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Dropout slightly bent open

Old 01-08-18, 07:58 PM
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Narhay
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Dropout slightly bent open

I was looking at a frame with Campagnolo dropouts and noticed the rear wheel was pushed all the way to the rear and dropout adjuster screws removed.

Upon further view the drive side dropout slot was opened slightly, maybe a couple mm by the opening.

Is this one of those areas one can easily bend back or was I wise to walk away? I feel if it was opened in a crash and bending it back I would be weakening a damaged crucial area. The price was ok for just parts but the Bottecchia Professional frame was the real cake topper.
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Old 01-08-18, 08:29 PM
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Unlike aluminum dropouts, the steel dropout should be able to take the stress of bending the dropout slot tip back to normal. If there's any weak point it would be the adjuster hole at the back of the slot. I'm thinking, if you can brace the back end of the slot, near the adjuster hole with the exact sized shim so that end that does not need bending will not be stressed too much, you should be able to avoid breakng the DO....
I've heard of builders heating up the DO to make it easier to bend it back, but unless you know what you are doing, you might end up damaging the DO and the frame, and the frame's finish if you heat it yourself.
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Old 01-08-18, 09:05 PM
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Most likely you will be able to simply bend it back, especially if it is just slightly opened. Dropouts are intentionally made to be relatively malleable. I've fixed some that were all twisted up and looked like they were toast, but they went right back. OTOH sometimes you will get unlucky and they'll randomly crack. You will need dropout alignment tools, or at least a home version of them, to get it all hunky dory afterwards.

I'd be inclined to put screws back in first, lest you warp the holes.
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Old 01-08-18, 11:30 PM
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Might be tough on a forged dropout but I've closed down stamped ones by using Channel Lock pliers cushioned with a shop towel. Squeeze gently, check often.
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Old 01-09-18, 05:43 AM
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I had the opposite - a Campy DO closed about 2 mm. I pried it open very gently and it's been fine for the past 2 or 3 thousand miles. I did ensure the adj screw was in place to support that weak point. What you don't know is if the DO has been bent before. It's a crap shoot. Once or twice may be OK but, like bending a paper clip, eventually the steel will break.
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Old 01-09-18, 06:32 AM
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If it is open, I would place the wheel in place, clamped at the rear most position. This will not only support the stated week location but also provide a fulcrum to bend around (the axle) to close the gap.

Can you see where the bend is located? Is what should be the straight surface straight or is the bend at the radius of the DO?
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Old 01-09-18, 06:40 AM
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I think that would be fine, one can hook the round end of like a 5/8" wrench and pull back into place, but to do that you need to pull it closer than spec because there is still a smidge of snapback to get it in position.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:15 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Maybe I overestimated the issue however I do not regret walking from the deal.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:56 PM
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Late to the game, but here's the way I've been doing it for decades:



The back end of an 8" adjustable wrench is just about right to do this. Just catch the derailleur hanger stop as shown, bend it back slightly. That's a forged Campy 1010 dropout, but I've done it on others as well. Go a bit at a time, if you have calipers, check to make sure the inner faces are parallel. If you don't, use a rear wheel to make sure you don't close it up too much.
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Old 01-10-18, 07:54 AM
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You should put a screw in the drop out adj screw hole to keep it from ovalizing
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Old 01-10-18, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88
You should put a screw in the drop out adj screw hole to keep it from ovalizing
Haven't had this issue in the dozens of times I've used it over the years, but if it gives peace of mind, by all means, do it.
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Old 01-10-18, 09:10 AM
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@gugie - I guess I am a little dense but I don't get the next step. Are you using the adjustable to provide a flat surface and then applying a clamping force to close the gap? Or in your example, using the upper surface and the wrench to grab the lower part of the DO to bend back?
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Old 01-10-18, 09:41 AM
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Push wrench upwards.
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Old 01-10-18, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
@gugie - I guess I am a little dense but I don't get the next step. Are you using the adjustable to provide a flat surface and then applying a clamping force to close the gap? Or in your example, using the upper surface and the wrench to grab the lower part of the DO to bend back?
Grabbing the derailleur stop with the round hole in the end of the wrench.
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Old 01-10-18, 09:56 AM
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AHHH. Got it! The stop is not visible. Knew something was missing! Must be senioritis.
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Old 01-10-18, 10:16 AM
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Old 01-10-18, 03:29 PM
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I like the simplicity of that.


As long as the axle locknut and QR nut are still able to grip the lower run of the dropout at the axle position you really want to be at, then I would consider there to be no real problem.
One of my Centurions has an opened driveside dropout but it's never been a problem even under hard use in the hills.
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