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An old freewheel removal tool??

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An old freewheel removal tool??

Old 03-20-20, 12:15 PM
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Cycle Tourist
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An old freewheel removal tool??

OK. I've been wrenching for awhile and I came across a freewheel on a '76, '77 Japanese bike. I wanted to keep the chain and freewheel together for possible future use. I have about 6 removal tools but not this one. I know the cost of purchase probably outweighs the value of the freewheel but I hate not having the right tools. Any help identifing the tool I need to order will be appreciated.


this is the tool I thought would work.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:21 PM
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It looks like the first version of a Shimano Freewheel tool. I do not have the number but shouldn't be hard to find one. May not be stocked in shops but I am sure they can get one. The hole on the tool is just a bit bigger than the axle size. Your tool is the next generation. Roger
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Old 03-20-20, 12:23 PM
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Goodness, haven't seen one of those for a while. Is that not the same fitting as the current Shimano cassette lock-ring? It seems to have the same number of slots.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:43 PM
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I believe you need a Shimano TL-FW30.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Shimano...8AAOSwPHReRLht
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Old 03-20-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
Goodness, haven't seen one of those for a while. Is that not the same fitting as the current Shimano cassette lock-ring? It seems to have the same number of slots.
I think your right about the number of slots but it's too big to fit.
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Old 03-20-20, 01:22 PM
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Sorry, my first post is wrong. Let me try again.

https://www.thebikesmiths.com/produc...SABEgI6AfD_BwE
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Old 03-20-20, 05:02 PM
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The freewheel is sometimes referred to as the 333 model. The removal tool was made by a few companies. The splines in the FW are small enough a diameter and the tool needs thick enough walls so the axle lock nut and spacer need removal to fit the tool in the splines. No current production that I know of, hasn't been for a long time (decades?). Most LBS won't have one unless they are pretty old or has a privet owned one to use (mine is at my work right now). I know of others who have sourced from eBay. Andy
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Old 03-20-20, 08:08 PM
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Maybe this one? $1.50 shipped to your door! Order today!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Bike-re...wAAOSw0Pdd1tEo
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Old 03-20-20, 08:40 PM
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You need the Shimano TL-FW-20, or the Kengine FR-4 @brian3069 mentions above.

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Old 03-20-20, 10:03 PM
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As a youngster I didn't possess any special bike tools (or even knew they existed) so I had to get resourceful. To remove a freewheel I would dismantle them. Remove the lock ring by tapping with a center punch to spin it around then tip upside down and let a thousand tiny balls drop out and the freewheel will detach from its body. This is then easy to grip the part that remains in a vice and to spin it off. Re-assemble if you want to keep it and the bonus is the freewheel gets an overhaul so it is nice and quiet when coasting.
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Old 03-22-20, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bluehills3149 View Post
As a youngster I didn't possess any special bike tools (or even knew they existed) so I had to get resourceful. To remove a freewheel I would dismantle them. Remove the lock ring by tapping with a center punch to spin it around then tip upside down and let a thousand tiny balls drop out and the freewheel will detach from its body. This is then easy to grip the part that remains in a vice and to spin it off. Re-assemble if you want to keep it and the bonus is the freewheel gets an overhaul so it is nice and quiet when coasting.
Boy does that sound familiar. I did the same thing which is why I want this tool. I found one at Bikesmith for about $9. They called it a "old" thick walled removal tool. I've been pulling bikes apart for over 60 years and never needed this tool as far as I know.🧑‍🔧
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Old 03-22-20, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
Boy does that sound familiar. I did the same thing which is why I want this tool. I found one at Bikesmith for about $9. They called it a "old" thick walled removal tool. I've been pulling bikes apart for over 60 years and never needed this tool as far as I know.🧑‍🔧
This 333 freewheel is just one of th3e more common designs from about 1975 to 1980+-. Maybe SunTour Perfect is as common. That a "shop" back then wouldn't need such a popular tool confounds me. Andy
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Old 03-22-20, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
This 333 freewheel is just one of th3e more common designs from about 1975 to 1980+-. Maybe SunTour Perfect is as common. That a "shop" back then wouldn't need such a popular tool confounds me. Andy
You assumed I worked in a bike shop. You assumed I mostly worked on derailleur bikes. I did work on derailleur bikes but the only freewheels I pulled off (using removal tools) happen to be two notch Suntours and later four notch wheels which I thought a huge improvement. Splined freewheels were heaven sent!
I disassembled and reassembled bikes from the age of ten using an adjustable wrench, a hammer, a screwdriver and a pair of rusty pliers sitting on a concrete floor in the basement. It did make tracking down all those tiny ball bearings a little easier.🤓
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Old 03-22-20, 09:09 PM
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I didn't assume you worked in a LBS, Maybe my quotation marks on either side of "shop" wasn't indicative enough that you had your work shop for many years and likely knew about tools and the common components back then, and thus was a "shop" of sorts My mistake if I wasn't direct enough.

However nearly every LBS back then would have had a Shimano 333 remover. Even the JC Penneys toy and bike dept had one in 1975 (in Pittsford, NY) . So i'm still surprised that a person who serviced many bikes in the later parts of the 1970s didn't know of this tool, or have had a need for one. Andy
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Old 03-23-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
the only freewheels I pulled off (using removal tools) happen to be two notch Suntours and later four notch wheels which I thought a huge improvement. Splined freewheels were heaven sent!
While in principle splined freewheels are superior to notched ones, the original thick-walled Shimano TL-FW-20 required you to remove the drive side locknut and spacer from the hub axle in order to be able to insert the tool. The thin-wall Phil Wood/Zeus tool (for Atom, Regina, Zeus, etc. freewheels) addressed that issue for European built freewheels, and eventually the Shimano Uniglide tool did the same for Shimano's new production freewheels. I still have to wonder why Shimano didn't simply copy the Atom/Regina/Zeus/etc. spline pattern that had been on the market for years already instead of creating a new proprietary "standard" that was incompatible even with Shimano's own earlier freewheels.
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Old 03-23-20, 06:15 PM
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John,
You are brandishing "logic"on this subject. The incompatibility of parts is what drives the need to buy new tools every couple if weeks. Proprietary parts require special tools to do any repairs. I wound up with a $25 torx bit that only is used to remove dash plates on Peterbuilt trucks. Kinda like the ATD spanner I posted today in the ISO forum. It only fits that 16 mm bolt for the Zeus crank. Smiles, MH
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Old 03-23-20, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
The incompatibility of parts is what drives the need to buy new tools every couple if weeks. Proprietary parts require special tools to do any repairs. I wound up with a $25 torx bit that only is used to remove dash plates on Peterbuilt trucks.H
Funny I just borrowed to a guy at work today a MAC clutch drive screwdriver I bought back in 1977 and used exactly once to remove the horn retaining ring on my '62 Chevy pickup to pull the steering wheel for reasons I can't even remember. I may have used it a second time on some old "ham can" camper that used those screws too.
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