Fixing my 550EX's cracked foot

Started Jun 15, 2002 | Discussions thread
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Karl Guttag Veteran Member • Posts: 3,691
Fixing my 550EX's cracked foot

After a hiking down the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angle trail to the Plateau and back the day before I was a little stiff. I had my 550EX flash on my D30 for flash fill with 28-135IS (with lens hood on and no filter) when I tripped over a rock and went tumbling. I guess the 550EX flash got the worst of it as the foot on the flash was cracked and the hot shoot clip on the top of the D30 was bent.

I had a 420EX and a Flash Cord 2 with me on the road. I decided not to try an use the 420EX for spare parts to fix the 550EX, but I gave the Flash Cord 2 a try. It turns out that the black flash clip from the Flash Cord2 fits the D30. Unfortunately while the Cord2 foot looks the same from the outside, it is a little different in the way it hold the locking pin.

Per Jess Ting’s similar situation with a 420EX (and reason I knew to give it a try), I called Canon Parts at 1800-828-4040 and described what I needed and the sent them. I think the foot cost about $6.75 (I ordered 2 in case it happens again) and a hot shoe clip. The whole bill was about $16 including shipping.

Repair procedure:

0. Get a few of the very small jeweler type Phillips screwdrivers. (Readily available).

1. Remove 4 screws on the bottom of the 550EX. Gently remove the bottom and try not to stretch/strain any wires.

2. You have to remove the 2 screws holding the on-off switch to get at 2 of the screws the hold the foot (the other two screws are accessible). You don’t have to remove the light as there are no screws under it (how would I know that?). The slider for the switch and a plate with a red mark will come loose. It is good idea to note how they fit.

3. Remove the 4 screws holding the foot. It should then slide off reasonably easily. Note to be careful to not loose the spring that pushes the locking pin downNote how the locking pin and spring are located.

4. The locking ring will unscrew right off the foot. Note which side goes out (hint, there is a little ramp for the locking pin’s tab on the inside).

5. Screw the locking ring back on. I would HIGHLY recommend having the locking ring in the “LOCKED” (screwed all the way on) position to get it lined up for the re-assembly (if you have it some other place it is possible, take my word for it, to assemble everything and find out that the locking pin will not work).

6. Put the locking pin and spring back in. Note the little tab runs on the locking ring’s ramp. The slightly thicker end is the locking pin and the other end holds the spring.

7. Holding the Flash right side up, to get the foot with locking ring back on you simply giggle it back on the contact pins. The foot sort of funnels the pins well, but it make take a using a screw driver to position the side contracts (sort of a W shaped piece of metal).

8. At this point it is GOOD IDEA to see if the locking pin it working right. It should go up and down as you twist it to the lock position. If it binds or does not go out about as far as the other pins (it is a little shorter), then you need to take the foot off and repeat steps 5-7 (I know I did a few times ).

9. Screw the 4 screws that hold the foot. (they are slightly longer than the shorter screws that hold the whole base together.

10. Getting the switch back in is a little tricky. Put plate on the slider and put them back in. There is a little tab in the center of the slider that should face you when the slider is on the right way (of two). Then put the switch in (it is easier if the switch is in the middle position). Note the metal/can side faces you on the switch. Put the two tiny screws in that hold the switch.

11. Put the base assembly back together. With luck it will lock on the camera the first try and you are done.

One trick for putting in the screws; I put a little dab of blue “Fun Tak” (almost clay like substance for taking up paper) on the tip of the screwdriver to hold the screws. Another option (that I used on the road) is a little tape rapped around the screw and screw driver.

If you do it right it probably will take about 30 minutes PLUS any time looking for dropped screws and if you don’t get the locking pin together right.

And YES, my 550EX does work now.

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