X-Post-Need Local Machine Shop: Stuck/cut off seatpost - Ideas?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    KMRIA
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    X-Post-Need Local Machine Shop: Stuck/cut off seatpost - Ideas?

    I posted the message below in Tooltime hoping to gain some enlightenment.....I thought I would also check here to see if anyone knew of a machine shop in the Boise area that they would recommend to help out w/this. My neighbor was already told by one shop that they couldn't help him (don't know which one) but I thought someone on the board might know of a shop that would have a go at it.

    Thanks for any help.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any suggestions? I sealed the seat tube/seat post up and soaked it in PB Blaster for a week tapping the seat tube lightly w/a dead blow mallet. After a week of soaking I grabbed one of the remnant tabs of the seatpost w/my bench vise myself and a buddy tugged on it pretty hard, no go.

    Anticipating the eventual question....I don't know who cut the seat post off in a bid to get it out....other than a "local bike shop". My neighbor ran out of options after both the bike shop and a machine shop told him they couldn't help him so I told him I would give it a shot.

    Many, many thanks in advance to anyone who can help out.



  2. #2
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    heat ---

    I don't know of any machine shops in Boise area. If there is a frame builder in Boise they might be better (frame builders understand the fragility of a bike frame.)

    My solution will require repainting the frame..

    Put some heat to the frame - oxy-acetelyne. Heated, the outter metal will heat first and expand a little allowing the post to be removed.

    Looks like a sucky job - good luck.
    I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul

  3. #3
    jalepenio jimenez
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    Indirect heat

    First a question: How far down is the broken off post?

    Now my suggestions. If you use heat, try and use indirect heat. Wrap the seat tube with some non-flammable material to protect your paint job and the metal, and then heat it with a low intensity torch.

    If that doesn't work and the stub isn't too far down into the seat tube, try using a hacksaw blade without the handle (hang on with vice grips.) Get the coarsest blade you can find. Insert it down into the stub and try to make a relief cut along the inside of the full length of the stub. If you are successful, the stub should come right out.

    It goes without saying: you want to be careful not to damage the seat tubes inner wall too much. Too much damage will likely weaken the seat tube.

    Another suggeation would be to find a long drill bit that is smaller in size than the seat tubes inner diameter, but bigger than the seat post's inside diameter. A couple bits, graduated in size, would be even better. Then drill it out very carefully at a slow rpm.

    If you get it out, take a full size piece of fine emery cloth, roll it up, insert it down the tube and try and sand the inside with both up and down and turning action. That should remove any burrs you may already have or may have created in the stub removal.

    Good luck.
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  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    You might want to try and contact Civilian Cycles (http://ridecvln.com/). As fas as I know, he's the only local builder. He might be able to help out.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  5. #5
    Wandervans
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudflap
    First a question: How far down is the broken off post?

    Now my suggestions. If you use heat, try and use indirect heat. Wrap the seat tube with some non-flammable material to protect your paint job and the metal, and then heat it with a low intensity torch.

    If that doesn't work and the stub isn't too far down into the seat tube, try using a hacksaw blade without the handle (hang on with vice grips.) Get the coarsest blade you can find. Insert it down into the stub and try to make a relief cut along the inside of the full length of the stub. If you are successful, the stub should come right out.

    It goes without saying: you want to be careful not to damage the seat tubes inner wall too much. Too much damage will likely weaken the seat tube.

    Another suggeation would be to find a long drill bit that is smaller in size than the seat tubes inner diameter, but bigger than the seat post's inside diameter. A couple bits, graduated in size, would be even better. Then drill it out very carefully at a slow rpm.

    If you get it out, take a full size piece of fine emery cloth, roll it up, insert it down the tube and try and sand the inside with both up and down and turning action. That should remove any burrs you may already have or may have created in the stub removal.

    Good luck.
    I also think it would be wise to drill this out. You will need to make sure and clamp the frame down really well from moving side to side or up and down and then I would go at it with ever larger drill bits. I think it is also imperative to use a drill press for this to ensure straight insertion of the drill bits.
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  6. #6

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    I'll take credit/blame for what has happened here. This bike was bought at the police auction and sat out side for a year. It was brought to my shop, and the seat post has fused to the seat tube. I would guess that there was a lack of grease in this contact point as no other bolts or threads were bonded like this. I use Tri-flo and Liquid Wrench for soaking, drilled a hole through the seat post to use a heavy screw driver as a twist lever or crank. When this didn't work we placed the bike upside down with the post clamped in a vice for leverage. The post broke after much work by several people to loosen the post.
    At that point I sawed off the post below where it was crushed in the vice and began to saw slots with a hacksaw blade as Mudflap said above. Even after the post was sawed through in several places and we used thin screw drivers to separate the pieces from the tube, the bonding was so thorough that not one place broke free. The seat was most of the way down, so there is at least 9" of the post inside the frame.
    At this point I called several machine shops and found one that would discuss it with the customer. This shop had at one time done machine work for Ionic.
    The customer took his bike, and has not been charged for any of this work. All of the above procedures are standard shop practices for such a severely stuck piece. I truly want someone to help this guy do what we couldn't. I would also like to say that everyone of the service managers at this shop were asked for solutions and this was all we could do.
    One lesson to be learned here for sure. Grease your seat post.

  7. #7
    just a man
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    This might be a lame question, but what kind of frame are we talking about here and how much is this thing worth? By the looks of the notched seatpost area, I'm guessing it's a low-end deal? Might be cheaper to save time and $ and just get a new frame http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Frames%2FBikes ?

  8. #8
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    I think you would have better luck using a reamer than a big drill bit. If you can get enough of that broken stuff at the top out of the way, you should be able to use adjustable reamers to remove the old seat post. Adjustable reamer sets are very common. We use them all the time to fit king pin bushings in on highway trucks and I am sure there are shops around that have a reamer set. Cutting oil and an electric drill would make pretty short work of removing that. The reamers have a pilot and they will follow the hole in the center of the old seat post. Make small cuts adjusting the reamer a few thousands each pass until the old seat tube is paper thin. You can ream it completely out if you need to, just be careful not to get into the frame tube. A small ball hone will buff up the inside of the seat tube good as new.

    I wish I was closer. I would tackle it for you. I love challenges like that.
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  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Can you drill a small hole through the seatpost? Then put a wire through the hole and pull on both ends of the wire. If you can drill a small hole in the seatpost through the frame slit it might work.

  10. #10
    KMRIA
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    Thanks...

    ...for all the feedback...and the history SpeedyGonzales. I think I'll try submerging it in ammonia first before resorting to any further cutting/drilling although w/Speedy's background I'm not too hopeful.

    It's a Specialized Epic so in theory it's worth saving. Getting the seatpost out is just the beginning. Every piece of hardware, pivots, bolts, etc. is rusted so it needs quite a bit of maintenance although the seatpost is obviously the critical problem right now.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions.

  11. #11
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    Upon relflection...

    I like 11 Bravo's idea of a reamer. Best idea I read - even better than my first thought.

    Add one more vote to the reamer... it probably wouldn't even take that long to fix.
    I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul

  12. #12

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    One of the big problems here is to not damage the very thin wall of the seat tube. I was worried when I was using a screwdriver to peel away the slices that I would bend the outer wall.

  13. #13
    think pink
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    I'm not sure how well it'd work in this situation but when this happened to me on a really old frame I found, we used a ton of Liquid Wrench. We first soaked the seatpost in the LW and then drilled a hole in it as far down into the post as possible (through the slit). We then put it in a frame repair stand, turned it upside down, put a chisel in the newly drilled hole, and proceeded to smack the crap out of the chisel in a downward direction. It finally worked it's way free after a fair amount of pounding. Mind you, this was a 40 year old steel cruiser that I wasn't too concerned with the tubing. Best wishes.

    *keep applying large amounts of liquid wrench during the entire process

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