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  1. #1
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    Replaced chain, sprockets, derailleurs, and freewheel, now chain is noisey?

    Hi, first post here.
    After looking for something to take up some winter free time, I decided to rehab my old road bike, an old Panasonic DX4000 with all Shimano 600EX (6207) components, right down to the headset and pedals. I hunted down a complete new lot of parts on eBay and at a few local shops, had the rear wheels rebuilt on new hubs, with new spokes and two new old stock Araya 20A rims, and installed the new BB, new crankset, and new Shimano 600EX freewheel, and a new silver Shimano UG chain, which matches the UG type rear cogs.

    The bike rode ok before but was badly worn, it had thousands of hard miles, but the chain ran quiet. The current set up is the same other than the chain, the old chain was made by Sedis, and the old freewheel was Suntour 888, it was the chain and freewheel the shop use when it was last upgraded back in the early 90's. The chainline hasn't changed, both freewheels have the same cogs, both are 14-24 freewheels, and all other parts are number for number, exactly as it was before. Now I get a chain noise that sounds like it's dragging between shifts in all gears. It's worse in the highest range. Even on the middle cogs, where the chain is dead straight it makes noise, almost as if the chain don't match the teeth right.
    I opted for the Shimano chain since I figured it would be the best match for their twisted tooth style freewheel.
    I've never run a Shimano freewheel or UG chain, do these maybe get better with use?
    It don't skip and it changes gears fine on the road. It just sounds bad. It sounds as if the chain is hitting on the side or something. The chain has flared inner links, and its noticeably wider than the old chain. This is a 12 speed bike, with a 6 speed freewheel, the rear hubs are 126mm spaced, and the crank axle is 116mm and came with the crankset. It's identical to what it had. I tried the old chain but its stretched bad and skips under load on the new freewheel. The old freewheel had several cogs worn too bad to use as well. The frame is also in perfect alignment, a local bike shop checked that first off but couldn't find why the chain makes so much noise.

    Any ideas?
    Did old UG chain run noisy?
    Should I hunt down a different freewheel and chain?

  2. #2
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    I would suspect your chainrings are severely worn in the front and the new chain isn't meshing on it. Can you take a picture of them?
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  3. #3
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    IIRC, the UG chain and UG twist tooth freewheel I installed back in the 80s did not make a racket. Odd.
    Since the frame is aligned, not a lot of options left to check...verify the RD isn't worn or misaligned. Maybe a tweaked hanger, or worn pulley bushings.
    Note: I also don't recall a UG chain having flared inner plates. They had bulged outer plates.
    I do remember an article comparing the offerings of the time...Sedisport vs. Shimano UG. How the Sedisport had flared inner plates, and worked best with Suntour's New Winner Ultra's, being a 'narrow' chain. The Sedisport ran lousy on UG freewheels.
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    Nothing is worn, every last part is brand new out of a box. All parts were new old stock.
    The UG chain I have now has flared links, the old Sedis chain had flat links and came with the bike, as did the Suntour freewheel.
    I don't think I've ever seen a Sedisport chain that had flared links? The Sedis chain I took off had all perfectly flat inner and outer links with each rivet sticking out a bit on each side. The rivets are what caught the next cog and made it shift. The UG chain has bulges in each link and flatter rivet heads. The inner links are flared outward, they sort of look as if they were punched or spread. The UG chain is noticeably wider than the old chain.
    Could there have been more than one type of UG chain? This chain came from a bulk roll, it was on a wood roll about the size of a 5 gallon bucket. I bought the whole roll for $10 since the dealer said he hadn't seen a bike use that stuff in 20 years. The only other chain I could find said HG on the side or something marked Z chain.

    Did Shimano maybe make a version of UG chain for another application?

    I've tried several front sprockets, both the stock 600EX rings, a set of W cut rings, and even aftermarket SR rings but all run the same up front, I took off the front derailluer for now to eliminate that.
    It sounds as if the chain is not meshing with the teeth. The chain enters and leaves the freewheel squarely, and don't drag any teeth. I even inked the sides of the chain to be sure.
    Functionally, on the road it's fine, it just don't sound right. It sounds to me like when you don't shift all the way into a gear and it's dragging a bit.

  5. #5
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    What era/PN is on the UG chain/box, and what PN is on the freewheel?

    -Kurt

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    Welcome & congrats on your almost-finished build.

    Just a few troubleshoting thoughts:
    1) Chain is too taught? Could you use an extra link?
    2) Problem with chain gap (between freewheel cog and top RD pulley). There was an interesting discussion of chain gap in conjunction with axle placement in the rear dropout, see T-Mar's insightful post #12: LINK
    3) I believe the 600EX derailleurs have a plastic and a metal pulley, and that the metal one goes on the bottom as shown here on velobase. Having these RD pulleys in the wrong order can be noisy.
    4) Wrong chain width (this may be what Kurt is getting to in his post above)?

    Good luck & don't be shy with the photos!

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    The Freewheel is an MF 6208, the chain just says UG on every outer link and is silver. The chain that came with the kit was gold, I saved that for another project which is using a gold UG freewheel.
    I do remember the dealer swapping the freewheel around, the one in the kit was a 12-23, the dealer swapped it for a 13-26 that he had on the shelf. Both derailleur pulleys look the same, both are plastic with the lower pulley having a guard around the hub. I have a derailleur alignment gauge and all is well that way.
    The chain clearance looks good, I had it longer but cut it back to the point there's no sag and still tension on the derailleur in the small/small position. If I added two links the derailleur may hit the Freewheel, if pull one, it gets a bit tight in the large/large range. There's not much choice here. The derailleur never hits the freewheel, nor does the chain drag the sides of the cogs.

    I tried something tonight, I pulled the freewheel, removed all but the middle gear and shimmed it up to run only on a single gear using extra spacers and a fixed length of chain, no derailleur in the picture, it still makes noise. The chain just don't run right across the Freewheel teeth. The noise is in the rear more than the front. It doesn't take any hard pressure to make the noise, it does it with no load on the stand. I'm starting to think that the chain is just wrong for the Freewheel? After a closer look here I see ithe freewheel not marked UG like the others I have on the shelf. If so, what chain do I need? My thinking when I used the UG chain was that the FW had UG type twisted teeth, so I ran that chain. I compared this UG silver chain from the bulk roll and it don't look any different than the gold chain in the 600 box.

    To simplify things, here's the list of components used, going by the p/n's on each component in the group.
    Freewheel FW-6208 (14-26T) (Cogs are silver in color with twisted tooth design, spacers are 3.65mm wide)
    Crankset FC-6207 (w/42-52T Shimano chain rings)
    Rear Der. RD-6207
    Frt. Der. FD-6207
    Shifters SL-6207
    B. Brkt BB-6207
    Hubset HB-6207 (P/N on box) (126mm rear spacing, threaded rear hub)
    Brakes BL-6207 (Came as a brake set)
    Calipers BR-6207 (Came with brake set)
    Chain Shimano UG Bulk silver chain cut to fit. (Came on huge roll, that dealer had both black and silver UG)

  8. #8
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldlugs View Post
    The Freewheel is an MF 6208, the chain just says UG on every outer link and is silver.
    Post a photo of it, if you can. It sounds as if you might have first-generation UG chain.

    -Kurt

  9. #9
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    Here's a pic, this is from the same roll. Is there a difference in early or late UG?
    (The other gold UG chain is earlier, as its most likely from the 600 EX Arabesque group).
    I don't have that here, that's with the bike out back in the shop.

    (Also, if it matters, the axle is set to the most rearward point in the dropouts, which are forged with screws. I did that to gain as much tire clearance as possible between the tire and seat tube. As it is, I have to deflate the tire to get the wheel out, as well as to gain some derailleur to freewheel clearance. It was close with the wheel in the middle or the dropout, but since I also swapped up to 28mm tires, I needed the added space). It was close but never hit in any position, but it's more normal looking now. Since it shifts gears fine and my only issue is noise, I don't think that gap is the problem.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by oldlugs; 01-19-11 at 11:33 PM.

  10. #10
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Wide enough that they generally chatter a bit, even when working correctly.

    I suggest you try fitting a current HG/IG/UG chain and see what results you get. If the noise goes away, check your chainline; I'll bet that your crankset may be sitting inboard a bit more than usual. Does the bike have a particularly short wheelbase?

    -Kurt

  11. #11
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    I know this is not much help, but I had a similar problem with my fixed gear commuter. New chain, chainring, cog. It was so noisy that I thought the chain was perhaps 1/8 instead of 3/32, but it wasn't. Gave it a couple weeks, or about 200 miles, and the chain became noticeably quieter (though not as quiet as the old chain). I think some chains are just noisy.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DMNHCAGrandPrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldlugs View Post
    Is there a difference in early or late UG?
    There were definitely two generations of Uniglide chains (wide and narrow). Frank Berto says this about noise in his excellent book "Upgrading Your Bike"
    "The wide Uniglide chain is noisy. Nobody seems to know why, not even Shimano. As part of the SIS program, Shimano developed the Narrow Uniglide chain. I call it the "Shimanosport because it combines Uniglide's bulged outer plates with the Sedissport's bushingless design. The Narrow Uniglide shifts better than the wide Uniglide both front and rear and it's silent."

    He lists these part numbers of various versions:
    Wide Uniglide: CN-UG20
    Wide 600 Uniglide: CN-6120
    (outer plate bulges 7.9 mm)

    Narrow Uniglide: CN-7400
    Narrow 600 Uniglide: CN-6208
    (outer plate bulges 7.3 mm)

    Your picture says UG-30, which is not not included on the above list. However your first picture shows a single unpaired inner plate that has a clear bushing in the pin hole, so I think you have the early, wide noisy version of Uniglide chain with bushings, instead of the quieter, second generation version of the Uniglide chain that is bushingless.

  13. #13
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    I measured the UG-30 chain at 7.8mm wide at the bulge. I have some HG chain but it don't lie right on the freewheel at all, it feels 'tight'.
    I do have some odd brand chain made by Taya, that looks like UG chain but has flush rivets, bulges only to 7.1mm, but it's low end stuff from Taiwan way back when. I also have a roll of KMC straight link 3/32" derailleur chain.

    Was the old chain bad, or just noisy? Its not rubbing the sides, and it does shift OK.


    The bike is somewhat of a short wheelbase, I'm not positive but I think it was just under 47" axle to axle.
    The chainline is as good as it will ever get, they only offered two axles, 116mm and 119mm with the 600EX group, it's a symmetrical crank axle. I have the 116mm crank axle. The chainline measurement is 43.5mm, and I've played around with adding as many as two freewheel shims, but it's best with none.
    Last edited by oldlugs; 01-20-11 at 12:56 AM.

  14. #14
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMNHCAGrandPrix View Post
    There were definitely two generations of Uniglide chains (wide and narrow).
    Since that book was written, more than two generations have been developed (more on that in a minute).

    That said, the new CN-xxxx numbers arguably ushered in the first diversion from the Uniglide line; these chains evolved into HG and IG.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMNHCAGrandPrix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Berto
    "The wide Uniglide chain is noisy. Nobody seems to know why, not even Shimano.
    The original UG-20/30's chattered because they are amongst the widest - if not the widest 6 speed chains ever developed. Between the width of the pins and the exaggerated bulged outer plates, there are many opportunities for this chain to clatter against nearby cogs.

    Thing is, I've been using a UG-30 with a FW-6208 myself, and it isn't outrageously loud. Perhaps I haven't been comparing it to a quiet drivetrain.

    That said, Shimano's present UG chains - such as the UG-50 - are basically budget-end HG/IG 7-speed compatible chains without the built in ramping:



    I'd suggest one of these chains to the OP. Personally, I save the early UG-20/30 chain and variants for very wide spaced 5-speed freewheels that are prone to chain skate. The bulged plates almost always cure the problem: The width of the bulged plates spaces the chain away from the adjacent cog, and the large opening created by these bulged plates catches the tooth of the cog immidiately under the chain.

    -Kurt

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    I didn't realize you could run HG chains on the older UG cogs, at least that's the way it was explained to me years ago. I have some newer chain here but it don't fit well on the cogs, maybe it's way newer? It's Schram branded chain from late model 21 speed Fuji.
    What was the difference in HG and UG? I always thought that UG had twisted teeth and the chains had that bulge out the side. To me HG was for ultra narrow 7 or 8 speed only. I had trouble on an older bike with the chain not wanting to climb from the lower front to the higher front chainwheel, I was running smooth sided, later Z chain, I swapped the chain for the same UG silver chain I'm using here and it worked great. I guess I thought that the more pronounced rivets where helping it catch the next chainwheel better?

  16. #16
    WNG
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    Good thread, nice to see someone solved the noise mystery.
    BTW, just as a reference, the Sedisport chain's flared inner plates I mentioned is pictured in the photo below...typical of the Sedisport 'narrow' chain.
    And the 'Z' stamped chain should be a KMC. A KMC Z-70 gold chain ran with my 105 UG 7-spd cassette pretty quiet. Might consider it as an alternative.
    (do post pics of your bike!)

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    I'd rather add more life to my years, than years to my life.

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    Was the noise problem actually solved, as in, "it is no longer noisy", or was the cause for the noise merely explained?

    When I think of noisy chains, I think of inadequate lubrication of the chain. Whenever I have chain noise, a little lubrication makes them quiet right away. I use the noise as an indicator of when it is time to relube.

  18. #18
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    +1
    I ran a recently upgraded bike last weekend with a specific set of Mavic wheels.
    Over the week, I swapped out for an identical set with newer decals. The rears were identical.

    Yesterday, I rode the thing and it was noisy, and I was more than a little ticked.
    Then, the head slap moment as I looked at the pretty, shiny chain. It was clean, but dry.
    Put the White Lightning (rain version) to it last night.
    Ran it today, quiet as a mouse.

    Now I can hear a loose spoke.
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  19. #19
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    When I think of noisy chains, I think of inadequate lubrication of the chain. Whenever I have chain noise, a little lubrication makes them quiet right away. I use the noise as an indicator of when it is time to relube.
    +1 Your old chain was likely well caked with lubricant? That makes for great sound deadening!

  20. #20
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Great Thread - More notes for the more than valuable "USF" file... Only this ones ear marked for use tomorrow... THANKS
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkYardBike View Post
    +1 Your old chain was likely well caked with lubricant? That makes for great sound deadening!
    LOL!

    No, it wasn't that. Ya gots to trust me on dat, bro.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    Was the noise problem actually solved, as in, "it is no longer noisy", or was the cause for the noise merely explained?

    When I think of noisy chains, I think of inadequate lubrication of the chain. Whenever I have chain noise, a little lubrication makes them quiet right away. I use the noise as an indicator of when it is time to relube.
    Pretty much the noise has been explained, the chain is too wide, most likely meant for just 5 speed UG freewheels. I swapped in a KKT chain from another bike that had the same length just to test and it sounds good, but the cheap, later model smooth chain doesn't shift as well or as fast. I'll be looking around for a new old stock later series UG chain, hopefully in silver to complete the rebuild.

    The first thing I noticed with the narrower chain is that I can tighten up on the front derailleur adjustment a bit, since the narrower chain doesn't drag the front cage when in the highest or lowest gear like the UG-30 chain did, but it does take longer to climb from low to high on the front chainrings than with the wider UG chain. The rear doesn't seem to matter. The narrower chain looks better going through the derailleur in that there's visible clearance now between the cage and chain. The UG-30 didn't hit, but ran super close through the derailleur.

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