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Suggestions for removing stripped stem bolt???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Zilla wrote:
>>>I have a stem bolt that I may have stripped, not realizing that
>>>it was rusted frozen when I was trying to remove it. I can a
>>>slightly oversized English wrench to remove it, and if that
>>>fails, I'll take out the old drill and reverse bit. Any other
>>>suggestions? I can take it to the LBS before I try the drill
>>>bit but...


and further clarified:
> ...the hex head cavity is rounded off.


Stem bolt can mean a few things... holding the handlebar in the stem,
clamping stem to steerer (threadless), or stem expander bolt (threaded
or quill).

In any of these cases, you may have a steel bolt in an aluminum part. If
that's true, and the bolt is stuck, you're probably left with
destructive disassembly such as drilling the bolt.

The problem is called galling (search the web for details if you care).
Aluminum threads sometimes gall, and in my experience there is not much
you can do once that happens. Galling is more probable if a thread is
used several times. In most bicycle applications, threads are used only
a few times, so galling is not a problem.

--
Dave
dvt at psu dot edu
post #2 of 7

Re: Suggestions for removing stripped stem bolt???

It sounds like you have an allyn head bolt that is recessed into the top
of the stem, and the internal flats of the allyn socket are rounded off.

If this is the case there are three solutions that come to mind

1. Weld a stub onto the bolt as several others have mentioned
2. Drill the head off the bolt using the allyn socket as a center for
the drill. Then smack the bolt with a punch to free the wedge.
3. Get a properly sized "Easy out" at an auto store and use it to remove
the bolt. It should fit into the allyn recess fairly tightly, or you
will make the rounding worse.

In all cases soak the head with penetrating oil and let it set for
several hours befor trying to remove the bolt.

HTH,
EJ in NJ

Zilla wrote:
> I have a stem bolt that I may have stripped, not realizing that
> it was rusted frozen when I was trying to remove it. I can a
> slightly oversized English wrench to remove it, and if that
> fails, I'll take out the old drill and reverse bit. Any other
> suggestions? I can take it to the LBS before I try the drill
> bit but...
>
post #3 of 7

Re: Suggestions for removing stripped stem bolt???

Zilla who?

> I have a stem bolt that I may have stripped, not realizing that it
> was rusted frozen when I was trying to remove it. I can a slightly
> oversized English wrench to remove it, and if that fails, I'll take
> out the old drill and reverse bit. Any other suggestions? I can take
> it to the LBS before I try the drill bit but...


The screw is shot and welding or other destructive means is
destructive to the stem and won't work anyway. So treat this as a
permanently stuck stem. Saw it off under the elbow after cutting two
verticals so that the top of the stem can be separated from the bottom
and the remainder of the botched expander bolt. Remove the expander
bolt with a pipe wrench or ViseGrip pliers loosening the expander
first by hammering the bolt down until it is loose in the hole. If
you are lucky, you can pull the rest of the stem out, otherwise it
will have to be drilled out and removed by Dremel tool, grinding away
one wall.

There is no recovery for this stem. Get it out of there, and if
possible, never use a quill stem again. To do that you probably need
a new fork with a longer and threadless steertube.

Do it!

Jobst Brandt
post #4 of 7

Re: Suggestions for removing stripped stem bolt???

is it possible to turn the frame upside down, and tilt headpipe into a
container filled with kerosene? cover with aluminum foil and let stand
for severall weeks?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Re: Suggestions for removing stripped stem bolt???

datakoll@yahoo.com wrote:
> is it possible to turn the frame upside down, and tilt headpipe into a
> container filled with kerosene? cover with aluminum foil and let stand
> for severall weeks?


Have you ever had success loosening a galled thread with this technique?

--
Dave
dvt at psu dot edu
post #6 of 7

Re: Suggestions for removing stripped stem bolt???


> Have you ever had success loosening a galled thread with this technique?


i soak continuously-two detergent jugs with rusty tools topped by a
thinner oil mix maybe 10-1? thinner can be recycled chain wash with
either epic or valvo washed in. there's maybe 15 reclaimed tools 40-50
years and older in the box. road tools

if the prblem is serious, an expensive or rare item needing unglueing,
the thinner/diesel/kero bath is followed with an oilier mix-possibley
lubricating newly opened seams.

when the time comes to try to unlock the problem-then PC Blaster goes
in and if the mechanism budges after working it back and forth or to
and fro whatever turns you on then light synthetic oil is administered
seam up to increase gravity flow if the blaster isn't up to the job.
you feel metal gripping? then the synth goes in.

does that cure gauling? well not if the metal begins bonding if you
need a limitation but if the metal is jagged each side and puzzled
together as a joint then getting the dirt out opens the seams up for
lubrication.

that's the divider right? the solvent bath gets rid of metal that
became dirt and plain old dirt but gauling is a matter of inserting
lubrication and planning to get some sliding action into play.
post #7 of 7

Re: Suggestions for removing stripped stem bolt???

and the difference tween gauled and seized?
ever find a solid white compound in your joint? metallic salts?
the PC blaster and diesel fuel(i hear) are corrosive to dissolve the
white layer and free the joint.
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