Cleaning a muddy Gitzo?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by justinweiss, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. I was using a four-section carbon-fiber Gitzo on some muddy ground, and now it feels like some dried mud particles may have slipped into the locking-collar mechanism on the lower two leg sections. Everything still works, but the two lower leg sections don't collapse and extend as smoothly as they used to. I'd like to take it apart and clean out everything. Is there a way to safely disassemble a carbon-fiber Gitzo for cleaning and put it back together again?
  2. Unscrew the collars completely and remove the locking bushing with the collar. It snaps into a groove inside the collar. Slide the leg section out and remove the two bushings at the top of the leg. Note the positions of each item and reassemble in reverse order. The upper bushings fit into holes in the leg and the gap provides the keyway to prevent rotation. The inside of each leg section has a molded key which rides in this gap.
    Use water only, with a little dish soap as needed with a clear rinse. DO NOT USE ANY SOLVENTS ON PLASTIC PARTS, INCLUDING THE CF PARTS. You may need to use mineral spirits and an old tooth brush to remove any grease and grit from the metal parts of the threads collars. Relube with a tiny amount of white lithium grease (any automotive store). Take care not to get solvents or grease on the rubber grips.
    If you get confused, you can download a parts diagram from
    When you use a Gitzo in mud or sand, always extend the lowest section first, and wipe it off before collapsing it again. You don't need to disassemble it for cleaning unless you bury one of the locking collars.
  3. The Gitzo design is more simple than you might imagine. I wouldn't worry too much about putting it back together.

    I like to clean mine 1 section at a time. Basically just keep unscrewing the lockdown mechanisms until they come off. Pull the leg section out, and clean with a rag and warm water. You probably don't need to use soapy water...and the soap might leave a film, which while harmless is unpleasing to some people. If it is really dirty, and you want to use soapy water, I would have a separate container of clean water and use a separate rag for a "rinse cycle".

    That's a great idea. While I don't worry too much about getting my Gitzo all muddy, it would save some cleaning time later!
  4. Thanks, guys.
  5. Here's the page I used to CLA my G-1228. Great instructions, very easy to do, tripod has been perfect ever since.

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