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Severely stuck fixed cup of BB

Old 02-14-20, 09:56 AM
  #1  
EamonPVD
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Severely stuck fixed cup of BB

Hi All. trying to remove a veryyyy stuck fixed cup that I need to replace. Iíve built a few of those Sheldon Brown type fixed cup removal tools and have used them a couple times to success on other bikes. This bike (mid 80s Team Fuji) however, is trickier. Ive wrenched down on the tool, on this specific bike, so much that the fixed cup is breaking apart. Here is a pic:


any advice on how I should proceed?

thanks
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Old 02-14-20, 10:04 AM
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Heat wrench PLUS the Sheldon Brown method. Soak threads with Kroil or 50/50 ATF/acetone mix first (over a few days). Make sure you are turning in the proper direction (to the right).
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Old 02-14-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Heat wrench PLUS the Sheldon Brown method. Soak threads with Kroil or 50/50 ATF/acetone mix first (over a few days). Make sure you are turning in the proper direction (to the right).
not sure the tool is gonna be of service anymore as it is punching through the fixed cup
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Old 02-14-20, 10:10 AM
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+1 on making sure that you're loosening this cup. The fact that its Japanese hints at the more common "English" type of threading: the drive side is left hand threaded. To loosen, turn clockwise.

If you have a very good bench vice with nice, sharp 90į jaws, one of the best ways to do this it to put the cup flats in the vice and use the bike frame itself as a wrench handle.

Pre-treating with Kroil is good advice. If all fails you can use a small grinding wheel on a Dremel tool to cut slots in the cup (but not the thread) and break this out. The machinist's approach would be to use heat, as in applied with a torch, but that could hurt your paint and (in excess) the strength of your bottom bracket.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 02-14-20 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:30 AM
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The first method would use the intended tool, a fixed cup wrench. If only the low cost flat stamped "box" type wrench is available some way to secure it to the shell will be needed. But if you have access to (like a better shop will have) a Var/Campy type of vice tool all the better. Only when this vastly better fixed cup tool isn't the correct size has this method failed me. The tool can be held in a large bench vise to make the frame the lever arm.

Next up would be the Sheldon method which is borrowed from the Kingsbridge type of tool (Bicycle Research made a smaller version too). Using the specific to BB cups tool, and not generic bolt and washers, helps a lot. I've removed a number of fixed cups that customers brought in after the Sheldon method didn't work and my Kingsbridge tool did. Again using that bench vise is a big aspect and how you hold VS turn which side of the BB shell you're on is important.

At any point along this process soaking with a good penetrant, like Kroil and not WD40, can help but isn't a guaranty of an easier effort.

When all else fails there's heat or mechanical erosion methods. heat means well more then boiling water levels, think burning paint levels. And with the mass of steel this will take a powerful heat source applied for a while. Errosion usually means grinding with a die grinder or Dremel. At least until the cup's threaded wall is thin enough to see the thread tips. This only needs to be done in two locations, roughly diametrically across from each other. Then a careful application of a cold steel chisel against the two "halves" of the cup can break them free of the shell's thread. Of course if you have access to a big EDM machine that would work too

The images suggest that the OP hasn't tried much, if at all, with a fixed cup wrench. Is this true? Why not? Do you have a LBS near by that you can work with? With no location listed in your profile I don't know if this option is easily available to you. Andy
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Old 02-14-20, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The first method would use the intended tool, a fixed cup wrench. If only the low cost flat stamped "box" type wrench is available some way to secure it to the shell will be needed. But if you have access to (like a better shop will have) a Var/Campy type of vice tool all the better. Only when this vastly better fixed cup tool isn't the correct size has this method failed me. The tool can be held in a large bench vise to make the frame the lever arm.

Next up would be the Sheldon method which is borrowed from the Kingsbridge type of tool (Bicycle Research made a smaller version too). Using the specific to BB cups tool, and not generic bolt and washers, helps a lot. I've removed a number of fixed cups that customers brought in after the Sheldon method didn't work and my Kingsbridge tool did. Again using that bench vise is a big aspect and how you hold VS turn which side of the BB shell you're on is important.

At any point along this process soaking with a good penetrant, like Kroil and not WD40, can help but isn't a guaranty of an easier effort.

When all else fails there's heat or mechanical erosion methods. heat means well more then boiling water levels, think burning paint levels. And with the mass of steel this will take a powerful heat source applied for a while. Errosion usually means grinding with a die grinder or Dremel. At least until the cup's threaded wall is thin enough to see the thread tips. This only needs to be done in two locations, roughly diametrically across from each other. Then a careful application of a cold steel chisel against the two "halves" of the cup can break them free of the shell's thread. Of course if you have access to a big EDM machine that would work too

The images suggest that the OP hasn't tried much, if at all, with a fixed cup wrench. Is this true? Why not? Do you have a LBS near by that you can work with? With no location listed in your profile I don't know if this option is easily available to you. Andy
fixed cup wrench did not work- too stuck
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Old 02-14-20, 12:18 PM
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I'm simply amazed at the lack of evidence of penetrating oil being used?
What are you thinking?
Here's my "tool set" for removing these cups-


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Old 02-14-20, 12:20 PM
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I have successfully used vice on bench method above, never fails if you have decent jaws on the vice. good luck
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Old 02-14-20, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I'm simply amazed at the lack of evidence of penetrating oil being used?
What are you thinking?
Here's my "tool set" for removing these cups-


....I used to have pretty good luck with this method. I think I even put some pictures of my setup in the hints and tricks thread.
Eventually, I got one of these. To the OP, look around and see if you can find some bike shop or mechanic that has one.

Unior makes one, and so does Hozan. Probably some other manufacturers as well.
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Old 02-14-20, 01:39 PM
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Iíve broken a vise on a stuck BB once. Iíve had good luck with the bolt-and-washers method. Once or twice Iíve welded a piece of steel to the cup to get some solid leverage.
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Old 02-14-20, 01:50 PM
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I have run across this challenge on occasion.
Quick and easy to weld a big nut or bar etc to the cup. Then BIG wrench will remove.

Good luck
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Old 02-14-20, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Iíve broken a vise on a stuck BB once. Iíve had good luck with the bolt-and-washers method. Once or twice Iíve welded a piece of steel to the cup to get some solid leverage.
Good heavens! What was the failure mode of the vice? What broke?

I'm thinking a Wilton or Yost (non-swivel is best). I have a Yost (with the swivel).

The welding approach has the advantage that you are adding heat to the system.
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Old 02-14-20, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Good heavens! What was the failure mode of the vice? What broke?
One of the knurled jaws broke. Took off a shard about halfway down the vertical face, the full thickness of the jaw and 30-40 mm long.
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Old 02-14-20, 02:28 PM
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Wow, that was one stuck BB cup. Thx.
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Old 02-14-20, 02:46 PM
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I'd have the frame on its side, fixed cup down and for me near the washing machine. Every time I walked by I'd add more liquid wrench for a week. It'll move easier, penetrating oils do work. Next I'd grab a quality wrench, not a thin park of bicycle specific, something like a Wright (my personal choice), SK, Proto or Williams; the kind that never slip. I'd use a bolt and 2 giant washers to hold the wrench aligned for extra measure and a frame alignment tool on the arm of the wrench for extra leverage. A quality wrench like wright will rip the head off a grade 8 bolt before it ever slips and they don't have much give in them. Don't use an adjustable it will fail as will cheaper wrenches.
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Old 02-14-20, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Wow, that was one stuck BB cup. Thx.
Well, I had several things going for me.
Big, heavy workbench. Solidly bolted to the wall.
Badly stuck BB on a frame I dared to pull HARD on.
And while the vise had done good service up to that point, it wasnít a brand name item.
Still, it made me jump a bit when the jaw cracked with a loud noise.
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Old 02-14-20, 05:54 PM
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I'm suspecting the tool being used on this bottom bracket is like one of the old Var tools that clamped down on the cup and then the pressure of the tool allowed the cup to be turned. I see it as now wasted and should be replaced. but to remove what is left would require a Campy, Var or even the 36mm wrench clamped down with BK's kit. and some added leverage like a big pipe. The 4 foot pipe has always worked for me. Smiles, MH
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Old 02-14-20, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
....I used to have pretty good luck with this method. I think I even put some pictures of my setup in the hints and tricks thread.
Eventually, I got one of these. To the OP, look around and see if you can find some bike shop or mechanic that has one.

Unior makes one, and so does Hozan. Probably some other manufacturers as well.
As did the mentioned Var and Campy. Andy
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Old 02-14-20, 07:52 PM
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The worst ones I've seen have come off with penetrating oil, an electric heat gun and a mallet on the standard BB wrench. The mallet on the wrench alone usually does it.
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Old 02-14-20, 08:08 PM
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Crude, but it worked

A few months ago I needed to replace a worn BB. Took apart and found a crossed threaded cup that was fully threaded. Broke two removers before I went for broke. Laid the bike on it's side, and installed my remover on an impact and went slowly back and forth till it came out. I had to apply full pressure, All of my weight and it worked. Lots of penetrating oil and a good heating with a heat gun.
Good Luck!!
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Old 02-14-20, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
As did the mentioned Var and Campy. Andy
Originally Posted by EamonPVD View Post
fixed cup wrench did not work- too stuck
...sorry, Andy. I know you mentioned it early on, but I thought maybe the OP was confused about what we were actually talking about, and a picture link might help. I figured he was talking about the flat ones that slip off the cup if not held on with a bolt and washers.
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Old 02-14-20, 09:17 PM
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...the piece that fits on (most but not all) fixed cup wrench flats and has a square opening to fit on the squared shank of these tools is what makes them work better than the Sheldon Brown fixed cup bolt/washer kludge. I never had much luck with that setup, even though I hear people raving about how well it worked for them here. And like Andy already said, you can grab the round shank of the tool in the pipe jaws of a bench vise, using the frame as a lever. And colorful language helps a lot sometimes.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:59 PM
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If you know a welder or have your own machine you could weld the end of a steel bar to the face of the cup. You will have all the leverage you need to turn it without fear of the wrench coming off.
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Old 02-15-20, 06:44 AM
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The best tool for the OP's type of fixed cup is the Hozan C-352 @3alarmer mentioned above, or the VAR-30 or Campagnolo-793 others have mentioned.




The advantage the VAR-30 has over others is that other jaws are available to fit different styles of fixed cup. The Campagnolo-793 has flats on the body that can be clamped in a bench vise for extra leverage. All are relatively expensive compared to the home-made Sheldon Brown tool. Perhaps a local bike shop has the proper tool?

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Old 02-15-20, 07:08 AM
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^^^ You would think VAR would at least have the fixed cup on the proper side of the bike in it's illustration.
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