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Old 07-19-11, 07:57 PM   #1
aem0512
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Remove rust from old 2 prong SunTour freewheel?

I am restoring an old road bike and want to remove the rust from the 2 prong SunTour freewheel. How can I do this? Is it safe to soak it in anything? I have tried rubbing it a bit with some steel wool, but it seems like it will take forever since it is not accomplishing much.

f.y.i. the freewheel is already removed from the wheel
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Old 07-19-11, 08:14 PM   #2
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likely need to use Carborundum like sand paper for metal,
but then you will have lots of abrasive grit floating around

Might be a better chore to find parts in better condition
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Old 07-19-11, 10:43 PM   #3
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+1 on just replacing it. The old 2 prong FW's go for little money and you could probably find a new, unused one for < $20.

If you are intent on using it, try soaking it in something like automatic transmission fluid or mineral spirits and then going at it with a metal bristled brush. Then clean it up well and drizzle some regular motor oil into the joints to re-lubricate it before using it. Make sure to grease the threads on the hub when you re-install it as well.
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Old 07-20-11, 12:04 AM   #4
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Are you planning to ride the vintage bike? And, did you want to preserve the original components?

If you don't have some spray rust remover compound, you can try something that might take 30 minutes or more. White vinegar will work, or a 50:50 mix of borax and lemon juice. Soak for 1/2 - 1 hr - rinse and tooth brush off.

Otherwise, I think Walmart.com and some other cheap web retailers, CycleClubSports.COM and NiagaraCycle.com, etc have replacement 6 and 7 spd freewheels (Shimano) that fit the same threads and hopefully spacing starting around $10.
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Old 07-20-11, 11:23 AM   #5
aem0512
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I would like to preserve the original components if possible. It has been garage kept most of the time my grandfather has owned it, so it is in pretty good shape. And yes, I plan to ride the bike to commute to class.

So it wouldn't damage the freewheel's interior/bearings if I soaked it in some type of rust removing solution? (white vinegar, etc..)
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Old 07-20-11, 02:38 PM   #6
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Typically, mild acids like white vinegar or citric acid plus borax will remove rust, but for short durations like 1hr, shouldn't harm the base metal components. A quick scrub on rust with toothbrush and thorough soak in clean water and rinse while spinning the FW should get rid of most of the rust. Then dry and lube it with heavy oil from front and back, and spray something lighter on all the cogs and wipe excess. Or I like to inject with some grease, but you'll need a FW grease injector tool.
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