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  1. #1
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    Ultra/Power Torque side to side play

    Hi, an easy pair of questions and some background

    1. does your UT or PT crankset have any side to side play? Specifically, can you see about 0.3 mm of motion towards the drive side if you push on the non drive side spindle with a couple of thumbs, or by squeezing the crank arm and the chain stay together?

    2. did you get your BB shell measured before installation? If so what was the measurement?

    Any answer from you like "no play, 68.0 mm BSA" would be wonderful.

    Background

    I've installed Centaur Power Torque on a BSA frame. I have about 0.3 mm sideways play towards the drive side which I can get by pressing two thumbs on the non drive side bolt, or by squeezing the crank arm against the chain stay.

    My bike clunks when I'm out of the saddle. It sounds like the crankset, of course it might be bad facing, loose cups, pedals, cleats, etc even though I've done some the normal diagnostics & strip/rebuilds.

    At the moment I'm just trying to understand the play issue. I have had long discussions with (very helpful) Campag techs. I've been told that 0.3 mm play ("float" is what Campag calls it) is normal. Which sounds odd.

    I read up extensively on UT before purchasing. Most people out there in bike land say UT is rock solid side to side, and that doubters like Rogue Mechanic are mistaken. I had assumed that PT would be the same.

    At the moment I don't want diagnostic advice (eg "your BB needs shimming", "grease your quick releases") or opinions on the merits of play vs no play, thanks. I just want to understand:- do you guys have rock solid UT/PT cranksets or any play.

    Thanks very much, appreciate your help

    CheapSkate

  2. #2
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    I have installed Ultra Torque cranks on my two bikes. One is 68mm BSA, the other is 68mm BB30. Both do not have any sideways play at all.

    Did you use the wavy washer?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneedragon View Post
    I have installed Ultra Torque cranks on my two bikes. One is 68mm BSA, the other is 68mm BB30. Both do not have any sideways play at all.
    Did you measure the actual shell widths (I know BSA can be 67.2 to 68.8 mm)? Thanx

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapSkate View Post
    Did you measure the actual shell widths (I know BSA can be 67.2 to 68.8 mm)? Thanx
    Yes. The Madone with BSA was 68.15mm. The TeamMachine was 68.1mm.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneedragon View Post
    Yes. The Madone with BSA was 68.15mm. The TeamMachine was 68.1mm.
    Cool. My shell is very close to 68.0 and dead flat, and it's all been assembled properly (famous last words!), but I have float.

    The PT wavy washer is much deeper than the UT one, it also seems quite weak, I can squash it flat between finger and thumb. So when it's assembled I can squash the spring inside the BB and get float/play without much effort (2 thumbs, not pressing as hard as I can)

    I read somewhere preload should be 20-60 lbs. From the 2 thumb test I would say mine is 20, maybe less.

    Food for thought. Thanks a lot.

  6. #6
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    RogueMechanic shim kit

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRBIGRING View Post
    RogueMechanic shim kit
    Nah, swap the chainrings onto my Daytona square taper, chuck the rest in the bin. I've enough square taper stockpiled to last a decade. The new MPS chainrings are nice though.
    But I will keep talking to Campag guy for a bit, do some more diagnosis.
    cheers

  8. #8
    classiquesklassieker
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    I don't have PT, but I have UT on two bikes. IIRC, both BB width measure 6.75 mm, they were measured using a caliper. No axial play.

    Did the Campag tech guys say that 0.3 mm of axial play is typical for PT only, or does it also apply to UT?

  9. #9
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    Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by orange_julius View Post
    I don't have PT, but I have UT on two bikes. IIRC, both BB width measure 6.75 mm, they were measured using a caliper. No axial play.
    You mean 67.5 mm, right? On the low side then
    Quote Originally Posted by orange_julius View Post
    Did the Campag tech guys say that 0.3 mm of axial play is typical for PT only, or does it also apply to UT?
    Both

    I'd welcome any other stories about "rock solid" PT/UT setups!

  10. #10
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    I have installed 10-12 UT cranksets with no problems and no play.

  11. #11
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    Just to close this out...

    I saw a PT bike in my LBS showroom, it also had similar side to side play/float under similar pressure. So I'm not the only one.

    I've got a tick! tick! tick! while climbing. I moved the PT crank & cups to my winter bike, the tick! went to the winter bike. New pedals & cups didn't help, the shell widths and flatness seem OK. I even backed the non drive side cup out half a turn to simulate a wider shell, made no difference to float or tick.

    I suspect a defective crankset. No idea if it's related to the play/float or not. Will talk to Campag on Monday.

    Thanks for your help. I am still curious how UT installations are "rock solid' and PT have float. Maybe the UT wavy washer is stronger than the PT one? But the bearings are (presumably?) the same so I would expect broadly the same preload in the two systems. Also confused about how float with the "2 thumb test" is acceptable. Would welcome any comments from Campag experts.

  12. #12
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    I have UT on three bikes - zero play. Nor should there be any regardless of BB width. There is a basic misunderstanding here as to how the UT/PT system functions. The right side bearing is essentially locked into position by the retaining spring. The wave washer is there to provide some minimal preload to the NDS bearing. If people are feeling float it can only be because the retaining spring has not been installed, or not properly installed.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  13. #13
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    yes...

    It's the spring clip on the right side cup that absolutely limits the side play to a very small amount. Some people leave it off, which is a huge mistake.

    There is always the possibility of a defective crank or cup, fouling up the sideplay, but figuring that out requires some precision measuring.

    Sideplay checks should never involve pushing on the crankarm, except near it's center. Pushing toward the end is not a measurement of axial play.

    I don't think the .3mm of side play is excessive, as long as it's not free play. Free play would mean that virtually no force is required to move the crank and might indicate that the wave washer is not being compressed at all. I've got no experience with the power torque wave washer, but the ultra torque wave washer is quite firm and should create a preload in the 20-60 pound range.

    The proper place to shim the crank would be between the right side cup and bearing. If enough shim is used, eventually the spring clip will not slide in front of the bearing and retain it. That's too much shim.

    Ticking noises can come from many sources, including the chainring/spider interface. A little spray lube in those areas will stop that problem.
    Last edited by C-40; 06-24-2012 at 09:26 AM.

  14. #14
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapSkate View Post
    Thanks

    You mean 67.5 mm, right? On the low side then
    Correct, thanks for fixing that :-). On the low side, but not off by an order of magnitude!!

    Both

    I'd welcome any other stories about "rock solid" PT/UT setups!
    That's interesting ... I don't own any UT bikes currently, from what I understand PT is similar to the many outboard bearing systems of other brands. For those, I had an FSA MegaExo years ago that had a bit of play, but it took quite a bit of force to get any axial play. And no lateral play that I could remember.

  15. #15
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    Great, it was the chainring bolts, fingers crossed anyway. Thanks very much C-40. I had torqued them but not lubed them.

    I had got hung up on the float issue, the local Campag guy was sure it was shell geometry problems, so I didn't rigorously follow the troubleshooting rules - there's a lesson for me. I've never had chainring bolt problems before.

    I understand how the system works, I was just surprised I could overcome the preload with 2 thumbs on the axle. Not what I'd expected from reading UT posts. So it seems UT and PT are different in this respect.

    If you leave out the retaining clip the float becomes much larger, of the order of 1 mm. The ~0.3 mm float is, as bikerjulio says, the movement of the DS bearing until it hits the retaining clip. Which is new to me, I'm used to non-floaty cranks.

    Hopefully sorted now, thanks again.

  16. #16
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    more...

    The wave washer pushes on the left end of the crank, which should pull the right side bearing against the cup. The only normal play occurs if you push on the left side and push the right side bearing against the spring clip. There should never be any movement seen by pushing on the right side of the crank, since the right side bearing is resting against a fixed surface. That seems to be just what you've described.

    I haven't looked at the power torque design enough to see if the fixing bolt causes the left arm to bottom out against a shoulder. If not, then the fixing bolt torque and variations in the splines could cause variations in the left arm location and the amount of preload from the wave washer.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    The wave washer pushes on the left end of the crank, which should pull the right side bearing against the cup. The only normal play occurs if you push on the left side and push the right side bearing against the spring clip.
    Understood, I was pressing on the left, non-drive-side, arm, moving the right, drive side, outwards until the right, drive side, bearing hits the retaining clip. Exactly as you described. Sorry for any confusion in my poor English.
    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    I haven't looked at the power torque design enough to see if the fixing bolt causes the left arm to bottom out against a shoulder. If not, then the fixing bolt torque and variations in the splines could cause variations in the left arm location and the amount of preload from the wave washer.
    It hits a shoulder, basically the splines on the left arm are completely plain and go right through the arm. The splines on the spindle pull through the arm until they bottom out on the crank bolt. If you back out the crank bolt you can see the spindle spline outboard ends flush with the recess the bolt fits in.

    Thanks again

  18. #18
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    I have a similar "knock" when standing out of the saddle. It sounds like the bb/cranks are the issue as I've serviced everything else? Curious to know if your noise has subsided since you've done the maintenance?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    I have a similar "knock" when standing out of the saddle. It sounds like the bb/cranks are the issue as I've serviced everything else? Curious to know if your noise has subsided since you've done the maintenance?
    I think it's fixed, I've only got a couple of miles in since I did the fix, weather is foul here. Mine was a sharp high pitched "tick" like someone flicking the frame with a finger.

    Ultra or Power Torque?

    If it's a knock or clunk I would suspect pedals, the spline interface between left arm and spindle or maybe the internals of the BB.

    Can you make it knock while standing still, bouncing on the pedals etc? Is the retaining spring clip still in place?

    I got a clunk once when I hadn't properly torqued the Big Bolt that holds the left crank on, it had started to work loose.

    I would start with the pedals and then the Big Bolt. If that doesn't do it, strip the crank (ha! easier said than done!), re-grease everything, check the cup torques, inspect the splines. If that doesn't do it, maybe your bearings or cups are shot.

    I'm sure there are experts out there who will pitch in as well

    Let me know how it goes, I am curious as to the longevity of this design.

  20. #20
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    Yeah, UT 2011 SR. The "ticks" I did have were eliminated by cleaning, re-lubing, and torquing the pedals, freehub, hubs, chainring bolts and cassette. The "knock
    "remains".
    The BB/crank has got to be it?! I've checked the retaining pin (okay there), but I'll have to take it to the shop for the rest of the service due to the specialty tools. Going to have them chase, face and measure the BB, check the bearings, etc...Guess we'll see? I'll post once I get the results...

  21. #21
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    Maybe the central bolt in the Hirth joint has come loose? It's hard to reach, but I bet you could get an ordinary hex key in there and just check for play/tightness.

    Campag says don't fully tighten it using a hex key, it needs 42 Nm or something which a hex key won't do, you would need the special Campag extender and a BIG torque wrench to remedy it properly.

    Edit: thinking about it, even the chance it's the central bolt loose would make me scared to ride the bike. It might result in "accident, personal injury or death". I haven't experienced UT in person, but it looks like if that bolt falls out you're in big trouble.
    Last edited by CheapSkate; 06-26-2012 at 01:27 AM.

  22. #22
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    I have no side to side play, but as you mentioned, the torque is 42nm on that bolt and may the culprit?

    As I do not have the BB cup tool and the hex tool I'll have an inspection and rebuild done at my LBS to be thorough. Fingers crossed!

  23. #23
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    Since this is such a misunderstood topic, and since I had nothing better to do (sad), I took this photo and captioned it for everyone's edification.

    "Play" should be nothing to do with BB width, the wavy washer, or the time of the month.

    Even without the NDS side installed, if the DS is installed correctly there will be no discernible play in a properly installed system. Why? Because the retaining spring holds the DS bearing fairly firmly in place. I have produced this annotated picture to explain:



    where:

    a = retaining clip projecting through the BB cup.

    b = distance between pin and inner face of BB cup.

    c = width of bearing.

    and b and c are pretty damn close.

    If people are experiencing any "play" I'd humbly suggest that their retaining pins are not fully protruding through the holes which were provided for them.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  24. #24
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    Good picture!

    "there will be no discernible play in a properly installed system". This is incorrect, and the Campag guy was keen to stamp it out. The Official Word from the Campag warranty guy in the UK is "0.5 to 1 mm float is normal". I guess it depends what you mean by "discernible".

    I'm really not trying to be pedantic or rude, I just hope that the clarification will help someone else who installs PT for the first time, sees the small but non-zero float and goes "aaargh". Just like I did.

    b and c in your diagram are slightly different:- there is a small gap between the clip protrusions and the DS bearing, and the clip has a small amount of wiggle room in its hole. Add this up and the DS bearing CAN move outboard in its cup a fraction of a mm before it hits the pin, and then the pin can move outboard in its hole a tiny amount more.

    The total is about 0.3 mm in my case. 0.3 mm is easily discernible to me, especially as I was expecting zero, and I was in troubleshooting mode. If I push on the NDS axle, I can see, feel and hear the float. The DS seal clearly moves relative to the cup, the bearings make a tiny crunching noise.

    Now I understand the Campag guy's comment. He said "0.5 to 1 mm float is normal". I suspect the 1 mm is somewhat large, but float of the order of 0.5 mm is quite possible.

    PT seems to require a force of perhaps 10 kg on the NDS axle to engage the float. I guess that in UT the float is still there, but it is masked by a higher preload, more than you can easily apply by hand.

    I got very ****ty with Campag about the float, because I had a clicking noise, combined with statements like "no discernable float" on the Web; other manufacturers' systems saying "tighten until no float"; and partly from my own experience with square taper.

    Now I understand the system better the float doesn't bother me.

    I think it works like this:- with PT on the bench I can make it float with say 10 kg, but when I do this the bearings have no radial load. When I'm riding out of the saddle, I can probably put tens of kg of axial load on the crank, but I can only do this while putting a huge radial load on the bearings. The added friction of bearing to cup pushes up the required float side load to lots more than 10 kg.

    Maybe you can look at it as a "float angle". I think that to engage the float I need to push the crank at a fairly small angle off axis. On the bench I can push with 10 kg at 0 degrees off axis. On the road I can push the crank with >100 kg, but only at 70-80 degrees off axis. To get float while riding I would have to lean the bike over some crazy angle to push along the axis without the bearings sticking in the cups.

  25. #25
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    I started getting a clunk while climbing yesterday when drive side UT crank arm passes 9 o' clock position (minimal force applied on DS but max on NDS). It's probably amplified by the carbon frame but it's quite a loud clunk, like a marble hitting the down tube. It goes away intermittently, making troubleshooting a bear. Any easier ideas before I have to re-torque my hirth joint?

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