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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 06-02-11, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
....
It's been a while since I completely broke down a Sports, but it was like putting on an old pair of comfortable shoes. ...
Neal
Neal -
The Sports I'm working on seems quite the opposite from an old pair of comfortable shoes. Working on these hubs is new to me - but there were some tense moments trying to turn a fragile odd sized bolt to remove a semi-stuck stem, dealing with thick layers of grime and rust, hours spent in search of a 26tpi cup and bb. Even removing the chain-guard was akin to a Chinese puzzle, and I still have to fabricate all new cables myself .

IMO There is just MUCH more "stuff" to deal with with these old 3-speeds, compared to the average road bike.

- Of course condition has a lot to do with it, and this one seems to have been ridden hard and long neglected. But I like working on bikes...(I just have to remind myself of that sometimes, when confronted with the special challenges presented by these old Brits. )
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Old 06-03-11, 01:09 AM
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For Carl:

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Old 06-03-11, 01:11 AM
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auchencrow, getting the chainguard just right can be tricky, and the fenders are similar but not as bad. But it's a matter of what you're used to. I could work on an English three speed with a lobotomy, since my fingers have learned everything about them.
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Old 06-03-11, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
Neal -
The Sports I'm working on seems quite the opposite from an old pair of comfortable shoes. Working on these hubs is new to me - but there were some tense moments trying to turn a fragile odd sized bolt to remove a semi-stuck stem, dealing with thick layers of grime and rust, hours spent in search of a 26tpi cup and bb. Even removing the chain-guard was akin to a Chinese puzzle, and I still have to fabricate all new cables myself .

IMO There is just MUCH more "stuff" to deal with with these old 3-speeds, compared to the average road bike.

- Of course condition has a lot to do with it, and this one seems to have been ridden hard and long neglected. But I like working on bikes...(I just have to remind myself of that sometimes, when confronted with the special challenges presented by these old Brits. )
Auchen, I cut my teeth working on Raleigh 3-speeds (and still have the bleeding gums to prove it!), so I have the proper tools (in this case, the stamped steel Raleigh multi-tool for Witworth bolts, a Sturmey-Archer cone wrench, the Stonich cotter-pin press, the Park tool that fits the BB flats), spare triggers, shift cables, and cotters in my parts bin, plus I even had a couple of new-but-basic EA3 tires (read: Kenda) hanging in the basement. I also didn't take the much apart when I pulled the AW innards out of the shell as I saw that the pawls and springs were nice and springy, the clutch showed no wear, the planet pinions weren't chipped, and the clutch spring and cap were good to go (those last often get mashed from improper installation). Nothing was gummed up, so I was lucky.

Neal
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Old 06-03-11, 05:57 AM
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Whitworth wrenches are nice but if one buys a cheap set of SAE and Metric wrenches from Harbor freight one can make their own whitworth wrenches by carefully filing on the flats of a next size down and checking with a set of calipers until one gets the right size.



I have found that a 15mm wrench fits the outer cone nut OK on the SA hub. (if a bit tight.) a 16mm has no issue on the cones (I'm using the Park DCW series and are pretty darn tough) I've been thinking of buying an extra cone wrench just to modify to Whitworth by filing and then spray painting it to mark it as the oddball for SA hubs so I don't use it on an ISO bike.

As for broken pawls or worn innards the worst I've ever encountered was a badly worn axle that had a sloppy gear pin joint. I'm still using it although there is quite a bit more driveline lash. There are many miles on that bike but the planetary gears, pawls and clutch were all fine. I've never seen a broken pawl or worn clutch. I have an Austrian-made hub that I"m going to pull apart today that may have broken pawls in it (or just gummed up) as it was slipping badly at times when my wife took it out for a tweed ride. I'm very interested in what it looks like inside because of this. If there is damage I've got another spare hub to use for parts if necessary -one I bought just for spare parts as I knew I'd eventually run into a bike with hub issues and the axle is destined to replace the sloppy one on my dad's old '54 which was my first Raleigh.
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Old 06-03-11, 07:08 AM
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I've seen worn pawls and worn clutches. Aren't those two of the most common things found in a malfunctioning AW hub? I don't have as much experience with these as you do, but I did have a monstrous customer long ago who was very hard on his bike.

Yesterday, I did accidental wheelies on two different three speeds. Never did that before. It's understandable on a Twenty because the rider's weight is so far back. The other one was trying to start out on a steep incline on my Rudge with lowered gears. I wonder if I'm going to damage this hub, having lowered the gears. And I'm considering lowering them further. I also stand up when I pedal occasionally though not often.
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Old 06-03-11, 07:30 AM
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All of the malfunctions that I have encountered so far were caused by goop buildup. I have been amazed at how little wear and the total absence of damage I've come across. These things are built like tanks -although we don't have the hills around here that some other people have. I would imagine that a SA hub paired up with a front triple chainring that was really geared down for alpine climbing would see a bit harder use than a city bike that never ever left the flatland of ill noise.
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Old 06-03-11, 07:49 AM
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The monster customer I had was in Cambridge, MA, which isn't all that hilly. He was about 6'4" and large-framed, though he wasn't overweight. He resented my implication that his weight was related to the frequency of his problems. I should have used the word "size" instead. He broke a lot of spokes, too. I think I had to take his hub apart twice.

Remember that in the US, most bikes die not of overuse but of disuse. But you'll eventually find an overused bike, and you'll see worn parts in an AW hub.

Are you, or have you been, a bike shop mechanic? You've told us, but I've forgotten. They say that as we get older, the memory is the second thing to go...
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Old 06-03-11, 08:07 AM
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I am not, nor have I ever been a bike shop mechanic.

This probably accounts for the fact that I don't see these over-used bikes. I tend to pick up bikes on CL in the "disused" category that have become so decrepid through age that the former owners decide they are not worth keeping around any more and too expensive to have fixed up. The bike I'm working on right now is a 60's Flying Jet that was ridden for one or two seasons and then put away (inside!) for 40+ years. There is almost no rust on the bike and when I pulled the BB apart it looked like the spindle had never been touched by a bearing. It looked brand new and didn't even have a mark on the bearing faces of the spindle to even tell where the bearings sat. That is the bike that has the issue with the hub slipping that is in the vise right now ready to be pulled apart later this morning when I pry myself from the computer to start working. I posted about it a couple months ago when i first picked it up and it has finally worked itself to the top of the list of projects (funny as there are 3 more projects behind it now.)

My wife rode it last month at a tweed ride and it was slipping badly at points. I'm not sure what I'll find. Perhaps it is simply gummed up -perhaps the massive slipping caused some damage. I'll find out soon.

I think maybe someday I'll get a job at a bike shop just for the fun of it -but I have a feeling it'll take the fun right out of wrenching on bikes once I'm on the clock. I know I don't have quite the same fervor for herding electrons through those little wires when I'm at my actual work (when there is work for electricians.)
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Old 06-03-11, 09:18 AM
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Hello All,

Is there a good multi-tool I can use for a 1970 Raleigh Sports I just picked up? I just need something to carry with me and want to avoid picking the wrong tool which may be overkill or loaded with the wrong sizes.

Thanks!
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Old 06-03-11, 09:29 AM
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Most of the time regular SAE or Metric tools do the job. About the only thing that is iffy is the stem bolt which can be damaged/stripped and the chrome can chip causing it to rust in the future. A really high-quality 6" adjustable wrench works well -not a cheap one that can't hold it's jaws solidly.
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Old 06-03-11, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cazoo
Hello All,

Is there a good multi-tool I can use for a 1970 Raleigh Sports I just picked up? I just need something to carry with me and want to avoid picking the wrong tool which may be overkill or loaded with the wrong sizes.

Thanks!
A quality 6 inch wrench and a decent screwdriver should cover it.
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Old 06-03-11, 09:40 AM
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Most of the time when working on the old Raleighs the screwdriver is all you need as you can hold the nut with a bare hand unless it is really rotted on. Once you get past that first bit of loosening there isn't much force required. I think the whitworth thread pitch is less likely to cause binding than modern fasteners unless there is a bunch of rust. Even then, it doesn't take much to hold the nutted end and a sloppy-fitting SAE or Metric fastener can do the trick without much risk of messing it up (and most of these fasteners like the ones that hold the fenders and chain guard on are already darkened with age and/or rusty so there isn't much you can do to them to make them any uglier.
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Old 06-03-11, 10:05 AM
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Thank you, guys. I thought a multi-tool might be unnecessary.
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Old 06-03-11, 11:04 AM
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Ya'all know I've got that Golden Arrow, it has a K hub, I have heard tell that they are rather fragile. I've talked with some folks about it but, I dunno, I guess if it is messed up now or I "fix" it somehow I'll just have to put on a later hub. Really I didn't look closely enough at it before I took the bike all apart, so I just have to hope. Wish me luck
Hey Brilcream, I was under the impression you boys from Maine can fix anything, don't you guys have boatsheds full of antique car parts, boats, and motorcycles?

I've seen some pretty abused hubs and with the exception of one, they all sprang to life after an application of some 30W motor oil. Don't abandon the K hub just yet, plus if its not working it will give you an excuse to troll ebay or your neighbors boat house.
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Old 06-03-11, 11:11 AM
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The key to tool selection is quality. I won't use ill fitting tools that damage the bike just because I'm out on the road and get a flat tire.

My tool kit -

Crescent-brand, 6" adjustable wrench,
Small, high-quality screwdriver with a blade that flips around to offer either slot or Phillips type screws,
Folding allen wrench set,
Tire irons,
Patch kit and/or tube

Now, if only I could get a bag to carry these on the bike so I don't need to wear the fanny pack.
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Old 06-03-11, 12:28 PM
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1969 Raleigh Colt

Picked up this Raleigh Colt for $30....SA coaster brake hub with a 69 date stamp. BB serial reads "508069" with a possible "4" in front of it. After a little cleanup I was surprised that a 5' 11" adult like me could comfortably ride it by merely raising the seat up.

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Old 06-03-11, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I've seen worn pawls and worn clutches. Aren't those two of the most common things found in a malfunctioning AW hub? I don't have as much experience with these as you do, but I did have a monstrous customer long ago who was very hard on his bike.
Tom, I've been tearing down AW hubs for about 25 years now, and worn clutch is probably the most common internal problem I've seen (causing the bike to slip in 2nd gear), followed by worn pawl springs and chipped pinions. Those aren't frequent occurrences in my experience, certainly not as frequent as the hub being all gummed up from old lubricant, but they happen and they're easily fixed.

Neal
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Old 06-03-11, 12:50 PM
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Agree with Neal... worn clutches are the number one problem when an SA starts having trouble or maybe number 2... have seen a number of hubs where the retaining pin for the indicator spindle has broken and this relates to a post in another 3 speed thread.

If the cable is set so that there is not the smallest amount of play when the bike is in first, and we are talking <1mm, or just set too tightly during initial set up pulling the trigger hard and repeatedly puts a lot of stress on the pin and it , or the indicator spindle may be damaged.

If getting the hub into first requires an inordinately hard pull the cable is too tight.

I rarely set SA hubs up using the indicator spindle as a visual guide unless I know the spindle matches the axle or I am familiar with the hub... if the wrong spindle has been installed the setting will be off and it is easier for me to set them up from the third position and then testing the shifting from there.

Once you know how an SA hub is supposed to sound during shifts you know when it is not properly tuned up.
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Old 06-03-11, 01:28 PM
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I was recently lucky enough to find a 1954 Dunelt and 1961 Raleigh Sports. I am in love with both of them, and they have both been ridden several times over the past few weeks. Here are a few pictures

PS - this is my favorite thread of all the internet! I also started a Facebook "like" page for Dunelt bikes. Please feel free to join and post pictures, information, or stories.






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Old 06-03-11, 01:42 PM
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PJ311foo - Those are stunning!

PS- Can you elaborate on how you "got lucky"?
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Old 06-03-11, 01:49 PM
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I found them both on CL and they came from the same owner. I think by lucky I meant by finding them in the condition they are in. All I had to do was take them completely apart for a good cleaning, chrome polishing, and waxing. I did have to replace the cables on the Dunelt however. I come from a Schwinn background, so these two are Cadillacs to me. Thanks for the compliment! Ive been tearing apart the internet for info on the Dunelt.
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Old 06-03-11, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Tom, I've been tearing down AW hubs for about 25 years now, and worn clutch is probably the most common internal problem I've seen (causing the bike to slip in 2nd gear), followed by worn pawl springs and chipped pinions. Those aren't frequent occurrences in my experience, certainly not as frequent as the hub being all gummed up from old lubricant, but they happen and they're easily fixed.

Neal
That's exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you for rewording it.

My daughter and I (yeah!) overhauled a Brampton clone of an AW. We dissolved the shellac with solvent and scratched it off with a scratch awl. It was a lot of time and labor. It worked! Although I have to say, it wasn't perfect. I don't have the bike any more, so I can't try again.
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Old 06-03-11, 02:44 PM
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PJ, those are two of the best specimens I have ever seen.

Sixty Fiver, I can adjust an AW hub with my eyes closed, literally, because I do it by feel and sound. It's one of the first bike repairs I learned, at about age 11. I learned it from a kid in the playground, when he adjusted my hub on my Stingray clone. It had a real AW hub with a giant stick shift on the top tube.
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Old 06-03-11, 04:24 PM
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Thank you, noglider. I worked hard to brighten them up. Here are some more pics -

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pj311foo/

Also, I come from a Schwinn background and dont know much about the Dunelt. I think I have found a new direction in my passion!
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