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Old 09-27-12, 05:18 PM   #1
ctdave
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Help removing Shimano 333 freewheel from 1970 Huffy

Hi,

I was given a 1970 Huffy Sportsman 3 speed, which I am fixing up for my wife. It worked great, but the rear wheel rim was cracked. So, I planned on rebuilding the wheel. I have the new rim and spokes, but I cannot thread the spokes on the freewheel side without removing the freewheel. I cannot figure out how to remove it. I've been searching the internet without much luck. Below is a photo of the hub and freewheel as well as a photo of the only tool I have. The lockring wrench does not grip well what appears to be a lockring. Also, the chain whip does not match the teeth in the cog. What tools do I need for this job? Thanks.

Dave
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Old 09-27-12, 05:36 PM   #2
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Firstly, your chainwhip will be for 3/32" derailleur chain, that'll be a 1/8" cog for a singlespeed chain, which explains why the whip doesn't fit.

Secondly, that's not a freewheel, it's just a sprocket. The freewheel mechanism is inside the hub.

That ring you can see in the picture is a circlip. Pry it out of its groove with something, and the sprocket should pop right off. The three indents you're trying to grip with your lockring spanner engage with splines on the sprocket to transfer drive.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:37 PM   #3
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Firstly, your chainwhip will be for 3/32" derailleur chain, that'll be a 1/8" cog for a singlespeed chain, which explains why the whip doesn't fit.

Secondly, that's not a freewheel, it's just a sprocket. The freewheel mechanism is inside the hub.

That ring you can see in the picture is a circlip. Pry it out of its groove with something, and the sprocket should pop right off. The three indents you're trying to grip with your lockring spanner engage with splines on the sprocket to transfer drive.
Not much to add.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:41 PM   #4
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Not much to add.
Except possibly to use an old screwdriver to do the prying, and wear safety glasses - no kidding, I launched the circlip off a Sturmey-Archer hub about 15 feet prising it off once.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:59 PM   #5
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Brilliant. Thank you, Airburst, for the information. I would never have figured it out on my own. An old screwdriver would not fit. I used an old chisel and was able to remove it. Take care.
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Old 09-27-12, 08:22 PM   #6
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Except possibly to use an old screwdriver to do the prying, and wear safety glasses - no kidding, I launched the circlip off a Sturmey-Archer hub about 15 feet prising it off once.
I get them started with something pointy, then switch to needle-nose pliers when there's enough exposed to grab.
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Old 09-28-12, 02:15 AM   #7
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Brilliant. Thank you, Airburst, for the information. I would never have figured it out on my own. An old screwdriver would not fit. I used an old chisel and was able to remove it. Take care.
No problem.

Also, the Shimano 333 hub is a fairly delicate piece of equipment, and if it gets ridden hard has a somewhat high failure rate. If it starts feeling rougher than usual (usual for itself) or having too much resistance, especially if either of those occur unevenly, avoid using it or it'll chew its internals to bits.
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Old 09-28-12, 09:20 AM   #8
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I'll keep that in mind. Can you recommend a replacement that would not be too expensive and would work with the existing shifter and cable? Would I need a new sprocket if I made a change?
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Old 09-28-12, 09:47 AM   #9
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If your going to be rebuilding the wheel you may be better off checking around to see if you can find a good used 3 speed wheel with a Sturmey Archer hub these are pretty easy to find and are typically a a better quality wheel as whole.
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Old 09-28-12, 10:24 AM   #10
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I'd go with a Sturmey-Archer AW hub myself. They're 3-speed, much more durable, and you can still get parts for them if you need them. They're also available for reasonable prices on eBay, or depending on the wheel size the bike uses, you could get a complete wheel. That said, if your wife doesn't ride the 333 hub too hard, it should be alright.
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Old 09-28-12, 10:53 AM   #11
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I'll keep that in mind. Can you recommend a replacement that would not be too expensive and would work with the existing shifter and cable? Would I need a new sprocket if I made a change?
When I worked in the bike shop, we kept blister-packed units of 3.3.3 innards in stock. When a customer brought in a problematic 3.3.3 wheel, we just slid out the old innards and popped in a new unit. If your hub is known to be working, just flush it out with clean oil and be happy. Otherwise, the Sturmey-Archer AW 3 speed hub is a more durable and reliable unit, and they're still in production. Used AW hubs are abundant and inexpensive.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:43 AM   #12
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Thank you all for your suggestions. The 333 still works, and I don't expect my wife to put on any major mileage. I was actually looking forward to rebuilding the wheel for additional experience. I have not had much opportunity to do so, and I already have all the parts. I'll keep your suggestions in mind to deal with any future problems.
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