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Old 07-20-02, 04:16 PM   #1
john_dun
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Freewheel Service

I tryed removing my freewheel and got into a hell of a mess (the freewheel type is this one > http://www.parktool.com/images/repai...ewheel_hub.jpg)

When i removed the freewheel about 50 small ball bearings fell out all over the damn place. So now I dont know where they should be situated!!

I removed the freewheel by taking of the back wheel, then turning the bolt bit with 2 small screwdrivers (these actually screw into the freewheel, hopefully you can understand what im talking about). So when I lifted off the freewheel all the BB's fell out.


So can you try to explain in detail where the ball bearing should be placed.

Thanks.
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Old 07-20-02, 04:18 PM   #2
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COLOR=orangered]MAKE SURE YOU CLICK THE LINK - DONT COPY AND PASTE AS IT WONT WORK BECAUSE THE HTML DISPLAYED IS INCORRECT)[[/COLOR]
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Old 07-20-02, 07:07 PM   #3
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Don't be too discouraged, because you're on the right track by looking at Park Tool's site for illustrated instructions. However, taking the freewheel off is usually done with a tool that slides into its inside bore, and unscrews it from the core outwards. It sounds like you took the freewheel apart, so the core is still on the hub while the cogs came off (and the bearings spilled out).

At this point, I would chalk it up to experience, run down to the LBS and ask them to remove the old core and sell me a new freewheel and the proper tool, and have them show me how the tool is used. Putting the old freewheel together again is not impossible, but not a job for a beginner either.

You might need a new chain to go with the new freewheel, since they wear together. Depends how much wear it has.

Last edited by mechBgon; 07-20-02 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 07-21-02, 12:32 AM   #4
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Ive never dissassembled a freewheel yet, so you have one up on me there.

The best way to remove a freewheel, if you have the splined tool is to:
Place the tool in a bench vice, splines upright.
Remove the bolt or quick release skewers from the wheel.
Place the wheel on top of the tool and gently rotate until the splines engage, and the wheel drops onto the tool
Grip the tyre and rotate the wheel anticlockwise.

This is more effective than using a wrench.
Some guides advise you to replace the bolt to stop the freewheel falling off, this is not neccessary with a vice.

When replacing the tool, grease the threads and be very careful not to cross the threads. The cheap hard steel of the FW will wreck the expensive soft Al of your hub. Use the tool to rotate the freewheel anticlcockwise until the threads engage, then turn hand tight only.

I usually flush them out with WD-40 then drizzel oil into them . Entry point is either end where the two parts rotate.
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Old 07-21-02, 08:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply's. I've managed to reassemble the freewheel (with difficulty), although 1 ball bearing is missing.
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Old 07-21-02, 08:52 AM   #6
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Way to go!
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Old 07-21-02, 05:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by john_dun
I've managed to reassemble the freewheel, although 1 ball bearing is missing.
Close enough! As you probably discovered, greasing the ball bearings greatly simplifies reassembly. I have also successfully held the pawls down with monofilament as I began to place the cogset back over the core; before it seats all the way, pull out the fishing line.
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Old 07-28-02, 06:06 AM   #8
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To grease my bicycle hubs, I use a small magnet to take the bearings from, and to the replace them in, the hub.

I put Anti-Seize on the threads of the freewheel the first few times I replaced spokes. Now I use wheel bearing grease. It works as well.

To remove the freewheel I sit in a chair with the wheel on the floor before me, place socket inside the freewheel, place a wrench on the socket and whack the wrench with a hammer.

PS I carry a small tool bag onboard at all times; and taped five new spokes to the frame.
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Old 01-02-10, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quick and (not) dirty freewheel service

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Originally Posted by vlad View Post
To grease my bicycle hubs, I use a small magnet to take the bearings from, and to the replace them in, the hub.

I put Anti-Seize on the threads of the freewheel the first few times I replaced spokes. Now I use wheel bearing grease. It works as well.

To remove the freewheel I sit in a chair with the wheel on the floor before me, place socket inside the freewheel, place a wrench on the socket and whack the wrench with a hammer.

PS I carry a small tool bag onboard at all times; and taped five new spokes to the frame.
There is a simple way to service freewheels, that avoids getting involved with a myriad of tiny bearing balls. It goes like this:
1: Remove the freewheel from the wheel. The ''upturned extractor tool in vice, and turn wheel anti-clockwise'' method works fine. Note that some freewheels (SunTour, Huret, Hero, cheap Chinese etc.) use two or four cut-outs on the end of the central core, rather than splines through it. For those, putting the axle through and clamping it up over the tool is a worthwhile precaution, to prevent the tool slipping out of the cut-outs and burring them off.
2: Clean off the exterior, particularly round the face of the lockring on the outer end of the freewheel, inside the top (smallest) cog. Also around the annular gap on the spoke side, between the central hub and the outer cog-carrier body.
3: With the tool in the vice, sticking up, 'mount' the freewheel on it, lockring upwards, and partially unscrew the lockring. Note that this is normally left hand thread, so unscrews CLOCK-WISE. Most lockrings have two small holes or dimples to turn with. It normally needs one or two sharp raps with a hammer on a small punch or screwdriver to start the thread undoing. DO NOT COMPLETELY UNSCREW THE LOCKRING. Leave a thread or two engaged; it keeps all those tiny balls, pawls, springs etc. in their proper place.
4: Flood the face of the lockring with petrol. Then spin the freewheel as the petrol drains down through the mechanism.
5: Do this 'flood and spin' many times. After the first couple of goes, the freewheel will start to feel 'gritty', and may even partially jam. This is dirt and grit flushing down through the gubbins. Keep going, and the freewheel will evantually start to spin more freely and smoothly. And the clicks from the freewheel pawls will start to sound louder and more distinct. Keep going with the 'flood and spin' until the juices run clear: the petrol coming out the bottom (spoke side) of the freewheel is no longer brown and gritty, but clean. By now, the freewheel should be spinning VERY easily; it's now effectively dry of gease/gung/dreck etc.
6: Put the freewheel - still lockring uppermost - in a warm place, for the petrol to evaporate off.
7: When completely dry, turn the freewheel over, so it is spoke-side-up. With your left hand, push the mechanism upwards inside the outer body as far as the lockring thread will allow. This will leave a small (1mm to 2mm) annular gap between the inner hub and the outer cog-carrier body. Using a grease injector (or the end of your finger, if you haven't got an injector), work clean grease into the annular gap all the way round. Try and get the grease as far in as possible.
8: Turn over the freewheel again, so it is again lockring-up. Finish unscrewing the lockring. This exposes the 30-odd bearing balls of the outer race. Make sure the lockring doesn't 'pick up' any of the balls as you lift it off.
9: Put 3-4 drops of oil onto the bearing balls AT ONE POINT ONLY. This oil will drain down and lubricate the pawls and pawl springs.
10. Put a filet of grease right round on top of the bearing balls. Add a filet of grease to the cone race - which you will find on the underside of the lockring.
11. Replace the lockring and screw it up (remember, ANTI-CLOCKWISE). Finish it with one or two sharp taps with a hammer and punch in one of the lockring's face dimples.
12. All done. You should now have a freewheel that turns with a smooth, greasy movement, and pawls that engage with a sharp click.
The whole procedure takes about 20-30 minutes (not including drying time). You don't have to handle all the tiny bearing balls. And the freewheel will carry on for another 10 years!

Last edited by spanner48; 01-02-10 at 11:59 AM. Reason: incomplete
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Old 01-02-10, 01:25 PM   #10
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What you removed with the two small screwdrivers is the retaining ring that keeps the outer rotating shell installed on the inner core. The results were a complete disassembly of the freewheel, not its removal from the hub.

As noted, you need the proper freewheel removal tool. Congratulations on managing to salvage the original but a brand new freewheel is cheap enough that it isn't worth doing what you did.
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Old 01-02-10, 01:47 PM   #11
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Ive youve got a very sturdy screwdriver. or better a small chisel you can thump it into those little holes on the freewheel endplate. In a counter clockwise, freewheeling direction. This can take them off.
Be aware that the tool can jump out of the hole and do damage to your fingers.
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Old 01-02-10, 02:02 PM   #12
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Ive youve got a very sturdy screwdriver. or better a small chisel you can thump it into those little holes on the freewheel endplate. In a counter clockwise, freewheeling direction. This can take them off.
Apparently that's exactly what the OP, did but inadvertently.
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Old 01-02-10, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spanner48 View Post
There is a simple way to service freewheels, that avoids getting involved with a myriad of tiny bearing balls. It goes like this:
1: Remove the freewheel from the wheel. The ''upturned extractor tool in vice, and turn wheel anti-clockwise'' method works fine. Note that some freewheels (SunTour, Huret, Hero, cheap Chinese etc.) use two or four cut-outs on the end of the central core, rather than splines through it. For those, putting the axle through and clamping it up over the tool is a worthwhile precaution, to prevent the tool slipping out of the cut-outs and burring them off.
2: Clean off the exterior, particularly round the face of the lockring on the outer end of the freewheel, inside the top (smallest) cog. Also around the annular gap on the spoke side, between the central hub and the outer cog-carrier body.
3: With the tool in the vice, sticking up, 'mount' the freewheel on it, lockring upwards, and partially unscrew the lockring. Note that this is normally left hand thread, so unscrews CLOCK-WISE. Most lockrings have two small holes or dimples to turn with. It normally needs one or two sharp raps with a hammer on a small punch or screwdriver to start the thread undoing. DO NOT COMPLETELY UNSCREW THE LOCKRING. Leave a thread or two engaged; it keeps all those tiny balls, pawls, springs etc. in their proper place.
4: Flood the face of the lockring with petrol. Then spin the freewheel as the petrol drains down through the mechanism.
5: Do this 'flood and spin' many times. After the first couple of goes, the freewheel will start to feel 'gritty', and may even partially jam. This is dirt and grit flushing down through the gubbins. Keep going, and the freewheel will evantually start to spin more freely and smoothly. And the clicks from the freewheel pawls will start to sound louder and more distinct. Keep going with the 'flood and spin' until the juices run clear: the petrol coming out the bottom (spoke side) of the freewheel is no longer brown and gritty, but clean. By now, the freewheel should be spinning VERY easily; it's now effectively dry of gease/gung/dreck etc.
6: Put the freewheel - still lockring uppermost - in a warm place, for the petrol to evaporate off.
7: When completely dry, turn the freewheel over, so it is spoke-side-up. With your left hand, push the mechanism upwards inside the outer body as far as the lockring thread will allow. This will leave a small (1mm to 2mm) annular gap between the inner hub and the outer cog-carrier body. Using a grease injector (or the end of your finger, if you haven't got an injector), work clean grease into the annular gap all the way round. Try and get the grease as far in as possible.
8: Turn over the freewheel again, so it is again lockring-up. Finish unscrewing the lockring. This exposes the 30-odd bearing balls of the outer race. Make sure the lockring doesn't 'pick up' any of the balls as you lift it off.
9: Put 3-4 drops of oil onto the bearing balls AT ONE POINT ONLY. This oil will drain down and lubricate the pawls and pawl springs.
10. Put a filet of grease right round on top of the bearing balls. Add a filet of grease to the cone race - which you will find on the underside of the lockring.
11. Replace the lockring and screw it up (remember, ANTI-CLOCKWISE). Finish it with one or two sharp taps with a hammer and punch in one of the lockring's face dimples.
12. All done. You should now have a freewheel that turns with a smooth, greasy movement, and pawls that engage with a sharp click.
The whole procedure takes about 20-30 minutes (not including drying time). You don't have to handle all the tiny bearing balls. And the freewheel will carry on for another 10 years!
He probably cared 8 years ago.
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Old 01-02-10, 04:29 PM   #14
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He probably cared 8 years ago.
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Old 01-02-10, 04:50 PM   #15
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He probably cared 8 years ago.
Yikes, why was this thing dredged up from the distant past? I didn't notice the date of the OP until you pointed it out.
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Old 01-02-10, 10:07 PM   #16
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One of the issues with using the Search feature. It gets the person a lot of great background threads.....but then the urge to reply to one of the old ones without checking the date takes hold.....
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