2017 Retrofix

Ten units were made of the 2017 model. They have two issues: the device was set about 2 cm too far back, and the bushings were too long. Moving the device forward 2 cm changes the balance of the ski and makes claw retraction much easier. The long plastic bushings risk being crushed and deformed while the claws are being tightened. The claws may jam with use. These issues are fairly easy to fix.

The model before the retrofix:

It is simplest to first remove the claws (some pictures show other parts coming off first). The nut on the lower pivot point may be removed with a 10 mm socket wrench.

Remove the T-shaped bushing.

Unscrew the bolt at the upper pivot point using a 1/8″ hex wrench (a 3 mm hex wrench should work). There is an identical white plastic bushing here too. There are plastic washers behind the claw at both pivot points. The top one is thicker.

The bumpers on this model consist of a hard plastic piece, a rubber pad, and a pin that connects those pieces to the end of the rail.

To remove a bumper assembly, first use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws, then wiggle the assembly along the ski, away from the end of the rail. The heel plates are just held on by screws.

The binding platform will now slide off the rail in either direction.

Remove the five platform screws.

Separate the plastic rail from the wrap-over plate.

Trim the edges of the craters left by the screws. The picture shows a knife but a hand held grinder (“Dreml”-type, shown at bottom) works better.

Care must be taken to accurately mark the new mounting holes for the rail. Position the rail over the old holes. Mark the front of the rail and place a mark on the ski 2 cm ahead of the old front mark. To use the rail as a pattern to mark the position of the new holes, it works best if the rail is upside down. Invert the rail keeping the cluster of three holes toward the front of the ski. Place the front edge of the rail at the 2 cm ahead mark and tape it in place. Find a drill bit that is the same diameter as that of the holes in the rail.Use that sized drill bit to mark the new rail hole locations. Drill just enough to make a mark. Do not make a hole. Remove the rail from the ski. With a very narrow drill bit (not shown) make four guide holes in the places just marked with the wider bit. The guide holes should be shallow, just perforating the metal plate under the ski’s plastic surface. Recombine the wrap-over plate and the rail. Place these on the rail, lining up with the new holes. Replace the four screws.
Slide the binding platform back onto the rail.

The bumper assemblies may now be wiggled back into place at the ends of the rails. Use a drill bit of the same size as the holes in the white plastic part to mark the new bumper holes. Do not drill holes of that size, but just mark the plastic surface. Remove the bumper assemblies. With the narrow drill bit, puncture the plate below the plastic ski surface. Reposition the bumper assemblies and screw down.

Use a ski boot to find the best position of the heel plate. Lock the boot into the binding. Slide the platform to the forward end of the rail. Place a mark on the ski at the front edge of the heel on the boot.Slide the platform to the rear end. Mark the back edge of the boot.

Place the heel plates over the two marks. Keep the plates 2 or so mm apart (camber allowance). Tape down.As above, mark hole locations with a drill bit the same diameter as the heel plate holes. Remove plates, puncture ski surface with fine diameter drill bit, screw plates down.

The white plastic bushings are too long. They are longer than the claw is thick at both pivot points. When the claw fasteners are tightened, they compress the bushings, causing them to change shape. This can hinder claw performance. It is helpful to shorten the bushings so they are just shorter than the claw is wide. The image of the two bushings shows the shortened bushing on the right.

Because I was shortening a number of bushings, I made a stand to hold the bushing in place while grinding off a few millimeters of plastic. I made a shallow depression in a block of wood with a wide drill bit and put a nail in the center of the depression.

With shorter bushings, the claw pivot points may be tightened until the claw jams, then loosened a little at a time until the pivot moves freely. The claws have much less play than before resulting in more effective and quieter operation.

Happy Uphill Skiing