Home > How To > How to Remove a Star Nut

How to Remove a Star Nut

August 7th, 2010 [print] Go to comments

Removing the star fangled nut from your fork’s steerer tube probably seems like a pain in the ass, but it’s actually quite simple.  Many people have given up trying to get one out, since they can only be hammered down, and not pulled back out from above.  The lazy way to go about it is to simply hammer the existing nut further down inside the steerer tube, then installing a new one above it.  But chances are you found this page because you’re wanting to go about it the proper way, by actually removing the old one.

First off, you’ll need a few tools, but there’s a good chance you already have everything you need:

— A drill
— 5/16" drill bit
— hammer
— flat-head screwdriver
— needle-nosed pliers and/or a hook

The star fangled nut basically consists of two similar ends riveted togetther about 3/8" apart.  The rivet is the part we need to attack, and once it’s out of the way, the rest is easy…

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This is the tricky part, but only because you need to have steady hands.  If you just chugged a 6-pack, you might want to sleep it off, or risk destroying the (most likely aluminum) steerer tube of your (most likely expense) fork.

Grasp the steerer tube with one hand, or put it in a vise.  Using the 5/16" bit, carefully drill straight down into the head of the star nut.  What we’re doing here is destroying the top-most section of the rivet, not going down all the way through the entire nut.  Just take your time, and it’ll eventually snap apart from the rest of the assembly.

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With that out of the way, the integrity of the star nut is gone, and you’ll now be able to remove it with ease.

Using the same drill bit (or whatever else you have that you think might work), you need to tap the lower section of the star nut away from the top section, making it go just a few millimeters further down into the steerer.  You don’t want to hammer it down too far, just a fraction of a inch at most.

Put the drill bit back inside the opening of the nut (obviously, remove the bit from the drill first), and use your hammer to tap against it.  Since it’s wider than the remaining middle section, but narrower than the area you just drilled out, it’ll be able to push the lower section down.

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Next, place the end of a flat head screwdriver against one of the grooved areas of the upper section, but not against the arms of the star, and give it a gentle tap.  This will cause it to flip sideways, giving you a way to grab it and pull it out.

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Click for larger image

Now, use either a small hook, or some needle-nosed pliers to grab the upper section and wiggle it out of there.

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Click for larger image

The lower section and the remainder of the rivet will still be down inside the steerer, so you can use your pliers to tap it sideways, grab it, and wiggle it out, just like you did the upper section.  Whatever you do, try not to shove it any further down inside or it’ll be harder to get to.

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And just like that, you’re all done!  Obviously, the old star nut is useless, so toss it out and go buy a replacement.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

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  1. Darren
    August 9th, 2010 at 09:14 | #1

    Nice tutorial! Did you do this just for fun after our conversation on Saturday? Got the headset installed, yesterday, by the way. It’s smooth like butter and definitely lighter than the OEM. Thanks for all DIY the info!

  2. Aaron
    August 9th, 2010 at 15:56 | #2

    Yeah, I’ve meant to do it for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it. Now you’ll know how if you need to.

  3. Daniel
    May 23rd, 2011 at 12:42 | #3

    Brilliant tutorial, worked perfectly 😛 my tools looked just like your set lol

  4. Steven
    August 31st, 2012 at 16:36 | #4

    This worked perfectly, thanks!

  5. John wallace
    June 3rd, 2013 at 15:24 | #5

    Excellent tutorial, good pictures, nice easy commentary and, best of all, it did the business. Many thanks.

  6. Tony Hayes
    August 30th, 2013 at 06:30 | #6

    Brilliant, Thanks,saved me a lot of money.
    Many Thanks.

  7. Ashley Gardner
    March 2nd, 2015 at 15:16 | #7

    Brilliant, works a treat, took me two minutes.

  8. Colin Bryant
    December 5th, 2015 at 14:36 | #8

    Thanks. I had some star nuts pushed into my recumbent seat frame, from mounting luggage. I wasn’t using them any more and found that they were causing a lot of corrosion in the top of the aluminum seat frame, from regularly being wet. Out they came. I did find that I needed a slightly larger drill bit than 5/16, to cut the top of the treaded core out.

  9. David Walker
    January 3rd, 2016 at 20:17 | #9

    Wow! These instructions were great and everything worked as advertised! Way easier than trying to drill it out completely or trying to drive it through.

  10. Wally
    January 26th, 2016 at 19:45 | #10

    Thanks for this. I’m installing a Hope Head Doctor so I won’t need to do this again. EVER.

  11. dave politano
    May 10th, 2016 at 10:36 | #11

    Thank you for putting this together !

  12. Josh Johnson
    July 24th, 2016 at 14:24 | #12

    Best tutorial online, thanks! Took me only a few minutes to get it out flawlessly!

  13. cycledogg
    September 15th, 2016 at 09:14 | #13

    THANKS! Bought a use fork from a dude that didn’t tell me it had a rusted old star nut in it. Searched to web for 2 days before finding your solution. Back in business thanks to you.

  1. June 7th, 2014 at 07:26 | #1