

    When I bought my ZR in 2007, TiLite's fork was too narrow to use a 4x1.5 soft roll. This turned out to be a major problem, but I discovered I could use the Invacare/Top End bearing fork by backing out the stem stud by a couple of turns. I posted that experience here...

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthr...a-TiLite-chair

    Back then, the stem stud was a $10 part. I wouldn't say it was an easy thing to do, one could easily damage the stem during removal, and if it sheared off in the frame the user would be SOL.

    A short time later, TiLite decided that the stem bolt was an "integral part of the frame" (Stephen and I are actually quoting TiLite's post on this site) several years ago. The fact that both of us posted we had done that here was probably a factor in their decision. After hat decision, the stem stud disappeared from the parts manual and all chairs needed to go back to the factory if a stem needed to be replaced.

    Is the stem actually bent? I ask this because...

    a) It would be extremely difficult to bend a stem stud. Not only is it a robust part, any force that was sufficient enough to bend the stem would probably destroy the fork in the process.

    b) Over the years, I've encountered a number of TiLite bearing and Slipstream forks that would lock up or chirp loudly even though they had no easily discernible irregularities. This issue could easily be misdiagnosed as a bent fork stem.

    While TiLite may consider your frame to be out of warranty, I have a hard time thinking that they would leave any user without a potentially repairable chair. They should be willing to repair it. At what cost? That could be another issue.

  4. #14
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    yeah... I can see that... hence I post here just to get a feel for everyone else's experience.
    As an individual user you go through this thing so rarely it's hard to tell, what is BS.

    appreciate all the feed back.

    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    i have been given great service with my contact at tilite over my years at Bike-on, she goes above and beyond to get my customers squared away when there is a problem. i think many problems ppl have is with the dealer they use. no manufacturer is perfect.

  5. #15
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Sent..
    cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    For all the guff that TiLite takes in many of these threads, I sincerely believe that they want to what's best and what's right for their customers. As John mentioned above, there are people at TiLite who go the mile -- and the extra mile -- to remedy customer issues. Take me up on my suggestion to shoot me an email and I will respond with the name of the TiLite contact I mentioned. He's polite, responsive, and helpful.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Keep us posted!! This is an important thread, IMO.

    If those aren't user serviceable/purchasable components (since they're absolutely necessary for the chair to be functional), and they also aren't warrantied for very long, then that's a problem for us.

    What good is a 'lifetime frame warranty' if part of the frame, that can't be purchased and/or replaced by the user, breaks and renders the chair dysfunctional?

    Here's to hoping something got lost in translation and we get to see evidence of stephen212's confidence in their customer service intentions. I sure hope so, being a soon to be TiLite owner.

    Fwiw, my confidence is high that stephen212 is 100% correct, even if they occasionally drop the ball. Outliers shouldn't necessarily define them, but that doesn't mean we should just accept them without a little guff-giving.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by NW-Will View Post
    ......they'll catch and snare anytime I roll over a rug, or bump or crack in the floor surface etc. so sub-consciously I'm now pulling a slight wheelie everytime I go between surfaces etc.
    For a smooth transition, I find that I do that slight wheelie as normal too NW-Will. My chair runs soft rolls and they work well except being a small diameter they do not negotiate surface irregularities as well as a larger diameter wheel does.
    We demand a lot from our chairs and they usually handle the workload well.

    Good luck with your repair; if it as Stephen has described and confirmed by SCI_OTR, you should be quids in.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by NW-Will View Post
    Sent..
    cheers
    Nothing in my in-box.

  9. #19
    I do appreciate Stephen and John without a doubt. It's sad a person has to know a connection to get any kind of service or parts from most W/C companies. Of course they're going to bend over backwards for you guys because of the chairs you sell from them. I agree manufacturers aren't perfect but in the least, they could sell the parts they unperfectly made to owners without the needed upcharge and time going thru a dme.

  10. #20
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    ..
    • stephen212 has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.
    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    Nothing in my in-box.

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