The control ring on my V11R was spinning freely, with no resistance whatsoever. The flashlight was basically unusable. Searching the web, I saw plenty of people complaining about the control ring, but nobody actually documenting how to repack it with grease. So I posted my dilemma to Budget Light Forum and a really helpful user named Moderator007 gave me all the advice and encouragement I needed to try the repair myself.
First I needed to buy the friction grease, which I ordered for 3 dollars from DealExtreme. I'm not their biggest fan, but there's not much risk at that price. The grease arrived in about 3 weeks, which is about right for ordering direct from China.
|Not bad for 3 bucks!|
Taking the head off
This was fairly easy. Apparently Sunwayman has used two different grades of loc-tite and mine had the blue version, which isn't as strong as the red version. If yours has red loc-tite, it may be extremely difficult to break the head loose. It seems like I got lucky.
What I did was cut two long strips of duct tape and put it on either side of the control ring. Then I used two pair of pliers to break the head loose.
|Here's everything it took to get the head off the V11R|
|It came apart in a wad of tape|
|I thought I nicked it, but can't find any scratches or nicks anywhere|
Looking at the parts
At this point if you were a modder, you would have access to the guts of the light. Getting it open is the hard part--now you're home free. With the light open, I would be very careful not to touch the emitter or the shiny part of the reflector. Don't do it.
|The head in its three main pieces|
|Top view of the control ring. Here you can see the two little magnets|
|Above you can see remnants of the blue loc-tite that was applied to the threads|
|Above you can see the grease channel on the underside of the control ring-- put new grease here|
Packing the ring
Looking at the ring, there's a channel for the grease to ride in. There was enough of the friction grease in the cap so I took a little scoop with my flat head screwdriver and slathered into the little channel. I purposely used a little too much, and let the excess ooze out, which I just wiped off. Notice in the pictures I got a little bit of dog hair, which is fine.
The grease did the trick. Moderator007 suggested that if there is too much resistance on the control ring, you can mix the friction grease with regular Lithium grease to thin it out and fine tune the exact amount of resistance you want. I ended up using the grease as-is, but your mileage may vary, and that sounds like a good trick for tuning the amount of resistance.
|There was enough grease already in the cap to do the job!|
|Yeah, I was holding the dog just before I did this|
Done! And all for 3 bucks
Using the cheapest friction grease money can buy paid off. The control ring on my V11R now has an identical feel as it did the day I opened the box. I won't lie-- having my 100 dollar flashlight back to factory condition made me do a little happy dance.
|It's as good as new, with the AA externder mounted|
I'm a big fan of these control ring type flashlights, but they require maintenance from just normal use, and not many people use it enough to wear out the grease I guess. Now that broke the loc-tite holding it together, I can keep it running for as long as I want, since there is nothing to really wear out except the grease. The little tub of grease probably has enough to last my V11R for 100 years.