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Old 10-26-08, 10:31 AM   #1
Daytrip
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Shimano freewheel/bearing question

I'm fixing up my old Viscount 10-speed, which has a Shimano freewheel. Since the chain was stretched, I'm assuming that the gears on the original cluster are worn as well. I've got another freewheel and chain from another much-less-used Viscount that I want to replace the originals with. I also need to replace the sealed bearing assemblies on the rear hub. I have a new pair of those as well.

So, I have to get the freewheel off the hub to do this work. Is the extractor something I can pick up at my LBS? Do I need a chain whip, too? Should I plan to replace the ball bearings while I'm in there?
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Old 10-26-08, 10:45 AM   #2
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Just make sure that Viscount doesn't have the original aluminum fork -- they fail catastrophically and were recalled. Replace with a steel fork - should cost around $50. When I was a teen one of my classmates had her Viscount fork fail and she broke her jaw and lost several of her teeth when she bit the road.
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Old 10-26-08, 10:52 AM   #3
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Regarding your original question, yes, your LBS should have a Shimano freewheel remover. Go to the Park website for instructions. You don't need a chainwhip. Since the freewheel cogs are steel, they may not be very worn, I'd do a visual inspection before I'd go to the trouble of replacing it. I'd be more concerned about the chainrings. I think if you just clean it all up and replace the chain, you'll be set.

IIRC the hub bearings on the Viscount are sealed, so no need to inspect/repack. You can squirt some oil into the freewheel.
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Old 10-26-08, 11:19 AM   #4
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Thanks. Yes, replacing the Fork of Death is part of the project. I actually had to use the frame from the base-model Viscount (the other one I have) and the chrome fork, because the original frame won't work with the chrome fork. Other than new BB sealed bearings and a new shaft, all the other components (Titelist RD, Suntour Spirt FD, brakes, crank assembly, aluminum rims, etc.) are all from the better model.

I have new, sealed hub bearings for the rear hub.

The bike is about ready for re-assembly. I put it all together before repainting the frame a few weeks ago and it worked surprisingly well. I haven't really ridden the bike since college, some 30 years ago, and it brought back some good memories from times when I had no money. Feels good to be putting it back into service. Maybe even get a century of two in on it next summer. Probably a lot harder than my OCR-1, but we'll see.
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Old 10-26-08, 11:23 AM   #5
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Put the "tool" in a vise, and use the wheel itself to spin the cog off backwards.
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Old 10-26-08, 12:46 PM   #6
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Screw down the axle-bolts, or use the quick-release if it has them, to hold the remover in place. Otherwise it can shear off and cause bad damage. If no vice is available, a large wrench will work fine. Though you may have to stand on it (careful!) to get enough torque to "break" the freewheel free.
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Old 10-26-08, 04:14 PM   #7
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Pretty much depends on the stocking philosophy of your LBS. All are different. Why not give them a call and ask them. They would know much better then anyone.

Whether to do the bearings depends on whether you want to just get by or do the job right. Are the bearings and cup/cones in good shape? Without seeing them no way to tell.
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Old 10-26-08, 06:21 PM   #8
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Are you asking about replacing the bearings in the freewheel? You should check out the freewheel pages on Sheldon Brown's website. I understand that disassembly is not trivial.

If the cogs aren't badly worn, I'd just oil up the freewheel body and see if it works. If the cogs warant replacement, I'd just replace the entire freewheel.
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Old 10-26-08, 07:00 PM   #9
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Screw down the axle-bolts, or use the quick-release if it has them, to hold the remover in place. Otherwise it can shear off and cause bad damage. If no vice is available, a large wrench will work fine. Though you may have to stand on it (careful!) to get enough torque to "break" the freewheel free.
You do NOT have to do this with freewheels. This is bad advice. All you're doing is helping the OP jam the freewheel remover when and if he does break it free, which does not require securing the freewheel remover almost 99.9999999% of the time.

1) Chainwhip is not nececsary for freewheel removal nor is it necessary for installation
2) If you're going to the trouble of removing cups/cones to regrease bearings, you might as well replace them while you're at it. There is no easy way of detecting bearing wear.
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Old 10-26-08, 09:59 PM   #10
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Yeah, you only need to clamp down the freewheel tool when you're using 2 or 4-prong Suntour freewheel removers. The Shimano freewheels have a long slotted tool that doesn't slip.
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Old 10-27-08, 08:06 AM   #11
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I plan to replace the freewheel, so I'll do the ball bearings at the same time. I've done it before--no big deal. It spins freely and sounds good, but since it's coming off of there anyway (to get at the sealed wheel bearing), might as well do the job right, like Bill says.

When I got the fork of death off the original bike, I was surprised at how heavy it is. It's pretty, I think, but weighs more than the stock Viscount chrome fork that I'm replacing it with.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:20 AM   #12
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I was thinking it might/was an older style - the ones with the two slots. Not the splined. If splined - I fully agree. Now back to my old Regina Oro...!$%@&!!
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Old 10-27-08, 10:41 AM   #13
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Splined. Circa 1975.
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Old 10-27-08, 12:20 PM   #14
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Splined. Circa 1975.
If it's orginal, it'll need a different tool than what your LBS is likely to want to sell you. Until the mid-80s, shimano used a smaller hole than the later ones do. It requires a different remover. I don't know if one's available these days or not. If you're putting a new freewheel on, it's probably easier to just have a shop take the old one off.
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Old 10-27-08, 02:44 PM   #15
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I bought my Viscount in 1971 except back then it was called a Lambert.

I was lucky; rode the original fork with no problems until the bike got stolen; hope the #@!%$*&! thief took my faceplant for me!
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Old 10-27-08, 03:07 PM   #16
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If it's orginal, it'll need a different tool than what your LBS is likely to want to sell you. Until the mid-80s, shimano used a smaller hole than the later ones do. It requires a different remover. I don't know if one's available these days or not. If you're putting a new freewheel on, it's probably easier to just have a shop take the old one off.
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Old 10-27-08, 04:17 PM   #17
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If it's orginal, it'll need a different tool than what your LBS is likely to want to sell you. Until the mid-80s, shimano used a smaller hole than the later ones do. It requires a different remover. I don't know if one's available these days or not. If you're putting a new freewheel on, it's probably easier to just have a shop take the old one off.
At which point you say screw buying the remover and then just destructively remove it while putting on a new one (really these costs like what $10-$20). The ones that DO take FR-1's.
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Old 10-28-08, 06:51 AM   #18
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True. It's amazing what you can do with a cold chisel and hammer. But first, I'm going to take it over to the LBS and have some fun watching the wise-ass wrench tell me he can do anything before giving up on it. I quit riding this bike long before he was born.
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