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Valve caps popping off?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:38 pm
by emoran
I have a Bach 879 (Olds 99 clone) that used to throw the 1st valve cap off when I bought it 30 plus years ago. This was fixed by ordering all new caps, but now the 1st valve cap only threads on about 1 1/2 turns to full lock. Any ideas? Did the valve shrink, the cap expand?
ed..

Re: Vave caps popping off?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:38 am
by KingBassTrombone
I'm gonna guess that the threads on the valve casing were worn out by the old stripped caps. Screwing new/re-threaded caps onto half-worn casing threads can cause that to happen, since a few of the old threads are rounded off or missing.

Re: Vave caps popping off?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:01 am
by The Big Ben
emoran wrote:I have a Bach 879 (Olds 99 clone) that used to throw the 1st valve cap off when I bought it 30 plus years ago. This was fixed by ordering all new caps, but now the 1st valve cap only threads on about 1 1/2 turns to full lock. Any ideas? Did the valve shrink, the cap expand?
ed..


I feel your pain....

I had one cap that would get loose/stuck on my 099-4. It was on the 4th valve so it wasn't that big deal if it got stuck half on or half off during a practice but annoying. I tried one of the valve/valve caps I was not having trouble with in the 4th hole and it worked fine so it definitely was the cap. I replaced all four caps (with groovy silver plated caps) and haven't had the problem ever since. I was afraid that it was the thread on the casing which might have been a terminal disease (or at least a chronic condition) on one of these refugees from a junior high band room but I guess I got lucky.

I sometimes was able to get that 4th valve cap to work by jiggling it as I was screwing it in. A touch of grease helped a little, too. You might try one of the other valves in the 1st hole to see if it is just a worn cap. Maybe you could replace just one cap.

Re: Vave caps popping off?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:19 am
by emoran
Thanks for the info. I did keep all the original caps, so I'll pull the first valve, and try them. I also want to try the grease on the casing. Hope I don't have to resort to duct tape!

Re: Vave caps popping off?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:21 am
by bloke
How about this?

Take it to someone who has successfully remedied that problem quite a few times before, and pay them a little bit of money to solve it with your instrument.

It's really easy to make problems like that worse, and it's a really good idea to hand these problems over to someone who immediately sees just what's wrong, and who knows just what to do.

Re: Vave caps popping off?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:51 pm
by The Big Ben
bloke wrote:Take it to someone who has successfully remedied that problem quite a few times before, and pay them a little bit of money to solve it with your instrument.


I did. Where do you think I got the groovy silver caps?

Re: Vave caps popping off?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:15 am
by emoran
bloke wrote:How about this?

Take it to someone who has successfully remedied that problem quite a few times before, and pay them a little bit of money to solve it with your instrument.

It's really easy to make problems like that worse, and it's a really good idea to hand these problems over to someone who immediately sees just what's wrong, and who knows just what to do.

I originally had this fixed by a tech in Orlando, fl. But he has since moved to Tennessee to build Trombones. He ordered the replacement caps for me. We are limited here on the Space Coast on repair locations, but I agree with your comments.
By the way, the felts I ordered from you for the valves are great. Thanks

Re: Valve caps popping off?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:22 pm
by Rick F
It's been awhile but I've used Billy Birthrong at Brass and Reed in Daytona Beach, FL. He does excellent work. I've taken my horn there on the recommendation of Gail Robertson when she was still in Orlando.

Re: Valve caps popping off?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:16 pm
by groovlow
Second affirmation
Billy at Brass and Reed
Joe H

Re: Valve caps popping off?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:38 am
by emoran
Got the horn back from the shop, and the first valve cap was replaced, more new caps on order. Also new water key corks, and a solder leak fixed I didn't know I had. All done with no missing of rehearsals. And yes Bloke, for not much money. Thanks for all the good info. everyone.

Re: Valve caps popping off?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:34 pm
by bloke
general observation:

Reynolds TB-10 tubas (same friggin' tuba with some cosmetic differences) top caps often seem to generally be subtly tighter-threaded than Olds O-99.

Someone else could possibly solve this problem in the future by swapping out a set of Olds for a set of found-somewhere Reynolds caps.

Too-tight caps can be fitted by turning and tapping until they screw down all the way (tedious/effective).

fwiw, the Reynolds caps call for a felt ring (like old-style King top caps).