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What oil for 3 speed hub?

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What oil for 3 speed hub?

Old 07-07-13, 11:38 AM
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What oil for 3 speed hub?

My neighbor gave me an old J.C. Penny woman's 3 speed. The rear hub has an oil port with a flip cap. Anyone over 50 has seen them.
So, how much and what kind of oil do I put in there?
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Old 07-07-13, 11:49 AM
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A teaspoon is probably sufficient. Any non-detergent motor or machine oil that is not too thin should do. Avoid the traditional 3in1 oil, as it has a vegetable base and can gum up.
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Old 07-07-13, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
A teaspoon is probably sufficient. Any non-detergent motor or machine oil that is not too thin should do. Avoid the traditional 3in1 oil, as it has a vegetable base and can gum up.
+1, note thet auto motor oil is not machine oil. If the hub is a Sturmey Archer brand, the internals were treated with a bonded on lubricant coating that doesn't get along well with some detergents used in motor oils. A gear oil is fine, as are some diesel motor oils (see non-detergent on the label) or any machine oil which will be free of the additives that motor oils have.
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Old 07-07-13, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Avoid the traditional 3in1 oil, as it has a vegetable base and can gum up.
3-in-One Multipurpose Oil

3-in-One Motor Oil
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Old 07-07-13, 04:57 PM
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I used Phil Tenacious oil in my AW3 ,hub .. took the axle cones out and used grease on those ball bearings .

my hub had no cap, but taking the shift chain out and squirting the oil in the hollow axle gets it in there fine..
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Old 07-07-13, 05:27 PM
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30wt non detergent is pretty easy to find. i usually use gear oil
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Old 07-08-13, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
I usually use gear oil.
The viscosity of engine oil and gear oil is measured at different temperatures (engines being hotter than gearboxes). 75W-90 gear oil is about the same weight lubricant as 10W-40 engine oil.

After the war when everything was rationed and in short supply, Sturmey said riders could use sewing machine oil in the gears and Vaseline in the labyrinth seals.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:12 AM
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I imagine ATF would suffice. Dunno how much though. Just as long as it doesn't leak out the cap, but enough to lubricate properly.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:48 AM
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the usual leakage is intended to lubricate the axle bearings on the way out..

By using grease on the axle bearings , it is retaining the lube oil, a bit more .

STP oil treatment adds some cling ..

some use chainsaw bar oil , which has sticky properties .

Like I say Phil Tenacious does well, is sticky, and the container makes squirting it in
the hollow axle end simple..

If you Dont have an old long nozzle oil can, getting to that oil cap in the hub shell is a challenge..

Those are estate sale or period collector Items, them selves by now..
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Old 07-08-13, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
The viscosity of engine oil and gear oil is measured at different temperatures (engines being hotter than gearboxes). 75W-90 gear oil is about the same weight lubricant as 10W-40 engine oil.

After the war when everything was rationed and in short supply, Sturmey said riders could use sewing machine oil in the gears and Vaseline in the labyrinth seals.
yes i know that they are similar weight. i use gear oil for its lubrication properties
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Old 07-08-13, 07:54 PM
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Must use SA Cycle Oil if SA hub. (Left over from when stoker and I had Hercules bikes several decades ago)



Seems like a light machine oil.
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Old 07-09-13, 10:32 AM
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See: Lubrication, beginning on page 4.

Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Must use SA Cycle Oil if SA hub.
Newbies and neophytes: he's joking. Nifty vintage Cycle Oil tin.
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Old 07-09-13, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Must use SA Cycle Oil if SA hub. (Left over from when stoker and I had Hercules bikes several decades ago)



Seems like a light machine oil.
Looks like the spout is broken on yours:

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Old 07-09-13, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Looks like the spout is broken on yours:

Correct - broken for a long time. Wanna trade?
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Old 07-09-13, 10:15 PM
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If you use 3 in 1 oil, will it turn it into a single speed?
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Old 07-10-13, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
If you use 3 in 1 oil, will it turn it into a single speed?
No, I think it makes a three speed out of a single speed.
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Old 07-10-13, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
If you use 3 in 1 oil, will it turn it into a single speed?
If it gums up the pawls, it will be a zero speed.

3-in-One Motor Oil (blue label) is a non-detergent 20wt. oil and is probably the closest modern equivalent to the old Sturmey-Archer Cycle Oil. It even comes in a similar dispenser bottle.

3-in-One Multi-Purpose Oil (black label) debuted during the first great bike boom in 1894, making it one of the oldest cycling products you can still buy. The oil was originally intended for bicycle chains, and the name indicated it "1) cleaned, 2) lubricated and 3) rust proofed", hence, 3-in-One. After 119 years, it's still not a bad choice for chain lubrication.

3-in-One Multipurpose Oil contains a vegetable based component, citronella oil (ever notice the way 3-in-One Multipurpose smells?), which will go rancid, break down and turn into very much a non-lubricant. This residue would get cleaned off a chain in the next application, but when enclosed in a small metal shell it has nowhere to go. Probably more Sturmeys in the USA have been rendered inoperable by 3-in-One Multi-Purpose residue than for any other reason. The 3-in-One folks themselves do not list IGHs as a potential use for their Multipurpose Oil.

Last edited by tcs; 07-10-13 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 07-10-13, 06:50 AM
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A V-brake noodle liner makes a good impromptu nozzle.
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Old 07-10-13, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post

3-in-One Multipurpose Oil contains citronella oil
keeps the mosquitoes away.
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