I have a newish bike I bought second hand. To the best of my knowledge, the headset has not been dismantled as it all looks original. It's a threaded headset and a 1" fork steerer tube. It looks awfully like this Ritchey headset apart from the Ritchey logos - but I'm pretty sure it came out of the same factory. https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ritchey-logic-threaded-headset/rp-prod39820
It has never quite sat right - and pressing on the handlebars always made a slight squeaky sound. I thought I'd have a go at dismantling it using the right 32mm wrench on the race. The locknut came out no problem - I used the wrench to loosen it and then it came out just with my hand, so I know the steerer thread was fine. But then I tried to take the race out, and man it was hard, I had to use the wrench with full force. I managed to get it about 1/8" from the top before I stripped the nut on it. And at that point, it looks like it's been cross threaded as the race doesn't quite sit parallel to the tube end.
So the question is how could this have arisen? Is it possible the factory assembled a cross threaded race and just forced it all the way down to a point where it sorta passed quality control? Or is something more sinister at play here and do I have an even bigger problem? And as for any tips on how to get the race out? I'm thinking of sawing through the nut itself but not sure if this will work. Any ideas very welcome.
Thanks in advance.