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Sach Freewheel disassembly

Old 01-18-19, 01:10 AM
  #1  
vintagerando
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Sach Freewheel disassembly

This freewheel is gummed up. So, I was able to remove the cogs to get to the freewheel body. (Though not visible in this photo, all the cogs are loose and come apart.)

Two questions:
1. Which direction removes the "cap" to get to the bearings?
2. Who makes a spanner with small enough pins to remove the "cap"? Was there a special spanner for Sach freewheels? The holes are tiny. (I tried the 3 spanners I have; all too big)

Thanks.


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Old 01-18-19, 02:46 AM
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Old 01-18-19, 07:49 AM
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@Uyle great video even if the RJTheBikGuy doesn't know that on a freewheel they are called "sprockets" and not "cogs." However, @vintagerando wants to open up the inside of his Sachs Aris freewheel body and take care of the internal "peanut butter" grease.

His pictured freewheel suffers from the original grease going bad and turning to what I like to call "peanut butter." It is gumming up the pawls, the ratchet teeth, and the bearings which are in tiny red plastic cages, which also act as seals to prevent contamination from entering the freewheel, and subsequently effectively preventing someone from performing an ill-advised "flush and fill" with WD40 and regular oil.

Here are a couple of pictures of what the internals probably look like.



Everything all cleaned up and ready for new synthetic grease only in the races, and few drops of oil on the pawl pivots, and a smear of oil on the ratchet teeth.

Originally this Sachs Aris came to me looking like this.


Vintagerando, to remove the outer retaining ring/bearing race, I recommend you find a punch with a small enough point to fit into one of the four holes. Thread the body onto a hub with a tire inflated on the wheel. Facing the wheel with the freewheel body in front of you with the four holes at the 12-3-6 and 9 o'clock positions, place the punch in the 3 o'clock hole and using a hammer tap towards the floor or work surface. The threads are in reverse. Since the bearings are in cages you don't need to worry about catching them. You will need your freewheel remover to take off the inner body which remains behind on the hub.

Use WD40 to initially clean off the excess original grease. Carefully remove the bearings from the cages. Follow with a hot soapy bath in Dawn dish detergent and water, scrubbing with an old tooth brush. I use a loose tea strainer to hold the bearings, pawls, spring and spacer. Or if you own a ultrasonic cleaner, use it. You might have to use a tooth pick to clean the gunk out of the external gap in the red plastic cages/seals. I use blue Loctite on the retaining ring/bearing race when I reassemble. A few taps with the punch to achieve the final tightening is recommended.

Best of luck on your freewheel service!
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Old 01-18-19, 05:42 PM
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What I have always done with typically-gummed Sachs freewheels is to access the oil ports by removing the cogs.

Then I apply my quick-tune-up oil of choice, either 1) aerosol Liquid Wrench Lubricating Oil, or 2) plain motor oil from my squeeze bottle, with 10% thinner added to it.

In either case, an applicator tube gets plenty of oil into the small lube port in the freewheel body.

With the aerosol product, the solvent content and foaming action ensures penetration of every space inside without having to over-lubricate.

I'm no fan of these freewheel's shifting performance, so prefer not to use them myself, but will attempt rescue of them on bikes to be flipped.
I found that they brought respectable bids on Ebay, sold several a few years back. I imagine that their extensive sealing features give them good longevity in really wet conditions, where I might have to occasionally re-oil a lesser-sealed freewheel.
But I am still finding Dura-Ace freewheels with rubber seals that I can build with my preferred selection of Uniglide (or even Hyperglide) cogs.


Last edited by dddd; 01-18-19 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 01-18-19, 07:30 PM
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@pastorbobnlnh I do have an ultrasonic cleaner but have not used it much. Can all these parts go in the ultrasonic cleaner? I had one bad experience with a RD, the finish was sort of permanently discolored. Of course I won't put plastic parts in the cleaner. Is everything else ok for the ultrasonic cleaner?
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Old 01-18-19, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by vintagerando View Post
@pastorbobnlnh I do have an ultrasonic cleaner but have not used it much. Can all these parts go in the ultrasonic cleaner? I had one bad experience with a RD, the finish was sort of permanently discolored. Of course I won't put plastic parts in the cleaner. Is everything else ok for the ultrasonic cleaner?
I'm guessing you used Simple Green if it the finish was compromised. I don't care for Simple Green.

I use an ultrasonic specific metal degreaser concentrate solution mixed with water in my cleaner, specifically Branson MC-3. Try hot water with a strong solution of Dawn detergent. Even the plastic cages. Rinse well and dry the metal parts in the oven at about 200F.

Let us know if you discover "peanut butter" grease on the inside.
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Old 01-18-19, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
What I have always done with typically-gummed Sachs freewheels is to access the oil ports by removing the cogs.

Then I apply my quick-tune-up oil of choice, either 1) aerosol Liquid Wrench Lubricating Oil, or 2) plain motor oil from my squeeze bottle, with 10% thinner added to it.

In either case, an applicator tube gets plenty of oil into the small lube port in the freewheel body.

With the aerosol product, the solvent content and foaming action ensures penetration of every space inside without having to over-lubricate.

I'm no fan of these freewheel's shifting performance, so prefer not to use them myself, but will attempt rescue of them on bikes to be flipped.
I found that they brought respectable bids on Ebay, sold several a few years back. I imagine that their extensive sealing features give them good longevity in really wet conditions, where I might have to occasionally re-oil a lesser-sealed freewheel.
But I am still finding Dura-Ace freewheels with rubber seals that I can build with my preferred selection of Uniglide (or even Hyperglide) cogs.
I like this approach as well, For the freewheel in question, I want to try and see if I could do a full disassembly.
I was not aware there are oil ports but will watch for them when I return to finish this project.
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Old 01-19-19, 08:14 AM
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Here are the post clean photos. Spins smooth.



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Old 01-19-19, 10:04 AM
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Bob, I appreciate you sharing your expertise in these DIY freewheel rebuild threads.
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Old 01-19-19, 02:31 PM
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Okay, reading this has made me want to try rehabbing a Sachs or two that have been tossed in a box. That is right after I fix the dryer vent and do some other things that will fill up the rest of today.
Question before I start is how long Sachs cogs will last? Doubt any have more than 5k miles on them, but since I gave up tracking miles once I stopped racing, I really have no idea.
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Old 01-19-19, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
I'm guessing you used Simple Green if it the finish was compromised. I don't care for Simple Green.

I use an ultrasonic specific metal degreaser concentrate solution mixed with water in my cleaner, specifically Branson MC-3. Try hot water with a strong solution of Dawn detergent. Even the plastic cages. Rinse well and dry the metal parts in the oven at about 200F.

Let us know if you discover "peanut butter" grease on the inside.
Thanks for posting the photos and your cleaning process.
I did not find the "peanut butter" grease, but I am familiar with that hardened grease. I ran into the "peanut butter" inside some late 1960s Maillard Normandy hubs that had seized axles. What a challenge to get that stuff out. Its actually more like the crunchy version of peanut butter.
I am getting brave now and plan to try a Suntour next. The mechanic at my local shop has a sweet vintage freewheel vise. Gotta get me one of those babies.
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Old 01-19-19, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
@Uyle great video even if the RJTheBikGuy doesn't know that on a freewheel they are called "sprockets" and not "cogs." However, @vintagerando wants to open up the inside of his Sachs Aris freewheel body and take care of the internal "peanut butter" grease.

His pictured freewheel suffers from the original grease going bad and turning to what I like to call "peanut butter." It is gumming up the pawls, the ratchet teeth, and the bearings which are in tiny red plastic cages, which also act as seals to prevent contamination from entering the freewheel, and subsequently effectively preventing someone from performing an ill-advised "flush and fill" with WD40 and regular oil.

Here are a couple of pictures of what the internals probably look like.



Everything all cleaned up and ready for new synthetic grease only in the races, and few drops of oil on the pawl pivots, and a smear of oil on the ratchet teeth.

Originally this Sachs Aris came to me looking like this.


Vintagerando, to remove the outer retaining ring/bearing race, I recommend you find a punch with a small enough point to fit into one of the four holes. Thread the body onto a hub with a tire inflated on the wheel. Facing the wheel with the freewheel body in front of you with the four holes at the 12-3-6 and 9 o'clock positions, place the punch in the 3 o'clock hole and using a hammer tap towards the floor or work surface. The threads are in reverse. Since the bearings are in cages you don't need to worry about catching them. You will need your freewheel remover to take off the inner body which remains behind on the hub.

Use WD40 to initially clean off the excess original grease. Carefully remove the bearings from the cages. Follow with a hot soapy bath in Dawn dish detergent and water, scrubbing with an old tooth brush. I use a loose tea strainer to hold the bearings, pawls, spring and spacer. Or if you own a ultrasonic cleaner, use it. You might have to use a tooth pick to clean the gunk out of the external gap in the red plastic cages/seals. I use blue Loctite on the retaining ring/bearing race when I reassemble. A few taps with the punch to achieve the final tightening is recommended.

Best of luck on your freewheel service!
To our thread starter, Best wishes on getting this freewheel back to health. Sachs made some nice componentry, especially late in life. Pastor, just visited your website, and saw your nice fleet, and you've done some very nice restorations on your classics. Enjoyed visiting your site.
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Old 01-20-19, 07:40 AM
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@vintagerando and @Kent T thank you for your appreciation. I'm always happy to help someone out with their freewheel challenges. I realize there are a great number of opinions about different ways to service a freewheel, but I hope my experience of having worked on thousands of different makes and models can help another C&Ver do the best possible for their freewheel. I'm not infallible nor have I worked on every different kind, but I believe I have come up with a process which works exceptionally well.
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Old 06-10-20, 01:47 PM
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Zombie alert, but I used this thread to help me disassemble and service one of my Sachs freewheels - thanks for being so willing to share your expertise, pastorbobnlnh !


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