Tried everything, bottom bracket cartridge is still seized.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Tried everything, bottom bracket cartridge is still seized.

    Hello everyone,

    This is my first time posting to this great forum. I have read, and tried all the tricks posted here and all over the internet, to attempt to remove the drive side BB cartridge. My Park remover tool is secure (slipping was an issue initially), I've extended my wrench with 2 pipes to 10 FEET, pried my hardest, and it's still stuck. I've used a can of WD-40 and Liquid Wrench, heated the bottom bracket, and still no go.

    I don't have access to a bench with a vice, but I've heard that method may torque the frame too much.

    Does anyone have any other great tricks? The frame is aluminum, and the cartridge is Shimano LX. It has become one with the frame.

    Thank you all in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikejavo
    Hello everyone,

    This is my first time posting to this great forum. I have read, and tried all the tricks posted here and all over the internet, to attempt to remove the drive side BB cartridge. My Park remover tool is secure (slipping was an issue initially), I've extended my wrench with 2 pipes to 10 FEET, pried my hardest, and it's still stuck. I've used a can of WD-40 and Liquid Wrench, heated the bottom bracket, and still no go.

    I don't have access to a bench with a vice, but I've heard that method may torque the frame too much.

    Does anyone have any other great tricks? The frame is aluminum, and the cartridge is Shimano LX. It has become one with the frame.

    Thank you all in advance.
    Are you turning in the right direction? The drive side needs to turn clockwise to loosen. A 10' bar should be breaking something.

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQcartdg.shtml

  3. #3
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    Clockwise all the way...

    The plastic end came out no problem on the other side. Please, any other thoughts?

  4. #4
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    Try these suggestions,.......BUT,...BE CAREFUL,..!! (you may cause more damage)

    Before using ANY of these suggestions verify the directional rotation for proper removal, clockwise or counter clockwise, pending which side you are attempting to remove.

    #1) Try heating the bottom bracket housing with a hair dryer, NOT the BB, but the BB housing.
    (be careful when heating especially if you have an aluminum housing)
    #2) Try tightning slightly first then un-loosing, (this may help break the seal and make removal easier)
    #3) Carefully tap the BB around its outside area with a brass punch and ball-peen hammer, this will also help break the seal.
    #4) Your best bet is to take your bike to your LBS and pay the nominal fee to have your BB removed, (this way if there is any damage, your LBS will be responsible)

    Not knowing about your bike or frame composition, or the age, you may have a situation of "dis-similar metal corrosion", IE (aluminum to steel), if this is the case, without doubt, take your bike to your local LBS, and have them remove your BB.

    When you do get your BB removed, carefully inspect the threads, and be sure to use a proper "anti-sieze" compound on the threads when installing the new BB.

    Good luck,...and BE CAREFUL

    Ol' DirtDawg

  5. #5
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    never tried this, but heard it works

    if the cup is seized in there because of corrosion, I've heard that using household ammonia will free it. never tried it, as I use grease and/or antiseize as appropriate so the problem hasn't come up. but if you'be got the L cup out, try laying the frame down, L side up and pouring some ammonia in there so it seeps down into the R side threads. Doubt it will be a good thing for the cartridge bearings...

    A for the life of me can't imagine attaching a splined cup tool to 10 feet worth of cheater pipe, reefing on the end of it, and NOT stripping out the cup threads or even destroying the tool. Dat's amazing.

  6. #6
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    Awesome replies!

    Thank you Ol'Dirt Dawg and BulC,

    It definitely sounds like unheard of corrosion. I live in Canada and it's a winter/city bike, and as far as I know, the cartridge hasn't been replaced, hence it's wobbly condition. BulC, I will definitely try the ammonia, it sounds like soaking it may help, and I don't really care about the bearings in the cartridge, so that's not an issue. In fact, if I ever get them out, I'll wear them around my neck for a month. :-)

    The latest update, after positioning the extra 4 foot pipe on the floor, to form an "A", and not quite literally jumping on the frame, I managed to kill/strip the Park tool, if that has ever been done before. (I'm sure it has.) What's Park's warranty on these? I bought mine at MEC.ca. Just so you know, I always made sure that the direction was clockwise.

    As soon as I get a new tool, I will try the ammonia, and tightening a little first. Otherwise it's off to the LBS pro, whom I really like, and should have gone to in the first place. Right now it's a matter of pride.

    THank you all once again.

  7. #7
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    I've been there too... finally did it with multiple days/cycles of WD soaking, heating, cooling, reefing with cheater bar, tapping with chisel & hammer, etc... and one stripped BB tool. I didn't bother trying to get warranty on BB tool, since it's difficult to keep it engaged while reefing on it.
    The first tool I had didn't allow the use of a QR to keep the tool well engaged, I made sure the new one did (which was a Park, if I recall correctly).
    Oh, and this was after the LBS wasn't able to budge it with their cheater bar...

    good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikejavo
    Thank you Ol'Dirt Dawg and BulC,

    It definitely sounds like unheard of corrosion. I live in Canada and it's a winter/city bike, and as far as I know, the cartridge hasn't been replaced, hence it's wobbly condition. BulC, I will definitely try the ammonia, it sounds like soaking it may help, and I don't really care about the bearings in the cartridge, so that's not an issue. In fact, if I ever get them out, I'll wear them around my neck for a month. :-)

    The latest update, after positioning the extra 4 foot pipe on the floor, to form an "A", and not quite literally jumping on the frame, I managed to kill/strip the Park tool, if that has ever been done before. (I'm sure it has.) What's Park's warranty on these? I bought mine at MEC.ca. Just so you know, I always made sure that the direction was clockwise.

    As soon as I get a new tool, I will try the ammonia, and tightening a little first. Otherwise it's off to the LBS pro, whom I really like, and should have gone to in the first place. Right now it's a matter of pride.

    THank you all once again.


  8. #8
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    Thanks Logbiter...an update.

    My LBS said that he's thrown away better frames than mine, and didn't even want to touch it with a 10 foot pole (now I know where that expression comes from :-). I, like you, don't give up that easy, so I'm on my second Park BT-2 tool.

    I do have a few questions. First, how long did you soak in WD-40/Liquid Wrench? I'm also going to try the ammonia next. What did you use to heat, and how long did you heat the metal for? I have access to a 3000 degree butane torch, hairdryer, and a heat gun. What did you use to cool it, and did you cool it directly after heating? How did you hold the tool in place, a bolt?

    Lastly, how is the metal fatigue of the frame, and were the threads ok?

    What I really want to try is the vice. Everyone I have spoken to, says that is the way to go, even if there is a chance of torquing the frame.

    Thanks in advance.

    Quote Originally Posted by logbiter
    I've been there too... finally did it with multiple days/cycles of WD soaking, heating, cooling, reefing with cheater bar, tapping with chisel & hammer, etc... and one stripped BB tool. I didn't bother trying to get warranty on BB tool, since it's difficult to keep it engaged while reefing on it.
    The first tool I had didn't allow the use of a QR to keep the tool well engaged, I made sure the new one did (which was a Park, if I recall correctly).
    Oh, and this was after the LBS wasn't able to budge it with their cheater bar...

    good luck!

  9. #9
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    Definitely bolt the tool in place. If it's a square taper I think it's an M8x1 threaded bolt. If it's a hollow splined axle use a rear QR and some washers to hold it in place. This will help prevent 'strippage'.

    If you do get it out take it to a lbs to have the threads chased and the shell faced. Then use teflon tape on the threads of the new bb to prevent this from happening again.

    Good luck!

    Mike

  10. #10
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    T-9

    Don't underestimate the power of Bowshield T-9. It's gotten me out of some pretty ugly situations. Many people think its like WD-40 but it ain't. The trick I use is to put the bb tool in and the wrench on the tool and then smack the handle of the wrench with a hammer. Sometimes I smack it both ways (tightening and loosening) in order to break the corrosion. I have yet to met a BB I can't get out and I've seen quite a few in our shop in the 7 years I've been wrench'n. Most recently a late 70's Schwinn road bike...that sucker was frozen in there pretty good...but a pop with the hammer on the wrench an PRESTO!!

  11. #11
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    last time this happened to me I was trying to remove the factory-installed shimano BB, which had been in place for about five years. After all the soaking, and cheating, and tapping etc with no luck I simply took a grinder (carefully, with a small disc) to the protruding part of the BB, once you take off enough material you relieve the pressure that the BB cup is placing onto the frame. Of course this destroys the BB, but you're replacing it because it's dead anyway right? I didn't damage the frame at all, but ensured that I retapped the BB threads and faced the shell before next installation, as well as greasing the threads of the next BB that went in.

    If you don't feel comfortable grinding (or dremelling, but I don't have a dremel) than you could simply use a bastard file and/or a hacksaw. The cup material of shimano BBs at least is very hard though, and a file might take a while. I used a file for the last little bit, to avoid accidental damage to the frame due to grinder slippage.

    - Joel

  12. #12
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    Latest Update, it's still not out yet, but...

    Thank you all for replying, as I've said, these are all great suggestions, and I have or will try them all. Through the internet, I have located some Boeshield T-9 at a great little bike shop in Toronto, called Biseagal.

    T-9 is definitely not WD-40, and I am on round 2 of soaking overnight. I checked this morning, and it doesn't appear that it seeped in very much, as the level of the fluid is virtually unchanged.

    I've also heated about 4 or 5 times, so the paint is in pretty rough shape. I do have a Dremmel tool, so I will try the grinding thrick, at this point, I will try anything.

    I have located a vice, so I will try that tomorrow, it makes sense to me, that a stationary tool, and using the bike as the leverage will/should work.

    Just a thought, but is it dangerous to ride the bike without the left plastic cup in the bottom bracket? Will it wobble in the threads? It seems that with enough force and wobble, it may manage to free some of the inner threads, but will it ruin the frame? Has anyone tried this.

    Thank you all once again, and I will keep you posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod
    last time this happened to me I was trying to remove the factory-installed shimano BB, which had been in place for about five years. After all the soaking, and cheating, and tapping etc with no luck I simply took a grinder (carefully, with a small disc) to the protruding part of the BB, once you take off enough material you relieve the pressure that the BB cup is placing onto the frame. Of course this destroys the BB, but you're replacing it because it's dead anyway right? I didn't damage the frame at all, but ensured that I retapped the BB threads and faced the shell before next installation, as well as greasing the threads of the next BB that went in.

    If you don't feel comfortable grinding (or dremelling, but I don't have a dremel) than you could simply use a bastard file and/or a hacksaw. The cup material of shimano BBs at least is very hard though, and a file might take a while. I used a file for the last little bit, to avoid accidental damage to the frame due to grinder slippage.

    - Joel

  13. #13
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    if you ride without the non-drive cup to support the BB you will most likely damage or destroy the drive-threads. I wouldn't do it, this trick can work for seized square taper cranks but this is different.

    If you can vice the BB tool and use the frame as leverage that could work, the headtube is probably the most reinforced part of the frame from which to turn it. Just make sure that the tool is securely attached to the BB cup first, as deep as it will go. Dartman's got the right idea.

    and your dremel tool is much more suited for precision work than my 4 inch grinder - just make sure that you switch to a manual tool when you get close to the frame. I cut through the BB cup all the way in two places, opposite each other across the spindle. I then used one of these cuts as a point for a screwdriver (old one, I use as a punch) and banged away in the correct rotational direction. Depending on what sort of BB it is, you may want to take out the spindle and bearings for future use, and to facilitate removal.

    - Joel

  14. #14
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    Vice killed another Park Tool.

    Yep, that's the latest update. The bike moved, but only because the teeth fell right off the Park tool. I have a feeling that that the BB metal may be too strong for Dremelling. While on the vice I heated and added more WD40. I think the alluminum will start to crumble if I do any more heating.

    I'll attach a picture of the BB tonight. It's a bit of an odd one, the teeth grooves are shallow, and there are two spots where the teeth are missing. Oh yeah, I also tried chisseling.

    Thank you all once again, and I'll keep you posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod
    if you ride without the non-drive cup to support the BB you will most likely damage or destroy the drive-threads. I wouldn't do it, this trick can work for seized square taper cranks but this is different.

    If you can vice the BB tool and use the frame as leverage that could work, the headtube is probably the most reinforced part of the frame from which to turn it. Just make sure that the tool is securely attached to the BB cup first, as deep as it will go. Dartman's got the right idea.

    and your dremel tool is much more suited for precision work than my 4 inch grinder - just make sure that you switch to a manual tool when you get close to the frame. I cut through the BB cup all the way in two places, opposite each other across the spindle. I then used one of these cuts as a point for a screwdriver (old one, I use as a punch) and banged away in the correct rotational direction. Depending on what sort of BB it is, you may want to take out the spindle and bearings for future use, and to facilitate removal.

    - Joel

  15. #15
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    sounds like you'll have to bite the bullet and grind 'er off. Park BB tools are much more expensive than disposable grinding attachments. I wouldn't be comfortable heating and reheating aluminium like that, especially in such a crucial area. Given, I don't know how hot you're getting the shell. Keen to see a pic.

    - Joel

  16. #16
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    grind the face of the BB removal tool so you have square teeth not the angled ones

  17. #17
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    Pics, as promissed.

    Currently soaking in reagent grade amonia, for 2 days. I'm ready to disown this bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod
    sounds like you'll have to bite the bullet and grind 'er off. Park BB tools are much more expensive than disposable grinding attachments. I wouldn't be comfortable heating and reheating aluminium like that, especially in such a crucial area. Given, I don't know how hot you're getting the shell. Keen to see a pic.

    - Joel
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
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    if you cut all the way through those two points to the frame (getting increasingly careful as you approach the frame) you will release some of the pressure holding the cup onto the BB shell. If you increase the number of cuts around the BB cup you will relieve more pressure, you will also need those groves to bang it out with a punch (closest to the turning direction as you can, don't bang the cup down onto the BB shell). I ended up grinding off half the cup before it loosened up enough.

    You will shout with joy when the cup finally turns - after some days it was one of my life's greatest triumphs !

    - Joel

  19. #19
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    I wouldn't be too surprised if when you get that thing off, it turns out that it was cross-threaded. I'm surprised that the frame didn't bend when you tried the 10 foot wrench.

    Hope you get it off soon and get back to riding.

    Tom
    Volunteer Firefighter/EMT SAR.

  20. #20
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    if it was mass-factory installed by a very powerful machine, there's a chance it was indeed cross threaded. There's no doubt it was over-torqued and probably given a very strong threadlocking solution (too strong). I've found that with a couple of factory-installed BBs.

    - Joel

  21. #21
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Thank You All.

    Thanks to everyone who posted all of the amazing suggestions and theories. I believe this thread will definitely benefit the board, and potentially a lot of people with a similar problem.

    Unfortunatelly, in my case, I believe the BB was cross threaded, galled, fused, dis-similar metal corroded, whatever you want to call it, that BB was not coming out in good condition. Thus, I have given up, and am looking for a new frame.

    Thanks again, especially Joel. I wish I could have experienced that glorious moment. :-)

  22. #22
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    bummer, that's bad luck. I hope you can salvage something useful out of what you're left with, if the BB isn't in too bad condition you could back off the bearing nut, pump some grease in there and leave it a bit looser.

    anyway - something ventured, something gained !

    - Joel

  23. #23
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    Awwww, C'mon. Don't give up now. We all want to see it come out. See that little screw in the bottom of the BB? Take it out and shove an M-80 firecracker in there and blast it out!

  24. #24
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    Nice try...

    Ahhh Mr. Wavedude, sorry I already tried that. Do you have any heavier artillery? A Firecracker? You can do bettet than that. I should know, I tried it all, short of a rocket launcher. :-)

    Word.

    Quote Originally Posted by WaveDude
    Awwww, C'mon. Don't give up now. We all want to see it come out. See that little screw in the bottom of the BB? Take it out and shove an M-80 firecracker in there and blast it out!

  25. #25
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    have you tried taking that little screw out?

    it's probably catching on the BB cartridge which won't be helping things.

    I also heard this method from Mel at Brixton Cycles in London.

    Anglegrind face of fixed cup off completely. drill a 5mm hole through the bottom of the bb shell, about half depth of cup from end of shell. don't drill through the cup, just the bb shell. insert punch through hole, strike hard. bb cup is hard/brittle, so will split/ shatter. most of it will fall out straight away, tap rest out gently with punch. New bb will cap hole in bb shell when fitted, so no chance of it filling with water. drilling holes in frames obviously not ideal, but method never fails. hole is neat and unnoticable. ordinary drillbits work fine, shell is soft so no need for TC ones. it's quick, too.

  26. #26
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    any auto machine shops around you?....

    You might try taking the frame to one and see if they could remove it. Sure they would have lots more tools than most bike shops, maybe not specific to bikes, but seems like you need some heavy duty work done there, and a good machine shop might figure a way to remove it. I'd also like to see you conquer it, and am curious as to what caused it to seize so badly!

  27. #27
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    So what happen with the frame and bb? At this point you owe us all to post a video of removal this bastard bb! )

  28. #28
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    I cut out a seized steel BB from a multi-thousand dollar frame with a hacksaw blade. 2 to three cuts per cup and use a punch to pry it out. In a modern BB, I push the bearing into the bb shell and then saw thru the alu cups.

    It cost me a whole Saturday morning, but it was worth it.

    What's it worth to you?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlov0032 View Post
    So what happen with the frame and bb? At this point you owe us all to post a video of removal this bastard bb! )
    This thread is over 10 years old, and the OP hasn't had any activity here in over 4 years. Do you really expect him to respond?

  30. #30
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    after reading all this saga about removing it, I was wondering what happened at the end ) I didnt pay attention to dates..

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