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Old 05-21-06, 08:35 PM   #1
mark v. acquist
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starfanlgled nut

i am building my first bike, a surley lht. have never worked with threadless headsets. my lbs installed the races and bearings. i just need to know the best way to install the starfangle nut in the head tube. do i need a special tool or is there some home-made tool i could use. thanx
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Old 05-21-06, 08:37 PM   #2
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special tool, bring the fork to your LBS and give em a few bucks to do it.
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Old 05-21-06, 08:43 PM   #3
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a few different tool companies make a tool for installing a star nut. they are basically a heavy duty metal handle that you hold onto, a threaded portion that you thread the star nut onto until it bottoms out on a stepped down part of the handle (it's stepped down so you can get the nut in there to the right depth). you basically use this to whack the nut in. the handle is there so you can leverage the star nut into position as you pound it in (because it will not go in straight on of it's own accord).

i'm sure given the time and materials, you could make your own. i think i once pounded one in just by using a rubber mallet on the bolt for the headset. i don't really recommend that, though.
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Old 05-22-06, 07:23 AM   #4
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It can be done without special tools but you should know what you are doing or you can damage both the nut (cheap) and the steerer (not cheap). I agree with the advice to have the LBS install it.

BTW, there are expander plugs that can be used in place of the star nut and they require no permanant installation. Profile Design and FSA both make them. I used one for my first threadless fork installation since I wasn't sure how short I wanted to cut the steerer and the expander let me install and replace it several times.
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Old 05-22-06, 08:58 AM   #5
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I always use a socket slightly smaller than the steerer tube ID and just sloooowly tap it down to the correct depth (usually about 15mm). But if you are unsure or don't know what you're doing it will cost you cheap cash to have your LBS do it right.
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Old 05-22-06, 09:15 AM   #6
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Hmmm. All I did was insert the starnut screw into the the nut,and tap gently with a heavy object (can't remember what it was). The nut got installed haywire, so I tapped the side of the screw untill it was nicely centered. That was last november.

I have'nt found myself doing a faceplant so far...
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Old 05-22-06, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aadhils
Hmmm. All I did was insert the starnut screw into the the nut,and tap gently with a heavy object (can't remember what it was). The nut got installed haywire, so I tapped the side of the screw untill it was nicely centered. That was last november.
That often works, I've done it myself just using a random 6 mm bolt as a tool, but it is easier to get it straight if you have one of the purpose-built tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aadhils
I have'nt found myself doing a faceplant so far...
The star nut is not a safety related part, it is only an aid to adjusting the headset bearings. Indeed, I left it off of several of my own bikes so as to leave the steerer unobstructed. Once the headset has been adjusted and the stem clamped down, the star nut does nothing at all.

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Old 05-22-06, 09:28 AM   #8
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I used a steel rod, and pounded with a hammer. My starfangled nut has been in there fine for quite a while now. If I was to do it again, I would get m6 threaded rod.
Thread the starfangled nut in from below, and tighten a nut from beneath.
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Old 05-22-06, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I used a steel rod, and pounded with a hammer. My starfangled nut has been in there fine for quite a while now. If I was to do it again, I would get m6 threaded rod.
Thread the starfangled nut in from below, and tighten a nut from beneath.
This won't work with a lot of newer forks, particularly carbon ones, with Cr-Mo or Al steerers. (It's moot with carbon steerers since you NEVER use a star nut in them.) In these the crown is "blind', i.e. there is no hole in the crown to pass a bolt through so you have to work from the top.
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Old 05-22-06, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aadhils
Hmmm. All I did was insert the starnut screw into the the nut,and tap gently with a heavy object (can't remember what it was). The nut got installed haywire, so I tapped the side of the screw untill it was nicely centered.
That's how I've been installing them, but may not be a good idea for a first timer doing this.
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