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  1. #1
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    Cant get crank arm off

    i was trying to remove my crankset (SRAM FORCE) because I was having this irritating creaking noise. I thought I would just remove it to relube and hopefully solve the problem. However, i got no further than removing the bolt that holds the left arm to the spline. I have tried lightly tapping with a rubber mallot and even used my foot to try and "push" it off. No luck. It is really stuck. I am considering taking it down to the LBS because I am afraid of damaging it. I think someone put locktite on the bolt threads and some of it may have gotten in between where the crank arm meets the spline. Any suggestions? I dont want to ruin anything.
    TimZen

  2. #2
    Arrogant roadie.....
    Reputation: Dave_Stohler's Avatar
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    I assume you are using a crank extractor? If you aren't, you've probably just ruined your BB with all that hammering- a BB was never designed to take the kinds of lateral shocks even lightly tapping with a mallet causes. A crank extractor is an absolute necessity for removing any modern crank.
    Maybe you should take your bike to a professional, before you do more damage.
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

  3. #3
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    Cool Good tools and LBS's are critical to enjoyable cycling

    Tim:

    You need a crank arm puller that is compatible with your crank. Creaking arms are annoying, to say the least. You can hammer and kick all you want, but if the arm was mounted properly (or improperly, for that matter), it is not coming off without a puller. You can pick one up for +/- $15 at your local bike shop. Better yet, take the bike in and have them show you how the tool works (and ensure you have the correct model) before you leave the shop.

    In the alternative, have the LBS fix it for you and then you can return if the creak reappears. The culprit is not likely to be Loc-Tite on the taper of the bottom bracket axle. You can try a judicious blow (somewhere between "tap" and WHACK!) with a rubber mallet (or a regular hammer ON TOP OF A 2x4 placed against the outer edge of the crank arm) on the offending arm -- BUT, first put a 4x4 or 2x4/workbench edge, etc., under the opposite side's crank arm (be certain to remove the bolt "dust cover" first!). You want to avoid tranmitting any of the torque to the frame. A squarely aimed blow will sometimes be enough to seat a creaking arm.

    Sometimes LESS lube solves the problem, rather than more. A little contact cleaner (the spark plug kind, NOT the contact lens kind!) will take off any excess lube on the taper of the axle AND the inside of the arm (stuff the dust cover hole with a paper towel or rag first to protect your anodizing). Use small "spritzes" and the supplied tube for the contact cleaner and take your time -- another of the 1000's of uses for a Q-tip!

    Just a few hints from an aging wrencher.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim maigaard
    i was trying to remove my crankset (SRAM FORCE) because I was having this irritating creaking noise. I thought I would just remove it to relube and hopefully solve the problem. However, i got no further than removing the bolt that holds the left arm to the spline. I have tried lightly tapping with a rubber mallot and even used my foot to try and "push" it off. No luck. It is really stuck. I am considering taking it down to the LBS because I am afraid of damaging it. I think someone put locktite on the bolt threads and some of it may have gotten in between where the crank arm meets the spline. Any suggestions? I dont want to ruin anything.
    Whoa, don't listen to these other guys saying that you need a crank puller. For Truvativ and SRAM GXP cranksets (including your Force crankset) you do NOT need a crank puller. There are two bolts, one in the middle of the other. The outer one takes a 16mm hex wrench, and you never need to loosen it. The inner one takes a 8mm hex wrench. When you loosen this bolt (and when the 16mm bolt is still attached to the crankarm), the crankarm is extracted automatically. You don't need any special tools for this.

    You should make sure the 8mm and 16mm bolt are attached, then loosen the 8mm bolt. The crankarm should just come off. Once the crankarm is removed, you'll see the end of the spindle on the left side, which you just push through the BB so the crankarm+spindle comes out. Sometimes it'll be a little stuck and tapping on it with a mallet will help unstick it.

    If you want to see how to attach the bolts see page 15 of this document (they call the 16mm bolt the "self extractor"):
    http://www.sram.com/_media/pdf/sram/...MTB_MY07_E.pdf
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cant get crank arm off-sram_force_gxp_bb_and_nondrive_crankarm.jpg  

  5. #5
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    Smile IF that's your crank, winstonc is correct...

    My humble apologies if that is, in fact, your crank. However, it did not sound like that was the case from your description of the problem.

    Another mechanic's adage -- "one measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions."

  6. #6
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    Thanks Winstonc. Did as you said and it came off like a breeze. Didn't destroy anything luckily. In fact thanks all you guys for your imput. By the way, do you know what size tool to use to tighten the chain ring bolts (on the SRAM crankset). One side takes a 5 mm hex, but the other side is somewhere between a 6mm and 5mm hex.
    thanks for any help here.
    TimZen

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim maigaard
    By the way, do you know what size tool to use to tighten the chain ring bolts (on the SRAM crankset). One side takes a 5 mm hex, but the other side is somewhere between a 6mm and 5mm hex.
    That's strange -- I would have assumed that it's the same as on my Truvativ cranks, which are 5mm hex on one side and 6mm hex on the other. Maybe it's just a really tight fit?

  8. #8
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    Crank arm pullers hu? Just anohter pice of s*** to take up space in a tool box, and spend hard earned money on.
    I have yet to encounter a crank arm so stuborn as to not come off with a little riding. Take the locking nut loose, do not remove completely! Ride the bike and the arm will work it'self free in due course. (couple trips arround the block ought to do it)
    This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)

    You can't spell Christmas, without Christ...

  9. #9
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    Perfect thread, I'd been trying to get my Force crank arms off last night and decided to sleep on it, then this thread pointed out where I was going wrong. I needed to leave the outer 16mm attached to provide the force to push the nds arm off!

    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Also if the creaking persists, this is probally the problem. These new out board BB are super sweetand a great idea, however, there is one problem that has been reaccuring at my shop the past year.

    Many of todays frames though very nice, are not "finished" to the standards of 20 years ago. By finished i mean Bottom Bracket Facing. In a nut shell, you instll two guides into the the BB threads, and use a special cutting tool to properly "face" the shell of the BB. Why face the shell? It allows for the best mating of the BB to the frame. I have had lots of these come thru my shop,and facing the shell has worked 90% of the time. Most of todays bikes are not faced at the factory anymore.

    On my own bike, a top of the line OCLV trek from 1998, it was only after i faced the shell did my creak go away.

    Hope this helps.

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