Thursday, February 9, 2012

Problem Solvers and Problems Solved

Anyone who has had an LHT (yeah you know me) for a while or run the Shimano UN54 bottom bracket can feel my pain here. It's simple and it's stupid, the aforementioned bottom bracket uses a non-drive side ring made of plastic...  sigh. Plastic that cracks over time and starts to make a clicking pinging sound. I don't really care why Shimano did this, I can only speculate that it's because they don't love me and want to hurt me.
Thankfully someone at Problem Solvers does love me and made a replica of the plastic crap for crap, (above right) out of loving metal that would never hurt me (above left).
I proceeded to remove the bottom bracket from my daughters drying rack (seen above) and attempted to replace it with another UN54, this time using the Up Cup from Problem Solvers. The problem was that I couldn't get the drive side of the BB to come loose. I couldn't get any leverage because my Park BB-22 tool was too shallow or something, whenever I muscled down on it the BB tool would slip out. The one time I managed to get leverage, I had all my weight on it and the BB still wouldn't budge. I needed another type of problem solver. I presented my problem to Sam over at Silver Cycles. He showed me the trick to solving my leverage problem by holding the BB tool to the frame with an extra large washer and a crank bolt. It may look obvious, but it was new to me.
Knowledge is leverage.

It put up a strong fight but after several rounds the BB finally broke free. Water had gotten into the BB housing and rusted the threads to the frame. It was at that point that I remembered buying a can of Frame Saver last year. It seems the purchase alone wasn't enough to save my frame. I headed home and applied a healthy portion of Frame Saver before installing the new bottom bracket.

Cheers to Sam and Silver Cycles for once again solving my problem.


Jim Thill said...

Greasing the seatpost and BB threads amply is the best way to keep water out of the BB shell.

If your BB was rusted solid in the frame, it could be that the plastic cup wasn't the only culprit behind the creak. In fact, conceivably the expanding rust is what caused the cup to crack. With a metal cup in there, rusted on both sides, you may not have had as much luck removing it.

Cycle Jerk said...

Good points Jim. I made sure to apply a ton of grease when re-installing everything.

There wasn't much rust in the threads. Just enough to make like hard.

Another tip from Park, if you have a hollow spindle you can use your rear skewer to hold the BB tool in place.

Eric said...

Love the washer and crank bolt tip. I'll have to keep that in mind for next time I need to do anything to my UN-54 BB.