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Thread: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

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    Default Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Iím converting a flat bar bike to a road bike.

    Road bike will be 2 x11while flat bar was 1 x 11.

    So now the rusted in downtube barrel adjusters matter. Any tips for effective removal or do i just have at things and carefully drill them out. Itís a ti frame and its a slotted, threaded stop....

    Leaving them well alone is not an option.
    Colin Mclelland

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Penetrating oil would be my first step.
     

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Yep, that first step is in progress
     

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    chill zone penetrant by finish line is pretty good at breaking up the corrosion because it also freezes the parts and dissimilar materials contract at different rates. not sure if a similar product is available at auto supply type stores

    Finish Line - Bicycle Lubricants and Care Products - Chill Zone™
     

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Leave them alone and use an inline adjuster? Inline Adjusters | Jagwire

    Wound be a shame to kill the frame.
     

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Are the adjusters aluminum?

    If the stops are slotted then just (carefully) saw the adjusters nearly in half through the slot and then work them out, in pieces if necessary. Then chase the threads.

    Even if they are steel, you may be able to do this, but the material is less readily deformed.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Firstly Drew, killing the frame would be a disaster not a shame. Won't be happening. These adjusters are in the cable slots, so leaving them alone would mean having to use full length outers...so not straight forwards.

    Thanks Jorn. The tops are slotted so I might try cutting the adjusters using a tiny hacksaw blade. I think they are aluminium but it's hard to tell at this stage from the amount of corrosion!

    The Finish Line Chill Zone stuff, anyone know if that's more effective then a traditional penetrating oil and a heat gun?
    Colin Mclelland

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Colin

    If the adjusters are aluminium soak them in 5% caustic soda. This won't touch the Ti but the Al is amphoteric so it will react to form sodium aluminate which is soluble. The reaction gives off hydrogen so make sure you do this in a well vented space.

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Thanks Mark. The old amphoteric trick That sounds worth a go. Iíll give it a try on the weekend. Any recommendations as to how you would soak them? Are we talking dripping stuff on to them or something more cunning?
    Colin Mclelland

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    I'd use the bottom 100mm of a 2 litre milk bottle, trimmed to fit around the tubes, and do one side at a time. You'll need a minimum of 30 ml of 5% caustic solution per gram of aluminium to react, more is better (the reaction slows a lot if you use the stoichiometric amount).


    Amphoteric just means "swings both ways" in chemistry language, eg it can act as both a base and an acid.

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Thanks again.

    Is this a soak it overnight deal or more ďif it hasnít worked in the first five minutes it isnít going to workĒ
    Colin Mclelland

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    The evolution of hydrogen makes it very obvious whether it is working or not. When the outgassing stops you are done.

    My recommendation of 5% caustic is a bit of a guess based on there being limited access to the aluminium substrate. If I'm right you should get visible bubbling but not so much activity that it starts jumping out of the bath. The reaction itself is exothermic and this can lead to a runaway: as the reaction gets hotter it speeds up and evolves more heat. If you suspect this is happening separate the two.

    Nanny State edit: when working with caustic, treat it with respect. Wear gloves* and safety glasses. Make up the solution in cold water, not hot. The dissolution of caustic is highly exothermic, if dissolved in hot water it can cause it to boil. Make sure a caustic spill can be contained and not cause damage to your self and environs. The residue can safely go down the drains but not into stormwater.



    * The Ansell black heavy duty gloves sold in Coles are excellent for this.

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    When mine got stuck, I think I just gripped the end with channel locks and broke them loose.

    are they in a place where you can drill them out? Of course, you have to be careful, but since they have a hole down the middle that is a lot easier
     

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    I've done the gripping and breaking part. Just not the loose bit.

    They've spent the week being doused with penetrating oil so we'll see If that has made a difference. If not, I think I'll try caustic soda and if I fail with that I'll move onto a carefully wielded drill.
    Colin Mclelland

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    My approach is usually this:

    -spray PlusGas or RustOleum, clean up and wrap electrical tape (to prevent scratches) around the area then grip with the Knipex Wrench-pliers
    -if it doesn't move, I'll keep turning until it snaps. Yes
    -with a Dremel and a long 3mm drill bit (to reduce the skew angle) I drill the remain of the adjuster from the inside
    -using another long drill bit, a 4mm one, you can get the remains of the adjuster to a very thin layer, at this point it's easy to pry it out in many ways (i.e. a T15/T20)
    -and when it's out, chase it properly and grease the threads!
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi cosž colŗ dove si puote
    ciÚ che si vuole, e piý non dimandare"

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Thanks all, and thanks for the backup chemical attack Mark.

    After a week of morning and night applications of penetrating oil they came out ok using locking pliers. Not as easily as they would have if I hadnít twisted them until they snapped while they were still rusted solid but they are out with no drilling and no caustic soda.

    And yes, chased and greased. Muchly. Thanks for the advice
    Colin Mclelland

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Colinmclelland View Post
    Thanks all, and thanks for the backup chemical attack Mark.

    After a week of morning and night applications of penetrating oil they came out ok using locking pliers. Not as easily as they would have if I hadn’t twisted them until they snapped while they were still rusted solid but they are out with no drilling and no caustic soda.

    And yes, chased and greased. Muchly. Thanks for the advice
    Thanks for the update! What did you choose for penetrating oil?

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    Default Re: Stuck downtube barrel adjuster removal tips

    Nothing special or boutique. Bog standard WD-40, applied somewhat diligently throughout the week.

    Again, my hot tip would be the application of patience PRIOR to breakage. Never mind.
    Colin Mclelland

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