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  1. #1
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    Arrrgggh! Stem bolt on my Thomson stem is stuck TIGHT!

    Part: Thomson Elite stem
    Service: Remove stem so that I can take the 5mm spacer from underneath it and put it on top of the stem.
    Problem: I was able to loosen the bolt on one side, but the other side is gorilla tight! I'm very close to rounding it off! The allen key will still grab the bolt, but it is screwed in so tight that whenever I use all the strength I have to loosen it (counterclockwise), the allen key will loose grip and slip off the bolt.

    What can I do? Will a shop have better tools to handle this? I had this stem put on by an LBS when I had the fork installed. Man, must they do everything so tight? This was about 5 years ago, so I'm not sure if they will remember.

  2. #2
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    Lay the bike on it's side and soak the bolt in penetrating oil (Liquid Wrench) over night. Use a hex driver on a 3/8" ratchet, not a hex key, so you can really apply some force while keeping the hex driver in the bolt head.

  3. #3
    the catalan connection
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    You mean the wedge type clamp stem? These bolts have to be tighten-untighten little by little in alternance. Just try to put the bolt you removed back in and tighten it until the stuck one gets easier to move. Now its suffering becouse you removed the other one all the way without touching it and is taking all the clamp force. And use grease! Thomson tells to do so.
    Hope thatīs the problem.
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by What&son View Post
    These bolts have to be tighten-untighten little by little in alternance. Just try to put the bolt you removed back in and tighten it until the stuck one gets easier to move. Now its suffering becouse you removed the other one all the way without touching it and is taking all the clamp force. And use grease!
    Exactly this.

  5. #5
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    problem solved

  6. #6
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    exactly this.
    +2.

  7. #7
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    +3 on above.

    Sorry for my bad advice. I have Thomson stems on my bikes, but didn't read the OP carefully enough.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, guys! I stopped by a bike shop and got a pair of Thomson stem bolts ($5! Pretty price just for 2!) to replace the somewhat mangled bolt once I'm able to loosen it!

    Gonna try again, but I'm gonna think things over before I totally mangle the tight bolt head.

  9. #9
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    make sure you put some lube on screws so they wont get stuck again...

  10. #10
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    anti seize is your friend on any steel bolt that goes into aluminum.

  11. #11
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    Houston, we have a problem! Think the left bolt is seized. Today I saturated both ends of the seized bolt with PB Blaster. I'm just gonna let it seep into the threads until I have the nerve to try again at alater date. Allen wrench can still grab on, but a few more slips of the wrench and I could totally round off the bolt head.

    I'm surprised Thomson website no longer has the tech docs for the Elite stem. Correct me if I'm wrong. To loosen left bolt, I turn wrench counter-clockwise (left) and same for the right bolt--right?
    Last edited by djork; 03-23-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  12. #12
    The Wiking
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    --> left=.loosy, correct...

    Tighthen the bolt thats loose, soak the stuck one with some solvent, and remove, if you mess the hex up to a point where it doesnt grip anymore, use a slightly bigger Torx, and hammer it in there.. but don't unscrew stuff uni-lateral if theres 2 bolts!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by What&son View Post
    You mean the wedge type clamp stem? These bolts have to be tighten-untighten little by little in alternance. Just try to put the bolt you removed back in and tighten it until the stuck one gets easier to move. Now its suffering becouse you removed the other one all the way without touching it and is taking all the clamp force. And use grease! Thomson tells to do so.
    Hope thatīs the problem.
    Did you follow this excellent advice? You should.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    Did you follow this excellent advice? You should.
    Yes, I did! But I'll check again to see if it's tight. Still letting the PBBlaster do it's thang. Good advice on using a larger wrench size.

  15. #15
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    If you absolutely must - try getting a pal or shop with a steady hand to mig weld a bolt or a driver bit to the head. It will either come out or break. I have used lots of Thomson stems and never had this problem. I agree with the advice of reinstalling and tightening the other side. You may also be able to use a soft jaw vice/clamp on the other side to create some slack to unload the stuck bolt. Are you 100% sure you aren't using an imperial/mismatched hex key size or rounded/damaged tool?

    Good luck.

    If your LBS can't sort this out I'd advise to try another shop..

    A
    Last edited by neex; 03-24-2012 at 06:07 PM.

  16. #16
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    Impact screw driver perhaps?

    Next time don't wait 5 years. Remove and reinstal components every year.
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  17. #17
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    I agree with everyone above! Put the other bolt in (with greae/antiseize), tighten to help loosen pressure on the other bolt and use an impact driver. Too bad you live so far away, or I'd say "bring it over and I'll show you how to fix it". Good luck keep us posted.
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  18. #18
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    Heat is your friend here. Get a hot air gun or at last a hairdryer and warm the aluminum stem, The stem will expand faster than the steel bolts and help loosen things.Don't go crazy and don;t use a torch the object is to use thermal expansion, not melt stuff. Also try some shock, if you have, or can get a hand impact driver use, it to drive out the bolt or at least tapp the bolt with a hammer a few times.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by What&son View Post
    You mean the wedge type clamp stem? These bolts have to be tighten-untighten little by little in alternance. Just try to put the bolt you removed back in and tighten it until the stuck one gets easier to move. Now its suffering becouse you removed the other one all the way without touching it and is taking all the clamp force. And use grease! Thomson tells to do so.
    Hope thatīs the problem.
    this was the problem right? didnt' need anyting else. When installing anything with multiple bolts do the same. If there are 4 + bolts, jump to the diagonal (farthest) bolt for the second one you tighten.

  20. #20
    the catalan connection
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    we donīt know....the OP vanished
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  21. #21
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    It's always annoying when the OP never updates with the results.

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