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snowaholic
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So there I am trying to take an old pedal off its crankarm ... trying to turn a socket wrench and hex bit ... it's stuck ... really stuck ... and the socket wrench breaks! Now that is a first for me.

Any ideas for getting this unstuck? Vintage 70s parts, presumably a pedal with steel threads and a crankarm with aluminum or alloy threads. Bike was originally built with heavy white grease in all threadings, but that was 30 years ago and this pedal may not have been removed since then. The other pedal came off easily enough and showed no corrosion.

I know that pedal threading direction changes by side, so I examined the threads carefully and I'm pretty sure I was loosening in the right direction ... this was the right/drive side pedal, so I was turning clockwise (when looking at the inner side of the crank) to loosen. Correct?

I can't believe I broke a tool trying to do this ... Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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What? Me worry?
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811 Posts
Try a little ammonia on the threads. Steel to aluminum joints generate aluminum oxide, and ammonia will dissolve it. Otherwise, get a bigger wrench.
 

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14,713 Posts
pedal wrench

sekaijin said:
So there I am trying to take an old pedal off its crankarm ... trying to turn a socket wrench and hex bit
Rather than using the hex socket on the back of the pedal, get a wrench that fits the flats on the spindle, you can add a pipe for more leverage if necessary. You get a lot better grip on the pedal than you can get with the hex bit.

Anybody who does much bike maintenance should invest in one of these, IMO:
 

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snowaholic
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
StillRiding said:
Try a little ammonia on the threads. Steel to aluminum joints generate aluminum oxide, and ammonia will dissolve it. Otherwise, get a bigger wrench.
Good thought, I will try ammonia. Thanks.
 

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snowaholic
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JCavilia said:
Rather than using the hex socket on the back of the pedal, get a wrench that fits the flats on the spindle, you can add a pipe for more leverage if necessary. You get a lot better grip on the pedal than you can get with the hex bit.
Good suggestion, but not for these pedals ... they have cylindrical (actually tapered) spindles without wrench flats. Also the spindles are chromed and the chrome is starting to flake, so I don't want to manhandle them if I can avoid it. Thanks for the idea ...

View attachment 74921
 

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Presuming you've got a decent set of Allen key bits and a suitable wrench and even extension bar. Point the crank with the stuck pedal forwards and fit the driver wrench to the back of the spindle. Press your foot down on the pedal as you pull upwards on the wrench - it works the same for either side. A long extension bar and a two-handled pull on the wrench whilst pressing on the pedal will shift just about anything. If on the chainring side, watch your knuckles on the teeth!
 

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soy un perdedor
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839 Posts
1). Crank arm off of the bike in a vise really helps.
2). I've had some success with putting joints with dissimilar materials in the freezer for a while.
 

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snowaholic
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Monty Dog said:
Presuming you've got a decent set of Allen key bits and a suitable wrench and even extension bar. Point the crank with the stuck pedal forwards and fit the driver wrench to the back of the spindle. Press your foot down on the pedal as you pull upwards on the wrench - it works the same for either side. A long extension bar and a two-handled pull on the wrench whilst pressing on the pedal will shift just about anything. If on the chainring side, watch your knuckles on the teeth!
Hm - I'd need to at least partly reassemble the bike which is currently completely broken down - this pedal and crank are practically the only parts still together - but I like the sound of that. Thanks.
 

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snowaholic
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
RocketDog said:
1). Crank arm off of the bike in a vise really helps.
2). I've had some success with putting joints with dissimilar materials in the freezer for a while.
Don't have a vise at home but have a freezer ... easy to try! Thanks.
 

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soy un perdedor
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839 Posts
sekaijin said:
Don't have a vise at home but have a freezer ... easy to try! Thanks.
A wooden table, towel, and a couple of C-Clamps work in a pinch. Working on pieces that are attached to the bike via bearings is a real pain.
 

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Diesel Engine
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898 Posts
PB Blaster

Get a can of this from just about any auto parts or hardware store, spray & let sit so it penetrates the threads. Then try the cheater bar suggestion or the vise. This stuff is good.
 

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Cat 6 rider
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3,090 Posts
There's the old standby of penetrating oil, but if the aluminum has oxidized it might not help. Let us know what works. Oh, and wear safety goggles or glasses in case something breaks!
 

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snowaholic
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294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Success!

I decided to start simple with a basic "more leverage" approach, and I was ready to escalate and try any number of these ideas as needed.

Riding (a different bike) home from work, I stopped at a hardware store and bought a 6mm L-shaped Allen key in the long-handled version for 89 cents, to replace my broken socket wrench. It worked! Using this instead of the prior tools I'd tried (the small socket wrench with Allen bit, and one of those fold-up Allen multi-key tools) gave me the additional leverage and force needed to pop the stuck threads loose.

Thanks for all these useful ideas which may come in handy in the future.
 
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