Help with stuck head set and stem.


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Vintagedad

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2018
111
50
33
South Carolina
#1
The head set is completely stuck on this rusted 68 Schwinn Stingray Deluxe. The locknut etc. just will not budge. I started with an adjustable wrench and WD40, upgraded to a pipe wrench and PB Blaster. Tried a bigger pipe wrench. Ive let it sit after spraying it multiple times and soaking it. I’ve used a torch to heat it up. I was finally able to remove the stem bolt after striking it with a mallet, heating it with a torch, using PB Blaster over and over again as I moved the bolt slightly each time. It finally began moving and came off. The head set and stem are a different story though.

Any bright ideas for me to try? I thought about soaking the whole thing in evaporust for like a week. I attached pictures of it if it helps.


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E7592AA1-66C3-41CA-AD7D-1E59FE9CEBBF.jpeg


17D69AD4-5C68-48A9-AD8D-5DEC90CD9EDC.jpeg
 

buickmike

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2014
1,142
920
Hammond Indiana
#2
I wouldmt use the pipe wrench anymoe. Looks like its crushing the flats on the nut.I've got a large wrench but it has flat jaws where the pipe wrench has teeth. Also with a tire mounted on fork and locked between my knees I would get movement. Out of one of those things.hacksaw a diagonal slot on the topnut.heat things up until water pops as you quench it. After cycles of heating and quenching -then comes the PB.
 

Vintagedad

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2018
111
50
33
South Carolina
#3
I wouldmt use the pipe wrench anymoe. Looks like its crushing the flats on the nut.I've got a large wrench but it has flat jaws where the pipe wrench has teeth. Also with a tire mounted on fork and locked between my knees I would get movement. Out of one of those things.hacksaw a diagonal slot on the topnut.heat things up until water pops as you quench it. After cycles of heating and quenching -then comes the PB.
I’ll keep trying heating it up. I tried putting a tire on and it didn’t work that way either. Your right I’ll stop with the pipe wrench. I’m going to get a breaker bar and put it on the end of my adjustable next time I try I guess. I’m kind of at a loss at the moment.
 

buickmike

I live for the CABE
May 26, 2014
1,142
920
Hammond Indiana
#4
I remove frozen valves from engines. Usually the engines have been sitting so long in barns or wherever. Mice get in them. Anyway the propane torch followed by a squirt bottle - till the water sizzles as it strikes the heated guide. At least 3 times - then heated again and quench with PB. Then I place brass mallet on top of valve and strike mallet with large ball peen so I don't mushroom. Tip of valve. Old hemis -nailheads- etc. Lots of smoke tho.But I save the guides
 

Rollo

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 29, 2016
501
1,731
62
Lincoln Park, United States
#5
... I just went thru the same problem on a '52 Phantom project ... I ended up cutting the nut off with an air cutoff wheel ... then unscrewed the bearing race and tied it up out of the way ...
... Then carefully heated the threaded portion of the fork where the stem is inserted after soaking it over night with penetrating oil ...
... Put the handlbars back in and twisted the stem back and forth until it came out ...
 

Vintagedad

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2018
111
50
33
South Carolina
#6
... I just went thru the same problem on a '52 Phantom project ... I ended up cutting the nut off with an air cutoff wheel ... then unscrewed the bearing race and tied it up out of the way ...
... Then carefully heated the threaded portion of the fork where the stem is inserted after soaking it over night with penetrating oil ...
... Put the handlbars back in and twisted the stem back and forth until it came out ...
Thanks for sharing if I can’t remove the locknut by heating it I will probably take your method up and cut it off if possible. At this point I don’t mind damaging the nuts and neck etc. as I can replace them. I just don’t want to damage the frame or fork.
 

AndyA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 24, 2017
86
136
71
bergen county
#7
I would concentrate on the stem. If you can't get that out, the head set doesn't matter. Clamp a nice piece of pipe in the stem and clamp the fork between a couple of 2X4's and twist away. Once the stem is out, you can cut the nut off with a cutting wheel or hacksaw. Have fun!
 

the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 4, 2014
2,675
5,717
Planet Mongo
#8
Heat the stem and nut until it's red hot and smoking. The heat has to penetrate all the way down to the stem wedge . Pour some water on it to violently cool it down. This will bust the rust. Don't worry about your paint on the head tube. place your frame out on your lawn and beat that stem up and out. As far as the headset, you've already wrecked them. I think you are using too small of a pipe wrench or it's old and worn out. Get a 24 inch pipe wrench on and they will either come off or the fork tube will snap off inside. Get another fork [ any brand] and weld it on or replace the fork. They're plentiful and cheap.
 
Likes: Viewmaster

RustySprockets

Look Ma, No Hands!
Aug 15, 2013
62
76
Glen Burnie, United States
#9
This may be a silly question, but you DID knock the wedge down after getting the stem bolt to budge, right? Simply removing the bolt isn't enough. In the most extreme cases, I like to clamp the stem, inverted, in a large bench vise, then use a chunk of 2x4 to rock the fork from side-to-side until the rusty seal breaks. Looks like your lockring is toast--you'll probably have to cut it and use a replacement. They're common.
 

Vintagedad

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2018
111
50
33
South Carolina
#10
This may be a silly question, but you DID knock the wedge down after getting the stem bolt to budge, right? Simply removing the bolt isn't enough. In the most extreme cases, I like to clamp the stem, inverted, in a large bench vise, then use a chunk of 2x4 to rock the fork from side-to-side until the rusty seal breaks. Looks like your lockring is toast--you'll probably have to cut it and use a replacement. They're common.
I struck the stem bolt a few times with a large mallet after first getting it to budge like you said. My plan is to cut the lock ring but I haven’t had the chance to try that yet. I had my little one in the garage and outside with me this weekend so I couldn’t use a saw. I did redo the rear RB2 hub on the wheels I picked up to use on this bike that came off another 66 Stingray. I took it completely apart, cleaned everything, did new grease and new bearings. So at least the project had some progress!
 

RustySprockets

Look Ma, No Hands!
Aug 15, 2013
62
76
Glen Burnie, United States
#11
When it comes to rusty stems and seatposts, patience is truly a virtue. Try to concentrate your applied force as close to the headset as possible--i.e. immobilize the fork at the crown, rather than the dropouts, so as not to risk twisting the blades. Lube and leverage are your friend. It may take time, but parts usually break free...eventually.
 

Vintagedad

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2018
111
50
33
South Carolina
#12
When it comes to rusty stems and seatposts, patience is truly a virtue. Try to concentrate your applied force as close to the headset as possible--i.e. immobilize the fork at the crown, rather than the dropouts, so as not to risk twisting the blades. Lube and leverage are your friend. It may take time, but parts
usually break free...eventually.
I appreciate the advice. I’ll keep soaking it with the PB Blaster.
 

Vintagedad

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2018
111
50
33
South Carolina
#14
Always use a Schwinn Wrench . And a big piece of pipe!
View attachment 944628
There is one on eBay now, only asking 399.99 plus shipping!


Success, it finally gave in and came apart today. The locknut had to be cut off. The handlebar stem came out by putting the fork over a pole for a basketball hoop to leverage it and twisting and pulling repeatedly in opposite directions over and over. Luckily a friend of mine was available to help as it was a two man job. We used an oil filter tool to remove the piece below the locknut while the forks were leveraged against the basketball pole.
 

AndyA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Nov 24, 2017
86
136
71
bergen county
#15
I can picture the scene... a couple of guys with a bike stuck on a basketball pole, yanking and twisting. Men against nature (or men against machine?) Then success, as the stem creaks and loosens. It's free! High fives! Open a couple of beers and survey the day's success.
 

Vintagedad

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 1, 2018
111
50
33
South Carolina
#18
I can picture the scene... a couple of guys with a bike stuck on a basketball pole, yanking and twisting. Men against nature (or men against machine?) Then success, as the stem creaks and loosens. It's free! High fives! Open a couple of beers and survey the day's success.
Sounds about right! I guess those driving by probably had a good laugh while we were struggling with a bike wrapped around a basketball pole lol.
 
Likes: OhioJones

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