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Shimano 600 crown race

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Shimano 600 crown race

Old 02-28-22, 10:03 PM
  #1  
phtomita
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Shimano 600 crown race

I removed the crown race after fighting couple days.
First I used the screwdriver + hammer method and banged quite hard and didn't come out, but notice it had moved a tiny bit.
I found an old knife and started using it, similar to the blade method. Once I got some more room, added a hacksaw blade and later another one.
After some 3 mm it finally came out hammering gently a screwdriver. I saw paint was between the race and steerer.
Now I am wondering how it will be to place it back later.

Inspecting closely the crown race, I can see spots where the ball bearing is sitting (I think it is called indexing).
From what I found here and on internet, it seems I can just add loose ball bearings that will improve the steering - just being careful when servicing since there is no more cage.
Did someone actually do this? Any issue afterwards?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-28-22, 10:41 PM
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Replacing cage with loose balls (higher quantity) does help. My commuter had some significant indexing, loose balls working fine last 6 months.
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Old 02-28-22, 10:41 PM
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Replace retainer bearings with loose balls ( fill the cup ) ....this will solve your problem and 'indexing' headset / steering will no longer be evident
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Old 03-01-22, 12:09 AM
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Cool, thank you! Let me order some 3/16 ball bearings.
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Old 03-01-22, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Cool, thank you! Let me order some 3/16 ball bearings.
Are you sure theyre 3/16? Some headsets use 5/32.
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Old 03-01-22, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
I removed the crown race after fighting couple days.
First I used the screwdriver + hammer method and banged quite hard and didn't come out, but notice it had moved a tiny bit.
I found an old knife and started using it, similar to the blade method. Once I got some more room, added a hacksaw blade and later another one.
After some 3 mm it finally came out hammering gently a screwdriver. I saw paint was between the race and steerer.
Now I am wondering how it will be to place it back later.
Put some grease on the race seat, and it should install fine using a slide hammer or a piece of pipe.

Inspecting closely the crown race, I can see spots where the ball bearing is sitting (I think it is called indexing).
From what I found here and on internet, it seems I can just add loose ball bearings that will improve the steering - just being careful when servicing since there is no more cage. Did someone actually do this? Any issue afterwards?
Some versions of the 600 headsets used a full complement of balls in the retainer, so you may no be able to fit any additional balls. But removing the crown race (as you've done) and reinstalling it in a slightly different orientation can prevent the balls from falling into the indentations as easily.

Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Are you sure theyre 3/16? Some headsets use 5/32.
There were several iterations of the 600 headsets; the HP-6400 "Ultegra" version used 5/32" balls, the HP-6500 "Ultegra" version used cartridges, the HP-6200 EX aka"Arabesque" and HP-6207 EX used 3/16" balls.
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Old 03-01-22, 02:01 PM
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If the race is already off, isn’t that half the battle and lead to the installation of a new one?
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Old 03-01-22, 02:24 PM
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Of course, the replacement loose balls should be the same diameter as those that were in your retainers
Measure with care ....the difference between 5/32 and 3/16 is not much ....but, quite important to get the correct diameter
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Old 03-01-22, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TPL View Post
Of course, the replacement loose balls should be the same diameter as those that were in your retainers
Measure with care ....the difference between 5/32 and 3/16 is not much ....but, quite important to get the correct diameter
Measured with caliper and it was 4.76 mm or 3/16 in
Mine is the HP 6207EX headset
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Old 03-01-22, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Put some grease on the race seat, and it should install fine using a slide hammer or a piece of pipe.
Thank you - I will have some small repair/modification on the frame and powder coated before coming to this, so something in the future.
As for the pipe, do you round the internal edge where the pipe will touch the crown race to increase contact surface, or since the materials are different it really doesn't matter?
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Old 03-01-22, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Thank you - I will have some small repair/modification on the frame and powder coated before coming to this, so something in the future.
As for the pipe, do you round the internal edge where the pipe will touch the crown race to increase contact surface, or since the materials are different it really doesn't matter?
Try and find a pipe size where the rim of the pipe only contacts the non race top rim. In other words a tight fit. Crown race installers are reasonably cheap but I understand if you are not likely to do much else that you would consider alternate methods.

How did you get the pressed cups out?
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Old 03-01-22, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Try and find a pipe size where the rim of the pipe only contacts the non race top rim. In other words a tight fit. Crown race installers are reasonably cheap but I understand if you are not likely to do much else that you would consider alternate methods.

How did you get the pressed cups out?
I see, make sense

Ahnn... didn't remove the cups yet - I am going to try hitting lightly with a long screwdriver and if doesn't work will get a metal pipe and split with a hand hacksaw as in RJ the bike guy.
For installing back the cups, I have a long bolt I used to coldset the frame and can use it to add pressure - maybe get some big washers.
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Old 03-01-22, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
I see, make sense

Ahnn... didn't remove the cups yet - I am going to try hitting lightly with a long screwdriver and if doesn't work will get a metal pipe and split with a hand hacksaw as in RJ the bike guy.
For installing back the cups, I have a long bolt I used to coldset the frame and can use it to add pressure - maybe get some big washers.

You are likely near a bicycle co-op in Washington. They have tools usually, and welcome the opportunity to help. Unfortunately, there are no bike coops here though.
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Old 03-01-22, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Ahnn... didn't remove the cups yet - I am going to try hitting lightly with a long screwdriver and if doesn't work will get a metal pipe and split with a hand hacksaw as in RJ the bike guy.
A cheap 1" diameter steel seat post with slots cut to flare the end works well:
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Old 03-02-22, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
You are likely near a bicycle co-op in Washington. They have tools usually, and welcome the opportunity to help. Unfortunately, there are no bike coops here though.
@phtomita, its not in Redmond, but Bike Works (https://www.bikeworks.org) in Columbia City has Open Shop (bikeworks.org) opportunities on Saturdays. Plenty of tools and folks that will help you use them. Lots of available decent parts, too, at excellent prices. There might be something on the Eastside, but Im not aware of it.
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Old 03-03-22, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
@phtomita, its not in Redmond, but Bike Works (https://www.bikeworks.org) in Columbia City has Open Shop (bikeworks.org) opportunities on Saturdays. Plenty of tools and folks that will help you use them. Lots of available decent parts, too, at excellent prices. There might be something on the Eastside, but Im not aware of it.
Thank you! I stopped there few years ago to do some final adjustments to my first pair of wheels I built myself.
I tried gentle hitting the cups with the tip of the flat screwdriver and it came out easily . Now frame and fork are bare to go for change/fix and paint.
Finished truing the front wheel and now have the rear one that I notice I have to dish because is on NDR side.
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Old 05-28-22, 11:03 AM
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Digging out this thread.
Finally got the frame powder coated and installing the cups back was piece of cake - use two pieces of wood and long bolt/screw.
Now, as I struggled to remove the crown race, the other way is being a struggle too.
I got the PVC pipe that fits nice for the 1" steerer and banged quite hard but it doesn't want to go in and I made sure it is parallel.

Since it was in, it should fit.. but after a fight of 2 hours+ feel completely defeated.
Would it be ok to file/clean a bit the steerer since I see some paint there?
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Old 05-28-22, 01:46 PM
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Sounds like the crown race is a very tight fit on your project. What works for me is to use a cast iron weight from a dumbbell. I dont use it as a hammer but I do the reverse. I lay the weight flat on top of a open vise (any flat surface with a hole would work). Then I turn the fork upside down and slam it down with the steering tube through the hole in the weight (the hole diameter seems like a good fit). Kind of like a slide hammer in reverse. Good luck
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Old 05-28-22, 02:48 PM
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I use a piece of cast iron pipe as a slide hammer for steel races (not to be tried with alu!).
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Old 05-28-22, 05:13 PM
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Thank you for suggestion/advice
I've just cut the PVC pipe long enough for the steerer length + some and banged the pipe to the floor upside down holding the forks and crown race is in and took me less than 5 mins.
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Old 05-28-22, 08:25 PM
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Mission acomplished



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Old 05-29-22, 04:52 AM
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Well done. Banged on it hard and didn't muss the new paint (like someone I know).
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