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1979 Schwinn Varsity Stem Problem...

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1979 Schwinn Varsity Stem Problem...

Old 09-23-09, 05:08 PM
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1979 Schwinn Varsity Stem Problem...

Hey all, I've gone through the archives and can't seem to find a solution to my problem. First, I bought a beat up Varsity, I think '78, to turn into a Fixed gear for the winter. I know its heavy, but I don't care. I've gotten pretty much everything apart, but in my haste to take the stem out, I unscrewed the top bolt. After doing more reading, I think that was a mistake. Now, I can look down the screw hole in the stem and see out the bottom, and it looks like whatever the bolt is in there is pushed over to the side, so I can see about a half moon of the floor instead of a full moon, if that makes sense. So the problem is that I can't get the bolt screwed in, to knock the wedge bolt loose. Is there any way to get the stem out without the stem screw in? Alternatively, any way to push the bolt back to the center? I've tried sticking a screwdriver up the bottom and pushing, but no luck. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 09-23-09, 05:13 PM
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you caould probably stick the top bolt back in as far as it'll go and give it a sharp tap to try and knock the wedge loose without actually being threaded into it...or some other long pokey thing.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:15 PM
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You may have to remove the front wheel and brake and thread the bolt in from the bottom. If the wedge is not centered in the tube it sounds like it has already released. have you tried twisting the stem a bit to see if it moves? Stem could be frozen too, hopefully not.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:33 PM
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Considering it's a '70's Schwinn, getting the stem loose may never happen. Try some Liquid Wrench on it overnight.
Old 09-24-09, 12:14 AM
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Variety of things you could do. As posted above, use something like PB Blaster in order to loosen the , most likely, rust hold in between the stem and the fork that it is stuck into. Or, you could try from the bottom to loosen the wedge-as said, removing the front wheel and front brake. It sounds difficult, but with patience this can be done.
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Old 09-24-09, 04:03 AM
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A Varsity stem is steel, and very durable. After an overnight soaking of Liquid wrench or PB Blaster, with the bike upright and tires on the ground, lay a board over the top of the stem, and then whack the board a few times with a hammer. They twist the bars while holding the front wheel between your legs.

If this does not break the stem free, there's a good chance nothing will. If this is the case, not all hope is lost. See if you can find a spare stem bolt to thread into the wedge nut from the bottom of the fork. Only go a little ways, enough to then hold the wedge bolt in place at the bottom of the stem while trying to thread the original in from the top.

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