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Freewheel removal

Old 04-26-16, 04:02 PM
  #1  
ennchicago
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Freewheel removal

Hello,

I am trying to remove my 7-speed freewheel to clean it thoroughly. I've never removed a freewheel before. The more I read, the more confused I get. My freewheel doesn't really resemble any of the pictures I'm finding. Do I need a special splined tool? A chain whip? Both? I would really appreciate a pointer in the right direction. Here are some pictures:




Thanks,
-Eli
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Old 04-26-16, 04:08 PM
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CACycling
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Looks like it would take a Park FR-1.2. Just insert it into the splines, put a long wrench on it, hold the wheel and unscrew (or, as I like to do on freewheels that have been there a while, give the wrench a solid whack with a mallet to break it free or, if one is available, clamp the tool in a vise and turn the wheel).
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Old 04-26-16, 05:00 PM
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Shimano spline type it appears .. easiest.. put the freewheel removal tool in the bench vise put the wheel over it,

then Unscrew the wheel from it. ... leverage..
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Old 04-27-16, 04:17 AM
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dabac
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Originally Posted by ennchicago View Post
I am trying to remove my 7-speed freewheel to clean it thoroughly.
What are you trying to achieve?
Shining, immaculate sprockets?
Q-tip cleaned driveside flange?
All the important activity happens INSIDE the freewheel, which you won't get to by removing it from the wheel.
Freewheels can be disassembled and cleaned, but are usually simply replaced as a unit.
If needed, you can get pretty much the same results by flushing the freewheel.
Flushing a f/w is easier done, if messier, with the f/w left in place, as spinning it a little makes it easier to work the solvent through.
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Old 04-27-16, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
What are you trying to achieve?
Shining, immaculate sprockets?
Q-tip cleaned driveside flange?
Yes, essentially. I am going to switch from using NixFrixShun to chain waxing with melted paraffin wax as described in an article on the late, lamented EcoVelo. The goal is a cleaner drivetrain and bike. I have run a single-speed city bike with a waxed chain before and it works great except in prolonged salty, slushy winter riding; this bike doesn't really get ridden in those conditions. However, in order for it to work, I need to remove all of the existing chain lube from the drivetrain before installing the waxed chain.
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Old 04-27-16, 06:07 AM
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Just pointing out that you'll need to remove the skewer (and maybe a spacer from the axle) to get the splined removal tool into the freewheel. The suggestion of putting the tool in the vise and using the wheel itself for leverage is good. Protects you from potential knuckle busting when it comes free.

Dan
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Old 04-27-16, 06:12 AM
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A brush and pipe cleaners from the craft store work great on cleaning freewheels and cassettes without removal.
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Old 04-27-16, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
A brush and pipe cleaners from the craft store work great on cleaning freewheels and cassettes without removal.
Thanks for this tip--I will certainly give this a try before removing it.
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Old 04-27-16, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
A brush and pipe cleaners from the craft store work great on cleaning freewheels and cassettes without removal.
I usually do something similar. Various ways to "floss" freewheels & cassettes without removing. Generally only remove when replacing.
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Old 04-27-16, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ennchicago View Post
... I need to remove all of the existing chain lube from the drivetrain before installing the waxed chain.
Don't overthink this.
The muck behind the f/w will stay where it is.
And sprockets - unless rusty - clean up well with considerably less effort.
Pick a reasonably sturdy rag, moisten with your preferred degreaser, fold to appropriate thickness, gently insert between sprockets and saw away. Work your way round and between all sprockets. Done.
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Old 04-27-16, 05:00 PM
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A couple of winters ago I lucked out at a dollar store that had car windshield brush/scraper for $1.25 each. That deep but narrow brush is absolutely PERFECT for getting in between even big cogs whilst the cassette/freewheel is still on the bike. A bit of detergent and that brush and i've hade brown freewheels come up shiny silver.

Cheers
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