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Threadlock on a bottom bracket

Old 03-13-21, 09:19 PM
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travbikeman
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Threadlock on a bottom bracket

Does it make sense to have threadlock on a bottom bracket, even though it is torqued properly? I had noticed that my new Scott Aspect, already had severe crank stiffness and crunching noise.

It has the threaded Shimano MT-500 hollowtech. Bike shop I bought it from told me to bring it in, would be 1-2 weeks before they look at it and fix it for just a $20 part.

Well, fuel to drive the bike to shop (40 miles away) and then to pick it up would be about $16 alone. So I decided to just replace the bottom bracket with something a bit better the Shimano MT-800 threaded.

My question, is it normal to put threadlock on these bottom brackets? It really was tough getting this off even with breaker bar.

So much so, that look at what happened with my tool. Where the 1/2" to 3/8" adapter connects to the Park Tool:




Not sure if I'm going to be able to separate the two tools. Nor am I sure if Park Tools will warrant a replacement for the tool since it appears really weak for the metal to fatigue like this.

Should I be using a different bottom bracket tool?
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Old 03-13-21, 09:26 PM
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Grease. Grease. Grease...unless you're an anti-seize kinda guy.





Did I mention use grease? There is absolutely no need for thread lock on a bottom bracket.
ETA: Put the bb tool in a vise and crank on the handle, it'll come apart. Buy the proper Shimano tool. Or Abbey. Or Unior.
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Old 03-13-21, 11:59 PM
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...three are occasions where blue (low strength) Loctite makes sense on a BB.
Phil Wood used to recommend it as the final step in installation of theirs, after you get it dry fitted in place.

I have used it before on RH threaded BB cups that have a tendency to work loose, like French and Italian.
If you know you've installed something with blue Loctite, it's relatively easy to soften it with heat for removal.

I'm not certain I'd use it on what you've got there. Nor do I have the first clue about why your Park tool seems to be manufactured from some sort of aluminum alloy, from the look of it. I'm sure there's a good reason, I just don't have much familiarity with outboard bearing setups. I've installed them for other people, but don't have anything of my own that uses it.
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Old 03-14-21, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...three are occasions where blue (low strength) Loctite makes sense on a BB.
Phil Wood used to recommend it as the final step in installation of theirs, after you get it dry fitted in place.

I have used it before on RH threaded BB cups that have a tendency to work loose, like French and Italian.
If you know you've installed something with blue Loctite, it's relatively easy to soften it with heat for removal.

I'm not certain I'd use it on what you've got there. Nor do I have the first clue about why your Park tool seems to be manufactured from some sort of aluminum alloy, from the look of it. I'm sure there's a good reason, I just don't have much familiarity with outboard bearing setups. I've installed them for other people, but don't have anything of my own that uses it.
Thanks, my son and I had been using a blow drier to heat up the area, but it wasn't the blue Loctite, it was the red threadlock the manufacturer had put on and wow that was tough to get off. Heating up the area didn't seem to help.

I've submitted a request for warranty replacement on the Park Tool. I have to state, I'm a bit disappointed in Park Tools as of late. I've returned a bike pump, that was not working properly with pushing air through or the gauge. Leaking Grease pump, hearing from others the Park grease is too thin. Now this, going to start doing better research on the tools I buy.
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Old 03-14-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Grease. Grease. Grease...unless you're an anti-seize kinda guy.

Did I mention use grease? There is absolutely no need for thread lock on a bottom bracket.
ETA: Put the bb tool in a vise and crank on the handle, it'll come apart. Buy the proper Shimano tool. Or Abbey. Or Unior.
This is what I will be doing. I'm not going to put any anti-seize compound on. Will torque it properly instead.

Unless, I find I have to continually torque it if it comes loose, then I will make the call. Hoping it won't.
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Old 03-14-21, 08:27 AM
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I use Tef-Gel® for all dissimilar metal joints, grease on steel-steel. Some bottom brackets come with a Nylok®-type patch, I use Tef-Gel® in addition.
Unless specifically designed and specified to use a threadlocker, its use should not be needed in a properly-designed and -torqued, undamaged joint. I feel that it is often used as a Band-Aid®.
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Old 03-14-21, 08:44 AM
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Contact Park as they are usually very good with customer support. An aluminum tool has some advantages such as being less likely to chew up the notches on a BB but it's not designed to handle a BB installed with high strength Red Loctite. Red Loctite usually needs torch level heat to remove and has no business being used on a bike. Med or Low strength thread locker is OK to use but I also think grease is better due to the fact that it's so much easier to clean off the threads when cleaning your BB. Some aluminum shells are relatively soft compared to steel and threads can get damaged trying to screw in a BB that has a bunch of threadlocker buildup on it and the shell. If all the threads are OK and the BB is torqued on properly there should be no need for threadlock.
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Old 03-14-21, 10:53 AM
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Phil Wood BBs cups actually come with blue threadlocker. Red threadlocker is a no-no. IMHO... folks that ride in wet areas, or are riding a 'wet-bike', and might do a rebuild every year should use grease. I'm down in semi-arid climate... and I use blue thread locker.

Last edited by trailangel; 03-14-21 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 03-14-21, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
Thanks, my son and I had been using a blow drier to heat up the area, but it wasn't the blue Loctite, it was the red threadlock the manufacturer had put on and wow that was tough to get off. Heating up the area didn't seem to help.

I've submitted a request for warranty replacement on the Park Tool. I have to state, I'm a bit disappointed in Park Tools as of late. I've returned a bike pump, that was not working properly with pushing air through or the gauge. Leaking Grease pump, hearing from others the Park grease is too thin. Now this, going to start doing better research on the tools I buy.
IIRC, Red Loctite requires 500+ degrees for the removal. Bolts can break and threads can strip if removing improperly.

Support the Park tool with a deep well socket that the adapter will fit into, use a drift and hammer on the adapter to push it out of the Park tool.

Last edited by 02Giant; 03-14-21 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-14-21, 10:38 PM
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It seems very strange that the OEM bike assembler would use red locktite. Really crazy. I can see a home mechanic without good knowledge or experience might make that mistake, but not a professional commercial operation.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:36 AM
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I always use grease on the BB. I only used threadlock on a bike whose BB kept getting loose after a couple of rides. I still don't know why it got loose, but it fixed it.
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Old 03-15-21, 05:49 AM
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Grease and proper torque unless you want to have issues when you need to remove it.
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Old 03-15-21, 06:59 AM
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If you're installing something like a cartridge BB that'll last years, and you don't pull it out annually (and why should you, it ain't broke?), grease can dissipate and leave you with a rusted-in BB. Try Teflon plumber's tape instead; it lubricates the threads quite well, thank you, and doesn't move after the bottom bracket has been installed.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:31 AM
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Whatever the manufacturer put on the threads, I guarantee it was not red Loctite. Maybe some other sort of red substance - anti seize or red grease, but red Loctite is meant to be permanent except for removal with high heat.

Bottom bracket threads are often seized in place because insufficient grease or anti-seize is used on assembly. I have also seen more than one cross-threaded BB cup straight from the factory, and these are a real pain to remove. I suspect they use pneumatic tools for installation, and if the threads aren't started carefully by hand the tool can drive the cup all the way in while mangling the threads.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:36 AM
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Cripes, BBs can be so hard to budge as it is I can’t imagine ever using locktite.

I always use grease.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:53 AM
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Thanks! I did not know that about the Red Loctite and explains why heat from a hair dryer wasn't working.

Thanks for the tip on removing the adapter. Will work on that later today.
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Old 03-15-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Whatever the manufacturer put on the threads, I guarantee it was not red Loctite. Maybe some other sort of red substance - anti seize or red grease, but red Loctite is meant to be permanent except for removal with high heat.

Bottom bracket threads are often seized in place because insufficient grease or anti-seize is used on assembly. I have also seen more than one cross-threaded BB cup straight from the factory, and these are a real pain to remove. I suspect they use pneumatic tools for installation, and if the threads aren't started carefully by hand the tool can drive the cup all the way in while mangling the threads.
OK, This is the old bottom bracket and I can only assume it was red threadlock by color and that it took a 25 inch breaker bar to help me loosen it enough to take off.

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Old 03-15-21, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Whatever the manufacturer put on the threads, I guarantee it was not red Loctite. Maybe some other sort of red substance - anti seize or red grease, but red Loctite is meant to be permanent except for removal with high heat.
Agreed. You never know who might have worked on it from the factory to the buyer though but still pretty unlikely. There are also threadlocks that are applied and allowed to dry before installation (can't think of the name for them at the moment) and have more of a rubbery, chalky texture and may be red in color but not high strength. In any case, it's removed so just clean up the BB shell threads and install the new BB. This should have been a warranty fix but as the OP noted, it cost as much to take it to the shop plus time wasted but still better to protect yourself in case there is something else going on causing a rough BB that the shop can now say it was the OP's fault since it has been worked on. Hopefully it all works properly now.
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Old 03-15-21, 09:41 AM
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travbikeman Just because it is reddish in colour and seemed to be locked tight, does not mean it is 'Red Loctite' - more likely some sort of anti-seize, or maybe just some sort of substance to take up any slack in the threads. Even with a long breaker bar, you're not going to be able to move1.37" threads with actual red Loctite on them.

Modern threaded bottom brackets don't need Loctite - the direction of the threads ensure that the cups are self tightening under normal circumstances.
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Old 03-15-21, 10:40 AM
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Thanks All!

I've already installed the Shimano MT800 after cleaning up the BB shell threads and torqued it to 35nm.

I agree ClydeClydeson, I had assumed it not knowing the difference. I know now, Thanks!
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Old 03-15-21, 12:01 PM
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I have always used Anti-seize on BB threads, and never had an issue of loosening or trouble unscrewing, assuming it has been tightened properly.
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Old 03-15-21, 01:48 PM
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Italian standard BB shells use the right handed thread, for both the left, and the right BB cup. The result of that is that the right hand side cup has a tendency to get unscrewed (spindle rolls the bearing balls, that push the right hand side BB cup anti-clockwise).
Those took some extra torque when tightening, and even then might start getting loose. Thread locker makes sense with such BBs.

Most modern bikes have the "British" standard BBs - i.e. the right hand side cup is screwed in anti-clockwise. If you tighten them to a decent torque, they are highly unlikely to get unscrewed. Anti seize is what I use on those, to make removal easier. But I've had no problems with them unscrewing.
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Old 03-15-21, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
Thanks, my son and I had been using a blow drier to heat up the area, but it wasn't the blue Loctite, it was the red threadlock the manufacturer had put on and wow that was tough to get off. Heating up the area didn't seem to help.

I've submitted a request for warranty replacement on the Park Tool. I have to state, I'm a bit disappointed in Park Tools as of late. I've returned a bike pump, that was not working properly with pushing air through or the gauge. Leaking Grease pump, hearing from others the Park grease is too thin. Now this, going to start doing better research on the tools I buy.
Color of threadlocker has nothing to do with its strength. Yes, Henkel color code some of their threadlockers. But even they have many products that are red, with a pretty wide range of strength, and they're not the only game in threadlocking. So, just because it's red, don't assume it's high strength. There are factory applied threadlockers (the sort the factory puts on a bolt, but the end user installs the bolt) that are red that are very strong, as well as ones that are not.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
Color of threadlocker has nothing to do with its strength. Yes, Henkel color code some of their threadlockers. But even they have many products that are red, with a pretty wide range of strength, and they're not the only game in threadlocking. So, just because it's red, don't assume it's high strength. There are factory applied threadlockers (the sort the factory puts on a bolt, but the end user installs the bolt) that are red that are very strong, as well as ones that are not.

I agree, I had assumed it not knowing the difference. I know now with what everyone has posted, Thanks!
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Old 03-16-21, 09:12 AM
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Received the warranty claim back from Park Tools. They are sending me a replacement tool.

BUT, they did warn this is considered a wear and tear item, especially when dealing with seized bottom brackets which even they stated this tool is not made for.

So they will not always warrant this.

Happy they did this time though and will only use the tool for my centerlock brake rotors for the time being.
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