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Just took a hack saw to my King headset(10 posts)

Just took a hack saw to my King headsetNessism
Dec 14, 2001 8:15 AM
The damn King Gripnut system was locked so tight that no amount of force would free it. I was torquing so hard on the top nut it started to worry me that the fork might fail as it twisted. I should have known better when I put it together, the Gripnut wedge had had red loctite on it which is the strong stuff. Of course a little corrosion on the threaded steerer didn't help matters much.

Has anyone else ever had problems like this with the Gripnut style lock nut? The older style King headsets never had this problem. Is there any on-line stores that stock service parts for King headsets? Thanks.

re: Just took a hack saw to my King headsetDA
Dec 14, 2001 8:36 AM
LBS might be able to order.... you can still get the "older" style if that's your fancy
Fatal Flawgrzy
Dec 14, 2001 9:12 AM
The red Loctite is what did you in - not the design of the system. That stuff is tenacious and unless you're willing and able to use a torch you can pretty much forget ever getting it apart.

Why didn't you contact the factory for info and advice?
Dec 14, 2001 9:58 AM
Should've called King, nice people there.

I had a King gripnut on a mtb for several years with no problems and it didn't loosen up once. I don't remember any red loctite--don't think the design requires anything except a little grease. Even so, there are all sorts of evil penetrating oils and whatnot that would have loosened things up for you. I'd still call King regarding replacement parts.
Dec 14, 2001 11:06 AM
I just got off the phone with King. The red material that came on the headset from King was actually red grease not Loctite. From what I gather, a little sweat induced corrosion inside that GripNut cap and they don't want to come apart.
The Customer Service rep for King (named Jen) was fantastic. She's sending me service parts for free. Now that's what I call customer service!

Next time I install the GripNut parts I will be heavy on the grease and very light on the torque. Live and learn.
Dec 14, 2001 11:28 AM
With nuts and bolts likely to corrode and freeze like that, I periodically loosen and regrease; they never get a chance to freeze up, then.

Living in the pastNessism
Dec 14, 2001 12:12 PM
Yes, it's always good to clean/regrease before anything freezes. I'm actually quite good about maintenance.

The King GripNut system uses a conical locking collet that is very tenacious and has lots of surface area to distribute stress over. It's designed to withstand the pounding of mountain biking and not loosen. Not loosen is the key words here. The locking mechanisim does it's job a bit too well sometimes.

Of course I'm living in the past with my threaded fork/headset. I would venture to guess that most new bikes sold today are using the threadless system. If I had to do it over, I would get a King 2Nut headset. Simpler design that works fine for a road bike and less susceptible to seizing than the GripNut.
Consider Anti-Siezegrzy
Dec 14, 2001 12:29 PM
you can get it at an auto parts place as well as a good LBS. Water, salt and aluminum never go well together. We'll use zinc chromate and some stuff called "Alumalastic Compound" around boats. You don't really need grease since the parts aren't really moving - you want to avoid galling (and the like) and the galvanic corrosion. Had a hell of a time getting an old Cinelli quill stem out of the steel steerer on a Time fork. It was a total BEAR and required the skills of a very wily shop mechanic. I was ready to blast and drill.

Maybe the King folks can hook you up with a conversion kit to go to a 2Nut design?
CorrosionX work great on steel parts tooTig
Dec 14, 2001 3:32 PM
Zinc chromate primer is a solid standard in the aviation industry. Gotta love that putrid green color.

A simple spray on product called CorrosionX does wonders in rust prevention. Boaters here in the saltwater swear by it.
Dec 14, 2001 12:29 PM
yeah, after posting I was thinking the red stuff you described might have been grease, cause they use a "special" red grease. Glad to hear you had a good experience with the King people--they are top notch. And yes, the idea behind the gripnut is that you don't have to torque it much at all. I think it's a great design (unless you want to space out your hs, then get the standard version).