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01-12-2021, 03:14 AM   #1
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Vanguard BBH-200 ball head - mounting screw problem

Hello,

Recently when I took my tripod out, I noticed the head was loose. On closer inspection I found that the part of the mounting screw(?) has broke off. See pictures:
https://www.flickr.com/gp/148371443@N07/p4q067

Is this sort of damage fixable?

01-12-2021, 03:32 AM   #2
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This should not be a big issue.

The adapter you broke is adapting two different sizes both of which are standardized.

You are looking for 1/4 to 3/8 thread adapters. Which are rather common.

Vanguard may make them, otherwise a general one should suffice.

Pack of 2 x 1/4" Female to 3/8" Male Conversion Tripod Head Thread Adapter Screw | eBay
01-12-2021, 04:19 AM   #3
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Those things are brass and are prone to break. Your tripod may be set up to use a 3/8 or a 1/4 stud. Just check if the 1/4 sticking out of your tripod is 3/8 on its other end, it should just screw out. Rotate it 180, screw it back in and be 3/8 all the way.
01-12-2021, 07:10 AM   #4
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That looks to me like the stud in the tripod body broke off. Some are reversible... some are fixed. Can you show us an image of the part that remains on the tripod?

Is it part of the column? Does the head of the column come off? Does the part sticking out of tripod allow you to unscrew it?
What exact model tripod is it?

01-12-2021, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You are going to have to be careful extracting the large thread adapter by using the proper flat blade screwdriver in the available screw slot (it needs to fit precisely). If you are lucky there is no thread locker on the adapters which could hinder you getting the adapters loose, you might want to use some sort of penetrating lube on the threads and let it work in between the larger adapter and the ball head housing. Since they are dis-similar galling should not be a problem but brass is a soft metal and the screwdriver slots can easily be distorted. Work slowly and carefully and with any luck you can get it out without any other problems.

Edit: After seeing the different angle photo, you may need to use a screw extractor to get the small adapter out and be able to leave the larger adapter in place if the threads aren't damaged.

Last edited by Larrymc; 01-12-2021 at 07:38 AM.
01-12-2021, 09:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larrymc Quote
You are going to have to be careful extracting the large thread adapter by using the proper flat blade screwdriver in the available screw slot (it needs to fit precisely). If you are lucky there is no thread locker on the adapters which could hinder you getting the adapters loose, you might want to use some sort of penetrating lube on the threads and let it work in between the larger adapter and the ball head housing. Since they are dis-similar galling should not be a problem but brass is a soft metal and the screwdriver slots can easily be distorted. Work slowly and carefully and with any luck you can get it out without any other problems.

Edit: After seeing the different angle photo, you may need to use a screw extractor to get the small adapter out and be able to leave the larger adapter in place if the threads aren't damaged.

I agree that getting the small adapter out is the key to getting it back together. There is a god chance that thread locker was used so as Larry advised a penetrant may help. A screw extractor should work very well here, a lot easier since the adapter is brass and "hollow" instead of a normal solid screw. IF there is enough sticking up to grip (the photo may be a little deceiving) and if you don't have a screw extractor you might try a needle nose plier or small vise grip flat across the bottom of the head. Don't squeeze it tight enough to bend the insert, just enough to grip and give you leverage to twist it out.

Last edited by ramseybuckeye; 01-12-2021 at 09:15 AM.
01-12-2021, 10:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
That looks to me like the stud in the tripod body broke off.
This ^ ^ ^

The other half is still attached to the tripod and will need to be replaced. The part that is in the head looks to be easily removable.


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01-12-2021, 10:31 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies.

The tripod in question is Alta Pro 263 AT (black/orange one). Originally it came with a different ball head, SBH-100, which I replaced with the BBH because the former isn't arca swiss compatible.
Anyway, when this thing happened, I just placed the old head on. There was nothing left attached to the column.

I tried to remove the remaining part of the adapter thingy with pliers but it doesn't seem like a way to go; thing won't budge and I don't want to put too much force into it.
I will try to unscrew the thing with a tripod column, it could work.

01-12-2021, 10:39 AM   #9
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Oh! I see it now. This is just the collar - I thought it was the remains of the stud. Ok. This has come up and there are a lot of threads no pun intended on this subject.

Two immediate options come to mind.

1) carefully use a piece of all thread that fits the threading and put this into the fragment and secure it with your adhesive of choice. Thread locker, epoxy, superglue, etc are all possibilities.

2) take a dremhel and cut a groove and jam a flathead screwdriver into the slot created with force.
01-12-2021, 07:14 PM   #10
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This is very fixable and as others have posted, getting the broken part extracted is going to be your greatest problem. The part is called a 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 Reducer Bushing. If you don't want to futz with it yourself, I would suggest taking it down to any local machine shop, tool and die or what have you, that is close by. It will be about a 5 minute process for them. With the above 1/4"-20 information, the shop will have the tap to extract it. This happens in their business all the time.

I would suggest that when you order another one - you get three, as they are reasonably cheap and an extra or two in your spare parts kit comes in handy.

01-12-2021, 09:21 PM   #11
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This is a cheap parts...

This summer, when I needed ďoneĒ for a new tripod head I bought, the store was selling them in pack of 5 (for about 10$ CDN, if I remember, like 2$ each).
So, they are very convenient if you have multiple tripod heads. Itís easier to leave that piece inside each tripod head and itís quicker when you switch head (instead of mounting/dismounting that part each time).
01-13-2021, 02:11 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Hello everyone,

Turns out, the issue of extracting the broken adapter part from the head wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I put the part that broke off back into the slot, aligned with the stuck part, and holding it with a finger, I unscrewed the whole thing using a coin inserted into the groove of the adapter, between the two parts.

Now I will go buy some adapters. They don't seem to expensive.

Thank you all for your help.
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