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  1. #1
    Novice Bike Builder s14pat's Avatar
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    NEED HELP: fork pipe is "rust-bonded" to stem

    i was taking apart my KHS gransport and discovered the fork piping is rusted onto the stem piping. i unscrewed the stem bolt and its broke on me a little below the threading. i put the bolt back in a hammered the wedge down thinking it should release it. the wedge went down completely and i still can't pull the stem off the fork. i figure its pretty rusted on considering i got it from friends backyard having been sitting through rain and sun for years and years.

    i tried all i could.. twisting and pulling to get it loose.. usually works with the other bikes i worked on (feet on the handlebars and twisting the fork with my hands.. haha!) .. using WD40 and hammering it loose, even took it to a bike shop and they couldn't even get it loose.. clamps and all.. it never budged.

    now im gonna try some PB spray ("Blaster" PB penetrating catalyst) its for rusted nuts, bolts, pipe threads, etc. not sure if its really gonna work.

    do you guys have any opinions on what i should do or try?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    You could create a puller mechanism out of a long bolt, washers and nuts. (Assuming it's only the wedge in there.)

    Place washers on top of the bolt and under the wedge that fit in the inside diameter of the steerer tube and then another set of washers that sit flush against the top of the steerer tube. Thread a nut onto the bolt and then tighten, which should drive the wedge up.

  3. #3
    Novice Bike Builder s14pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkeric View Post
    You could create a puller mechanism out of a long bolt, washers and nuts. (Assuming it's only the wedge in there.)

    Place washers on top of the bolt and under the wedge that fit in the inside diameter of the steerer tube and then another set of washers that sit flush against the top of the steerer tube. Thread a nut onto the bolt and then tighten, which should drive the wedge up.
    the bolt broke off where the wedge began so i can't put a bolt through and create a puller. that would have been a mighty fine way of doing it though.. thanks for the input. i might have to resort to cutting the stem..

  4. #4
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I am not sure that I understand. Do you mean that your stem is rust-welded to the inside of the steering tube?

    If that is the case, then take turn the bike upside down and see if you can squirt some naval Jelly or muratic acid into the inside of the steering tube. That should eat the rust and help loosen the mess up.

    It is a pain in the rear, for sure. You have to wonder if it is worth it. The strength of the steering tube is going to be compromised with that much rust and with your attempt to free it from the stem and bolt wedge.

    Yup, sometimes it gets ugly.

    Good luck.
    Mike

  5. #5
    my brain hurts! fosmith's Avatar
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    you might have to use a fire wrench on the thing....then you might just be able to leave the old wedge in there.

    when in doubt, use fire.

  6. #6
    Novice Bike Builder s14pat's Avatar
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    im still not sure about the fire thing. one of my friends told me to heat it up with a heat *** or blow dryer and knock the rust out with a hammer. id try it but there is no gap between the steering tube and stem. i think i might try some naval jelly.. i have no idea where to get some though. i know home depot has the jelly kind but i need the liquid stuff. something like this

    http://www.midwayautosupply.com/show...iliateid=10050

    i dont know how well it'll work though. it seems as though ive tried everything.. except resorting to fire or cutting.

  7. #7
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    I had the worse case of frozen stem. Tried hammering it, twisting it, pb blasting it, ammonium, vinegar, wd40. Ended up cutting most of the stem off and soaking the steel steerer tube in lye for two weeks (eats away at the aluminum). If you value you're fork, don't keep hammering and twisting. Just dissolve the aluminum away. I then dunked the fork inside an oxalic acid solution to eat away at the rust, and vola, an awesomely clean looking fork. Now I'm not sure if I'm going to repaint the fork; it looks fantastic!

  8. #8
    Novice Bike Builder s14pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Servo888 View Post
    I had the worse case of frozen stem. Tried hammering it, twisting it, pb blasting it, ammonium, vinegar, wd40. Ended up cutting most of the stem off and soaking the steel steerer tube in lye for two weeks (eats away at the aluminum). If you value you're fork, don't keep hammering and twisting. Just dissolve the aluminum away. I then dunked the fork inside an oxalic acid solution to eat away at the rust, and vola, an awesomely clean looking fork. Now I'm not sure if I'm going to repaint the fork; it looks fantastic!
    yah i think i did everything you just said. i think i'll do what you did. where would i be able to get pure lye? what type of container would i put the lye in so it won't corrode? i think some drain cleaners are pure lye right?

  9. #9
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by s14pat View Post
    yah i think i did everything you just said. i think i'll do what you did. where would i be able to get pure lye? what type of container would i put the lye in so it won't corrode? i think some drain cleaners are pure lye right?
    Be careful hadnling lye, eye + hand protection. This stuff ain't aloe vera that's for sure.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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