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Old 03-01-11, 09:30 AM   #1
TurbineBlade
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lubricate freehub body -- pics? good description?

How do I go about lubricating the freehub body? (pawls, etc.). I'm looking for pics or a good description of how I would go about it.

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Old 03-01-11, 09:47 AM   #2
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Shimano, Campy or other make? They differ.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:10 AM   #3
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As Hillrider says they vary. On some, like Campy, the freehub body is a separate part supported on it's own bearings and connected to the hub only by the ratchet mechanism which should be oiled periodically. Others, like Shimano attach the self-contained freehub module directly to the hub shell and support the entire assembly on a single pair of bearings.

Your best bet is to identify your hub, and go to the manufacturers website for a schematic view, and/or maintenance guide.

As a general rule, the freewheel ratchet mechanism gets a sticky oil film which won't build up and interfere with it's light action, while the ball bearings get greased.
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Old 03-01-11, 06:16 PM   #4
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I use a Morningstar freehub daddy to inject grease into my shimano freehubs. If you do this you will need to use a very light gease. I have the tool to take the freehub body apart and I put a heavier pawl spring in it.
Park tool's site covers this for most hubs. http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...reehub-service
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Old 03-01-11, 08:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
I use a Morningstar freehub daddy to inject grease into my shimano freehubs. If you do this you will need to use a very light gease. I have the tool to take the freehub body apart and I put a heavier pawl spring in it.
Park tool's site covers this for most hubs. http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...reehub-service
Those are good instructions for disassembling/reassembling different freehubs. I've had a bunch of Shimano freehubs that I've taken apart and oiled. Once you pull off the rear seal (step #4), running heavy oil into the body is easy. I use Phil Tenacious oil- it stays where it's put and keeps the ratchet really quiet.
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Old 03-01-11, 10:14 PM   #6
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If it's a Shimano freehub I've had good results by removing the freehub from the rest of the wheel and dunking it into first solvent to flush out any grit or other gunk. This involves multiple dunks and draining to flood and drain the insides. I spin the freehub both while submerged in solvent and while it drains to encourage agitation and flushing out of as much grit as possible. Once I'm happy that it's smooth I'll dunk it into a mix of heavy oil thinned with some solvent to about a homoginized milk sort of thickness. This ends up being about a 50-50 mix. I then drain it for about an hour and remount it on the hub and re-assemble the bearings and axle. Over the next couple of days the solvent in the oil evaporates and the insides are left with a thin film of thick oil. The oil I used is a honey like chainsaw bar oil sold by Home Depot.

This method works because the Shimano freehub isn't sealed in any way once it is off the hub. Other freehubs may differ but if you can remove any seals and dunk it you should be able to clean and lube the freehubs the same way as long as there isn't any internal seals that you can't access.

The one time I tried to use grease on a freehub it was a total disaster. The freewheel pawls stuck open and literall oozed into place. So I could spin the pedals forward for a good half turn before they'd catch. I flushed the grease out and went with the thick oil instead. I still get a couple to three seasons of good use out of the freehubs before a flush and lube is again needed and the pawls work in a nice snappy and instant manner.
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