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Can't remove non-driveside Stronglight crank

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Can't remove non-driveside Stronglight crank

Old 06-22-20, 07:02 AM
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Funktopus
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Can't remove non-driveside Stronglight crank

I'm trying to move my cranks and bottom bracket over to a new frame. I've taken my driveside crank off a few times already, and that came off as expected. But the other crank is putting up a fight. When I start pushing with the extractor tool it slips out of the threading. Here's a video:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/d1A35cx8pjNAmuGA9

What can I do here? As I want to keep the crank, could I unscrew the BB now, leaving it on? Apologies if that question makes me sound like a moron, I haven't worked with bottom brackets before. I've already tried penetrating oil, doesn't seem to make a difference. ​​​​​​

​​​All pointers appreciated!

Last edited by Funktopus; 06-22-20 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-22-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Funktopus View Post
I'm trying to move my cranks and bottom bracket over to a new frame. I've taken my driveside crank off a few times already, and that came off as expected. But the other crank is putting up a fight. When I start pushing with the extractor tool it slips out of the threading. Here's a video:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/d1A35cx8pjNAmuGA9

What can I do here? As I want to keep the crank, could I unscrew the BB now, leaving it on? Apologies if that question makes me sound like a moron, I haven't worked with bottom brackets before. I've already tried penetrating oil, doesn't seem to make a difference. ​​​​​​

​​​All pointers appreciated!
Well it's stripped. Sometimes we forget to check if there's a washer in the crank and that will do it. I can't tell which Stronglight crank you have but early ones used a proprietary 23.35 puller. What size is your puller?
Inexperienced mechanics will try a 23 mm TA puller because it 'feels' like a good fit but that will strip the threads as well.
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Old 06-22-20, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Well it's stripped. Sometimes we forget to check if there's a washer in the crank and that will do it. I can't tell which Stronglight crank you have but early ones used a proprietary 23.35 puller. What size is your puller?
Inexperienced mechanics will try a 23 mm TA puller because it 'feels' like a good fit but that will strip the threads as well.
Thanks. Washer definitely not in there. I have a Stronglight 300lx. Can't find anything about them online. This is the tool I'm using: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/382985761547

That tool has successfully taken the drive-side crank off several times, so I'd expect it to work here too. But I've done some research, and apparently you can remove the BB with the left hand crank attached. Sadly it seems my BB may be seized, as my hook spanner doesn't shift it when I turn it counter-clockwise.
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Old 06-22-20, 10:07 AM
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The Stronglight crank puller is larger in diameter than the one you have shown. I made this same mistake many years ago and, like you, ended up screwing up a crank.thread. Here is a Ebay auction number for the correct tool - 223975669464. I am pretty sure that you can find the same thing for a bit less, or a lot less, using your kungfugoogle skills. Hope that is helpful.
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Old 06-22-20, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
The Stronglight crank puller is larger in diameter than the one you have shown. I made this same mistake many years ago and, like you, ended up screwing up a crank.thread. Here is a Ebay auction number for the correct tool - 223975669464. I am pretty sure that you can find the same thing for a bit less, or a lot less, using your kungfugoogle skills. Hope that is helpful.
Thanks. After having used the wrong extractor did the correct one work for you? Or is mine likely toast?
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Old 06-22-20, 10:23 AM
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Once you have stripped the crank threads, it's effectively toast.

That said, yeah, you could salvage it, but IMHO only do this for your personal use. Even then I recommend against it.

It's possible to remove the BB with the left crank attached, sure. If the adjustable cup ring is stuck, it needs either more force, a better tool, some penetrating lubricant, or, if desperate, heat cycling.

This was sort of a transitional time for Stronglight. They had moved from proprietary 23.3 Stronglight puller threads, to standard 22.0. I wonder if some cranks were still being made with the old larger threads. If it turns out that this crank is stronglight threaded, that would explain the problem, and you may still be able to salvage it with the correct puller.
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Old 06-22-20, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Once you have stripped the crank threads, it's effectively toast.

That said, yeah, you could salvage it, but IMHO only do this for your personal use. Even then I recommend against it.

It's possible to remove the BB with the left crank attached, sure. If the adjustable cup ring is stuck, it needs either more force, a better tool, some penetrating lubricant, or, if desperate, heat cycling.

This was sort of a transitional time for Stronglight. They had moved from proprietary 23.3 Stronglight puller threads, to standard 22.0. I wonder if some cranks were still being made with the old larger threads. If it turns out that this crank is stronglight threaded, that would explain the problem, and you may still be able to salvage it with the correct puller.
Well some googling suggests that Stronglight moved away from the 23.35mm design in 1982. Although I can't find anything about the 300lx, everything else on the bike (including the frame) was released in or around '87. I would have thought these cranks were using the standardised threading.

There was rust in the threading area. Maybe the dirt and detritus is to blame.

I don't mind having to buy a new bb. I'm also not allergic to moving the bb over to the new frame with the crank permenantly attached. But I'd love to not have to buy a new crankset! So if both are stuck that's a worst case scenario. I think I might need a better tool. The hook spanner I have is a bit bargain bucket.
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Old 06-22-20, 11:23 AM
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You can still remove the crank arm but you'll need a gear puller, usually found at ann auto parts store
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Old 06-22-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by guy1138 View Post
You can still remove the crank arm but you'll need a gear puller, usually found at ann auto parts store
Better alternative is Jacob's chuck wedges. I forget which exact size at the moment.

https://www.amazon.com/Wedge-Sets-Se.../dp/B0067BSG9S
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Old 06-22-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by guy1138 View Post
You can still remove the crank arm but you'll need a gear puller, usually found at ann auto parts store
Pull the left side of the bb off, set it up in a vice, and drive the axle out with a punch. You'll have to hit it hard enough that you don't want your toes where the axle will land.
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Old 06-22-20, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Better alternative is Jacob's chuck wedges. I forget which exact size at the moment.

https://www.amazon.com/Wedge-Sets-Se.../dp/B0067BSG9S
I use #6 wedges. You may need to add a shim if the space between the BB and crank is too wide. A pickle fork would work as well but they may damage the crank. See about 4 minutes into this video:

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Old 06-22-20, 01:21 PM
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You asked about leaving crank attached and moving across to another bike.

Watched fellow do it at the co-op. He removed N drive side crank bolt and crank and locking ring and cup. Slide in D side wrench and loosened cup. He removed cup with spindle attached to crank with chain wheels still on. Out came old bearings, re-greased and new bearings. Removed frame from stand and installed 2nd frame. Installed D side then N drive side. He adjusted both side cups fine. I don't think he was 10 minutes total. I waited and after asked why? Said allen key hole on dust cap on D side was stripped and he wanted to save it.

Not what I'd do as not confident I wouldn't screw it completely but he seemed ok with it.
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Old 06-22-20, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by WGB View Post
You asked about leaving crank attached and moving across to another bike.

Watched fellow do it at the co-op. He removed N drive side crank bolt and crank and locking ring and cup. Slide in D side wrench and loosened cup. He removed cup with spindle attached to crank with chain wheels still on. Out came old bearings, re-greased and new bearings. Removed frame from stand and installed 2nd frame. Installed D side then N drive side. He adjusted both side cups fine. I don't think he was 10 minutes total. I waited and after asked why? Said allen key hole on dust cap on D side was stripped and he wanted to save it.

Not what I'd do as not confident I wouldn't screw it completely but he seemed ok with it.
I think this is plan a right now. Only issue is my bottom bracket seems to be stuck too. Letting some penetrating oil soak in before I try it again.
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Old 06-22-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Funktopus View Post
I think this is plan a right now. Only issue is my bottom bracket seems to be stuck too. Letting some penetrating oil soak in before I try it again.
If it's the lock ring, use big channel lock pliers. Lots of lock rings available.
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Old 06-22-20, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
If it's the lock ring, use big channel lock pliers. Lots of lock rings available.
I would add a toe strap to protect the ring from the jaws and squeeze at several points around the lockring. This should help un-stick the threads.

I found this cheap pickle fork available at the local auto parts outlet:
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7...iABEgJW1_D_BwE

Usually the crankarm threads get stripped because the remover wasn't threaded in all the way because of dirt/corrosion.
The subject crank is 22mm threaded so your puller is correct.
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Old 06-22-20, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Funktopus View Post
Well some googling suggests that Stronglight moved away from the 23.35mm design in 1982. Although I can't find anything about the 300lx, everything else on the bike (including the frame) was released in or around '87. I would have thought these cranks were using the standardised threading.

There was rust in the threading area. Maybe the dirt and detritus is to blame.

I don't mind having to buy a new bb. I'm also not allergic to moving the bb over to the new frame with the crank permenantly attached. But I'd love to not have to buy a new crankset! So if both are stuck that's a worst case scenario. I think I might need a better tool. The hook spanner I have is a bit bargain bucket.
Yeah, the switch was in the early 80s, more or less. I'm 99% sure that crank has 22.0 threads. It's just that with frenchie stuff, prepare to be surprised. If it was 23.3 the puller would have felt really loose in there.

If there was dirt and detritus in the threads, yes that's a problem. Clean it out first. Also, the puller should be snugged in fairly hard. Finger tight is not enough.

Personally I'd write this one off. But it's up to you.
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Old 06-22-20, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
Pull the left side of the bb off, set it up in a vice, and drive the axle out with a punch. You'll have to hit it hard enough that you don't want your toes where the axle will land.
^ This is the best approach.

Pickle forks are great if you don't care about damage.

And heat can be used too, but away from the bike.

Originally Posted by WGB View Post
Watched fellow do it... He removed cup with spindle attached to crank... installed 2nd frame... He adjusted both side cups fine.
Fine? I dunno. I've never tried to adjust a bb with the arms attached. I'm not sure it would be adjusted as exactly.

I agree that the nds arm should only be used for your own bike. There would have to be special circumstance to use it at all.

​​​​​​​One last thing, that puller looks super cheap. ​​​​​​​Good ones may be found under $10us, but this is not a tool where you want to skimp.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys, grateful for the wealth of information. Assuming nothing works and this crank arm is lost, I could just replace the arm (and BB) rather than find a new crankset. In an ideal world I'd get another Stronglight 300lx arm. But failing that, would anyone see any issues with this arm working as a stand-in: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124230618677

Here are the technical details on my currently stuck arm:



Again, new to this, so if I've overlooked something obvious then shout.

Thanks!
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Old 06-22-20, 04:31 PM
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Current arm appears to have French pedal threads - according to the markings. Ebay arm appears to be standard BSC pedal threads.

Secondly, DANG!!!! If those crank arms have never been rethreaded, then you have the elusive rare French thread Look pedals. Wow. I would have love to found some of those a few years back.

Also a possibility is that someone retapped the crankarms to 9/16". Are the pedals marked D and G or R and L?
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Old 06-22-20, 05:45 PM
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Thanks. After having used the wrong extractor did the correct one work for you? Or is mine likely toast?
Nope, once those threads are stripped they will not be useful for removing the crank. The crank is still fine to use, just a pain to remove.
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Old 06-23-20, 02:24 AM
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A friend of mine had a stuck crankarm with stripped extractor threads. I took two headset wrenches, two old wood working chisels and a mallet to his place. Put the two headset wrenches behind the crankarm, place a chisel on either side of the spindle and between the headset wrenches, tapped each chisle in turn and the crankarm popped right off with no damage to anything.

Cheers
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Old 06-23-20, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Current arm appears to have French pedal threads - according to the markings. Ebay arm appears to be standard BSC pedal threads.

Secondly, DANG!!!! If those crank arms have never been rethreaded, then you have the elusive rare French thread Look pedals. Wow. I would have love to found some of those a few years back.

Also a possibility is that someone retapped the crankarms to 9/16". Are the pedals marked D and G or R and L?
Oh, you mean these elusive Look pedals? 😉


No left or right markings on either of them in any language, it could be that I'm not looking in the right place, or they're just too worn.

Given the pedals have to stay put too its now looking like I should leave this crankset on this frame. I've been thinking of converting this frame to something more off-road anyway, so a triple crankset is really more suited to that.

The new frame, however, will be my long distance/adventure bike. Does anyone have any recommendations on a crankset? I don't know if I should be looking for a particular BCD or manufacturer. The freewheel that it will go with is a Sachs Maillard Aris 7 speed 13-21T. I'd like to sort out gearing that lets me go fast on flats and slight declines and zoom up 12% inclines at least. Is that possible with a double chain ring setup?

Here are a few I've found so far:


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324202740152



https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224047478580



https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174320194794



https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303602482324



I'll be installing a new BB, so can get the appropriate model for whatever cranks are best. Seller says that "any BSA threaded bottom bracket will work", frame is a Vitus 787.

Last edited by Funktopus; 06-23-20 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:34 AM
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...if you are really attached to that crank set (and who does not love Stronglight cranks ?), you can buy one of these or look around for someone close to you who has one. I have one, but they don't work except in person. It's a solid tool, like everything Stein makes and sells. It's paid off for me, but I used to work at the co-op, where people regularly stripped nice cranks. I got tired of throwing them away.
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Old 06-23-20, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Funktopus View Post
Oh, you mean these elusive Look pedals? 😉


No left or right markings on either of them in any language, it could be that I'm not looking in the right place, or they're just too worn.

Given the pedals have to stay put too its now looking like I should leave this crankset on this frame. I've been thinking of converting this frame to something more off-road anyway, so a triple crankset is really more suited to that.

I'll be installing a new BB, so can get the appropriate model for whatever cranks are best. Seller says that "any BSA threaded bottom bracket will work", frame is a Vitus 787.

Yes, possibly. Those are first generation Look pedals, and they could be French threaded. The marking is usually on the spindle itself, not the pedal body. If you remove them from the crank arms, you can see if a standard pedal screws in. If it only goes in a couple threads and feels really tight, they are still French threaded. If they have been converted/re-tapped to standard/BSC(9/16"), then that single 200LX crankarm on ebay should work. You can also use a micrometer to measure. 14mm is .551" vs 9/16" which is .5625" in decimal.

If your Look pedals are French threaded, they may not exactly be valuable, but they are rather rare. I bet there's a forum member out there with an old French bike that they want to ride with actual cycling shoes who would love to have them. Maybe trade them with someone.

RE your bottom bracket, Vitus frames can be either French threaded or British(standard). Later ones are typically British. Since you have French threaded cranks, I'd guess your BB shell is French also. It should be marked on the bottom bracket cups. 35x1 means French. Find that out first before you buy any new BB or crank.
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Old 06-23-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Yes, possibly. Those are first generation Look pedals, and they could be French threaded. The marking is usually on the spindle itself, not the pedal body. If you remove them from the crank arms, you can see if a standard pedal screws in. If it only goes in a couple threads and feels really tight, they are still French threaded. If they have been converted/re-tapped to standard/BSC(9/16"), then that single 200LX crankarm on ebay should work. You can also use a micrometer to measure. 14mm is .551" vs 9/16" which is .5625" in decimal.

If your Look pedals are French threaded, they may not exactly be valuable, but they are rather rare. I bet there's a forum member out there with an old French bike that they want to ride with actual cycling shoes who would love to have them. Maybe trade them with someone.

RE your bottom bracket, Vitus frames can be either French threaded or British(standard). Later ones are typically British. Since you have French threaded cranks, I'd guess your BB shell is French also. It should be marked on the bottom bracket cups. 35x1 means French. Find that out first before you buy any new BB or crank.
So there are two Vitus 787s here. The one that I was removing those cranks from, and the one that I intended to put them on. The bottom bracket on the original Vitus is 35x100, so that must be French. However the seller of the other 787 says the new one is BSA. So that means I can't move these cranks over unless I fix the stripped threading.

I'm thinking it needs to be new cranks at this point, I can find a use for these cranks on this bike. Just need to find a 7 speed 52/39 crankset that's as period correct as possible. Or use an 8, 9 or 10 speed chain on my 7 speed freewheel if I can't get a 7 speed crankset.
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