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Quill type stem broke inside headset.
#1
[attachment=1340]
So I got this old bicycle from my father in law. It was a bit abandoned so I spent a good bit of time and some money to make i decent again. One problem I was having was that the handlebar was a bit wobbly, and tended to twist slightly. I tried adjusting it, tightening everything, but to no avail. One day I decided to just take the whole thing out and saw what the problem was. Alas, it was quite a problem: the stem had broken clean inside the headset.
[attachment=1341]
[attachment=1342]

As you can see, the lower part of the stem is stuck inside the headset, which means that I have to somehow pull it out before I put in a new stem. I only have basic tools available and I can't afford anything new at the moment. I'm wondering if there is a way of pulling this thing out without having to take apart things. If it comes to that, it will be cheaper for me to take it to a bicycle mechanic (lots of them around here). I'd rather do it myself though.

Thanks for wading through this long post, and thanks for any helps/tips you might be able to give me Smile
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#2
Probably the only way to get it out will be to first remove the forks, then try an knock the wedge out from the top with a cold chisel, or something similar, then use a piece of pipe, or maybe the cold chisel again, and knock the broken part of the stem up and out from the bottom of the steerer tube, between the fork blades. Give everything a good soaking in some penetrating oil for a while before you start.
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#3
(08-05-2010, 11:03 AM)xerxes Wrote:  Probably the only way to get it out will be to first remove the forks, then try an knock the wedge out from the top with a cold chisel, or something similar, then use a piece of pipe, or maybe the cold chisel again, and knock the broken part of the stem up and out from the bottom of the steerer tube, between the fork blades. Give everything a good soaking in some penetrating oil for a while before you start.

I was going to say something in addition, but you already said xerxes. Good advice.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#4
Xerxes pretty well says it all except I think this is a cone rather than a wedge lock and you do need to be careful as frame tubing is very thin and easily damaged.
But, if your stem is rusted in, your seat pillar may be too, and in fact, this looks bent to me, is it? these can be much harder to remove as you have no access from below.
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#5
Thanks for your replies! I'll read up a little on how to take it apart and go for it!

Regarding the seat post, it is, strangely enough, completely straight inside the frame, and not rusted at all. I've decided to keep it because it fits my height well and is actually more comfortable to me (maybe I just got used to it!!)
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#6
WOW ! You took pictures of my worst dreams come true. I have a frozen quill stem on an old Murray that I'm fixing up to bang around on and right now it's soaking in penetrating oil before I start trying to loosen the bolt again. I can easily see that long bolt breaking off inside the tube....in which case I'll probably trash the frame since the whole thing is old and heavy to begin with. Good luck on your project and please post back to let us know how it goes.
Things are getting worse faster than I can lower my standards
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#7
(01-17-2011, 10:02 AM)momule Wrote:  WOW ! You took pictures of my worst dreams come true. I have a frozen quill stem on an old Murray that I'm fixing up to bang around on and right now it's soaking in penetrating oil before I start trying to loosen the bolt again. I can easily see that long bolt breaking off inside the tube....in which case I'll probably trash the frame since the whole thing is old and heavy to begin with. Good luck on your project and please post back to let us know how it goes.

Out of curiosity is it a Murray Street something 10spd?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply
#8
(01-17-2011, 02:35 PM)Bill Wrote:  
(01-17-2011, 10:02 AM)momule Wrote:  WOW ! You took pictures of my worst dreams come true. I have a frozen quill stem on an old Murray that I'm fixing up to bang around on and right now it's soaking in penetrating oil before I start trying to loosen the bolt again. I can easily see that long bolt breaking off inside the tube....in which case I'll probably trash the frame since the whole thing is old and heavy to begin with. Good luck on your project and please post back to let us know how it goes.

Out of curiosity is it a Murray Street something 10spd?

It's a Murray Contour, around 1995 or so and was never ridden. The tires are 2" nobbies with a little dry rot on the sidewalls but with all the nubs still on them. It has the newer Sturmley Archer 3 speed internal hub which works perfectly and the bike looks perfect other than that darn stem. If I can't get it loose I'll probably use the wheels and hub on another project bike because I really like those internal hubs. The bike came from Western Auto new and probably only cost around $150 new if that so it's not worth much if anything as a collector.
Things are getting worse faster than I can lower my standards
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#9
Thread the stem bolt by itself back into the wedge in the fork and give it a couple firm taps to make sure it is not tight against the remainder of the stem. In fact, if you're lucky and the steerer tube has the same internal diameter all the way down, you may be able to push it out through the bottom between the fork blades. But if it starts to get tight, don't bang it in, some steerers get narrower near the bottom.
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#10
In addition to what Dave said spray some WD-40 in the tube as well and leave it sit for a little while . There are other options but let's see if the above works for you.
Nice wheels and bike! I am fan of older touring bikes. 3 spds are really cool, only have 3 of them waiting to be restored lol.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply
#11
After soaking for 2 days with WD40 and then another two days with a rust eater solution the bolt still is stuck as fast as can be. I called my LBS and he said that if worse comes to worse he'd have to drill it out and drive it down and out of the bottom. He quoted a price of $10 to $40 dollars and since I needed to put new tires on it anyway and I have a $60 credit at the store (and a standing account with them) I guess you can figure out where that Murray is right now....yep, in getting some bike shop love. Shoot, a long drill bit that would reach that far would cost at least $15 anyway.
Things are getting worse faster than I can lower my standards
  Reply


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