How to Repair the Pan Drag / Sachtler Ace Tripod

Sachtler Pan Drag Repair

Over time, even after mild use, the pan drag on a Sachtler Ace tripod can wear out giving your tripod less than optimal performance.

The pan drag in the Sachtler Ace is controlled by the Damping Module and this part can easily be replaced, giving your tripod like new performance.

The part costs around $100 USD (June 2019) and comes in a “Pan Drag Spares Kit” which includes the damping module and a latch assembly. If your tripod drag level selection is working fine, you will not need to replace the latch assembly, you will only need to replace the damping module.

This repair should be nearly identical on the Sachtler Ace M, L and XL 75mm tripod heads. The part # may be different for each models, so make sure you select the right part when ordering.

You can buy the Sachtler parts here:

Tools needed to replace the drag damping module.

  • 13mm wrench
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Large flat blade screwdriver or small pry bar
  • 5mm Allen Head Socket with long breaker bar.

The steps to repair the pan drag.

  1. Remove the tripod handle and bowl clamp.
  2. Release the pan brake and select setting 0 on the pan drag selector.
  3. Remove the “bowl clam screw with the 13mm wrench.
  4. Remove the 3 Philips head screws attaching the bowl assembly.
  5. Gently pry off the 75mm bowl with the large flat blade screwdriver.
  6. With the bowl off, take a picture of the placement of the 4 small pins and then remove the pins.
  7. Using a 5mm allen head socket and breaker bar, remove the large screw in the center of the assembly.
  8. Remove the washers and bushings, place them in the order of removal.
  9. Gently pry up on the bearing.
  10. Gently pry up the damping module and remove the bushing in the center.
  11. Insert the bushing into the new damping module (please note, you may need to tap this in to place with a small hammer.)
  12. Replace all the parts in to the head in reverse order of their removal.
  13.  Tighten the 5mm allen head screw.
  14. Replace the pins and attache the bowl, take note for proper alignment of the bow, the pins will insert into matching holes and the drag selector must function, if it does not, flip the bowl around.
  15. Tighten the 3 small Philips head screws.
  16. Install the Sachtler Ace tripod head on your legs and enjoy a fresh drag dampening!