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Headset Problem- Can't Steer (pics)

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Headset Problem- Can't Steer (pics)

Old 09-22-08, 11:12 PM
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Big M
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Headset Problem- Can't Steer (pics)

Well, I've been fixing up an old Schwinn Sidewinder, and am just learning as I go along.

For no good reason, I took apart the headset, and it's not going back together.
From what I can tell, there's a long bolt that goes from the stem down throught the head tube and is secured to the fork by a nut at the bottom of the head tube.

Problems:
I didn't see a nut when I took it apart.
The bolt is not even long enough to reach the hole at the bottom of the head tube.
If I press the stem down, the fork will turn with the handle, but only if I press down hard.
The inside of the headtube is very rusty...this is bad, right?

I'm assuming this bolt is supposed to be secured to the bottom of the headtube, and this tension makes it steer. I have no idea why this bolt is suddenly too short.

I've been looking for detailed diagrams of headset assemblies, but nothing seems to resemble what I have here. Here are some pics to help illustrate.
Thanks in advance.

Stem sitting in headtube
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c4.../Photo0111.jpg

Here you see the bolt as I remove the handlebars. This bolt doesn't even reach the hole you see in the next pic
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c4.../Photo0112.jpg

The headtube looks pretty rusty here.
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c4.../Photo0113.jpg

Headtube, lit from the bottom...this looks all sorts of wrong, but I'll wait for someone else to tell me for sure.
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c4.../Photo0114.jpg

Last edited by Big M; 09-22-08 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 09-22-08, 11:19 PM
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zzyzx_xyzzy
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You're missing the wedge, which presses against the sides of the steer tube to secure the stem at the height you pick. Like the stem on the left in this picture:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/images/stems333-220.gif

Looks like it is still in the steer tube and has fallen down some. Poke it up from the bottom with a stick.
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Old 09-23-08, 12:06 AM
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Wow...Nothing makes me feel stupider than simplicity.
I just went out to the garage and had it done in 2 minutes. I never realized that was a wedge shaped nut down there. I thought it was a part of the frame.

Thank you very much for the help. I appreciate it. I can get get a good night's sleep now.
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Old 09-23-08, 06:52 AM
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Good on the headset.
If you're using an autofocus camera, it's broken.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:07 AM
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Why would I buy a real camera when any cheapo cell phone nowadays does the trick?
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Old 09-23-08, 07:13 AM
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make sure that you put the bearings in so they face the correct direction.

Round side of bearing races go toward the bearing cups.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:44 AM
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heh, I had a similar problem the other day when I took my headset apart

I just removed the fork, turned it upside down, got the wedge out, put it on the bottom of the headstem, turned the bolt a little bit just to secure it in there, then put it all back
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