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Thread: TiLite ZR(a) front fork caster bolt replacements?

  1. #1

    TiLite ZR(a) front fork caster bolt replacements?

    Hi!
    Now that I have my new chair, I have a serious "WTH?!?!" with it: the front caster axle bolts. Phillips head soft metal? Ugh.

    OK- has anyone else simply replaced these from day one? Hehehe- I know I will be. Curious what people have used. I am going to remove mine and hit the hardware store with a song and a prayer today and see if they have something that will work. I LOVE the front caster axles on my A-4. Hardened steel, use a socket on each side, done. Little lock-tite, and I could drop those front wheels all day and never budge, hurt or screw the axle up at all. Changed wheels many times now, 5 times in one week while trying different caster types (different rollerblade wheels, to see how softness, size, etc impact performance; all in another thread even!). Little lock-tite, and they are as good as the day that chair arrived. C'mon Tilite! Save weight here? And even worse, use a horrible manner of tightening/loosening (phillips)?!? Allens would be just as bad IMO. Front axles should be hex head bolt, period. And they should be a hard metal- hardened or stainless steel maybe?

    I guess if you get a new chair, never touch it, and then have the casters replaced once a year (if that) by a local DME, and end up getting new chairs every few years..well, have fun. But sorry- I like to play with things, see what works and what doesn't. And IMO, these front caster axles are poop.
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hype62's Avatar
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    I actually like how they used phillips head screw, it makes the caster assembly look cleaner and less protrude. I know I won't be changing casters often like you will, because I like them softrolls very much.


    May 2000, T4-5 Complete.

    Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

  3. #3
    Yeah, looking back at it, I guess it is a whole lotta frustration, and while I love the streamlined look, I just did not care for the cheap feel the phillips had.

    Not sure what I will do yet...
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    They look like roller blade axle bearing setup.

  5. #5
    Senior Member stephen212's Avatar
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    I never bothered trying to remove the caster bolts on my 2-year-old ZR until recently. Despite the accumulation of hair the casters were spinning very easily, but the rubber had worn down enough that they were making audible noise when rolling on hard surfaces. I ordered replacement rubber and budgeted maybe 20 minutes to complete the project. WRONG!!!

    I used to remove the casters frequently on previous chairs to put in new bearings and expected to have an easy go of it on the ZR. The caster bolts were frozen and the soft Philips heads were stripping. (Nikki, you are absolutely right to look for something better.) The handyman in my building also had no luck and wound up using a dremel to create a wider flat-head slot to pry the fuckers loose. The next step was removing the 3 allen screws that attach the 2 aluminum sides of the caster wheel. Same headache. (TiLite later explained to me that these screws are put in place with the aluminum casts clamped under pressure so that the screws go in deeper once the casts are unclamped.) We were successful with one caster but not with the other. Those screwheads had to be dremeled too.

    What I expected to take 20 minutes wound up as major minor surgery. And to cap it off, it's taken multiple requests to TiLite customer support to get them to send out replacement screws. It's been weeks and I'm still waiting.

  6. #6
    Ive changed/moved the ones on my zra countless times over the past 5 years....takes about 10 minutes and my screws are still holdin up well. They should be failry easy to switch out of a stainless allen head but you'll probably have to cut them to length...thread a nut all the way on the before you cut them off...then unscrew the nut and it will basically rethread the cut end.

    BTW Lowes has a good selection of both metric and sae stainless fasteners
    C5-6 - 22 years

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hype62's Avatar
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    Sounds like the phillip head screws really are too soft. Looks like I may need to find a better set of hardened screws too, before things go nasty on me. For your info, the phillip screws used on the caster axles are 10-32 x 3/8" size. Might be better to find a hex bolt thats the same diameter as the caster axle, and also long enough to be tighten with a hex nut on the other side.
    May 2000, T4-5 Complete.

    Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

  8. #8
    Senior Member SCI_OTR's Avatar
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    I'm glad I was able to replace my forks with the ProSpin/Crossfire short fork so I could go with 1.5" FrogLegs aluminum hub soft rolls. While aluminum hub casters look better and will reduce the possibility of binding between the fork and bearings, I have sometimes found it difficult to replace the bearings because the outer ring fuses with the inner wall of the hub. I think this is more-likely to occur in areas of the country where the chair is more-likely to be exposed to road salt and the user has been lax on maintenance.

    The wider fork permits wider, beefier, spacers and are less-likely to become bent if you need to apply force to extract a corroded axle. If the bearing gets stuck, I can replace both casters for only $72 from SportAid. I also have the option of having a second set of FrogLegs with plastic hubs to use in the winter for $39.

    One reason I decided to go with the ZR instead of the less expensive Quickie Ti was the narrow fork width, thin spacers, and Torx axle screws. Quickie apparently realized this and expanded their fork/caster offerings on the GTi Titanium. I wish TiLite would take note and use wider more universal forks to permit end-user to choose a wider variety of casters.

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