Home > bicycling, Mechanical > Campagnolo mid 80s Victory Crank swap

Campagnolo mid 80s Victory Crank swap

So before all this personal bike frenzy happened I had just my old trusty 1986 Gardin Victory. I upgraded and cleaned it up and even took it for some group rides and commuted with it. However one thing was still wrong, the front crank was warped it seemed. No matter how much I fiddled around with the front derailleur it first touched one edge then the other. I removed it, put it back in, cleaned it up. Obviously it or the bottom bracket was causing the problem.

Now this crank has probably done over 50,000 kms, probably more, and it had done stellar duty. Replacing it would be sad but not wrong.  I did have the BB lubed and cleaned in the not too distant past so had a suspicion it was the crank. The left hand arm had become quite loose and useless so had to replace that last year.

Old Crank on frame

The offending crank still on the bike

I had received a full compact Victory crank with a crank arm that I bought over eBay. I just wanted the left side crank arm but it came with the full compact right had crank and chain rings. It was 50/37 (what? I thought compact cranks were a new idea!) and I wasn’t thinking I was going to use it, but if my old crank (53/42) was toast may as well try it out. Crank length was the same(170mm) so good to go.

Compact Crank pre install

Compact Crank before I installed it

So I decided to swap them out and see if that fixed the problem. And if yes probably will leave the compact one in as this bike is more of a general fun bike now (despite my hatred of my compact crank on my Cervelo P2).

Step 1 – Remove old Crank

The old crank I had removed a number of times to try and fix it so I didn’t expect it to be all that bad and it wasn’t. It requires a 7mm allen key and you don’t have to worry at this point about the dust cap. Turn the key counter-clockwise and it will extract.  Don’t forget to take the pedal off first.

Loosening the old crank

Use 7mm allen key to loosen the crank

I know there are a lot of standards out there for crank bolts but this one seems pretty easy. After I got the crank bolt loosened the crank just popped off for me. No other tools were needed. The crank bolt stays in the crank held in my the dust cover. I simply looped the chain off and left it hanging.

Step 2 – Remove the Dust Cover (Optional)

My new crank didn’t have a crank bolt so I needed to use the old one. The crank bolt is held in by the dust cover so that needs to come off. Unfortunately it’s not a simple task. The only way to get it off is to put something into two small holes on each side of the cover. I am sure there is a pricey campy tool just for this, but I don’t have said tool.

Dust cover

Dust cover needs to come off to get to the crank bolt

So I figured that I could use a bit of elbow grease and a small screwdriver. This will hurt the holes a bit so if you want things to stay absolutely intact I guess you need the tool. One problem I had right away was what direction does it unscrew? By playing around a bit figured out it was clockwise to loosen.

Taking the dust cover off

I am sure there is a campy tool to do this

I tapped it with the hammer just to get it started, then used my hand just to spin it around. It never really loosened up so took a bit of time as each move was only about 1/4 rotation.

Bolt with dust cover

Getting there

Finally it was obviously loose enough to remove and pop..out came the bolt.

Bolt removed

Bolt, out of the old crank

Old Crank Analysis

Took a look at the old crank. These things are built to pretty tight tolerances so wasn’t sure what I could see. Overall it looked fine. I did notice that one of the teeth on the outer ring had broken and that the square center seemed to have some scoring bur honestly it looked ok if not great.

Crank removed

Hard to say if the problem is here

Step 3 – Examine the Bottom Bracket

This is also the right time to see if there are any problems with the bottom bracket.  Short of taking it out at least see if there is any obvious visual problems. Mine seemed fine so I decided to leave it for now.

Condition of the BB

Visual inspection at least of the bottom bracket

Step 4 – Install New Crank

So this part is very much reverse of taking it off. Naturally clean surfaces off then slip the crank back onto the bottom bracket. For the life of me I could not get the dust cover back in so I decided to install the crank both and hope that the process of tightening it would screw it in. Instead it popped off. Which in the end I figured was ok. I may get another dust cover in the future like the one on the left hand side which hides the bolt or try to get this one in later.

Dust cover left behind

Dust cover not used in this case

Compact crank on frame

New crank on the frame

Slip the chain back on and make sure things still shift etc.

Step 5 –Test it out

So now I had to figure out how it worked compared to my old one. And lo and behold it’s as straight as a arrow now. No wavering back and forth and I can still shift. Not 100% sure if I need to shorten my chain. Will leave that for another day. So something wrong with the old crank. Took the chain rings off and may play around a bit with those but otherwise good to go with the Gardin, now in modern(?) compact size!!

Categories: bicycling, Mechanical
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