Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Stripped Stem Threads Problem

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Stripped Stem Threads Problem

Reply

Old 10-11-15, 08:50 AM
  #1  
Arsenul
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Stripped Stem Threads Problem

So I have this Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike that I got a long time ago. Lots of changes and stuff, but the stem fork combo is still there. It's a fork that's headset is connected to the stem with a weld. There's a plate that goes over the handlebars and connects to the stem, fastened by two bolts above and below the stem. The bottom bolt isn't stripped but the hole it goes into is. Is there any good fix's for this? I could go out and get a tap kit and re-thread the hole, but I don't know what that'll do to it. I could also get a wing nut to put inside the stem to hold a bolt in place. But before I try any of those things, I'd like to know your thoughts. The type of stem is called a quill stem I believe.
Arsenul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:03 AM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,180

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1602 Post(s)
Photo? Never saw a fork where the headset was welded to the stem

Really now- the stem's pinch bolt hole might be drilled and tapped one size larger (and the plate hole also oversized as needed) but how much stem material exists around the bolt hole is a concern. The existing bolt could possibly be LocTited in place. The hole could be repaired with a threaded insert (Helicoil). A through bolt and nut might also be used depending on the stem's design.

But none of these methods can be suggested over another via blind long distance. So back to the beginning. Photo? Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:03 AM
  #3  
wschruba 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,500
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 443 Post(s)
You should post up a picture, but my advice will probably be the same. Your teeth are way more expensive than a new stem.
wschruba is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:09 AM
  #4  
Arsenul
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's the bottom one that's stripped. Also I already have to replace my teeth with dentures from a student who hit me with their car.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_1777.jpg (100.1 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_1778.jpg (107.0 KB, 51 views)
Arsenul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:20 AM
  #5  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 3,325

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1104 Post(s)
Drill oversized hole and retap.
Or, best is.... pull that stem out and buy a new one.
trailangel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:24 AM
  #6  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,180

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1602 Post(s)
Good job, thanks. Yes it's a quill stem. Depending on the area offerings you might find it easier to just replace the stem. A through bolt won't likely be an option as the hole doesn't go all the way through, it is "blind". Oversizing the hole and tapping to a larger bolt size will be tricky because of the lack of much extra material around the hole. Same with using a threaded insert. Both are possible but breaking through to the stem's outside surface would ruin it. Also cracking gets far more likely as the stem's "wall" gets less.

I do wonder about using a thread locker compound. If the hole's threads are not completely augered out, if the bolt does grab thread remains maybe deep in the hole, I would try thread locker compound first. It's reversible and you can go to the next and more destructive step if this doesn't work. Use as long a bolt as you can fit. Follow the thread locker compound instructions. Place the bars in the stem and secure them from moving around while the lower bolt is installed and the compound cures. Only then would I install the upper bolt and only using this bolt tighten the stem cap in place, with the bars where you want them. Do some stress tests (twist, yank, pry) on the bars to confirm all it good and tight.

Good luck. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:48 AM
  #7  
Arsenul
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So a wing nut won't work when put on the other side? The hole goes all the way in so wouldn't putting a bolt in with a wing nut on the other end work?
Arsenul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:53 AM
  #8  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,069

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1081 Post(s)
Stems are relatively inexpensive. Dental work isn't. Less fun too.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 09:58 AM
  #9  
Arsenul
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like I mentioned before, already have to get dentures.
Arsenul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 10:05 AM
  #10  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 38,984

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 156 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6024 Post(s)
toss it.. now the common practice is... a quill to threadless adapter, then put a threadless type stem on .

they have become the most common.. as New Bikes use threadless type forks.






Facial reconstruction surgery is not done as a cosmetic. that is more than a few face plant teeth lost

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-11-15 at 10:09 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 10:14 AM
  #11  
Arsenul
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Everyone here just seems to assume I have money lying around.
Arsenul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 10:27 AM
  #12  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 38,984

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 156 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6024 Post(s)
Got Jobs ?
fietsbob is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 10:27 AM
  #13  
AnkleWork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,162

Bikes: old clunker

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 470 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Arsenul View Post
Like I mentioned before, already have to get dentures.
That changes nothing.


Originally Posted by Arsenul View Post
Everyone here just seems to assume I have money lying around.
Custom titanium frames are cheap, right?
AnkleWork is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 10:51 AM
  #14  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 20,904

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 728 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Arsenul View Post
Everyone here just seems to assume I have money lying around.
Basic stems are pretty cheap. Used off Ebay, or maybe a bike shop has some used, or older cheap stems in the parts box behind the workbench.

If you tried retapping it, I wonder if there's an "English" (non metric) thread that's a bit bigger, but not as big as the next metric size, so less material get's removed. . If the pitch is about the same, maybe it would be good enough.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: http://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-15, 06:25 PM
  #15  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 6,015

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 584 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Arsenul View Post
So a wing nut won't work when put on the other side? The hole goes all the way in so wouldn't putting a bolt in with a wing nut on the other end work?
Regular machine nuts are generally of better quality than wing nuts and would be preferable if it fits. But a new (or used) stem would be my choice. Extra points for a stem with a 4-bolt plate; no single point of failure. Having your bars come off is only funny in the cartoons.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 07:47 AM
  #16  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 19,909

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1496 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Arsenul View Post
Everyone here just seems to assume I have money lying around.
Do you have money for a dentist and/or facial reconstruction surgery?

Seriously, you're going to have to spend some money to make your bike safe to ride. A helicoil might fix the stripped socket, but a new stem wouldn't cost much more.
JohnDThompson is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 08:29 AM
  #17  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,315

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 84 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1389 Post(s)
The idea of drilling an old stem and retapping it scares the **** out of me. I've seen the consequences of an unplanned front end failure on a bike. Cost me years and my profession (and 5 days out in a coma). Compared to that, a brand new Nitto Pearle stem at $80 is cheap. (One of the nicest stems ever made.)

Sounds like you got good use out of that stem. Also sounds like the stem is saying "replace me". I know a lot of you will consider this just dumb superstition, but I feel that there are good bikes that look after us, but we have to play our part and listen. (My first 10 speed never left me stranded in its first 19,000 miles. Chainstay broke. I rode home on it, then had a friend weld it. Two years later I collapsed the fork on a car door. The bike did better than I did. Maybe that first break was a hint I did not hear. A year ago, I rode up the the highest point around and struggled to get my chain tension right after changing the fix gear cog from the 23 to the 13. Nursed the bike slowly down the 2000' of descending (and rode very gently around a corner I love to fly into, slam the brakes and take very fast). Got down to flat ground and felt the front end of the bike start to shudder violently every time I touched the front brake. When I got home I saw that I had 1/4 of the diameter of the fork blade left at the crown on one side and 3/4s on the other side. Good bike! It told me to slow down and I listened, thank G**. (The fork failure was due to the summation of 3 separate decisions, one by me, one by the builder and one by the contractor who nickleplated the fork. (I choose a minimalist fork crown with no scallops. The builder found some light Columbus SL blade tubing and the plater chose not to heat treat the plated fork. Two years later, hydrogen embrittlement had started the cracks in both blades. Now I have heavier painted 531 blades on a heavily scalloped fork.)

You can call my experience just plain luck and that it doesn't apply to you. It's your choice. But the crash you might be looking at might involve more than just teeth. (Front wheel and fork also often buy it in stem failure crashes because the front wheel often gets turned and the bike loads it and the fork sideways. Probably will help you a little by absorbing energy, but on the money front, that wheel and fork will cost more than a stem.

For saving money - old school quill stems are a fairly safe bet to buy used. (Cinelli, TT, Nitto) They rarely break. Don't use an old one forever, especially the Cinellis or TTTs because they could be very old and have a lot of miles and experiences under their belt unless you really know its history, but a couple of years on one would be a far better bet than trying to salvage what you've got. (And by that time, you might be able to justify a new quill like that treat of the Pearle.)

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 11:53 AM
  #18  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,330

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
Custom titanium frames are cheap, right?
Where did you get that..?
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 01:17 PM
  #19  
AnkleWork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,162

Bikes: old clunker

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 470 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
where did you get that..?
07-30-15, 02:12 am:
Originally Posted by arsenul View Post
i need to find someone that'll make a titanium fixed gear track frame that'll be able to use a belt drive. Anyone know a reliable and good frame builder that could do this?
AnkleWork is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 01:28 PM
  #20  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,830
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 926 Post(s)
Buy a new stem, that one is ugly. If you can't afford a stem you should be out looking for work instead of wasting time on the internet.
shelbyfv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 05:00 PM
  #21  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,330

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
07-30-15, 02:12 am:
Huh...
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 05:43 PM
  #22  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 20,904

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 728 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
Huh...
It means that on July 30, OP wanted to buy a titanium bike, but now can't afford $20+ for a stem.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: http://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 06:44 PM
  #23  
AnkleWork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,162

Bikes: old clunker

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 470 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
It means that on July 30, OP wanted to buy a titanium bike, but now can't afford $20+ for a stem.
Public pud pulling might be a simpler explanation. When the respondents advise to avoid a face plant and the OP argues, one has to question motive.

Last edited by AnkleWork; 10-12-15 at 06:49 PM.
AnkleWork is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-15, 07:03 PM
  #24  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 20,904

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 728 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Arsenul View Post
Everyone here just seems to assume I have money lying around.
"..So I'm going to be doing my first expensive bike build later next year, ..."
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: http://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-15, 06:41 AM
  #25  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,930
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 805 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Arsenul View Post
So a wing nut won't work when put on the other side? The hole goes all the way in so wouldn't putting a bolt in with a wing nut on the other end work?
The wing nut will brace against a slanted surface. If exposed to serious pull the screw will bend. Maybe less poor, but still not good.
If I had to choose, I'd either rethread one size up, or use a length of threaded rod, bond it in place and then use a nut and some washers to tighten the faceplate down.
dabac is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service