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  1. #1
    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    Quill stem won't tighten

    I've been working on fixing up an old Trek 930 and I've run into a problem. No matter how much I tighten the quill stem down, with a moderate amount of force, the handlebars can still turn independantly of the front wheel. I thought that maybe I wasn't able to tighten the old stem enough, so I bought a new one, and even with the new one it still turns. Any ideas?
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    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Old stem was over torqued and bulged out the steerer tube? Anybody?
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    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    If thats it, it doesn't sound like there's an easy fix, is there? On that same note, when I tried to remove the stem yesterday, as hard as I tried, I couldn't get it out.
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    too much grease in the steerer tube?
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  5. #5
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    that could be. also just how much force are you applying when you try and turn the bars? clean the steerer and remove all grease. do the saem to the stem and wedge. then take some 100 grit sandpaper and rough up the stem and the inside of the steerer. try and install again without grease.

    OH I did neglect to tell him that if this fixed the problem to lightly grease it. perhaps I gave him too much credit
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    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll try that. That is, if I can get it out!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Old stem was over torqued and bulged out the steerer tube? Anybody?
    +1 This was my initial guess as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    that could be. also just how much force are you applying when you try and turn the bars? clean the steerer and remove all grease. do the saem to the stem and wedge. then take some 100 grit sandpaper and rough up the stem and the inside of the steerer. try and install again without grease.
    Do not do this.

    Grease must be present at the wedge/stem interface. Use a light coat of grease inside the steertube/wedge/stem before resorting to completely removing it all.
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    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    So if it was overtightened and bulged the stem, is there any fix? That is, once I get it out...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
    So if it was overtightened and bulged the stem, is there any fix? That is, once I get it out...
    No, if it was overtightened you bulged the headtube. I'd like to see solutions to this, if any because I can't think of anything.
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    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
    So if it was overtightened and bulged the stem, is there any fix? That is, once I get it out...
    No, you need a new fork. It's happened to me before. The steerer tube had a 2" split and a bulge down the middle.
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    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    Damn...well, a rigid replacement fork shouldn't cost too much. Hell, the bike was only 90 bucks!
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    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    that could be. also just how much force are you applying when you try and turn the bars? clean the steerer and remove all grease. do the saem to the stem and wedge. then take some 100 grit sandpaper and rough up the stem and the inside of the steerer. try and install again without grease.
    Bad advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    No, you need a new fork. It's happened to me before. The steerer tube had a 2" split and a bulge down the middle.
    Or at least a new steerer tube. When the steerer snapped on our tandem we had a frame builder replace it with a new tube and it was very reasonable. Of course it messed up the paint, but we had repainted the bike not long before and still had some left over so it was easy to touch up the fork.

  15. #15
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
    So if it was overtightened and bulged the stem, is there any fix? That is, once I get it out...
    A new fork will have an un-bulged steer tube and make it good as new.

  16. #16
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    No, if it was overtightened you bulged the headtube. I'd like to see solutions to this, if any because I can't think of anything.
    No; an over-tightened quill stem will bulge the steer tube, not the head tube. A new fork (with a new steer tube) will fix the problem. If it's a rare frame/fork (not the OP's problem, though) a builder can often replace just the steer tube, but it's usually more cost effective to replace the whole fork.

  17. #17
    Svr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
    If thats it, it doesn't sound like there's an easy fix, is there? On that same note, when I tried to remove the stem yesterday, as hard as I tried, I couldn't get it out.
    You're not trying hard enough. Looks like you'll have to loosen the wedge bolt a dozen turns or so to remove the stem without the wedge. Then you'll be able to see what is going on in there.

  18. #18
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem. This may not be your problem, but may as well share.

    Did you grease the threads at the end of the long quill bolt that screws into the wedge? Mine was too dry, which prevented me from tightening it enough. Added some grease to it, which allowed me to turn it further, solving the problem.
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    Senior Member Yotsko's Avatar
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    That was it! Thanks a ton!

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
    I had a similar problem. This may not be your problem, but may as well share.

    Did you grease the threads at the end of the long quill bolt that screws into the wedge? Mine was too dry, which prevented me from tightening it enough. Added some grease to it, which allowed me to turn it further, solving the problem.
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