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  1. #1
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    Breaking freewheel's apart

    Turned out much easier than I had anticipated. I don't have two chain whips.. and found the S Brown pic on the Harris site difficult to arrange (using a scrap chain to hold a cog.. that held in a vice). So.. I just attached the free wheel to my bench.. using drywall screws with the portable drill. Taking care NOT to add too much downward tension when tightening them to avoid any potential bending etc. Two them came loose fine.. one was very stubborn which got a dose of Liquid Wrench. This last stubborn FW I used washers to shim the spacing between the bench and the cogs.. tightening them down then meant no possible bending. Cog to screw contact was very minimal.. to avoid any cog damage.

    One chain whip.. the portable drill.. now I have that 28T on the end of the set.

  2. #2
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    There used to be "freewheel vises" commercially available that were basically two adjustable pins on a base. The pins went into the gaps between opposing teeth on the largest cog and held the whole thing in place while a single chainwhip was used to unthread the top one or two cogs. It sounds like you improvised the same thing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    There used to be "freewheel vises" commercially available that were basically two adjustable pins on a base. The pins went into the gaps between opposing teeth on the largest cog and held the whole thing in place while a single chainwhip was used to unthread the top one or two cogs. It sounds like you improvised the same thing.
    I did not know that is how they functioned.. good to know.

    I'd consider purchasing one......

  4. #4
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    Here is Sheldon Brown's reproduction of the Var catalog page showing their freewheel vises from (he thought) the early '80's. http://sheldonbrown.com/var/pages/var0029.html

    AFAIK, these are long out of production and I have no idea where you might find one. E-bay? The C&V forum here might have some leads if you really want one.

  5. #5
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    I chuck the freewheel in a bench vise, and use an air hammer to remove the lockring. Takes like 5 seconds.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyStickman View Post
    I chuck the freewheel in a bench vise, and use an air hammer to remove the lockring. Takes like 5 seconds.
    Freewheels don't have lockrings

  7. #7
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    I've taken a bunch of old freewheels apart by screwing them to my benchtop with drywall screws and small washers, then using a home-made chainwhip on them. If it's stubborn a few taps with a rubber mallet or deadblow usually persuade them off with no ill consequences.

  8. #8
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Freewheel/Axle vise

    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  9. #9
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Freewheels don't have lockrings
    (most)



    I still can't fathom using an air hammer on it tho
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Freewheels don't have lockrings
    I believe the OP is referencing that last threaded cog/s as the lock ring.

    I for one would like to see a pic of the fitting that goes on the air wrench to fit that last cog...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    (most)



    I still can't fathom using an air hammer on it tho
    Interesting and I obviously haven't come across this type before. That must be one of the most recent 7-speed Shimano's and, indeed, there does appear to be a lockring but it's so thin I wonder if any hook spanner can get adequate purchase to remove it. An air hammer? How?

    BTW, do the cogs all slip on and off like a cassette and are they unique to the freewheel or will they also fit on a freehub body?

  12. #12
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Interesting and I obviously haven't come across this type before. That must be one of the most recent 7-speed Shimano's and, indeed, there does appear to be a lockring but it's so thin I wonder if any hook spanner can get adequate purchase to remove it. An air hammer? How?

    BTW, do the cogs all slip on and off like a cassette and are they unique to the freewheel or will they also fit on a freehub body?
    Most of the ones I've seen have lockrings. Only older ones I've seen have a screw-on small cog.
    I use a small air hammer, looks like this:


    You can see the freewheel body is stepped, you can only use larger cogs on the big end and small ones on the small end.

    And no, they don't fit on a freehub body. I turn the PSI down on the compressor and use the air hammer to remove the lockring, just give it a few bumps at a time until it starts moving.
    Last edited by FunkyStickman; 02-18-12 at 09:46 AM.

  13. #13
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    OK, I mostly dealt with Sun Tour freewheels in the past and was used to the threaded top cog(s) and I did know about the two different body diameters. I'm not that conversant with Shimano's freewheels. Live and loin'.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Live and loin'.
    Yes.. I've learned something today too.

    These 'new generation' freewheels.. my experience is mostly with the aforementioned Suntours. How is the cog wear on the new ones? Only newer one I have used is what I believe is called a Z body Shimano.. and it's a good thing I got them cheeep.. cause their didn't wear very well. Granted winter conditions.. but still the wear rate was fast.

    I have I see now a newer Falcon sitting here.. which does have the lock ring. I mention them because the steel appears to be somewhat thicker and better quality than the SHimano Z's. Any input on how these Falcon freewheels wear?

    My old favorite Suntour is 13-14-15-16-19-23-28 now after taking the 21 out and adding the 28. A 1 by 7 is the plan.

  15. #15
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SortaGrey View Post
    I have I see now a newer Falcon sitting here.. which does have the lock ring. I mention them because the steel appears to be somewhat thicker and better quality than the SHimano Z's. Any input on how these Falcon freewheels wear?
    I had one that the bearings self-destructed on after about 500 miles. Might have been a fluke.

    I also have a newer SunRace 13-25 7sp freewheel (the company that bought out Sturmey Archer) and it's been fantastic, no complaints.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    Freewheel/Axle vise

    I like that little jig! Gonna have to make me one of those.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SortaGrey View Post
    I have I see now a newer Falcon sitting here.. which does have the lock ring. I mention them because the steel appears to be somewhat thicker and better quality than the SHimano Z's. Any input on how these Falcon freewheels wear?
    I've no personal experience with Falcon freewheels except to see them routinely on X-Mart level bikes and their reputation is not exactly stellar. My limited experience with Shimano freewheels (As a user. I never disassembled one) was very good and I found them equal to the older Sun tours except they shifted better.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    +1 I agree with HillRider .
    bikeman715

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman715 View Post
    +1 I agree with HillRider .
    I have a couple older Shimanos also.. agreed.. they do very well. Newer Z model shifted well also.

    13-25's... for me.. misses the 14 cog. Then the 14-28's lack a 15... those I find a 22 cog a waste of a hole.

  20. #20
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    Anybody up for swapping some freewheel cogs?

    I have a 34 tooth from a Suntour perfect five.. along with the threaded 14 t for the end. Both very nice shape.

    Looking for a nice threaded 16t.

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