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  1. #1
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    Can I replace a Shimano 333 with a Sturmey Archer?

    I recently acquired a 1967 Miyata commuter with a Shimano 333 internal hub and twist grip shifter. The gears, however, do not shift (although they did at first--I must've messed up the hub when futzing with the gears, which tells me they were ready to go anyway). Knowing how difficult it can be to repair the 333, is it possible to replace it with a Sturmey Archer AW hub? Would I be able to use the existing grip shifter? My concern is that the dimensions won't jibe.

    Ideally, I'd like to keep all the original components so I am going to try to repair the 333 anyway, but I want to know what my options are.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    The 333 is supposed to be pretty fragile, but unless you obviously broke something, it may be a matter of adjustment.
    I think there is an "N" on the little lever that goes into the hub that should be centered in the "peep hole", when in 2nd gear.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    I think you would be best to replace with a different 3spd. Either Sturmey or a new Nexus. Your shifter wont' work with a Sturmey but may work with a Nexus 3.

    Sheldon's advise on the 333.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/shimano333.html

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    It was reading Sheldon's take on the 333 that has made me nervous about opening up the hub. I will see about the "N" marking. It does seem strange that the bike is in gear and sounds and fells smooth as butter but simply won't change gears.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I've had 2 of those hubs. 1 was broken internally, but would still work in 2nd gear, which is direct drive.

  6. #6
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    I don't see any "N" marking on the lever or anywhere on the mechanism. Any other ideas?

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    Two questions. Did you oil the hub? It doesn't take much friction to gum them up (especially after 40 years). Did you put the push rod back in before you installed the bell crank?

    (I would bet on lube first) After that, it gets ugly.

    As to Sturmey (or other) replacement, measure your dropout width, 110mm was common on your Miyata's era but not cast in stone.

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    Just thinking for a second, I once had a snap ring pop loose and the eared cog dropped into the snap ring groove and created the same symptom you describe. You might check that.

  9. #9
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    Keep in mind that this is on a 1967 Miyata manufactured and sold in Japan, so the English markings might be fewer and further between.

  10. #10
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    I did oil the hub, but to be honest I'm not sure what the "push rod" or "bell crank" are. I am new to the bike mechanical world, but enthusiastic about learning.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Bell crank is the little lever that the cable attaches to. The indicator rod looks kind of like a nail that fits in the axle (like a QR skewer) and pushes the internal mechanism. It's "about" 2" long.
    I no longer have mine, so can't look.
    RE: the "N". I'm trying to recall that from memory. Maybe it's a circle or some other mark. Whatever it is, it should be pretty much aligned with the "peep hole" when in 2nd.

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  13. #13
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    Where on there is the "peep hole"?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    See that scribed line in your pic:
    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y26...l/IMG_2828.jpg

    That's where you have the shifter in 2nd gear and you adjust the 'pointer' to line up with that scribed line. You may have to screw in (or out) the 'shifter nut' more to make the adjustment as well as the cable. Then you should have the use of all 3 gears, if the plastic plunger inside of the axle that changes the gears is not frozen/stuck or sticking. A little penetrating oil to clean it out and free it up followed up with regular oil (10 to 30 wt) should take care of that problem.

    I wouldn't recommend taking the hub completely apart. Here's a diagram/exploded view of the hub:
    http://oldroads.com/shim3spd.html
    Occasionally you'll find a NOS '333' rebuild kit on eBay.
    Last edited by Sci-Fi; 06-20-08 at 07:46 PM.

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    So the pic that is most useful is ....2828. The threaded rods and the knurled collar are used to adjust the gears (add or subtract cable tension). So when the shifter is in the middle gear (2nd or (N)ormal) the pointer needs to point at the red line. The next generation had a "peep hole".

  16. #16
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by --walt-- View Post
    So the pic that is most useful is ....2828. The threaded rods and the knurled collar are used to adjust the gears (add or subtract cable tension). So when the shifter is in the middle gear (2nd or (N)ormal) the pointer needs to point at the red line. The next generation had a "peep hole".
    Not really, turning in or out the shifter nut gives you the most 'initial adjustment'. Then you just fine tune it with the threaded cable adjuster and use the lock nut to keep the cable/adjustment in place. You may have to remove the cable a few times so you can turn the shifter nut one full turn either way so the cable can make the final adjustment (the pointer lines up with the scribed mark). It all depends how much you took apart (to fix a flat, to grease the bearings, or change/replace the sprocket).

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamlll View Post
    Where on there is the "peep hole"?
    Yours looks different than mine did!

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    i just thought i would add to this dead thread so people in the future may get a little help with the 333. the EASIEST way to adjust a 333 hub (that used to work) is (imho) this. put the bike in its top gear (hardest to pedal) then adjust the cable to have just a little bit of slack in it. barely any. then when you shift between the gears you should see definite movement of the arm through all 3 shift positions.

    if you are still having problems shifting (and have lubed the cable and the hub) tighten it up just a teeny tiny bit. a little goes a long way on these hubs.

    the problem with adjusting it to a line in second gear is that (based on my experience) this can make the cable too tight. the way to tell if it is too tight is to put it in the lowest gear (easiest to pedal, cable pulling the arm forward) and then manually try and pull the lever on the bell crank forward by using your fingers on the arm itself. there should still be a tiny bit of play i.e. you should still be able to move it forward just a tad. if not, you are overstretching the cable when it is in first gear, hence too tight.

    hope this helps someone
    randy

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