• 07-12-2013
    Awal767
    Removing square-taper cranks w/o crank puller?
    Hey everybody.

    I'm wondering if there's a trick for removing a square-taper crank set if you don't have a crank puller handy. Can it be done without a blow torch or a boat winch or anything stupid? I'm thinking one of you bike mcguyvers has to know a secret.

    Thanks.
  • 07-12-2013
    Opus51569
    Believe me, I am all about the Rube Goldberg contraptions. Sometimes, though, you need the right tool for the right job. If you own a bike with a square-taper, invest in the proper crank puller. It makes the job oh-so-much simpler.
  • 07-12-2013
    Retro Grouch
    For less than a tune up at many bike shops you can purchase a toolkit like this:

    http://media.nashbar.com/images/nash...1-NCL-OPEN.jpg

    It will pay for itself many times over avoiding ruined rides and in trips to the LBS to perform basic work.
  • 07-12-2013
    Awal767
    Removing square-taper cranks w/o crank puller?
    Ah, nashbar.

    Ok. Crap. Thanks, guys!
  • 07-12-2013
    headloss
    any suggestions that I can come up with would end up costing more than the proper tool would...
  • 07-12-2013
    Opus51569
    Btw, if you do get a crank puller... and if the crank bolts have washers... make sure you remove the washers before you try pulling the crank...

    I learned that lesson the hard way. :)
  • 07-12-2013
    headloss
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    Btw, if you do get a crank puller... and if the crank bolts have washers... make sure you remove the washers before you try pulling the crank...

    I learned that lesson the hard way. :)

    "you'll shoot your eye out, kid."
  • 07-12-2013
    Awal767
    Removing square-taper cranks w/o crank puller?
    Ha! Thx for the heads up.
  • 07-13-2013
    Marc
    Depending on the crank, it may have self-extracting bolts that don't require a puller.

    Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Self Extracting or One-Key Release Systems
  • 07-13-2013
    PlatyPius
    Re: Removing square-taper cranks w/o crank puller?
    1. Remove crank bolts
    2. Ride bike til cranks fall off.

    Or spend $20 on a good crank puller.
  • 07-13-2013
    wim
    If you have a big hammer and access to automobile tools, you could use this flywheel puller or a wedge-shaped improvisation thereon. Someone actually sells a very similar tool as a "fork-type crank puller" to bicycle mechanics. We have one in the shop for last-resort attempts to remove a crank. But we don't use it until the owner of the bike has left the shop plus a 5-minute waiting period to make sure he's far away.

    There's also the ancient advice that you can pull the bolts and ride the bike until the cranks are loose or fall off. I've never tried this because I can't imagine for this to work. I would also be afraid to round out the square hole in the cranks should it actually work in spite of my skepticism.
  • 07-13-2013
    PlatyPius
    Re: Removing square-taper cranks w/o crank puller?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wim View Post
    If you have a big hammer and access to automobile tools, you could use this flywheel puller or a wedge-shaped improvisation thereon. Someone actually sells a very similar tool as a "fork-type crank puller" to bicycle mechanics. We have one in the shop for last-resort attempts to remove a crank. But we don't use it until the owner of the bike has left the shop plus a 5-minute waiting period to make sure he's far away.

    There's also the ancient advice that you can pull the bolts and ride the bike until the cranks are loose or fall off. I've never tried this because I can't imagine for this to work. I would also be afraid to round out the square hole in the cranks should it actually work in spite of my skepticism.

    The Pickle fork (tie rod seperator) that you have pictured is definitely a last resort. The ride-til-they-fall-off technique rarely works. Cranks only fall off when you don't want them to.

    I have, sadly, had to use an air hammer to get a crank off once. It wasn't pretty. Luckily, the crank wasn't salvagable anyway.
  • 07-13-2013
    Opus51569
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by headloss View Post
    "you'll shoot your eye out, kid."

    Yeah, it was definitely one of those 'man' moments. In too big a hurry. Removed the NDS bolt and the washer was stuck to it. Pulled the crank. No problem. Pulled the DS bolt and didn't notice that the washer was still inside the crank. Threaded in the puller and started to turn and it suddenly stopped.

    "Oh, stubborn, eh. I'll show you who's boss." Wrenched on that thing for all I was worth until I start to notice this little sliver of silver coming out.

    The washer wouldn't let the puller hit the spindle, so all I was doing was wrenching against the threads inside the crank arm. I pulled hard enough that it was peeling the threads out of crank arm.

    Not my best day working on the bike.
  • 07-13-2013
    MR_GRUMPY
    This is also called a "Pickle Fork"...(don't ask me why)
    It was made to separate tie rod ends on old cars.
    If the threads on your crank are gone, stick this between the crank and the bottom bracket and tap it until the crank loosens. (don't just tap in one place)

    You probably will mark up your crank some.
    .
    .
  • 07-13-2013
    MikeWMass
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    This is also called a "Pickle Fork"...(don't ask me why)

    Because it looks like a pickle fork! (only it is bigger)

    http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...uE-oF8kStNj9SF
  • 07-13-2013
    josephr
    A crank puller is nice to have around especially if you think you'll be using it again one day. It depends on what your comfort level is, but if the crank isn't seized onto the spindle, you might be able to get away with light taps with a hammer, a slight turn, another light tap, etc. If you're feeling like really having to whack it, then its time to get a crank puller.
    Joe

    PS-+1 on the toolset....save lots of money and frustrating trips to the LBS with some basic DIY and rudimental mechanical skills. I bought the Bicylcing book of bike maintenance to guide myself along. The other benefit is I'm more comfortable turning my bike over the professionals when I know its something that's a little beyond my experience.
  • 07-13-2013
    tihsepa
    Just get the right tool.
  • 07-13-2013
    velodog
    Here ya go, pick one and never worry again.

    Nashbar - Welcome!
  • 07-14-2013
    davez26
    Re: Removing square-taper cranks w/o crank puller?
    You could maybe find a way maybe damage something, or buy the tool, or just take it to the lbs and have them pull it for the 5-10 bucks.
  • 07-14-2013
    wim
    deleted.
  • 07-14-2013
    RaptorTC
    I did the "forget to take out the washer" thing last year and destroyed the threads on a square taper crank. I eventually managed to get the thing off by taking the bolts out and riding around on it. I don't know if it hurt the crank at all since it was beyond salvageable anyways after I bent it quite badly in a crash. It took a fair bit of riding up and down a gentle hill to get the thing off, so riding home one footed for a mile or so wasn't exactly the most fun experience.
  • 07-14-2013
    rcb78
    If the crank isn't salvageable, then split it or cut it off. Steady hands with a cutoff wheel will removed it in a matter of seconds without causing damage to anything else. A pickle fork will likely lead to needing a new BB or at the very least shortening it's life.
  • 07-14-2013
    cycle mike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    1. Remove crank bolts
    2. Ride bike til cranks fall off.

    Or spend $20 on a good crank puller.

    yes this was the method i used, the threads on my original crank were gone...i just made sure to take my new crank with me and the bolts and a socket wrench....and be sure to not ride too fast.
  • 07-14-2013
    Triggsie
    Alternating blows on the inside and outside of the crank arm with a rubber mallet can get it to come off.

    Never had much luck with the ride with the bolts out method.
  • 07-14-2013
    velodog
    Before you start banging on it with hammers and such maybe you could try a bearing puller. Here's a link to a cheap set but you could probably find something at any Sears or a hardware store.

    3 Piece Two-Jaw Puller Set