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Replacing freewheel

Old 08-18-16, 10:39 AM
  #1  
Trekx3
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Replacing freewheel

Hope this is in the right place.


1988 Trek 360 with Suntour 13-26 6 speed freewheel.


Questions:


Can a freewheel that is no longer 'free' be repaired?


Can a Shimano 6 speed freewheel replace a Suntour?


Can a 14-28 6 speed replace a 13-26? Some other combination?


Can some other freewheel replace the Suntour 13-26 6 speed (e.g. a 7 speed Shimano) w/o making modifications to the bike?


Thanks much
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Old 08-18-16, 11:12 AM
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it depends on how badly it is stuck. sometimes just some light lubricant dripped down inside or soaking it in PB blaster will do the trick. they "can" be disassembled, but it's almost never worth the trouble, as new replacements are cheap.

yes, shimano and suntour are generally interchangeable. chances are, if it threads on, whatever you find on ebay will work.

yes you can choose to change the gear range at the same time that you replace the freewheel by buying a freewheel with different gearing. this is normally a straight swap unless you go with a radically larger big cog, in which case your RD might not function well.

going with more or less cogs during a swap is definitely possible, but involves a host of other potential issues and modifications which you may or may not want to get into. I built up a commuter from an older 80s roadace and converted it to a 1x7spd. this involved a new RD, new cables and shifter, new brake hoods, new wheelset, 8 speed cassette, new chainring and chain, and very careful adjustment to make sure I'm not rubbing the seat stays so that I can use 7 of the 8 cogs. if this explanation is lost on you, then this is probably more time/effort/money than its worth to you.

just get on ebay and look for a 6speed thread on freewheel. buy one. put it on. take note: removing the old freewheel might be very very difficult, and will require at very least the correct freewheel removal tool (there are many different ones and you need the exact right one) and a large breaker bar.
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Old 08-18-16, 11:13 AM
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I used one of these on a recent flip, and it was a direct fit. it is brand new, very nice finish, super cheap, and MUCH lighter than the old part: Shimano 6 Speed MF TZ20 14 28T Brown MTB Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle Freewheel | eBay

edit: if you put on a brand new freewheel and the old one is worn, and you haven't replaced the chain in a while, it will probably skip or shift like crap or both. best to replace the chain at the same time as well. you can get a 5-8 speed chain at walmart for $10, or order one online as well. you will need a chain tool to do the install, which can also be purchased at walmart or online for about $5
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Old 08-18-16, 11:14 AM
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Yes
Yes
Yes
Depends.

If you have indexed Suntour shifters, you'll need to stay with the Suntour freewheel. If you have friction shifters, you can do a great many changes without any problems - EXCEPT - you need to have the space between the rear dropouts and the smallest cog if you want to increase the number of gears.
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Old 08-18-16, 11:36 AM
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Hey- very thorough indeed! Will try the lube solution first and pick up a 6 speed on ebay if that doesn't work. I'm pretty new to the mechanical so thanks again.
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Old 08-18-16, 11:39 AM
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Do you have the correct freewheel tool for removal of the old one? Or maybe a local bike shop or cooperative where you can get it taken off?
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Old 08-18-16, 12:01 PM
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No I don't have the freewheel tool, maybe I can borrow one.


I have a cassette removal tool but that was for a specific bike, I guess I'll need a tool specific to this freewheel if one can be found.
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Old 08-18-16, 12:03 PM
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Suntour FW's come in a 2 notch & 4 notch version.
Make sure you get the correct tool. Park FR-2 or FR-3.

They are pretty easy to break the notches off the tool, especially if it's been on a lot of years.
SO- RETAIN the tool with an axle nut or QR skewer to keep it from slipping.

You might be able to find a FW & tool from the same place & save some S&H?
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Old 08-18-16, 12:05 PM
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Looks like Park tool makes a few for Suntour, I'll have to see what fits. Thanks much!
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Old 08-18-16, 12:38 PM
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you can take the wheel to your LBS and they can zip it off, other check out sheldon:
Traditional Thread-on Freewheels

The way you remove a freewheel is put the tool in a vise.
Air up your tire and place the freewheel on the tool
Then torque your tire counterclockwise - nothing will bend on you
I see so many you-tube videos of guys with a monkey wrench horsing sideways on their bare rim
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Old 08-18-16, 12:55 PM
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2& 4 Notch freewheels need the tool held on firmly with QR or Axle Nut..

Shimano introduced the Spline interface, , now lots of other suppliers use It. that is secure with just the weight of the wheel pushing down on the tool in the Vise.
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Old 08-18-16, 02:21 PM
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Well the good news is all this great info will have to be saved for the future. Got the freewheel turning all it took was a good shot of WD40. I will let that dry out a while then shoot in some good lube.

Money saved- I like that and I can put it into other things for the bike - a good pair of Schwalbe tires to start.
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Old 08-18-16, 02:42 PM
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let some heavier oil drip into it, like Phil Tenacious
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Old 08-18-16, 02:58 PM
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I was going to suggest soaking the freewheel in kerosene, but since WD-40 is about 90% kerosene, anyway, it seems they've already done that.
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Old 08-18-16, 03:19 PM
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The approach to oiling freewheels is simple. Lay the wheel freewheel up on a bench. Spin the freewheel and look for the interface between the moving and stationary at the top of the freewheel, ie near the axle locknut. Wipe that area clean. Drip your oil or solvent into that groove. I find it flows better if I spin the freewheel as I do it. Continue until you see oil coming out between the freewheel and the hub flange. If you stop short of this point, the inside bearing race may not be seeing any oil.

Ben
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Old 08-18-16, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
I was going to suggest soaking the freewheel in kerosene, but since WD-40 is about 90% kerosene, anyway, it seems they've already done that.

I don't think there is any kerosene In WD-40.
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Old 08-18-16, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I don't think there is any kerosene In WD-40.
Well, 'petroleum spirits', which are probably closer to paint thinner.....
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