I had a really hard time trying to remove the bottom bracket fixed cup from my friend’s Elvish French bike. I replicated Sheldon Brown’s fixed cup removal tool, although my local hardware store did not carry any 5/8″ bolts, so I had to resort to a 1/2″ threaded bolt. I believe that I have made two improvements to the tool, which I’ll detail below.
Firstly, instead of a regular nut I decided to use a coupling nut, which is about 1-3/4″ long. The rationale was that it would be harder to strip the thread off the bolt or the nut because a lot more thread will be in use. This worked. I later noticed another advantage to using the coupling nut it can be used inside the bottom bracket shell and grabbed with a regular short socket, with no extender (because the coupling nut is fairly long).
I encountered a problem with the lockwashers. They got compressed to the point of getting deformed and opening up completely. The purpose of the stack of the lock washers was to serve as spacers, so I looked for something else to do that. I found that a 3/4″ nut slipped over the 1/2″ threaded bolt easily and fit inside the fixed cup. I noticed that there was a lot less slippage with the big nut as a spacer, compared to the lockwashers. Also, it’s easier to keep the bolt centered because the lock washers did not lie flat against the inner surface of the fixed cup, but the big nut did.
So, here is the improved tool in its entirety: a 2″ long 1/2″ threaded bolt, a 3/4″ threaded nut, a flat washer, and a coupling nut. This tool worked to remove the really stubborn fixed cup from my friend’s bike. The picture in the beginning of this article shows the tool grabbing the fixed cup.