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Build-a-long freewheel!!!! Photo heavy

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Build-a-long freewheel!!!! Photo heavy

Old 01-16-11, 04:05 PM
  #26  
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Hey, this doesn't look so hard. I have a Suntour 5-speed that sounds like one of the pawls isn't engaging, and I've been afraid to try to take it apart. Now I see it's not so hard.

It looks like there might be a crack in the freewheel body, and I may get it apart and find that that's the reason it's not engaging. And I bought this freewheel last year, new (NOS).

I also have an ultra-6 that I don't use (it has a bad combination of gears, so it doesn't shift well). I wonder if the ultra's body is interchangeable with the 5-speed?

What model 5-speed? Perfect or Winner, I suppose.

I've never been afraid of anything on a bike, aside from wheel-building and truing, and freewheel disassembly.
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Old 01-16-11, 10:17 PM
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This is great. Now I know why I couldn't get MY Maeda SunTour freewheel apart... I was trying to turn the lockring the wrong way. Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-16-11, 11:42 PM
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awesome thread, thanks for the pics!
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Old 01-16-11, 11:53 PM
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Confidence instilled. Thanks.
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Old 01-17-11, 12:15 AM
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apparently i use a bit (million times) more grease than others.
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Old 01-17-11, 02:23 PM
  #31  
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Very educational thread. Thanks CC!

My first and only experience is with an early Dura Ace 6sp Ebay freewheel that came pre-disassembled. This was disclosed in the auction, and the price was right, so no problem. I followed my nose putting all the parts together and it worked fine. Only problem, the notches for the removal tool were rounded; I filed them square before I reassembled it, but it did not play nice with my Suntour removal tool when I decided to remove it from the hub after using it for a while. I finally got it removed, just barely, but I will not be remounting it again until I can disassemble it and re-square the notches. I'll also be in the market for a Dura Ace removal tool at the same time.

I have a fairly late Sachs 6sp freewheel that does not engage reliably that I'd like to overhaul; does anyone know which way the outer bearing retainer is threaded?
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Old 01-17-11, 03:04 PM
  #32  
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Nice post and pics! Although it's an unnecessary step in regards to freewheel maintenance, it's nice to have the reference for those of us who are curious or obsessed to crack into one.

I had to open up a Shimano freehub that was in sad shape. The steps are very similar. Given the reduced size of a freehub, tapping loose the lockring/race was more constricting. But the insides were about the same. So if you must disassemble one, no fear in trying. I wish I had taken photos, so I could have added them here.
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Old 01-17-11, 03:13 PM
  #33  
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I have opened and reassembled many freewheels over the years, there is no substitute for getting all the grit out of them and putting them back with grease in the races. Yes, you can flush them and use oil, I just prefer to do it the other way.

All I can add here is to advise that the freewheel be held inside a clean 5 gallon bucket when you pull it apart. If you don't, those little bearings will go everywhere and you will never find them again.

I got a low use but very rusty SunTour freewheel some years back, I disassembled it and coated the bearing races with grease, then soaked it in oxalic acid to take care of the rust issue. After soaking, I cleaned up that grease and reassembled it. I am still using it today with excellent results.



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Old 01-17-11, 03:31 PM
  #34  
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If chains are replaced at 75% wear, how many chains can a freewheel last?

Just wondering how long an actively used freewheel can last for this to be useful.


I am inspired to see if I can service a Deore freehub that isn't in peak condition.
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Old 01-17-11, 03:37 PM
  #35  
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Excellent post!

I suppose your next thread will be about the best way to get the grease off your camera.
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Old 01-17-11, 03:38 PM
  #36  
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With maintenance I think they will last longer than most riders....... I can honestly say I have never wasted the gears on a freewheel or crank.
Originally Posted by tugrul
If chains are replaced at 75% wear, how many chains can a freewheel last?

Just wondering how long an actively used freewheel can last for this to be useful.


I am inspired to see if I can service a Deore freehub that isn't in peak condition.
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Old 01-17-11, 04:00 PM
  #37  
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CC,

Today I started in on a Suntour Perfect. Loosened the lock/retaining ring just as you instructed. Pulled off the cogs and spacers to clean as well. Will clean, grease, and post pictures later in the week. Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 01-17-11, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by triplebutted
I did this once too back in the 80's. Good man, I wouldn't do it again. You have lots of patience.
I'd rather rebuild a freewheel twice--nay, three times, than install fenders or set up canti brakes. Piece of cake.

I'll never forget the reaction of the guy at the LBS--himself a punky, DIY, FG/SS kind of guy--when I told him I needed bearings to rebuild a freewheel. "People don't really do that." Well I do, buddy!! I'm not sure why--because it's kind of fun, and I like to say I rebuilt /everything/ on a bike. Everything!
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Old 01-17-11, 04:25 PM
  #39  
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Did it come apart as easy as I said?
Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
CC,

Today I started in on a Suntour Perfect. Loosened the lock/retaining ring just as you instructed. Pulled off the cogs and spacers to clean as well. Will clean, grease, and post pictures later in the week. Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 01-17-11, 04:31 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by tugrul
If chains are replaced at 75% wear, how many chains can a freewheel last?

Just wondering how long an actively used freewheel can last for this to be useful.


I am inspired to see if I can service a Deore freehub that isn't in peak condition.
In my opinion, I don't think it's worth while to overhaul a freewheel on a daily rider. Unless of course it has stopped working due to non-mechanical damage. Or, you're restoring a new garage queen or other barely ridden bicycle.

On my daily rider (not C&V), I replace ~3 chains, ~2 cassettes and ~2 sets of chain-rings every year. More or less depending on my mileage. My average weekly mileage is only ~90mi.
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Old 01-17-11, 04:52 PM
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That's an aweful lot of chains, freewheels and chainrings for that mileage......
Originally Posted by mixtemaniac
In my opinion, I don't think it's worth while to overhaul a freewheel on a daily rider. Unless of course it has stopped working due to non-mechanical damage. Or, you're restoring a new garage queen or other barely ridden bicycle.

On my daily rider (not C&V), I replace ~3 chains, ~2 cassettes and ~2 sets of chain-rings every year. More or less depending on my mileage. My average weekly mileage is only ~90mi.
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Old 01-17-11, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mixtemaniac
On my daily rider (not C&V), I replace ~3 chains, ~2 cassettes and ~2 sets of chain-rings every year. More or less depending on my mileage. My average weekly mileage is only ~90mi.
Wow. Is that a typical replacement rate for modern 10 speed or 11 speed components? If so, I 'm delighted to still be riding older C&V 6/7 speed drive trains.
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Old 01-17-11, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Capecodder
Did it come apart as easy as I said?
Not at first. This freewheel was coming off an early '80s bike that has not seen any service, ever! I let the threads of the retaining ring and the top cogs soak in Liquid Wrench over night when they did not not budge on the initial try.

Interestingly, I was able to break the freewheel free from the hub with just a moderate amount of pressure.
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Old 01-17-11, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
Not at first. This freewheel was coming off an early '80s bike that has not seen any service, ever! I let the threads of the retaining ring and the top cogs soak in Liquid Wrench over night when they did not not budge on the initial try.

Interestingly, I was able to break the freewheel free from the hub with just a moderate amount of pressure.
Well I'm glad it did come free...... Please post some pics of your overhaul. I love wrenching on bike!!!!!
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Old 01-18-11, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Capecodder
That's an aweful lot of chains, freewheels and chainrings for that mileage......
*shrug* for a single bike that I ride virtually everyday all year (live in the pacific nw) I think it's pretty good.
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Old 01-18-11, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DMNHCAGrandPrix
Wow. Is that a typical replacement rate for modern 10 speed or 11 speed components? If so, I 'm delighted to still be riding older C&V 6/7 speed drive trains.
I have a 9sp setup, but for me it's fairly typical. Granted, I'm using mid-range components. Imo, It doesn't have anything to do with modern components vs. C&V. It just depends on how often you ride and in what kind of climate. I don't envy my cyclocross buddies who are typically going through 2-3 complete drive-trains a season. On downhill, bmx and freeride bikes, expect even more wear and breakage.
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Old 01-18-11, 09:28 AM
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Great write up. Only thing I'd add is that on Shimano freewheels, you sometimes have to hold the pawls closed in order to put the freewheel back into the freewheel body. I use a piece of sewing thread and wrap it around the pawls several times until they are held closed. I then pull the unwrapped end of the thread through the freewheel body first & then engage the freewheel with the freewheel body. I then gently unwrap the thread & pull it out the top.

I think Sheldon gave a bad wrap to opening up & cleaning freewheels. As CapeCodder shows, there really is not much to it. I'd rather clean a freewheel than repack a bottom bracket.

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Old 01-18-11, 09:30 AM
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The last freewheel I overhauled (20+ years ago) had a different configuration for the dogs/pawls. That one was not contained and required the crafty use of dental floss to hold them in place while everything was set back into place. I forget if I used waxed or unwaxed dental floss.

And just to clarify, by left hand thread you mean turn the lockring clockwise to remove it, correct?
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Old 01-18-11, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by treebound
The last freewheel I overhauled (20+ years ago) had a different configuration for the dogs/pawls. That one was not contained and required the crafty use of dental floss to hold them in place while everything was set back into place. I forget if I used waxed or unwaxed dental floss.

And just to clarify, by left hand thread you mean turn the lockring clockwise to remove it, correct?
Yes...... turn the lockring (clockwise) to remove it.
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Old 01-18-11, 06:11 PM
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Thanks for the write-up, Capecodder. I've seen varied posts about breaking down old Sturmey AW hubs and all sorts of other more labor-intensive procedures, but never anything about freewheel overhauls. So, thanks for filling the void.

A question: Will overhauling the Freewheel using the method you've described reduce Freewheel wobble? I've got an old Suntour 6-speed fw which wobbles, and I've been trying to decide whether to replace it with a modern Shimano HG freewheel.
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