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Vintage pedal removal

Old 01-20-22, 10:04 AM
  #1  
WilliamK1974
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Vintage pedal removal

Hello everyone,

This post probably walks the fine line between mechanics and C&V, but I thought it might get more answers to ask a specific question here.

I'm working on a negleced 1967 Schwinn Super Sport with its original Ashtabula crank. I've just about managed to strip everything off the frame so I can give everything a good cleaning. The way I remember, to get the crank off, you have to remove the left pedal first.

The trouble is, this is easier said than done. It looks like a 5/8" open ended wrench might do it, but it would need to have a pretty narrow head on it to fit into the area where the flats are. Does that sound right?

Is there an easier or better way to do this? I don't want to damage or destroy the pedal or the crank, so sawing it off isn't an option.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thank you,
-William
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Old 01-20-22, 10:11 AM
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Yes. There is a thin wrench for pedal removal. Here's a video from Park Tool (guess what they sell) on removal of a 1 piece crank.

If you're so inclined, there's a special bottom bracket conversion for your Schwinn so you can use a 2 piece crankset


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Old 01-20-22, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Yes. There is a thin wrench for pedal removal. Here's a video from Park Tool (guess what they sell) on removal of a 1 piece crank.

If you're so inclined, there's a special bottom bracket conversion for your Schwinn so you can use a 2 piece crankset

https://youtu.be/dpl_wlTBC8k
Oh yes, very familiar with Park Tool. Have a few of their things, but not this particular item. I found a thin bicycle wrench, and it appears that 14mm might be a better fit than 5/8". Either way, that vid made things look way too easy. Whatever wrench I end up using, it's probably going to require a length of pipe over the end to get some torque. It's not breaking loose even after some PBBlaster.

Thank you,
-William
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Old 01-20-22, 01:02 PM
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One piece cranks (like the Ashtabula brand) have 1/2" threads, still LH and RH like the more common 9/16" pedals. But back in the day the wrench flats were smaller than the 15mm of most of today's pedals. So modern pedal wrenches with only one size opening are likely to be a very loose fit on your pedals. IIRC many 1/2" threaded pedals had a 9/16" wrench flat (which is about 14.25mm). Regardless of what wrench flat size your pedals have I strongly doubt they use a 5/8" (about 15.8mm) and I have never heard of this size being used for the wrench flats. (The next larger size, after the very common 15mm) is 17mm and these pedals are not common, but do exist.

If you are unable to measure I suggest you measure the pedal wrench flat size before you either buy a wrench or try an ill fitting one. Are there bike shops in East Ridge? If so I suggest you take your bike to one and ask them what size wrench you need, than buy it from them. BTW a pedal removal cost, done by the shop, will likely be a fraction of the wrench cost. Andy
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Old 01-20-22, 01:07 PM
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I see in your second post you added more data... If I was your lawyer I might drop you for not telling all first

One trick for steel 1 piece cranks that have a too tight pedal is to place the end of the crank arm, pedal installed, against an anvil and hammering it hard on both sides. This can break the rusted bond as well as slightly expand the threaded hole. I haven't had to use this method for a while, but it was useful a few times over the years. If you will toss out the pedals then you can pull the body/cage off the pedal spindle and use a pipe wrench on the now exposed spindle. Andy
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Old 01-20-22, 01:19 PM
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A 9/16 ....19/32 ...or maybe a 15mm wrench is likely about the size you will need

Remember ....that left hand pedal is NOT a conventional right hand thread

It is a LEFT HAND THREAD ....reverse thread ....act as if you are tightening it and like it's a right hand thread ....turning the wrench in a clockwise direction ...IT'S A BACKWARDS THREAD
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Old 01-20-22, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TPL View Post
A 9/16 ....19/32 ...or maybe a 15mm wrench is likely about the size you will need

Remember ....that left hand pedal is NOT a conventional right hand thread

It is a LEFT HAND THREAD ....reverse thread ....act as if you are tightening it and like it's a right hand thread ....turning the wrench in a clockwise direction ...IT'S A BACKWARDS THREAD
I have told many (hundreds?) of customers that "right is right and left is wrong" as the memory phrase. And thanks for not saying that a right hand thread is tightened by turning the wrench to the right. When people say that to me I ask how the wrench is being placed on the pedal spindle then what would happen if the wrench was placed otherwise from what they assume... Andy
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Old 01-20-22, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I see in your second post you added more data... If I was your lawyer I might drop you for not telling all first

One trick for steel 1 piece cranks that have a too tight pedal is to place the end of the crank arm, pedal installed, against an anvil and hammering it hard on both sides. This can break the rusted bond as well as slightly expand the threaded hole. I haven't had to use this method for a while, but it was useful a few times over the years. If you will toss out the pedals then you can pull the body/cage off the pedal spindle and use a pipe wrench on the now exposed spindle. Andy
I Object! Umm. Wait.. What did I do? That I found a wrench that I didn't know I had in the first post? Either way, the wrench I have isn't up to the task. If I weren't trying to save the parts, I would have taken the pedal apart like you said because I could see that such was possible, but it didn't look like the pedal would survive the experience.

There is a bike shop close by, and they've helped me out with some stuff like this in the past. I'll probably run it over there after work. Once the bike's back in "maintained" condition, issues like this don't seem to cause so much trouble. But this one was put away somewhere and neglected, so more effort is required.

Thank you,
-William
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Old 01-20-22, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I see in your second post you added more data... If I was your lawyer I might drop you for not telling all first

One trick for steel 1 piece cranks that have a too tight pedal is to place the end of the crank arm, pedal installed, against an anvil and hammering it hard on both sides. This can break the rusted bond as well as slightly expand the threaded hole. I haven't had to use this method for a while, but it was useful a few times over the years. If you will toss out the pedals then you can pull the body/cage off the pedal spindle and use a pipe wrench on the now exposed spindle. Andy
Yeah, I remembered that the pedal was set up to get tighter as it was pedaled, otherwise it would never work right. Thanks for the reminder, though.

-William
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Old 01-20-22, 01:33 PM
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In addition to PB blaster (I like Freeze--off) and a big lever, I have always found in these situations that whacking the end of the wrench helps break thing loose, Metal hammer, not rubber, to get some shock in there for loosening
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Old 01-20-22, 07:53 PM
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I took it over to the LBS mentioned earlier. Expecting to leave it overnight, the mechanic said the job would take two minutes and said he would do it on the spot. It actually took longer as finding a proper wrench was a bit of a challenge. He started out with the pro grade Park wrench, and it was too big. The more consumer grade model was too small. A thin wrench much like the one I found was barely too small. He finally found something that worked, and the pedal came off in one piece after a bit of force. He showed me that it had been subjected to a trauma at some point, and I explained that the brake lever was crooked on the handlebar, so we surmised that there may be a wreck in the bike's past. He didn't charge me, just said to buy something next time I'm in there. I'm in there quite a bit, and there's always plenty to buy...
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Old 01-22-22, 11:29 AM
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I used to do a lot of work on older bikes. After finding that standard Park Tool cone wrenches ( which are about 1/16 of an inch thick) tended to get easily deformed from loosening REALLY tight cones, I created a set of thicker cone wrenches by taking three brand new wrenches, 13mm, 14mm, and 15mm, and polishing the sides of the open-end to just under 1/8 inch on a grinder. The 14mm I have barely used but the 13mm and 15mm have seen a LOT of action on too-tight cones. There are a few pedal designs that will not allow the use of a full-thickness 15mm wrench but are OK with 1/8 inch. Make sure to not over-heat the wrenches, which may soften the steel.


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Old 01-22-22, 12:36 PM
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.
...if this happens to you in the future, you really do not need to remove a pedal if all you are doing is cleaning and regreasing the bearings in a one piece crank like Ashtabula or Farber. Once you get it to this stage, you can pretty much access all the bearings and races you need to clean and regrease. But if you can just remove the thing, it's easier to clean the bearings.



Farber cranks are often cleaned and serviced in place, because even after you pull the pedal, the thing won't come out until you remove the races.
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Old 01-22-22, 10:25 PM
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Old 01-25-22, 12:13 PM
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Old 01-25-22, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
I took it over to the LBS mentioned earlier. Expecting to leave it overnight, the mechanic said the job would take two minutes and said he would do it on the spot. It actually took longer as finding a proper wrench was a bit of a challenge. He started out with the pro grade Park wrench, and it was too big. The more consumer grade model was too small. A thin wrench much like the one I found was barely too small. He finally found something that worked, and the pedal came off in one piece after a bit of force. He showed me that it had been subjected to a trauma at some point, and I explained that the brake lever was crooked on the handlebar, so we surmised that there may be a wreck in the bike's past. He didn't charge me, just said to buy something next time I'm in there. I'm in there quite a bit, and there's always plenty to buy...
excellent! sounds like my LBS!
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Old 01-30-22, 09:56 AM
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I have a 15/14mm open end wrench that I use to remove pedals. On the left side, sitting down facing the pedal with the pedal at the 3 o clock position and the wrench at 1-2 o clock, brace the pedal on your knee then whack the wrench smartly with a ball peen hammer. Works almost every time. (don't whack your knee please)

By the way, check out the illustration above.
The guy's bike has chain ring on wrong side?
Lady's bike has no chain guard. She is just about to get her skirt caught in the chain.
Also, is it just me or is there something funny about the guy's riding position . are the bars too low or is the bike too small?
Or is he wearing a back brace? he is sitting awfully straight on that thing!!!
And she looks like she is riding side saddle.
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