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  1. #1
    Senior Member flammenwurfer's Avatar
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    Sturmey Archer AW hub bearings - grease?

    As far as I can tell there are 3 sets of bearings. I want clean and regrease them if they need it. I know the hub is oiled, but I seem to recall that the outer ones need grease. Also, if they need grease how do I get them out?

    Here are a few pictures of the bearings I'm talking about.




  2. #2
    gna
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    You can use grease in the bearings, and also grease in the channel of the dustcaps. See http://bikesmithdesign.com/ and click on the English 3-speed tips.

    As to how to get them out, are you going to overhaul the hub?

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    Senior Member oldroads's Avatar
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    Yes, you can grease the outer bearings, and can do so without overhauling the hub.
    We have exploded diagrams of Sturmey-Archer hubs on our site under the “Technical Resources” tab.
    Vinny - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles - OldRoads.com
    BUY/SELL forum (no fees) - Price Guides - 19 years of archives

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    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    I've just been adding oil. I just asumed that some would make its way to the outer bearings as it flies off and gets on the rims at that point.
    And seeing as some of these hubs are 40 years old is there any point in tearing it apart for grease if they seem to survive with oil?

  5. #5
    Senior Member flammenwurfer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
    I've just been adding oil. I just asumed that some would make its way to the outer bearings as it flies off and gets on the rims at that point.
    And seeing as some of these hubs are 40 years old is there any point in tearing it apart for grease if they seem to survive with oil?
    That's exactly what I would like to know. If it does just fine without grease I will leave it alone. If it's going to cause premature wear without it I'd like to do it now while I've got the wheel off and the hub partially taken apart.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    I use a plastic sandwich bag as a grease "piping" bag to squirt grease in tight places. I'd probably do the same to that hub and continue to oil as needed. Yes, the oil will thin the grease over time, but it wouldn't worry me. A little grease never hurt nothin'.

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    Senior Member flammenwurfer's Avatar
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    I just read through the Sturmey Archer Tips document from bikesmithdesign.com and it was very helpful. He lists 3 methods for lubricating the hub. Old school: nothing but oil. Hybrid: Grease in channels and ball bearings - only oil inside. Modern: Grease for everything, no oil.

    So it sounds like my two options are leave it alone and make sure I keep it topped up with oil, or grease the bearings and keep it topped up with oil. I'm thinking it's easy enough to squirt a little oil in that port that I'd rather just do that and call it good.

  8. #8
    gna
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    I'd get some old style axle grease (the tan stuff), which is essentially soap and oil, and put it in the channels of the dustcaps, as seen in the first two pictures. It will keep some (not all) of the oil from leaking out.

  9. #9
    Senior Member flammenwurfer's Avatar
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    Are the dustcaps the little piece between the cones and the bearings? Because it looks like there is another piece labeled dust cap that looks more external and is right inside the sprocket.

    Also, where do I find the tan grease and what will it be labeled as?

  10. #10
    gna
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    Quote Originally Posted by flammenwurfer View Post
    Are the dustcaps the little piece between the cones and the bearings? Because it looks like there is another piece labeled dust cap that looks more external and is right inside the sprocket.

    Also, where do I find the tan grease and what will it be labeled as?
    Yes, that's it. The outer dust cap or channel section dust cap.

    Outer Dust Cap..bmp

    Smear some grease in the channel, and the cone fits into it when you scew it down.

    I went to my local NAPA auto parts store, and bought a tub of tan grease; I think it was basic automotive bearing grease. I'll look tonight if I have time to see how it was labelled.

    BTW, where did you get the spoke washers?

  11. #11
    Senior Member flammenwurfer's Avatar
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    Would this work? It says it is lithium 12 hydroxy stearate based, not petroleum based.


    gna: Those are just the smallest brass washers I could find at my local hardware store. They seem to be about right.

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    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    I'm just using motor oil. Nothing fancy, just oil.

  13. #13
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flammenwurfer View Post
    Would this work? It says it is lithium 12 hydroxy stearate based, not petroleum based.


    gna: Those are just the smallest brass washers I could find at my local hardware store. They seem to be about right.
    Yup, it would work. I use just transmission fluid on all my oiled hubs, etc (two SA AW's, and two SA front hubs, as well as an oil-port BB), but use Ford axle grease on everything else. Make sure you get the Ford spec stuff, as the GM isn't waterproof.
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