TLT 5 & 6 Cuff Pivot Bushings — Ultimate Mod or Terminal Insanity?

Post by blogger | October 18, 2013      

Be sure to check out the excellent aftermarket pivots made by B&D.

It turns out Dynafit made no change to the cuff pivots on TLT6-P compared to TLT5-P. Given high mileage on either boot, expect slop to develop. Hopefully this off-the-shelf hardware store gumby fix will inspire the gnomes of Montebelluna to do better. More, Dynafit customer service does have some ways of helping you out with this issue. But if you’re handy with tools and have worn out pair of TLT5-P with the cuff so sloppy it appears ready to fail, perhaps give something like this a go. After all, you might have a $1,000 pair of boots sitting there that would be good as new if only the cuff didn’t move around like jello.

Completed bushing mod. The parts cost nearly nothing, but you'd better have some hand skills.

Completed bushing mod. The parts cost nearly nothing, but you'd better have some hand skills.

The parts, all obtained from our local hardware store. You could probably do better online, but I wanted to keep this ultra basic for now.

The parts, all obtained from our local hardware store. Stock parts above, modified parts below. You could probably do better online, but I wanted to keep this ultra basic for now. See below for parts list with required mods.

My bushing system, version 8.2.

My bushing system, version 8.2.

Parts list, for one bushing system (x2 per boot). I started this project with metric parts but found the SAE T-nut and associated parts were easier to find in SAE. Due to using SAE, all specs are in inches. From left to right:

1. 5/16 course thread 3/8 x 7/8 long-prong T-nut, shortened .045 inch by grinding with rotary disk grinder, prongs snipped off to 0.1 inch so they don’t protrude through boot shell material, could be slightly shorter depending on how aggressively you set the T-nut into the boot shell.

2. Small nylon “spacer” 0.5 O.D., 0.124 thick. This is the most difficult part, as you make a bushing out of the spacer by drilling the center out to fit tightly over the T-nut shaft. See photos below.

3. Nylon washer, 0.5 inch I.D., 0.750 O.D., 0.060 thick (basic from the hardware store fasteners bins), no need for modification.

4. Stainless Steel “1/4 inch” fender washer, drilled out to 0.300 inches to accept 5/16 machine screw.

5. Button head cap screw, 5/16, to fit T-nut. Stock length 1/2 inch, shorten to 0.400.

6. Silicone grease or binding grease, the type that doesn’t attack plastic.

7. Loctite – blue

First, prep the boot by removing the cuff rivets then grinding the shell bosses off:

I remove cuff rivets by first drilling a centered pilot hole with a fairly small drill bit.

I remove cuff rivets by first drilling a centered pilot hole with a fairly small drill bit. Yes Virginia, I took apart my TLT6 as well to verify lack of improvement in the cuff pivot system, as well as replace with removable fasteners to make boot fitting projects easier. Expect wear, as there is no discernible difference between how the TLT6-P cuff attaches as opposed to TLT5-P. See bonus shots at bottom of post for more on TLT6-P

Being ultra careful, you remove just enough material to be able to pop the rivet head off with a screwdriver blade.

Being ultra careful, you remove just enough material to be able to pop the rivet head off with a screwdriver blade. I prefer working from the outside, more space for tools.

Aha, back to the venerable TLT5-P, cuff removed showing the scaffo boss that the cuff wears down into thus creating slop. Wear area indicated by arrow.

Aha, back to the venerable TLT5-P, cuff removed showing the scaffo boss that the carbon cuff wears down into thus creating slop. Wear area indicated by arrow. Mine were moderately trashed, I've seen some that were amazingly sloppy that this mod would 100% fix.

This is the miracle that makes it all work. Hardware store T-nut  is 0.376 inch OD (9.5 mm), which is virtually the same ID as the OEM hole in the boot shell! Yes, there is a God.

This is the miracle that makes it all work. Hardware store T-nut is 0.376 inch OD (9.5 mm), which is virtually the same ID as the OEM hole in the boot shell! Yes, there is a God.

1/4 20 stainless machine screw in the T-nut. The white boss (rim) around the hole is removed for our bushing mod.

1/4 20 stainless machine screw in the T-nut. The white boss (rim) around the hole is removed for our bushing mod -- but could be left intact if you just wanted to replace rivets with user serviceable fasteners (as I did with my TLT6-P).

Perhaps a better way to remove the boss without damaging the shell. Careful.

I tried using a grinder with a sanding disk, but using something like this razor blade scraper is a better way to remove the boss without damaging the shell. Careful. One tiny cut could cause later cracking.

Trimmed hole with T-nut fitup (this is not the shortened T-nut).

Trimmed hole with T-nut fitup (this is not the shortened T-nut). The T-nut shaft should press firmly into the hole' if not, during final assembly place a dab of JBweld in there or something like that. Any play you'll get is minimal, but you don't want the T-nut moving at all or you'll run the risk of it wallowing out the hole.

Prep the T-nut by snipping off the prongs so they don't protrude through the boot shell when you seat it. Also, shorten the T-nut (see specs at beginning of post).

Prep the T-nut by snipping off the prongs so they don't protrude through the boot shell when you seat it. Also, shorten the T-nut and de-burr (see specs at beginning of post).

This is the tricky part; making a bushing out of a tiny nylon spacer.

This is the tricky part; making a bushing out of a tiny nylon spacer. Drill out with a step bit until it fits snugly over the T-nut shaft. You want it to stretch a bit when installed on the T-nut, but only a tiny bit. If it expands too much it won't fit in the hole you'll be making in the cuff.

Next, using your step bit drill the cuff hole out to 0.5 inch, being careful not to wobble the bit or over-drill, as the bushing needs to fit snugly.

Next, using your step bit drill the cuff hole out to 0.5 inch, being careful not to wobble the bit or over-drill, as the bushing needs to fit snugly. Key here is how the bushing fits over the T-nut. Play around till the bushing fits tightly enough over the T-nut so it expands a bit into the cuff hole when you put everything together, thus eliminating all slop and play. The nylon spacers are inexpensive, so experiment till you get it right. During final assembly, place a tiny bit of binding grease on the T-nut to encourage the bushing to move on the steel rather than wearing inside the boot cuff hole. There is probably a much better way of boring out the spacer to make the bushing. Ideas appreciated on that.

Begin assembly.

Begin assembly. Here the shortened T-nut is inserted in the boot and has been pressed through the homebrew bushing. We're sliding the nylon washer/bushing into place. The idea here is you don't need to be too aggressive with seating the T-nut, as that will happen when you tighten the cap screw.

Black nylon washer/bushing in place, centered by virtue of the white nylon bushing protruding slightly above the boot cuff surface.

Black nylon washer/bushing in place, centered by virtue of the white nylon bushing protruding slightly above the boot cuff surface.

Cap screw inserted, with stainless steel washer which was drilled out to tightly fit the cap screw.

Cap screw inserted, with stainless steel washer which was drilled out to tightly fit the cap screw. Once everything fits together, heat the boot and T-nut up from the inside then aggressively tighten the cap screw to seat the T-nut. After seating the T-nut, back the screw out a bit, dribble Loctite from the inside, then re-tighten fairly firmly so you feel some resistance while moving cuff, but don't over-tighten. The idea is to keep everything firmly sandwiched together so the T-nut stays seated and so forth. If the system is loose, the T-nut will wobble or rotate, either of which would be a disaster.

Seated T-nut. You could slightly melt the nut into the plastic by heating with a soldering iron, but I don't recommend doing that

Seated T-nut. You could slightly melt the nut into the plastic by heating with a soldering iron, but I don't recommend doing that since the TLT models 5 and 6 scaffo plastic is so thin. DANGER here is the nut starting to rotate and the prongs basically cutting a circular disk out of the boot shell. To prevent that, next version of this I do I'll leave one prong at full length, pre-press the T-nut into the shell, and then from the outside I'll bend the prong over with a hammer and punch. Also, once everything is done cover inside with a chunk of Gorilla tape. When doing final assembly, use a small amount of blue Loctite. Tighten firmly enough so you feel some resistance while moving the cuff. This will keep the T-nut seated and eliminate excess play. Before and after every day of skiing inspect the bushing system for loosening, and carry spare parts in your repair kid. During final assembly use small amounts of silicone grease on surfaces where you want movement, such as the interface between the black nylon washer and external stainless steel washer as well as between the tiny white nylon bushing and the steel of the T-nut shaft.

– I don’t recommend this mod for larger aggressive skiers. To much is unknown about strength issues of the shell as well as danger of T-nut rotating.
– Be certain what parts you want moving and lubricate sparingly so the lube doesn’t migrate and attract grit. Sparingly means tiny.
– One improvement I’ll be experimenting with is to place a neoprene washer under the black nylon washer, so it frictions with the boot cuff and thus uses the stainless steel washer as a bearing surface.
– You want to “cold press” the T-nut, but while doing so warm the boot up enough so it’s hot to the touch, but not as hot as you’d do for punching/fitting projects.
– During disassembly, danger is the T-nut rotating. Press the flat of the T-nut firmly with your hand from the inside of the boot while rotating the machine screw. In future iterations, I’ll drill a couple of small holes in the T-nut that can be used with circlip pliers to hold the T-nut from rotating.
– This project is obviously a 10 on the Wildsnow 10-wrench difficulty scale.
– Cripple Creek Backcountry will do this mod for $1,500 a pair. Send ’em over.

Bonus shot. Versions 1 through 8 in various stages of disunion.

Bonus shot. Versions 1 through 8 in various stages of disunion.

Ok campers, back to the Dynafit TLT6-P

Ok campers, back to the Dynafit TLT6-P. As you can see, no difference between how its cuff attaches as opposed to TLT5-P. Anticipating wear, I removed all 4 of my OEM rivets and replaced with a removable system so I can easily swap in a bushing system, as well as removing cuff from scaffo for boot fitting projects. This removable system was developed using Scarpa threaded cuff pivot rivets sourced as repair parts from Scarpa customer service. I'll perhaps do another blog post to show how it's done.

Be sure to check out the excellent aftermarket pivots made by B&D.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


51 Responses to “TLT 5 & 6 Cuff Pivot Bushings — Ultimate Mod or Terminal Insanity?”

  1. Oscar October 18th, 2013 9:07 am

    Are you sure it’s not supposed to say $150 per pair? For $1500, seems to me it’s more worth it bying new boots…

  2. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 9:15 am

    Oscar, it was a joke. I should have put a (grin) next to it. Sorry about that. Also, I’m still trying to get final word on how much of this wear the warranty will cover this year. More on that shortly. Lou

  3. Charlie October 18th, 2013 9:53 am

    Nice work :)!

  4. Ralph October 18th, 2013 10:48 am

    I’ve been using molybdenum disulfide powder or teflon spray for lubrication, including boot hinges, the last few years. neither one seems to attract grit like silicone or other grease-based lubricants.

    My Garmonts periodically develop a squeak, which is decidedly not stealthy.

  5. Oscar October 18th, 2013 11:22 am

    Ah, I see! It’s okay, can always blame me being European 😉

  6. Harry October 18th, 2013 1:42 pm

    I have found submerging the boot in a bucket of water has helped to keep the rivets and surrounding plastic cool enough while removing them. I have had problems with a worn cuff rivet spinning inside the plastic of the shell when drilling. In those cases I use a cutting wheel and remove the mushroom head from the inside. That tends to develop a lot of heat. The whole thing is a pain in the behind, but not as bad as an unhappy customer with a worn out 1k boot.

  7. Njord October 18th, 2013 1:56 pm

    I’m not sure the top washer in the first picture would work without some serious modification!

  8. Njord October 18th, 2013 1:57 pm

    Never mind… even the washers get modified!

  9. harpo October 18th, 2013 1:58 pm

    Hi Lou,

    I have had a pair of TLT5’s for a couple of years. I have had cuff slop develop with them but each time I had the rivets repressed and that solved the problem. It was had to find a boot fitter with the right rivet press but that is not a problem anymore. Is there any problem with this solution of repressing the rivets? does it eventually stop working? Any advantage to do your DIY solution you show in this blog ahead of time? Or can I just keep repressing the rivets and then do you mod if the repressing doesn’t work anymore?

  10. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 2:52 pm

    Harpo, re-pressing the rivets will eventually stop working, or is actually just disguising the problem. As shown in my photos, what happens is the carbon cuff grinds away the plastic “boss” protruding from the scaffo. Re-pressing the rivets might expand this a bit and thus be somewhat of a stop-gap solution, but it probably just creates so much friction you don’t notice the slop. My suggestion is to try the rivet repress, if it seems to work, then go with it. I wouldn’t advise doing something like my solution unless all else fails. One downside of what I did is it adds quite a bit of weight. That could be mitigated with a few titanium machine screws and alu washers, but then the hassle factor increases with online order and such, not to mention the cost. Lou

  11. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 2:55 pm

    Harry, the best way to remove the rivet is grind the head off with a rotary burr, that way it doesn’t start rotating. This has to be done with plenty of water spray. Your idea of simply submerging is excellent. I found a rotary burr with a long shaft that would work very well on a boot dunked in a bucket of water. I bought it just to make reaching inside the boot easier, didn’t think of using for reaching under water! By the way, drilling the head of the exterior rivet is fast, so come to think of it the fastest way to remove rivets would be to start with drilling, then go to the rotary burr for the final precision work. Lou

  12. Andy October 18th, 2013 3:16 pm


    My understanding is that there are at least two distinct ways in which cuff wear becomes a problem. Even in the absence of the carbon cuff holes egging out, loads transferred through the carbon cuff to the rivets while skiing deform and loosen them over time, introducing a small amount of play. This is totally remedied by a rivet repress, though over time my impression is that even with repressing, the strength of the rivet weakens and the play comes back faster. The scenario where the carbon eggs out is more serious, as even though a repress may briefly appear to fix the issue, the cuff is centered due to the sides of the outer rivet head resting against the cuff countersink without an actual load-bearing surface, which obviously will not have much strength and will loosen quite quickly under skiing loads.

    I’ll cut Dynafit some slack with the 5P, as rotating carbon/metal interfaces are not trivial to design (though you’d think they could’ve found a composites engineering consultant with specific prior experience). That said, once this became an issue, I would think a more sturdy solution would’ve been designed for the 6P, ideally using user serviceable/replaceable parts. Lou, what’s the design on the Vulcan rivet look like? Haven’t seen one of those taken apart. Also curious how much wear you’ve found on the carbon cuff holes of the 5Ps you took apart.

    Lou, as far as your mod design, why not fully remove the prongs from the t-nut and secure with epoxy instead? It seems like the spinning metal on plastic is every bit the problem of the original metal on carbon issue. After cutting the boss off, the stability of the t-nut against the plastic will be an issue if anything loosens, as well. I think the earlier version of this mod by the reader who lathed his own parts is a fair bit more bomb-proof, as using bigger radii for the metal-plastic interface and plastic carbon interfaces increases the load bearing surface, reducing the loads and the wear. Hard to do with hardware store parts, but somebody making a kit on a CNC lathe and selling it for $150 a pop could turn a profit, I think.

  13. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 3:26 pm

    He he, Andy, there is someone working on a kit. This is the prelim, and at take-home for you DIYers. But, I’ve used the hardware store T-nut solution on a number of boots over the years and it’s never been a problem so long as the fastener is kept snugged up. Nonetheless, it is indeed the weak point. There are other solutions to stabilize it as well, since epoxy doesn’t bond well to nylon (Grilamid and Pbax).

    As for your question about the egging out of the carbon. No, what eggs is the boss protruding from the boot scaffo, the carbon cuff grinds it down. In the boots I took apart carbon hole was very slightly egged, while the boss was ground down quite a bit. Enlarging the hole in the carbon cuff using a step bit nicely re-rounded it for the tiny home-built bushing.

    P.S. They have nice prong-less T-nuts at the hardware store, with small holes in the face you can use to hold it steady with a circlip plier prongs or something like that. If I knew a glue that bonded to galvanized steel as well as nylon plastic, I would have gone that route. But the mechanical fix of the prongs embedded in the boot shell is a much better approach. Again, so long as everything stays firmly sandwiched together. Using some Gorilla tape on the inside helps stabilize things as well.


  14. Herb Jones October 18th, 2013 4:19 pm

    Lou-Would your Scarpa rivets on the TLT6 mod be canting rivets? I am sorely in need of that mod for my TLT5 Mountain model. I am not detecting any wear issues after 4 years of use, but I need cuff alignment badly. It would be a great help if your mod employed cant rivets, or could, and if you could list the part numbers so that I can get them ordered ASAP.
    I greatly appreciate all the work you do to make backcountry skiing safer, more efficient and more fun. Thanks

  15. Andy October 18th, 2013 4:37 pm


    Thanks for the response. Now that I see the full break down, makes much more sense that the boss gets eaten by the carbon at a higher rate than the other way around. Seems like simply using a larger delrin plastic bushing over the lower shell boss would have solved this in a replaceable way (if the cuff rivets were user replaceable). I get that weight savings might have been a factor here, but seems like the wrong place to shave 10 grams. This also explains why my cuffs seem much happier after I sent my 5Ps into dynafit for service and they came back with totally new lower shells… guess they had some spares in 26.5.


  16. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 4:49 pm

    Herb, I’ll try to do a post next week on installing cant rivet in TLT5. Not sure it’ll be ideal, due to small bearing surface provided by the depression in the carbon cuff. BUT, I have another idea on how to make a permanent fixed cuff cant.

    Thanks for enjoying WildSnow. The sponsors like it that you drop by often (grin).



  17. Harry October 18th, 2013 5:42 pm

    Lou- Just remember to start the tool when it is submerged already, i got a bit wet the first time I did it the other way around.

  18. Herb Jones October 18th, 2013 7:34 pm

    Lou- Thanks for responding. I will look for your cuff cant mod blog next week. The cant kits referred to above sound interesting if they would fit or can be modified. Has the designer published any specs such as cuff displacement or angle change, and weight per rivet? The inherent cuff angle of the TLT5 may require replacement of both rivets with canting rivets to allow me to stand flat comfortably.

  19. Ian October 19th, 2013 9:22 pm

    Cheers for that. Originally I started lubing my TLT 5’s with bike lube and it seemed to help. Then I started to forget and the carbon was being shaved off faster than ever. Now they’re extremely loose. I’ll be giving this a go as soon as.

  20. Lou Dawson October 20th, 2013 8:11 pm

    Jan, it’s actually not so much the “carbon” being shaved, but rather the diameter of the “boss” protruding from the boot scaffo beng shaved down. See photos.

    Give it a few weeks at least to see if we refine this mod, or if an aftermarket kit becomes available.


  21. Tyler October 20th, 2013 9:01 pm


    I’ve been working with and modifying boots for many years personally and professionally. One thing I can’t seem to figure out is why companies can’t make boots with easily replaceable parts? It seems I’m always drilling out ankle rivets, or rivets holding the buckles on, etc. Why don’t more companies use screws like you did in this mod? It sure would make replacing those pieces easier, especially in the backcountry!

    I should recognize that K2’s new boot line does use screws, and Scarpa did it and there were some loosening problems… Is that what companies are afraid will happen?


  22. Lou Dawson October 21st, 2013 4:21 am

    Tyler, I feel you pain. When Scarpa came out with the Maestrale with nearly all threaded fasteners I felt a level of joy rarely experienced by a human being. Then, yes, most went away. Reasons:

    – Much more expensive than popping in rivets. Not only because of parts, but vast numbers of people in Montebelluna are trained to put parts on boots using rivets, and the factory lines have dozens of rivet presses just waiting for those people to stand there doing it all day.

    – Reliability: three failed threaded buckle fasteners vs. zero buckle rivet failures. Pretty bad ratio, not good for PR and a hassle for customer service.

    But, hope exists. Boots we have coming in to HQ have lots of threaded fasteners. Sportiva Spectre for example has all buckles attached with threaded fasteners, both sides/parts. One cuff pivot is a rivet, one is a threaded cant rivet.

    And so on.

    i think most boots will eventually have threaded fasteners everywhere. It’s just taking a while for the gnomes of Montebelluna to make the transition, since gnomes tend to like the way they’ve been doing things for 100 years. (grin)

    As for us boot modders, at this time there are enough swap parts out there, via sources such as Scarpa customer service, what will be Scott ski touring boot customer service, and hopefully Sportiva as well will make their EZ Tour buckles and fasteners available to the aftermarket. Dynafit tends to not have much threaded, perhaps that will change. And perhaps the aftermarket will kick in.


  23. Mark Worley October 21st, 2013 6:32 am

    Very nice work Lou. Is this problem only with the TLT-5 and 6 Performance (carbon cuff) version of the boot? And perhaps it goes without saying, but a $1000 dollar boot should never develop such a problem, in my opinion.

  24. XXX_er October 21st, 2013 2:42 pm

    I seem to remember those 1st maestrales with the threaded fasteners shedding parts all over the BC

    Dunno if Chainring bolts would work in this app but they are about the right size, they come in different lengths and I hear they were a perfect fit for the garmont cuff rivets which used to fail quite a bit

  25. dan October 21st, 2013 10:37 pm

    hi Lou,
    I was just curious on what backcountry ski boot you use and would recommend? I have a touring set up currently using my regular heavy downhill boots, and I need to get on a set-up much lighter to get me farther afield without killing me.
    Looking at your site, it looks like you test/review a number of boots.
    any advice coming from you would be greatly appreciated.

  26. Lou October 22nd, 2013 7:54 am

    Dan, standard WildSnow answer: The boot that fits the best, as recommended by a qualified boot fitter with experience with ski touring “AT” boots. Are you near a retailer who specializes in backcountry gear, where they do some boot fitting? Start there.

    Moving along, if you’re used to alpine boots I’d advise starting with a ski touring “beef boot” so the change doesn’t cause mental illness. Examples of beef boots: Black Diamond Factor, Scarpa Freedom, Tecnica Cochise. Such boots are still considered to be “heavy” by backcountry standards, but they’re probably lighter than your alpine boots.

    Be sure your boot fitter helps you match boot ramp and cuff angles so your AT boots are similar in that way to your alpine setup.

    If you feel bold and want to go all the way to the lighter side , consider the stiffer but lighter “hybrid” touring boots such as La Sportiva Spectre, Dynafit Vulcan and One, and so forth. Those boots are where the real magic happens.

    And if you want to go all-out, see how your fit would be in a TLT6 but be ready to learn a slightly different “feel” of skiing if all you’ve ever been in is alpine boots.


  27. byates1 October 27th, 2013 6:42 pm

    lou, awesome solution and mod. i would be all in for this, i don’t have your tools and skill set, but ski the boots a lot and they slop out pretty fast. i just deal and ignore it. i don’t ski that well to really notice it, but the solution is a great one! nice work!

  28. Herb Jones November 3rd, 2013 8:29 pm

    Hi Lou.
    Do you have any ideas or sources for TLT5 cuff cant rivets? I may be able to have it made by a machinist friend if I can give him a design or something to get started. Thanks,

  29. Lou Dawson November 3rd, 2013 8:54 pm

    Stay tuned, prototype is here. Lou

  30. Peter November 7th, 2013 11:06 pm


    I finished your repair on for all four rivets yesterday and skinned up Highlands today. So far so good. Thanks for followable instructions. I couldn’t figure out a better way of opening up the hole in the bushing. That was tricky.

    You mention a few times in your responses to other peoples’ comments that the slop is due to carbon wearing away plastic. I’m not really sure how much plastic the carbon had worn away, but I’m absolutely certain the rivet was wearing into the carbon cuff in all four instances. The holes in the cuffs were pretty messy on two of them. I stuck a neoprene washer over the cuff mess just to have a friendlier surface for the black nylon washer to sit on. It seems like your fix worked that it should probably work regardless of how the slop developed.

    Thanks again.


  31. Lou Dawson November 8th, 2013 6:13 am

    Peter, I’m impressed you went for it. Nice to hear, as it’s not an easy mod.

    Indeed, no matter how the slop developed, these fixes will eliminate slop if they’re carefully done.

    Good you thought of the neoprene washer, I was thinking of that as well, to force the nylon washer to be stationary and act as the wear surface.

    Everyone, please note that what I present in the blog post above is more an experimental solution, a commercial product may be coming out that does a better and easier job. Lou

  32. Peter November 18th, 2013 12:06 am

    Hey Lou.

    Got a few more days on the replaced rivets. Things are holding up well. Thanks again.

    I also have slop in both boots where I plug in the upper buckle tang for going down. I didn’t notice it until I took the play out of the ankle rivets, but the tang wiggles up and down in both the hole in the cuff and the hole in the spoiler. I stuck a couple layers of duct tape on the top and bottom hole edges, and things tightened up, but I’d rather have a more permanent solution.

    Somehow I have made up my mind that it’s the tang that has worn down and not the edges of the holes. Thoughts? I was thinking about a thin layer of JB Weld on the tang, but I figured I’d ask. I should probably just replace the buckles. Could I get those from Cripple Creek? You don’t have to answer that. I’ll call them tomorrow during normal business hours.


  33. Lou Dawson November 18th, 2013 6:59 am

    Peter, a bit of play in the lean lock is normal, in my opinion has little to no effect while skiing as it gets damped out by the cuff being buckled down on the liner. On the other hand, it’s a personal preference. In terms of fixing, I’d most certainly start with a new buckle as the buckles do get obvious wear. Beyond that, some way of enlarging the size of the tang would be the next solution. JBweld might actually work, at least for a while.

    BTW, I have the commercial version of aftermarket threaded cuff rivets here. Priority is to do a blog post. Working on it today.


  34. Len Lucas November 21st, 2013 3:31 pm

    I have a pair if unused 5s. Is there a simpler way to protect the boss if you get to it before it starts to wear down?

    I am referring to Andy’s post of October 18.

  35. Elliott December 11th, 2013 4:49 pm

    Lou – I would love to see a follow-up post on how the Dynafit TLT6-P cuff pivot was developed using Scarpa threaded rivets. Thanks!

  36. Lou Dawson December 11th, 2013 5:13 pm

    Hi Len, no way I know of asside from major project of removing all 4 rivets and installing UCP.

    Elliott, it’s really pretty simple:

    1. Obtain parts.
    2. Prep boot by removing factory rivets.
    3. Make a nut-bolt puller that sets the interior Scarpa T-nut when you heat it with soldering iron.
    4. Grind protruding part of T-nut off flush with boot cuff boss.
    5. Reduce diameter of Scarpa external aluminum tapered washer by bolting into a drill and rotating against sandpaper.
    6. Assemble with Loctite.

    Or, just buy Ultimate Cuff Pivot and install in a tenth the time.


  37. Jim Knight December 11th, 2013 8:19 pm

    Ultimate Cuff Pivots are fantastic. Easy to install. Solid parts and superb craftsmanship. Simple to refurb your rattled TLTs into tour machines again. The hardest part is removing the old rivets. A great solution by B&D. Thanks Lou & Bill!

  38. Lou Dawson December 11th, 2013 8:24 pm

    Thanks Jim, it was fun being involved with this. Bill is an artist with his machine work. For all, the Ultimate Cuff Pivot (UCP) post is actually here:


  39. Len December 12th, 2013 4:21 am


    Thanks for your response and all the great work you do. I am engineering challenged so please bear with me. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse.

    If the boss is new and you protect it by putting some type of wear proof washer around it, then put a new rivet in; why doesn’t this get you to where you want to be? Don’t you just want to make sure the boss stays in shape?

    I can understand when the boss is worn you have to replace it.


  40. Tyler January 9th, 2014 5:56 pm


    Are you aware of any differences between the TLT5’s and the DyNA boots that would prevent using this fix on the DyNA rivets? I’d imagine they were identical, but could see the caliper of the cuff or the hole diameter necessitating different hardware.

  41. Matt Coté January 18th, 2014 5:56 pm

    Hey Lou, on the subject of adding cant rivets to TLTs or the Vulcan/Mercury family: I recently tried to do this, and while the canting rivet is easy enough to get in there (with a small amount of ingenuity, using Scarpa parts as you’ve done in the past), bI found that everything on my Mercuries was designed to pivot at exactly the position it was built at. With the walk modes internal “spoiler,” as Dynafit calls it, and the Ultra Lock buckle, if you change the angle, everything binds – including the stride. I’m really curious to see your prototype and how you’ve gotten around this. It’s the only thing I haven’t enjoyed about my Mercuries, I’m pitched onto my inside edge because I can’t change the cant angle of the cuff, and they’re still insisting on building them for bow-legged people, or they think we need help getting on our inside edges….

  42. louis dawson January 19th, 2014 1:09 am

    Matt, yes, if you use cant rivet u have to change angle of rear spoiler to match. Better if you just shim one side of liner cuff with something dense. That’s usually what I do now since I use so many boots. Have you tried that?

  43. Matt Coté January 19th, 2014 11:20 am

    Hey Lou, I’ve thought about shimming with dense foam, the trouble is that my cuff is already so tight that I don’t think I have the room. I’m using an intuition wrap liner (can’t stand the feeling of tongue liners anymore as they make me feel like I’m spilling over the front, and I’m part of the new cabal of upright skiers), it’s not the highest volume you can get, but I’m still on the first catch of the ladder of my cuff buckle and feel slightly pinched around the calf. I looked at the thread on canting TLT’s, seems like the same thing could work for Mercuries/Vulcans, I just don’t trust I’d have the precision to drill out an accurate angle for a new pin for the spoiler, and even if I did, from what I’ve played around with, the cuff looks like it would still bind on the one side against the lower/scafo if it’s moved. How has it ultimately worked out for you even with a canted spoiler? Is there enough laxity with the tolerances that everything has enough clearance to move freely? Thanks a ton!

  44. Lou Dawson January 19th, 2014 11:56 am

    Matt, you probably need to spot heat the liner and compress the foam on one side of the liner cuff, or even do a foam-ectomy. Or use a different brand of boots. Not every boot/binding/ski is for everyone. Lou

  45. Matt Coté January 19th, 2014 5:19 pm

    Yeah, I hummed and hawed about keeping them, but everything else about the boot is spectacular and it fits my foot really well. I only really feel the cant on hardpack, and I’m slowly getting used to it. I might replace the top ultra lock buckles with buckles from a bigger size that have longer bails, it might give me enough room to shim. I think if I were to grind or compress the liner on one side only to then fill that new space with foam, I’d end up in roughly the same position. And there’s not really enough foam there to cut or grind away anyhow. It’s the cuff that’s tight, not the liner that’s thick. Anyway, it’s something I’ll play with. Still keen to see how your prototype cant mod came out and if everything flexes and pivots freely. Cheers for the suggestions. Matt

  46. Sedgesprite August 11th, 2014 9:33 am

    UCP-UL docking complete! Next to taking apart my Penn fishing reel- “Only to be attempted by the mechanically gifted.” Lou’s warnings echoed “A 10 on the 10 Wrench difficulty Scale” Gulp. Did Lou use a 1/2″ Chisel to remove the rivets after drilling? No chisel in the pictures. Placed between the rim of the rivets flange on the inside of the boot it made short work of the remaining post drill bit bore material. The first dry fit assembly seemed too thick and rotating the cuff moved the UCP. Review of instructions revealed the flaw: cuff needed to be reamed so that delrin collars fully seated. Much better. Thank you Wildsnow. Thread locker and voila. Now, where’s my beer? TLT6 P-CR.

  47. Lou Dawson 2 August 11th, 2014 10:11 am

    NICE! Send over a photo. Congratulations. I love the UCP-UL, still going strong in my TLT6-P… 100+ “days” now on them.

  48. Joel December 9th, 2014 3:10 am


    Any info if these parts would work with Dyna Evos with the same slop problem? I have a pair with some slop and I was thinking of trying this DIY-mod to fix it. Too expensive boots to throw away..

  49. Lou Dawson 2 December 9th, 2014 7:06 am

    Joel, I’m pretty sure Bollinger’s UCP would work with Evo, or could be slightly modded to do so. My mod in this blog post can be adapted to work with nearly any boot, but it’s quite a bit of work and easy to mess up permanently

  50. Bill B December 9th, 2014 7:51 am

    The B & D ultralite UCP has been used on the Dynafit EVO.
    I believe that both Delrin washers (provided) are used to allow for the thinner shell,
    but no other mod was needed.

  51. Lou Dawson 2 December 9th, 2014 8:21 am

    Thanks Bill!

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