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Play in Bottom Bracket
#1
I recently purchase an old Peugeot frame/fork/bb. It is a cup and cone style bb. I noticed when I put cranks on there was a small amount of play in it. I have taken it off and and cleaned the parts and have yet to reinstall it.
Here is my questions. I have in my possession a cartridge bb. Am I better to install that (ie. Is one inherently better than the other) or just reinstall the old one and see if now that it is clean the play goes away. The drive side lock ring is on tight and I cannot get it off and the headset wrench closely fits, but not that great. And, the biggest adjustable wrench I have is too small. I am soaking it now in wd-40, but any other ideas of how to get that off?

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#2
"Am I better to install that (ie. Is one inherently better than the other) or just reinstall the old one and see if now that it is clean the play goes away. "
Probably the best thing would be to go with what is designed for the bike. There is nothing wrong with a cup and cone bb as long as you adjust it properly - you want a little play in it so it will rotate loosely. Put good bearings in it, grease it well, and adjust it properly. Basically, it works the same as the hubs on wheels when you overhaul them.
"The drive side lock ring is on tight and I cannot get it off and the headset wrench closely fits, but not that great. And, the biggest adjustable wrench I have is too small. I am soaking it now in wd-40, but any other ideas of how to get that off?"
You don't want the drive side of the BB off unless absolutely necessary. Typically they are locked down hard when installed and put there with Loc-Tite, and if you remove it, the same should be done when reinstalled. In other words, the WD-40 won't get it.
See http://bicycletutor.com/bottom-bracket/ for Alex's video on this.
Relevant tools as made by Park though you can probably get other manufacturers:
http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=25&item=HCW%2D4
http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=25&item=HCW%2D5
http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=25&item=HCW%2D11
The HCW-4 is what is needed for the fixed side of the cup and cone bottom bracket, though as was said, it's better to not bother.
The HCW-5 and the HCW-11 are what is used to adjust the cup and cone bottom bracket.
But as was said, it's better to not mess with it. Besides the cartridge BB is likely incompatible in one way or another.

Why is it that they make adult bikes that'll generally work for 5'9" or above, yet when you pedal these same bikes they only work for someone who is 5'4" or so?
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#3
Great, thanks for the help. I need to watch the tutorial again to make sure I put it back together correctly.

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#4
Watch out for the threading on this bike. US, asain, and most other bikes have reverse threads on the drive side of the bottom bracket. I beleive some but not all french bikes ahve normal threads. You should check around a little to verify before working on it. It is very easy to overtighten one with reverse threads because you're going the wrong way when you try to take it off.
On the old BB, as long as the bearing surfaces are smooth, fine to keep using. But if they are pitted, time to swap it out. On the cartridge one, you need to check that it has the right threads and very close length of the axle to see if it is compatible.
Note I don't recommend loctiting BB cups. Properly installed, they won't come loose. But use the wrong kind of loctite and they are VERY difficult to remove in the future. I've had to cut out BB cups that were seized intot he frame because of this. There are lots of different thread locking fluids and it's easy to use the wrong one if you're not careful.

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