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Trying to save 600 cranks - is it worth it?

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Trying to save 600 cranks - is it worth it?

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Old 06-28-18, 02:37 PM
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WGB
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Trying to save 600 cranks - is it worth it?

I bought a Ross Aristocrat with a complete Shimano 600 Arabesque drivetrain.

Every bolt on it was coated with a brown substance (possibly a thread locker) but almost everything came loose - even the drive side bottom bracket cup spun loose. The non drive side cup is still on but I haven't tried to force it, confident/hopeful it will come off with the correct tool next time I visit the Co-op.

The cranks came off easily enough, but not the pedals. The pedals are an old set of no-name flats. Most advice I see seems to focus on saving the pedals versus the cranks

I have tried everything readily available to me (pedal wrench, lots of PB Blaster, tried a long handled heavy wrench, switching back and forth between tighten and loosen) no luck. I carefully filled the indent on the back of the cranks - opposite where the pedals thread in - with PB Blaster and to let it soak in, which it did. I was thinking of trying to soak in Diesel as well.

I haven't tried freezing the cranks and pedals overnight nor have I tried using a torch, though I might be able to get to use a torch but only info I saw related to heating (and probably ruining) the cranks. I also haven't tried stripping the pedals down (someone suggested that if I do I could use a pipe wrench to grip the pedals nuts). I don't have access to a slide hammer and as I said before I'd like to salvage the frame so I didn't want to use the frame as a lever to force the pedals off (unless it's recommended by someone wiser than I am).

I don't want to throw out the cranks as they aren't in bad shape (a little scuffed) and the 600 stuff is getting rarer and more expensive all the time but my concern is that the threads may be done. There have been several threads that say severely seized pedals will strip threads on the cranks when removed anyway.


Any ideas ?
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Old 06-28-18, 02:39 PM
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I should have added, has anyone had any luck with using a grinder to remove the pedal axle leaving only the nut and then trying to turn that?
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Old 06-28-18, 03:04 PM
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Have you tried soaking the thread/axle part in ATF for 24h? This is the usual recommended solution for stuck alu seatposts in steel frames.
Also there are many rust/bolt fluids that could work.

And even when its not corroded together you need to use force to separate the pedals from the cranks. This is best done when the stuff is still on the bike. I simply do a little jump on my pedalwrench after locking/propping stuff up properly. This is highly undramatic in real life.
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Old 06-28-18, 03:05 PM
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It sounds like the pedals were put on without greasing the threads. Given the vintage of that crank (I had one) it has had a long time to seize up. I assume it is not cross threaded.

I have had very good luck with using Kroil (penetrating oil in a red can) to loosen rusted steel on steel nuts and bolts on classic cars. I would NOT use a torch, as it is far too easy to overheat. However, you might try a hair dryer to warm the crank end and apply the Kroil overnight. Apply a bit more the next day until it does not seep into the threads.

Then again heat the crank end with a hair dryer, apply a bit of Kroil and use an ice cube to cool the pedal spindle. The cooling will draw the oil into the threads. Then reheat and try using the correct crescent wrench (not adjustable) for the pedal flats. I would use a wrench with the widest jaws that will fit, not the typical thin pedal wrench. It may take a few days, and multiple trys, but with caution and luck (assuming is not cross threaded), it should come out. If you are careful you can use dry ice, but that can get too cold and make the metals brittle.

This technique has worked removing WW1 US rifle barrels that are notoriously hard to remove. I have seen the steel barrel actually twisted before it came loose. That never happened with Kroil...
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Old 06-28-18, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post
It sounds like the pedals were put on without greasing the threads. Given the vintage of that crank (I had one) it has had a long time to seize up. I assume it is not cross threaded.

I have had very good luck with using Kroil (penetrating oil in a red can) to loosen rusted steel on steel nuts and bolts on classic cars. I would NOT use a torch, as it is far too easy to overheat. However, you might try a hair dryer to warm the crank end and apply the Kroil overnight. Apply a bit more the next day until it does not seep into the threads.

Then again heat the crank end with a hair dryer, apply a bit of Kroil and use an ice cube to cool the pedal spindle. The cooling will draw the oil into the threads. Then reheat and try using the correct crescent wrench (not adjustable) for the pedal flats. I would use a wrench with the widest jaws that will fit, not the typical thin pedal wrench. It may take a few days, and multiple trys, but with caution and luck (assuming is not cross threaded), it should come out. If you are careful you can use dry ice, but that can get too cold and make the metals brittle.

This technique has worked removing WW1 US rifle barrels that are notoriously hard to remove. I have seen the steel barrel actually twisted before it came loose. That never happened with Kroil...
I would like to suggest a slight variation of the above: Put the pedal axle in a bucket of ice water, use a heat gun ($15- or less from Harbor Freight) to heat up the aluminum. Have a pipe with a large enough ID to put the crank arm in, and a BIG wrench for the pedal axle, AND WEAR LEATHER SHOP GLOVES or similar. Get the aluminum a bit above the boiling point of water (test by throwing a drop of water on it, should sizzle.). Make sure you turn the pedal in the correct direction with respect to the crank - I always have to look at another pedal each time to make sure.
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Old 06-28-18, 06:05 PM
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After you've heated the crank arm as described in several earlier posts, take a can of compressed air, hold it upside down, and spray the pedal spindle. That will cool it quite quickly. With heat, aluminum expands more quickly than steel, so you've slightly loosened the bond between spindle and the crank arm.

I wouls heat the crank arm with a heat gun, and spray the penetrating oil into the threads.

PB Blaster or Kroil are the best penetrating oils I've used, so getting some penetrating oil into the threads, heating the arm, and cooling the spindle should get the pedal out.
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Old 06-28-18, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
I should have added, has anyone had any luck with using a grinder to remove the pedal axle leaving only the nut and then trying to turn that?
Which nut would that be?

Originally Posted by WGB View Post
. . . I could use a pipe wrench to grip the pedals nuts). I don't have access to a slide hammer and as I said before I'd like to salvage the frame so I didn't want to use the frame as a lever to force the pedals off (unless it's recommended by someone wiser than I am). . .
Any ideas ?
Not sure how the frame could be used for leverage.
What could you use a slide hammer for?
Are you aware that one pedal axle has left hand thread?
Maybe time to take it to a professional (or at least an LBS).
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Old 06-28-18, 07:47 PM
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Ankle work

I was referring to the nut where you attach the pedal wrench. It may not be called a nut, but since that is where I hook the pedal wrench i call it a nut.

I had seen posts where the pedal body was either stripped off or cut down to allow a pipe wrench to be mounted, a pipe wrench provides a lot of power.

As for using the frame, there are many videos on line which show the frame being used either alone or with a board as bracing to allow leverage while wrenching the pedal. My concern would be needless damage to the frame if I slipped.

​​​​​​I will try to soak again using atf. I prefer to try all options including those I get here before trying a bike shop.
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Old 06-28-18, 07:55 PM
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As for the slide hammer, l saw a reference to one being used but no explanation was provided for how to use it.

I was simply stating I don't have one so that no one took the time to post how to use a slide hammer as a means of removing a pedal because it wouldn't help me in my situation.
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Old 06-28-18, 09:03 PM
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Soak the entire mess in a bucket of diesel fuel. Loosen and remove the pedal axle dust cap. Remove the pedal axle bearing retaining nut. Remove the pedal. Get a 14" pipe wrench. Engage the pedal axle spindle. Put crank arm on floor. Stomp on the pipe wrench. Off comes the spindle. YAY!!!
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Old 06-28-18, 09:17 PM
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My best solution to this problem is to remove the crank/pedal from the bike, soak liberally with penetrating oil, clamp the arm in a securely mounted bench vise, and use a leverage-enhanced pedal wrench.

Hasn't failed me yet.
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Old 06-29-18, 01:40 PM
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Tried three days of soaking with PB and no movement. Drive side pedal was already broke so took it off. Couldn't find a pipe wrench so tried using an adjustable with a foot long handle. No luck. Tried an open end wrench and a three foot pipe and started pulling the vise off the bench.

Going now to get some diesel and ATF.

Ps has anyone tried drilling in from the rear with progressively larger bits much like stripping out a stuck seat post?? I included a photo of the rear of the cranks showing a little dimple on the end of the spindle (same spot where better quality pedals have a notch for an allen key.

Sorry for the shaky photos I was reefing on that bar for about 5 minutes.

Last edited by WGB; 06-29-18 at 01:42 PM. Reason: adding
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Old 06-29-18, 03:23 PM
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Dont these have flats?? No need for a pipe wrench if you have a real (park tool for example) long pedal wrench. And you probably need to jump/stomp on it for anything to happen. no kidding. its the impact that will break it loose.
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Old 06-30-18, 08:23 AM
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Put the pedal axle in the vice and hammer the end of the crank to loosen (put a block of wood not to mar and deform the crank where you strike with the hammer)

Drilling is possible but pedal axles are hardened and are very hard to drill.
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Old 06-30-18, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Asi View Post
Drilling is possible but pedal axles are hardened and are very hard to drill.
If you decide to attempt to drill, get cobalt drill bits, a drill that will spin reliably with lots of torque at 100-200 rpm, and a method to feed lots of cutting oil. Unless you have all this, a mint replacement set of 600 cranks will be less expensive.

The hardened pedal axle will just dull regular drill bits in a normal electric drill.
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Old 06-30-18, 08:59 AM
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He wont need to drill it!!!!
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Old 06-30-18, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
He wont need to drill it!!!!
I have a feeling this one will just paint himself further into a corner. So odd that people immediately gravitate to methods that are difficult, destructive, and prone to failure, while consistently ignoring the easier, known-good techniques.
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Old 06-30-18, 12:39 PM
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I am listing my attempts so far.

1) Tried using Park pedal wrench while on stand (as I always have before)
2) tried lots of PB Blaster, (I carefully filled the indent on the back of the cranks with PB Blaster - opposite where the pedals thread in - and to let it soak in, which it did
3) tried a long handled heavy wrench - switching back and forth between tighten and loosen (first had to remove the damaged pedal to get the wrench in)
4) I didn't try heating due to concern about damage to the cranks
5) I have now moved to soaking in ATF and diesel
6) I have not yet moved to the advice of using heat and cold - would be next step.

I did ask about drilling after and only after I tried an open end wrench and a three foot pipe and started twisting the vise off the bench.

If the ATF and diesel fails and the heat and cold fails I will try an LBS.

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Old 06-30-18, 04:03 PM
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It sounds to me that if you don't succeed with all of the stuff you have done, your LBS is not likely to do it either. They may not take the job at a fixed price and paying the hourly rate may cost well beyond the cost of another in good shape.

Still, it would be a shame to throw them into the trash. Drilling out the butt ends of the spindles may relieve things enough to work, but I would strongly recommend a drill press. I have never tried to drill into a spindle but think it may be tough. Use a cobalt bit as @nfmisso recommended at low rpm with plenty of lube. The objective is to remove as much steel as possible without damaging the threads.

Good luck. I'm rooting for you.
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Old 06-30-18, 07:53 PM
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Hoopdriver - Wise call!

I needed a frame box so I did go to an LBS (at closing time) and ran the scenario by the last mechanic left in the store.

​​​​​​He concurred with all steps taken so far. He said only step left was propane torch to heat cranks and suggested I try it myself as based on the failures to date they would have to take it in and work on it and if pedals came off quick it would be cheap but if not it might rise rapidly.....

Lastly, they can't do it till week of July 8th anyway. I will leave the cranks soaking in the diesel/ATF solution until I can buy a propane cylinder and use of a vise again.

​​​​​​Worst case I kill the cranks, best case freed cranks!!! Will post results

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​​​​

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Old 07-01-18, 08:14 AM
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I would try atf and diesel separately. Not together.

Also I think its important that whichever method you try you kinda whack the axle/crank with a rubber mallet or similar. I would just keep whacking until its loose. Its gonna loosen up sooner or later. but most of these corroded things needs a good initial whack in my experience. or several.
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Old 07-03-18, 05:48 PM
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Carlos Danger and all

I moved to a bucket of straight diesel on Sunday morning after seeing your post. I then became sick with the flu and spent Sunday shivering in jeans and a fleecy during a heatwave and then Monday in bed. Since I can't find my Park pedal wrench and my friend who has one is away for two weeks, I will go to the bike Co-op and use theirs on Tuesday. I am not rushing, I can't see a downside to having them soak in Diesel (outside, not inside) until then. I am optimistic as these pedals will end up having soaked for over a week. Will update.....

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Old 07-03-18, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
As for the slide hammer, l saw a reference to one being used but no explanation was provided for how to use it.

I was simply stating I don't have one so that no one took the time to post how to use a slide hammer as a means of removing a pedal because it wouldn't help me in my situation.
The way I always do it is with a hammer. You put the crank on the ground and position the pedal wrench so it's angled upward around 45 degrees then hit it hard. Need blocks of wood for it to be safe for the cranks, and maybe something to slip the crank inbetween to keep it steady.
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Old 07-04-18, 06:44 AM
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I assume you tried that bench vise. On ATF, its ATF and acetone, not ATF and diesel. Acetone is easy to find, nail polish remover at Walmart for under $1.
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Old 07-04-18, 11:11 AM
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I would remove the pedal cage from its spindle. Clamp the spindle in a sturdy well-mounted vice, crank arm just above the jaws.. Put a long pipe over the crank, with a cloth wrapped around the crank to protect it. Verify the direction you need to rotate the pipe and do it.
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