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  1. #1
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    stripped star nut

    I picked up a fixer-upper Gary Fisher MTB for no very good reason. While attempting to adjust the headset, I found that tightening the adjustment bolt did not take up any play. After a few turns, I found the star nut to be completely stripped. I'm tempted to believe this was a preexisting condition, rather than my own incompetence, as the previous owner was clearly a mechanical nitwit (there are a few other things seriously under/overtightened on the bike).

    What's the best way to remove the dead star nut? I suppose I could just pound it out with a mallet and dowel rod, but won't that gall the fork steerer excessively?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member jerrymcdougal's Avatar
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    I suppose I could just pound it out with a mallet and dowel rod, but won't that gall the fork steerer excessively?
    Thats what the Park Tool website reccommends. Or you can pound it down just far enough to install another nut.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrymcdougal
    Thats what the Park Tool website reccommends. Or you can pound it down just far enough to install another nut.
    ^what he says. See: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=67

  4. #4
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrymcdougal
    Thats what the Park Tool website reccommends. Or you can pound it down just far enough to install another nut.
    Cool. Did it, it worked. Woohoo
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  5. #5
    LF for the accentdeprived
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    Wow. How the eff could the previous owner strip a damned star nut??? Quite a talent, that guy.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LóFarkas
    Wow. How the eff could the previous owner strip a damned star nut??? Quite a talent, that guy.
    It's rather easy. All you have to do is try to adjust the headset without loosening the stem clamp bolts. When the headset play remains, just turn the adjusting bolt even harder.

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    It's rather easy. All you have to do is try to adjust the headset without loosening the stem clamp bolts. When the headset play remains, just turn the adjusting bolt even harder.
    Or start the cap bolt crooked and then force the bolt into place because, by damn, this sucker is going to fit or else! Not that I have ever done anything like that - at least not on a star nut.
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  8. #8
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Tighten it 'til it strips, then back it of half a turn...

  9. #9
    Life is short Ride hard
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    I have done some stupid things in a pinch to get things done because I had no other tool

    Pipe Wrench to a threaded headset

    Not using a rag when I get a head set wrench and muking up a head set nut thing

    couldnt find the right open ended wrench to get a wheel off used a vice grip

    thought that a knock was coming from the bottom bracket turned out to be the toe clip


    God the list of stupid things I have done when it comes to mechanics is amazing
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanparrish
    God the list of stupid things I have done when it comes to mechanics is amazing
    You sure aren't alone.

  11. #11
    LF for the accentdeprived
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    ryanparrish: that's not too bad a list at all.

    I mean, to strip a star nut, you have to be completely in the dark as to what it does. One never needs to tighten it down that much... So why bother forcing it if you have no idea what it is?
    And cross-threading an M5 bolt that's 1)vertically positioned 2)very easily accesible 3) not confined at all as to how you can insert it (no clamp or heavy part it fixes on to push it sideways etc.)... Really moronic.

    Your mistakes are a LOT less silly
    BTW once I "reassembled" a RD and bent it way out of shape somehow terminally destroying it. But that was when I was 15
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
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  12. #12
    Has opinion, will express
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    I came across a bike whose owner was at a loss as to why the headset was always loose. This was after he had even taken it to a bike shop. On closer inspection, the following was found: (a) the steerer tube was too long or the spacers were too low so the top cap was pulling down only on the steerer tube; and (b) the shop had tightened down the top cap to take up the slack -- then had popped the recess in the cap for the bolt!!! Some star-fangled nuts are obviously tougher than others (or maybe the top caps are weaker).
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LóFarkas
    And cross-threading an M5 bolt that's 1)vertically positioned 2)very easily accesible 3) not confined at all as to how you can insert it (no clamp or heavy part it fixes on to push it sideways etc.)... Really moronic.
    It wouldn't be that hard to cross-thread the top cap bolt. If the starnut isn't installed straight - and I've run across a lot of those - it's pretty easy to get it started crooked. And then, if you force it...well, you know
    Stuart Black
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    It wouldn't be that hard to cross-thread the top cap bolt. If the starnut isn't installed straight - and I've run across a lot of those - it's pretty easy to get it started crooked. And then, if you force it...well, you know
    Or if the steerer tube hasn't been cut straight...
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    ....the shop had tightened down the top cap to take up the slack -- then had popped the recess in the cap for the bolt!!! Some star-fangled nuts are obviously tougher than others (or maybe the top caps are weaker).
    When threadless headsets were first on the market, broken (plastic) top caps were common as even shop personnel weren't real familiar with the proper adjustment sequence. I remember aluminum top caps being offered as aftermarket accessories to reduce the breakage.

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