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  1. #1
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    Merlin w/Grease Guard BB - removal question

    I posted a similar thread on the roadbikereview forum and haven't received any replies, so I'm posting my questions here since this is a general vintage Merlin frame question (the frame in question is a Merlin titanium road frame).

    Anyway, this Merlin frame I purchased has the infamous grease guard bottom bracket which needs it's bearings replaced. I purchased the bike for a good price without the knowledge first that these early 90s models came with a bottom bracket which is now nearly impossible to service - I can't find anyone who has a spindle removal tool set (and I've asked Merlin, LBSs, searched the web, etc.) I think I could make one but clearly it will be a PITA.

    My first question is does anyone have the tool who would sell it to me (at a reasonable price) or perhaps lend it to me?

    The second question is would it be possible to just hammer out the bottom bracket spindle (and then remove the circlips and knock out the sealed bearing cartridges) like with a normal pressed-in bottom bracket? I've done this with my old Klein mountain bike so am familar with the procedure. I don't care about the grease guard feature so if this was ruined (the seals) I wouldn't care. Then after removing the grease guard stuff inside the bottom bracket shell could I just put the existing spindle, new bearings, and circlips back in? Assuming I could change the BB to just a pressed-in style would I need a different spindle specific for pressed-in bearings such as the ones Phil Wood sells or could I use the existing spindle? thanks in advance, I certainly appreciate any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    For future reference I thought I'd post my experience in taking out the spindle and bearings out of my frame. I contacted Merlin and asked if the hammer method was OK in removing the spindle and they gave me the official line of that it is not recommended but if it were their own bike there shouldn't be a problem. So I carefully tapped it out with a hammer and wood dowel and it came out real EZ, much much easier then when I did the BB on my old Klein MTB, where the axle had started to get some corrosion and it took a real beating directly with the hammer face to get it out of the frame. Ostensibly one nice thing about the grease guard is that it keeps the spindle to bearing interface nicely lubed which is why i think pounding it out was trivial. removed the circlips and bearings with a smaller wooden dowel easily also. now i have to get the 6903s and put it back together, i don't expect any problems.

  3. #3
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    I had one of those grease guard BB equipped frames way back in the day. I used a hammer to tap out the spindle. That method works fine as you noted. As I recall, they went with that lame design because it used the same tube as the head tube and Ti tubing sizes were limited back in the day. With the popularity of Ti frames in the early to mid 90's and beyond, tubing companies like Sandvik made custom sizes for the frame builders and that Merlin BB went the way of the dodo bird...

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