Removing the remainder of a Stuck Stem

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  • Hi, I have a Pinarello Columbus fork that has the remnants of a quill stem stuck / seized inside. The forks belong to a Pinarello frame that is in good condition. I will be getting the forks re-chromed.

    The remainder extends the length of the pencil in the photos. There is no bolt at the end just the thick walled tube?

    I have two questions. Is there a company that will remove the remainder of the quill stem and re-chrome?

    Or do I need to go down the drill out as much as I can and caustic soda route? Has anyone done this? How do you dispose of the caustic soda after?

    Thanks for any help.


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  • Iā€™d try soaking in the caustic soda and then a drift of some sort inserted from the other end and some smart whacks with a mallet.

  • you could use a mini hacksaw and mole grips like this

    looks like hard work though. good luck!

    edit: skip to 10 minute 30 seconds

  • Iā€™d try soaking in the caustic soda and then a drift of some sort inserted from the other end and some smart whacks with a mallet.

    By drift do you mean metal rod or piece of wood? Will caustic soda from B&Q / Screwfix do?

  • feel like soaking it in caustic might be easier

  • Yup - preferably as close to the internal diameter of the steerer as possible. You can probably get a length of wooden rail from BnQ. To minimise risk of damage to steerer I'd perhaps start with wood (as long as it's nice and thick) and then progress to metal if you need something more substantial.

  • Drill as much as you can and blow torch the steerer and melt/soften the aluminium out?

  • I'm assuming the wedge isn't out, so this might not be a great idea ... using the fork like a pile driver to shift the stem could cause steerer to deform or split.

  • I think you're right the bolt is out but the wedge is not

  • I have one of these and a bottle of butane?

  • 1970degC is about 1500 deg too high but if you're careful I have seen it done.

  • Was it a diagonal or conical wedge in there? If it was conical then trying to drive it out with a drift might be tough as if might just push the walls of the stem out into the steerer, wedging it in there more firmly. A diagonal cut stem might be easier, but also not easy to get a good strike on.

    If the wedge came out through the crown it implies that the remnants of the stem will too. I'd be tempted to put a long threaded rod up through the steerer and stem with a big strong washer on each end and a nut. Then put it under some tension to try to drive the stem further into the steerer. Soak it in oil and periodically give the top end a whack with a hammer and another quarter-turn. If if succeeds in "breaking the seal" that the corrosion has formed then you can just keep pulling it through (if you have a washer for the top end that's just smaller than the stem diameter). Once it's almost all the way out, just drive it out by whacking the top end of the threaded rod.

    If that doesn't work, then you can always caustic soda it.

  • Fork upside down with the steerer in caustic would do it and you don't run the risk of warping or messing with the steerer's tempering.

    Slow and steady etc.

  • How / where? do you safely dispose of the caustic soda?

  • well people (like me) use it as drain cleaner, so...

  • you can run a 16mm drill bit through a stem with little issue, you could drill it out in increments and soak it.

    I wouldn't usually use caustic soda or lots of heat as it ruins the paint but thats irrelevant here. I would 100% melt it out with caustic soda or oxy acetylene if you have access to it. manually removing it is haaaaaaard

  • So in the end I wimped out and got my new local bike shop to do it, it cost Ā£20, which considering i'd of had to buy some caustic soda, and drill bits and dispose of the soda myself etc I think it's not too bad a price to pay, here is the forks, free of the stem, off to be re-chromed now.

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  • You made the right decision!

  • Now to get the seize seat post removed

  • I admire your dedication to this frame.

  • yup right decision, good job by LBS. Did they disclose their method or is it a closely guarded secret handed down from grandfather to father to son etc.?

  • Drilled out and and caustic soda.

  • This is the frame, it's worth being dedicated to

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Removing the remainder of a Stuck Stem

Posted by Avatar for jazzythumper @jazzythumper