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  1. #1
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    Freewheel removal problem

    I've got a Sachs freewheel I'm trying to replace, and I've got the Park Tools tool that fits, but I can't get it off. I'm using an 8" wrench (all I have available for the moment) and holding the wheel against the ground w/ my chest and other arm, but I can't get it to move at all. I can pick myself up off the ground leaning on the wrench, so I figure 160 lbs 6" out- about 80 ft-lbs. Should that be enough to get it off? Or do I need a bigger wrench or a vise? And I'm turning opposite the driving direction (w/ the wheel infront of me, wrench between me and the freewheel, and freewheel on the right, I am pushing down, if that makes any sense), turning in the direction that it free-wheels, so I'm doing it right, right? Thanks.

    -Will

  2. #2
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwilliamjr
    I've got a Sachs freewheel I'm trying to replace, and I've got the Park Tools tool that fits, but I can't get it off. I'm using an 8" wrench (all I have available for the moment) and holding the wheel against the ground w/ my chest and other arm, but I can't get it to move at all. I can pick myself up off the ground leaning on the wrench, so I figure 160 lbs 6" out- about 80 ft-lbs. Should that be enough to get it off? Or do I need a bigger wrench or a vise? And I'm turning opposite the driving direction (w/ the wheel infront of me, wrench between me and the freewheel, and freewheel on the right, I am pushing down, if that makes any sense), turning in the direction that it free-wheels, so I'm doing it right, right? Thanks.

    -Will
    I've had a few that were so stuck that I (6'4" 255 lbs) needed help to turn in a vise. I humbly suggest that you take it to the shop and get some help with it.

  3. #3
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    8" wrench isn't nearly long enough. 12" would be the minimum. Really a bench vise is your friend here. That's how we did it when I worked in a LBS. You'll laugh at how easy it is compared to the 8" wrench.

    I remember trying to get a freewheel off with that size wrench when I was about 16. It took about 30 minutes of grunting, sweating and two pairs of gloves (used together because the wrench was killing my hands) before I got the freewheel off.

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I was worried that it was unusually stuck or something. And I was starting to get a little scared really leaning on it. I've got a bench vise and some big wrenches at home (I live at school and an 8" wrench is all I've got here) so hopefully I'll be able to get it off this weekend.

    -Will

  5. #5
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    I've tweaked vises removing freewheels. When I don't have a vise I use a 12 inch wrench. I use the axle nut or quick release lever to hold the freewheel remover in place (tight enough not to slip off, but allow 1/4 turn when it breaks loose). Then I put the wheel on the ground against something, like the leg of the work bench or the edge of a wall. It can be anything as long as it keeps the tire from rolling when you put presure on the wrench. The tire should be mounted to the wheel with proper air pressure. Put the wrench on parallel to the ground, support the wheel and keep it close to the wall or workbench leg, and give the wrench a good counter clockwise stomp. If this doesn't work let the mechanic at your favorite LBS deal with it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhattTyre
    I use the axle nut or quick release lever to hold the freewheel remover in place (tight enough not to slip off, but allow 1/4 turn when it breaks loose).
    That's important advice.

  7. #7
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    Put the tool in a vice. If you dont own a vice, you can usually get a garage to let you use one for a minute.
    Place to wheel on the tool and gently turn till the splines/teeth engage.
    I find that I don't need to use a QR skewer or bolt since the wheel is horizontal, resting on the tool.
    Grab the tyre and spin the wheel anticlockwise. You have about 15" of leverage and can grap the wheel in 2 places. This is much easier than using a wrench.
    If you do fit the bolt to the axle, then dont spin the wheel so far that the freewheel tightens onto the bolt.

  8. #8
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    I use a 18" adjustable wrench, place the tool in the freewheel, bolt it in, put the wrench on the tool. Now stand on the non drive side of the wheel with the wrench handle in the 3 oclock position, grab the tire, and step on the wrench. If that doesn't work a good bench vise and a helper or two is needed.

    Oh yeah, this only works if the tire is still on the wheel.

  9. #9
    @#$% cars
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    One time I took a 3' or so peice of plumbing tube (copper or such) we had around and slide it over the wrench handle. Just a moderate amount of force with all that leverage worked wonders!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubs
    One time I took a 3' or so peice of plumbing tube (copper or such) we had around and slide it over the wrench handle. Just a moderate amount of force with all that leverage worked wonders!
    Yep. Cheater bars are great.

  11. #11
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonFixed
    Yep. Cheater bars are great.

    bingo!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonFixed
    Yep. Cheater bars are great.
    We kept one that was 5' long in the shop for rusted-in BB cups on cheap bikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhattTyre
    I use the axle nut or quick release lever to hold the freewheel remover in place (tight enough not to slip off, but allow 1/4 turn when it breaks loose).
    I used this advice once, but forgot one critical second step... Once the freewheel breaks loose, REMOVE THE QUICK RELEASE. I shredded a hub by continuing to remove the freewheel with the quick release still in place....

  14. #14
    Senior Member raverson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonFixed
    Yep. Cheater bars are great.
    Yes they are. Standard procedure when I remove a freewheel or anything else where large amounts of leverage are needed. I use a 1/2 inch drive, 24 in. breaker bar with the proper socket for the remover tool. Works every time and is safer by keeping hands away from freewheel teeth. A longer pipe is near by if extra leverage is needed, but I've never encounted anything on a bicycle that required the big johnson.

    Also a little squirt of penetrating oil worked into the fw threads a day before removal never hurts. And it goes without saying, GREASE the threads before installation.

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