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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 04-25-07, 05:30 PM   #1
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3 speed hub (Sturmey Archer AW) difficult to spin, etc.

I got a hub from another BF member (Thanks!) at no cost, and am trying to piece it together. I have the whole hub and the shifter but no cable and no actuater and no drive side nut. I can source those parts, that is no big deal. The hub is not built in a wheel currently, but I will do that once I get the hub working. Currently there is no shift actuater in it (just the hole for it) and I read its supposed to be in 3rd gear if no shifter is in it. That seems to be working just fine. I held the axle with a crescent wrench and turned the hub and the gear spins slower and vice versa. So far so good.

Three questions:
1) The hub is *very* difficult to spin. Feels gritty. I will repack the wheel bearings and see if that settles it down. Is there any other reason for it to be that way? When simulating coasting it is still very gritty.
2) There seems to be *tons* of backlash, roughly 1/4 turn. Is that the standard?
5) The hub is quite dirty. I can clean the ousdie, but I can only imagine what the inside looks like. What is the best way to clean it out internally? Tear it apart and soak it in solvent or spray it down with carb cleaner? I will relube with motor oil.

Thanks folks!
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Old 04-25-07, 05:45 PM   #2
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I just took one apart - it's not tough if you use Sheldon's instructions and a digital camera. The hub I have did not freewheel well before I disassembled. The treatment I tried was a bunch of oil to soak and running the wheel. Didn't help, but perhaps I was impatient. You'd be surprised how clean it is inside, even if it looks like hell on the outside.

Read Sheldon on repacking the bearings. You want to go in from the non-drive side, if I recall.
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