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Campy Ultra Torque crank issue - binding when torqued to spec?

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Campy Ultra Torque crank issue - binding when torqued to spec?

Old 05-17-15, 12:10 PM
  #1  
AndyK
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Campy Ultra Torque crank issue - binding when torqued to spec?

Hey-

I've installed and un-installed Campy Ultra Torque cranks several times with no issues. Today, when I changed bike frames back to my De Rosa Planet, I installed the cranks, and they are fine - until I tighten the bolt that connects the cranks together. When tightened, the cranks are harder to turn - not frozen tight, just resistance that normally isn't there.

I installed the wavey washer, per instructions, yet the cranks are not spinning freely.

What could be the problem this time around?

Last edited by AndyK; 05-18-15 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 05-17-15, 03:12 PM
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As a guess I expect the bottom bracket shell's faces are not adequately parallel. If it's never been done, have them faced.
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Old 05-17-15, 03:14 PM
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Strange that it was working fine in the winter when I was last using the bike?
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Old 05-17-15, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
Strange that it was working fine in the winter when I was last using the bike?
OK, it wasn't clear from your OP that the crank had been on this frame in the past. If the cranks turn reasonably smoothly without binding at any point in the rotation they are probably alright.
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Old 05-17-15, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
OK, it wasn't clear from your OP that the crank had been on this frame in the past. If the cranks turn reasonably smoothly without binding at any point in the rotation they are probably alright.
They are smooth. Just feels like the bearings are being loaded too hard, like when you over-tighten the headset/stem.

Last edited by AndyK; 05-18-15 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:14 AM
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Maybe I should remove the wave washer, and re-install the cranks. If the cranks don't bind when the bolt is tightendd, that would mean the wave washer is too thick, right?
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Old 05-18-15, 07:28 AM
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The wavy washer is a spring, designed to apply a specific axial preload to the bearings. It has a working spring range and the spring force is within an acceptable range until it's pressed flat, at which time all bets are off. By analogy, imagine what happen when a coil spring is compressed until the coils touch.

So the first step is to see whether it's still wavy o has been pressed flat and the preload is coming from the bolt. If so, two things are happening, 1- the bearing will be overloaded, and 2- odds are that the connection in the spindle isn't truly tight.

The remedy is to reduce the spacing. for example you might have transferred the cranks from a 68mm to a 79mm BB shel and forgotten to remove 2mm of spacing.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:40 AM
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I transferred the cranks to another frame, but left the Italian Campy cups in the De Rosa as they were. When I went back to the De Rosa, I just installed the cranks as they were before.

Not sure why they would be binding now. The BB shell didn't expand while the frame sat in the garage. Strange.
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Old 05-18-15, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
I transferred the cranks to another frame, but left the Italian Campy cups in the De Rosa as they were. When I went back to the De Rosa, I just installed the cranks as they were before.

Not sure why they would be binding now. The BB shell didn't expand while the frame sat in the garage. Strange.
The only thing I am wondering about is whether the spring retaining clip is properly installed on the drive side. Its purpose is to ensure that the drive side bearing is held in its proper place in the cup. If it is not, the drive side bearing can move outward and place more preload on the non drive side bearing

Last edited by alcjphil; 05-18-15 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-18-15, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
The only thing I am wondering about is whether the spring retailing clip is properly installed on the drive side. Its purpose is to ensure that the drive side bearing is held in its proper place in the cup. If it is not, the drive side bearing can move outward and place more preload on the non drive side bearing
Good point! I didn't install the spring clip, thinking it was only for keeping the crank from falling off during installation, repairs or maintenance. Those two tiny pins hold the bearing from being over tightened?? Most of the opinions I've read say they don't do anything but help with installation.

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Old 05-18-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
Good point! I didn't install the spring clip, thinking it was only for keeping the crank from falling off during repairs or maintenance. Those two tiny pins hold the bearing from being over tightened??
No, the pins do not allow the drive side bearing to move outward, it has to be all the way in the cup. If it isn't the bearings on the non drive side will bind
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Old 05-18-15, 09:23 AM
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I'll put the clip in tonight and give it another shot, thanks! Worth a try!
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Old 05-18-15, 09:28 AM
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Once the clip is in place, make sure the drive side bearings are completely seated in the cup.If they aren't the pins will not be able to go all the way into place
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Old 05-18-15, 09:36 AM
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Cool, will do!
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Old 05-18-15, 06:06 PM
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Update: I installed the safety clip, then tightened the bolt - and get the same hard to turn cranks. So, I removed the wavey washer, and installed the cranks. Tightened the bolt. Totally locked up - doesn't move.

What does this mean?? I'm confused!
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Old 05-18-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
Update: I installed the safety clip, then tightened the bolt - and get the same hard to turn cranks. So, I removed the wavey washer, and installed the cranks. Tightened the bolt. Totally locked up - doesn't move.

What does this mean?? I'm confused!
The function of the clip is to retain the drive side bearing in place. First step is to push the drive side crank into place, making sure that the bearing is as far into the cup as it will go. Then the clip is installed, making sure that the little pins go all the way into place. After that, you install the other crank. If the drive side crank bearing isn't fully seated, the crank will bind. You cannot install the retaining clip until the drive side crank is in place. It can be a finicky job to install the clip because the crank is in the way, I have always wondered why Campagnolo didn't reverse things and have the retaining clip on the other side, it would have made installation much easier
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Old 05-18-15, 06:18 PM
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I installed the drive side crank first, seated it properly, then popped the clip into the holes. Drive side crank turned fine. i would think without the wave washer there would be plenty of play?
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Old 05-18-15, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
I installed the drive side crank first, seated it properly, then popped the clip into the holes. Drive side crank turned fine. i would think without the wave washer there would be plenty of play?
So would I. I have installed dozens of Ultra torque cranks and have never seen this problem. Frankly, I am stumped, I would have thought that not using the wavy washer would make things better, not worse
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Old 05-18-15, 06:37 PM
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There is a very high percentage of cyclists in the Montreal area who ride Campagnolo equipped bikes. This is due in part to the excellent support we get from the biggest Canadian distributor for Campy, Cycles Marinoni, located just outside the city. If you cannot get good advice in your area, I suggest that you contact them, they are great people and wonderful to deal with. Most of the staff there are trilingual, Italian, French and English
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Old 05-18-15, 06:49 PM
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I am an IDIOT!! I transferred the cranks from the Trek Madone 5.2, on which I installed the Campy cup adapters, the wave washer on the non-drive side, and the extra flat washer on the drive side. After taking the drive side crank off to see what the heck could be the problem - I noticed the extra flat washer was STILL there, under all the grease! Duh!! Remove extra flat washer, and the cranks go on perfectly!!

Sorry for sounding the alarm - when I should have made sure all the Trek adapter parts were off!!

Where is that Picard face palm GIF!?
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Old 05-18-15, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
I am an IDIOT!! I transferred the cranks from the Trek Madone 5.2, on which I installed the Campy cup adapters, the wave washer on the non-drive side, and the extra flat washer on the drive side. After taking the drive side crank off to see what the heck could be the problem - I noticed the extra flat washer was STILL there, under all the grease! Duh!! Remove extra flat washer, and the cranks go on perfectly!!

Sorry for sounding the alarm - when I should have made sure all the Trek adapter parts were off!!

Where is that Picard face palm GIF!?
Takes a BIG man to admit a mistake. Really glad things are working out
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Old 05-18-15, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
Update: I installed the safety clip, then tightened the bolt - and get the same hard to turn cranks. So, I removed the wavey washer, and installed the cranks. Tightened the bolt. Totally locked up - doesn't move.

What does this mean?? I'm confused!
Something doesn't add up, in the literal sense.

These cranks don't have any adjustment for preload, they depend on spacing to add up to within 1mm or so, with the wavy washer taking up the difference. Not seeing your carnks I can't tell you exactly where you're going wrong, but you can try measuring.

Assemble the cranks outside the BB, and improvise a gauge, like an ice cream stick, marking the position of the bearing shoulders. Now slide your marked gauge into the BB and it should extend beyond by the amount of the spacers and washers, less a bit to allow compression for the wavy washer. (if you don't measure with the wavy washer then you need to allow for about 1/2 it's width now.

Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
I am an IDIOT!! I transferred the cranks from the Trek Madone 5.2, on which I installed the Campy cup adapters, the wave washer on the non-drive side, and the extra flat washer on the drive side. After taking the drive side crank off to see what the heck could be the problem - I noticed the extra flat washer was STILL there, under all the grease! Duh!! Remove extra flat washer, and the cranks go on perfectly!!

Sorry for sounding the alarm - when I should have made sure all the Trek adapter parts were off!!
See the last line of post No.7 above.
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Old 05-18-15, 06:59 PM
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Thanks again!
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