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Stem Removal

Discussion in 'HOW TO' started by ZombieZach, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. ZombieZach

    ZombieZach

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    newbie question here, i am trying to remove the stem from my Schwinn but i am not sure what i am doing wrong, i managed to get the bolt out from the stem, but i am unable to remove the screw from the bottom of the front fork. my question is do i have to remove that bottom screw to get the stem out, and if so any ideas on how to get a rusted screw to move.
  2. Slick Rick

    Slick Rick

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    When you say you were able to remove the "bolt" from the stem, I'm assuming you are speaking about the long bolt that threads through the top of the stem and engages the wedge at the bottom of the stem. And the "screw" at the bottom of the forks would probably be located underneath, which would be a fender attachment screw. No, you dont need to remove the fender screw. But you might want to squirt a liberal amount of a good penetrating oil down the hole in the top of the stem, and let it sit overnight or at least several hours. If you were able to remove the stem bolt in good condition, I would replace it (re-thread into the wedge) leaving about 1/4' protruding above the stem (after your oil soak) and give it a good blow with a heavy hammer! This should knock the wedge loose, and the rest ,as they say, will follow. The fender screw would probably be easier to get out with one of the old school impact scew drivers that you strike with a hammer. They are pretty inexpensive and nice to have. :wink: :mrgreen:
  3. aka_locojoe

    aka_locojoe

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  4. ZombieZach

    ZombieZach

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    thanks for the input, i will give it a good soak because the stem will not even budge right now.
  5. ZombieZach

    ZombieZach

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    well i soaked it, and then applied some wd 40 but the stem bolt wont seem to screw back in. any ideas.
  6. wimpy

    wimpy

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    The wedge bolt could be a bit "off-centered", because the bolt is removed. If the bolt was unscrewed by hand,it means there's nothing wrong with the thread.
    So this is what I would do. Take a solid rod with the same diameter as the stembolt (or a tiny bit thinner) and try to hammer the wedge out.
    Second option is to look if you can reach the wedge from the bottomside. Screw the bolt in and try to "pull" it out with a pipewrench and a hammer.
    This is all I can come up with at the moment. If there are strong objections regarding these methods, there will be replies from other forummembers,I hope.
  7. 8ball

    8ball

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    ZombieZach, did the long bolt came out easily... not much force turning the wrench? Its not uncommon to break the end of the bolt (the threaded tip that screws into the wedge) off leaving it in the wedge. Especially if its an old bike or one that's been out in the weather awhile. Does the cross-section of the long bolt tip look as old/rusty as the rest of the bolt, or is it like new metal (like its been sheared)?

    I trust I'm not the bearer of bad (but not unfixable) news. 8
  8. ZombieZach

    ZombieZach

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    your right its been broken off in the wedge. i also need to know if i need to loosen the part at the bottom of the stem right before you get to the front of the frame.
  9. 8ball

    8ball

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    I'm not following you on that description... but to get the stem out, you only need to loosen the bolt then tap the bolt head down to drive the wedge away from the base of the stem. If the bolt snapped off (as you say it has) leaving the wedge "seated", its getting tougher. If it were me, first I'd spray penetrating oil between fork steerer tube and stem, let set. Next day, flip over and also put penetrating oil into the fender screw hole (removed - don't break that one). Let set. Put forks in a vise, wiggle handlebars back and forth and hope it frees. More extreme is to use a propane torch on steerer tube, which expands it enough to free it from stem while providing a miniscule gap (again, heat expands metal) for the oil to penetrate.

    Fun stuff huh?

    If you don't recognize terminology, go here: http://sheldonbrown.com/glossary.html
    Sheldon Brown is best resource for all things bicycle.
  10. sktenspeed

    sktenspeed

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    My suggestion is to spray it with PB Blaster aerosol penetrating oil. If that doesn't loosen it in 24 hours it WON'T move....
  11. ozzmonaut

    ozzmonaut

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    I'm still thinking that as stated above, you can place a rod down through the hole in the stem to knock the wedge downward. However on one bike I just had a similar problem with, the stem was welded to the head nut. I cut off the stem and no bolt was present. I ground away the head nut until I could remove the last bits of the stem from inside the fork. The wedge was rusted in there and I used a 3/4" (I think) spade bit to eliminate the wedge completely. It's unfortunate, but sometimes the stem will come out and leave the wedge in there. It's easier to replace a wedge than it is to replace many other parts.
  12. 8ball

    8ball

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    PB Blaster is great. Old hot rodders swear by Kroil/Aerokroil.

    Try the flame (actually MAPP gas, not propane) as a last resort. It does works. Careful though... you've already soaked that bugger with oil... add flame &...
  13. ZombieZach

    ZombieZach

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    well in the process of getting the fork screw out the head broke off, so now i have to file a grove in the screw to get it out the rest of the way :lol: . at least the problem of my loose ape handlebars is fixed by the use of a shim.

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