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  1. #1
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    Viscount sealed bottom bracket replacement?

    I recently bought a '70's Viscount made by Trusty. The BB was kinda crunchy. I hammered out the spindle and bearings. Now what? What are my options? Looking to make it a single speed if that makes a difference. One problem I notice is the seat and down tubes extend well into BB shell.

    I need help!

  2. #2
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    With these bike's original bb spindles being prone to breaking at the circlip grooves, there are rather few inexpensive options for locating a replacement spindle. The cartridge bearings can be had for about $20/pr.

    I used one of these bikes as a winter trainer for perhaps 3000 miles or so, and suffered no failure, but I never found an easy enough solution toward getting a stronger (and shorter) bb spindle installed, so left it as is (and for the most part stopped using it) since the bearings are still smooth.

    I can't complain though, since I payed $18.75 for the bike in 1999 at our local Salvation Army store. I upgraded to 7sp freewheel, STI levers and long-reach dual-pivot calipers.

  3. #3
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    I reamed the shell and tapped it with Italian thread and installed a standard threaded bottom bracket. Might not be cost-effective unless you already have the tools. Otherwise, use a dremel to grind the tubes so they end flush with the inside of the shell and use a threadless cartridge.

  4. #4
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    Not so many options available when I did mine. I used a Phil Wood press fit, can't remember the specifics. It wasn't difficult to come up with the right one though. The actual bearings for the original are available at any bearing house, I didn't want to use the original spindle, fearing breakage.

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  5. #5
    On Your Right cb400bill's Avatar
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    Sheldon has a link on his website to this replacement option. YMMV

    bikecult.com > bikeworks NYC > parts


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    Easiest solution would be to pick up some new cartridge bearings (which are standard size and can be had for small money) and use the existing spindle, but flip it around if you're going to be running a single chainring. Otherwise, I've done this job using an ActionTec BB spindle, which I picked up for cheap on eBay. They're quite expensive normally, probably in the range of a Phil Wood BB spindle, but they're obscure enough that they can fly under the radar on eBay or CL.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    I have a few straight spindles that I think will fit in the stock bearings. Klein, et al used a similar spindle/bearing combo so there are some loose spindles still floating around. PM me if you want to pursue something like this.

    If the original spindle is OK you could just press it back in with new bearings. They sometimes break but if it's still intact maybe yours is OK. Some of the spindles had non-tapered seats and if you have one of those you will probably need to re-use the original crank arms if you use the old spindle.

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    To keep it simple I may just keep the spindle and replace bearings. I see a couple Phil Wood BBs but that would require some removal of tubing ends from BB shell.

    Thanks for the ideas.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hudson308's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
    To keep it simple I may just keep the spindle and replace bearings. I see a couple Phil Wood BBs but that would require some removal of tubing ends from BB shell.
    That should work fine for a single speed, but fixies put additional torsional stress on the spindle. Having it magnafluxed at a cylinder head shop could give you a little peace of mind regarding its' history. You should be able to cross-reference pilot bearing number 6003-2RS at NAPA. That part number is sealed inside and out.
    Last edited by Hudson308; 12-17-14 at 08:20 PM. Reason: spelling
    "I'd rather have what I don't need than need what I don't have." -Fred Sanford

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    Mavic I think makes a repair BB for mis-treaded BBs--this might work as they slip in and secure with a lock ring.

  11. #11
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
    To keep it simple I may just keep the spindle and replace bearings. I see a couple Phil Wood BBs but that would require some removal of tubing ends from BB shell.

    Thanks for the ideas.
    6006 bearings IIRC, same size as a Phil's BB.
    I kept the original spindle on mine.

    Top
    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by top506 View Post
    6006 bearings IIRC, same size as a Phil's BB.
    No, Phil's bearings seat in a separate cartridge while the Viscount bearings are pressed directly into the shell and thus have a wider OD. Looks like "6003PU" to me:

    Last edited by JohnDThompson; 12-18-14 at 12:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frameteam2003 View Post
    Mavic I think makes a repair BB for mis-treaded BBs--this might work as they slip in and secure with a lock ring.
    Only as JohnDThompson mentioned that one grinds out the tube extensions inside the bottom bracket shell. His comments read like the best solution to me other than sourcing new matching bearings. Even with those, a suitable arbor press and fittings to contact the bearings correctly and do that with the spindle in place…at least for the second bearing is not impossible but any solution will be some work.

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    The bearing that I took out reads 6003DU. The spindle has no tapers on the ends. Didn't know this was such an oddball bike. I'll keep an eye out for a Mavic, but replacing bearings and reassembling with original spindle is looking like what I will do for now.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Hudson308's Avatar
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    The pilot bearing part number (6003-2RS) I gave above should be the right one. I verified the 17mm bearing shell ID with a spare Viscount spindle. The 10mm bearing width sounds right, and I can verify the 35mm bearing shell OD later this evening unless one of you guys can measure the BB shell ID on one of your frames.
    "I'd rather have what I don't need than need what I don't have." -Fred Sanford

  16. #16
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
    The bearing that I took out reads 6003DU. The spindle has no tapers on the ends. Didn't know this was such an oddball bike. I'll keep an eye out for a Mavic...
    The Mavic is actually somewhat problematic, as it required the shell to be chamfered with a special (expensive, long out of production) tool. Before you buy the Mavic unit, make sure you have access to that tool. But all is not lost, as there are several other threadless options possible, the easiest probably being the Velo-Orange cartridge:



    Grand Cru Threadless Bottom Bracket - Bottom Brackets - Components

    replacing bearings and reassembling with original spindle is looking like what I will do for now.
    Be aware that if yours is one of the untapered spindles, it will only work with the Viscount crank, and the Viscount crank will not work with a standard, tapered spindle like the Velo-Orange above. If you have any intention of replacing the crank, you'll need to replace the Viscount spindle as well.
    Last edited by JohnDThompson; 12-18-14 at 12:19 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member SvenMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
    To keep it simple I may just keep the spindle and replace bearings.
    Easy job. I sourced the bearings (6003-2RS) for a few dollars on Amazon. After a thorough cleaning of the axle and BB shell I cold blued the bare metal. Placed the bearings in the freezer, warmed the BB shell with a hair dryer, and applied a little Loctite red. Easy assembly.

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  18. #18
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    @SvenMN, clevah!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SvenMN View Post
    Easy job. I sourced the bearings (6003-2RS) for a few dollars on Amazon. After a thorough cleaning of the axle and BB shell I cold blued the bare metal. Placed the bearings in the freezer, warmed the BB shell with a hair dryer, and applied a little Loctite red. Easy assembly.
    Certainly not much of a press fit.

    The bearings have to load from the outside of either side, correct?
    The spindles I have seen use a circlip to position the axle inboard of each bearing.

  20. #20
    Senior Member SvenMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    The bearings have to load from the outside of either side, correct?
    Correct.

    Been a year or so since I did it, but I seem to remember that there were only circlips outboard of each inner race. Wish I would have taken a picture of the axle.
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  21. #21
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    No, Phil's bearings seat in a separate cartridge while the Viscount bearings are pressed directly into the shell and thus have a wider OD. Looks like "6003PU" to me:

    I concede that the Viscount bearings are indeed 6003. In fact, I have a pair on my desk now. Don't know what I was thinking at 5AM.....
    My Vitus came with that Mavic BB. Threw me for a loop the first time I pulled it.

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    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    I reamed the shell and tapped it with Italian thread and installed a standard threaded bottom bracket. Might not be cost-effective unless you already have the tools. Otherwise, use a dremel to grind the tubes so they end flush with the inside of the shell and use a threadless cartridge.
    Fred Delong did a detailed technical article on this topic in Bicycling! Magazine back in the 1970's. He stated that the shell wall thickness was not really adequate to ream and tap out to Italian. He felt that the remaining wall thickness was inadequate from a strength/safety standpont. I do not recall the exact year this article appeared. iirc he was only concerned with the lugless Lamberts/Viscounts. They also made bicycles with conventional lugged shells.

  23. #23
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juvela View Post
    Fred Delong did a detailed technical article on this topic in Bicycling! Magazine back in the 1970's. He stated that the shell wall thickness was not really adequate to ream and tap out to Italian. He felt that the remaining wall thickness was inadequate from a strength/safety standpont. I do not recall the exact year this article appeared. iirc he was only concerned with the lugless Lamberts/Viscounts. They also made bicycles with conventional lugged shells.
    FWIW, my Italian thread lugless Visccount has held up fine for years now.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    FWIW, my Italian thread lugless Visccount has held up fine for years now.
    great to hear

    i would never argue with you on a tech matter as you are orders of magnitude beyond me ken there.

    just wanted to relate what Professor Delong had to say.

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    Did you get this project done? The freezer and hair dryer trick is, yes, clever and effective, kudos to SvenMN, and when both are at ambient temperature should give a very secure fit; similar techniques are used to place much bigger bearings into precision CNC machines. Red locktite seems a bit overkill, I'm about to do the same replacement and will not be using any adhesive. I will use a small / medium bearing puller to get both sides into the BB, with a 5/8" washer to distribute force to both bearing races. I also won't use the circlips. If the spindle shifts in the bearings, I'll re-mount using just a trace of blue vibra tite on the bearing IDs. It should be good for 20+ years or until the spindle cracks.

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