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Old 01-05-14, 08:04 PM   #1
RookDroid
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Cleaning Rust from Threaded Steel Steerer Tube

Hi,

I have carbon fork with a threaded steel steerer tube that has rusted a lot inside the steerer tube where the stem goes in (previously had a seized stem inside) and outside on the threads a bit. What's the best way to clean off the rust inside and outside of the steerer tube? Also how can I prevent the stem from getting seized again? Should I purchase a new threaded stem or can I just clean it somehow? Thanks.
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Old 01-05-14, 08:25 PM   #2
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flex-hone, grease, store bike out of rain
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Old 01-05-14, 08:38 PM   #3
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I didn't think that carbon forks have existed long enough to have a stem seized in one...

Flex hone is a good idea for the inside. If you don't have one a little patience with a file and/or rolled up sandpaper will do the trick. For the outside hit it with some steel wool. I would just get the loose stuff off and then then grease it up really well for the rest of its life.

In addition to rain try not to sweat all over it.
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Old 01-05-14, 09:08 PM   #4
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No need to actually remove the rust. Simply pull an oil dampened strip of cloth through to clean off loose rust and leave a protective film. If you're finicky, push a steel wool pad, or piece of Scotchbrite in and push it back and forth with a stick, to polish out the rust, then followup with oil.

Flex hone $20.00 or more ---- SOS (or Brillo) pad and a stick under $1.00, and probably already handy.

For the future, find a neoprene O-ring, and fit it around the stem, and push down to the top of the headset to keep sweat out of the tube. Sometimes, there's room to trap the O-ring at inside top of the locknut. Greased up well, it's stays hidden while keeping water out, making for a more elegant job.
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Old 01-05-14, 09:31 PM   #5
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poor mans flex hone - split end of wood dowel and insert emory cloth, chuck into drill.
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Old 01-05-14, 09:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
poor mans flex hone - split end of wood dowel and insert emory cloth, chuck into drill.
This is a very handy home made tool. I prefer to use brass rod rather than wooded dowel. Either way, wind the emery strip and insert the tool into the tube before powering up. Stop before withdrawing. Spinning it unsupported creates the risk of it snapping and flying across the room (or toward you).
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Old 01-05-14, 09:58 PM   #7
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And as a second to the idea of not using a flex hone, most you will find will probably to large a ball media which will not be conducive to getting into the threads. Steel wool is a much better idea. And very little at that. Consider it a cleaning and then lubricate. And anti-seize compound might be a good idea too unless there is great opposition from the bike folks here. And I think the o-ring idea is a good one too.
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Old 01-06-14, 03:02 PM   #8
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Use a wire brush on the threads, steel wool, scotch brite, emery on a stick, etc, for the inside. No need to polish or hone the inside.
To prevent it from seizing again, apply waterproof grease to the inside of the tube with your finger, and grease on the stem. this will prevent further corrosion, and keep the stem from getting stuck.
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