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Thread: Tilite won't repair my chair!!

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    Good point: I know Quickie has done a similar thing, with caster barrel redesign (and plenty more I imagine), but the serviceable vs non-serviceable aspects of any given design is where the proverbial 'rubber meets the road'. I applaud and appreciate design innovations, and accept the risk that means sometimes 'better' is a relative term. The TiLite design certainly looks the sleekest of anything else on the market, and style matters!
    Top End for sure, when they were still making chairs. Melrose Wheelchairs. Your points are still well taken.

  2. #52
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    This was from the local Tilite Rep, this is what he said Tilite was telling him. NOT the DME.

    and they are not guaranteeing they will repair it at this point, they want to look at it at the factory before they decide if they will repair.


    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    Is this what your DME told you or what TiLite told you directly?
    From an earlier request for clarification on frame warranty policy from the TiLite contact I suggested you contact: "The warranty extends for the lifetime of the original end user. However, it must be normal wear and tear, not abused." Whether the fork stem is considered part of the frame is something that would need to be inquired about.

  3. #53
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Just when you don't things can get anymore annoying. Just want to rant.

    So the Tilite representative, has to get a box and an RA (some kind of shipping label to have the chair sent back to Tilite). He is getting a local DME to ship it. Lets me know it's all sorted, has the box and shipping sorted (took a week to get a box!). Great, I won't waste anyones time I shall get my chair to the DME asap so it can get taken care of.

    So drop off the chair at the local DME Friday July 19th. I'm obviously from another planet as I was thinking, I had it there way early it would ship out, and could be on the road all weekend, be at the Tilite factory first thing Monday etc..

    The really shitty part is I have to use my old chair, which sucks, and just makes the pain in my back and butt worse, hence it's my old chair!

    So a weeks gone by, haven't heard anything, call up the DME, ask when was the chair shipped, wondering if it made it out Friday. "Oh your chair is still here we're waiting on an RA from the Tilite rep!"

    Like what the fuck, I have a week of torture of using my old chair, for absolutely no reason at all, and totally wasted my time taking the chair to the DME... Franz Kafka couldn't have written it better.

  4. #54
    You're really selling Kafka short here. But to the matter at hand. . .

    Contact Mark Westphal, head of customer support at TiLite and get a handle on this. Too many middle people involved here. Do it today.

    (Aside: Venting -- a highly overrated and in fact ineffectual response in ALL situations -- won't get your situation resolved. It may make the venter feel good momentarily, but that's it. While it may get you a chorus of Amens, it's a temporary emotional discharge and serves only to dig a deeper behavioral response groove. The frustration response grows rather than shrinks.)

    This video captures some of the phenomenon I'm trying to describe.

  5. #55
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Thank you again Stephen, I appreciate the input.

    Interesting video, took a while to get through it, but definitely gave me something to think about.
    I definitely needed a vent, if completely ineffectual I admit.
    Took me a couple of days to cool down.
    I called the DME again to see if the chair was still there, was seriously thinking about going to get it, they told me it had shipped to Tilite Tuesday.
    Then got a call from the Tilite Rep telling me he had been on vacation, and didn't understand either why it had taken so long to ship. He assured me he'll make sure it gets taken care of in a timely manner at Tilite and as soon as Tilite ships it back, he'll let me know.

    All I can do is cross my fingers now.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    You're really selling Kafka short here. But to the matter at hand. . .

    Contact Mark Westphal, head of customer support at TiLite and get a handle on this. Too many middle people involved here. Do it today.

    (Aside: Venting -- a highly overrated and in fact ineffectual response in ALL situations -- won't get your situation resolved. It may make the venter feel good momentarily, but that's it. While it may get you a chorus of Amens, it's a temporary emotional discharge and serves only to dig a deeper behavioral response groove. The frustration response grows rather than shrinks.)

    This video captures some of the phenomenon I'm trying to describe.

  6. #56
    I found this thread interesting since I recently went through the ordeal of replacing the fork stems on my TiLite TX chair.

    My fork stems were not bent they had simply worn down and had developed enough taper that the front casters would wobble a bit even with fresh bearings.

    Typically when I need replacement parts, I look up the part number on TiLite's part lookup pages then call SportAid with the part number and have them order it. This time, I was surprised that none of the parts diagrams showed a part number for the fork stem.

    I called and emailed TiLite and asking for the part number. I was told that the fork stems were part of the frame and were not replaceable. The fork stem are just screwed into the frame, and held in place with some loctite and secured with a set screw. It's not really a big deal to remove them, you just need to heat them up a bit with a torch to release the loctite and then they unscrew easily. But since you say they're part of the frame, and the frame has a lifetime warranty, just send me a replacement frame. But No, they told me frame replacement warranty was only for defects not for normal wear.

    Finally, I call on the folks at SportAid and they were really helpful. SportAid contacted TiLite and got the parts ordered. The parts arrived a week later and the fork stems I received were from a Z2 and not quite the same as the ones on my TX chair. Mine are threaded on both ends and these were only threaded on the bottom and had a hole drilled through the top of the stem. Fortunately the dimensions were right and I ended up pulling out my tap and die set and cut the correct treads into the top of the fork stem to make it work. With the new threads cut, I added some blue loctite and threaded them into the frame and locked them in with the set screw. The repair worked great and got rid of the wobble.

    If hadn't been able to get the replacement fork stems to fit my next course of action would have been to have a local machinist turn the parts on a metal lathe. I still don't understand why TiLite won't list fork stem part numbers.

    Worn fork stem


    Z2 fork stem on left, TX on right.




    Finished!


    T12 Complete since 1982. TiLite Tx

  7. #57
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    So, then, are we to surmise that those stem bolts wearing enough to cause caster flutter is normal wear and tear? Expected? Cost of doing business? A part, then, known to wear out and intentionally designed as not replaceable and once it wears out you need a whole new frame instead of a part that costs maybe a few dollars and that anyone can apparently out of the chair with basic tool use knowledge? Hmmmmmmmmm...color me not impressed. There is probably a "good" reason behind this situation which we'll never hear, because it wouldn't make the situation any different, and would open up even more criticism, e.g. it's a flaw of the design itself that the process of replacing this part can potentially cause worse damage to the frame, etc. I dunno but I still don't like it.
    "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

  8. #58
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Very interesting, thank you for taking the time to post all of that.

    Nice pictures.

    So I am guessing the TR bolt is also not threaded, just glued, and held with the hex location bolt. The trick is using the right locite , and heating to remove it.

    I always wondered what was really going on with caster fork stem bolt

    Quote Originally Posted by rshadd View Post
    I found this thread interesting since I recently went through the ordeal of replacing the fork stems on my TiLite TX chair.

    My fork stems were not bent they had simply worn down and had developed enough taper that the front casters would wobble a bit even with fresh bearings.

    Typically when I need replacement parts, I look up the part number on TiLite's part lookup pages then call SportAid with the part number and have them order it. This time, I was surprised that none of the parts diagrams showed a part number for the fork stem.

    I called and emailed TiLite and asking for the part number. I was told that the fork stems were part of the frame and were not replaceable. The fork stem are just screwed into the frame, and held in place with some loctite and secured with a set screw. It's not really a big deal to remove them, you just need to heat them up a bit with a torch to release the loctite and then they unscrew easily. But since you say they're part of the frame, and the frame has a lifetime warranty, just send me a replacement frame. But No, they told me frame replacement warranty was only for defects not for normal wear.

    Finally, I call on the folks at SportAid and they were really helpful. SportAid contacted TiLite and got the parts ordered. The parts arrived a week later and the fork stems I received were from a Z2 and not quite the same as the ones on my TX chair. Mine are threaded on both ends and these were only threaded on the bottom and had a hole drilled through the top of the stem. Fortunately the dimensions were right and I ended up pulling out my tap and die set and cut the correct treads into the top of the fork stem to make it work. With the new threads cut, I added some blue loctite and threaded them into the frame and locked them in with the set screw. The repair worked great and got rid of the wobble.

    If hadn't been able to get the replacement fork stems to fit my next course of action would have been to have a local machinist turn the parts on a metal lathe. I still don't understand why TiLite won't list fork stem part numbers.

    Worn fork stem


    Z2 fork stem on left, TX on right.




    Finished!



  9. #59
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Yeah like this SCI stuff isn't frustrating enough, this is the best solution they can come up with for a part that is obviously going to wear, and any sane person would make easy to replace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    So, then, are we to surmise that those stem bolts wearing enough to cause caster flutter is normal wear and tear? Expected? Cost of doing business? A part, then, known to wear out and intentionally designed as not replaceable and once it wears out you need a whole new frame instead of a part that costs maybe a few dollars and that anyone can apparently out of the chair with basic tool use knowledge? Hmmmmmmmmm...color me not impressed. There is probably a "good" reason behind this situation which we'll never hear, because it wouldn't make the situation any different, and would open up even more criticism, e.g. it's a flaw of the design itself that the process of replacing this part can potentially cause worse damage to the frame, etc. I dunno but I still don't like it.

  10. #60
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    The Final Chapter!

    Went and picked up my chair up from the DME Wednesday 8/22/19, the Tilite rep sent me the UPS tracking number so I could see as soon as it was signed for.

    Dropped off Friday July 19th
    Picked up Wednesday August 21st

    Only 33 days of torture in my old chair.

    They replaced both caster stem bolts, and added new forks nice touch, but not the fork tops !
    #8 in the diagram, no biggie, just an aesthetic, but would have been an even better touch; if you're going to the trouble of putting on new forks!

    Chair rolls nicely again, no tearing up rugs etc every time I transition and no more casters getting caught on themselves when I turn myself around on the spot etc. and then just jamming.



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