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dropout slightly bent closed

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dropout slightly bent closed

Old 11-16-11, 06:18 PM
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dropout slightly bent closed

Hi, I just bought a 1982 Trek 614 bike on eBay and received it today. I tried to get the rear wheel in the dropouts and discovered that the drive side dropout is slightly more closed than the other and the axle wont fit in. Has anyone had this problem? Is it possible to get it opened up again? Its only slightly smaller but enough to make a difference. Thanks for any help you can give!
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Old 11-16-11, 10:11 PM
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Depends what metal the dropout is made of. Most forged road drop outs are not brittle and can be bent and easily machined. Perhaps yours closed up a bit by sustaining a blow (i.e. was dropped on a hard surface). You might be able to carefully pry the slot or tap it open (with a drift) or even file it a bit wider, if you need just 1-2mm more space. Just be careful not to distort the rear stays. If it was dropped you might want to check the allignment of the stays.
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Old 11-16-11, 10:59 PM
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For steel dropouts just straighten it. The easiest way is to slip a fairly thick bit of steel into the dropout all the way to the back, and gently lever it open. My favorite tool for this is the handle of an 8" adjustable wrench which fits well and won't dig in anywhere.

You might use the same technique with an aluminum dropout if it's only slightly pinched closed, but aluminum is less forgiving than steel and there's always the chance you'll crack it, so you might be better off filing the slot back to a parallel 10mm width. Do all the filing on the bottom of the slot because the top surface determines the axle location and filing it will cause the rear wheel to be higher on one side and the wheel won't be vertical.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:03 PM
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A 1982 600 series Trek would likely have SunTour or Shimano forged dropouts. These are mild steel and should spread without too much trouble. The weak spot is the adjuster bolt hole, which may crack if it is reworked too much.
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