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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody.

I'm wondering if there's a trick for removing a square-taper crank set if you don't have a crank puller handy. Can it be done without a blow torch or a boat winch or anything stupid? I'm thinking one of you bike mcguyvers has to know a secret.

Thanks.
 

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What the what???
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12,682 Posts
Believe me, I am all about the Rube Goldberg contraptions. Sometimes, though, you need the right tool for the right job. If you own a bike with a square-taper, invest in the proper crank puller. It makes the job oh-so-much simpler.
 

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Darling of The Lounge
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For less than a tune up at many bike shops you can purchase a toolkit like this:



It will pay for itself many times over avoiding ruined rides and in trips to the LBS to perform basic work.
 

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Lost in Space...
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any suggestions that I can come up with would end up costing more than the proper tool would...
 

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What the what???
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Btw, if you do get a crank puller... and if the crank bolts have washers... make sure you remove the washers before you try pulling the crank...

I learned that lesson the hard way. :)
 

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Lost in Space...
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Btw, if you do get a crank puller... and if the crank bolts have washers... make sure you remove the washers before you try pulling the crank...

I learned that lesson the hard way. :)
"you'll shoot your eye out, kid."
 

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25.806975801127
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1. Remove crank bolts
2. Ride bike til cranks fall off.

Or spend $20 on a good crank puller.
 

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If you have a big hammer and access to automobile tools, you could use this flywheel puller or a wedge-shaped improvisation thereon. Someone actually sells a very similar tool as a "fork-type crank puller" to bicycle mechanics. We have one in the shop for last-resort attempts to remove a crank. But we don't use it until the owner of the bike has left the shop plus a 5-minute waiting period to make sure he's far away.

There's also the ancient advice that you can pull the bolts and ride the bike until the cranks are loose or fall off. I've never tried this because I can't imagine for this to work. I would also be afraid to round out the square hole in the cranks should it actually work in spite of my skepticism.
 

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25.806975801127
Joined
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9,790 Posts
If you have a big hammer and access to automobile tools, you could use this flywheel puller or a wedge-shaped improvisation thereon. Someone actually sells a very similar tool as a "fork-type crank puller" to bicycle mechanics. We have one in the shop for last-resort attempts to remove a crank. But we don't use it until the owner of the bike has left the shop plus a 5-minute waiting period to make sure he's far away.

There's also the ancient advice that you can pull the bolts and ride the bike until the cranks are loose or fall off. I've never tried this because I can't imagine for this to work. I would also be afraid to round out the square hole in the cranks should it actually work in spite of my skepticism.
The Pickle fork (tie rod seperator) that you have pictured is definitely a last resort. The ride-til-they-fall-off technique rarely works. Cranks only fall off when you don't want them to.

I have, sadly, had to use an air hammer to get a crank off once. It wasn't pretty. Luckily, the crank wasn't salvagable anyway.
 

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What the what???
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"you'll shoot your eye out, kid."
Yeah, it was definitely one of those 'man' moments. In too big a hurry. Removed the NDS bolt and the washer was stuck to it. Pulled the crank. No problem. Pulled the DS bolt and didn't notice that the washer was still inside the crank. Threaded in the puller and started to turn and it suddenly stopped.

"Oh, stubborn, eh. I'll show you who's boss." Wrenched on that thing for all I was worth until I start to notice this little sliver of silver coming out.

The washer wouldn't let the puller hit the spindle, so all I was doing was wrenching against the threads inside the crank arm. I pulled hard enough that it was peeling the threads out of crank arm.

Not my best day working on the bike.
 

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This is also called a "Pickle Fork"...(don't ask me why)
It was made to separate tie rod ends on old cars.
If the threads on your crank are gone, stick this between the crank and the bottom bracket and tap it until the crank loosens. (don't just tap in one place)

You probably will mark up your crank some.
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A crank puller is nice to have around especially if you think you'll be using it again one day. It depends on what your comfort level is, but if the crank isn't seized onto the spindle, you might be able to get away with light taps with a hammer, a slight turn, another light tap, etc. If you're feeling like really having to whack it, then its time to get a crank puller.
Joe

PS-+1 on the toolset....save lots of money and frustrating trips to the LBS with some basic DIY and rudimental mechanical skills. I bought the Bicylcing book of bike maintenance to guide myself along. The other benefit is I'm more comfortable turning my bike over the professionals when I know its something that's a little beyond my experience.
 

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You could maybe find a way maybe damage something, or buy the tool, or just take it to the lbs and have them pull it for the 5-10 bucks.
 
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