Seized rear dropout adjusters

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  • Hello,

    I'm sure some you have experienced that old problem when acquiring a frame that everything will be fine except that one of the blasted rear dropout adjusters will be seized solid whilst the other will unscrew with no problem.

    Usually i just leave it and put a new screw on the good side and line up accordingly.

    Does anyone here have a definitive method of getting these things out?


  • I took mine to Ryan at Oak Cycles and he did it for a fee. Bloody hard it was though, more often than not it won't work I reckon.

  • Vice grips and GT85 will move anything.

  • WD40 and patience.

    Give the seized screw a good spray and leave for 12 hours. Spray again and leave for another 12 hours then try and shift it with vice grips etc.

    The key is to allow time for the WD40 to penetrate the threads.

    A more drastic measure is to cut the adjuster off flush with the dropout and then use a drill with a steel twist bit thinner than the adjuster to drill it out. It does work but requires care not to drill into the dropout by accident.

  • In addition to the above, plusgas is pretty good for these applications.

  • It is also very easy to break the adjuster when trying to turn it with mole grips. It is made of much softer metal than the dropout.

  • Yes i know.

    The screw heads are the first thing to break they just twist right off!

  • Remove when new.

    Put in bin.

    Tension chain by hand.

    Problem solved.

  • Same problem as OP with a frame I got here: One of the ends was bent and snapped when I tried to bend it back.

    Currently trying GT85, will give it a day or two more and hopefully plusgas would not be needed. Have already ordered a can of plusgas just in case!

  • bump, similar but different problem, have a rear adjuster that isnt stuck but the screw head is getting slowly rounded out trying to get it out, got the hacksaw and managed to deepen the slot to get the screwdriver in but again is slowly getting worn out, any tricks, have pud WD40 on too, should i just be patient and let it soak in over night?

  • Bump.
    I've posted this in the Current Projects thread as well, but I figure I might as well try here.
    Slightly wonky picture, but I hope it makes enough sense. Adjuster is broken off at the axle end. I've tried putting on two nuts and locking them against each other, but no joy.
    Should I leave it for a day or two for WD40 to penetrate before trying again?

    1 Attachment

    • IMG_1930.jpg
  • plusgas is better than wd40 so i would invest in some of that.

    heat would be the next thing but it might/will damage the paint.

    you can drill them out then re-tap the thread.

    you can also weld on a nut to the remaining thread and try get a bit more leverage on it.

    as it is though, i would give it a few sharp taps with a hammer, plusgas, tap, plusgas, leave over night, more of the same, leave another 12 hours, tap etc then try moving the thread back and forth by gripping the remaining thread with molegrips or pliers and feeding more penetrating fluid in. once you get a tiny bit of movement youre set. go back and forth in tiny amounts and increase in tiny amounts, dont try and get it out in one go as it will shear off.

  • Plusgas looks good, thanks for the recommendation.
    Do you recon it's better to get it in an aerosol or a tin?

  • i grew up with it in a tin and its more precise to squirt in where you need it but the aerosol is good for smothering the parts. up to you really

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Seized rear dropout adjusters

Posted by Avatar for Fignon @Fignon