Elgin Cardinal Stem Removal - Help Please


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Kato

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 10, 2011
699
833
52
Cincinnati, OH
#1
Call it a brain fart or whatever but I'm fighting getting the stem out of my 29-30 Elgin Cardinal
I've taken others out but am not sure if this one is different or just me since I'm by far no expert.
Can someone take a look at the pic and tell me what the heck I need to do before I break something.......?
It's been soaked in PB but probably needs to be soaked again. It's cleaning up nice but I need to get back on it.
Thanks !!! Kato

IMG_3433[1].JPG
IMG_3431[1].JPG
IMG_2621[2].JPG
IMG_2637[1].JPG
 

mike j

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 3, 2013
2,933
5,405
Tuxedo Park, United States
#2
I would first, make sure that the plug isn't still wedged up in the stem. Then brace the fork, get a piece of wood & a 4lb hammer. Use the wood to protect the stem & tap, side to side while applying PB. Start fairly gently & increase pressure. Thin piece of hardwood like from a pallet works good to protect it but doesn't absorb too much shock. Patience is key here, good luck w/ it.
 
Likes: catfish

buickmike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
May 26, 2014
950
687
Indianapolis, United States
#3
Take it outside. With a. Small bottle of propane+automatic ignitor heat up the threaded portion then have squirt bottle with water to quench. Once you see the water rapidly leaving heated area. You will realize what it will take to expand and contract the fork tube. After a couple cycles of this I hope you will have confidence for next step. You can protect top tube with wet rags and it wouldn't hurt to have some handlebars for leverage. After heating up the tube it will dry all liquids that were present. Now for the smokey. Now you heat the tube again but will quench with blaster. After a couple cycles of this. There gonna be a big mess. And prolly your neighbors gonna call five-0. Get someone to stand over front wheel holding it while you try to turn handlebars. All u need is a small amount of movement.
 

Kato

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 10, 2011
699
833
52
Cincinnati, OH
#5
Thanks for the ideas - I think I'm going to try the non-flammable hammer approach first :)
Is the stem supposed to slide up and out from just above where the threaded section is...........it almost looks like they are one piece?
If I understand right I should be able to PB it, put the bars back in for leverage or maybe the handle of a breaker bar and try back and forth working it loose......?
 

tech549

I live for the CABE
Feb 9, 2014
1,783
2,881
attleboro falls, United States
#7
was there a stem bolt ? if so thread it back in and leave half of an inch of play ,hit the bolt downward to release the wedge,then
clamp the stem in a vise and use a 2x4 at the top of the fork and twist.if its been soaking should break free. you will have to take the rear tire and fender off to accomplish this
 

Kato

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 10, 2011
699
833
52
Cincinnati, OH
#8
was there a stem bolt ? if so thread it back in and leave half of an inch of play ,hit the bolt downward to release the wedge,then
clamp the stem in a vise and use a 2x4 at the top of the fork and twist.if its been soaking should break free. you will have to take the rear tire and fender off to accomplish this
Yes there was - I'll try that also................somebody had mentioned that to me also.
Back tire and fender are off so I should be able to lock it into a vice. Thanks !!!
 

tech549

I live for the CABE
Feb 9, 2014
1,783
2,881
attleboro falls, United States
#9
I had one stuck just like this on a 35 hawthorne and that's what did for me,just keep working it in both directions.
 

Kato

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 10, 2011
699
833
52
Cincinnati, OH
#10
I had one stuck just like this on a 35 hawthorne and that's what did for me,just keep working it in both directions.
Well, I've been working on this fargin thing for 2+ hours today and I can't get it to move
I've been soaking it in Kroil for a 2-3 weeks, tried banging the bolt partially back in method and hit it with heat.

The reason to get it out is I need to get the bolt that holds the fender out - the hole in the fender is to big and the bolt, lock washer and nut are seized up.
I got out the Dremel and buzzed the nut and washer off so now I have the 1/2 bolt in the headtube, along with the thing that the stem bolt screws into.
I flipper the bike over so I was working from the bottom and found a longer socket that would fit up in the head, over the 1/2 fender bolt piece, put 4 extensions so I'd clear enough room between the forks so I could bang the hell out of it and did.....trying to drive it back out from the bottom - nothing. notta - zilch.

I was hoping working on the bike would help desress me but it did the opposite so I'm done for the day.

Here are a couple pics..........am I missing something basic ???
I'm usually pretty decent at this stuff - especially outhinking a problem like this, BUT this is the first older bike I've run into something like this.

In the pic there is the spot where you can see the thereads and I'm thing the stem slides down inside........correct.
It's soaking again.....not sure what else to so so any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Mike

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IMG_3544[1].JPG


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buickmike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
May 26, 2014
950
687
Indianapolis, United States
#11
Any clearance between handlebar stem and upper fork tube has been closed off by rust. If I was there I would tie truss rod support up out of the way and try to remove as much penetrant as I could before heating. my 36 had a frozen stem. Only after Repeated cycles of heating and QUENCHING was I able to turn stem a fraction. What you should do is start slowly and learn what temp it has to be before you douse it with water. Try to turn the adjustment cone. But heat it up first. In my case.I had to heat that thing up too. When it turned it squeaked like it hadn't seen oil in 50 years. After finally getting stem out and adjustment cone off did idiscover the ball bearings had migrated out of races to drop alongside head tube cutting the living s*'√t out of it. Things got ugly for a while.
 

Kato

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 10, 2011
699
833
52
Cincinnati, OH
#12
After 3 months in limbo it's back soaking and I'm going to try again to get the stem out.
I'm figuring the Browns play at 9:30 on Sunday and by 1 pm or so I should be plenty ready to attach the bike again.........
I've soaked it from top and bottom with Kroil, hit it with heat and nothing......other than frustration and getting really pissed.
Either I'm totally missing something / doing something wrong or this thing is super-seized.

Hope to update with good news......
 

RustySprockets

Look Ma, No Hands!
Aug 15, 2013
55
62
Glen Burnie, United States
#13
After 3 months in limbo it's back soaking and I'm going to try again to get the stem out.
I'm figuring the Browns play at 9:30 on Sunday and by 1 pm or so I should be plenty ready to attach the bike again.........
I've soaked it from top and bottom with Kroil, hit it with heat and nothing......other than frustration and getting really pissed.
Either I'm totally missing something / doing something wrong or this thing is super-seized.

Hope to update with good news......

Here's an x-ray of what you're up against. Striking it from the bottom, while assembled, was a mistake because that drives the wedge even tighter than it already is. The proper approach is to first reinstall the bolt through the stem until it threads into the wedge below...but not quite all the way. With 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the bolt projecting above the surface, give it a good firm whack. That ought to drive wedge down, away from the stem body proper. You'll know things are correct when the bolt rattles around loosely, with the wedge suspended inside, like a bell clapper. Only then can the stem, bolt, and wedge be withdrawn as an assembly. Have you achieved this state?

Once you have accomplished this, the heat and the slippery stuff can begin to do their work. There are several ways to proceed, but I have a favorite. I like to wrap the stem in a rag and then clamp it, rather than the frame, in my bench vise. It doesn't have to be unreasonably snug...just enough to hold it firmly in place and prevent turning. Over tightening isn't needed and just causes blemishes. You can then use a length of 2x4, or other non-marring lever, to gently twist the now inverted fork from side-to-side, breaking the rusty choke-hold. Be sure to keep the lever as close to the crown as possible, otherwise you risk bending the fork blades. You want your energy focused as close to the steerer tube as you can get it--isolate those two offending parts. The concept--using the image below--is to separate the olive from the green, while leaving everything else unaffected.

Besides the Kroil, there are two other substances you are going to need--patience and resolve. Be sure you have plenty of both.




322px-Br_threadedheadset.png
 

RustySprockets

Look Ma, No Hands!
Aug 15, 2013
55
62
Glen Burnie, United States
#14
BTW, I didn't see anyone mention this earlier, but there is SUPPOSED to be a locking ring covering those exposed threads above the truss rod bracket. It's gone, so this stem has been removed before.
 

tech549

I live for the CABE
Feb 9, 2014
1,783
2,881
attleboro falls, United States
#15
I would say to turn the bike upside down and clamp the stem in a vise hard.take the 2x4 at the base of the fork use a 6 footer if it doesn't break loose,well maybe church would help .good luck
 

tech549

I live for the CABE
Feb 9, 2014
1,783
2,881
attleboro falls, United States
#16
BTW, I didn't see anyone mention this earlier, but there is SUPPOSED to be a locking ring covering those exposed threads above the truss rod bracket. It's gone, so this stem has been removed before.
yes and it looks way to clean to be rust!!
 
Likes: Kato

100bikes

Finally riding a big boys bike
Mar 8, 2013
171
119
Minneapolis, United States
#18
A bicycle store trick is a product called Dri Slide. (Molybneum di sulfide- forgive the spelling)
Expensive but effective for this.
Shake it well, apply from top and bottom, inside and out. Try to hit every surface with a little.
It comes with a needle applicator.
You can then apply a rubber mallet message to disperse this stuff .
Let frame sit for a day or two and follow the stem removal steps .
I would have the frame horizontal. This stuff will stain.

Also, put some bars into the stem, the wider the better.
Put a front wheel into the fork. (junk is ok, just has to have structure)
Lock the front wheel between your legs and twist.
This will give you a great deal of leverage, and a better feel for
how things are proceeding as well.
 

Kato

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 10, 2011
699
833
52
Cincinnati, OH
#19
Thanks to all for the recent info........!!!
I didn't get a chance to work on it last Sunday but will be this weekend.
Will update after I've tried s few of these new tips !!!
 

bricycle

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 18, 2009
20,956
5,440
Chicago area west
#20
it looks nice now...would be great if you could just leave it in there, but not without the washer and lock nut...
 
Last edited:
Likes: buickmike

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