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Campagnolo headset quality control inspector takes a holiday

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Campagnolo headset quality control inspector takes a holiday

Old 06-24-11, 08:01 PM
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Campagnolo headset quality control inspector takes a holiday

I'd hoped to reuse the Campy headset on the Raleigh Gran Sport I'm slowly fixing up. It's apparently not original to the bike, but seems to be in very good shape--except for the fact that the upper fixed cup is very loose. It just sits there in the frame, and can easily be removed and reinserted by hand.
Oh-oh, I thought, this is trouble--probably an issue with the head tube. But no--the lower fixed cup (which fits normally) would be a press fit if moved to the top, and the upper fixed cup is equally loose at the bottom. Cups from another English headset also seem to indicate that the head tube sizing is correct. It almost made me wonder if a JIS upper cup had somehow been used by mistake, but I tried a JIS cup I had lying around and that was also a much tighter fit than the Campy cup. It looks to me as if the factory was having a bad day and just turned out a cup (or probably a bunch of them) that were way under spec.
The bike had apparently been ridden this way for years, with the fixed cup held in place by the pressure of the adjustable cup. I suppose I could glom it back in there with some green Loctite and call it good, but I think I'll probably just invest in a new headset and do it right. Or is Loctite in fact a reasonable solution to this problem?
Is this kind of grossly out-of-spec cup something that others have encountered also? It's hard for me to imagine that the mechanic who installed it didn't notice.
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Old 06-25-11, 01:07 AM
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you might want to think about taking it to a shop with a rep for excellent repair work. machinists can perform an operation called knurling that could remedy the problem. they just make helical grooves inside that pooch out the metal rather than cutting it out. makes the ID a bit smaller is all.

oh, i just remembered, i had this done to the valve guides on a '61 MGA head. back about '72.
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Old 06-25-11, 01:14 AM
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Loctite make a bearing retaining compound (No 620) which should do exactly what you need.
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Old 06-25-11, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
you might want to think about taking it to a shop with a rep for excellent repair work. machinists can perform an operation called knurling that could remedy the problem. they just make helical grooves inside that pooch out the metal rather than cutting it out. makes the ID a bit smaller is all.

oh, i just remembered, i had this done to the valve guides on a '61 MGA head. back about '72.
Technically, that's a good solution, but it doesn't make much sense to alter a frame to fit an old headset--that's solving the problem backwards, it seems to me. The headset isn't even original, so there's no particular reason to go out of the way to reuse it.
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Old 06-25-11, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
Loctite make a bearing retaining compound (No 620) which should do exactly what you need.
Thanks for the link. I think that would work--I'm probably just within with 0.015 maximum clearance recommendation. Unfortunately, a bottle of the stuff costs as much as or more than a decent-quality new headset.
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Old 06-25-11, 06:30 AM
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So Campagnolo made how many headset? which HS are we talking about?

it is possible that the upper race (I believe HS parts are {bottom up** crown race, lower cup, upper race, and upper cup or adjusting cup) was machined incorrectly. it is also entirely the upper race belongs to a different headset that was intentionall designed to fit a different dememsion frame and got mixed up somewhere along the line.

either replace the HS or go to the 'bay and look for a new upper race.

a year or so ago I bought a nice Ritchey HS. when I had it installed it would not fit, the mechanic told me the cup and race were too big. he did some research and discovered it was a Ritchey BNX HS. so things get mislabeled and mixed up all the time.

had the person who installed the HS had a clue as to what he was doing you would not be dealing with this.
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Old 06-25-11, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
So Campagnolo made how many headset? which HS are we talking about?
Don't know--it just says "Campagnolo." I thought the photo might help.
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Old 06-25-11, 06:55 AM
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Oh a NR, I still suspect the upper race was made for something different
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Old 06-25-11, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Technically, that's a good solution, but it doesn't make much sense to alter a frame to fit an old headset--that's solving the problem backwards, it seems to me. The headset isn't even original, so there's no particular reason to go out of the way to reuse it.
ya, you're right. i wouldn't do it either.

i think i may have just wanted to reminisce about my old car...
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Old 06-25-11, 10:38 AM
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take a punch, put the upper race on a pipe and put many dimples in it. all the way around... like a golf ball but the dimples will be smaller. it makes tiny craters that push the metal up on the edge. I use this for making crown races fit tighter as well.
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Old 06-25-11, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
take a punch, put the upper race on a pipe and put many dimples in it. all the way around... like a golf ball but the dimples will be smaller. it makes tiny craters that push the metal up on the edge. I use this for making crown races fit tighter as well.
The modified race doesn't then act like a cheese grater on the inside of the head tube?
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Old 06-25-11, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
The modified race doesn't then act like a cheese grater on the inside of the head tube?
It doesn't move...except during installation and removal. Wouldn't do a thing to the headtube. That's an inspired idea that's going into my mental toolbox.

You should be greasing the races during installation too right?
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Old 06-25-11, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
The modified race doesn't then act like a cheese grater on the inside of the head tube?
Only if you install and remove it a few dozen times.
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Old 06-25-11, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
That's an inspired idea that's going into my mental toolbox.
If your "mental toolbox" is anything like a real toolbox you'll never be able to find it when you need it.

If the HT is not oversized I thinl the OPs best bet, as others mentioned, is simply to replace the HS
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Old 06-25-11, 11:48 AM
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Campagnolo definitely did produce over-sized headsets and it would not surprise me if they also did make under-sized ones too. So before speaking of quality control issues, I would be a bit careful, especially when dealing with an older Raleigh bike. Raleigh was plagued in those years with quality control issues that were often resolved in rather "imaginative" manners.

This reminds me of what Colnago did with quite a few CT2 frames. Apparently when the frames were built (in Russia?), they mis-specced the headtube diameter and only found out after many frames were built. Rather than junking a number of otherwise good frames, Colnago had a headset produced that would specifically fit the erroneous size. In itself a wonderful solution. Too bad that most owners of the frames were never advised of this "feature" when buying the frames and will be faced with a rude awakening when they go to replace the headset some time in the future...
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Old 06-25-11, 12:00 PM
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You could expand the fixed cup by putting a steel bar that fits snugly into it and (better if on a cradle) lightly hammering the exterior. Tip: sometimes a socket wrench can be used instead of the bar.
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Old 06-25-11, 12:07 PM
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Dimples via punch - And other things for my USF file - THANKS for the discussion - Miss fitting parts and solutions remind me why I work on French bikes... The solutions - They are fun...
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Old 06-25-11, 01:51 PM
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Shim it with a soda can...
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Old 06-25-11, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Shim it with a soda can...

I can't imagine that the shim wouldn't crumple in accordion fashion when you tried to press the cup into place.

Edit: Sorry, I just realized that I'm doing that annoying thing where you ask people for advice then reject all the ideas they offer.
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Old 06-25-11, 07:47 PM
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I have tried shimming bike parts with soda cans and copper - They failed when used in high pressure areas - For example both copper and aluminum shims will squeeze out of a crank/spindle like liquid - But I have successfully used Al & Cu shims on seat posts and handle bars...
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Old 06-25-11, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
If your "mental toolbox" is anything like a real toolbox you'll never be able to find it when you need it.

If the HT is not oversized I thinl the OPs best bet, as others mentioned, is simply to replace the HS

Why not try dimpling it? If it is a weird size it is almost useless to the OP so no harm in trying. the race is good and it is a nice complete campy headset. FTW, I have never tried dimpling a headset up, but I would try it. I have done fork crowns a number of times. I have used shims way way back in the day when I never would have thought of dimpling.
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Old 06-25-11, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
I have tried shimming bike parts with soda cans and copper - They failed when used in high pressure areas - For example both copper and aluminum shims will squeeze out of a crank/spindle like liquid - But I have successfully used Al & Cu shims on seat posts and handle bars...
This isn't high pressure, I think a previous comment implied there are .015 inches of clearance between the HT and the upper cup. NOT tight, not even in contact!

If this upper cup can be made to sit in place correctly and securely, the races are good, you keep it clean and greased inside, and the headtube does not need to be faced and reamed, an NR should last the rest of the life of the bike if you don't let it sit a long time after beng out in a rainstorm.

They're getting really hard to replace, in quality with smooth races top and bottom. Especially bottom. Don't just trash it. At least pass on the good parts to another vintage freak, by selling it here, on CR, on Ebay, or on the Serotta forum.
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Old 06-26-11, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
Why not try dimpling it? If it is a weird size it is almost useless to the OP so no harm in trying. the race is good and it is a nice complete campy headset. FTW, I have never tried dimpling a headset up, but I would try it. I have done fork crowns a number of times. I have used shims way way back in the day when I never would have thought of dimpling.
I think that's a reasonable idea, and I may try it. First, though, I will try miamijim's suggestion to shim it with a soda can. I doubt very much that that approach will work, but I have been surprised before, and it's very easy to try.
As I mentioned earlier, my main concern with the dimpling approach is its possible "cheese grater effect" on the inside of the head tube. Of course the pressed part of the headset doesn't move, so it would only be an issue when installing and/or removing it, as khatfull noted. But however slight, it WILL have that effect, it seems to me. I can imagine that it might take a few tries to get the right amount of dimpling. That seems likely to require several test fittings, which means that the inside of the head tube will be "grated" with each fitting. Maybe that won't cause much damage, but it will cause some. I'd rather not cause ANY damage, if I can help it.
I'll report back on my efforts to shim the cup in place.
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Old 06-26-11, 11:17 AM
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"dimpling" with a punch is what I'd call a poor man's knurling, and I've seen it used on many a crown race (even some very high priced brands) and always seemed to work. The steel of just about any headset is harder than most any headtube, so you probably won't risk to damage the cup(s) or races. Only caveat is not to get so aggressive with a really sharp punch that you see the dimples show on the outside of the head lug (e.g.: don't give this job to a gorilla on caffeine)!
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Old 06-26-11, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
you might want to think about taking it to a shop with a rep for excellent repair work. machinists can perform an operation called knurling that could remedy the problem. they just make helical grooves inside that pooch out the metal rather than cutting it out. makes the ID a bit smaller is all.

oh, i just remembered, i had this done to the valve guides on a '61 MGA head. back about '72.
Did the same on my old jeep but used a hammer and punch to raise up "dots" that caused an interference fit. Good suggestion if nothing else works.

edit: oops, just basically repeated what Unworthy1 said.
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