3-speed hub maintenance
This may be off topic. I recently purchase a 1970 Raleigh 3-speed, sports model. The 3-speed hub shifts flawlessly. I am doing some routine maintenance such as greasing the crank bearings and front wheel bearings and was wandering if this is necessary for the rear hub since it takes oil. I have often wondered where the oil gets out of the hub since the hub can only hold so much. It appears that most of it exits out the cog side judging by the crud build up. If I should grease the ball bearings in the hub, can this be done without removing the hub from its outer casing? I am little apprehensive about losing little parts like the pawls.
The only normal hub maintenance is to add a couple of drops of oil to the fill hole ever few months. A bit more oftem if you ride a lot and less if you don't. There are many choices of the type of oil but i still have a couple of cans of the oil SA sold and that says 20 weight on the can. DO NOT put grease in the hub if you want it to shift correctly. SA hubs are always messy from the oil that leaks out of them. Live with it. Roger
I've just been getting my head around SA hubs. . . my inclination would be to put several drops of oil in, wipe away whatever seeps out and forget about greasing bearings (so long as the wheel is spinning nicely), that's if you don't want to delve into the innards.
Typically grease is used in the outer bearing races only as a form of oil seal. They used the old brown soap based grease, which was compatible with oil...sort of.
Yes the oil dribbles out, make sure you A) park the bike with the oil cap up and B) DON'T park it on a surface you don't want oil on. Also keep an eye on the braking surface and clean it periodically. To get to the bearings you do have to loosen up the cones and lock nuts, which if you don't put them back properly can affect the shifting.
FWIW I ran one hub over 15,000 miles with no maintenance other than adding oil periodically. I finally tore the hub down a couple of years ago and all it needed was the pawl springs replaced because they were a bit weak. I did grease the bearing this time around, I have no clue the last time they were done...possibly 1984?
I took the cones out and greased the Axle bearings, then put them back together .
I squirt a little oil down the hollow axle, after removing the indicator chain,
then screwed it back in, as I don't have a cap in the hub shell like have the earlier ones.