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Old 08-02-10, 09:56 AM   #1
ant8tna
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Square tapered crank removal without puller?

I picked up an older Trek 850 a couple weeks ago and am in the process of stripping it down to just the frame. I'm too lazy to go to the LBS and purchase a crank puller. I have no intention on reusing the installed crankset and bottom bracket (awful condition).

Probably a dumb question, but anyone know a somewhat easy way to remove the cranks without a puller?
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Old 08-02-10, 09:58 AM   #2
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Cut it off with a hacksaw.
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Old 08-02-10, 10:03 AM   #3
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You could stick the bolt back in partway and beat on it to see if the crank arm pops off but likely nothing will happen since the bike frame and BB weighs so much more than the arm itself. The other option is to just hacksaw down through the crank arm parallel to one of the flats. Remember that the flats are at a 45 to the axis of the arm. If you do it right you'll just graze the flat of the taper and only ruin one hacksaw blade getting both arms cut away. If not then you'll ruin two or three blades before they are off.

Truly the easy way is to get on your other bike and go for an enjoyable ride to the LBS and buy the puller. Any of the other methods I can think of are messy, need lots of tools and time and still may not actually work out. I helped someone cut away a crank arm that had a stripped out cap thread one time. We used hacksaws and chisels and it was far more work that it first appeared to be. Really, just go and get the puller. It'll avoid a lot of cussing and sweat.
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Old 08-02-10, 10:05 AM   #4
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You would be using the external bearing cranks for the new parts then.. for everything that came before you need the crank arm puller to do maintainence,
But as you say Laziness is a character feature, so Hire someone else.
pay the bike shop to do the work for you and they will be happy to do the work .

As noted above, BB axles are hardened steel ,
so what you need is a Carbide cut off disc in a power tool.

OTOH, the crank removal tools are fairly cheap ,
and won't do any hearing damage to operate.


Last edited by fietsbob; 08-02-10 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 08-02-10, 10:08 AM   #5
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I once had one with stripped threads and was fairly well "welded" onto the spindle. I just rode it to work and back without the bolt in and jumped off a lot of curbs and did a lot of bunnyhops and hit it with a hammer from time to time. Took nearly two weeks, but got the job done.
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Old 08-02-10, 10:10 AM   #6
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One other way is to remove the crank bolts and go for a ride. That should loosen the cranks spontaneously. Stay close to home because when one comes off the bike will be rather hard to ride the rest of the way. This technique will ruin the crank arms but you don't intend to reuse them anyway, right?

However, if you go to a bike shop and have them pull the crank arms properly you might be able to sell the crank for enough to justify the trip.
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Old 08-02-10, 10:16 AM   #7
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Cut it off with a hacksaw.
+1, or beat it off with a sledgehammer. Seriously though, you should get a crank remover:

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Old 08-02-10, 10:31 AM   #8
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Awesome, thanks for all the quick suggestions, decided to stop being lazy and am just gonna go buy the puller (just not today, heh), probably be a good thing to have anyway
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Old 08-02-10, 11:10 AM   #9
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Awesome, thanks for all the quick suggestions, decided to stop being lazy and am just gonna go buy the puller (just not today, heh), probably be a good thing to have anyway
Definitely is. I've used mine quite a lot already.
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Old 08-02-10, 12:51 PM   #10
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If you have a bench vice here's a trick:
Get the crank pointing down and and grip the crank into the vise (with the bike standing up). Try to grip the crank as high as possible, close to the BB. Get a punch (a piece of pipe, solid bar, a large bolt, or something similar) and rest it on the spindle inside and hammer it. You need also someone to help because the bike will rotate freely around BB, also the bike will fall off after it gets free

Provided that you have a decent bench vice it's doable.

Or better yet: a crank puller (or a 2 jaw bearing puller)
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Old 08-02-10, 04:35 PM   #11
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Most any method of achieving what you want to do will take more effort than doing it the right way. So be true to your admission of being lazy and GO GET A PULLER. You'll have more time to veg on the couch in front of the TV.
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Old 08-02-10, 04:37 PM   #12
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Old 08-02-10, 04:44 PM   #13
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I've tried all the 'alternative' options getting off a crank with stripped threads, and quite frankly, a gear puller is the best alternative for a proper crank puller.

BTW, a crank puller is cheaper than a gear puller.
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Old 08-02-10, 06:51 PM   #14
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I've tried all the 'alternative' options getting off a crank with stripped threads, and quite frankly, a gear puller is the best alternative for a proper crank puller.

BTW, a crank puller is cheaper than a gear puller.
And it doesn't marr anything in the process.
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Old 08-03-10, 06:10 AM   #15
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Yeah, I was working on an old bike once that had stripped threads in the crank arm (nothing for a crank puller to engage). I got a big punch and my 2 1/2# hammer and hit it from the frame side a couple times. Popped right off.

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Old 08-03-10, 12:08 PM   #16
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IMO, using the right tool in this case is the LAZY way. A proper crank puller is so easy to use and it takes all of 3 minutes to remove both crank arms.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:01 PM   #17
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A crank puller costs about $12 and allows you to remove the cranks in half a minute.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:26 PM   #18
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just make sure you get the type of puller pictured above, and avoid the ones with a built in handle. This just won't work on very stuck cranks unless you get a hammer and beat the handle of the puller. The above type lets you use a normal wrench which will give you a longer lever arm.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:32 PM   #19
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I bought the cheapest crank puller I've found, worked like a charm.
$8 from dan's comp. figure it would cost me at least that much to get it done at a shop.
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Old 08-03-10, 05:18 PM   #20
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Could use an automotive 'pickle fork' if you have one lying around...
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