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Old 03-11-14, 09:15 PM   #1
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Man I hate this!!! Black lightening fork.......

I'll try not to start anymore threads about this bike, but this is about a specific problem. The stem and fork are one. I inverted the frame and plugged the hole for the stem bolt and filled the entire fork tube with PB Blaster. Waited 24 hrs and twisted the stem as hard as I dared. I had a 2x4 in the fork legs as close to the top of the fork as possible. I am afraid that I'll distort or even destroy the fork. Is this fork anything special because its on a black lightening? I definitely do not want to damage the frame either. It makes me sick..........
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Old 03-11-14, 09:27 PM   #2
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Did you try Sheldon Brown's ammonia trick? He uses it for stuck seat posts, but it should work for stems:
14 Ways to Unstick a Seatpost

See #8
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Old 03-11-14, 09:36 PM   #3
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You need to break the corrosion between the stem and steered tube. Many had been successful using "Freeze-Off". Do a search and you can find out how to best use it. A couple of years ago, I was able to release a really badly stuck stem on one of my bikes by using Freeze-Off. Discovered the stuff after using all sorts of other penetrants, including PB Blaster for about a month of soaking, and careful twisting and pounding without success, till I used the Freeze-Off...and the stem came off only ten minutes after I used it!
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Old 03-11-14, 09:46 PM   #4
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You need to break the corrosion between the stem and steered tube. Many had been successful using "Freeze-Off". Do a search and you can find out how to best use it. A couple of years ago, I was able to release a really badly stuck stem on one of my bikes by using Freeze-Off. Discovered the stuff after using all sorts of other penetrants, including PB Blaster for about a month of soaking, and careful twisting and pounding without success, till I used the Freeze-Off...and the stem came off only ten minutes after I used it!
+1 on products like this. In our shop, we use a product called Chill Zone from Finish Line that's similar, and we've had very good luck freeing parts that are joined by galvanic corrosion.
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Old 03-11-14, 09:51 PM   #5
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Did you try tapping the stem down?

I have tried all the above chemicals and solvents on a seatpost, ended up cutting it out with a sawzall.
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Old 03-12-14, 04:19 AM   #6
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I use this to hold the steer tubes, a 1" Tube holding block, I get mine from Paragon Machine. DO NOT USE A 2X4 WEDGED BETWEEN THE BLADES.
www.paragonmachineworks.com - FT4008TubeBlock1Bore134x2


The last Stuck stem I removed, I used heat. I held the steer tube with the blocks held in a vise. Then applied heat with a small propane torch to the stem only, then shocked it with cold water. I did that a few times, then let it cool. Came right out.

Note: I did cut the stem enough to be able to remove the fork from the frame.

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Old 03-12-14, 05:25 AM   #7
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Thumpic, Patience! A leather mallet can shock a stem or seat post loose, just no John Henry power levels.

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Old 03-12-14, 05:39 AM   #8
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Also, make sure you have the bottom wedge out of the stem body. Loosen the bolt, then strike it HARD with a steel hammer and punch. Some of the stems with the circular wedge (e.g. Modolo) can get stuck up in there...
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Old 03-12-14, 05:45 AM   #9
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snip... Is this fork anything special because its on a black lightening? I definitely do not want to damage the frame either. It makes me sick..........
As far as I can tell by looking on Vintage Cannondale's website for the catalogs, it is a Tange Cro-Mo fork, same listing in every Road (SR) bicycle's spec list. Still wouldn't want to mess it up. Maybe the good doctor's advice or one of the others above will solve the problem. Best of luck.

Bill
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Old 03-12-14, 05:49 AM   #10
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The fork was just regular Cannondale spec fork just black w/ gold decals.
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Old 03-12-14, 06:27 AM   #11
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I had luck with my paconi with sodium hydroxide. Tried all mechanical methods including freezing as people have suggested. This is a LAST RESORT METHOD that is 100% certain to work. only use if you are understanding of the dangers of strong chemicals. Use it last. Oh and i love riding the paconi to this day. 531C with perfect geo for my build and shimano 600.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:11 AM   #12
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I had luck with my paconi with sodium hydroxide. Tried all mechanical methods including freezing as people have suggested. This is a LAST RESORT METHOD that is 100% certain to work. only use if you are understanding of the dangers of strong chemicals. Use it last. Oh and i love riding the paconi to this day. 531C with perfect geo for my build and shimano 600.
Except for that aluminum headtube and entire frame....
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Old 03-12-14, 07:58 AM   #13
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I have an alloy MODOLO stem thats been stuck in my 1989 Cannondale head tube since I bought it. I've tried everything to get it out. It was placed in almost all the way, and if I could just move it up about and inch and a half it would be perfect.

BTW...a MODOLO stem is also on a 1988 Centurion Ironman Master I bought a couple of years ago. Same thing, but this is one is black, not just the exposed alloy like on the Cannondale.

Is this a MODOLO issue?????????
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Old 03-12-14, 08:00 AM   #14
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Here's the one on the Centurion...
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File Type: jpg DSC00708.jpg (93.5 KB, 147 views)
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Old 03-12-14, 08:07 AM   #15
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Thumpic...where are you? Tampa-ish?

If so I'll get the stem out for you.
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Old 03-12-14, 08:48 AM   #16
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Thumpic...where are you? Tampa-ish?

If so I'll get the stem out for you.
A man who likes a challenge! And a generous and kind offer MiamiJim.
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Old 03-12-14, 08:57 AM   #17
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Have you tried a can opener? Just teasing. And for what its worth, I've had good results using Kroil, patience, and a bit of force.
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Old 03-12-14, 10:32 AM   #18
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Here's the one on the Centurion...


No, Modolo stems have a different reputation. That's a 'death stem' that you have on the Centurion.
The Professional and Ex-tenos (sp?) had the bad habit of snapping from cracks around the binder bolt. There was a recall on these models back in the 80s.
The lesser models weren't recalled!

The fact both of yours are stuck is probably a coincidence. A lot of alloy stem/steel steerer seizure issues in old bikes were caused by lack of grease during installation.
Those in damp climates have a higher occurrence.
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Old 03-12-14, 10:47 AM   #19
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A man who likes a challenge! And a generous and kind offer MiamiJim.
That pretty much sums him up
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Old 03-12-14, 10:53 AM   #20
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I use to hate Bianchi Celeste. Then I woke up and started looking for a frame when the Moto died. Found one I was willing to purchase. Noticed the dents in the inside front and back of the fork blades. Must have had a stuck stem!
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Old 03-12-14, 10:59 AM   #21
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No, Modolo stems have a different reputation. That's a 'death stem' that you have on the Centurion.
The Professional and Ex-tenos (sp?) had the bad habit of snapping from cracks around the binder bolt. There was a recall on these models back in the 80s.
The lesser models weren't recalled!

The fact both of yours are stuck is probably a coincidence. A lot of alloy stem/steel steerer seizure issues in old bikes were caused by lack of grease during installation.
Those in damp climates have a higher occurrence.
Actually, it was different model than the ones I have (see photo). It's a different model number altogether, and had a "flat", rough finish.
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Old 03-12-14, 11:21 AM   #22
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Actually, it was different model than the ones I have (see photo). It's a different model number altogether, and had a "flat", rough finish.
I had the same or very similar gloss model you have on the Centurion. IIRC, it's the Pro model. I was simply reiterating what has been circulating on the 'net on the recall.
The Professional was on the list of recalled models.

I was stressing how could they have left off the less expensive models, based on finish? As you have shown, even the matte bead blasted finish model cracked.
I had a new old stock silver rough finish model. I think it was called 'Speedy'. I never dared to use it on a build.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:02 AM   #23
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Except for that aluminum headtube and entire frame....
method i used involves cutting the stem and pulling the fork. but spot on all aluminium is on the menu.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:19 AM   #24
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Did you try Sheldon Brown's ammonia trick? He uses it for stuck seat posts, but it should work for stems:
14 Ways to Unstick a Seatpost

See #8
I tried that with a stuck stem wedge and it DID work. It soaked for fully a week, but in the end- it loosened the wedge enough that with a little jockeying, I was able to screw in an extra long stem bolt, and gently tap it out of the steerer without damaging the fork.

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Old 03-14-14, 08:43 AM   #25
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I have a Nishiki that had a nice SR stem stuck in the fork, I had to cut the stem to remove the fork from the frame. I then got a tall glass jar and filled it with Oxalic acid and put the stem & fork upside down in it, it took 2 1/2 weeks with me pouring OA down the steerer tube every other day before I was able to break it loose.

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