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I'm having trouble removing my bottom bracket. I'm using quite a bit of force as far as I can tell. But neither side is budging. The bike is a 2011, and I've never removed the bottom bracket, but it's all aluminum, so I doubt the problem is with rust. It's quite difficult to keep the tool from slipping out. I've used this tool before on another bike without too many problems, but I just can't get it to work, and I don't want to strip the cups or do something destructive as this is my good bike.

On the Park Tool website it says you can use a skewer to hold the tool in place if you have a hollow axle, but I don't have a hollow axle. I noticed that my tool works differently than the one on their site, and that the wrench is quite close into the bottom bracket. Mine mounts on a socket wrench, with a 1/2 adapter, and therefore is quite a bit out from the bottom bracket. There are pictures below to illustrate the situation.

Wrench with bottom bracket tool

Bottom Bracket

Bottom Bracket With Wrench

Update

I was able to remove the non-drive side by using my vise grips to grip the tool closer to the bottom bracket. The drive side still won't move, but the vise grips are slipping, not the bottom bracket tool, so I think I may just replace the tools if they have something better at my local bike store.

Hacked bottom bracket tool

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    Yes, I'm aware the drive side cup loosens by turning clockwise. I've been mainly focusing on the non-drive-side cup anyway, but neither side wants to move. – Kibbee Apr 4 '15 at 13:09
  • Do you and access to an impact wrench or pipe wrench? – paparazzo Apr 4 '15 at 14:27
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    When you use the socket wrench, use your other hand under the head of the wrench, pulling up as you press down with the wrench, so that you neutralize the force and the socket stays on square. You also may be able to run a bolt in through the socket opening to lock the socket in place. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 4 '15 at 18:12
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Assuming you've got the right direction you're turning and its still not budging, use some penetrating oil and/or borrow a breaker bar/vise (and use it carefully).

One of the things with your style of tool vs the park tool style of tool is that you can't get as much torque on.

In the case of aluminium, its conceivable that theres some corrosion, but dissolving it or heating it might be tricky depending on other types of materials involved.

  • Corrosion can be a problem with steel retainers in an aluminum frame. I've also seen them loc-tited in place. The key is lots of controlled torque. Think breaker bar or extension pipes before a hammer. – mikes Apr 4 '15 at 21:14
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So I ended up bringing the bike into the shop. The friendly bike mechanic had let me borrow and old bottom bracket tool because they didn't have any other tools in stock. Long story short, he ended up using a 6 foot pipe on his bottom bracket tool to get it to move. The tool by itself did no good and the impact wrench did nothing.

I think I'm going to buy a different tool that lets me get in closer to the bottom bracket as that was definitely the problem on the non drive side. I tried holding the wrench as I turned it, and that let me put a little more force into it, but it still didn't work as well as it should. I'm convinced the design of my bottom bracket tool is flawed.

  • You're right the tool is dodgy. It should have wrench flats on it, then you can use a bolt to fix it in the BB splines, then crank on it with a wrench with no risk of slipping out and damaging the splines. – whatsisname Apr 4 '15 at 19:50
  • do you have a photo? – PeteH Apr 4 '15 at 21:17
  • @PeteH a photo of what? The 6 foot pipe? – Kibbee Apr 4 '15 at 21:56
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A trick that not many people believe but works amazingly is to try and tighten a bolt/nut, or in this case BB before trying to loosen it, and repeating if necessary. I assume this works as it breaks down corrosion or dirt, etc.

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