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  1. #1
    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    expander plug inside steerer - solution?

    Threadless fork issue:

    Alright, I've done something very stupid & hope someone can help me figure it out. I was trying to take my top cap off my fork. Instead, I carelessly screwed out the topcap AND the top of the expander wedge/compression plug. (Please excuse my inaccuracy.)

    I now have the topcap + cone/wedge + bolt out of the steerer.

    Inside the steerer is the bottom wedge/cone. The problem is that the fork has part of the plug contraption glued/secured inside the steerer.

    I somehow need to get the bottom cone/wedge lined up against these in-place wedges and then screw on the topcap/cone piece.

    I've flipped the bike and can get the bottom cone against the wedge part but when I attempt to screw them back together, things move.

    1) thought about getting the topcap & wedge/cone/screw apart. Tried holding the cone with pliers but can't get the cap to screw off. Don't want to hold too tightly and knick up the cone edges. If I can get them free this might allow me to dip the bolt inside the steerer, further than I can get with the topcap attached.

    2) the bottom cone/wedge piece is conical. Do I want the flat side up or do I want the cone/angled side up? Depending on how it is oriented it'll either sit flush against the glued in pieces or pull into it when the top cone is screwed down.

    Sorry for being confusing. Damn. This is a really stupid mistake to make.

    Any help is appreciated.
    Last edited by nayr497; 05-26-12 at 11:41 AM. Reason: +
    Deda Newton Anatomic bars/40cm
    Pls. PM me if interested, trying clear out parts bin!

  2. #2
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    Try fliping the fork to get the cone against the wedge and then add a drop of Superglue to temporarily lock it in place so you can get the bolt started. Superglue is strong but not so strong that it will keep you from locking the expander back into place.

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    If the fork has a through hole at the bottom, borrow a knitting needle or some thing like that, and use it to push the cone up from the bottom so there's enough friction between it and the expanding section to keep the cone from spinning.

    Ideally, you want well greased threads, on a dry cone, so the cone/shoe friction will be higher than the thread friction and you won't have to go through this each time you move the expander (if ever)
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    It used to be that the stem (gooseneck) expander system was assembled into the stem before it was inserted into the steer tube. It seems that you still have that system. So the lower expander cone is not glued to the steer tube, just stuck. Get a rod that will fit up inside the fork crown so you can knock the expander cone loose. With the bike upside down, the parts should fall out. Then assemble the stem, reinsert it into the steer tube, align the handlebars, and tighten the bolt. I had the habit of applying a light coat of grease to prevent corrosion jamming of the stem into the steer tube.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    It used to be that the stem (gooseneck) expander system was assembled into the stem before it was inserted into the steer tube. It seems that you still have that system. So the lower expander cone is not glued to the steer tube, just stuck. Get a rod that will fit up inside the fork crown so you can knock the expander cone loose. With the bike upside down, the parts should fall out. Then assemble the stem, reinsert it into the steer tube, align the handlebars, and tighten the bolt. I had the habit of applying a light coat of grease to prevent corrosion jamming of the stem into the steer tube.
    Doesn't apply to the OP's problem. He has a threadless fork, and is having trouble keeping the expansion cone from spinning. It's similar in principle yet completely different at the same time.
    FB
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    If the fork has a through hole at the bottom, borrow a knitting needle or some thing like that, and use it to push the cone up from the bottom so there's enough friction between it and the expanding section to keep the cone from spinning.
    I assume this is a carbon steerer so it's unlikely to have an open bottom. At least i've never seen one and even my Kestrel EMS Pro carbon fork despite having a steel steerer is completely closed at the bottom of the steerer.

  7. #7
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    1st thing...

    what you have looks like this???


  8. #8
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    If the answer is yes then, when you hammer or tapped the crew down, the wedge that is under the cylinder thing releases and the cylinder thing should get lose. Then you pull the whole thing together. If you dont want to pull everything out you take the screw out and the wedge should be stuck in there until you tap it down.

    Dont know if you tap that thing down or not, since at least to me (as usual) is a tiny confusing what you have done starting by the description of the compression/expander plug is hard to tell what you have done wrong or not.

    If you are talking about the design in the picture then the bottom cone/wedge is still attached to the cylinder unless you got the bad idea to tap it off position (tap it down), the bottom wedge wont move unless you tap it, thats how it is by design. Once the wedge is out of position the cyclinder piece should be removable unless it was glued (if somebody got that bad idea) or something, another problem could be galvanic corrosion and that's why you feel that is glued stuck in there???

    Just in case ok? Have you tried to use a screw driver and pry it a tiny bit?? That aluminum cylinder is a few mm smaller than the ID of the fork so if you pry it, it might get lose.

    Hope this helped.

  9. #9
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Threadless fork issue:

    Alright, I've done something very stupid & hope someone can help me figure it out. I was trying to take my top cap off my fork. Instead, I carelessly screwed out the topcap AND the top of the expander wedge/compression plug. (Please excuse my inaccuracy.)

    I now have the topcap + cone/wedge + bolt out of the steerer.

    Inside the steerer is the bottom wedge/cone. The problem is that the fork has part of the plug contraption glued/secured inside the steerer.
    I'm guessing what you would really want to do is remove the "plug contraption" from the steerer. I have never heard of gluing an expander plug in a fork. Most likely the expander sleeve has just been held by the top and bottom cones for so long it's a little stuck there. Since the cones are out of the expander sleeve, a take a piece of PVC that fits inside the the steerer so you can knock loosen the expander sleeve with a few hammer shots. You should than be able to either turn the fork over and shake it out, or fish it out with the J head of a spoke.
    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 05-26-12 at 09:25 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback!

    Yes, it's a carbon steerer. This is actually a recent replacement fork, cut by the shop and installed recently. I've never had the top cap off/looked down the steerer yet. The original fork/cap/plug was indeed a compression plug - kind of a one-piece thing where turning the top bolt pushed two little donuts out and into the inside of the steerer. Don't think it has an opening...

    Never seen this one before, or one like it.
    -top cap
    -inner bolt
    -conical cone/wedge on that bolt (almost like those on some older quill stems - not the diagonal cut ones, but the conical cone pulled up by a bolt. Seen them on Cinelli quill stems)

    - then the expander wedge wedges (I think four pieces, with some gaps, that I think/thought were glued/stuck in place).

    - Then the bottom cone/donut piece, which is the one that has fallen inside the steerer and hard to keep still while I screw the bolt back in.

    Seems like I should try and move those wedges pieces, huh? Guessing I can't be the first person to ever do this though. Has to be a fix and maybe even the shop has a tool for it? Or, would they just start by moving those wedges?

    Thanks for the detailed replies! And taking the time to offer them.
    Deda Newton Anatomic bars/40cm
    Pls. PM me if interested, trying clear out parts bin!

  11. #11
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    Since the shop installed it, they should know how to solve your problem. Take it back to them and throw youself on their mercy. Maybe a 6-pack will help their attitude.

  12. #12
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback!

    Never seen this one before, or one like it.
    -top cap
    -inner bolt
    -conical cone/wedge on that bolt (almost like those on some older quill stems - not the diagonal cut ones, but the conical cone pulled up by a bolt. Seen them on Cinelli quill stems)

    - then the expander wedge wedges (I think four pieces, with some gaps, that I think/thought were glued/stuck in place).

    - Then the bottom cone/donut piece, which is the one that has fallen inside the steerer and hard to keep still while I screw the bolt back in.

    Seems like I should try and move those wedges pieces, huh? Guessing I can't be the first person to ever do this though. Has to be a fix and maybe even the shop has a tool for it? Or, would they just start by moving those wedges?

    Thanks for the detailed replies! And taking the time to offer them.
    Probably the FSA compression plug. The second photo is a different plug but it shows the cones..the first is an FSA.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 05-27-12 at 02:21 PM.

  13. #13
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    Still figuring out what in the world this kid has in there. Would be cool if you can post of the parts taken off the fork.

  14. #14
    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    onespeed - YES! That's it. It originally had that FSA compression plug. Fork was replaced, seems to be a new one.

    But...that diagram is what I've been looking for! Thanks!! I've been wanting to use the right words but didn't know all of them! That shows the sleeve and the bottom cone, which I also wasn't positive how to orient. I thought it should be smaller side down, wanted to confirm though.

    As suggest, I went into the shop that installed this fork. Yes, they can sort this out. No, the expansion sleeve is not immovable, just a bit set in place right now.

    Thanks for all the feedback! I appreciate it. About to head into the shop, told me they should be quite this holiday morning. Should be a 10 minute job for someone familiar with all this. Think I could do it myself but just going to let them sort it out AND not drop the cone next time

    Thanks everyone.
    Deda Newton Anatomic bars/40cm
    Pls. PM me if interested, trying clear out parts bin!

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