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Shimano 600 freewheel removal and disassembly

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Shimano 600 freewheel removal and disassembly

Old 07-17-20, 01:45 PM
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Shimano 600 freewheel removal and disassembly

The Park FR-2 Suntour two-prong tool (shown in the pic below) doesn't fit the more narrow Shimano notches. The Regina tool is about $20. So I have attempted to dismantle my first ever freewheel. It gave me no problems doing so. I used a hammer and punch, clockwise, on the outer plastic piece and inner metal ring. Now I have better access to the notches. I don't really want to modify my tool. Rather, I'd like to modify the freewheel removal notches to fit the tool. I can only do this if I remove the axle. But after axle removal and notch modification, can I easily replace the axle so I can use the skewer to secure the removal tool? Suggestions?

Note to self: 31 freewheel bearings on the outside; 39 on the inside.

.

.
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Old 07-17-20, 02:14 PM
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"But after axle removal and notch modification, can I easily replace the axle so I can use the skewer to secure the removal tool?"

Can't think of why not.

You'll be servicing the axle bearings at the same time of course, but the right-side bearings will have to wait until you get the freewheel body off the hub.
The drive-side balls don't even need to be in place to get the QR on there compressing the tool, but leave the bearings in to stabilize the axle.

A longer-handled wrench (or better yet, a vise) puts less off-center force on the tool for any given torque level. Makes life easier on the tool and on the slots.
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Old 07-17-20, 02:16 PM
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Good lord.
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Old 07-17-20, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
The drive-side balls don't even need to be in place to get the QR on there compressing the tool
That's what I'm very unsure about.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
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Old 07-17-20, 03:10 PM
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3 lb sledge'll do the trick.
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Old 07-17-20, 03:26 PM
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dddd is right. Should be no problem putting the axle back in.

Those notches are a little fragile, so try to get as even pressure as you can when removing. I cracked one of those before, but was able to even out both notches and rebuild. I like those freewheels.
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Old 07-17-20, 04:13 PM
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you might want to remove the palws and see if you can get a pipe wrench to grip in the body. If it is reallt tight using the remover notches is lible to bend or brake them with no suppore of the cog body
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Old 07-17-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by trainman999 View Post
you might want to remove the palws and see if you can get a pipe wrench to grip in the body. If it is reallt tight using the remover notches is lible to bend or brake them with no suppore of the cog body
I had a 600 freewheel that was badly stuck on the hub. I bought the tool off ebay (link below) and proceeded to break it and bend the axle. I had to take it down to where yours is and then use a big wrench to remove what was left of the body. Needless to say, it was destroyed in the process.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Shimano-Dur...UAAOSwhhJfELNe
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Old 07-17-20, 07:07 PM
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I've put a sacrificial piece of soda can around the freewheel body after removing the pawls and spring. Then I used either a pipe wrench or a large channel-lock pliers to unscrew the freewheel body. That's how I used to get really stuck freewheels off. If you can get someone to hold the wheel then you can use two hands to undo the body. Remember to unscrew it counter clockwise. If I face the wheel I put the handle(s) of the wrench on the left side of the body. That way you can apply more force with lower risk of the wrench slipping.

Cheers
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Old 07-17-20, 07:25 PM
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I set out to file the freewheel's notches to accept an FR-2 and was successful doing so. It was a nice match. I would try to do this again.

However ... the body is stuck to the hub. I sprayed penetrating oil behind the body well before I began and let it sit. Before attaching the FR-2, I removed the freewheel pawls and tried to use a rag and wrench on those semi-flats. But no give. And the wrench scarred the body a bit. I then secured the FR-2, but I could not loosen the body after several swings of a sledgehammer on the attached wrench. One of the body's notches that was a bit mangled before I began is even more mangled. I filed it down to hopefully accept the freewheel lockring.

Without the freewheel cogs mounted, I was able to overhaul the drive-side of the hub. That was the main part of the goal. I haven't done it yet, but I will add new grease and bearings to the freewheel as well.

Not a total success, but sometimes you cut your losses and take what you can get. At least I didn't order the Regina tool and mangle it as well.

​​​​Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-17-20, 07:51 PM
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Biggest mistake I made was not threading on the freewheel lockring before beginning any attempt to file the notches or removal. That would have helped me clean the threads when I backed it out.
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Old 07-17-20, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Biggest mistake I made was not threading on the freewheel lockring before beginning any attempt to file the notches or removal. That would have helped me clean the threads when I backed it out.
I was thinking along the same lines, especially having the locking cone in place while torquing on the remover tool.
After all, the ring is what keeps the tool centered while removing an assembled freewheel.
Let me repeat my advice to use a longer wrench or better yet a vise!
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Old 07-17-20, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
the ring is what keeps the tool centered while removing an assembled freewheel.
Oh, ****. You're absolutely right. With the ring inserted, the tool would not have done as much damage in the least, and at best, may have finally worked.

So, filing the freewheel notches is not all I needed to do to make this theoretically work. I probably needed to file the thickness of the tool as well.

Now that I have the ring back in place, I will give it another shot.

Let me repeat my advice to use a longer wrench or better yet a vise!
I hear ya, man. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 07-18-20, 05:56 AM
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Try heating the freewheel inner body with a torch or heat gun prior to your next attempt. The expansion might help loosen the corrosion locking it in place.

As far as the ball bearings are concerned, don't worry about the specific number in each race, just fill the race until they can take no more. They are 1/8 inch bearings.
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Old 07-18-20, 06:29 PM
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Got the propane torch out, and cheater bar. It finally gave way. Skewer's bent, but will survive.

So, what did we learn?​​​​​​
  1. You can file the notches of a Shimano 600 freewheel to accept a Park FR2 (Suntour 2-notch) removal tool. But you also have to file the width of the tool to clear the lockring.
  2. The freewheel lockring/cone needs to be mounted before filing the notches to clean the threads.
  3. The lockring should be in place any time the tool is used to both support the tool and protect the freewheel notches.
  4. It is possible to overhaul the drive-side of a rear hub with the freewheel body in place, but final adjustment is made more difficult.
  5. All new freewheel bearings should be packed in place before mounting the cluster onto the freewheel body.
  6. Any washers for the lockring/cone should be in place before mounting the cluster to the body.

The more you know ...

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Old 07-18-20, 06:59 PM
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Hard to believe that some 40+ years after Shimano began popularizing the modern freehub design, FREEWHEELS ARE STILL A THING.

That's a book waiting to be written, by Pastor Bob and Surfer Rosa.

The old Shimano freewheel is free at last, free at last!
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