57Hawkes - sorry for any misunderstanding - i was picturing coming in from below. You are quite correct and your methodology is good.
That's clear now, thanks. Decided to give coke one more try... She's soaking in it right now.
Two days of soaking in soda did the trick, it fell right out.
The black paint stopped the stem from fusing with the steerer tube but made the wedge/stem surface mega galvanic instead?..
That seems to have been the case :)
I've got a problem with a quill stem, and it's the opposite problem. The stem itself cannot be tightened enough to actually fit properly within the steerer tube, and it seems as though this is because the expander plug is stuck on the thread. It is stuck so tight that I have nearly broke my allen key set trying to loosen and tighen it, and I had to abandon a ride yesterday when, after undoing the stem bolt to loosen the stem, I couldn't get it to tighten again.
Is this a fault in the thread/bung? Not enough grease on the thread?
The stem is pretty much brand new, there's no corrosion at all on it, it all seems a bit strange, but when I first installed it as well it took a huge amount of torque to stop it slipping.
Seized stem in steerer. Help. Please.
Have undone the lockring of headset
Removed the stem bolt and wedge thing
Nothing is budging
Have read a lot and I fear this can't be solved, expansion occurs when aluminium oxidises. many people say ammonia poured down the steerer might help as freeing agents are designed for steel.
Anyone want to offer suggestions that don't harm the parts as they are all good quality, 3tt stem and bars, 600 headset, 531c forks.
this seems to come up a lot, I'd give up and sell the project, or I'll un-sieze it for £100
Have you access to a propane torch? Heat can help.
You may have to sacrifice the stem here.
If you're around East London, I can try my usual tricks (nowhere near £100).
I was only joshing. It just seems there's a real problem with seized gear, and I don't understand why, go to a half decent garage and ask them what they would do, forget the torch, use induction on the inside of the stem and save the paint,
there's a few threads that discuss various ways
A decent garage would first use some heat on the stem.
Non-destructively, so that the differing coefficients of thermal expansion, as it cools down, create room for a penetrant to do its work through the al/fe corrosion.
Vaz Finishes will do it for about £20. 07956314216.
Just thought I would jot down my jumble of thoughts about my recent adventures with a seized stem. Tried penetrating fluids and heating the shit out of it, all to no avail. After reading the comments on the page before and watching RJ the bike Guy's videos I eventually came to sodium hydroxide. First point - 'Soda Crystals' are not sodium hydroxide. I wasted half a day waiting for them to do something.
You want caustic soda. I got this from Robert Dyas for £2.29. So I couldn't find anyone detailing how much caustic soda they were mixing with water so I (In hindsight this was stupid) first tried 100g mixed with water. Make sure to add caustic soda to the water and not the other way around. I want to preface by saying that if you add 100g to ~500ml water it will get lairy. Particularly if it is hot water - I used as hot as water as I could get from the kitchen tap. Be careful and cover your arms and legs. Sloooooooowly add the caustic soda. I used an old protein shaker and just propped the fork in upside down against a wall outside. When I started with the full stem it would bubble like crazy and give off a load of fumes. This is good because you know it's working but be careful of the fumes as they're rank. I refilled with fresh water + 100g caustic soda every 8 hoursish off and on over a few days. I think I got through 600g in the end (I have a leftover 400g if anyone wants to come grab some S9).
By the end there was just a small slither left in the steerer. For the final mix I put the fork in the water before adding the caustic soda and then poured a fair bit down the bottom of the steerer to ensure I was maximising the amount of action going on around the slither.
Any questions about the process give me a shout. I would definitely just go straight for this technique before even bothering with penetrating oils etc. Quill stems are cheap anyway.
I’d always advise wearing goggles too when using caustic soda.
Speak to this chap http://www.theseatpostman.com/services
I did exactly what @Jaaamie did with my last one, it took ages. I've just noticed the stem on my commuter is now stuck although I'll probably leave it be as I don't need to move it.
Anyone got tips for avoiding this? Seems to be an issue for steel bikes ridden in all weathers. The steatpost is fine so I don't know what's going on with the stems
Liberal applications of grease!!
And a time machine to go back and properly grease any seatposts/stems that are currently stuck before you installed them.
And/or use steel stems.
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