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Old 08-26-12, 04:44 PM   #1
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What bottom bracket tools do I need?

I'm working on stripping down the '84 Lotus Elan I picked up last week and the bottom bracket is siezed up solid and won't budge. I can normally get the lock-ring off with a big set of adjustable pliers and the adjustable cup off with an adjustable wrench, but not this time! I have coated it a couple times with PB blaster and am letting is sit, but so far no luck. So it is finally time to add to my meager set of bike tools.

I was looking at the Park Tools website and am not 100% sure what tools would work. Right now I am thinking the HCW-11 adjustable cup wrench

and then the BBT-7 Lock ring wrench

I guess I need to go out and measure to make sure, but anybody have any suggestions or comments?

And then if PB blaster and the proper tools don't work I guess it's time to get creative with the bench vise and blow-torch?!?

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Old 08-26-12, 05:46 PM   #2
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Without a picture of your bottom bracket cup, anything would be a guess.
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Old 08-26-12, 05:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by teetime View Post
Without a picture of your bottom bracket cup, anything would be a guess.
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Old 08-26-12, 06:44 PM   #4
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i just took my first build with hand tightened bb up to my lbs. the guy cut open a park tool wrench package, and it fit. it's the double headed spanner with one notch on one wrench end and a few notches on the other wrench end. seems the spanner end with the single notch fits my bbs better and allows better torque than the other end. i also picked up the park pin spanner with the green handle that does an ok job on the adjustable cup.
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Old 08-26-12, 07:05 PM   #5
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+2 on pictures.
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Old 08-26-12, 09:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
+2 on pictures.
Before I also ask for pics.. Google Sheldon browns site on bottom brackets and specifcally making your own fixed-cup-side removal tool.

It's basically the largest bolt you can find that fits through the axel hole in the cup. Then get a nut, thread it on the bolt and use a wrench or ratchet on the outside of the cup and keep tightening the nut through from the other side.

Eventually it binds and locks itself on to the cup and tightening further started to turn the cup loose.

Fixed cup is reverse threaded
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Old 08-26-12, 09:38 PM   #7
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You need an old style lock ring wrench like the HCW-5, not that BBT-7. Personally, I prefer the old Sugino bb tool set, no longer in production as far as I know, but you will see them on ebay all the time. Park HCW-4 has a pin spanner built into it, I do not like it as much as the Sugino, but it works fine. Hozan lock ring tool is very nice (not cheap).

We need pics as the tool for the adjustable cup varies. On a Japanese bike like the Lotus, about 90% of the time, the pin spanner below works. 10% of the time, the HCW-11 is the right choice.

If you plan to work on more bikes in the future, you will need a variety of bb tools. Good excuse to buy more tools!

Sometimes, the Park tool version is the best. Other times, other brands are better, like the Hozan lock ring and the Sugino toolset. Just one guy's opinion.

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Last edited by wrk101; 08-26-12 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 08-27-12, 08:23 PM   #8
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I agree with wrk101. I use the Sugino lockring tool daily on just about every bike that I work on. However, as stated, you do need quite a large variety of bb tools to work on bikes-especially with left hand bb cups having pin holes or slots. Some can be a real problem at which point you may have to resort to a cold chisel and hammer to loose them.
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Old 08-27-12, 08:40 PM   #9
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This is How I Deal With Stubborn Vintage Bottom Brackets. Hope it helps.

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Old 09-16-13, 10:15 PM   #10
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I had to bump this thread to praise the powers of the Sheldon bolt trick. If you have a cup stop and read this post before you do anything else to damage it.

Go to the hardware store and buy 1 - 5/8" x 2" grade 8 bolt, 1 - 5/8" grade 8 nut, 1 - 5/8" grade 8 flat washer, and 4-5 5/8" grade 8 lock washers. You'll also need a deepwell socket, should be 15/16" and I'd use 1/2" drive. Google Sheldon Brown's bottom bracket bolt trick and use these items to prepare the cup for removal.

First try by it by hand, I've been able to get several out with an 18" breaker bar but I've had a few that were very stuck and my attempts yielded no results. If you run into one that's really tight find a friend with an impact gun and an air compressor, or just go to a mechanic shop. Have them tighten the bolt until it quits spinning, then have them hammer on it with the will come off. Most of the time when I've resorted to this I wished I had never wasted my strength trying to loosen it by hand. Makes me wish I had air in the garage.
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