The actual balls for the ball bearings are readily
available. They are a standard part. Mine were all in
good shape, and got reassembled or I would measure them.
Measure carefully, and do not assume they are metric.
Many European manufacturers of moving rigging parts use
0.25 inch ball bearings. The cir-clips are also a standard
size and widely available. The plugs... of course not so
I just had my swivel rebuilt. The first cir-clip
came out without a hitch, followed by the plug. The
second clip shattered when it was being removed, and
left little corroded pieces of itself behind that made
removing the plug a nightmare. The cir-clips were
replaced with stainless ones that will not have this
Like so many things, this is a compromise. A higher
risk of corrosion to the swivel body, but a lower risk
of corrosion to an aluminum clip that can cause loss of
the clips and plugs. I have put a good coat of Lanocoat
over the clips, and added the part to my routine
inspection list. Hopefully that, along with the part's
location well above the normal salt spray zone, will
keep things together and running smoothly.
An interesting piece of recent technical advice from
Harkin about these plastic ball bearings in other
applications. They strongly suggest NOT lubricating them
with the standard dry silicone lubricants-just keep them
flushed with fresh water. The rational is the silicones
can make the bearing race so slick that the balls start to
slide instead of roll. Then they get a flat spot, and
things go down hill from there. This was news to me,
although it has the sound of truth to it.
I haven't decided yet if I will stop putting dry lube
on parts like this.
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA