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Seized Thru Axle

Old 06-07-22, 12:53 PM
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smallpox champ
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Seized Thru Axle

Asking for any advice with this problem. I've got a DT Swiss RWS thru axle seized in a carbon frame, possibly overtightened, definitely corroded. The handle of the thru axle simply broke free from the steel male threaded rod which is still stuck in the axle, M8-1.25.

I've tried to soak the seized sections with penetrant, I've cleaned the threads and tried reattaching the handle with Loctite 262, after 24h the handle broke free from the Loctite again. I've tried placing a 12mm od spacer and nut on the threaded rod and tightening the axle in hopes of simply breaking the corrosion, but the class 8 nut simply starts to round and nothing else moved.

The drive side is a snug fit for a 6mm hex but not enough to apply any force. I can try to dremel flats into the threaded rod but the recess in the frame makes that difficult. I'm trying to avoid drilling the axle out.

Any advice?



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Old 06-07-22, 01:15 PM
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I can't tell if you might have enough room on the NDS threads but if you can fit a nut on it and then the handle and try to tighten the nut against the handle it may hold to undo the axle. A large torx bit lightly hammered into the DS end may grab enough to turn the axle. Remove the derailleur hanger, with the two screws, and see if that gives you any room for vice grip pliers, probably not but worth a look. You may have to drill out the DS end and with any luck the bit will grab onto the axle and twist it loose before you have to drill too far but if not this may make it easier to turn the axle. That's all I got for now.
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Old 06-07-22, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
I can't tell if you might have enough room on the NDS threads but if you can fit a nut on it and then the handle and try to tighten the nut against the handle it may hold to undo the axle. A large torx bit lightly hammered into the DS end may grab enough to turn the axle. Remove the derailleur hanger, with the two screws, and see if that gives you any room for vice grip pliers, probably not but worth a look. You may have to drill out the DS end and with any luck the bit will grab onto the axle and twist it loose before you have to drill too far but if not this may make it easier to turn the axle. That's all I got for now.
Unfortunately there's only about 8mm of threads, not a lot to work with. I've thought of hammering something into the drive side but I fear that might act to apply outward pressure, tightening the threads, and that the soft aluminum will just shear, rounding out.
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Old 06-07-22, 01:43 PM
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I recently had a barrel adjuster do this in a brake caliper. I drilled it out, but it was a very near thing not to damage the threads because the threads had galled together.
It basically meant that after drilIing I had to re cut the thread very gently and carefully to remove the metal from the barrel adjuster.
It was a nightmare, and I'm glad it was on my bike not someone else's.
On the same caliper were two more galled bolts. One I removed by freezing it, the other was seriously stuck so I followed the advice of another forum member and boiled it in soapy water for an hour which did the trick.
I don't know how you can treat that part of the bike in this way, but you may find a way.
I think locking two nuts together is the way forward, if you don't have a lot of room perhaps you could use thin bolts like cone bolts, or cut a normal bolt in half?
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Old 06-07-22, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by smallpox champ View Post
Asking for any advice with this problem. I've got a DT Swiss RWS thru axle seized in a carbon frame, possibly overtightened, definitely corroded. The handle of the thru axle simply broke free from the steel male threaded rod which is still stuck in the axle, M8-1.25.

I've tried to soak the seized sections with penetrant, I've cleaned the threads and tried reattaching the handle with Loctite 262, after 24h the handle broke free from the Loctite again. I've tried placing a 12mm od spacer and nut on the threaded rod and tightening the axle in hopes of simply breaking the corrosion, but the class 8 nut simply starts to round and nothing else moved.

The drive side is a snug fit for a 6mm hex but not enough to apply any force. I can try to dremel flats into the threaded rod but the recess in the frame makes that difficult. I'm trying to avoid drilling the axle out.

Any advice?


Get a Grabit extractor and use it with an impact driver, the type to tap with a hammer. It turns the bit as you tap it with a hammer. You should be able to find a Grabit that will fit, and grab in the drive end. The Grabit style extractor works well in this type of situation since you do not have to drill in order for it to work. There should be enough of an opening for the bit to grab and dig in.

I would use the impact to get it started but don't hit it too hard, just enough for the bit to turn and dig in, and begin to turn the axle. You can put a wrench on the Grabit shank once the bit has dug in. I am a little leery of applying too much force to the impact driver on a carbon frame, so take it easy.

This is the type of driver I am referring to. Lowes carries them. Here it is on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/CRAFTSMAN-Imp...4632497&sr=8-7

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Old 06-07-22, 02:29 PM
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I've been wondering what the hell happens when those threads wear out from just repeated removal, especially if it's just alu.
They made no sense to me whatsoever in any case. I have stripped lots steel nuts on SS or IGH hubs over the years.
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Old 06-07-22, 02:49 PM
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Personally if it were mine I would place the bike on it's side with the threads facing up. Spray some liquid wrench in the threads and let it set overnight. Then try to loosen the axle. Good luck.
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Old 06-07-22, 03:50 PM
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Sawzall the axle on each side in between the frame & wheel. Once the wheel is pulled out, that should reduce the dual binding ends & make extracting the TA easier as well as safer to prevent damaging the frame.
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Old 06-07-22, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
I've been wondering what the hell happens when those threads wear out from just repeated removal, especially if it's just alu.
They made no sense to me whatsoever in any case. I have stripped lots steel nuts on SS or IGH hubs over the years.
I doubt that will be am issue, unless someone cross threads it, or overtightens it. If that happens, it can be repaired.
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Old 06-07-22, 06:18 PM
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1. You mentioned loctite and the handle didn't work well. If a bonded joint fails and you can't change the shape then you need better surface prep, better glue, or more surface area. Find a longer rod to glue into the axle. Vise grips on that. Of course if it does stick and breaks off you'll have a really good time drilling both out.
2. Just drill it out. If you're feeling patient and skilled you could drill out the threaded end, use a needle file to get close to the threads, then peel it out like a stuck seat post. Hour if you know what you're doing, afternoon if you don't. Care needed not to damage the frame side threads.
3. I'm assuming the frame side is aluminum as well, so the usual dissimilar metal tricks won't work.
4. If any portion of the axle is accessible between the wheel and the frame, cut that and back things out. You might end up sacrificing a hub spacer or something along the way, just make sure you know what you're cutting through.
5. I'm assuming you can't unscrew any portion of the mounting assembly from the frame, but if you can that might be worth considering.
6. Not nearly the width, but it might be easier to cut a slot and drive out from the threaded end than from the non-threaded end. +1 to doing this with an impact tool, assuming reasonable judgement is exercised.
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Old 06-07-22, 07:38 PM
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I hear an excellent penetrant is a 50-50 mix of acetone and ATF. Try that for a day or so.

Then try an electric heat gun on the dropout before applying torque and impact.

I like the idea of an impact driver on the DS with a Torx bit driven into the axle. I'd try an electric impact driver since I have one. I also have an old hammer impact driver and it's worked on larger stuff like car suspension parts.

Do you think the axle is seized on the NDS too? You might be able to break or check that by slightly spreading the dropouts, just half a millimeter.

Drilling the DS might not be too bad. You have a centered pilot hole and you should weaken the axle enough before you touch the threads to break the thing out of there, then you'll have access to file and pick out from both sides and run a tap through.
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Old 06-07-22, 09:43 PM
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I think you are on the right track with Loctite. If it were me I would clean and re-prep the exposed threads, find a hex nut that threads on properly, and fix it on with Loctite 271 or 272. After curing, you should be able to remove with a breaker bar and the correctly sized socket.

Last edited by SalsaShark; 06-07-22 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 06-08-22, 07:25 PM
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File large flats on the exposed threads and use a good quality wrench.

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Old 06-08-22, 08:41 PM
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Use a heat gun on the frame and use a can of compressed air (turned upside down) to freeze the axle. Repeated heat/cold cycles can break the corrosion binding the axle to the frame.
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Old 06-08-22, 10:03 PM
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I don't sign in very often any more, but... heat gun is how I break epoxy glue joints, by heating the glue to a temperature where it softens. If a carbon frame is carbon fiber in an epoxy binder, then applying heat will be the end of the frame.
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Old 06-09-22, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Sawzall the axle on each side in between the frame & wheel. Once the wheel is pulled out, that should reduce the dual binding ends & make extracting the TA easier as well as safer to prevent damaging the frame.
Sheesh.. I hope you were joking. If not, try that on your frame, and post the video.
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Old 06-09-22, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by redcon1 View Post
Sheesh.. I hope you were joking. If not, try that on your frame, and post the video.
if I needed to, i would. Sheeeeeshies
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Old 06-09-22, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I don't sign in very often any more, but... heat gun is how I break epoxy glue joints, by heating the glue to a temperature where it softens. If a carbon frame is carbon fiber in an epoxy binder, then applying heat will be the end of the frame.
My first thought was to try using a MIG welder to quickly stick another piece of metal to the bolt head -- would that ruin the frame, too?
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Old 06-09-22, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
My first thought was to try using a MIG welder to quickly stick another piece of metal to the bolt head -- would that ruin the frame, too?
Bert Hull, former Product Development Manager of True Temper’s Alpha Q Composites division and now of www.warp9bikes.com, www.uberhunddesigns.com and www.zen-composites.com says..........

"It may vary a little from brand to brand, but with our resin system you can safely get up to 275-300 degrees F before you start to see any damage. The paint on the fork may not like temperatures that high, but structurally there is no problem with the carbon composite."

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Old 06-10-22, 07:57 PM
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As recommended above make a 50:50 mix of acetone and Dextron or equal transmission fluid. Use a dropper to soak the threads. Twice a day for a few days.
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Old 06-11-22, 08:31 AM
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Just have to throw in my anal opinion on seat tube clamp bolts. I always grind off the little notch that holds the female end in place and use that end to do the turning. Campy are a little more time consuming having to file off the serrations. Reason being that if you have any type of bending in the bolt when fully tightened, each time you turn the male end it's flexing in all 360 degrees of rotation and weakens the bolt. Of course, you're not supposed to have a clamp that bends the bolt but it's fairly common in real life. Using the female end to tighten allows you to bend the male end once and leave it in place. If your clamp doesn't have this issue, then no need to file the bolt.
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Old 06-11-22, 10:51 AM
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Have you got this solved yet? I'd grab the non drive side with a good pair of vice grips and twist it out.

I'm really surprised that they threaded the handle side.
​​​​​​

​​​​​​You will expand the other side if you try to jam something in there tight enough to turn it. Unless they made a hex or torx socket way up inside it just for this eventuality.

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Old 06-11-22, 01:12 PM
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Thanks all for the suggestions.

For those interested: I used Loctite 271 to fix a nut onto the threaded rod, the result was the thread rod came out of the axle. Interesting there was a 4mm hex on the inside of the thread rod.





Than I inserted a socket cap screw with a nut to jam against the axle. I used more Loctite 271 to give it the best chance. This had no effect at all.

I had heard from a mechanic who had this exact problem, their successful solution was drilling.

So I simply proceeded to drill out the drive side. the axle broke at the threads before coming close to the thread's minimum diameter.

The non drive side was surprisingly seized still. I used the cap screw and jam nut with a breaker bar to spin the non drive side and fed in penetrant. Eventually it came loose and the wheel was free.

The threads in the frame need a tap to be cleaned up, but appear intact.


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Old 06-11-22, 03:52 PM
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This thread makes me glad that all of my bikes have QR wheels and enclosed cam skewers.
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