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Sheldon Brown's fixed cup removal method

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Sheldon Brown's fixed cup removal method

Old 04-04-20, 03:31 PM
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TenGrainBread 
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Sheldon Brown's fixed cup removal method

I thought this one would never come out. Lightrace fixed cup installed in the frame for 70 years. And it's French thread. Grabbing the flats in the vise didn't work. The flats would deform slightly and the frame would jump out of the vise.

So on to Sheldon's method. 1/2" bolt, nut, and washers. Socket wrench with a 16" handle on the non-driveside. Top tube under the armpit. Pulled up and it came loose with only moderate effort. The power of friction!


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Old 04-04-20, 03:43 PM
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This is why I ALWAYS R+R the DS cup with any and all BB service.

All new acquisitions get a service just for this reason.

Glad you got it out with all your appendages intact.
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Old 04-04-20, 04:04 PM
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I've had to do a few things for this to work consistently, like backing-off the nut and re-lubing the bolt threads before trying again. It can be rather difficult to separate the assembly after the cup comes loose.
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Old 04-04-20, 05:06 PM
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Sheldon's method again reminds me that long ago there was a Var tool that used the same principle to remove the fixed cup. A friend and bike shop owner here in town lamented to me that the tool could not be found anywhere and she wanted another one. Maybe it is time for me to get some parts and go do some welding to make a new tool for her. Thanks for the reminder. Looks like another project for the Stay In Place order I'm under. Thanks, MH
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Old 04-04-20, 05:15 PM
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I have a Stein fixed-cup wrench clamp:

https://www.steintool.com/portfolio-...-wrench-clamp/

i picked it up cheap on eBay years ago from a seller who didn’t know what it was. It allows me to bang on the fixed-cup tool with a hammer or to use a long lever on the end of the wrench. Very effective.
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Old 04-04-20, 05:25 PM
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It's all about leverage and the control of it.




This has never failed or damaged any parts, tools, frames or flesh.
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Old 04-04-20, 05:34 PM
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Merziac,
I sure hope that is an Italian cup you are prying on! yikes! Smiles, MH
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Old 04-04-20, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Merziac,
I sure hope that is an Italian cup you are prying on! yikes! Smiles, MH
That pic was just a setup pic, aside from that it doesn't matter one wit, if by chance you are going the wrong way it simply cracks loose then you reverse direction and spin it right off, easy, peasy.

I have done this on purpose several times on stubborn ones just to crack them loose. Some of them will actually crack loose easier when going the wrong way to start with.

Like I said, this method never fails or hurts anything, ever.
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Old 04-04-20, 05:49 PM
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I just had to cobble something together for this operation on 2 Italian BBs today. I used a long, 1/2 inch bolt, with the head and some fender washers on the NDS, and a 4 X 4 piece of MDf I had laying around with a Tee nut in it. I put a 12" crescent wrench on the flats, tightened the bolt with a ratchet, and gently (or using a hammer as the case may be) teased the fixed cup loose. I was too busy to take pictures, so you are going to have to imagine it! Not pretty, but it sure did work, and one of those BBs was tight, perhaps Locktited! It is days like this that i wish i had a professional Park repair stand, the home version always wants to move away, or fold up when i torque on something.
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Old 04-04-20, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Sheldon's method again reminds me that long ago there was a Var tool that used the same principle to remove the fixed cup. A friend and bike shop owner here in town lamented to me that the tool could not be found anywhere and she wanted another one. Maybe it is time for me to get some parts and go do some welding to make a new tool for her. Thanks for the reminder. Looks like another project for the Stay In Place order I'm under. Thanks, MH
Yeah, the VAR tool was the standard tool for installing and removing bottom bracket fixed cups for decades. Sometimes the similar Campagnolo tool was used, mostly for the campy and similar units. Those are the only tools I ever used BITD when I was working in shops.* They are the right tool for the right job IMO. Generally a breaker bar was used to install French and Italian fixed cups. They had to be tight or they could come loose. A breaker could also be used to remove stubborn cups.

To make one I think you'd need a lathe and a milling machine, not a welder.

The Sheldon method seems a little crude to me, but it obviously works. The above tools don't work the same way, since friction isn't used to grab the cup. VAR never made a friction tool that I'd ever heard of, but of course it's possible I missed it.

* Maybe there was a Hozan knockoff also. Can't remember.
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Old 04-04-20, 06:24 PM
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I used the Sheldon Brown method on a very stubborn Italian cup. Used a long 1/2 inch drive socket and a cheater bar. Very scary. THEN I had to take the cup with attached Sheldon apparatus to the auto shop guys at school to rescue the cup. It was too tight for my shop to handle.
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Old 04-04-20, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
That pic was just a setup pic, aside from that it doesn't matter one wit, if by chance you are going the wrong way it simply cracks loose then you reverse direction and spin it right off, easy, peasy.

I have done this on purpose several times on stubborn ones just to crack them loose. Some of them will actually crack loose easier when going the wrong way to start with.
The "tighten it more" approach worked well with my Swiss-threaded 1980 Peugeot PKN-10. Having had no success going clockwise, I gave it an anticlockwise jerk, and then I was able to unscrew it clockwise.
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Old 04-04-20, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Sheldon's method again reminds me that long ago there was a Var tool that used the same principle to remove the fixed cup.
I don't recall that VAR had a friction-type fixed cup tool. They did have the VAR-30, but that uses a jaw to hold the cup. You don't have to crank the pieces together super-tight, just enough to keep the jaw in place:



Zeus did have a professional-grade friction-type fixed cup tool; you can see it in the lower right of the case:



Others were also available:

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Old 04-04-20, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
The "tighten it more" approach worked well with my Swiss-threaded 1980 Peugeot PKN-10. Having had no success going clockwise, I gave it an anticlockwise jerk, and then I was able to unscrew it clockwise.
With the leverage of this method, there is never a need for jerking or hammering, no collateral damage from shock and awe, just slow, steady brute force.
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Old 04-04-20, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I used the Sheldon Brown method on a very stubborn Italian cup. Used a long 1/2 inch drive socket and a cheater bar. Very scary. THEN I had to take the cup with attached Sheldon apparatus to the auto shop guys at school to rescue the cup. It was too tight for my shop to handle.
And depending on your setup it can ruin the cup that could have still been used, my method saves every cup that still has good bearing races.
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Old 04-04-20, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
It's all about leverage and the control of it.




This has never failed or damaged any parts, tools, frames or flesh.
That ought to be an interesting parts list there...
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Old 04-04-20, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
That ought to be an interesting parts list there...
Both setups were sourced from things already on hand, the hole and sockets for spacers came for the NDS setup when someone asked about how to do that side.

Also have a thinwall pipe with a flattened end that fits the BB wrench for way more leverage than is ever needed.




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Old 04-04-20, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I don't recall that VAR had a friction-type fixed cup tool. They did have the VAR-30, but that uses a jaw to hold the cup. You don't have to crank the pieces together super-tight, just enough to keep the jaw in place:



Zeus did have a professional-grade friction-type fixed cup tool; you can see it in the lower right of the case:



Others were also available:

John,
The tool I am remembering was a two piece tool similar to the Zeus one pictured. It was black steel and threaded into each other, and only had two flats on each end. You wrenched the two pieces together sandwiching the bottom bracket cup in between them,and then turned the tool with a wrench on the flats of either end. Depending on the thread pattern you either turned the drive side or the non drive side to remove the cup. Smiles, MH
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Old 04-04-20, 08:23 PM
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I am still having a devil of a time removing a fixed cup, even with the hozan tool I have. I might try to tighten-loose method, but I have sprayed all sorts of crap and it has yet to budge. And yes, I am loosening in the correct direction...
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Old 04-04-20, 08:58 PM
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Dawg,
Help this old stoopid brother out, and tell him what you are working on. There are a few work around as have been discussed here. Sometime I have seen outer races that have been worn to the point that the metal from the cup is stretched into the bottom bracket shell. These are the worst offenders, and even break apart during removal. Then you have to cut the old bits out with a Dremel tool. Then chase the threads before any reconstruction can begin. It would help if a pic was posted. Smiles, MH
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