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frozen expander bolts in my Suntour Barcons

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frozen expander bolts in my Suntour Barcons

Old 07-22-09, 12:32 PM
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Rip Van Winkle
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frozen expander bolts in my Suntour Barcons

I'm refurbishing my '86 Santana Arriva tandem, which I'm happy to say is still in excellent shape. I'm trying to redo the front handlebars, but having trouble getting the old Suntour Barcons off. I don't think they're reverse threads, so I'm guessing the expander bolts are frozen. (They probably haven't been removed in about 15 or 20 years).

So far, I've been taking the patient approach. I've been hitting them with a good healthy shot of Blaster penetrating lubricant every few days or so and banging on the metal to help the good stuff penetrate. If that doesn't work, I think I have some more serious options:

1) Drill them out, and try to find some old barcons, (or the parts), on E-bay.

2) Drill them out, and replace them with something newer.

3) heat the handlebars with a propane torch to try to make them expand a little.

4) Try a different penetrating solution.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

thanks!
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Old 07-22-09, 01:38 PM
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stausty
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Get a long pipe on the allen key and turn hard. You've got steel (barcons) on aluminum (bars) contact, causing corrosion just like a stuck seatpost, so soaking in ammonia might do the trick.

If you kill the ones you have, vintage barcons go for $40-50 on eBay these days.
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Old 07-22-09, 01:38 PM
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Most barcons do tighten in reverse -- turn the hex bolt clockwise to relax the expander wedge and allow the body of the shifter to be withdrawn from the end of the handlebar. Not sure if this is true of absolutely every barcon ever made, but I have a couple of sets of Shimano, and a set of the old Suntour ones that ratchet but don't index. All of those work the same way.
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Old 07-22-09, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by stausty View Post
Get a long pipe on the allen key and turn hard. You've got steel (barcons) on aluminum (bars) contact, causing corrosion just like a stuck seatpost, so soaking in ammonia might do the trick.

If you kill the ones you have, vintage barcons go for $40-50 on eBay these days.
Hadn't thought about that. Thanks.
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Old 07-22-09, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ginsoakedboy View Post
Most barcons do tighten in reverse -- turn the hex bolt clockwise to relax the expander wedge and allow the body of the shifter to be withdrawn from the end of the handlebar. Not sure if this is true of absolutely every barcon ever made, but I have a couple of sets of Shimano, and a set of the old Suntour ones that ratchet but don't index. All of those work the same way.
I definitely considered the possibility of a reverse thread, especially since they were both stuck. That's why I didn't really want to force it until I could stop in here for some thoughts from other folks. I couldn't think of any reason why they would be manufactured with a reverse threading though. It's not as if they rotate the way a pedal does.

BTW, mine are the kind that ratchet but don't index. The bike was built in 1986, when indexed shifting was just being developed.
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Old 07-22-09, 02:04 PM
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stausty
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The direction of turn for locking vs. unlocking depends on where in the mechanism the expander is (are you pushing in to expand or pulling towards you?). Don't take me as the final word on this, 'cause I can't remember with 100% certainty and don't have one in front of me, but I recall my Shimano barcons being backwards from what I expected, such that you turn counter-clockwise to tighten them in the bars. I think the closed position of the expander is closest to the shifter lever and when turning the screw, you push it away to cause the expansion. Hopefully someone else will voice a more affirmative opinion on this subject.
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Old 07-22-09, 02:07 PM
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They are reverse thread. Turn to the right to loosen. It'll make sense why that is once you get them apart.
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Old 07-22-09, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ginsoakedboy View Post
Most barcons do tighten in reverse -- turn the hex bolt clockwise to relax the expander wedge and allow the body of the shifter to be withdrawn from the end of the handlebar. Not sure if this is true of absolutely every barcon ever made, but I have a couple of sets of Shimano, and a set of the old Suntour ones that ratchet but don't index. All of those work the same way.
+ 1 zillion

The expander bolt is not reverse-threaded per se, but you DO have to turn it CLOCKWISE to loosen it. The internal arrangement will become pretty clear when you get them off.

I have worked on 4 (I think) different sets of SunTour bar-end shifters, include my own beloved 80s barcons, and they all turn clockwise to loosen.
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Old 07-22-09, 02:55 PM
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moxfyre is 100% correct.
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Old 07-22-09, 03:11 PM
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For future reference - Get a can of PB Blaster - Automotive Supply - this is the best stuff for stuck/frozen/rude bolts, seatposts, handlebars, etc.
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Old 07-22-09, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
+ 1 zillion

The expander bolt is not reverse-threaded per se, but you DO have to turn it CLOCKWISE to loosen it. The internal arrangement will become pretty clear when you get them off.

I have worked on 4 (I think) different sets of SunTour bar-end shifters, include my own beloved 80s barcons, and they all turn clockwise to loosen.
Aaaahhhh, I get it. It's not really a reverse thread. It's just that the "lefty-loosie-righty-tighty" is backwards! Good thing I didn't try to force it.
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Old 07-22-09, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
For future reference - Get a can of PB Blaster - Automotive Supply - this is the best stuff for stuck/frozen/rude bolts, seatposts, handlebars, etc.
That's what I've been using for the last six months, thanks to the folks on this board. Works great!
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Old 07-22-09, 08:07 PM
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I twisted an allen key around several times trying to get my indexed 7 speed Suntour Barcons out,
they are reverse to normal, turning clockwise loosens them.

Learned the hard way, but I do still love them.
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Old 07-23-09, 04:25 PM
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Thanks all. I'll let you know when I get them off.
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Old 07-25-09, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Rip Van Winkle View Post
Aaaahhhh, I get it. It's not really a reverse thread. It's just that the "lefty-loosie-righty-tighty" is backwards! Good thing I didn't try to force it.
Exactly. You're turning the screw from the "back" or the "bottom". Not really sure how to describe it, honestly. The head of the screw expands the plug as it is screwed in, and you have to... de-expand (?) it in order to remove the shifters.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:08 PM
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SUCCESS!!!

I shot it with some PB-Blaster every few days for a week. Then I put a 6mm allen wrench from my cordlesss screwdriver set into a full size ratchet wrench and cranked it clockwise. They both came right off!

Thanks all for the help. I knew you folks wouldn't let me down.
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