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pivots from hell

3639 Views 57 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  davek
You guys first helped me when my new Nitrous pivots were loosening up. I cleaned everything, used blue loctite, and torqued them to 17 ft lbs. Now, I can't get the bloody things undone. They are so tight I broke an allen wrench and am worried about rounding out the bolt heads.

Gotta say, so far I am unimpressed with the Turner bushing approach. A lot of the stiction has worked out but they still offer significantly more resistance than bearings and this latest business is really souring me on the concept or at least the Turner application.

I hope somebody out there can help me with this.

Feel free to respond here or to my e-mail: [email protected]

Thanks much
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So I assume you have 5mm allen head bolts, and not torx t40 bolts? What sort of allen broke? The ONLY thing I would use to loosen or tighten pivot bolts would be a high quality, snug fitting bit for a socket set, and use a nice long socket driver (and even with a cheater bar- I use an old flat handlebar :) ) to carefully apply pressure. Use both hands; one on the socket head to keep the bit lined up squarely with the bolt, and the other at the end of the driver arm. Even the most recalcitrant bolts have come free this way. When assembling with blue loctite, I apply it sparingly (one drop) to the threads. It does not take much to keep the bolt from backing out. I would only reassemble with t40 torx bolts. Turner should be able to send you some free of charge. I personally would never want the 5mm allen bolts on my bikes again. I never stripped one but it seemed dicey a few times.

Good luck. Let us know how it comes along.
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they're allen bolts

It is a 5 mm allen bolt. I would be glad to change to torx if I ever get the dang allen bolts out. I am able to apply good solid pressure to the wrench and it is seated firmly deep in the bolt recess. Yet, I can not get any of the bolts to come loose.

Perhaps, I used too much Loctite. If so, is there any way to break those things loose? If I round the heads out, I guess I will have to Dremmel them out. Any other suggestions?

I appreciate your response.
Sometimes a whack with a hammer can get thing's started get a pin punch or a Allen head driver and give it a tap.
It is only a couple of months since you fixed the bolt's do you really have to go in there again?
impact driver

I've never tried it.....but do you have an impact driver fitted with an allen socket?
(one of those things you hit with a hammer to remover rusty nuts!)

Careful with the hammer if you do try it!
Have you phoned Turner?
I agree that Turner pivots can be hell. Here's one of the outcomes from a recent pivot maintenance effort (the torx head did not strip either):


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My lbs ended up having to drill out a couple of my pivot bolts after 2 torx bits were ruined. I am lucky that there are a Turner dealer and had replacement bolts in stock.
Geez! I'm blown away that an Aluminium bolt can break a steel bit.
I had some factory bolts that were held by threadloc so tight I thought they'd never come out, but I never had a problem loosening blue loctite. Davek, did you say you're using a bit on a long wrench or are you using a multi tool or single driver? I use a inexpensive 18" breaker bar to crack the bolts loose.

As Ts suggested you need a decent size lever-arm to be able to apply strong steady pressure. If you have to reef, the lever is probably too short.

Sorry to hear about the frustration. I can see how it would be discouraging.
BZ- the bolts are steel. Pretty high grade steel too, iirc.
The pivot bolts may be hard to impossible to get out ( :cryin: ), but the part that grooves me out is that the bushings and everything looked new even though I've ridden the bike for a year (many miles) and bought it used. That's impressive.

Now on my old blur, I could easilly remove the pivot bolts, but the insides were a mess, a horrible mess to be honest. I would consider a VPP bike again (ride is very nice) but would get into a monthly pivot maintenance schedule to start with and only back off on that if things were looking OK.
Tscheezy said:
...the bolts are steel. Pretty high grade steel too, iirc.
Ah HA! that explains quite a lot... uh, nevermind!:blush:
Bikezilla said:
Ah HA! that explains quite a lot... uh, nevermind!:blush:
BZ.... You getting old timers disease? I clearly remember TS pointing this out to you in another thread.
I missed that post... dammed ignore feature.:D
cowDawg said:
I agree that Turner pivots can be hell. Here's one of the outcomes from a recent pivot maintenance effort (the torx head did not strip either):
Should've bought a craftsman. Unless ACE is like them and will give you a new one no questions asked:thumbsup:
Hey TS

What is the real deal with the torque specifications from Turner anyway? I'm a newbie that went through my first HL lubbing job - by dissassembling them. Sure it's a simple procedure but Turner still recommends 108 in-lbf for those and I found out the HARD WAY it was wrong by stripping one nut. Not a big deal since the hardware store got plenty of those little buggers...but still - IS IT POSSIBLE that we are over-torquing the other pivots as well?

HL - 40 in-lbf NOT 108
others - 204 in-lbf ???

thanks and more info

I appreciate all the input.

The first wrench I tried (and broke) was a socket-driven, hardenen cro moly 5 mm wrench. It looked exactly like the one somebody showed here of a torx wrench. I tried it again with a standard allen wrench with the long arm (6"). The wrench was bending and the bolt insides were just starting to round so I quit. By the way, the wrench itself is in good shape so that is not causing the rounding, just too much torque. There is no way that bolt head would take a18" torque arm.

I liked the idea of an impact wrench. i will try to get a replacement for my socket drive 5 mm and then give it a go with an impact wrench, which I think I have laying around somewhere.

To the guy who asked if I really need to get in there, the answer is not really until I realized I can't. Now, I have to get in there to know that I can and because I am concerned it will only get harder over time. The reason I started was that one of the o-rings seems to have gotten a little out of its position and I wanted to see about reseating it.

Thanks again. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Turner recommends:

17 ft-lbs for all pivots except Horst (main, rocker, seat stay)
40 in-lbs for Horst links
50 In-lbs for shock mounts

Good Luck!!!!
Which loctite is it that doesn't like heat? Red or blue?

Iirc, you can heat the loctite to boiling point and then it stops working. Maybe you could try to pour some boiling water on the pivot or heat the bolt in some way?
required torque

17 ft lbs is what I used and that sure seems like a lot. It is definitely a lot more than I would typically use on that size bolt. It seems to contribute to the stiction because when I originally tightented those I probably used around 10 ft lbs and there was much less stiction but then, they loosened, so that was no good.

Do you think that 17 is really necessary or is it overkill to ensure they don't loosen?
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