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Old 07-31-10, 11:03 AM   #1
Suburban Grind
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Separating old freehub from wheel hub

I have an 95 C-dale m300le that I am freshening up after using up all the life in its previous Shimano HG chain - kinked to the point that no amount cleaning or lubricant would relieve the problem. With about 4-5k miles on it, I decided to do an entire drivetrain refresh. Original bottom bracket also turned out to be shot. Decided on Sugino cranks, SRAM chain & 12-32 cassette. Got new Conti tires and tubes as well.

Bought a replacement freehub too, because it had locked up a few months ago (did not allow coasting), but relubricating had fixed that. The replacement freehub is a Shimano STX-RC / Acera-X. The replacement of all the other parts was straightforward and uneventful. But the freehub seems to be permanently cinched onto the wheelhub's spline pattern with a hollow 10mm hex-key-operated bolt. Because I couldn't get it to loosen with a regular hex key in a holder or a hex in a big pair of slip-jaw pliers, I tried with a hex key socket on a torque wrench. 100+ ft-lb has not broken the fastener loose, but the rim is deflecting as I'm struggling to hold it in place. I tried WD-40 and Liquid Wrench without any luck. I'm afraid if I put much more force into I'm going to harm the wheel.

I put everything back together and it rode very nicely, but I have to wonder, am I stuck with the old freehub on my wheel, or is there some technique or trick I'm missing?
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Old 07-31-10, 11:51 AM   #2
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unfortunatly all i can add is a torque should never be used to loosen a bolt

is this left hand thread?
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Old 07-31-10, 12:46 PM   #3
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For fixed bolt freehub removal and replace operations - I always use a bench vise / wood vise - I use a wood vise at home. A wood vise is okay if you don't mind the damage.

I recommend the same for freewheel removal as well...it's just easier - especially for 140 lb. pre-Charles Atlases like myself.

Make sure you hug the wheel with a circular wrap of the arms around a good 2/3's of the circumference of the wheel.

=8-)
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Old 07-31-10, 03:04 PM   #4
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You have a 15 year old bike. It's rideable unless you try to fix it.
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Old 07-31-10, 03:12 PM   #5
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unfortunatly all i can add is a torque should never be used to loosen a bolt
Huh? Torque is required to loosen and tighten a bolt

[there is an academic difference between a screw and bolt, but that doesn't apply here].
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Old 07-31-10, 03:44 PM   #6
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You will ruin the accuracy of the torque wrench. You want to use a breaker bar instead of tool designed to give you correct torque readings. If the wrench is from Harbor Freight never mind. Roger
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Old 07-31-10, 03:48 PM   #7
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You will ruin the accuracy of the torque wrench. You want to use a breaker bar instead of tool designed to give you correct torque readings. If the wrench is from Harbor Freight never mind. Roger
I understand now, the word "wrench" was inadvertently left out, makes sense now. And you are correct, a breaker bar is the correct tool for cracking something loose.
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Old 07-31-10, 05:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice.

I just finished doing my offroad pair of wheels for the same bike, and the freehub screw broke loose with not quite 25 ft-lb of torque. I put a new one on with 35 ft-lb and antiseize lube, and added a new cassette to that setup as well.

Seeing how fine the threads are on the screw makes me think there must be a corrosion issue. Those threads could not withstand 100+ ft-lb of tightening.

Two reasons I used the torque wrench - 1) my breaker bar has been loaned for over a month now, and 2) I wanted to quantify how hard I was struggling wth the problem, so no one would say "just put some more effort into it." The torque wrench is Husky brand from Homey D ($70?), so maybe I should start bugging my friend that borrowed the breaker bar.

Anyone have any recommendations on the best lube for my $17 freehub? Since the freeze up I've been using Finish Line synthetic chain lube with teflon. Before that I used 3 in 1 household oil, which seemed to turn to a black gummy sludge after maybe half a year.
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Old 07-31-10, 08:55 PM   #9
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Anyone have any recommendations on the best lube for my $17 freehub? Since the freeze up I've been using Finish Line synthetic chain lube with teflon. Before that I used 3 in 1 household oil, which seemed to turn to a black gummy sludge after maybe half a year.
The 3 in 1 is probably what caused your problem- it's much too light for a freehub. At very least you should use a heavy oil- I've used Phil Tenacious on several, and they've done well (except the one that self-destructed, but that one had been abused). If you live in a warm weather area, you could even try filling it with white lithium grease. A Freehub Buddy helps with the last: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=27998
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