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Houston, we got a problem(6 posts)

Houston, we got a problemAnquetil
Jun 4, 2001 12:32 PM
While tightening my seat-post clamp, the head of the Allen wrench actually broke inside the bolt head (cheap tool I guess..??). Anyway, what do I do now?? Drill it and hope to get it out that way? Cut the Allen bolt and replace (it's on a Giant Once carbon seat-post)?
Thanks for the help
Mind Bogglinggrz mnky
Jun 4, 2001 3:50 PM
Now that is truely an epic tale! Makes one question who made the Allen wrench - Ford, Firestone, GM, NASA?

Getting the broken piece out should be a challenge and once you solve that you can start thinking about why the bolt is so stuck. Cut it and you're going to have a very tough time getting the stud out - even with an "Easy Out". Using some Liquid Wrench over night is probably a minimum. Chances are it threads into something made of aluminum and this is what has corroded. If it's intrgrated into the frame, well let's not think about that right now.

My advice would be to take it to a very good LBS. It is possible that you could do it yourself, but not having seen it, I hesitate to dictate a plan. If you were pretty skilled in dealing with AFU assemblies you might be all right, but since you're asking I'm thinking that this a new challenge. Realize that the fix could be very simple OR it could be very ugly. You need a Messiah Mechanic and all the good karma that you can muster.
Jun 4, 2001 5:49 PM
if you can, CAREFULLY, get a drill bit on the other side of that bolt and try to spin it back out of there. I've had pretty good luck in situations like this with my trusty Makita. Disclaimer: I'm not familiar, specifically, with Giant seat post clamps. Also, if this idea makes you nervous, take it to a shop. Good luck.
re: Houston, we got a problemxyz
Jun 5, 2001 8:38 AM
Although I agree with the other 2 posts, IF its really stuck take it to a machine shop NOT a LBS. A machine shop can jig the frame up and properly remove the binder bolt. It will cost more, it will take longer, but....
What exactly are you trying to do?MisJG
Jun 6, 2001 10:11 AM
The way I read your post, you don't want to remove the bolt since you were tightening it. You just need to retrieve the piece of allen wrench that broke off inside the head of the allen bolt. (Were you using the ball-end of the wrench for tightening? Shame on you!) Anyway, if this is the case, try using a small screwdriver and a hammer to get the piece loose inside the bolt head, then take a piece of duct tape and stick it to the piece of wrench and pull it out. I saw an episode of ER where they used super-glue on the end of a small stick to reteive a pea-sized object from a child's ear, so that may be an option. Just be very careful with the super-glue or you may end up glueing the piece into the bolt head!! (I never have any luck w/ s-glue. Always end up gluing my fingers together, but that's a post for the "super-glue stories" board)
What exactly are you trying to do?Anquetil
Jun 7, 2001 8:11 AM
Guilty your Honor, but I will plead ignorance on that one. The wrench I used has, make that.. had, only one end as it's on a multi-purpose tool. Indeed, it was what I would describe as a ball-like end.
It broke right at the "neck" and the whole "ball" is now lodged inside the "head" of the allen bolt (too many body parts in that sentence..). This bolt is on the clamp that holds the carbon seat post in position.
What I am trying to do is what you described: I want to get that "ball" out so that I can once again adjust my seat-post (which I need to take out every time I carry my bike inside my car).
My original thought was to drill gently through the "ball" to allow it to be pulled out. At worse, I think that bolt could be cut as it is accessible from the back of the clamp. However I don't want to go for heavy surgery before exploring other options (note here the strong connection with your own message about ER ;-)), especially when working so close to that fragile seat post.
I will definitely try your suggestion first (the screwdriver and duct tape one, not the Super Glue thing-I am like you with that stuff..). Thanks for the help.