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"Frozen" Stem
#1
Your tutorials are so useful that I've recommended it to my readers, and I've learned plenty from them myself. Perhaps you could address how to free a stem which has become "frozen" in place. I've an old Schwinn Traveler which I'd like to restore, but the alloy stem has corroded and cannot be adjusted, never mind removed. Any ideas on how to free it up?

I've tried soaking it with WD-40, then smacking the stem with a rubber mallet, but to no avail.

Thanks.
Tamia
  Reply
#2
Thanks Tamia,

If the WD-40 doesn't work I would try Liquid Wrench (it works a little better). On rare occasions I've seen seized stems that were so severe that they couldn't be removed (let's hope that's not the case).

<a href="http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=73823">This discussion</a> on bikeforums might also help.
Good luck, I hope you get it out!
  Reply
#3
This is one of the hardest problems to solve on bike.

Steel expands significantly as it corrodes so penetrants will only work in the early stages, before the corrosion had really gripped the stem/post. After this stage, usually only brute force or heat will give any result, and some times not even that.

In the case of the stem, try inserting a steel bar from below and hammering it out, usually works for me. Worst case scenario with a seat post is to cut it off level with the seat tube and hammer it down so that you can fit another above it, check the lengths first, though!

You may be able to use this type of saw if the reach is long enough, after first cutting off as much of the stem/post as you can:
http://www.screwfix.com/prods/24625/Power-Tools/Power-Saws/Titan-18V-Cordless-Reciprocating-All-Purpose-Saw#

Remember at all times that the frame needs supporting and protecting from damage and that heat may damage the paintwork.
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