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Cartridge BB installation, genius!

Old 12-05-20, 12:11 PM
  #1  
jonwvara 
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Cartridge BB installation, genius!

I will now describe a stroke of towering genius that came to me recently while replacing a bottom bracket cartridge. I expect I will soon learn that it's a trick that everyone else here already knew, and is considered to be so obvious that it scarcely bears mentioning. Ah, well.

When removing an old cartridge bottom bracket, or installing a French- or Italian-threaded one--either of which has to be really tight to keep from working loose--I have always struggled, usually successfully, to keep the splined BB tool pressed tightly enough against the splines that it doesn't slip and damage them. I hate it when that happens.

The other day, it occurred to me to insert an M8 bolt in the square hole in the top of my Park BB2 bottom bracket tool--which ordinarily accepts a 3/8" drive ratchet--and thread the bolt into the spindle of the cartridge BB, making the dreaded slippage impossible. I used a 35 mm bolt, which was a good length for the long triple-crank cartridge I was removing. A 40mm might be better for a short double cartridge. It only has to be screwed in finger tight to keep the tool in place. Cranking the bolt down wouldn't hold it any better, but would probably damage the seals on the cartridge. I put a washer under the head of bolt before screwing it in, but I forgot to include it in the photos below.

Of course, you can't use a ratchet with the tool now, but that doesn't matter--you just grab onto the wrench flats with a big adjustable. I see from the Park catalog that my BB2 is apparently no longer in production, but the current model, the BB22, looks pretty similar. The same approach would work, I imagine, although it might require a longer or shorter bolt than the one I used.




That's it. I hope this is news to someone.
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Old 12-05-20, 01:15 PM
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That’s a tip I did not know but will certainly use. Thanks!
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Old 12-05-20, 01:24 PM
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Pedro's makes a tool for that.

LINK

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Old 12-05-20, 01:26 PM
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News to me, too. Thanks for the tip.

It does mirror the tip of using a quick release skewer to hold the freewheel remover tool on the freewheel without slipping, but despite knowing that trick I wouldn’t have thought of this BB installation tip.

best,
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Old 12-05-20, 01:39 PM
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I had a version of the tool that Tom shows, which consists of a long arm for torque, a splined tool, and then rotating in the center of that, a bolt for threading onto the BB spindle. Worked really well to keep the splined tool snug; unfortunately, I broke it trying to get off a particularly stubborn cup. I’d buy another if I could figure out who made it.
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Old 12-05-20, 01:50 PM
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Nice

I’ve put in exactly 1 sealed BB. I was a bit disappointed as I bought the Park tool and the BB was a Shimano UN55. What the heck, the tool barely contacts the splines. Tapped a bit with a hammer and didn’t get too carried away.

I just figured my tool or the BB just didn’t match up well. I would think the beauty of the spline setup was the easy availability of lots of contact area even with some manufacturing slop built in. Oh well. I will remember that.
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Old 12-05-20, 02:16 PM
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I got excited about this and felt stupid for not trying this myself.

Then I looked at my splined BB tool, branded Nashbar - sadly it doesn't have any wrench flats.

I always thought the design was rather silly, putting the ratchet so far outboard of the small engagement of the splines leads to a lot of force and torque that doesn't work towards the goal of tightening or loosening the BB cups. That and the drive socket is larger than normal, such that I have a wrench that I use only on that socket. I left a perfectly good Shimano BB with the plastic cup inside a trashed frame just because I couldn't get it out. I guess I'll just pony up for a better splined tool with wrench flats.
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Old 12-05-20, 02:41 PM
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Good point, @sd5782. They really missed that opportunity stupidly.
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Old 12-05-20, 02:54 PM
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Diego Frogs made a good point about how the force on the wrench handle is not directed in the plane of the spline engagement, so the force is not just torqueing the cup, but also trying to rock the tool out of engagement!

Solutions are many:

If a long and fine-threaded M8 bolt isn't handy, use all=thread through the entire bb spindle and with large washers.

A longer wrench automatically improves the torque versus the unwanted rocking force, but any square-drive adapters make things worse.

I've used a swivel-headed ratchet to move the handle into the plane of the spline engagement, which helps keep the splines from rocking out of engagement.
And using my 18" adjustable wrench on the flats of the tool, I can tilt the wrench handle inward toward the plane of the splines.
Note also that Park's newer tool with the huge hole going through it is a lot shorter in height, so by itself this improves matters.

I am also recalling an aftermarket titanium socket-headed bolt with M8x1mm threads taken from the head of a Super-Record seatpost having enough threaded length to be useful here.
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Old 12-05-20, 03:17 PM
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Doesn’t matter if the trick was widely (or little) known. It was a novel innovation for the OP, he figured it out, and shared it. Full marks and thanks.

Last edited by conspiratemus1; 12-05-20 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 12-05-20, 03:37 PM
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Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-05-20, 03:54 PM
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Been using that 'trick' for many years. Glad you mentioned it though in case others weren't aware of it.
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Old 12-05-20, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
I got excited about this and felt stupid for not trying this myself.

Then I looked at my splined BB tool, branded Nashbar - sadly it doesn't have any wrench flats.
That's why you have an angle-grinder.
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Old 12-05-20, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I will now describe a stroke of towering genius that came to me recently while replacing a bottom bracket cartridge. I expect I will soon learn that it's a trick that everyone else here already knew, and is considered to be so obvious that it scarcely bears mentioning. Ah, well.

When removing an old cartridge bottom bracket, or installing a French- or Italian-threaded one--either of which has to be really tight to keep from working loose--I have always struggled, usually successfully, to keep the splined BB tool pressed tightly enough against the splines that it doesn't slip and damage them. I hate it when that happens.

The other day, it occurred to me to insert an M8 bolt in the square hole in the top of my Park BB2 bottom bracket tool--which ordinarily accepts a 3/8" drive ratchet--and thread the bolt into the spindle of the cartridge BB, making the dreaded slippage impossible. I used a 35 mm bolt, which was a good length for the long triple-crank cartridge I was removing. A 40mm might be better for a short double cartridge. It only has to be screwed in finger tight to keep the tool in place. Cranking the bolt down wouldn't hold it any better, but would probably damage the seals on the cartridge. I put a washer under the head of bolt before screwing it in, but I forgot to include it in the photos below.

Of course, you can't use a ratchet with the tool now, but that doesn't matter--you just grab onto the wrench flats with a big adjustable. I see from the Park catalog that my BB2 is apparently no longer in production, but the current model, the BB22, looks pretty similar. The same approach would work, I imagine, although it might require a longer or shorter bolt than the one I used.




That's it. I hope this is news to someone.
Right in front of me the whole damn time.

You'd be surprised how often that happens in 25 years as an auto mech/tech, let alone a lifetime of wrenching.

Looks like you could still use a deep socket and ratchet on the tool with bolt in place.
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Old 12-05-20, 05:35 PM
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I keep the bolt with the tool. I have a big socket that I can use even with the bolt installed on a BBT-22 tool. I've needed some serious torque to get some out.

Last edited by dedhed; 12-05-20 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 12-05-20, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
I got excited about this and felt stupid for not trying this myself.

Then I looked at my splined BB tool, branded Nashbar - sadly it doesn't have any wrench flats.

I always thought the design was rather silly, putting the ratchet so far outboard of the small engagement of the splines leads to a lot of force and torque that doesn't work towards the goal of tightening or loosening the BB cups. That and the drive socket is larger than normal, such that I have a wrench that I use only on that socket. I left a perfectly good Shimano BB with the plastic cup inside a trashed frame just because I couldn't get it out. I guess I'll just pony up for a better splined tool with wrench flats.
There's always a pipe wrench.
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Old 12-05-20, 05:48 PM
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That beats my big C-clamp trick by a mile! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-05-20, 06:44 PM
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I wasn't aware that either threaded retainer needs to be all that tight with a cartridge bearing BB. I have some IRD French and Italian (and Swiss) threaded/splined retainers (sold as accessories) that are aluminum, though I haven't installed a BB with them yet. And the NDS retainer on many budget-level Shimano cartridge units is plastic, for Pete's sake! I only have one cartridge bearing BB installed, with steel retainers, but it's been fine for years, and I don't remember installing it really tight (like tight enough to use a torque wrench) -- in fact I think that the instructions even warned against over-tightening.

Of course if an existing unit has been installed using the overkill method, ya' gotta remove it!
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Old 12-06-20, 05:54 AM
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Good tip. It's the same principle as using a QR skewer on freewheel removal tool so it doesn't slip.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
That's why you have an angle-grinder.
Excellent advice. Must've been hidden underneath or behind the Murphy bed.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:40 AM
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Great example of someone problem solving, wondering why it took so long to find the solution, realizing it is most likely not a novel idea, and then posting it anyway because it just may help someone else. Truly good solutions do not get old. Kudos to @jonwvara.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:47 AM
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Brilliant!
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Old 12-06-20, 07:52 AM
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I've had to do that a couple of times. I thought I read about it on Sheldon's site.
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Old 12-06-20, 10:02 AM
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Don't forget that after a bunch of force out at a long distance from the BB, the tool will start to get rounded ends.
You can always take it to the grinding wheel and trim some off the working edge to a place that's square again.

And like I said on the freewheel removal thread this week. IMPACT DRIVER!
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Old 12-06-20, 10:24 AM
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Good point Chuckk, about inspecting the working end of the tool for rounding.

I imagine that problems can be prevented by first cleaning the splines out so the tool goes in all the way. The way I do this is to simply tap the tool inward with a small hammer, which makes a different sound when the splines hit bottom.
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