Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Crank axle keeps working loose

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Crank axle keeps working loose

Old 07-28-21, 06:48 PM
  #1  
robertj298 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 948

Bikes: 1983 Univega Super Strada, 1986 Panasonic DX5000, 1984 Fuji Team 85 Univega Gran Turismo, 1984 Lotus Unique, 1987 Centurion Expert, 1987 Centurion Ironman Master,

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 122 Posts
Crank axle keeps working loose

I've taken the bottom bracket apart and put it back together 3 times. I've adjusted
the adjustable cup 3 times and locked it tight. I ride 2 blocks and the axle wobbles.
Any suggestions?
robertj298 is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 07:21 PM
  #2  
steelbikeguy
Senior Member
 
steelbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 2,719
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1006 Post(s)
Liked 939 Times in 495 Posts
well, I guess the question is "what part is coming loose?".

The candidates are:
1. adjustable cup
2. fixed cup
3. crank arm is coming loose on the axle, which gives the impression that the bearings aren't adjusted properly.

I'm guessing that you have to adjust the left cup to tighten things up, which wouldn't point to the crank arm coming loose.
Is the lock ring loose, or do you have to loosen it first before adjusting the left cup? If it is still tight, that suggests that the right cup might be backing out.

Photos would help, as always.
A video of you checking on the looseness and tightening things up might not hurt either.

Steve in Peoria
(I'm betting on the right cup coming loose, just in case it wasn't obvious )
steelbikeguy is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 07:31 PM
  #3  
robertj298 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 948

Bikes: 1983 Univega Super Strada, 1986 Panasonic DX5000, 1984 Fuji Team 85 Univega Gran Turismo, 1984 Lotus Unique, 1987 Centurion Expert, 1987 Centurion Ironman Master,

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 122 Posts
[QUOTE=steelbikeguy;22162006]well, I guess the question is "what part is coming loose?".

The candidates are:
1. adjustable cup
2. fixed cup
3. crank arm is coming loose on the axle, which gives the impression that the bearings aren't adjusted properly.

I'm guessing that you have to adjust the left cup to tighten things up, which wouldn't point to the crank arm coming loose.
Is the lock ring loose, or do you have to loosen it first before adjusting the left cup? If it is still tight, that suggests that the right cup might be backing out.

Photos would help, as always.
A video of you checking on the looseness and tightening things up might not hurt either.

Steve in Peoria
(I'm betting on the right cup coming loose, just in case it wasn't obvious )[/QUOTE
I donít think itís the right side cup because I couldnít get it off the first time so I serviced the bearings through the left side. I did notice that the caged bearings fit pretty tight against the cone
robertj298 is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 07:32 PM
  #4  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,211

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Liked 339 Times in 241 Posts
Is this the '86 Panasonic you've been messing with?
Bigbus is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 07:49 PM
  #5  
robertj298 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 948

Bikes: 1983 Univega Super Strada, 1986 Panasonic DX5000, 1984 Fuji Team 85 Univega Gran Turismo, 1984 Lotus Unique, 1987 Centurion Expert, 1987 Centurion Ironman Master,

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Is this the '86 Panasonic you've been messing with?
Nope itís the 85 Univega Gran Comp
robertj298 is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 08:16 PM
  #6  
steelbikeguy
Senior Member
 
steelbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 2,719
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1006 Post(s)
Liked 939 Times in 495 Posts
Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I don’t think it’s the right side cup because I couldn’t get it off the first time so I serviced the bearings through the left side. I did notice that the caged bearings fit pretty tight against the cone
can I change my guess to "the caged bearings are installed the wrong way around"? i.e. might try flipping them over.
Of course, that should mean that the axle doesn't turn freely, I think (I don't recall ever doing this myself)

Photos would be helpful, of course.

I wonder if Park Tool or RJ the Bike Guy have videos explaining about caged bearings?

edit: so you're saying that nothing came loose after each adjustment? i.e. the lock ring wasn't loose and the fixed cup wasn't loose? And the axle turned freely each time you adjusted the bearings?

Steve in Peoria
steelbikeguy is offline  
Likes For steelbikeguy:
Old 07-28-21, 08:20 PM
  #7  
robertj298 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 948

Bikes: 1983 Univega Super Strada, 1986 Panasonic DX5000, 1984 Fuji Team 85 Univega Gran Turismo, 1984 Lotus Unique, 1987 Centurion Expert, 1987 Centurion Ironman Master,

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
can I change my guess to "the caged bearings are installed the wrong way around"? i.e. might try flipping them over.
Of course, that should mean that the axle doesn't turn freely, I think (I don't recall ever doing this myself)

Photos would be helpful, of course.

I wonder if Park Tool or RJ the Bike Guy have videos explaining about caged bearings?

Steve in Peoria
Unless they are the opposite of every other caged bottom bracket bearing I've done they are
the right way. O(pen end of cage towards cup closed end towards cone.
robertj298 is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 08:27 PM
  #8  
SurferRosa
SeŮor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 4,644

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1905 Post(s)
Liked 2,154 Times in 1,203 Posts
Unless it's a Campy retainer that accepts 11 balls, I will guess the great majority of c&vers here prefer to toss 9-ball retainers in the trash.
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 08:36 PM
  #9  
robertj298 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 948

Bikes: 1983 Univega Super Strada, 1986 Panasonic DX5000, 1984 Fuji Team 85 Univega Gran Turismo, 1984 Lotus Unique, 1987 Centurion Expert, 1987 Centurion Ironman Master,

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Unless it's a Campy retainer that accepts 11 balls, I will guess the great majority of c&vers here prefer to toss 9-ball retainers in the trash.
I'll have to double check but I believe I replaced 11 balls. I think my next step will be to remove the cage
and putt the bearings in loose.
robertj298 is offline  
Old 07-28-21, 11:48 PM
  #10  
Dfrost 
Senior Member
 
Dfrost's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,749

Bikes: Ď87 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer, Ď79 Miyata 912 by Gugificazione

Mentioned: 148 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
Liked 195 Times in 128 Posts
Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Unless they are the opposite of every other caged bottom bracket bearing I've done they are
the right way. O(pen end of cage towards cup closed end towards cone.
As @SurferRosa implies, there are BB that need caged bearing sets the other way around, like this Campy that needed the closed end toward the cup.

Dfrost is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 01:35 AM
  #11  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 10,920

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, 196? Torpado Professional, 2000 Marinoni Piuma

Mentioned: 187 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 968 Times in 587 Posts
Let's assume that the cages and balls are installed properly. Let's assume that everything is adjusted properly. Let's assume that the non-drive side lock nut is locking the non-drive side cup properly. That would leave only one thing, in my mind...

Are the bottom bracket threads or the cup threads in good shape? If not, under use, it is possible that the entire cup is slipping on or jumping over the threads. A cracked bottom bracket shell would also contribute to the problem. Other than that, what else is there to consider?

Again, this thought assumes that installation and adjustment is done properly.
__________________
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Likes For randyjawa:
Old 07-29-21, 01:52 AM
  #12  
sd5782 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Toledo Ohio
Posts: 600

Bikes: 1964 Frejus Tour de France, 1964 Huffy Sportsman 3 speed, 1972 Schwinn Supersport, 1983 Trek 700, 1985 Centurion Ironman, 1989 Miyata 1000LT, 1991 Bianchi Boardwalk

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 226 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 90 Posts
Bearing cage in backwards if they have 11 in the cage.
sd5782 is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 03:43 AM
  #13  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,822
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 962 Post(s)
Liked 760 Times in 444 Posts
Open side of caged bearings faces spindle bearing race.

Trakhak is offline  
Likes For Trakhak:
Old 07-29-21, 03:58 AM
  #14  
100bikes
Industry guy
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 292

Bikes: To many to name - I ride a custom built steel frame.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked 42 Times in 29 Posts
There is one possibility that hasn't been mentioned.

If the faces of the bb shell are not parallel, the lock ring has a pretty good chance of loosening up.

"Facing" or milling the faces of the shell removes the paint and excess metal. It allows the lock ring a
smooth surface to rest against.

Tools are expensive for this, but it is truly the best way to get top performance out of
any bb or headset- especially precision versions.

rusty
100bikes is offline  
Likes For 100bikes:
Old 07-29-21, 04:55 AM
  #15  
robertj298 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 948

Bikes: 1983 Univega Super Strada, 1986 Panasonic DX5000, 1984 Fuji Team 85 Univega Gran Turismo, 1984 Lotus Unique, 1987 Centurion Expert, 1987 Centurion Ironman Master,

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
As @SurferRosa implies, there are BB that need caged bearing sets the other way around, like this Campy that needed the closed end toward the cup.

This could be it. I was under the impression from the RJ video that all bottom bracket bearings fit with the open end of the cage towards the cup. I will check it today
robertj298 is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 05:27 AM
  #16  
SJX426 
Senior Member
 
SJX426's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 8,114

Bikes: '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1098 Post(s)
Liked 802 Times in 494 Posts
@robertj298 - Assemble the bearings on the spindle before installing to test the ease of rotation of the caged bearings. The cage should not touch the spindle at all. Then check by adding the NDS cup and apply pressure to the bearing while you turn it. Flip the cage and do it again. One configuration will be much smoother than the other.
__________________
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.
SJX426 is offline  
Likes For SJX426:
Old 07-29-21, 05:34 AM
  #17  
shelbyfv 
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 9,192
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2586 Post(s)
Liked 2,879 Times in 1,529 Posts
More ideas here https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...sening-up.html and https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...direction.html
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 05:40 AM
  #18  
Phil_gretz
Journeyman Bike Commuter
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 6,816

Bikes: '79 Peugeot PXN10LE, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022, '21 Tsunami SNM-100

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1363 Post(s)
Liked 1,313 Times in 705 Posts
Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
This could be it. I was under the impression from the RJ video that ...
And remember, RJ is a hack. He's mostly effective, but a hack nonetheless...
Phil_gretz is offline  
Likes For Phil_gretz:
Old 07-29-21, 06:41 AM
  #19  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,793

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 161 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5230 Post(s)
Liked 1,853 Times in 1,213 Posts
With cup and cone BBs, you want the adjustment to be a bit on the tight side.

The other suggestions here are good and you'll have to work your way through them.
bikemig is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 07:04 AM
  #20  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,848

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2688 Post(s)
Liked 1,397 Times in 868 Posts
Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Open side of caged bearings faces spindle bearing race.
True for 9-ball retainers, but not 11-ball retainers, as @Dfrost notes above.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 10:30 AM
  #21  
robertj298 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
robertj298's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 948

Bikes: 1983 Univega Super Strada, 1986 Panasonic DX5000, 1984 Fuji Team 85 Univega Gran Turismo, 1984 Lotus Unique, 1987 Centurion Expert, 1987 Centurion Ironman Master,

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 556 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 122 Posts
Hats off to SurferRosa From videos and all my other bikes I have done I
just assumed the bearing cage went in with the open side facing the
cup not the other way around. Guess I'll know the next time
robertj298 is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 12:07 PM
  #22  
Phil_gretz
Journeyman Bike Commuter
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 6,816

Bikes: '79 Peugeot PXN10LE, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022, '21 Tsunami SNM-100

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1363 Post(s)
Liked 1,313 Times in 705 Posts
^ we have all made that mistake once.
Phil_gretz is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 12:35 PM
  #23  
genejockey 
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 6,806

Bikes: Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3448 Post(s)
Liked 3,678 Times in 1,854 Posts
Maybe make a mark on the BB aligned with one of the holes in the adjustable cup once you've got it tightened down, and see whether the hole moves?
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."
genejockey is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 03:41 PM
  #24  
gugie 
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,455

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1030 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3402 Post(s)
Liked 1,860 Times in 927 Posts
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
^ we have all made that mistake once.
Not me, no sir, uh-uh.

More than once...
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is online now  
Likes For gugie:
Old 07-30-21, 04:36 PM
  #25  
SJX426 
Senior Member
 
SJX426's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 8,114

Bikes: '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1098 Post(s)
Liked 802 Times in 494 Posts
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
^ we have all made that mistake once.
Only once then came up with the process in my previous post. Works every time, but I usually replace with loose balls.
__________________
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.
SJX426 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.