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Stem Fused to Fork(7 posts)

Stem Fused to ForkDan Q
Aug 27, 2002 6:14 PM
I just picked up an old frame for free and am in the process of building it up as a commuter. Tonight I found out that the fork is fused to the stem. It has a 1" quill alloy stem and a steel fork. I have dripped lubricant on both sides of the connection but the stem will not budge. Unfortunately the stem must be removed at this point since my 23-oz framing hammer has done quite a number on it. Any further suggestions on its removal would be appreciated.
just a thoughtsn69
Aug 27, 2002 6:22 PM
clamp the bike upside-down as tight as you dare and whack the bottom of the stem with a dead strike mallet. hold the fork in your other hand so it doesn't spin and whack you back.
re: Stem Fused to Forkflybyvine
Aug 27, 2002 7:01 PM
I assume that you are trying to force down the bolt that tightens the wedge. If you just try & force down the stem then you are simply going to tighten the thing further (if the wedge is still in).

You either need to wack an allen key on top of the wedge bolt (I always have the wheel on the ground) or turn upside down & strike the underside of the stem (as suggested above).

Somethimes leaving to soak in WD40 or PlusGas for a day also helps.
My AttemptsDan Q
Aug 28, 2002 3:13 AM
No, this thing is definitely frozen to the steerer tube. I have removed the wedge nut and have tried both hitting the stem from the top, and after inserting a properly sized round bar through the bottom of the steerer tube, hitting it from the bottom. What is Plus Gas, and will it penetrate better than liquid wrench?
The un-fun last ditch solutionKurt H
Aug 28, 2002 3:51 AM
I had the same problem with an old frame last year. I soaked the stem/fork junction for a week or two with Liquid Wrench to no avail. The final solution was to grab a hacksaw and cut the stem off just above the headset and drop the fork out the frame. Then I took a hacksaw blade and shoved it in the hole where the stem bolt went. You should then be able to re-attach the blade to the saw frame and start sawing wedges out of the stem. Just be careful not to cut into the fork itself! After cutting a wedge or two out, I was able to grab the remains of the stem and pull it out of the fork with a pair of pliers. This IS a last resort and time consuming, but it will work.
Kurt H
but before that, try this:lonefrontranger
Aug 28, 2002 4:29 AM
The hacksaw method is definitely something we had to resort to a time or two in the shop, however the following uses simple physics to save damage, and I've seen it work several times to break the oxidization bond:

Put the frame in a workstand, with the fork legs pointing upwards. Using a hair dryer on "high", heat the outside of the head tube until it's quite warm. Then shoot the contents of a CO2 cartridge into the base of the steerer tube, as far down as you can get it. The CO2 expansion creates rapid cooling, and often the opposing expansion / contraction of materials is just enough to break the whole thing loose.

I understand plain old ice dropped down the steerer tube works just fine, too. This method works best with 2 people; one on the hair dryer, one on the CO2.
Works with threadless forks too.Spoke Wrench
Aug 28, 2002 4:42 AM
I've had a couple of threadless forks that didn't want to come out of the headset. Rather than use progressively bigger hammers, we just hit 'em with 16 grams of co2 and they dropped right out.