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  1. #1
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    Removing Threaded Cassette (2 prong)... WITHOUT tool?

    hi!

    i have an older rear wheel with a 6 speed threaded cassette stuck to the hub.
    I guess the normal procedure to remove would be to use a two prong tool
    (this thing):


    HOWEVER, is there any way of removing WITHOUT such a tool?

    the tool is cheap and can be ordered online, but i have to remove the cassette in the next few days...long story but trust me i would rather go with the tool lol
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    That is a freewheel tool, not a cassette tool. If you have a Suntour 2-prong freewheel, you can remove it without a tool, but it requires destroying the freewheel:
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...uctive-removal
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    You have two choices if you're in a rush.

    1- visit a bike shop and let them do it for $5.00 or so if you just bring the wheel and QR skewer.
    2- remove it destructively by unscrewing the bearing ring with a punch (left hand thread) sliding off the outer unit, and using something like a pipe wrench to remove the inner body. In theory you could do this without damaging the freewheel, but it's not easy.

    Unless the freewheel is already headed to the scrap steel bucket, order a tool in the morning and to the job Wednesday.
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    First- it's a freewheel, not a cassette. Don't mean to sound like an ass, but it helps when the nomenclature is correct when asking for help. Now on to the problem...

    Most likely it's "stuck" from the pressure of pedaling, tightening the freewheel threads to the threads on the hub. Corrosion could be an issue as well. Who knows? So... dribble a bit of penetrating oil on the thread interface- then take a big ass hammer and a drift of some sort and whack it in the indent where the FW tool fits. CCW is the direction. Stand up- put the wheel between your legs and whail away. If it won't come lose this way, it probably ain't gonna come lose.

  5. #5
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    hey guys...
    yes oops i guess i figured all rear multiple gears were called cassettes, but i guess cassettes is referring to multiple gears that slide on such as modern shimano.

    anywho reddog:
    i have actually already sprayed it a bunch with liquid wrench, a few days in a row.
    AND i have taken to wacking it with a hammer CCW, and its just not budging.

    basically i am working on a friend's older bike. im sure its been sitting outside for years. the frame was fine, i replaced all cables and housing, regreased and cleaned everything, everything is working fine now, EXCEPT this multispeed freewheel.

    im pretty sure much use plus corrosion from the elements has made it stuck.

    i might just resort to destroying the freewheel....

    hmm ok thanks everyone!
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    I've never known a freewheel to corrode on. But then it's possible it as mounted dry and water wicked into the threads.

    OTOH, riding torque gets these on pretty damm tight. I don't know of anyone who ever successfully punched one off by the removal tabs. I hope you haven't tried that technique because if you damaged the removal tabs, a remover may not hold well, of if the load is imbalanced because the tabs are damaged the prongs on the remover may shear off.
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    QUOTE=FBinNY;13844783]I don't know of anyone who ever successfully punched one off by the removal tabs. I hope you haven't tried that technique because if you damaged the removal tabs, a remover may not hold well, of if the load is imbalanced because the tabs are damaged the prongs on the remover may shear off.[/QUOTE]

    Now you do, even though my success rate isn't 100%. LOL It depends on what you're trying to save- the freewheel or the hub. OTOH I wouldn't expect most of us in the bike world to possess tools capable of doing heavy equipment work. Hubs I recycle, freewheels- not!

  8. #8
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    welp, yes i did take a hammer to it, however now that im looking at the tabs on the freewheel seem fine.
    but i think im going to put down the hammer and just go with using the actual tool for the job.
    just curious if there was some "trick" to getting it off i wasn't aware of.
    im not too worried about ruining the freewheel but i wouldn't mind not destroying it. my friend can wait a few days i suppose. thanks everybody
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  9. #9
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illdthedj View Post
    welp, yes i did take a hammer to it, however now that im looking at the tabs on the freewheel seem fine.
    but i think im going to put down the hammer and just go with using the actual tool for the job.
    just curious if there was some "trick" to getting it off i wasn't aware of.
    im not too worried about ruining the freewheel but i wouldn't mind not destroying it. my friend can wait a few days i suppose. thanks everybody
    Get the correct tool. Clamp the tool in the freewheel with the QR skewer. Clamp the tool in a bench vice so the wheel is on top. Now use the wheel like a bus steering wheel to crack the freewheel loose.

    Like FB said- these can get really, really tight just from pedaling torque. This technique is "normal" old-school bike mechanic stuff. Be careful- I've seen unsecured workbenches knocked over doing this. A big bench vice and a solid workbench bolted to the wall are necessary.
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    I too have had success - in my case it took a 3 pound mallet and a large pin punch. Having said that, there is a reason one of those tools resides in my toolbox drawer despite not having one of those freewheels in service for quite some time . . .

  11. #11
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    If you have a grinder and a junk socket the right size laying around make a tool. Just remove all metal that doesn't look like the tool you need. I made both the two prong and four prong tools and they worked fine. Use a quick release to hold it in place when trying to turn it so doesn't slip off.
    A little time and effort you will have the tool you need. Don't have a spare socket, most all pawn shops have a junk tool bin with sockets for less than a dollar.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by illdthedj View Post
    ....HOWEVER, is there any way of removing WITHOUT such a tool?
    I stuck a file in a vise once. Maybe 1/4" protrusion. Got it to engage the freewheel, leaned on it heavily and twisted. Snapped the file into impressively sharp shards. But it has worked to open freehub bodies with.

  13. #13
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Now you do, even though my success rate isn't 100%. LOL It depends on what you're trying to save- the freewheel or the hub.

    Actually most mechainics I know try and save both. while the multispeed FW you destroyed to build a Fixie/SS has no value to you... to another mechanic/cyclist it may be worth a few schillings.

    OTOH I wouldn't expect most of us in the bike world to possess tools capable of doing heavy equipment work. Hubs I recycle, freewheels- not![/QUOTE]


    I am not quite sure what you are trying to say here (I was a bit of a late comer to this thread) but I would not consider FW removal heavy work. I also think most home mechanics would have a selection of FW tools at hand. to most mechanics a 'heavy' job is chasing and facing a BB shell or headtube, removing a fixed cup or installing a headset not freewheel removal.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I am not quite sure what you are trying to say here (I was a bit of a late comer to this thread) but I would not consider FW removal heavy work. I also think most home mechanics would have a selection of FW tools at hand. to most mechanics a 'heavy' job is chasing and facing a BB shell or headtube, removing a fixed cup or installing a headset not freewheel removal.
    I expect most newer and younger home mechanics or those who started late don't have any freewheel removal tools. Cassettes have been the order of business for better bikes for over 20 years so, unless you work on older bikes or have been at this for a long time, you've never had to deal with a freewheel. I do have both 2 and 4-prong Sun Tour and the splined Shimano freewheel tools but I've been playing with bike since the mid-80's.

  15. #15
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Just buy the dam tool. Go to a bike shop, they cost something like $7-10.
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    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 The right tool and a bench vise will do the trick.

    +1 The tool costs $5 to $8 around here.

    Or just pay a shop to remove it. In my area, shops charge about $5 to pull a freewheel. Some will do it for free if you are a regular customer. And if they do remove it for free, reward them with some business.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Get the correct tool. Clamp the tool in the freewheel with the QR skewer. Clamp the tool in a bench vice so the wheel is on top. Now use the wheel like a bus steering wheel to crack the freewheel loose.
    One thing the OP should know, though. You need a decent bench vise to do this. I broke a vise once doing this very thing. It snapped one of the jaws right off. I ended up using a wrench with a cheater bar. I think your method is less likely to screw things up, if the right vise/workbench is available.

  18. #18
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I know it takes a lot of force to break the wheel loose, but I've never heard of a vice cracking from it. Musta been a Harbor Freight cheapie.

    I don't have a decent bench vice. The method I use is to adjust my largest Crescent wrench to the size of the tool, put the wrench in the jaws of a Black & Decker Workmate, steady that with my legs while doing the bus steering wheel thing. Works like a charm.

    The point is, you really need the right tool and lots of leverage.
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    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  19. #19
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I am not sure I ever used a bench vise for this. we had a big adjustable at the shop and I always used it until I left the business. I use a biggish F wrench with a good swift kick just like using an adjustable.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    I know it takes a lot of force to break the wheel loose, but I've never heard of a vice cracking from it. Musta been a Harbor Freight cheapie.
    I wish it was. It was a light-duty vise for sure, but it was a 50-year old (ish) one I got from my grandfather. It was a momentary lapse of reason to use it. I have a stronger one that wasn't bolted down anywhere, so it was either take the time to do that or use the one that was ready.

    Now I'm using something equivalent to what Harbor Freight sells for light duty stuff, and it just sucks. It just doesn't compare in terms of smoothness and extent to which the jaws are parallel, etc. The old one held tighter with less pressure. You wouldn't think it would make much difference, but it does.

  21. #21
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I expect most newer and younger home mechanics or those who started late don't have any freewheel removal tools. Cassettes have been the order of business for better bikes for over 20 years so, unless you work on older bikes or have been at this for a long time, you've never had to deal with a freewheel. I do have both 2 and 4-prong Sun Tour and the splined Shimano freewheel tools but I've been playing with bike since the mid-80's.
    yah ive been amatuer wrenching for a few years but havn't had experience with freewheels. i did happen to have the 4-prong, but was hoping there was some magic way of removing a freewheel without the 2 prong i needed and didn't have.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Just buy the dam tool. Go to a bike shop, they cost something like $7-10.
    yah yah i know, i just ordered one after reading this thread.
    the local bike store didn't have one, offered to order one but would arrive in 2 weeks.
    but was able to order one online and should be here thursday.

    basically the rush was because i told a friend i would have his bike fixed by monday (today) but apparently now he is fine with receiving it by the weekend so no need for the rush any longer.
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    freewheels unscrew in the same direction, CCW, as they freewheel,
    so you need the tool to turn the inside part.

  24. #24
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    I am in the same predicament now. I have an old Suntour 2-prong freewheel stuck like it's welded. I have made a 2-prong tool from an old socket and placed it on the impact wrench with no successful movement. When attempting the bench vice method I notice the rim spinning very slightly which is putting alot of force on the spokes, I mean a scary kind of torquing. Is this normal and should I just keep driving that bus like it's got a busted power steering pump?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by surveywaters View Post
    When attempting the bench vice method I notice the rim spinning very slightly which is putting alot of force on the spokes, I mean a scary kind of torquing. Is this normal and should I just keep driving that bus like it's got a busted power steering pump?
    You have nohong to lose. If you can't get the freewheel off the wheel is toast. So consider this a test of your arm strength. Put the remover in a vise, and turn the wheel until something gives, hopefully not your shoulder. The wheel will creak, flex, and feel like it's going to be destroyed, but 19 out of 20 times the freewheel will come loose. The other times, it'll be your remover, the bench vise, the bench, or you're just not strong enough.
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