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Quill Handlebar Stem Replacement

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Quill Handlebar Stem Replacement

Old 04-26-18, 09:29 AM
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Quill Handlebar Stem Replacement

I removed the replaced the stem on a Raleigh Gran Sport 45 years ago and am now restoring it to original condition. I cannot get the stem back on. It gets jammed where the bar curves. Local bike shop was of no help. What are my options? I have a heat gun but don't want to do something stupid that can't be fixed. What about petroleum jelly or some grease? It is really tight. I can post more pictures if it will help.
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Old 04-26-18, 09:34 AM
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a Stem should have a narrower portion on the side with the bolt, (that grips the bar-center)...

turn the bar as you insert it, so that is on the side facing the radius center of the bend
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Old 04-26-18, 09:46 AM
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.
...besides the above technique, it helps a great deal if you clamp the stem in a vise (using some padding or plastic jaws so you don't mar the surface).

Grab it somehow in the vise so the opening for bar insertion is up and out away from the vise jaws. Then use a large screwdriver or a small pry bar inserted in the space where the bolt will go to gently open the thing a little farther while you insert the bar.

NOTE WELL: DO NOT PRY SO HARD THAT YOU GO BEYOND THE ELASTIC LIMIT AND DISTORT THE CLAMP END OF THE STEM.

It's just a gentle nudge open a little farther to aid you in the insertion process while you rotate the bar into the clamp going around the curves.
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Old 04-26-18, 10:12 AM
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Nitto did make a nice tool for their stems, to do that bit of 'persuasion' ..
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Old 04-26-18, 10:45 AM
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Reverse the stem's clamp bolt and thread it through from the back. Insert a coin or into the gap and tighten the bolt against it to spread the gap wider. Don't over do this but it should give you enough room the slide the handlebar in. Also, rotate the stem so the gap is toward the inside of the handlebar curve.
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Old 04-26-18, 11:09 AM
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HillRider beat me to mentioning the coin trick. It's an easy way to buy another millimeter or so, which could be all the space you need.

The curved part of the bar passed through that stem at least once when it got installed, so it will fit.
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Old 04-26-18, 11:16 AM
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Post #5 makes a lot of sense.
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Old 04-27-18, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
Reverse the stem's clamp bolt and thread it through from the back. Insert a coin or into the gap and tighten the bolt against it to spread the gap wider. Don't over do this but it should give you enough room the slide the handlebar in. Also, rotate the stem so the gap is toward the inside of the handlebar curve.
That would work except. . .The stem is not threaded. The hole for the bolt is 3/8" and I could tap it to 5/16 but am reluctant to do that because I can't tap near the stem, only on the top. I don't know if that will move it enough to install. BTW, I tried installing it watching a video that showed the process. It jams on the curve. Any other suggestions? And thanks for all the attempts to help.
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Old 04-27-18, 08:13 PM
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BITD, those stems were a pain to thread handlebars through. We would always jam a flathead screwdriver in the slot to open the clamp a smidge. Then you have to rotate the handlebars so they pass through the clamp- it takes a little manipulation, but eventually you'll figure out which way the clamp is "widest".

Also, we were never particularly concerned about scarring the handlebar. Any scrapes are covered up by the handlebar tape.
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Old 04-27-18, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by davidbrowne
. . . The hole for the bolt is 3/8" and I could tap it to 5/16 . . .
Neat trick.
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Old 04-27-18, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
BITD, those stems were a pain to thread handlebars through. We would always jam a flathead screwdriver in the slot to open the clamp a smidge. Then you have to rotate the handlebars so they pass through the clamp- it takes a little manipulation, but eventually you'll figure out which way the clamp is "widest".

Also, we were never particularly concerned about scarring the handlebar. Any scrapes are covered up by the handlebar tape.
Yep, that's the go, i have a nice large screw driver for that sort of thing
sometimes i need to do that on stubborn V brake shifter clamps
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Old 04-28-18, 05:37 AM
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davidbrowne-

Get a wooden wedge of the type used to shim windows in their frame. Insert the wedge into the stem gap and push it forward to open the gap. The wood will be damaged but the harder alloy won't be. Slip the bar in, rotate to position and then remove the wedge. The gap will close and the bolt can be installed and tightened. Details here:

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Old 04-28-18, 08:29 AM
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Why not just buy a new Nitto Stem? they are continuing to me made.. in 26mm & 1" bar..

you could file [ not grind!] the ends of that stem down to resemble the Cinelli 1A , Nitto, and many other stems (including the 1 in the above picture)
that are simpler to fit , in the manner I first described.






....
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Old 04-28-18, 12:32 PM
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. The link to the rebuild was particularly helpful because it explained why it is so difficult to reinstall a stem. So, I came up with a workable solution and it was quite easy to put back. Grasping the stem and the chisel I could gently squeeze and open it so it went easily on. Pictures show what I did.
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