Can anyone help me fix my tripod head? Its a Manfrotto 3262QR head. I sprayed silicon on the ball to lube it, then read the directions and it stated not to use it...Oops!! . Anyway now when it gets cold or wet the head does not stick, no matter how hard you tighten it. It only works when its nice and warm and dry out. How can I clean it and relube it. PLEASE HELP!!!!!
This should be easy to recover from. I used to own this head and it would be easy to disassemble, but you don't need to if you're at all worried about doing it. Pick up a can of spray contact cleaner from a place like Radio Shack. You could also use lighter fluid if the you can't find the contact cleaner spray. Loosen the clamp so the ball can move. Hold the ballhead with a cloth on its side. Spray the contact cleaner at the ball & socket. Use short spray pulses and let the fluid drain around the ball onto the cloth. Work the ball around after each spray and wipe the ball as you rotate it. Try a couple of spray cycles, let the cleaner evaporate and check to see if it still slips. If you use lighter fluid, try wetting part of the cloth, cleaning the ball as you work it around and do a small squirt at the ball & socket joint. Drain the excess onto the cloth. Dry and test.
I did something similar when I owned this head. The action isn't buttery smooth so I took it apart and put a little synthetic lube on the ball. The ball slipped just as you found out. I took it apart and cleaned it - back to normal. I gave the head away, but if I recall the setscrew just below the wingnut lets you get into the mechanism. It's very simple inside.
The only way to make this head work more smoothly is to replace it with one that has a larger ball...
The solvent in contact cleaner won't damage the finish on the ballhead (I don't recall any plastic parts inside), nor will lighter fluid (the recommended solvent for cleaning old leaf shutters safely). I'm not sure about other solvents for this fix-it.
I'm glad my screw ups can come in handy on occasion
Thanks BJ and to all who replied. It works much better now, but the real test will be out in the feild. I do want the Pro Ball head but it cant fork over 200$ for it. Any suggestions on a better head w/ QR. Anyway thanks again to all !!!
This head does the job pretty well within its load rating and it's a good size, so I'd suggest you hang onto it and when you can do it in the future, get a high quality ballhead. Watch for a deal on a used one too.