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Any tricks to getting a stuck bottom bracket nut off

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Any tricks to getting a stuck bottom bracket nut off

Old 08-10-20, 12:04 PM
  #1  
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Any tricks to getting a stuck bottom bracket nut off

This is on an 84 Team Fuji.I've been using the Park 36mm HCW 10 tool
and a hammer and PB Blaster but can't get the fixed cup to budge.Any other tricks I might be missing?
This is on the drive side

Last edited by robertj298; 08-10-20 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 08-10-20, 12:08 PM
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Stick it in a vice and turn the frame. Or use Sheldon Browns method - https://sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/bbcups.html

BTW: it is the drive side cup
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Old 08-10-20, 12:13 PM
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Make sure you're turning it in the correct direction. Some BB's are left hand thread.

My method of removal is similar to the Sheldon method. Just a bolt thru the BB cup, nut, flat and lock washers, and a very large flat washer that captures the BB wrench so it can't slip off the cup. Hasn't let me down yet.
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Old 08-10-20, 12:46 PM
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The Sheldon method is a winner. I've never really read up on it, let alone used it, but the thinking is sound and it has worked for a number of people here (which is great). In lieu of finding and employing that hardware, I've found that using some nearly-fender washers (that have an ID slightly larger than the BB spindle) very-gently sandwiched in between the BB cup/tool (placed on the BB cup) and a barely-snugged (non-drive-side, preferably) crank arm works really well. The tool is kept on the BB cup, which is critical when using one's own strength or a hammer to knock the BB cup loose. Once you know it's loose and you "have it on the run," then you can remove the crank arm and washers and spin the BB cup out with just the tool or your hand if it's amenable.
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Old 08-10-20, 01:17 PM
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^^^^^^^
....much like this, before I bought a Hozan fixed cup tool for this, I used to use a few fender washers (outer diameter larger than the BB shell, inner diameter big enough to accept a large bolt), and a large bolt and nut that is long enough to accept the washers and still clear the width of the shell, with a little extra room (length is not critical in terms of too long. You use one fender washer on the fixed cup side to hold your fixed cup wrench in place (you need a proper fixed cup wrench for this method). The other washer or washers goes on the other side of the BB shell, and the bolt and nut holds everything together. All of these are for sale at places like Home Depot or Lowe's.

You still need penetrating oil, and some torch heat doesn't hurt as long as you keep it moderate enough to not hurt the paint.

Now you are set up so you can hit the end of your fixed cup wrench with a dead blow hammer, or one of those big heavy brass hammers you see on sale at Harbor Freight. Make sure you have the frame clamp pretty close to the BB shell on the seat tube, or you lose a lot of the impact to frame flex.


Or you can look for someone who has one of those Hozan fixed cup tools and pay him to do it.
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Old 08-10-20, 01:49 PM
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I've tried the Sheldon method, and it never worked for me. The bolt turns even after tightening the nut. What am I doing wrong?

@robertj298, be sure you are turning clockwise, i.e. the opposite direction from normal, as this is a reverse thread.
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Old 08-10-20, 01:54 PM
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You might try applying a bit of anti-clockwise (yes, tightening) pressure, followed by an abrupt clockwise jerk. This worked for me on my Swiss-threaded Peugeot PKN-10.

A bench vise is the way to go, if you have one available.
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Old 08-10-20, 02:29 PM
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merziac has a solid technique, shown here.
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Old 08-10-20, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I've tried the Sheldon method, and it never worked for me. The bolt turns even after tightening the nut. What am I doing wrong?
For clockwise removal, use the hex on the outside of the BB. For counter clockwise, use the inner hex. Both tighten but in opposite directions from the cup reference.
I also fouhd heat on the cup only, then cooling will help.
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Old 08-10-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
merziac has a solid technique, shown here.
Looks like it would work but isn't here turning it the wrong direction?
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Old 08-10-20, 03:01 PM
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An alternative solution would be to take it to a bike shop with a proper fixed cup tool.

This is the right tool for the job:

https://www.amazon.com/HOZAN-Bottom-...77856708&psc=1
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Old 08-10-20, 03:20 PM
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Being new I've done 5 bottom brackets before but never realized until I read Sheldons page
that maybe I should just leave the fixed cup in as he suggests. Clean all the grease out from the opposite side
and regrease and install the caged bearings from the other side?
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Old 08-10-20, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Looks like it would work but isn't here turning it the wrong direction?
That depends on the BB threading.
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Old 08-10-20, 03:57 PM
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It's on a Fuji, so that should be English/ISO thread. Clockwise to remove, CCW to tighten.
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Old 08-10-20, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
This is on an 84 Team Fuji.I've been using the Park 36mm HCW 10 tool
and a hammer and PB Blaster but can't get the fixed cup to budge.Any other tricks I might be missing?
This is on the drive side
This

You can use a pipe for the cheater if necessary.

This method doesn't care if you go the wrong way to start, it still cracks loose then you reverse direction and spin it off.

I have never failed, hurt any tools, parts, frames or myself with this.

It works best if the BB is well supported.







Last edited by merziac; 08-10-20 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-10-20, 04:40 PM
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Yeah, it looks like the cup is being tightened on that Raleigh!

Perhaps he wanted it "guttenteight" (?).
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Old 08-10-20, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
Stick it in a vice and turn the frame. Or use Sheldon Browns method - https://sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/bbcups.html

BTW: it is the drive side cup
Freeze off and the sheldon brown nut method
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Old 08-10-20, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Being new I've done 5 bottom brackets before but never realized until I read Sheldons page
that maybe I should just leave the fixed cup in as he suggests. Clean all the grease out from the opposite side
and regrease and install the caged bearings from the other side?


Not on my watch.

The fixed cup always come out to properly clean, inspect and service cup, threads and shell so it comes out like its supposed to when something goes bad down the line.

The method above will have you done with this in no time.
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Old 08-10-20, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Yeah, it looks like the cup is being tightened on that Raleigh!

Perhaps he wanted it "guttenteight" (?).
That was just for setup photos and like I said, that method doesn't care which way you go, sometimes it is easier to crack it loose by tightening, then reversing.

It always comes out with this .
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Old 08-10-20, 04:53 PM
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The wrong way start might crack a tight thread sometimes, but I wouldn't count on it. Might be worth a try on a Brit/iso threaded BB. It seems to work for Merziac.

BITD mechanics would tighten on fixed cups with a proper campy or VAR fixed cup tool, often with a breaker bar. I personally would only use a breaker on French and Italian threads, but some people went full gorilla on all of them. If the BB shell was faced and chased first, ain't going to be a lot of slack to even crack it if trying to loosen the wrong way.

I mention this mostly because some may be wondering why they are so hard to get off sometimes.

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Old 08-10-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
The wrong way start might crack a tight thread sometimes, but I wouldn't count on it. Might be worth a try on a Brit/iso threaded BB. It seems to work for Merziac.

BITD mechanics would tighten on fixed cups with a proper campy or VAR fixed cup tool, often with a breaker bar. I personally would only use a breaker on French and Italian threads, but some people went full gorilla on all of them. If the BB shell was faced and chased first, ain't going to be a lot of slack to even crack it if trying to loosen the wrong way.

I mention this mostly because some may be wondering why they are so hard to get off sometimes.
I honestly don't do it on purpose that often but it is an added benefit of this method not really having to worry about it, I do normally try to make sure I'm loosening to start with.

I think this is why this is the way to go, get it out everytime so the threads are clean and the cup is properly torqued after service and will come out like it should when it needs to down the road.

IF they have been properly serviced then this will not normally be such a problem.
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Old 08-10-20, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Being new I've done 5 bottom brackets before but never realized until I read Sheldons page
that maybe I should just leave the fixed cup in as he suggests. Clean all the grease out from the opposite side
and regrease and install the caged bearings from the other side?

We have this debate every 3 months like clockwork.

Let me say this for the opposing view. If you are renovating an old classic bike that has not been maintained in properly or at all, it is not a bad idea to remove the entire BB to inspect for corrosion, badly or unfaced shell, etc. In fact it's good practice. Call this case 1.

But, let's say like many folks BITD you have one good bike. This is case #2 . You ride every day, or close to it. Maybe you race. Maybe you tour. The BB was properly installed when you got the bike. In that case proper maintenance on average would entail repacking your BB 2 or 3 times a year. For these regular maintenance repacks, normally the fixed cup would be left in place, and the rest cleaned and repacked. BTW you don't need to use caged bearings for this. Just glop a lot of grease in there and the bearings will stay in place.

Case 2 used to be the more common situation. That's kind of what Sheldon is assuming, presumably. Probably for many here they are collectors and don't ride any one bike enough to warrant repacks every few months.
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Old 08-10-20, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I honestly don't do it on purpose that often but it is an added benefit of this method not really having to worry about it, I do normally try to make sure I'm loosening to start with.
Turning the wrong way to crack the threads is one of those old mechanic's tricks. I've done it sometimes too. So, yeah, it sounds kind of weird to some people but it isn't really weird at all.

I can't remember if I've ever done it with a BB or not, to be honest. 99.9% of the BB's I've installed or removed I would have used a fixed cup tool though, and you could always reach for a breaker pipe if it wouldn't budge.

There's also the trick of starting a thread by turning a nut or something the wrong way until you feel it click in, they turning it the right way. Good way to avoid cross threading. I've had people try to explain to me which way threads go when they saw me doing that.
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Old 08-10-20, 05:35 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
Stick it in a vice and turn the frame. Or use Sheldon Browns method - https://sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/bbcups.html

BTW: it is the drive side cup
The Sheldon Brown method can result in cracked cups. Iíve worked out a better method here. The tool and cup are allowed to turn freely with my method. merziacís method will result in the cup tightening against the clamped blocks

Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
This is on an 84 Team Fuji.I've been using the Park 36mm HCW 10 tool
and a hammer and PB Blaster but can't get the fixed cup to budge.Any other tricks I might be missing?
This is on the drive side
Are you really trying to use a headset wrench on the bottom bracket? The HCW-10 is an open end wrench and isnít really designed for the job. The Park HCW-4 is the tool that is designed for the job. Itís an awful tool because it slips off but itís better than what you are trying to use.

The thread on the drive is left hand so make sure you are turning it clockwise to remove. A cheater bar is commonly needed to actually break the cup loose. It usually works a but better than a hammer.
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Old 08-10-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I've tried the Sheldon method, and it never worked for me. The bolt turns even after tightening the nut. What am I doing wrong?
Iíve never liked Brownís method and Iíve seen damaged cups from trying to use it. Try my method in post 24. I find it works much better.
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