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New Bike. Loud Freehub. Can't Unscrew it.

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New Bike. Loud Freehub. Can't Unscrew it.

Old 01-17-20, 09:06 AM
  #1  
sjanzeir
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New Bike. Loud Freehub. Can't Unscrew it.

So, my brand new Dahon's freehub is loud AF, so I wanted to take it off, disassemble and repack it with new grease (I had a similar issue with another freehub that became whisper-quiet after I repacked it.) Problem is, I just can't get it off of the hub. My entire body weight on a 16-inch breaker bar with another person holding the wheel firm wasn't enough. I even tried some brute force with a composite sledge hammer onto the breaker bar - in both directions - but it just won't budge. Please help!

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Old 01-17-20, 09:46 AM
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Are you sure of the correct direction to turn the wrench? The way the photo is laid out suggests you might have been tightening the FH body, if the direction of the hammer and wrench indicate the actual arrangement.

I assume you know why FHs and freewheels are note intended to be greased? (Not that this stopped many including me from trying it at least once). I only use a heavy oil these days and this can be dripped onto and in time seep into the body. Andy
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Old 01-17-20, 09:54 AM
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The first picture is laid out wrong - sorry about that. I was trying counterclockwise, like so:




That said, I did try a few blows clockwise - you know, the "tighten to loosen" method - which didn't help at all.
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Old 01-17-20, 10:13 AM
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Is that a Shimano hub? If not, not all other brands' hubs are removed with a bolt accessed through the drive side like that. Check with the hub manufacturer (or possibly Dahon) to make sure you are doing it right.
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Old 01-17-20, 10:37 AM
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I couldn't tell what brand it is. All I can see is the letters R and J on one of the cassette splines. Googling "RJ freehub" rendered a ton of RJ the Bike Guy's videos. All I see inside the hub/freehub is some sort of a receptacle for a 12mm hex key that sits somewhat inboard of the driveside spoke flange. There's no other feature that I could see around the hub/freehub assembly that might constitute a sure way to undo the freehub:




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Old 01-17-20, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I assume you know why FHs and freewheels are not intended to be greased?
I do know that freewheels aren't supposed (or designed, for that matter) to be repacked - at least not modern, brand-name quality ones. But freehubs? This is honestly the first time I've read something like this. What's the deal with that?
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Old 01-17-20, 10:48 AM
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Grease can interfere with the pawls, making their (re)engagement a bit lazy.
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Old 01-17-20, 10:51 AM
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Oh... I suspected as much. I'm not a competitive cyclist, though, so I'd rather have a quiet freehub than a speedy one.
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Old 01-17-20, 10:51 AM
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A friend had a hub like this one. You have a 7/16 allen wrench nut inside the freehub. So you use a 12mm from the rt. side and the 7/16" from the left side of the hub.
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Old 01-17-20, 11:04 AM
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Here's that I could see from the left side:




This thing is octa-faced, not hex-faced (I counted the flat surfaces.) I'm not sure if this is the 7/16" nut you mentioned. Besides, even if I were to fit some sort of eight-faced wrench in there, the bearing cup appears to be narrower than said nut, so I doubt that said wrench would fit.
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Old 01-17-20, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by frankenmike View Post
Grease can interfere with the pawls, making their (re)engagement a bit lazy.
It's also the officially recommended lubricant for some freehubs, like those on CycleOps PowerTap hubs.
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Old 01-17-20, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Oh... I suspected as much. I'm not a competitive cyclist, though, so I'd rather have a quiet freehub than a speedy one.
Friction (inside the FH body) isn't the issue when pedaling as it's two "halves" are locked together. And when coasting on a loose ball, cup and cone, design grease is slower, oil will have less drag. In my area it gets cold enough during winter to cause the lubes to thicken, I suspect in Saudi this isn't a problem.

The issue we allude to is if the pawls stick "shut" as you begin forward pedaling the pedals can just spin forwards and you get no engagement. Often followed by your nuts impacting the frame Grease being thick and sticky can encourage this pawl slow engagement. But maybe only one or two pawls will stick and the other(s) will crack from the overloading and cocking of the FH body. This less often results in loss of control.

For the vast majority of those who are thinking of servicing their FH body (or freewheel) I again suggest a flushing/cleaning of the body and relubing with a thick oil like Phil's. This can be done with no break down of the body. These loose ball FHs generally have a slight bit of bearing slop which they need, unlike similar bearinged hubs (wanting a no slop slight preload). Some of these FHs have a seal on the back side, contacting the shell, that can be removed and reinstalled allowing a larger access to the insides through which to flush/lube by. Andy
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Old 01-17-20, 11:39 PM
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This being a folding bike with a single, low-slung "top" (main?) tube for a frame, I'mssure my nuts are in now immediate danger

The grease I use isn't very thick - I would describe its consistency as about that of skin cream or tooth paste:




I've used this same grease in every hub I've repacked over the past few years, a Shimano freehub, a couple of bottom brackets (the loose bearing type) and a vintage headset. Heck, I even used the black liquid that tends to puddle up the hole made by by my fingers in the middle of the grease to refill thettiny ball bearings of jockey wheels.

WheniI took said Shimano freehub apart (it belonged to my long-gone 2016 Trek 7.3FX) it had just about lost all of its lubricant in the year or so that I'd owned the bike. It was literally metal on metal in there, and it zzzzzzzz'ed as loudly AF - it was almost embarrassing. It was quiet and prompt after I repacked it with this same grease.

That freehub was much easier to get off the hub, though. Like WL pointed out earlier, all I had to do was unscrew the hollow bolt in the middle with a 10mm hex key. But this? I'm stumped.
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Old 01-18-20, 12:07 AM
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How about tool in vice and rotate the wheel?
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Old 01-18-20, 12:23 AM
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Tried that; a) the tiny vice I've got at home is too small and too flimsy to hold the hex bit securely, and it's attached to a wooden table top (it started slipping off after some effort) and b) that 20" wheel is too small to furnish enough leverage anyway. It just didn't work.

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Old 01-18-20, 09:12 AM
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I'm confused as to what your socket is attached to in the first photo.
If it's anything like my 8 speed Ultegra, the attached instructions say to use the allen wrench to remove the bolt holding the freehub. Note, the attached directions say never to disassemble it! I would probably just try to dribble the thick oil into it or soak it in the oil. I bought the big allen wrench, but never had the urge to use it.
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Old 01-18-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespeedlouie View Post
I'm confused as to what your socket is attached to in the first photo.
If it's anything like my 8 speed Ultegra, the attached instructions say to use the allen wrench to remove the bolt holding the freehub. Note, the attached directions say never to disassemble it! I would probably just try to dribble the thick oil into it or soak it in the oil. I bought the big allen wrench, but never had the urge to use it.
It's not a shimano hub.
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Old 01-29-20, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespeedlouie View Post
I'm confused as to what your socket is attached to in the first photo.
It's a 10mm spring-and-ball locking socket attached to this 12mm hex key and a 16"/40cm breaker bar:




And as it turned out, after I decided to pull out the pressed-metal seal behind the cassette lockring to get a better view of what's inside, I found the signature "Shimano notches" hidden right behind that! Since I don't own the corresponding tool, I tried the hammer-and-striking-screwdriver method, but it still didn't budge. Next week I might just take it to the local bike shop/Trek dealer and have them unscrew it for me, or buy me an impact socket of the right outside diameter and grind it down to create the two teeth as in RJ the Bike Guy's video.
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Old 01-29-20, 08:02 AM
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As Andrew R Stewart gently hinted a couple of times already, you can save yourself a lot of frustration and achieve your goal of quieting the freehub by simply dripping heavy oil into it, which is what almost all bike mechanics do (and all smart bike mechanics do) in preference to applying grease.
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Old 01-29-20, 01:30 PM
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I would try e-mailing Dahon and see if they can tell you how to remove the freehub.
If you try to take it apart the outer race is a left-handed thread. You will need a tool like this one. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Free-Hub-To...75.c100623.m-1
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