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stubborn bottom bracket

Old 02-08-21, 02:16 PM
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spelger
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stubborn bottom bracket

Hi.

i am attempting to remove a bottom bracket. i have bought a tool from ParkTools and have rigged up a bolt to keep it onto the square taper spindle's thread hole with an M8 1.0mm bolt, an idea i found on the net to help keep the tool in place while i crank on the tool.

park tool i have: https://www.parktool.com/product/bot...ttom%20Bracket

the tool is engaging the splines of the BB properly. crank as hard as i can the thing will not turn. i am on the NDS only. i am turning in the direction from the chain stays to the seat post.

i am going the right way, right?

any tips on how i might loosen this back breaker? i have never needed anything like external heat or a penetrating fluid to aid in loosening, will either of these help?

my goal here was to remove it in order to find out exactly what it is like in there and exactly what i have so i can order a replacement. this is my first time doing any maintenance at this level. (removed cranks for the fist time last week.) anyway, after so many years it has gotten a bit squeaky. maybe rust is holding it fast?

-scott
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Old 02-08-21, 02:28 PM
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With BSA/English bottom brackets the direction to loosen is always chainstay to seatpost.

For the non-drive side that means lefty-loosey.
For the drive side that meams righty-loosey.
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Old 02-08-21, 02:40 PM
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Sound correct to me. This absolutely positively is a cartridge BB isn't it? If your bike is old enough to have a french threaded BB then I think the NDS side is the same right hand thread as the drive side. So on the NDS side you should turn to the right or from seat stay to chan stay.

edit.... I think I confused myself.... this right and left stuff is messing with me right now. French thread, BSA threads... loosening, tightening and whatever, try the other direction and see. Other wise ensure you know what the correct threading is for that year and model bike and then put a cheater bar on it.

Last edited by Iride01; 02-08-21 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 02-08-21, 02:49 PM
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Penetrating oil is helpful (at least, like chicken soup, it couldn't hurt), the best is Kano Kroil, second best and more easily available is PB Blaster. Apply liberally to the threads, tap the bottom bracket (or the bolt holding the tool) with a hammer a few times to set up some vibration to get it started penetrating, and give it time to work before turning it the correct direction. I use a 1/2" drive ratchet about 2 feet long, there is no shame putting a "cheater" pipe over the handle, or putting the tool in a big vise and turning the frame. A hammer blow along the spindle axis while exerting torque may also break the BB loose.
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Old 02-08-21, 02:54 PM
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I have found that often hitting the end of the wrench with a hammer helps break things loose. more than a tap, less the a 20 pound sledge, think whack
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Old 02-08-21, 02:55 PM
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On a BSA/BSC/English threaded bottom bracket the drive side turns clockwise to remove and non-drive side turns counter clockwise to remove. If you are having issues you might consider using a "cheater bar" on your tool to give more leverage for a lot of people that is an old pipe or a piece of old frame tubing or something like that. If it really won't turn at all you might remove the seatpost and spray some sort of penetrating oils in there and let them soak in or use a soda-pop to help out that can eat away at the corrosion. I am a fancy person so I would probably go Royal Crown, the caffeine will help speed up the process (it won't).

If you are able to get it out make sure to clean it out really well and check the threads and see if they are good, if not you might get it retapped at your local shop and then when installing use plenty of grease or anti seize when installing the new unit. Also I would remove it every so often just to check everything and prevent it from seizing. It can vary from bike to bike and person to person on their usage but probably not a bad idea to do an overhaul of the bike every couple years or if you are riding a ton especially in bad weather a lot, then maybe even yearly. Seatposts and quill stems are excellent candidates for checking on regularly and moving them around or freshening up the grease if it looks bad. If it all looks good you can keep it but most grease isn't terribly expensive (aside from fancy Krytox AB but that is a bit extreme for a bike) so replacing it isn't the worst thing in the world.
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Old 02-08-21, 03:04 PM
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About a 2 foot long cheater bar extension on the wrench and use your foot/leg power.
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Old 02-08-21, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
.......i am on the NDS only. i am turning in the direction from the chain stays to the seat post.

i am going the right way, right?..........
Not if you have the bike upside down.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:07 PM
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Thanks all. based on what i've read here i am turning in the correct direction. i will give the penetrating fluid a go tomorrow and try the other suggestions too, i have a feeling i will need to use all avenues, to my knowledge it has never been removed.

RC cola? didn't know that was still made.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:18 PM
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bb removal/

try installing the tool on the drive side or slacken off your tool attaching bolt slightly on the nds then apply torque.

Last edited by '02 nrs; 02-08-21 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:23 PM
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Scott- What kind of frame material? There are some really wild things that can be done if money is no object and the BB won't remove using the usual force methods.

Try removing the other side though. Sometimes one side is more frozen then the other is. Andy
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Old 02-08-21, 08:49 PM
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Ataching the tool to the bottom bracket by threading a long bolt to the spindle (as you have done) is a great start, use washers and be sure the tool is held tighly in place. I once had one so stuborm I had to disassemble the whole bicycle and break it free with the tool in a benchvise using the frame as a lever.

Also just to be sure what is the make and model of the bicycle? However unlikely you may not have BSA threads.
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Old 02-08-21, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
Thanks all. based on what i've read here i am turning in the correct direction. i will give the penetrating fluid a go tomorrow and try the other suggestions too, i have a feeling i will need to use all avenues, to my knowledge it has never been removed.

RC cola? didn't know that was still made.
Hell yes it is still made! Heck they should have won the Cola Wars with their superior product.
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Old 02-08-21, 09:54 PM
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Bike is an aluminum trek 1.2 about 2007 if i recall. the BB from the outside looks exactly like the photo that '02 nrs posted, except dirty.

i was under the impression that starting on the drive side first was not advised...something about the BB coming apart. granted i want to replace it but i wanted to determine what it is first, shove it back in, and ride it while waiting for the replacement.

the tool that is bolted to the spindle is just a tad loose, i knew that i'd need some room when the shell turned.

if i fail with the wrench tomorrow i'll have a go with the frame in a vise.

-scott
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Old 02-09-21, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
Bike is an aluminum trek 1.2 about 2007 if i recall. the BB from the outside looks exactly like the photo that '02 nrs posted, except dirty.

i was under the impression that starting on the drive side first was not advised...something about the BB coming apart. granted i want to replace it but i wanted to determine what it is first, shove it back in, and ride it while waiting for the replacement.

the tool that is bolted to the spindle is just a tad loose, i knew that i'd need some room when the shell turned.

if i fail with the wrench tomorrow i'll have a go with the frame in a vise.

-scott
On cartridge BB's having the plastic NDS "cup", I'll loosen the DS first. Old plastic breaks easy.

This isn't a free wheel removal where you have to allow a bit of room. The cup unscrews with the tool. Tighten it up!
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Old 02-09-21, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post

This isn't a free wheel removal where you have to allow a bit of room. The cup unscrews with the tool. Tighten it up!
Wrong-cup on nds will not unscrew if tool is tight to the axle.
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Old 02-09-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Sound correct to me. This absolutely positively is a cartridge BB isn't it? If your bike is old enough to have a french threaded BB then I think the NDS side is the same right hand thread as the drive side. So on the NDS side you should turn to the right or from seat stay to chan stay.
Italian thread is also right-hand thread (counter-clockwise to loosen) on both sides of the bottom bracket, and still in fairly widespread use, unlike French thread.

Check for any markings indicating thread spec (e.g. "1.37 x 24" for English thread; "36 x 24" for Italian), then apply force in the proper direction: counter-clockwise to loosen on the non-drive side cup side regardless of thread spec; clockwise to loosen English thread on the drive side.
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Old 02-09-21, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
This isn't a free wheel removal where you have to allow a bit of room. The cup unscrews with the tool. Tighten it up!
Only if you're certain you're dealing with a cartridge. There are some cup-and-cone type bottom brackets that use the same splined interface as cartridges.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:11 AM
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You may have to give the penetrating oil some time to work, IME. Daily application (and whacking on the wrench) for a week or two, three times a week until it finally comes free.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:55 AM
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The first way we try (and generally do) get the BB out is with an impact driver. Our shop has an auto service shop next doors. We'll carry the frame and removing tool over and they can remove the BB in about 1 minute of noise and vibration. Of course this requires a socket large enough to fit onto the tool, in the 1/2" drive that most impact drivers use. Andy
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Old 02-09-21, 10:28 AM
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Some are tighter than others.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Only if you're certain you're dealing with a cartridge. There are some cup-and-cone type bottom brackets that use the same splined interface as cartridges.
OP didn't mention a lock ring, so I assumed cartridge.
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Old 02-09-21, 07:22 PM
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The tiger has broken free

And she is out! A better wrench was all i needed. Now to get a replacement. If you look closely there are some metal shavings in the grease. i could not find a source for this after i cleaned it up. probably from the thread cutting on the shell maybe?

thanks everyone!

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Old 02-10-21, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
And she is out! A better wrench was all i needed. Now to get a replacement. If you look closely there are some metal shavings in the grease. i could not find a source for this after i cleaned it up. probably from the thread cutting on the shell maybe?

thanks everyone!

Congrats on your success. Now that it's out, if you have difficulty threading the new bottom bracket in most of the way by hand, I recommend having someone chase the threads with a piloted tap set, particularly since you mention metal shavings. Might mean a visit to a bike shop or a well equipped home mechanic.
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