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How to loosen a stuck stem on old bike...

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How to loosen a stuck stem on old bike...

Old 05-27-10, 02:39 PM
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firewind
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How to loosen a stuck stem on old bike...

Hello,

I've a Peugot with a Reynolds 531 frame from around 1980 and try to diaassemble it; first time I do this.

The stem is stuck and I can't get it loose: I've loosend every bolt etc; still no movement. Tried oil: no response. It has a strange kind of locking mechanism on the downward end with 2 rings with a kind of teeth that fall into eachother; advise??

Thanks for input!
Tried to post pics but they were too big...
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Old 05-27-10, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by firewind View Post
Hello,

I've a Peugot with a Reynolds 531 frame from around 1980 and try to diaassemble it; first time I do this.

The stem is stuck and I can't get it loose: I've loosend every bolt etc; still no movement. Tried oil: no response. It has a strange kind of locking mechanism on the downward end with 2 rings with a kind of teeth that fall into eachother; advise??

Thanks for input!
Tried to post pics but they were too big...
Often I just add more oil / wd40 once a day between the stem and the headset and try and turn it. After a few days it usually turns and then can be removed.

The locking mechanism sounds like a french headset which hiolds the forks into the frame.
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Old 05-27-10, 03:04 PM
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If it is really stuck you need to attack it from both ends - Invert the bike and add a very liberal dose of PB Blaster inside the steerer - It's the best stuff I've found for these situations.
Time and gentle tapping will help the process along. BTW, The french head set is not the locking mechanism for the stem - That locking feature is located inside the steerer tube, and is usually a expanding wedge type affair, which is what you really need to free up to remove the stem.
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Old 05-27-10, 03:25 PM
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Ok this sounds all logic; I'll have tim and oil help me, keep it posted if it comes loose )

Thanks!
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Old 05-27-10, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by prettyshady View Post
The locking mechanism sounds like a french headset which hiolds the forks into the frame.
Not just French - I've seen them a lot on Japanese bikes, as well.

I had some luck pouring ammonia in from the underside and letting it sit for a few days.
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Old 05-27-10, 03:27 PM
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[QUOTE=firewind;10876348]Ok this sounds all logic; I'll have tim and oil help me, keep it posted if it comes loose )

The locking mechanism sounds like a french headset which hiolds the forks into the frame. Yep thats the one...

Thanks!!
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Old 05-27-10, 03:32 PM
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Have you given the bolt a couple firm raps with a mallet, or a hammer after loosening the bolt? That is usually necessary to get the wedge to release. (pad the bolt with a couple layers of rags if you use a hammer)

I apologize if this is terribly remedial and you're now saying "duh!", but I have no way to tell from this how experienced you are with basic bicycle mechanics.
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Old 05-27-10, 04:10 PM
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My '82 PSV-10 had the same headset and same problem. A few days of liquid wrench, light tapping, and then a whack with a hammer on the underside did it.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-27-10, 04:17 PM
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That locking mechanism has nothing to do with holding the stem in!

You say you've loosened every bolt, but which bolts do you mean? You should loosen the bolt on the top of the stem. Then you should tap it down. Then the stem should come loose. If it doesn't, then use oil and time.
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Old 05-27-10, 04:37 PM
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Read this: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html

Quill-type stems are held in place with a wedge nut which the stem bolt draws up against the interior wall of the steerer (and the bottom surface of the stem) when the bolt is tightened.

To remove this type of stem, if you have removed the stem bolt (the one that goes in the top of the stem) or loosened it so that it is free, you need to screw the stem bolt back in and then back it out so that about a quarter of an inch or so is sticking up. Then whack that soundly with a mallet (not a hammer if you value the bike). If all is well, the wedge will be loosened and drop down in the steerer tube and the stem will lift out.

A possible problem is that the stem is rusted in place. If so, follow the other advice here. However, no amount of penetrant, lubricant, or corrosive will free a stem whose wedge has not first been freed.
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Old 05-27-10, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by firewind View Post
Ok this sounds all logic; I'll have tim and oil help me, keep it posted if it comes loose )

Thanks!
When you get it off, before you put it back together, coat the wedge with a liberal amount of waterproof grease, some of the grease will also coat the stem and inside of the head tube, this is okay. Next time you loosen the bolt and it comes right out.
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Old 05-27-10, 05:05 PM
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Read what noglider said. The headset has nothing to do with holding the stem. Don't mess up that French headset. It will be difficult and expensive to replace.
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Old 05-27-10, 06:42 PM
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This is how I do it.
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Old 05-27-10, 07:48 PM
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Dave Moulton's Blog had very well-written piece on stuck seatpost/stems. Highly recommended reading on the topic - Moulton on Stuck Seatpost/Stems
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Old 05-29-10, 07:36 AM
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Yes it's out.....

Used 0.33 liter of cbs oil and lost my patiences, wacked it with a hammer and..... it was rusty to say the least....

Thanks for the advice!
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