Changing gripsize on a Babolat Pure Drive - step by step

Hankenstein

Hall of Fame
I have changed pallets on hundreds of Head-frames over the years and its pretty much a walk in the park. But I have never changed the grip on a moalded foam grip racquet.

I found a used Babolat Pure Drive GT in grip size 2 and that was to be my Frankensteinproject by Hankenstein

First I removed the well used original grip, removed the staples from the buttcap using a small screwdriver:





Then I fastened the frame in a vise (vice) and used a chisel and hammer and started to remove the foam:



Foam was flying everwhere so USE Safetyglasses!!

At the bottom it was some kind of weight stuck into the foam:



More in next post...
 

Hankenstein

Hall of Fame
Turning to next side and removing more foam:



This is the weight inside the foam:



All foam removed. One side of the hairpin is smooth, the other one had this deep part where the weight was located:



The weight was 10,5 grams. A really heavy weight:

 
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Hankenstein

Hall of Fame
Here i have added double sided tape and the first of the pallets. The pallet is a Völkl Bio Sensor 8/10 pallet. Its a tad bigger interior compared to Heads TK82 pallets.



Both pallets fastened and cut to right length:



Weighting to be able to see how much silicone to add after removing the 10,5 gram lead weight



Stuffing cotton inside handle prepearing for silicone. As you see the fit is not 100% but good enough:

 
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Hankenstein

Hall of Fame
Filled with 10,5 grams of silicone:



Let the silicone dry for 24 hours and then add a Babolat buttcap. I always use tape to secure and then use my electric staple gun.



Then add a nice replacement-grip and your pretty much all set for some action!



PLEASE NOTE!!!! Babolats pure drive is a tad to thick at the top of the grip which makes the pallets about 1 to 1,5 mm thicker at the top. I solved it by wrapping the grip tighter at the very top. Not noticable in the end. I presume its easier to do this on frames with a thinner beam-profile
 
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jrxl

New User
Ditto to the above, great job. Did you consider using some of the silicone to fill the empty space between the pallet and the hairpin?
 

purple-n-gold

Hall of Fame
Interesting indeed. I too have changed out several HEAD raqs with diff pallets but have never tried removing one like on a Babolat or Wilson but have thought about. Did you choose the Volkl pallet for any reason as far as fit or do you prefer that shape. Thanks Hank!
 

Hankenstein

Hall of Fame
Did you choose the Volkl pallet for any reason as far as fit or do you prefer that shape. Thanks Hank!
I thought the Babolat hairpin was a tad larger then the Head hairpin and I have heard the Volkl pallets was a bit larger then Head´s pallets. I prefer the TK82S shape every day of the week :)
This was just to try and see if it was posible to do.

jrxl said:
Ditto to the above, great job. Did you consider using some of the silicone to fill the empty space between the pallet and the hairpin?
No, not at this point. If i was to make it on my own frames i would have let the weight remain in its position. Now i just wanted to see what and how they had though of the lead placement.
 

eman resu

Professional
great experiment. Did you weight it before removing the weight? How much does the foam weight? More important: does it play solid? Dont the gaps between the hairpin and the pallet become fragile or anything?

If I have the guts and some time, I'll try to find a cheap used racquet to do that plus extending to 28" by using a full sized pallet. But you're saying head pallets wouldin't fit? Maybe on a wilson or Prince or other brand?
 

danotje

Rookie
I think I'm going to do this to my OG APD. It's 5/8s and is just too big. I don't use it anymore, but this might get it back in the rotation once in a while. Thanks!
 
D

Deleted member 232704

Guest
I want to put silicone on my racquet but im scared i might ruin it or do it wrong
Whats so scary about it? All your doing is putting 1 cotton ball on each side and shooting in some silicone inside until you reach your desired weight.
 

matchmaker

Hall of Fame
Very nicely done. I wished someone would try this on a Wilson. I have some old school Wilson frames that I love, but I hate the grips shape. I much prefer the Head grip shape.
 

gonzalocatalino

Hall of Fame
awasome job. I would consider using this system if i want to play another racquet brand (actually i play Volkls, and i´ve extra pallets to replace, so, no need the extra work removing foam)
 

rlau

Hall of Fame
I thought the Babolat hairpin was a tad larger then the Head hairpin and I have heard the Volkl pallets was a bit larger then Head´s pallets. I prefer the TK82S shape every day of the week :)
This was just to try and see if it was posible to do.
So theoretically it should be possible to fit TK82S pallets on a Babolat?

How does the frame play with silicone compared to the non-siliconed frame? More solid? Better feel?
 

Hankenstein

Hall of Fame
Every Babolat-frame is like a new frame with silicone inside the handle. They turn into very solid machines and i really like the solid feel
 

danotje

Rookie
Attempting on my APD OG right now. Since the APD widens/flattens in the throat area, I had a small issue with fit. I used a heat gun, though, and once it is under a grip, I don't think it will be noticeable. Excited to try this out. I used a thin layer if silicone to adhere the pallet, so waiting overnight for it to dry.
 

Hoons54

Rookie
I'm trying to remove the staples in my head ypmp and its difficult. I tried using micro screw driver and a mallet. Is that how u did it?
 

mykoh

Rookie
Attempting on my APD OG right now. Since the APD widens/flattens in the throat area, I had a small issue with fit. I used a heat gun, though, and once it is under a grip, I don't think it will be noticeable. Excited to try this out. I used a thin layer if silicone to adhere the pallet, so waiting overnight for it to dry.
Danotje, any updates on your attempt? i am thinking of trying this out on my APDO as well. a TK82S on it is absolutely mind-blowing. any differences in feel?

btw, what did you use the heat gun on? The pallet?

thanks!
 

danotje

Rookie
Danotje, any updates on your attempt? i am thinking of trying this out on my APDO as well. a TK82S on it is absolutely mind-blowing. any differences in feel?

btw, what did you use the heat gun on? The pallet?

thanks!
Sorry, just recently moved house, so not a lot of time. The racquet came out beautifully, and I love playing with it. Missed the power and feel of the APDO. the feel is quite different, but mainly from a shape standpoint. I went down in size, and it is much more oval. That took a bit to get used to, but I actually like it more than round now. It seems a little more muted, too, but it has been a long time since I last played this racquet.

The heat gun, as I recall, was to make the top of the pallet fit flush with the throat. The APD's throat is wider at the top of the handle due to the Aero bit, so the heat gun allowed me to wrap the pallet around it a little more snugly.

All in all, it has really brought this racquet alive for me and makes it useable. The pallet plus a fishing weight in the handle has all but eliminated twisting which makes it much more controllable and comfortable. Good luck!
 

danotje

Rookie
Oh, also tried Sol TB x WCSS at 30lbs for the first time in this frame. Was a little nervous, but all I can say is wow!
 

mykoh

Rookie
Sorry, just recently moved house, so not a lot of time. The racquet came out beautifully, and I love playing with it. Missed the power and feel of the APDO. the feel is quite different, but mainly from a shape standpoint. I went down in size, and it is much more oval. That took a bit to get used to, but I actually like it more than round now. It seems a little more muted, too, but it has been a long time since I last played this racquet.

The heat gun, as I recall, was to make the top of the pallet fit flush with the throat. The APD's throat is wider at the top of the handle due to the Aero bit, so the heat gun allowed me to wrap the pallet around it a little more snugly.

All in all, it has really brought this racquet alive for me and makes it useable. The pallet plus a fishing weight in the handle has all but eliminated twisting which makes it much more controllable and comfortable. Good luck!
awesome stuff danotje, thanks.

i assume you used a TK82 Head pallet, hence the more oval shape? do you remember if adding the silicone to adhere the pallet managed to cover up the gaps between the hairpin and the pallet?

i can imagine the gaps would probably cut out some feedback from the frame to the handle. silicone could act as the medium?
 

Cengusiento

Rookie
Great post!

I'm surprised with the stock 10g plus weight, the pure drive gt is a comercial one? If so, anybody knows if is still there in all the generations of pure drive?
 

danotje

Rookie
I used this one from Volkyl:
http://www.doittennis.com/accessories/volkl/pallet-system.php

I was concerned the gaps (very slight) might deform under pressure, so I filled them with silicone to make the handle feel solid. I think it also provides good shock control. I also wanted the handle to be a bit longer which explains why I had to flare the top a bit with heat. Once I got a grip on, it looked, felt and played like a factory offering. Very solid and muted feel which is perfect for that racquet.

Unfortunately, there's probably no selling it now, but it really plays well for me.
 

mykoh

Rookie
thanks so much for answering my questions danotje.

will definitely document and report back when i've plucked up the courage to do the same on mine. :D
 

rlau

Hall of Fame
All foam removed. One side of the hairpin is smooth, the other one had this deep part where the weight was located:



The weight was 10,5 grams. A really heavy weight:

I'm currently trying this procedure on my APD. On my frame, the piece of metal stuck in the slot underneath the foam pallet weighs a whopping 30 grams!

I suppose I'll have to put it back, because I don't think I'll be able to achieve the desired weight and balance with just silicone. Or maybe I should fill the slot with some lead tape and put some silicone on top of it to seal it.
 

Chotobaka

Hall of Fame
Great projects, guys -- and very well done. Regarding pallet installation, strong glue and C-clamps have been SOP for me. I'd be curious to compare the feel of double sided tape to this.
 

485129

Banned
Very informative thread. Sounds like a lot of work though. I'd be tempted simply to sell the racket and buy a used one in the preferred grip size.
 
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