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Help removing quill stem

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Help removing quill stem

Old 04-12-19, 07:14 PM
  #1  
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Help removing quill stem

Hi,

I am participating in the Bike MS PB 150 in Texas at the end of the month and I have to ship the bike there. I have a bike case, however I need to remove the handlebars to pack it. I have an aluminum quill stem in a steel fork that I greased when I installed it 2 years ago. However I have not touched it and ridden in all sorts of weather perhaps 200 times a year. I tried to get the stem out and it is very stuck. I loosened the bolt and tapped the tapered plug loose. I have soaked it top and bottom with Kroil for the last week. I wacked the stem with a hard plastic and dead blow hammer. I removed the wheel and placed a 2x6 at the top of the fork and twisted the handlebars. I placed a 15" adjustable wrench on the stem and twisted it. No luck at all. I really need to remove this stem. My questions are:

- What else can I try to remove the stem?
- If that fails, how can I save the fork?
- If I ruin the stem where can I get a nice 100mm aluminum stem for a 1" steerer in silver w/o logos if possible.




This is my stem
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Old 04-12-19, 07:58 PM
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Hmmm...

For me, the stem always comes loose as soon as I tap the tapered nut free.

It looks like you have it pretty well stripped down. You could probably simply remove the handlebars to ship your bike, but reassembly will be a pain if you have to remove the bars each time.

I'd go ahead and remove the brake, then clamp a pair of 2x4's around the fork crown, and see if you can work the stem loose. Perhaps remove the bars, and clamp another pair of 2x4's around the stem, although get too much leverage, and something is bound to break.
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Old 04-12-19, 09:32 PM
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never try to use the legs to twist the frame. i've had to deal with this a lot, and using the fork blades as a point of contact for a breaker bar usually ends up with a bent fork. if you're going to continue on the brute force route, get someone else to help you. with the bicycle wheels on the ground, one person sits on/holds the wheel, while the other person tries to twist the handlebars.

my "involved" suggestion is to get a few pounds of dry ice, and dip the stem and handlebars into a bath of dry ice chunks. please use proper safety procedures. aluminum heats and shrinks faster than steel, so you should be able to get the aluminum to contract just a little bit, hopefully breaking the bond (commonly known as a "being galled together"/"cold-welded") between the steel and aluminum. other than that, your next practical option would be to cut off the head of the stem with a hacksaw, and and buy a new stem and fork. sorry :\

again, if you're going to try the dry ice, please use proper safety procedures. you can seriously harm yourself with dry ice.

Last edited by smoothness; 04-12-19 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 04-14-19, 08:28 PM
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The quill won't budge.
Here is how I set up to try and remove the stem. The wood holds the forks when I twist the bars. It is not moving. I will need to remove the bars from the stem to put it in the shipping case :-/
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Old 04-14-19, 11:04 PM
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Do the forks have any opening at the bottom to use a long, slim bar to give the stem some light hits? Can you "flood" it from the bottom with WD40 and let that sit for a while?

/Björn
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Old 04-15-19, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post


The quill won't budge.
Here is how I set up to try and remove the stem. The wood holds the forks when I twist the bars. It is not moving. I will need to remove the bars from the stem to put it in the shipping case :-/
I always heard that Coke (the soft drink kind) dissolved Al oxide - flip the frame, pour some Coke down into the steerer and let sit for a while.

BTW, is that an R90S in the background?
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Old 04-15-19, 12:35 PM
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To be clear, you were able to remove the wedge but the stem itself is stuck? I always encounter the opposite problem. I would try dropping expander wedge back in and and re-threading it onto the quill bolt. I'd then flip the bike over and drop a socket extension into the bottom of the steerer tube so it sits on the expander wedge and hitting the socket extender with a hammer and see if you can tap the stem out.
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Old 04-15-19, 03:04 PM
  #8  
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0GRbdnTRH-4
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Old 04-15-19, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
I always heard that Coke (the soft drink kind) dissolved Al oxide - flip the frame, pour some Coke down into the steerer and let sit for a while.

BTW, is that an R90S in the background?
Yep. A 1975 R90s signed by Hans Muth :-)
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Old 04-15-19, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BoozyMcliverRot View Post
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0GRbdnTRH-4
Yes. I am afraid that will be me. It has had a week of soaking and still no joy. You can see when he finally gets it out it is bone dry. The oils did nothing. I do plan on using a series of large drills to remove the old stem from the steerer tube instead of the hack saw.. I will just drill the stem out until there is nothing left.

This sweet replacement came in the mail today


Shimano AX Stem
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Old 04-15-19, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post
Yep. A 1975 R90s signed by Hans Muth :-)
damn - my dream bike 👍
years ago, I ran into a guy at Bikeseller.com in Little Rock AR who was riding an R90S in Daytona Orange. Coincidence?
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Old 04-16-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post
Yes. I am afraid that will be me. It has had a week of soaking and still no joy. You can see when he finally gets it out it is bone dry. The oils did nothing. I do plan on using a series of large drills to remove the old stem from the steerer tube instead of the hack saw.. I will just drill the stem out until there is nothing left.

This sweet replacement came in the mail today


Shimano AX Stem

I've heard acetone works but I've never used it and I've also heard of a heat gun being used. It seems both would damage your paint though.
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Old 04-16-19, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BoozyMcliverRot View Post
I've heard acetone works but I've never used it and I've also heard of a heat gun being used. It seems both would damage your paint though.
I soaked the stem from top and bottom with penetrating fluids for about a week. I also heated the stem with a torch to 100°C. Still no luck.

I am going to have to saw the stem off and remove it once I get back from the Bike MS BP 150 ride in 2 weeks. I pulled the trigger on a Chris King head set for the rebuild.

Ride Safe,

Joe
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Old 04-16-19, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by I_am_X View Post
Do the forks have any opening at the bottom to use a long, slim bar to give the stem some light hits? Can you "flood" it from the bottom with WD40 and let that sit for a while?

/Björn
This is what I would try before the destructive removal. If you can support the top headset race securely, you may be able to put some real impacts into the bottom of the stem and pound it out.
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Old 04-16-19, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
This is what I would try before the destructive removal. If you can support the top headset race securely, you may be able to put some real impacts into the bottom of the stem and pound it out.

You would need something thin enough to go through the wedge to reach the stem. If you pound on the wedge then you are helping it do its job by wedging itself into the bottom of the stem and making it harder to remove it.
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Old 04-16-19, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BoozyMcliverRot View Post
You would need something thin enough to go through the wedge to reach the stem. If you pound on the wedge then you are helping it do its job by wedging itself into the bottom of the stem and making it harder to remove it.
Hmm, the OP said he was able to get the wedge loose, but you may be right.
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Old 04-16-19, 11:22 AM
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Even if you hit the wedge, the basic idea is to "break" the connection of the stem with the frame tube. So what? I think, worth a try, what shall happen worse than now?

/Björn
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Old 04-17-19, 09:21 PM
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I ended up unwrapping one side and taking the brake off then removing the handlebar from the stem. She is all packed up. Next stop Houston Texas.


Wheels in bottom


Add a little bubble wrap and we are good to go.
I
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Old 04-18-19, 02:14 AM
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Welcome to Houston! I've done the MS150 four times since moving here. This year would have been my fifth but I had to drop out for a family obligation. Is this your first? You'll love it. Are you riding with a team or solo? Let me know if you have any questions about the ride or logistics, etc. Also there is an MS150 thread in the Texas subforum.
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Old 04-21-19, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Welcome to Houston! I've done the MS150 four times since moving here. This year would have been my fifth but I had to drop out for a family obligation. Is this your first? You'll love it. Are you riding with a team or solo? Let me know if you have any questions about the ride or logistics, etc. Also there is an MS150 thread in the Texas subforum.
I am riding solo. This is my 7th year riding for MS (my wife has it) and my second year with Passport status. My home ride is the City to Shore in NJ, which is the second biggest MS ride. I figure I might as well ride in the biggest!

Thanks for the heads up. I am heading over to the Texas subforum now.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:38 AM
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Apple cider vinegar sometimes works. I've used this on seatposts there were stuck in frames where brute force and penetrating oils didn't work.
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Old 05-12-19, 04:46 PM
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Penetrating oil(s) only penetrated 1/8"
After my Texas ride I finally got a chance to work on the bike and take the stem out. I had to cut it in half then split the part that was stuck in the steerer with a Sawazall. It only took a few minutes to make the cuts, then about 10 minutes of wrestling to get the stub of a stem out. That was a lot of work because I did not want to destroy the evidence.

Turns out soaking it for a couple weeks in Kroil, WD40, and PB Blaster did nothing. The stem showed less than 1/8" penetration. That left 2" stuck to the steerer.
[img]

The penetrating oil(s) only penetrated 1/8" or less.


Cut I made in the stub piece to get it out. Sawzall made quick work of this.

Last edited by bmwjoe; 05-12-19 at 04:49 PM. Reason: picture did not attach
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Old 05-12-19, 08:36 PM
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Well I'm guessing you won't need to be reminded to periodically remove and regrease the next one. Good idea for seatposts and bottom brackets too.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:12 AM
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Awesome! Was wondering how this was going to turn out.
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Old 05-13-19, 09:18 AM
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This is the exact problem that caused Jobst Brandt, the erstwhile retro-grouch, to embrace threadless headsets.
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