My tripod was well aged when I started using it 10 years ago. Other than routine maintenence it's never failed until recently when the tightening mechanism on the bottom of the head wouldn't stay tight and keep the head level.
It didn't take long for the engineering department to give me the bad news. It was terminal. Several parts in the bowl that keeps the head attached to the tripod legs were stripped, broken and hard to find because of the age.
After several weeks of borrowing other photogs' tripod on their days off I finally got a permenant loaner after another photog's tripod was fixed when parts came in.
But the permanent loaner sucked. The old ass Gitzo legs would slide down under the weight of my XDCam making it a dangerous situation at best, a disaster at worst, and I've been down that road once before.
With a mind for finding a solution to any situation I asked for permission to have my old tripod back...but with the head from the loaner.
With permission granted, engineer Marty and I created what we've now dubbed "Frankensticks".
With a little WD-40, some good Gitzo legs, that heavy ass, grease leaking, O'Conner Head, and a mix-match of parts to create a better handle, I now again have a permanent tripod.
Of course there's a nasty rumor about new tripods in next year's budget. But after all today's work, I don't know that I could part with it.