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  1. #1
    It's a moral imperative TheSlav's Avatar
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    Retro Raleigh Crank Removal

    I recently found what I believe to be a 1976 Raleigh Sprite at my town dump. I'm beginning to strip it down and prepare to restore it but I'm having some issues removing the cranks. I'm not that familiar with Raleigh's in general. They look like 3-piece and each arm has a pinch bolt, I loosened/removed the nut from each pinch bolt but everything still seems pretty locked tight. There is some rust build up and I'm worried things might be fused up.

    I've tried some brute force to no avail and I figured I would see if anyone has any tricks to getting these types of cranks off before I really go to town with a mallet. Am I missing something? or do I just need to look into solvents and more force?

    I can post pictures later if needed.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSlav
    They look like 3-piece and each arm has a pinch bolt, I loosened/removed the nut from each pinch bolt but everything still seems pretty locked tight.
    That pinch bolt is a cotter - goes all the way through the crankarm. Requires a special press to remove - Mark Stonich makes one:

    http://bikesmithdesign.com/CotterPress/index.html

    Some may say you don't need the cotter press tool, and you can just as well slam the cotters with a hammer to remove them. Bad idea. I've only had two cases in where that worked, and ten that have failed, in where the hammer method resulted in a royally damaged pin, and in one case where damage was sustained to the crankarm and painted surfaces.

    Furthermore, the press is much more effective for installing and fitting cotters to the cranks then hammering. The press will seat them in nice and tight, while the hammer method will require some further hammering and retightning within the first 10 miles or so.

    -Kurt

  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I second the Mark made press! I have used the hammer method in the past as well as a modified screw press.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  4. #4
    Dr.Deltron
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    A note on the hammer removal method, unscrew the nut about 2 turns and then hit the nut with the hammer! Usually helps save the cotter pin threads.
    This of course being after you spray the area with WD-40 and let it sit overnight.

  5. #5
    It's a moral imperative TheSlav's Avatar
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    Ah yes a cotter...hence the term cotterless crank. wow im an idiot haha. well at least i got asking the dumb question out of the way.

    before I spend $50 on a tool that I probably wont use that often I will probably try and rig something myself...probably along the lines of a modified screw press....wahoo did you make your press yourself? if so, howd you do it?

    thanks for all the tips btw, i'll get this bike refurb thing figured out one of these days

  6. #6
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSlav
    before I spend $50 on a tool that I probably wont use that often I will probably try and rig something myself...probably along the lines of a modified screw press....wahoo did you make your press yourself? if so, howd you do it?
    You might want to try one of Discount Auto's $11 windshield wiper pin extracters. Chances are the tool will break before the cotter comes loose though - then you can add $11 to your expense.

    Rule of thumb? Buy the quality tool if you need it, regardless of price.

    -Kurt

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I used a c-clamp and brazed several nuts on one end to give it a hollow place for the cotter to slide into

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  8. #8
    Senior Member divineAndbright's Avatar
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    Im sure the hammer method will be fine, best bet to keep the nut on it just loosened a bit as mentioned above to save the threads, not to mention possibly saving the pin from bending, though you say its rusty around there maybe you'll wanna get some new cotter pins anyways?

  9. #9
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divineAndbright
    Im sure the hammer method will be fine, best bet to keep the nut on it just loosened a bit as mentioned above to save the threads, not to mention possibly saving the pin from bending,
    Leaving the nut on the cotter does not help if the cotter refuses to budge, and more often then not, the pin will bend regardless.

    -Kurt

  10. #10
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    I hope you guys advise Mr.Slav on the joys of the Huellet(sp) Allvit RD.

    The cotter pins I removed with a large C-clamp,with a socket over the exit end of the cotter.I did use a small propane to heat the crank arm well away from the shaft +bearings.The threads on the cotter I destroyed,but save the cotter so the LBS can give you the correct replacement size.I also used the C-clamp in reverse to install the cotter pin.Thumping or beating on a known vintage bike is frowned on in this particular forum.I also am too cheap to buy the proper tool for one time.

  11. #11
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry
    The cotter pins I removed with a large C-clamp,with a socket over the exit end of the cotter.I did use a small propane to heat the crank arm well away from the shaft +bearings.The threads on the cotter I destroyed,but save the cotter so the LBS can give you the correct replacement size.I also used the C-clamp in reverse to install the cotter pin.Thumping or beating on a known vintage bike is frowned on in this particular forum.I also am too cheap to buy the proper tool for one time.
    The C-clamp + socket setup is an excellent alternative to the press, but I don't see any reason to heat the crank arm. The press usually does the job - and if it does not, the press isn't sufficent.

    -Kurt

  12. #12
    It's a moral imperative TheSlav's Avatar
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    thanks for all the ideas guys. i gave the c-clamp / socket method a go last night. didnt have enough time to really get into it but i think it will work for me. it is defenitely going to ruin the threads on the cotter though I think, but thats okay because i think i will be swapping the cranks out anyway and possibly even the bottom bracket...its fairly rusted out.

    I have read that some raleighs had a wierd non-standard threading for some of their bottom brackets. can anyone speak to this? havent read which models this effects though....hopefully not a '76 Raleigh Dump Sprite (hope you dont mind i used that chuckk, I think this ride may be coined the Dump Sprite when im done with it haha)

  13. #13
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSlav
    thanks for all the ideas guys. i gave the c-clamp / socket method a go last night. didnt have enough time to really get into it but i think it will work for me. it is defenitely going to ruin the threads on the cotter though I think, but thats okay because i think i will be swapping the cranks out anyway and possibly even the bottom bracket...its fairly rusted out.

    I have read that some raleighs had a wierd non-standard threading for some of their bottom brackets. can anyone speak to this? havent read which models this effects though....hopefully not a '76 Raleigh Dump Sprite (hope you dont mind i used that chuckk, I think this ride may be coined the Dump Sprite when im done with it haha)
    I always replace cotters when removing them, damaged or not, if they haven't been already replaced recently - the only exception being Raleigh "R" cotters. Doing otherwise is simply being cheap, if the ultimate effect does not hamper from the original design.

    Your Sprite will have the Raleigh 26tpi BB threading. Just clean and re-use the original cups, and if one is pitted, the fellows here on the forum will probably have one sitting around for you (I know one LBS in town has about 3 or four spares on hand)

    Take care,

    -Kurt

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSlav
    thanks for all the ideas guys. i gave the c-clamp / socket method a go last night. didnt have enough time to really get into it but i think it will work for me. it is defenitely going to ruin the threads on the cotter though I think, but thats okay because i think i will be swapping the cranks out anyway and possibly even the bottom bracket...its fairly rusted out.

    I have read that some raleighs had a wierd non-standard threading for some of their bottom brackets. can anyone speak to this? havent read which models this effects though....hopefully not a '76 Raleigh Dump Sprite (hope you dont mind i used that chuckk, I think this ride may be coined the Dump Sprite when im done with it haha)
    Yup you will have fun with the threading to the best of my knowledge they are the Whitworth? threading
    Read Sheldon Brown's treatise on them, about 1/2 way down the page. Phil Wood and Mavic make cups that will fit.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  15. #15
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    Slav,
    Try and save those nice Raleigh nuts with the logo on top.You may have to re-tap the thread on them,they are also English thread.The cotters at my LBS were American threads.
    We will talk later on the gear system.I did find the Sprite one of the most comfortable short touring bikes.
    Pretty good group in here for advise eh?,although I may rate my skill at the lower 10%

  16. #16
    Who cares, just ride it!
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    I second the "leaving the nut on the cotter" removal method. Once the cotter actually starts to move though, I take the nut off and use a hammer and a punch with a concave bottom (sits nicely over the cotter ) and give it one hard whack. Success rate - around 8/10...

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