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Freeing a stuck bottom bracket

Old 01-28-09, 11:08 AM
  #1  
Basil Moss
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Freeing a stuck bottom bracket

I've got a not so very old steel Peugeot frame, problem is it has a cartridge BB seized in it. It's a welded frame, so I cant pour lube down the seat tube, but I've pulled the cable guides off and have been applying White Lightning Epic lube into the hole (it's really thin, and has lots of solvents, so I was hoping it would penetrate the threads), but so far no joy. I've got a feeling that rust is the problem here, and perhaps the mechanic was a prick and didn't bother to grease the threads. Does anybody have some suggestions how I can get this thing out? The BB is knackered btw, so leaving it in isn't an option.
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Old 01-28-09, 11:19 AM
  #2  
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Your best bet is to get one of the shallower bottom bracket tools, like Shimano's TL-FC32, and rig up a bolt and washer to secure the tool to the bottom bracket itself. If it's a square taper BB, the bolt should be M8x1, and the washer should be big enough to fit over the tool, with a hole small enough to fit the bolt pretty securely. Pedro's also makes a tool for this: https://www.pedroscatalog.com/product...ductID=6460210.

Once it's held on with the bolt, you can apply quite a bit of force without the tool slipping. Use a 12" or bigger adjustable wrench with a pipe slipped over the end of it if necessary. Make sure you're going the right direction first! If you can't get it out this way, you might have to find someone willing to take a torch to it. Good luck!
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Old 01-28-09, 11:49 AM
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+1 on making a tool to secure the tool to the spindle.

Another strategy to use in concert with this is to remove most large sticky-outy parts (like wheels and handlebars) and, after your homemade tool has the spline tool held in place, secure the spline tool in a big bench vise and turn the frame.

Remember that the right hand (drive side) of the bottom bracket is L.H. (reverse) thread.
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Old 01-28-09, 11:51 AM
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Those guys are right. Basically leverage is solution.
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Old 01-28-09, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Snordalisk View Post
Your best bet is to get one of the shallower bottom bracket tools, like Shimano's TL-FC32,
Don't overlook this statement. Bottom brackets that won't succumb to a Park Tool tool come out super easy with Shimano's.
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Old 01-28-09, 12:56 PM
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Also try to get some PB Blaster in there. It eats the rust away. It has never failed me with stuck BBs or seatposts.
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Old 01-28-09, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Basil Moss View Post
I've got a not so very old steel Peugeot frame, problem is it has a cartridge BB seized in it. It's a welded frame, so I cant pour lube down the seat tube, but I've pulled the cable guides off and have been applying White Lightning Epic lube into the hole (it's really thin, and has lots of solvents, so I was hoping it would penetrate the threads), but so far no joy. I've got a feeling that rust is the problem here, and perhaps the mechanic was a prick and didn't bother to grease the threads. Does anybody have some suggestions how I can get this thing out? The BB is knackered btw, so leaving it in isn't an option.
Secure the tool to the spindle like stated. I reach through the front triangle or put the D-tube/H-tube junction on my shoulder and push down on the wrench/cheater bar.
Epic lube sucks as a penetrant, try Bike-aid or Liquid wrench.
https://www.lubritek.com/bike-aid_lube
https://www.gunk.com/lubricants.asp
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Old 01-28-09, 01:23 PM
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If the spindle is hollow, you can use a quick-release skewer to hold the tool in place. I've had success by carefully heating the bb shell, too.
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Old 01-28-09, 01:51 PM
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I was on an auto forum looking for help with a rusted stuck rotor and there were so many people that recommended PB Blaster I thought the company actually owned the forum site. I had tried heat, cold spray, everything. I was in the hardware store getting some big bolts and washers to make a tool to pry it off and happened to see a can of the stuff. It worked great and the rotors came off. I know this sounds like a bogus testimonial but it's true.
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Old 01-28-09, 02:01 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Timbert View Post
I was on an auto forum looking for help with a rusted stuck rotor and there were so many people that recommended PB Blaster I thought the company actually owned the forum site. I had tried heat, cold spray, everything. I was in the hardware store getting some big bolts and washers to make a tool to pry it off and happened to see a can of the stuff. It worked great and the rotors came off. I know this sounds like a bogus testimonial but it's true.
It didn't until you said "I know this sounds like a bogus testimonial". Shill! (joke)
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Old 01-28-09, 03:06 PM
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OK, what is this PB blaster of which you speak? I'll have to try some.
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Old 01-28-09, 03:08 PM
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Rather than PB blaster you can also just get a little diesel fuel at the nearby gas station. When I last used that it:
Looked like red dyed diesel,
Smelled like diesel,
Dissolved stuff like diesel, and
Left the "I've been using petroleum fuel as a solvent with improper ventilation" headache.

That said it is nice that it's in a spray can, but diesel fuel is probably cheaper, mix it with white gas (camp fuel) for a more accurate mix.

The official MSDS states:
Hazardous Ingredients CAS # Percent
Alkloxypolyethylenioxyethanol 68131-40-8 0-3 %
Solvent Naphtha, Heavy Aromatic** 64742-94-5 40-50%
Heavy Petroleum Distillate 64742-65-0 20-30%
Hydrotreated Light Distillate 64742-47-8 30-40%
ACGIH (PEL)-500 ppm
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Old 01-28-09, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Basil Moss View Post
OK, what is this PB blaster of which you speak? I'll have to try some.
Don't get it in your eyes and be sure to work in a well ventilated area. (see my above post)

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Old 01-28-09, 03:30 PM
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I don't think I've seen it before- can it be bought in the UK?
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Old 01-28-09, 03:51 PM
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All good advice. I know it was mentioned earlier but can't be stressed enough, make sure you're going the right direction. I had a BB stuck awhile back and I was positive that I was pulling in the right direction... but I wasn't.
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Old 01-28-09, 09:59 PM
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So... did you managed to get it out? I have managed to got a few stucked BBs judt by using a chisel & hammer.... and plenty of WD-40. One case took me a few hours once, I almost gave up. I did not just because it was a beautiful Bridgestone MTB frame....
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Old 01-28-09, 10:06 PM
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Just curious why a welded frame would prevent anything from going down the seat tube to the bb shell?
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Old 01-28-09, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
Just curious why a welded frame would prevent anything from going down the seat tube to the bb shell?
In a brazed/lugged frame the lugs aren't sealed at the end so you can get to the inside of the tubes from both ends. In a welded frame the BB is often sealed off or only has a weep hole.
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Old 01-28-09, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Basil Moss View Post
I don't think I've seen it before- can it be bought in the UK?
Auto parts stores have it here. If not, just mix some diesel fuel with some naptha/white gas/coleman fuel/zippo fluid/all the same.
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Old 01-29-09, 12:22 AM
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Each of the welded frames I've had there was access, that's why I was wondering...guess I had unusual frames then?
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Old 01-29-09, 07:44 AM
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Right, update. I got a can of Plusgas- apparently the best penetrating dismantling lube available in the UK. I've been squiring it in there, and given it some time. It says on the can that it usually works instantaneously, but in severe cases can take a few minutes. I've given it 15. I've taken all bits off the frame, so I can put my feet on the top tube. I've bolted the removal tool in place, and I'm starting with the left hand side, as that is sure to be anticlockwise to unscrew. I've also put a 2 foot long cheater bar on my spanner. And the ******* thing still won't budge.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-29-09, 08:39 AM
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There comes a time when it things become undoable.
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Old 01-29-09, 08:41 AM
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That isn't much help you know...

What about heating it- anybody know how I'd go about doing that?
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Old 01-29-09, 10:11 AM
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heat the BB with a portable propane or MAP gas torch.
If this doesn't work, dynamite.

I had a hell of a time with a Shimano BB and an AL Diamondback frame. It was left submerged in water.
Took a PB Blaster soaking overnight, followed by clamping a Park tool to the cup and and a super long breaker bar. Had to stomp on it with my right leg. But it finally loosened.
Don't know why people insist on not using anti-seize compound for dissimilar metal contacts.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:21 AM
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Have you tried the local bike shop? I've seen them do some amazing things with stuck BBs around here.
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