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Seized Quill stem

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Old 11-06-04, 09:48 AM
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Seized Quill stem

My frame is steel and I have a 1" diameter Cinelli quill stem - the older long bolt and wedge type, which seems to have become part of the inner steerer. The wedge and screw have come out no problem, but the stem is badly stuck even after a 1" thick stick was placed up under the belly hole of the fork and hit with a large steel hammer, all of this after 3 days of wd40 saturation.

I have taken it to the LBS who could'nt free it manually but hinted that larger cycle repair stores have a special 'machine' to push out nuiscence stems. Is this so?

If not..any other methods folks?
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Old 11-06-04, 11:00 AM
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I don't think that WD40 is the best penetrating oil. I think that you'll have better luck with a product like Liquid Wrench that's specifically designed for that usage. I'm told that household ammonia is good for breaking parts loose, but I've never tried it.
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Old 11-06-04, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroSteel
My frame is steel and I have a 1" diameter Cinelli quill stem - the older long bolt and wedge type, which seems to have become part of the inner steerer. The wedge and screw have come out no problem, but the stem is badly stuck even after a 1" thick stick was placed up under the belly hole of the fork and hit with a large steel hammer, all of this after 3 days of wd40 saturation.

I have taken it to the LBS who could'nt free it manually but hinted that larger cycle repair stores have a special 'machine' to push out nuiscence stems. Is this so?

If not..any other methods folks?
Read This:

http://www.yarchive.net/bike/frozen_stem_remove.html
 
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Old 11-06-04, 11:36 PM
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I have had success with household ammonia, although I cant remember if it was a seat post or quill stem. Household ammonia isnt expensive, so give it a try before you resort to cutting metal. Turn the bike upsidedown and pour the ammonia down the steerer tub. Do this outside.
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Old 11-07-04, 12:17 AM
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Further reinforcing the practice of relubing stems and seatposts at least yearly. The amonnia trick should work well at attacking the aluminium oxide (Aluminum "rust" caused by galvanic corrosion) and the stem should release.
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Old 11-07-04, 12:18 AM
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Ammonia works because it dissolves the electrolyses reaction between the aluminum and the steel that caused your stem to seize up. WD40 or Liquid Wrench will not work for those situations. By the way, for loosening up frozen steel parts Liquid Wrench is far superior to WD40.
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Old 11-07-04, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by froze
Ammonia works because it dissolves the electrolyses reaction between the aluminum and the steel that caused your stem to seize up. WD40 or Liquid Wrench will not work for those situations. By the way, for loosening up frozen steel parts Liquid Wrench is far superior to WD40.
On a related note I find P.B. Blaster

to work a bit faster than Liquid Wrench.... but they're both really nasty chemicals which I try to avoid using.
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Old 11-07-04, 09:14 AM
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Hi, where can i get ammonia? I'm from u.k
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Old 11-07-04, 09:23 AM
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Look for ammonia at the supermarket in the household cleaners section.

I use PB Blaster too, and it works great for me.
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Old 11-07-04, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RetroSteel
My frame is steel and I have a 1" diameter Cinelli quill stem - the older long bolt and wedge type, which seems to have become part of the inner steerer. The wedge and screw have come out no problem, but the stem is badly stuck even after a 1" thick stick was placed up under the belly hole of the fork and hit with a large steel hammer, all of this after 3 days of wd40 saturation.

I have taken it to the LBS who could'nt free it manually but hinted that larger cycle repair stores have a special 'machine' to push out nuiscence stems. Is this so?

If not..any other methods folks?
The old cinellis use a plug expander rather than a wedge. The base of the quill can take a permanent set and literally become frozen in the steerer. If the bolt can be removed and the plug drops out the base of the steerer, it's possible to use an old socket that is a close fit in the steerer with an extension, and beat the stem out from the bottom.It's also possible that if the quil will rotate, it can be removed if you are able to turn it while pulling hard with the fork imobilized by some method.
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Old 11-07-04, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
Further reinforcing the practice of relubing stems and seatposts at least yearly. The amonnia trick should work well at attacking the aluminium oxide (Aluminum "rust" caused by galvanic corrosion) and the stem should release.
Lube doesn't cure the problem on an old cinelli type that uses a plug expander,and causes the base of the quill to take a permanent set. And amonia and bp blaster stuff doesn't fix the problem either, as it has become a tight wedge fit that has to be wrestled out. A wedge is a better ideal.
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Old 01-23-05, 10:29 AM
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I have a Cinelli quill stem in a Litespeed that has been frozen for 5+ years. Now that I want to change the stem (just as they are disappearing fast!), I really wanted to get the old one out, but it would budge. I dripped Liquid Wrench down it every couple of hours for two days, banged down on the set screw with a rubber mallet after a couple of the treatments, and -- Voila! -- it loosened up.

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Old 01-23-05, 12:50 PM
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Try backing the bolt at the top a few turns, and then giving it a light hit with a hammer. This may force the wedge away from the steerer tube and the bottom part of the stem, makeing it easier to remove. If the bolt head is recessed, use an old allen key to transmit the force form the hammer.
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Old 01-23-05, 02:48 PM
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Liquid wrench works very well for iron oxidation. It is probbably the least lethal of the chemicals sugested. Do keep in mind it is either(related to the anesthetic) and will make you nauseous in a confined area. Been there did that. Almost put me down for a while before I realised it. Effective stuff though, not too messy.
WD-40 is not volatile enough to penetrate. It is designed more for lubricating propperties and water displacement(WD). Gibbs and PB are somewhere in between WD and LW, but leave a goodly bit of residue. In fact Gibbs can double as rubber treatment, almost like armor all.
I prefer professional stregth ammonia for aluminum/iron corrosion. Most of the household grade brands are watered down too far to be effective. That works well for its application but has little or no effect on Iron oxide itself.
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Old 01-23-05, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroSteel
Hi, where can i get ammonia? I'm from u.k
Commercial strength ammonia should be available from a "blueprint" supply house. The diazo process uses 28% ammonia as the developer.

Exercise GREAT CAUTION when using this stuff as it can be lethal.

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Old 01-23-05, 10:54 PM
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It's been almost 3 months since this thread was started. I sure hope RetroSteel isn't still trying to remove that stem.
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Old 01-23-05, 11:05 PM
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True but some topics bear review.
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Old 01-24-05, 08:23 AM
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[QUOTE=Raiyn][color=blue]......
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Old 04-28-05, 06:10 AM
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Yeah I'm still trying to get this damn stem out after 'coming back' to it last night after a 6 month lay off! Shortly after i wrote this post i tried the industrial strength ammonia method but it had no effect. So yesterday I cut two slits in the stem down to the bare bone of the fork steerer with a hacksaw blade, I then got some locking pliers and tried to bend the stem in on itself, but, all the pliers seem to do is crush and mess up the 1/2 inch of stem thats sticking out of the steerer (where i cut it off). I was thinking of crushing this 1/2 inch sticking out part together in a vice to get more leverage and pressure - Then again I don't know if this method would make the lowest part of the inner stem expand and bulge and perhaps cause more trouble. What do you think?

*I will try and get some snaps...

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Old 09-06-05, 02:03 PM
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I have a similar problem, alloy cinneli stem stuck in a (I believe) steel steerer of a look carbon fork. I've wrestled with it on and off for a year now.

Two techniques I have not heard mentioned are:

1. Chopping off the stem above the steerer and then using a hacsaw blade to cut a slot in the remaining portion of the stem. This provides the remaining part of the stem room to contract as you try to twist/pull it out with pliers. Supposedly far too much laber to be able to pay anyone to do it.

2. Chopping off the stem above the steerer and then melting the aluminum out of the steel with a torch.

3. Cooling the whole mechanism with liuid nitrogen, the idea being that the aluminum steerer will contract more than the steel it is stuck to, breaking the bond.

I have not tried any of these methods yet, and am not endorsing any of them either.

Drew
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Old 09-06-05, 10:40 PM
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If I understand correctly, you have an aluminum quill stuck in a steel tube. Ya, that is going to be nearly impossible to get apart if it is welded good.

Have you tried pounding it out from the fork side hole with a METAL post?

I am sure you now know that aluminum and steel will weld together with time. Be sure to coat aluminum quills with grease before using them inside a steel tube. Somebody on the forums some years ago posted that brass grease (?) is the appropriate grease for this purpose.
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Old 10-19-05, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mike
If I understand correctly, you have an aluminum quill stuck in a steel tube. Ya, that is going to be nearly impossible to get apart if it is welded good.

Have you tried pounding it out from the fork side hole with a METAL post?

I am sure you now know that aluminum and steel will weld together with time. Be sure to coat aluminum quills with grease before using them inside a steel tube. Somebody on the forums some years ago posted that brass grease (?) is the appropriate grease for this purpose.
Yes, I have tried that impact through the fork hole, although it seems like pushing on the internal wedge wouldn't really have the desired effect.

I have a feeling my LOOK carbon fork will die of UV exposure, or the cartrige bearings in my headset will need replacement before I'm able to get the stem out. Some day I will just have to saw through my forkstem, donate it to my LBS to display as a warning to others, and have a good cry At least I've already gotten a good six years of year-round daily commuting out of the fork...
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Old 10-20-05, 06:58 AM
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I just experienced the stuck aluminum quill in my '79 Cannondale touring bike after buying a new head set to install. I tried every trick in the book here, including inverting the fork and soaking in penetrating oil (no luck), amonia (even less luck) and brute force (got it revolving slightly). I ended up cutting the top of the stem off leaving about 2 " at the top. The bolt hole was just big enough to get a hacksaw blade in. Had to hold on the a bare blade with gloves. After 45 minutes of sawing, breaking about 4 blades in the process, I was able to cut two channels into the stem on opposite sides. I used a flash light to check progress and to ensure I was not cutting into the stem, but aluminum is so much softer then steel that it was obvious when I was through. I use visegrips to squeeze down on the two halves and with some elbow greese extracted the stem. I felt like King Aurthur! Did not even scratch the surface inside the fork. Anyway, worth the effort since nobody has a replacement fork for a '79 Cannodale, with 27" wheels and brazed on brake studs. Good luck. Never say die.
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Old 10-20-05, 08:53 AM
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Thanks for the enouragement, Big Unit! Good to hear success stories.

This got me thinking... Is there any reason one couldn't use a threadless stem with a suitable shim on the 2" that are left of a sawn off quill stem? (Admittedly an inelegant hack.)
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Old 06-26-06, 08:54 PM
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Thanks for the help. Thought I'd put in my two cents. After trying all of your suggestions, my aluminum stem would not budge from the steel fork. I got frustrated and cut the stem off to remove the fork. I began looking for a replacement on eBay. Luckily, I did a google search and found the folks at yellowjersey.org. It cost me $25.00 plus the shipping costs and they removed the aluminum stub and reamed the column. They did this the same day they received it in the mail. I spent hours trying to free the seized stem and had no luck. It was well worth the $25.00 to send it to Wisconsin to have the work done by someone else. They have a great web page that documents lots of other repairs, too. I'm a newbie and not trying to post an ad, but these guys were great and it saved a great deal of work. Thought it would be worth it to register and post this information just in case anyone else was in the same situation as I was.
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