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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 01-13-10, 08:36 PM   #1
killingkindness
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stripped bolt...ideas?

anybody have any tips on a way to get a bolt loose on a seatpost clamp that refuses to budge? the more i try to grip as tight as possible with pliers or a socket wrench, because it was strong-armed on there to begin with not to mention that judging by the rest of the bike it's been sitting unused outside for quite sometime, any tool i try keeps just slipping off and serving to make the partially stripped bolt even more rounded.

before i end up just completely rounding this thing out and having to cut it off completely, does anyone have any ideas for ways to loosen it up? i'm somewhat of a bike repair "newbie" and don't have many bike-specific tools yet but rather just a decent collection of "regular" tools, so something that might be done with what i have sitting around would help.

i did some googling and only really found results having to do with auto repair, and they mostly just recommended a Craftsman set of damaged-bolt remover sockets. is that really what i have to do to get this off, or might there be a "trick" to it?
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Old 01-13-10, 08:39 PM   #2
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PB Blaster Penetrating Catalyst.

This stuff is just ridiculous.
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Old 01-13-10, 08:42 PM   #3
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http://www.sourcingmap.com/pcs-broke...t-p-24656.html

Try that? I have seen these sold on TV, and I have heard they do work in most cases.
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Old 01-13-10, 08:44 PM   #4
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i had read about that PB Blaster stuff before, sounds like i might have to pick some up when i've got the spare cash...
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Old 01-13-10, 08:46 PM   #5
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Try a vice grip yet?
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Old 01-13-10, 08:53 PM   #6
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i don't have one, my brother does but he lives about 20 miles away. thankfully with the gas i save by biking for most things i can probably afford to go out there and use some of his tools, i'd just prefer to be able to figure this out at home with what i have on hand
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Old 01-13-10, 08:58 PM   #7
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I am sure you know one side of the bolt on some seatpost clamps is designed not to rotate. It has a built in key which fits into a notch on the seatpost clamp.
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Old 01-13-10, 09:16 PM   #8
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never heard of PT barnums penetrating catalyzer or whatever, but Tri flow is another product that works well in situations like this. Can be bought in most hardware stores. If you don't have a socket or wrenches that fit the bolt properly(it could be metric or SAE) then the bolt head is stripped beyond what these can do and your next best bet is vice grips. It may be cheaper to grind/hacksaw the bolt off and replace it than buy specialty tools, if this is possible without damaging the frame. assuming the seat post is a common size and is a cheap/generic one it may be really easy to replace for really cheap, if you were to say grind into it with an angle grinder....just saying.
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Old 01-13-10, 09:35 PM   #9
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doing some more googling and it looks like my best option is just to take it with me out to my brother's house and see what he has. he has a pretty large selection of tools he uses for working on cars, i'm sure he's come across this type of situation and can help me figure out something, or maybe just a tool to use in conjunction with some PB Blaster stuff.
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Old 01-13-10, 09:45 PM   #10
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PB blaster is an integral part of any auto mechanic's procedure in removing stuck bolts -- it works even better on bolts that fasten bike parts together. Always have some on hand. Always.
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Old 01-13-10, 10:32 PM   #11
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The cheapest option is to cut it off and get a new bolt for $1.50 but you'll pay 4x that in shipping if your LBS doesn't have one. sounds like you will need a new one anyways
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Old 01-13-10, 11:12 PM   #12
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Are you trying to remove a bolt with a nut on the other end? If so, focus on the nut. If its just the bolt, try heat (heating gun, hair dryer) and penetrating grease (liquid wrench, wd 40, etc). Sometimes alittle tapping with a light hammer on top of the head bolt or nut will shake it loose much like an impact gun.
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Old 01-14-10, 05:50 AM   #13
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Old 01-14-10, 08:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SneakyKing View Post
The cheapest option is to cut it off and get a new bolt for $1.50 but you'll pay 4x that in shipping if your LBS doesn't have one. sounds like you will need a new one anyways
I agree. if it is "almost" stripped and you can reach it with a cutter of sometype, just cut it off and move along. why waste alot of time on a bolt you can't reuse?
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Old 01-15-10, 01:11 AM   #15
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If you have a hacksaw stick two blades in it and saw a slot for a screw driver into the head. Since you've already been grabbing it with pliers and such there's obviously enough there to do this.

If you don't have a hacksaw and you're working on bicycles and presumably other things from time to time then it's HIGH time you went and bought one.... along with a few other things I suspect
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Old 01-15-10, 02:08 AM   #16
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Get the hack saw and cut the bolt in half at the center of the seat clamp. It is already stripped. Replace it with a QR from a bike shop or a stainless bolt from Ace Hardware or Tractor Supply and never worry about rust on it again.

Is the seat tube rusted into the frame as well?

Good Luck
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Old 01-15-10, 06:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeWinVA View Post
Get the hack saw and cut the bolt in half at the center of the seat clamp. It is already stripped. Replace it with a QR from a bike shop or a stainless bolt from Ace Hardware or Tractor Supply and never worry about rust on it again.

Is the seat tube rusted into the frame as well?

Good Luck
Overall, probably the best answer so far. As I can't see the thing, I don't have much to go on but, I wouldn't waste any money on any tool (other than a Vise Grip) with the supposed ability to remove frozen hardware. As mentioned above, some seat clamp hardware is "keyed" on one side and will only turn from the opposite side. Another answer would be to drill off the head if it is an internal wrenching (Allen) bolt. Been a mechanic for 35+ years, sometimes destruction of fasteners or parts is the fastest way to solve the problem. In the shop, I can either charge you my hourly labor rate to try to remove something or I can destroy it and finish the job in a timely fashion.
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