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  1. #1
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    Shimano hub overhaul/regrease?

    My bike has Shimano Tiagra hubs which supposedly can be dismantled for new BBs and grease. Is this a task I can DIY? I have access to 2 DIY bike workshops with all the tools I would need to do this. I'm planning on using Red Line CV-2 synthetic moly grease instead of the boutique "bike" greases out there.

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    Sure you need a 13 and 15mm cone wrench and a 17mm wrench or cresent wrench. Info on how to do this can be seen at Park Tool.com. Or get the Zinn repair book very easy to read and covers all ages of bikes, road or mountain he has a book on both. This is the book we use when teaching bike maintenance classes.

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    Ok, with the tools out of the way do I also need to order new dust seals from Shimano as well or my originals should be fine if they are not cracked or torn?

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    If you are refering to the rubber boot type seals that shimano has on some of their hubs (not sure about you specific model at this moment) then yes, you can reuse them if they are not damaged. Becareful when you take them off...sometimes the fit over the locknut is tight...if this is the case you can pry one of the outer edges up and then slip a needle nose pliers in between the boot and the locknut then gently pull the boot free.

    -j

  5. #5
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    I have the FH-4400 and HB-4400 hubs. I looked at the Shimano parts breakdown and I can see how the boot can become torn if not pulled off carefully.

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    DOS
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    A small magnet helps to get ball bearings out for cleaning (although it has been argued that magnetizing in this way is not good for the steel balls since it could cause them to cling to eachother rather than roll freely in the hub). I use the magnet, going with convenience over concern about magnetization.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    A small magnet helps to get ball bearings out for cleaning (although it has been argued that magnetizing in this way is not good for the steel balls since it could cause them to cling to eachother rather than roll freely in the hub). I use the magnet, going with convenience over concern about magnetization.
    I use a thin pickup magnet to remove the old bearing balls but install the new ones using large tweezers. I'm not worried about magnetizing the balls but the tweezers let me position the new ones more easily. I apply a heavy bead of grease to each hub race before adding the balls as it "glues" them in place until I can install the cones and locknuts.

    To the OP: the only "trick" to rebuilding cup and cone hubs is the final bearing adjustment. You want to leave a TINY bit of play which will disappear when the wheel is clamped in the dropouts. The best way to learn this is to have someone familiar with the process go over it with you the first time.

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    If the balls a still shiny they can be reused. The shine is lost to wear.

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    I wish that the Shimano freehub grease were more available at Lbs's. It really is ideal, if you can figure out how to get it in there. Its very light and doesnt cause as much freehub drag. I prefer grease to phils tenacious or the various oils that we use to lubricate freehubs, just because it stays in there and doesnt migrate and mix in with the axle bearing grease. But once the hub is purged and packed (if youre using grease) you have to blow a lot of it out so it doesnt interfere with the pawls. If you have access to a Morningstar freehub buddy, it might save you a lot of pain. The kit has replacement seal and lube. Look for a you-tube vid of Zinn using it. He does the whole job in like 90 seconds.

    Hillrider exactly right about final bearing adjustment. Thats the only thing you can really screw up. Im embarrassed to admit that Im one of the many people whove ruined bearings from overtightening during overhaul. And I had already been informed of the risk of it and how to avoid it! finally I just got someone
    to show me what its supposed to feel like.
    Last edited by Gerry Hull; 02-23-11 at 08:35 AM. Reason: none

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  11. #11
    DOS
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I use a thin pickup magnet to remove the old bearing balls but install the new ones using large tweezers. I'm not worried about magnetizing the balls but the tweezers let me position the new ones more easily. I apply a heavy bead of grease to each hub race before adding the balls as it "glues" them in place until I can install the cones and locknuts.

    To the OP: the only "trick" to rebuilding cup and cone hubs is the final bearing adjustment. You want to leave a TINY bit of play which will disappear when the wheel is clamped in the dropouts. The best way to learn this is to have someone familiar with the process go over it with you the first time.
    +1 on bearing adjustment issue
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post

    To the OP: the only "trick" to rebuilding cup and cone hubs is the final bearing adjustment. You want to leave a TINY bit of play which will disappear when the wheel is clamped in the dropouts. The best way to learn this is to have someone familiar with the process go over it with you the first time.
    I've done similar play adjustments on cars when I replaced conventional roller wheel bearings on Mercedes and Toyota trucks - but I'll have someone at the workshop double check my work.

    Also, this is the grease I was planning to use: http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=82&pcid=17
    I'm sticking to a synthetic for this application.

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    This is a VERY controvercial subject since every lube thread goes on for multiple pages and produces more heat than light. However, grease is grease and as long as it isn't too heavy bodied it will do fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    This is a VERY controvercial subject since every lube thread goes on for multiple pages and produces more heat than light. However, grease is grease and as long as it isn't too heavy bodied it will do fine.
    Hillrider isn't kidding either. Really it's not a subject that requires much debate. The loads a bicycle typically sees don't require the worlds greatest grease ever.

    So yeah, so long as it'll remain in the hubs it doesn't matter. I use park's grease, some people spring for the high end boutique stuff like Phil Wood's, and just as many people use the base water resistant style grease for autos and boats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    A small magnet helps to get ball bearings out for cleaning (although it has been argued that magnetizing in this way is not good for the steel balls since it could cause them to cling to each other rather than roll freely in the hub). .
    Any concern about magnetization is pointless. First of all, a few seconds exposure to a magnet isn't enough to magnetize them. Second, the balls would have two poles, so as they turned they'd alternatingly repel and attract each other. Third, the constant movement in each others and the earths magnetic fields would tend to demagnetize them.

    Lastly, the force of any possible magnetic field to the load pales when compared to the normal load they run under against the races. If whatever lubricant couldn't protect them from each other there's no way it could protect them from normal wear.
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    That Freehub Buddy sounds like a good idea too - but I don't know anyone with access with one. Does anyone near San Francisco have one I can borrow for the day?

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    DOS
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Any concern about magnetization is pointless. First of all, a few seconds exposure to a magnet isn't enough to magnetize them. Second, the balls would have two poles, so as they turned they'd alternatingly repel and attract each other. Third, the constant movement in each others and the earths magnetic fields would tend to demagnetize them.

    Lastly, the force of any possible magnetic field to the load pales when compared to the normal load they run under against the races. If whatever lubricant couldn't protect them from each other there's no way it could protect them from normal wear.
    To clarify, I misquoted the theory. The argument is not that balls adhere to eachother (although I have seen that too) but that they become magnetized and attract small metal debris, which leads to premature wear. I never thought much of the theory either but have seen it noted here numerous times so I thought I would mention it. FWIW, it appears Jobst Brandt espouses the no magnet theory...
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  18. #18
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    First of all, a few seconds exposure to a magnet isn't enough to magnetize them.
    I remember magnetizing simple needles floating on cork in a petri dish of water during 7th grade science -- as a demonstration of creating a simple compass. This required a few seconds of "scraping" a large magnet over the end of the needles, so I imagine the above statement is not correct.

    We need to debate this off-topic relentlessly, because it's vitally important when dealing with hub overhaul!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurbineBlade View Post
    I remember magnetizing simple needles floating on cork in a petri dish of water during 7th grade science -- as a demonstration of creating a simple compass. This required a few seconds of "scraping" a large magnet over the end of the needles, so I imagine the above statement is not correct.

    We need to debate this off-topic relentlessly, because it's vitally important when dealing with hub overhaul!
    It's off topic, but still not accurate. The difference between methodically rubbing a magnet down a needle and simply picking up a steel object is the same as the difference between running a comb through your hair and laying it flat against your scalp. The repeated movement is central to the operation.
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