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ideas for a stuck stem

Old 06-12-05, 02:25 PM
  #1  
queerpunk
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ideas for a stuck stem

my stem is stuck.
i loosen the bolt, tap it with a wrench, and nothing. all the tugging and jerking won't losen it.

any ideas?

my bike is, for the record, a nameless frame wrapped in electrical tape with an odd assortment of parts stuck to it, that i got second(or third, fourth, fifth...)-hand, so details about parts are probably moot. but it's a threaded stem.

some input would be appreciated as i'd like to change my stem.
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Old 06-12-05, 02:40 PM
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you may have done this already (couldnt tell from your descrip):

-loosen the bolt with an allen wrench. Leave the allen wrench in and make sure it is firmly seated.
-hit the allen wrench with a hammer. hard. this should send the stem down and loosen it.

this worked for me. the key is to whack the bolt (not the stem itself) pretty hard. this assumes you have one of those sunken-hex-bolt stems, but i think it's basically the same for the other kind (with the bolt sticking out of the top).

If you can't do it, take it to an LBS. If they can't do it, from what I've read, you have to have the stem drilled out by a framebuilder. Ack.
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Old 06-12-05, 03:09 PM
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If the above won't work, get some liquid wrench from a car parts place. Turn the frame upside down. Spray the stuff up into the fork steerer tube from underneath, and let it sit. Basically just follow the directions on the can. Once its sat for the perscribed amount of them, retry the hammer on the allen bolt method again.
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Old 06-12-05, 03:21 PM
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After that. Bars removed from stem. Stem braced in a padded bench vise or failing that, a door jam. Front wheel installed. Use the wheel to try to rotate the fork while holding the stem still.
After that. Frame upside down on table. Front wheel removed. Bolt and expanding wedge removed. Long bar like socket extender or whathaveyou that fits inside the stem inserted from below ( now the top ) and hammered.
Ain't I the pro with the subtle approaches?
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Old 06-12-05, 03:33 PM
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icithecat, i dig your approach

queerpunk, don't forget to grease your new stem thoroughly when you install it! and maybe take it out every year or so and check the grease.
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Old 06-12-05, 03:50 PM
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Trying to tighten it might also help to free it up.
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Old 06-12-05, 03:59 PM
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What about a stuck wedge? I have a nitto technomic stem with the binder bolt coming out, but the wedge not loosening. I can get the stem out, but without the wedge (have to unscrew the binder bolt completely.)
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Old 06-12-05, 04:04 PM
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peripatetic, so basically the wedge is still in the steer tube stuck to the wall? Yoinks!

As to the original problem, I've heard that ammonia will effectively dissolve the aluminum oxide that can form and cause the stem to get stuck. (Unlike steel where its oxide is smaller than the original molecule, Al2O3 is larger. This is why it acts as an effective seal against further oxidation, but it also means that if Al oxidizes inside another part, it may expand to the point where it can't come out.)
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Old 06-12-05, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by peripatetic
What about a stuck wedge? I have a nitto technomic stem with the binder bolt coming out, but the wedge not loosening. I can get the stem out, but without the wedge (have to unscrew the binder bolt completely.)
If the stem comes out but not the wedge, see option two above, if the subtle approaches have failed. A socket on the end of a long socket driver can be used to distribute the force evenly.
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Old 06-12-05, 07:54 PM
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Must..stop..helping..people...
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Old 06-13-05, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rykoala
If the above won't work, get some liquid wrench from a car parts place. Turn the frame upside down. Spray the stuff up into the fork steerer tube from underneath, and let it sit. Basically just follow the directions on the can. Once its sat for the perscribed amount of them, retry the hammer on the allen bolt method again.
This worked for me on a very stubborn stem. 3 days upside down with a good portion of a bottle of the stuff sprayed down. The stuff can take a long while to penetrate.
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