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Incorrect Binding Installation Question

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 


I recently purchased boots, skis and bindinds at a local store (one of the big chains) and paid the $25 for them to install the bindings.  After I got home I noticed a fairly large gap between the bindings and skis and you can see the bindings screws.  I've attached pictures.  Notice the space between the bindings and the ski.  It's like this for both bindings on both skis.  I'm pretty sure these were installed wrong since the screws are providing all the support now and could damage the skis and possibly lead to an injury.  Just wondering what everyone thinks before bringing them back.  Thanks!





post #2 of 14

Get them back ASAP.  That's a novice installation job and I can't believe it was released from the shop that way (some kid who doesn't know what the hell he's doing).  Show it to the manager.


It looks like the clutch on the drill was set too low and the bozo didn't even check it or hand tighten it further.  You could probably tighten it down yourself (be careful not to mash the head because Posi-Drive screw heads are slightly different than Phillips heads), but you should make sure the manager knows, anyway, so they can make sure they don't have a bunch of skis going out the door like this.

post #3 of 14

I wouldn't try to fix them myself.  What if they used screws that are too long?  Do you want to be responsible for stripping the holes or blistering the p-tex?  It's not your mistake.  Don't tamper with the evidence.


Take it back.  Show it to the manager.  Demand it be done right by someone qualified.  Ask how you can be assured it'll actually be right.  Ask how they stand behind their work.  Maybe even ask about their insurance.

post #4 of 14

Sound advice from the above.  If they refuse to correct the problem, demand your money back.  Those bindings are unsafe as they sit right now.  You might want to ask to see the technician's installation certification certificate.  He should have one.  They are earned by attending a binding installation clinic.  Most binding manufacturer's require installation techs to have current certificates in order to certify that the binding was properly installed and adjusted.  Its part of their indemnification program.


The manager should be very contrite dealing with you after seeing how those bindings are installed.  That is an absolute p**s poor job.


If they give you a hard time and don't fix the problem then I think a letter to them about the problem with a copy to the binding manufacturer would be appropriate.

post #5 of 14

Good gracious that's bad.  Definitely take them back.  It's not clear if they just didn't tighten them down improperly, or if the screws are too long.  


Sadly, botched installs like this are typical for chain stores.  You frequently get what you pay for in these cases.  I bet if you searched on the name of the store here, you'd see many similar reports.

post #6 of 14

The thickness of the ski under the rear screws looks very thin, which leads me to think the bindings may be mounted too far back. It also looks like the screws may be too long and therefore push out the p-tex on the ski bottoms if they are screwed all the way down.  I agree, you need these to be checked by somebody at the shop who actually knows what they are doing.  You may want to click a boot in and see if the center lines on the boot and ski line up. The mounting is so bad it is likely they did not get them centered correctly either.

post #7 of 14

I agree with mudfoot - either that binding is mounted too far back,  or it's a ski designed for a child's boot but mounted for a too-large adult boot sole length.  I would also guess that either they used a too-small drillbit or they failed to tap the metal topsheet.  Either can result in a screw going in "tight",  which can fool the technician into thinking the binding is fully drawn to the ski.


It's been over 20 years since I was a certified binding tech,  but I doubt the certification process is much more rigorous than it was then.  At the time,  any 18 y.o. kid who had never seen a ski binding in his life could be certified in about an hour - then sent into the backroom to mount bindings for minimum wage.  The shop manager REALLY needs to be shown this,  so (s)he can ensure appropriate supervision and training are happening.  Someone could truly get hurt by this sort of negligence.



post #8 of 14


Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

Sadly, botched installs like this are typical for chain stores.  You frequently get what you pay for in these cases.  I bet if you searched on the name of the store here, you'd see many similar reports.

For what it's worth, I've had binding installs that were not screwed down all the way (although not quite as bad as this example) from two different shops here in town including one that came well recommended.  It's not just chain stores that can screw up, although this example is pretty bad.


To the OP, I agree with everything said here.  Take 'em back, don't try to fix them yourself.  Screws could be too long, holes could be not drilled deep enough.  Who knows what they did.

post #9 of 14

It always scares me when I look in the back room of a ski shop and see teenagers with power tools going at $1,000 worth of new skis and bindings.  It ain't brain surgery, but if the bindings are not mounted correctly, they don't work right, and that can mean serious injury to the consumer.  I will never have bindings mounted without first talking to the person who will be doing the the actual work.

post #10 of 14

The worst binding job I ever saw was done at the best shop in town by the owner's son.  I went to high school with him and he admitted to me that he wasn't entirely sober when he wrecked my skis.  He mounted one mid sole and the other one ball of foot.  My folks gave the skis to me one Christmas and I looked at them and laughed saying.. "you still have the receipt right"?  They were immediately replaced of course.  But, the lesson is that it doesn't always matter how reputable the dealer is.  If you talked with this kid you would normally get the impression that he was quite competent and did good work.  The point is that humans sometimes mess up like humans, especially kids.  An adult might have tried to plug and re-do one hoping nobody noticed.  Not sure why the kid thought they might not get returned hahaha..

post #11 of 14



Agree that the screws might be too long.  Other possibility is that I look at this and think that they were being too careful.. had the torque in the screw gun too loose so they stopped before going all the way in.  Seems like an easy fix UNLESS they were thoughtful enough to also squirt glue in.  Now the glue has probably hardened at the bottom of the holes in the space under the screws.

post #12 of 14

Then bindings are mounted on a riser so it is very unlikely the screws are too long.  Also danger of damaging the base is zero.  However, skiing the skis like this is dangerous.  The tech almost certainly put the screws in with a clutched drill set light as they should.  Sometimes the screws run all the way in and sometimes they don't.  Either way the final part of any job is to check for binding flatness,  and to do final tightening by hand.


Take the skis back and have the binding installation finished correctly.  Mistakes happen, up to you to decide whether to shop there again or not.



post #13 of 14

Glue is not necessary when screwing into a plastic plate.



post #14 of 14

I have seen this before typically on heel bindings.  The screws need to be backed out and the binding held to the plate before putting back in place.  The bindings should be flush to the plate.


I would take them back unless you are in a big hurry and if so get someone you trust that is certified on Fisher Bindings (I think they are actually Tyrolia same as Head and Elan) to fix them.  There are usually certified binding techs working in various depts at ski areas or race clubs.


This problem usually occurs when the binding lifts from the plates as the screws are going in and starting to grab on the plate. Ensuring the binding is tight against the plate when tightening the screws is the easiest way to prevent.  I have seen this from the most reputable shops and has happened to me on several occasions - which is why every time when I have  mounted a binding I always look to ensure there is no gap. So long as you have not skied on them there shoudl be no damage.


I fully agree with the poster who said they are mounted on plates so screw length is not likely an issue.




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