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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This post is one in a series of twelve posts depcting the build of my Hollowpoint MkIII.
Link to MkIII / Speedhub bike build post.

To install the Hopey steering damper in my White Brothers DT 1.2 fork, first I needed to remove the star nut.

I see quite a few posts on various forums about removal of star nuts, and how difficult it is. It really isn't a tough procedure, and only takes a minimum of time and effort to do it correctly. The alternative is to drive the nut all the way through the bottom of the steerer, but that scratches everything up and smacks of caveman mechanics.

In this case, I needed to yank mine out to install a Hopey steering damper. This is the process.

Anatomy of a star nut:

A star nut consists of a pair of spring steel "stars" which are joined by a threaded steel sleeve.

The sleeve has a collar on each end, which is folded back to form a rivet to retain the star.

Rather than drill out the entire length of the threaded sleeve, the only material that needs to be removed is the folded collar to break free the top star from the rest of the assembly.



First step is to prop your fork up and begin drilling. My preferred combination is to begin with a 1/4" bit to start into the inside of the sleeve, then follow with a 7/16" bit to completely remove the collar. You can use whatever drill bits you have handy.



Here you see the collar drilled off. The top star is free to separate from the threaded sleeve.



Use a center punch to drive the steel sleeve & lower star a few millimeters deeper into the steerer tube. The punch should be slim enough that it'll drive through the center of the top star, which you don't want to move yet.



Here's a shot of the sleeve & lower star pushed back.



Now that the upper star has some room to manuever, use the punch to knock it sideways in the steerer.



With a hooked tool, grab the upper star though the center and wiggle it free. It sometimes takes a good tug, but once you figure out how much force it needs it'll come out quietly.



Now you've got the lower star and sleeve (still joined together) hanging out a little further down. Again, use the center punch to displace the nut so it sits sideways in the steerer, then use the hooked tool to pull it free.



Taadaa! Piece 'o cake



Index of MkIII Build Posts


MAIN: MkIII / Speedhub Build Pics

Iron Horse MkIII Naked Frame (March 2005)

Hollowpoint Speedhub Build Pictures (April 2003)

Cane Creek AD-12 Air Chamber Volume Adjustment

White Brothers 2006 Technology


White Brothers DT 1.2 Fork Porn

Stripping Anodization

Bottom Bracket Drain Hole Drilling & Installation

Drilling Out Cable Stops (Full Length Cable Run)

Dremel Cut & Prep of Cable & Housing
Hopey Steering Damper Installation

Stripping & Polishing an Aluminum Frame

Homemade Headset Removal & Installation Tools

Star Fangled Nut Removal (Drilling out the Star Nut)
 

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hands up who wants to die
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1,405 Posts
good job. i was just searching on how to do this procedure this morning.
thanks
-rob in Brooklyn
 

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Gold Member
Wrecker V2 / Nimble9
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1,197 Posts
hah, that's some good stuff and beats the hell out of pushing it deeper into the steerer tube.
 

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Registered
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1,322 Posts
try this....

Take off one starr before installation. It has worked great for me. I just tap the nut sideways and it comes out. Can be reused. I have had to sharpen one once to make it grab but so what! That star nut is a clutzy device anyway. I hate them.
 

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Nice write up, but I think spending $20 on a Headlock is a lot better than having to deal with starnuts. The Headlock is so much easier to put in too.
-Nate
 

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1,167 Posts
Nice write-up! I've wondered how the star nut is supposed to be removed. A basic question though --why bother removing it? If you're me, then you risk pushing the nut too deep. But for everybody else, what's the reason??
 

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Derailleurless
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9,122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
awai04 said:
Nice write-up! I've wondered how the star nut is supposed to be removed. A basic question though --why bother removing it? If you're me, then you risk pushing the nut too deep. But for everybody else, what's the reason??
Thanks! I had to yank it out in order to install the Hopey steering damper.

Link to the Hopey install: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1189926
 

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Here's why...

awai04 said:
Nice write-up! I've wondered how the star nut is supposed to be removed. A basic question though --why bother removing it? If you're me, then you risk pushing the nut too deep. But for everybody else, what's the reason??
Just sold my fork to a fella who uses a head lock. Mine had the star nut. So I had to take out the nut for him. Luckly, I had modifyed mine by taking off one starr before installing. It came out real easy.
 

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Derailleurless
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9,122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1niceride said:
Just sold my fork to a fella who uses a head lock. Mine had the star nut. So I had to take out the nut for him. Luckly, I had modifyed mine by taking off one starr before installing. It came out real easy.
The bent and cracked star nut on the right in the very first photo is one I drove straight out the bottom of the fork.

I was installing my wife's Hopey damper early this summer, and had just finished drilling out the star nut (my first). I was quite pleased it had gone so smoothly.

But when the time came to install the Hopey, I realized there was a second star nut jammed half way down the steerer tube. I had forgotten that a year and a half earlier, when I installed the fork on her bike, the first nut when in crooked, so I drove it deeper into the head tube to get it out of the way.

It was too deep and too crooked to drill out, so I used a ratchet extension to bang it through the bottom. I was surprised when one star shattered and the other one mushroomed, as shown in the picture.

Besides the material gouged out of the inside of the alloy steerer, the fork is no worse for the wear. I don't know how these steerer tubes stand up to the abuse.
 

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pedal pusher
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2,712 Posts
I'm so glad I found this. I thought I was going to have to bend the crap out of that star nut for hours to somehow work it out. Using your method, it took me all of 3 minutes.

The only thing I did differently was use needle-nosed pliers to pull the stars out since I didn't have a hook.

Thanks, Nate!
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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6,766 Posts
Looks easy! I never had to remove one before. But I should replace the one I just installed crooked in a new fork. The steer tube cap still fits but it’s not really centered and it would be nice to fix right.

Thanks for the great tip!
 

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I just brought a second hand bike with a misaligned starnut and thought I was going to have a hell of a time fixing it and would to bash it through the bottom.

This was a much better solution, thanks for posting!
 

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This is a great post if I indeed need to take mine out. However, if it's in there real good and the screw threads are still in great shape is it ok to leave it alone and just reuse it with a new headset or is there something that will cause me issues?
 
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