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Lowe Pro Roller case handle fix / repair / replacement

Just made a video for the repair /replacement  of the wheels:

I’ve been a LowePro fan for a long time as you can see by my collection below.  They get a lot of hard use and even though I take good care of them, things just tend to wear out after years of service.

In a previous post I demonstrated how to repair the wheels.  In this DIY article I show how to repair or replace a handle that has worn through the strap.  The handles are not meant to be replaced as evidenced by factory installation with permanent rivets. LowePro Customer Support is great and even so it’s sometimes easier and quicker to make a repair to keep things “rolling”.
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After lifting out the inner case, unzip the liner (this is an early LowePro Roller II). Then use a drill or rotary tool to grind off the flattened portion of the rivet which will allow it to be extracted from the shell of the case.
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I found 1″ wide webbing from an outdoor sports store in the climbing department.  I cut a section long enough to be able to fold it over several times as you can see in the pictures above.  I used a propane torch to fuse the ends and heat up a bent piece of wire coat hanger to pierce the webbing and fuse the hole edges at the same time.  The folds of the webbing put the tag end at the “bottom” of the stack so it won’t curl up and catch on things.
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In order to keep things neat I used a “button head socket cap screw” (1/4-20unc x 1″ – has a low profile smooth head) and then added a “fender washer” to spread the compression over the width of the webbing (1/4″ ID with approximately 1″ outside diameter). I used 1/4-20unc “acorn” nuts buttered with a dab of  “Loctite” threadlocker to fasten the assembly to the case.  The metal backing plate and the locking nut made it unnecessary to use a washer.
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I made the handle loops slightly oversize so I could add carabiners to hang or tie other gear. The original attachments had a metal reinforcing band but with 4 plies of webbing these should serve just as well.

LowePro Roller Wheel Fix

Just released a video for the repair /replacement of the wheels (LowePro Pro Roller 3 in video). Other models are similar with different means of removing the liner. – I hope this helps:

Also…

I just added the kit to my eBay listings here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/272467926842?

Joel-Spring-RxDesign_0059.jpgI’ve always been a fan of the LowePro line of products and have a wide variety as you can see by the collection in the photo above.  I’ve had them since I started shooting and some have begun to show the wear and tear of serious use. Recently my LowePro Rollers ( one of the smaller of the line ) had a blow out. The “tread” crumbled off the wheel causing it to gimp along as I pulled it with only one wheel intact. It was also very noisy when rolled along on hard flooring.

In the past the company has been great about simply replacing damaged items that were not the result of abuse.  On this occasion I was informed since the product line has been totally revamped they would be charging $150 to replace this model.

Click here for my DIY LowePro Roller handle repair / fix instructions.

The LowePro service department stated the part was not repairable but it seemed something could be done for it with a little effort.  (The new design does have “user serviceable” wheels)The main issue was the fact the wheel mounting axles were not designed to be removed, a little short sighted on their part.  The wheels were attached by a permanent rivet instead of a screw fastener. Some of the newer models had a clip requiring a special tool for removal (simpler and easier to simply grind away).

Required Tools:
Drill or rotary grinder w/stone
3/16″ Allen wrench / Hex key
7/16″ Open end wrench

Optional:
Small Hammer
3/16″ pin punch
Pliers

Parts for each wheel:
1 – 80mm skate wheel with 6mm Sleeve
1 – 1/4-20 x 2″ SS socket cap screw
3 – 1/4″ SS flat washers
1 – 1/4-20 nylon locking nut

After taking out the inner case with dividers the liner (if one present in your model) can be removed. Removal of the original wheels entails grinding off/removing the flared head and finding wheels and bolts to fit.  Wheels turned out to be simple and cheap enough – I located them(80mm replacement wheels for inline skates) on Amazon.  would provide a link but they come and go quickly – simply search for them and pay particular attention to getting sleeves with 6mm diameter holes.

Joel-Spring-RxDesign_0068.jpgA Dremel tool with grinding wheel is often easier than using an electric drill with stone attachment.

Rotary GrinderJoel-Spring-RxDesign_0067.jpg

The 1/4-20 socket head cap screw (2″ long), 1/4″ stainless washers(3) and 1/4-20 stainless stee nylon self locking nut were found at Home Depot / Lowes. These were a major upgrade over the original as they were all stainless steel and the wheels were made for serious usage plus the fact I have 6 more in reserve for my other “rollers.” I found “self locking” type nuts in the hardware bins that were less likely to loosen over time. If you cannot find this type of fastener you may use a longer allen screw (2 1/4″ long) and lock/jam two plain 1/4″-20 nuts against each other to prevent loosening. Add some thread locking cement(loctite) if you want to be safe.

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3/16″ Allen / hex key wrench and an 7/16″ open end wrench for installation.

_mg_0827A piece of tape is helpful when placing washers on either side of the wheel.

_mg_2138Clean up grinding debri to keep it from working its way into your gear.

_mg_0823Much better than new!

NOTE: I’ve had several request for a parts kit made up for this repair. Let me know if you think this would be helpful(add a comment). I’m not sure of the price point but I believe $28.50 US would cover parts. I just added the kit to my eBay listings here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/272467926842?

_mg_2173Click here for my DIY LowePro Roller handle repair / fix instructions.

Behind the scenes photos –  Using Kessler CineSlider and Pocket Jib gear to make the video:

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