How can I disassemble an old bike's fork?

This week I started restoring an old 1980's esmaltina bike. I started stripping down the frame so I could paint it. After removing almost all the things in it, I begun removing the fork, so I could later paint it and chrome a little piece on top of the fork. BUT after 3 days of constant aplication of WD40, hammering, sometimes heating prior to the hammering and it hasn´t moved anything. How can I remove it? Please help me!
This is the foto of the bike prior to me doing anything to it. I also don't know the model, but I believe it's an A SS model. If you know what is it please tell me (keep in mind that isn't the original handlebar, the orinal was one of those horn style racing handlebars)

Picture of How can I disassemble an old bike's fork?
seandogue5 days ago

As Rick noted, normally, one would loosed the top nut, strike wtih a mallet, then remove the neck. If the bolt won't turn and doesn't respond to the "normal" methods used to loosen frozen fasteners, then you don't have very many options...

You *could try heat, but if you do so, be careful. The bike frame is probably brazed, so you don't want to get things hot enough to compromise the joints.

Alternatively, you could cut or grind off the bolt head. That's something you can probably find a replacement for easier than if you sawed off the goosneck itself.

tgferreira184 (author)  seandogue5 days ago

You got it wrong. I was able to remove the bolt, the nuts, and every threaded thing. What I can't do however is to separate the gooseneck from the fork itself.

Oh, I didn't know you were able to remove the bolt.

Aha... Now I see...

Replace the bolt. Screw it in a few turns (but not nearly tight), then whack the top of the bolt with a mallet or hammer nice and hard. That or whacking it a few more times (hard) should release the gooseneck from its partner in crime. (you may not even have to screw it into the (hidden) captive nut, but I like to do so to reduce damage to the bolt or nut.

The "Nut" it screws into on many bikes is a conically shaped piece that is drawn into the gooseneck as its companion bolt is tightened, thereby spreading the bottom of the gooseneck, locking it into place within the fork's shaft. If there's nothing to apply pressure to it in the "downward" direction, it can't be released from the gooseneck, and so the fork can't release form the gooseneck

AFAIK, on some, it's a wedge shaped piece of round stock. If that round stock is frozen to the tube (for instance, if they're made of the same metal) it's much the same case. In either, you have to have something that can release it. The bolt is what is normally used to do so, but I've used a drift in the past to remove them.

PS. in "bad" cases, you may have to wiggle the goosneck right and left to help break the corrosion, so for now, I'd suggest re installing the handlbars to make that easier..

rickharris9 days ago

Lets be totally clear on what your trying to move.

The part you want to remove is the tube connected to the handlebars (The handlebar stem.) As in the image

tgferreira184 (author)  rickharris8 days ago

That is exacly what I'm trying to separate the fork from. Mine is also similar to that one.

It has a long bolt running through the tube with a split bolt on the bottom. You need to slacken off the bolt several turns and then strike with a soft hammer to force the bolt down through the split bolt to free it off. After that you should be able to turn the handlebars and pull the stem out.


caarntedd7 days ago

I would cut off the "gooseneck" part that you are trying to remove from the fork with a saw, undo the nut at that holds the fork into the frame and remove the fork altogether. It should drop straight out of the bottom. Then you can put the fork in a vice, apply gentle heat and bash the stuck parts out. Note what others have said here. The fork and gooseneck are jammed together due to the wedge shape of the nut wedged inside the fork. To bash the parts out you need something thin such as the bolt that screws down through the gooseneck, and you need to strike it down from the top.

tgferreira184 (author)  caarntedd6 days ago

I have already considered cutting the handlebar stem so that I could remove the fork and the remaining stem from the frame. However, I am trying to avoid destroying it as I might not be able to find another one and even if I did, I really wanted to avoid spending money unnecessarly.

Okay. Sorry. I was just saying what I would do. The part is quite common on older bikes and is even interchangeable with a number of different styles of bike. I thought you might find one easily. Sorry I can't help.

Burf10 days ago

I think you are referring to fork stem. Squirt some penetrating oil down through bolt hole. Put the long bolt back in and thread it two or three turns into the head nut. Give the bolt a couple of solid whacks downward with a mallet. That should break the head nut loose. Remove the bolt and you should be able to muscle the fork stem out. It helps if you leave the handle bars in to give yourself some leverage and grip to pull the stem out.

tgferreira184 (author)  Burf10 days ago

I'm going to try that.

Twist it back and forth with the handlebars as you're pulling up on it and don't spare the lubricant. You can clean up the mess afterwards.

Burf Burf9 days ago

Ah, and I forgot to mention you'll need to hold the fork stationary as you're removing the fork stem.

tgferreira184 (author)  Burf9 days ago

Hammering the bolt didn't worked either. Also, I can't remove the stem twisting it becouse I can't rotate it either. Other suggesions please?

RavensCraft10 days ago

Here's a link to a YouTube video which shows another person going through
the same ordeal. Warning you may need to have an iron will such as the
man in this video.

tgferreira184 (author)  RavensCraft10 days ago

Your link doesn't work. Can you fix it?

You link doesn't seem to work for me.

rickharris10 days ago

There should be a pipe from the top of the fork that the handle bar stem fits into.

If this is what you want to remove on most bikes it will be welded in place so you can't remove it.

If the handle bar stem is stuck in the head pipe then lots of oil and try to hammer it out by beating on the handle bars - Sometimes if you try to push it in first you will release the rust holding it in place.

If the fork is stuck in the frame - which it shouldn't because it isn't a tight fit then use a soft face hammer.

tgferreira184 (author)  rickharris10 days ago

I have already used lots of penetrating oil and I have also gave it lots of hits with a hammer (I spent about 10 minutes a day hammering it for the last 3 days) but the thing hasn't moved a milimeter. It is completly rusted in place. By the way, it's really the handlebar stem, not the steering arm as I said.

rickharris10 days ago

LOTS of penetrating oil, make sure your turning the head nut the right way. Big spanner - That's about all you can do. It shouldn't be all that tight because it holds the bearing down.

tgferreira184 (author)  rickharris10 days ago

Maybe I didn't explained well: I have already removed the bearings, nuts, bolts and all those things, but I cant separate the fork from the steering arm (I think thats how it's called, the piece that connects the fork to the handlebar).


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