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Old 05-23-12, 02:29 PM   #1
chameleojo
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Headset puzzle - missing part?

Hi all,
I have had my second-hand 1989 Peugeot road bike (don't think all the parts are original though) taken apart at Evans Cycles so I could get the frame powder coated (I lack the tools to do it myself). I am now figuring out how to put it all back together and starting with the headset - but I think there is a part to it missing!

As you can see from the pic before the bike was dismantled, the headset sits flush with the fork neck/bottom of steerer tube.



But now, there is a 5mm ish gap at the bottom where the crown race is too narrow to fit and the ball bearings are visible - that can't be right can it? It seems like I'm missing a seal or that the bike shop have replaced the old crown race with one that doesn't fit when handing me back all the dismantled parts?

The top part of the headset is Campagnolo but the bottom part doesn't have any branding on it. Am I missing a part? If so how do I get a new one without replacing the whole headset?
Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 05-23-12, 02:40 PM   #2
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Chamelego- A few ponts come to mind. First are the lower stack's balls the same as before? If so then the stack height and gap between the cup and crown race are correct, but perhaps the seal ring between is missing. These rings are usually thin plastic and can crack, get lost or absorb solvent and grow to a size no longer usable. If the balls are of the wrong size the this first needs to be corrected. Why the missmatch of upper and lower stacks? Well, I know the likely reason but getting a new headset (with correct stack heights) would ensure all is right.

The before photo and after one looks to have the same crown race, at least the outside contour seems the same. But the crown race isn't yet press/pounded onto the seat. Did the shop do the reassembly? If so the they need to readdress this. If not then that's your dime. Andy.
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Old 05-23-12, 02:54 PM   #3
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the crownrace is upside down , flip it up and the gap will be gone and the headset will work right .
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Old 05-23-12, 03:06 PM   #4
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First are the lower stack's balls the same as before? If so then the stack height and gap between the cup and crown race are correct, but perhaps the seal ring between is missing.

The before photo and after one looks to have the same crown race, at least the outside contour seems the same. But the crown race isn't yet press/pounded onto the seat. Did the shop do the reassembly? If so the they need to readdress this. If not then that's your dime. Andy.
Hi Andy, thanks for your reply. If the crown race is pressed onto the seat would it force it over that 5mm lip at the bottom of the steerer? I think it would take some force or the race would crack. That gap definitely wasn't there before it was all taken apart! Also, the 'after' pics are not of the bike reassembled - I have just slid the cup and crown race down the tube to demonstrate. Do you know where I could source the plastic seal ring?
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Old 05-23-12, 03:08 PM   #5
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Hi bikeman, the crown race is definitely the right way up, I flipped it and the gap is still there plus the way it is in the pics there is a ledge for the bearings to rest in.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:10 PM   #6
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By the way, yes the balls are the same
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Old 05-23-12, 03:48 PM   #7
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The crown race is pressed on. it is not a slip fit. it needs to be pressed on with the proper tool or using a pipe, hammer, and a block of wood but i would not recommend that. But i would use the pipe/wood/hammer to install it if i wasn't too worried about the fork.

The problem is that its not pressed on at this point. Press it on and all willl be well with the world.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:49 PM   #8
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The crown race is not all the way home.

The bottom bearing race needs to be set between the two lines



Park make a glorified length of steel pipe which is whacked with a mallet to get the job done
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Old 05-23-12, 03:50 PM   #9
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Honestly, since you didn't know that the crown race isn't pressed on, I would recommend that you bring the frame to a bike shop and have them properly install the race and put the rest of the headset together and set the preloads. You don't want to mess up good parts like a Reynolds 531 fork/frame and campy parts.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:55 PM   #10
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^ you learn by your mistakes. I would not know what I know today by handing the bike to the bike shop and telling them to deal with it.
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Old 05-23-12, 04:33 PM   #11
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I really appreciate all your replies - I am that much wiser now! And now I'm sure the best bet is to pay the bike shop a visit to avoid the potential death of my beloved bike
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Old 05-23-12, 06:01 PM   #12
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^ you learn by your mistakes. I would not know what I know today by handing the bike to the bike shop and telling them to deal with it.
I agree with you about 90 percent of the time. Best way to learn it so do things yourself like repairing a bike. But there is a big difference between repairing an inexpensive frame and a high dollar desirable 531 frame. That is why I recommended taking it to a LBS. I'm all for DIY but I also know that some people have their limitations and its probably not the best idea to practice on something expensive. If the OP were near me, I would take him to the local bike coop and show him how to properly install a crown race and let him do it with supervision. I really am not too concerned with the installing of the race, its the setup of the bearings that more concerns me for the bike's sake. Sounds like the Op has some nice parts, I just don't want them to get damaged.
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Old 05-23-12, 06:39 PM   #13
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that thick powder coat job in #8 seems to need the crown race seat on the fork
re cut and faced, to clean it up.
then I'd get a brand new complete headset.
resolve the jumble mixed source parts you apparently have.

or at least the whole Bottom race .. frame race and crown race.
seek out a cartridge bearing one perhaps?

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-24-12 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:57 PM   #14
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just a note. there is no universal standard for crown race diameters. they don't come in many diameters that i know of, but they are not all the same.
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Old 05-23-12, 09:48 PM   #15
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that thick powder coat job in #8 seems to need the crown race seat on the fork
re cut and faced, to clean it up.
then I'd get a brand new complete headset.
Pshh, that looks to me like a bad paint job. See the paint drips from the fork crown?

Oops. Just realized the OP said he got it powdercoated.

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Old 05-23-12, 10:29 PM   #16
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Note that the crown race was also on the wrong way before disassembly. To correct it you should:
1. Take the crown race off
2. Put plenty of grease on the steerer tube
3. Put the crown race back on upside down
4. Slip a PVC pipe (approximately same diameter as crown race and a little longer than the steerer tube) over the steerer.
5. Hammer down the PVC pipe with a rubber mallet to jam the crown race tight onto the fork crown
6. Remove PVC pipe and install fork

But I wonder if there's a reason it was on the wrong way...maybe it doesn't fit the fork? In other words, is it possible that this headset isn't compatible with this fork? As someone said these things aren't well standardized so there's no way to know for sure until you try it.

Last edited by chucky; 05-23-12 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 05-23-12, 11:16 PM   #17
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The bearing retainer also appears to be in upside-down.

In the big picture, I'd mill that fork's crown race seat to 26.4mm if it wasn't already, then smack the lower half of a Tange Passage headset into it and call it a day. The headset's $13. If even the lower half solves your problems, it was well worth it.
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Old 05-24-12, 04:07 AM   #18
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I would do that. You only have to mill the crown race by either 1mm or 6mm. Shouldn't be a problem either way.

However I wouldn't go replacing the entire headset unless it's damaged as your getting into the messy world of French threading

Edit: just realised that it is a 1989 model, they should be all iso threading by then. The crown race should be already 26.4 then. Should be

Last edited by spurious; 05-24-12 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 05-24-12, 06:55 AM   #19
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crown race does not look upside down but the bearing retainer does. crown race seat should be milled
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Old 05-24-12, 11:37 AM   #20
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If it all works .. as you put it back together slip a short band
of old inner-tube over the bottom race as you put it back together.
so F wheel won't blow grit directly at the grease in that big gap.
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