Stem Hell Research
Yeah, I mean "stem hell", not stem cell.
I ran into one of my worst bike-mechanicing nightmares, once again, this week. I had a 58cm Centurion frame which I was trading to a buddy of mine for his too-small 56cm. The plan was for both of us to strip the parts off of our respective frames (save the headset, seat post and brakes), and then swap them out.
Then, I put the Centurion in the stand and starting removing parts. Cranks: off. Bottom bracket: out. Derailleurs: in the box. Everything was going so smoothly...Until I went to pull the stem out of the fork.
To say that it was stuck is to do the word an injustice.
So, I went to the old standby, Liquid Wrench. I put a few drops on, gently tapped the stem a bit, and left it overnight. I repeated these steps over the course of three days with the usual Liquid Wrench results: the freaking stem was still stuck tight!
I often wonder why I even buy Liquid Wrench. I've never actually had any success getting stuck parts loose with it, and this time was par for the course. (Your results, of course, may vary.)
Anyway, I ended up having to saw the stem, then use a drill, hacksaw blade, hammer, 18" pipe wrench and chisel to get the quill out of the steertube.
The end result of "getting medieval" on it.
I broke the axle and quick-release skewer on the junk wheel I stuck in the fork so that I could try to twist the stem out. But, no other damage was inflicted on the frame or fork, and it's ready to go.
First, you drill the stem to thin out the wall of the quill. Then, you hacksaw a notch in it, and chisel the mutha' out!
It's been a few years since I've had to do this. I must say, I hope it is many more years before I have to do it again.