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headset issue- lower head tube cup is loose.

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headset issue- lower head tube cup is loose.

Old 07-01-21, 12:44 PM
  #1  
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headset issue- lower head tube cup is loose.

Loose as in I can push it in and pull it out with my fingers and it can spin even(with effort from me twisting) when the fork and headset are fully assembled.
The headset measurements match the head tube dimensions. I had another headset in this frame and it fit well, so I am guessing the new headset is ever so slightly off.
The new headset is a new Tange Passage model measuring 30/27 and the bike is an '88 Schwinn Premis.

So the frame and fork should be JIS, the old headset that fit well is JIS 30/27, and there is a slight bit of space...odd.
Is the head tube really 30.2 ISO and I stumbled into getting the other headset to fit?...that cant be right, right?

Some loctite on the cup and call it good?
***I just measured the original white Tange Levin CD headset that came with the bike and the lower cup is 30.08 so thats another data point.
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Old 07-01-21, 12:52 PM
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Because you say it takes effort to make it spin, I would shim it.
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Old 07-01-21, 01:12 PM
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And a couple of drops of super glue.
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Old 07-01-21, 02:01 PM
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Stein tool makes a knurler for fork steerers
I wonder if it can reach around a knurl up a lower cup flange.
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Old 07-01-21, 07:37 PM
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If you don't trust a shim you can do the Shade Tree Mechanic version of knurling with no special tool (other than a sharp punch and a hammer, plus some stable "anvil" to brace the cup on). Alternately (or in addition to) you could try the "chemical shim" of some LocTite GREEN.
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Old 07-01-21, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Some loctite on the cup and call it good?
Probably overkill, but we use Loctite 609 green bearing mount on heavy machinery. Should darn sure hold a headset cup. But if you have regular blue Loctite handy I'd think it would be fine.
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Old 07-01-21, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Stein tool makes a knurler for fork steerers
I wonder if it can reach around a knurl up a lower cup flange.
I've got one of those, and I wouldn't use it on a lower cup flange

Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
If you don't trust a shim you can do the Shade Tree Mechanic version of knurling with no special tool (other than a sharp punch and a hammer, plus some stable "anvil" to brace the cup on). Alternately (or in addition to) you could try the "chemical shim" of some LocTite GREEN.
Chemical shim ftw!
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Old 07-02-21, 01:56 AM
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Loctite Bearing Mount Products

Back in the 80's went through several 1 week long Loctite factory product training/engineering seminars covering all of their products from that era.

@mstateglfr the loose bottom cup on your headset is what would be considered a "slip fit".

Using any of the Loctite Bearing Mount / Retaining Compound products with a .001" slip fit will result in a stronger joint than a .001" - 002" interference press fit!

Why? Because the bearing mount products will fill in all on the microscopic gaps between surfaces of the parts and act as an adhesive that will prevent loosening from vibration and wear.

Caterpillar and a lot of other machinery manufacturers assemble highly stressed components with bearing mount / retaining compound products.

Besides the green Loctite liquid, they also make a 39150 Bearing Mount material in an easy to use stick form.

Another Loctite product is their 660 "Quick Metal" Retaining Compound. It contains fine metal particles and can fill gaps between parts as large as .5mm (0.020").



Note: These kinds of products set up in the absence of air and can take up to 24 hours to fully cure.

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Old 07-02-21, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Stein tool makes a knurler for fork steerers
I wonder if it can reach around a knurl up a lower cup flange.
Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
If you don't trust a shim you can do the Shade Tree Mechanic version of knurling with no special tool (other than a sharp punch and a hammer, plus some stable "anvil" to brace the cup on). Alternately (or in addition to) you could try the "chemical shim" of some LocTite GREEN.
Headset parts are hardened, so they would resist knurling and smacking them with a punch could break them. Another vote for green loctite.
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Old 07-02-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Back in the 80's went through several 1 week long Loctite factory product training/engineering seminars covering all of their products from that era. @mstateglfr the loose bottom cup on your headset is what would be considered a "slip fit". Using any of the Loctite Bearing Mount / Retaining Compound products with a .001" slip fit will result in a stronger joint than a .001" - 002" interference press fit!
Interesting. How "disassembleable" will such connections be later? Heat needed, for instance?

Pretty sure all of my headsets are fine, but wondering if this type of product might be viable for a crank-arm-to-spindle creak I am experiencing, for instance.
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Old 07-02-21, 10:35 AM
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wonder if you'd want to be able to remove lower cup later if it makes sense to apply a thin layer of Loctite or JBWeld to the inside of the headtube and allow it to dry / cure giving you a slightly tighter sized headtube and then press the headset cup in as usual? (instead of applying to actual headset cup)
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Old 07-02-21, 10:36 AM
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Huh, a "glue stick" of loctite. NEver seen that before.
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Old 07-02-21, 12:13 PM
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Another option it to face head tube to iso

Cost some money, but a good shop can face the head tube and ream it out to 30.2 and cut the fork crown race to 26.4. I haven’t had that done recently so I don’t know the cost ($30??). You would also have to buy a new iso headset. I like the levin NJS. The headset will go on better, be easier to adjust, be smoother, and likely last longer. I have also used locktite 660 on a loose iso headset, but haven’t finished the project yet so I can’t say how well it performs.
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Old 07-02-21, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by brooklyn_bike View Post
wonder if you'd want to be able to remove lower cup later if it makes sense to apply a thin layer of Loctite or JBWeld to the inside of the headtube and allow it to dry / cure giving you a slightly tighter sized headtube and then press the headset cup in as usual? (instead of applying to actual headset cup)
No, because you can't accurately enough control the thickness of the layer you are applying.
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Old 07-03-21, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
Headset parts are hardened, so they would resist knurling and smacking them with a punch could break them. Another vote for green loctite.
You assume quality manufacturing. Reasonable, but optimistic.
The chemical filler approach is probably the best, just acetone or better cleaning of the parts first.
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Old 07-03-21, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
And a couple of drops of super glue.
Ha Ha... I know this works. I personally have banned Super Glue from my tool box after making some pretty serious mistakes with it. Like super glueing a car door Nader Pin, or the time I Super Glued an old mechanical fuel pump mount. The stuff really works...

So "Danger Will Robinson!". It works so well you may never get it undone. Don't get me wrong, I keep my Super Glue in the frig but I am judicious in its use. In other words, Don't trust me with the Super Glue, but that's just me.
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Old 07-03-21, 11:36 AM
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You can also make the cup bigger by inserting a slip fit steel bar in it and tapping it lightly with a hammer on an anvil. A socket could do if you can find the right one.
I know I'll probably get a lot of flak for saying this, but I've tried this in pre-Loctite days it and it works. Of course now I'd use Loctite.
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Old 07-03-21, 11:57 PM
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^Ditto^

I was gonna suggest swaging the cup to slightly enlarge it and eliminate the slop. Swaging the insert sleeve won't affect the fit of the cup and bearing race.

I don't know whether there are ready made tools for this particular chore but there are plenty of smaller diameter stepped and tapered swaging punches for other jobs. I'd be surprised if there isn't already a similar swaging punch tool for bearing fit in other industries.
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Old 07-04-21, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
^Ditto^

I was gonna suggest swaging the cup to slightly enlarge it and eliminate the slop.


I'd say no, for two reasons -

1. swaging is not the term you really needed. Swaging is generally a process of reducing a workpiece's diameter, not increasing it. There's no fancy equivalent term for the reverse process that I know of, stretching or expanding will have to do.
2. while what you want to do could be done with a tail-pipe expander tool, or similar, it is
a) more likely to break the cup, and/or distort the bearing race; and
b) unnecessary. All that the fit of the cup needs to do is locate it and resist the very slight torque from steering that makes it though the bearing. You don't need contact over 100% of the surface, if there are a sufficient number of point contacts (punch marks) evenly distributed that cup will stay put. (This is also why chemical fillers work well in this application.)

I'm a bit surprised nobody has suggested electroplating the bottom section.
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Old 07-04-21, 06:32 AM
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Yup, expander would be a better name for the tool, but most tool catalogs call those stepped tapered punches "swaging" tools, so I used that to make it easier to find. I remember being a bit puzzled by the terminology when reloading ammo and accurizing my 1911-A1 .45 ACP. Swaged lead wadcutters were soft lead compressed to shape and size. But the tool to expand the barrel bushing was also called a swaging tool -- it was a tapered, stepped punch.

Who knows. Kinda like bicycle terminology. The saddle isn't called a "seat" by some cyclists, but the post it's attached to is called the seat post.
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Old 07-04-21, 07:39 AM
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You could also try using Vibratite. We used it on a lot of fixtures when going thru random vibe tests, simulating launch loads on spacecraft.
works pretty well.
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Old 07-04-21, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
while what you want to do could be done with a tail-pipe expander tool, or similar, it is
a) more likely to break the cup, and/or distort the bearing race; and
b) unnecessary. All that the fit of the cup needs to do is locate it and resist the very slight torque from steering that makes it though the bearing. You don't need contact over 100% of the surface, if there are a sufficient number of point contacts (punch marks) evenly distributed that cup will stay put. (This is also why chemical fillers work well in this application.)
a) The method I cited is different (and better) than using an expansor. The cup won't break, distortion is minimal if you do it carefully and on the sleeve only - the bearing race isn't affected.
b) there are other forces on the cup, like when braking or going over bumps. The more contact area the better IMO.
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Old 07-05-21, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I've got one of those, and I wouldn't use it on a lower cup flange

Chemical shim ftw!
Gugie, why not?
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Old 07-05-21, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Gugie, why not?
Fork steerers are beefy, the amount of material on a lower headset that presses in is relatively thin. I think you'd end up with a misshapen headset. In addion, how would you turn the headset? How would you grip it?
If you've got one of those tools, try it and report back, but don't be surprised if you damage it. I won't be accepting any repairs to do this.

Just for reference, here's the Stein tool webpage for this tool.

The Locktite solution stated here should work without damaging any parts.
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Old 07-06-21, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Gugie, why not?
If the cup IS through-hardened, the knurls won't like it; and at $150 a set your pocketbook won't either.
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