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SA AW 3sp adjustment

Old 12-06-17, 02:57 PM
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4004
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SA AW 3sp adjustment

Hello everyone,
Sturmey Archer AW claims another newbie victim - me.

Had to take the rear wheel off (I keep a stock of inner tubes because it happens quite often), and obviously had to disconnect the adjustment cable. Since I only actually fixed the shifter not too long ago, this was a new ordeal and hence I wasn't expecting it to be that much of an issue.

Now, I followed/tried to follow Sheldon's and other advice, regarding visual and slack adjustment. I manage to get reliable 3 gear(HI) and 1(LO) with 3->2 engaging neutral and 1->2 working most of the time before slipping. Trying to remedy by tensioning the cable I eventually get reliable 3, neutral 2 and not enough cable slack to even shift down to 1. With the latter, I can sometimes wiggle the cable/adjuster assembly and free up some cable slack to shift down.

So, what could be the issue? The cable assembly is all original, apart from the adjuster being new, so it could be fairly worn, but it was working before. Visually, when I shift 3->2 the cable moves very slightly and 2->1 is much more visible. I oiled the adjuster chain to ease its movement out of the hexnut but that didn't seem to help much.
Another issue is that the shifting cable itself is quite tense by default, as in when I screw it onto the adjuster I have to apply considerable force, and unless I hold it or lock it with the nut it will just unscrew itself at some point. I can also only get the adjuster spindle about halfway in the barrel, it won't really go any further. Barrel threading issue?
Apologies for the wall of text, just wanted to provide enough info.
Any suggestions appreciated!
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Old 12-06-17, 04:42 PM
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Use the steel trigger shifter? I have had an old AW3 (Brompton Mk2, & now a new one BSR , a 3 speed S-A for that company)

the old steel trigger is just hard to get into 3rd.. new one with Bromptons shifter isa a lot reasier..

Note Dan Burkhart's you tube videos (He posts here)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6t...DoQDcOdRqlCdEA




he tears them down and shows you how they go together..


you can find a ton of stuff on the web about old AW3, they've been making them for 100 years..











...
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Old 12-06-17, 07:10 PM
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I have a couple of AW equipped bikes. Some ideas:

1. How long since the hub has been lubricated? I prefer drizzling some oil down the hollow axle.

2. The shift rod should pull out easily, though you sometimes have to wiggle the pedals a bit -- that's normal.

3. Get the behavior of the cable and barrel adjuster sorted out before trying to adjust anything. You should be able to thread it all the way on if the shifter is in 3rd. Likewise, make sure the cable is running freely while it's detached. The idea is to verify that all of the parts are behaving on their own before putting them together.

4. Dan Burkhart is very knowledgeable, and there are a few others here who have seen their fair share of these hubs. They are worth getting into working order.

Finally, Sheldon's method should work -- leave just a tiny bit of extra room to pull the rod out when the shifter is in 1st.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Use the steel trigger shifter?
Nope, mine is the twist grip one. I mostly have no issue getting it into 3rd.

Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I have a couple of AW equipped bikes. Some ideas:

1. How long since the hub has been lubricated? I prefer drizzling some oil down the hollow axle.

2. The shift rod should pull out easily, though you sometimes have to wiggle the pedals a bit -- that's normal.

3. Get the behavior of the cable and barrel adjuster sorted out before trying to adjust anything. You should be able to thread it all the way on if the shifter is in 3rd. Likewise, make sure the cable is running freely while it's detached. The idea is to verify that all of the parts are behaving on their own before putting them together.

4. Dan Burkhart is very knowledgeable, and there are a few others here who have seen their fair share of these hubs. They are worth getting into working order.

Finally, Sheldon's method should work -- leave just a tiny bit of extra room to pull the rod out when the shifter is in 1st.
1. Lubricated about 3 weeks ago, the spindle/axle is greased when taken out.
2. It pulls out most of the time, but will sometimes get stuck and normal pedaling won't help. This can also prevent downshifting into 1.
3. This is the part I'm not sure about. There appears to be enough length to thread it all the way, but a) the cable is unthreading itself counterclockwise after some point; b) the barrel adjuster just won't go any further than about half of the indicator threading, no idea if some threading issue or the force of the cable untwisting itself becomes too much. Will try to get a cable from ebay and test.
4. It's a lovely and fairly reliable piece of kit, so I certainly would want back in action, but my knowledge of the subject is somewhat limited

Last edited by 4004; 12-07-17 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 4004 View Post

1. Lubricated about 3 weeks ago, the spindle/axle is greased when taken out.


Does that mean that You lubricated it with grease?
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Old 12-07-17, 08:39 AM
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Nope, most of the lubricant in the hub is still original, I added some motor oil via the oiling hole
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Old 12-07-17, 10:57 AM
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How old is it? Anyway, take it all apart and soak everything in solvent. It's not complicated. Line up the parts in order. Make sure the plastic spring cap is OK, else it won't shift. Grease the bearings and thick oil for the inside. Dig a needle in the cable barrel.

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Old 12-07-17, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 4004 View Post
Nope, most of the lubricant in the hub is still original, I added some motor oil via the oiling hole
Motor oil is not a good lubricant for Sturmey Archer hubs.
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Old 12-07-17, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
How old is it? Anyway, take it all apart and soak everything in solvent. It's not complicated. Line up the parts in order. Make sure the plastic spring cap is OK, else it won't shift. Grease the bearings and thick oil for the inside. Dig a needle in the cable barrel.[/url]
The hub was rebuilt not too long ago, but it was made in 1970. Plastic spring cap - the one on the indicator chain? Haven't got one yet. Will try to dig the needle in the barrel, for some reason haven't thought of that, just some compressed air - good call.

Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Motor oil is not a good lubricant for Sturmey Archer hubs.
I was under the impression that's what Sheldon recommended
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Old 12-07-17, 05:00 PM
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My 94 and later hubs left off the oil hole in the hub shell, then you take the shift chain & shaft out, then drip in oil thru that hollow axle,

I use Phil Tenacious oil, My 94 hub I took the cones out and greased those, and put the oil in the gears inside the above way..




....
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Old 12-08-17, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Motor oil is not a good lubricant for Sturmey Archer hubs.
My SA-5w has 10,500 miles with lawnmower 30w oil and 10% Wynns old motor conditioner that thickens it. For grease I used Krazy synthetic. I still need a microscope to find much wear. The grease wandering in the oil didn't seem to matter. When it shifts properly, it just flies down the highway. Better than both Rohloff and derailleurs. I have NO use for a drain hole or oil slobbering on the wheel. A rebuild every 4000 miles is all it needed. Except for wiping what oozed towards the drum brake. Unlike Rohloff oil that disappears, in the SA it does not.
I think one of my shell engage big pawls is sticking and the weak spring is goofy.
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Old 12-09-17, 07:06 AM
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If you say that you are having difficulty pulling the indicator chain sometimes, it's entirely possible that it is worn/chewed up enough that it no longer slides freely over the axle nut. If there are no other obvious impediments (fulcrum/pulley, damaged housing, kinked cable, etc), I would turn my attention to the indicator rod, then to the inside of the hub.

Depending on the length of the rod you have (if it is even original), you can easily find replacements. When they are there right length, you can line the end of the rod (the machined shoulder) up with the end of the axle in second gear, and the hub will operate correctly. If you don't already know, don't screw it in tight; finger tight, then
backed off
until the chain travel lines up with the cable.
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Old 12-09-17, 02:23 PM
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I had to get a new indicator because the original was MIA, so I got the HSA125, which is I think the right part for R20.
I don't even have to back it off too much, because it is pretty much lined up with the cable when screwed in.
I am still to investigate the barrel nut, but the whole indicator assembly shouldn't really be at fault (although I find the gear change system dependent on a rod+chain that has to travel over a nut a bit unwieldy)
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Old 12-09-17, 03:11 PM
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the company has alternative inside shifting designs for the whole hub,* but the chain thru & over the funnel nut has worked for 100 years.

There is a roller substitute for the funnel nut , it was for a past 5 speed model...

* shimano alfine and my Sram i-9 have an inside the chainstay shift cable route.






.....
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Old 12-10-17, 01:37 PM
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This may or may not impact your problem:

The stop that mounts on the top tube that the shifter cable housing ends at can be moved to effectively shorten or lengthen the shift cable.

If the shift cable at the turn buckle is too tight moving the frame clamp back slightly will loosen it.
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Old 12-12-17, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
This may or may not impact your problem:

The stop that mounts on the top tube that the shifter cable housing ends at can be moved to effectively shorten or lengthen the shift cable.

If the shift cable at the turn buckle is too tight moving the frame clamp back slightly will loosen it.
do you mean the fulcrum clip? That would be one of the last resort measures since it worked with the current position previously.

Finally got around to some more inspection. A needle goes in the barrel nut about halfway, but the threading appears to only be on the first 1/3 of it?
I managed to "fix" my unscrewing tension problem, by turning the cable counter-clockwise before connecting the indicator and barrel nut. Even so, it won't go any further than about 1/3 of the barrel nut.
The most frustrating/weird thing is, it worked (mostly) before I removed the wheel, so it's like I am missing something obvious or somehow managed to mess up the mechanism
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Old 01-01-18, 04:14 PM
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I managed to adjust the spindle visually (the "mm out of the axle" method), but still get neutral when going down 3->2, but seem to get 2 when going 1->2. Weird
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Old 01-01-18, 04:28 PM
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The NIG* redesign eliminated that False Neutral.. between


* no in-between gears ... Sunrace-S-A now, only makes that 3 speed..
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Old 01-06-18, 03:31 PM
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I'd rather avoid swapping a (more or less) working hub for a new one, with relacing and all that in tow.
Moved the fulcrum clip a bit further from the hub and seems like the rod is just sticking out as per SA manuals, let's see how that goes.
Upd: scratch that, the fix was temporary, trying to shift down the cable wouldn't move, spring-loaded twist grip failed

Last edited by 4004; 01-13-18 at 05:57 PM.
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