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Changing from cottered to cotterless

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Changing from cottered to cotterless

Old 03-31-02, 06:29 PM
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mike
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[COLOR=red]UPDATE!;[/COLOR] Changing from cottered to cotterless

I know you are thinking WHAT?! What is a question like this doing on BF.C? Well, I know that some guys like John E, Rainman, MichaelW and others may actually have some experience with the old machines, so here goes.

I was parting out some of my clunkers this weekend trying to make some space in the garage and now have quite a collection of parts.

Anyway, I am standing here wrench in hand, looking at an old Raleigh Gran Prix. It has a nice double butted, lugged, Chromoly frame, BUT it also has cottered cranks which have proven to be a head-ache.

I am thinking about using some of the cotterlesss cranks taken from the parted out bikes and puting them on the Gran Prix.

Of course, the thing to do is try and see if the parts fit. First, I thought I would check with you guys.

Any suggestions or hints?

Last edited by mike; 04-14-02 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 03-31-02, 10:32 PM
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I've done it twice with good results. Aside from the pain in the neck of removing the cotters, it can be done nicely. Sheldon Brown has a helpful article about removing cotters.

You can keep the old cups, if they are in good shape. You just need a spindle that are the right size for the cranks, and you're good to go.

What kind of crank do you have? Stonglite, Nervar, etc?
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Old 04-01-02, 02:22 AM
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Originally posted by Oscar
Aside from the pain in the neck of removing the cotters, it can be done nicely. Sheldon Brown has a helpful article about removing cotters.
You can say that again. Three failed attempts at getting old cotters off in two days. Aarrgh!

Cotters don't stay tight when they should and they won't come off when they should either.

Glad those things are a part of bicycling past.
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Old 04-01-02, 04:27 AM
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I've done it once, from Raleigh cottered to Sugino cotterless, and other than the difficulty in removing the pins, no real problems. As I recall, I bought a new set of cups which came with the bb axle for the Sugino.
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Old 04-01-02, 06:37 AM
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The problem with old Raleighs, though, is that many of them use whitworth threads. This is an ancient machine dimensioning standard, one which the rest of the world (England included) abandoned 50 years ago. If your BB threads are whitworth, then you will probably find that your choices are quite limited, if even available.
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Old 04-01-02, 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by D*Alex
The problem with old Raleighs, though, is that many of them use whitworth threads. This is an ancient machine dimensioning standard, one which the rest of the world (England included) abandoned 50 years ago. If your BB threads are whitworth, then you will probably find that your choices are quite limited, if even available.
Although this is indeed a problem with roadsters and very early road bikes, any Raleigh road frame made since the early-to-mid 1950s will have modern ISO BB threading. These sweet-riding old frames are superb candidates for component upgrades.
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Old 04-01-02, 02:41 PM
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When banging out the cotters, I use an old pedal axle that I hold over the top of the cotter. I hold it with a vice grips (to save my fingers) and bang HARD on the cotters. They'll come out eventually.
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Old 04-01-02, 03:24 PM
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Super advise, so far, guys. JohnE, thanks for the motivation.

Oscar, I have tried using a countersink tool in the way you desribe using the pedal axle. Do you think the pedal axle works better? The countersink tool has mixed results and sometimes chews up the bolt.
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Old 04-01-02, 08:24 PM
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I'd use a countersink if I had one. That's why I use a pedal axle. By the way, make sure you have the bottom of the crank braced with a small length of pipe that you should wedge between the bottom of the crank and the floor. This will transfer the shock of your strike to the floor and hopefully save the bb cups some damage.

You might soak some penetrant in the cotter if you're having trouble.

I once tried to tap tap tap the cotter out. Then I got mad and just whapped it with one Paul Bunyon strike. Bing! You'll feel so good when it's out.
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Old 04-01-02, 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Oscar
I'd use a countersink if I had one. That's why I use a pedal axle. By the way, make sure you have the bottom of the crank braced with a small length of pipe that you should wedge between the bottom of the crank and the floor. This will transfer the shock of your strike to the floor and hopefully save the bb cups some damage.

You might soak some penetrant in the cotter if you're having trouble.

I once tried to tap tap tap the cotter out. Then I got mad and just whapped it with one Paul Bunyon strike. Bing! You'll feel so good when it's out.
Oscar, I tried the tap, tap, tap and then a Paul Bunyon THWACK! as you described.

The cotter mushroomed - utterly hopless to get the cotters out without drilling after than Mighty Thor approach.

Some cotters are just impossible to get out after being stuck in place for 20+ years. There is a cotter remover, but I don't have one. There is an old-timer LBS here that probably has one, but by the time I figure I had better leave it to him, the damage is already done.
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Old 04-02-02, 12:26 AM
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Don't give up hope yet, Mike. I usually use a 1/4" drift punch and after mushrooming the threads, I hit the threaded portion back and forth so it breaks off at the taper. Now you can get down deep and put the force where you really want it--at the cotter. Then you can drill it out if you need to.
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Old 04-02-02, 06:44 AM
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Originally posted by D*Alex
The problem with old Raleighs, though, is that many of them use whitworth threads. This is an ancient machine dimensioning standard, one which the rest of the world (England included) abandoned 50 years ago. If your BB threads are whitworth, then you will probably find that your choices are quite limited, if even available.
Whitworth threads were in threads per inch so american SAE nuts will go on a Whitworth bolt or threaded shaft. SAE threads are scharp while Whitworth are flat topped so Whitworth nuts will not work on SAE bolts. FWIW
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Old 04-14-02, 11:23 PM
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It worked!

I finally had some time today to take the Raleigh Gran Prix cotter pins out and put the cotterless cranks on from the Schwinn World Sport.

By the way, did I mention that I hate cottered cranks? If not, let me say right here and now; I HATE COTTERED CRANKS! I am glad that era is finally behind us.

It worked great. The bearing cup threading was the same, but the Schwinn bearing cup was just a little deeper than the Raleigh, so I had to cut it down. After that, all the parts fitted perfectly!

Now I have a very nice Reynolds steel double butted chromoly frame with updated cotterless aluminum cranks. Better yet, it didn't cost me anything but my time. I'm slapping on some aluminum rims that were gifted to me as well. She is getting a good set of new high pressure kevlar tires.

This should be a nice road bike.

Just in time for the upcoming tour I organized. I have mountain bike friends that always mooch road bikes from me for tours, so this should be a nice addition to the fleet.
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