Peli Case 1510 Wheel Mod

February 08, 2013  •  22 Comments
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) talks to the media during team practice ahead of the NBA London Live 2013

Quick & easy modification how-to: changing wheels on the Pelicase 1510.

Use this mod to swap out the wheels on your Pelicase and transform it from rattle & roll noise box to smooth glider on streets and pitch-side.

For the past couple of years my Pelicase has been an indispensable piece of kit when hauling gear around.  Inside I can fit just about all my shooting equipment, including a 400mm 2.8L lens, and all in airline carry-on size.  And of course its hard as nails.

But one thing has always bothered me - the wheels.  They're made of the same solid mould plastic as the case body itself, and when in motion they are horribly noisy and make for an awkwardly bumpy ride.  Also, as a symptom of this graceless roll, i'm now convinced that this can cause damage to gear stored inside the case.  I point to an unusually high rate of repairs needed to various lenses in the same period to support this claim, although I may just be unlucky.

Detroit Pistons centre Andre Drummond (1) talks to the media during team practice ahead of the NBA London Live 2013 game
So I was absolutely delighted when a fellow snapper showed me this Pelicase mod, allowing me to swap out the wheels for a softer ride.  Its so easy and the whole thing took about 10 minutes.  Follow this quick guide if you want to do the same.  You will need:
  1. Philips screwdriver
  2. Hammer or mallet
  3. Replacement wheels (I went with 63mm inline skate wheels) 

Please note this is an unofficial D.I.Y mod guide only and I am not liable if you damage your equipment.

Knicks players talking to the media ahead of the NBA London Live 2013 game
First, use the screwdriver to remove the two screws holding the wheel bracket to the case.  The bracket and wheel is a separate unit and should come away easily from the case.
 
Knicks players leading youngsters through drills as part of an NBA Cares initiative
There is an axle running through the bracket and the wheel.  Use the screwdriver to push this out; it is important to do this from the inside out since it is wider at the inside end.  Use the hammer or mallet to gently tap the axle out if necessary.  It needs to come all the way out in order to release the wheel.
 
New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson talking to the press
Now you can slot out the wheel, and you will see a bearing case on either side of the wheel.
 
New York Knicks players in the huddle ahead of tipoff
Lever the bearing case out of the wheel with the screwdriver.  The wheel is plastic and this should pop out without too much resistance.
 
Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Knight (7) in action

I purchased a set of eight 63mm inline skate wheels from Decathlon, and I believe this is the maximum wheel size for the axle bracket depth on the Pelicase 1510.

The bearing cases on these wheels are too wide for the axle bracket, so if purchasing these wheels you will have to lever out the bearing cases and dispose.

Basketball action from NBA London Live 2013 game at the O2 Arena in London

Then set the original Pelicase bearing cases into the new wheels.  You may need to gently tap them into place with a hammer or mallet.

Rapper Chipmunk in the crowd
You can see from my images that my case has done some miles and the bearings were a little rusty.   Before slotting the wheels back in I gave them a quick lubing.
 
Plenty of players sporting customised footwear
Now slot the wheels back into the axle case, making sure they fit flush to the edges of the bracket.
 
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony (7) salutes after victory

Use the hammer or mallet to tap the axle back through the bracket and wheel.  Be sure to get this the correct way around, with the wider, threaded end of the axle facing outwards on the bracket.

2013 pelicase mod2013 pelicase modPelicase mod

Now with these new soft rubber wheels the Pelicase will roll effortlessly and much quieter.  And i'm convinced my gear has a better chance of staying out of the repair shop.  Job done.

Thanks for reading.  Oh, and thanks to top snapper Mitch Gunn for the mod suggestion. 

 


Comments

Dave(non-registered)
Beware that if you ship your equipment anywhere, the softer tire compound may be worn away faster by the airlines. I don't know what they do to flat spot the wheels on all of my cases, but I am changing wheels constantly, it seems.
Martin Beddall(non-registered)
Brilliant. Found this via another photographer's blog post. One wheel, on my 1510, disintegrated, while on a job at the weekend. Came back, found this, replacement wheels from an online skateboard shop ordered - fixed!
farahshah789(non-registered)
Thanks for the great suggestion! I bought that wheels and it really worked!
http://highperformancecases.com/peli-cases
Nick(non-registered)
Thanks for the advice, unfortunately the wheels do not fit on my peli. I purchased the wheels from Decathlon in the UK but the width of them will not allow them to turn inside the opening. I'll keep looking for slimmer wheels :D
Bill Schultze(non-registered)
Thanks for the great information and how-to. I wasn't able to find the wheels you list in the US, but found substitutes on eBay for around $5 each. The included axles and bearings did not get used, but the originals on my Peli case were fine. The wheels are slightly smaller that the ones you listed, but they work great.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/60-64-68-70-75-80mm-Black-Replacement-Luggage-Inline-Wheel-Skate-Suitcase-Wheel/291861777899?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=590864796032&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
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