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

Old 04-10-13, 11:57 PM
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I see Thats one way to do it and get it right the first shot — no shimming or dishing required.
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Old 07-26-13, 05:05 AM
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Regina America Service ...

My my, this really is the thread that just keeps on giving! Thanks to the OP for dispelling the myths about the black art of freewheel servicing ...

Anyway, rebuilding a vintage 80s frame and purchased a NOS Regina America 6-speed Freewheel. Taking it out of its can it is pristine and probably not (I doubt anyway) mounted and certainly not ridden. It has a wobble (don't they all?). Alas it sticks at a certain point both on and off the hub/wheel, though inconsistently. It sounds like there isn't much lubricant left in the body I suspect having dried out. A little (well, a lot ...) of medium oil hasn't helped.

Time to venture in to a break down and rebuild but have some questions for the good people here:

Some pics here, depending on the freewheel, show all the freewheel cogs lifting straight off the body. Pastorbob's Regina Corsa still appears to have the last (largest) cog affixed. I don't imagine it affects the ability to service things (the cogs are immaculate) but ... anyone any idea what awaits when I disassemble an America freewheel? I am hoping it'll simply be the smallest cog anticlockwise, the lock-ring clockwise, the freewheel off the hub/wheel, then everything that needs to lift off will do so. Clean/degrease, repack the bearings, a little bit of smoke-and-mirrors with the pawls (dental floss to hand if necessary) and then re-assemble, (making sure to have kept the photos taken as I took it apart!!).

Anyone having stripped down a Regina America freewheel who can advise what I might find when disassembling - comments much appreciated.

If it all turns to custard I can always send it off to Pastorbob's Freewheel Spa for a bit of R and R ...
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Old 07-26-13, 06:50 AM
  #103  
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I recently did my Rigina Sport Corsa...Lockring was very tight (it had not been riden or lubed for over 30 years). Biggest issue was getting the pawls to stay in place when reassembling. Finally picked up a tip. Dental floss wrapped around holding them down and in place, then, once together, just pull the end of the floss and it slips out.

The little ONE pin pawls...and tiny springs...take apart over a bucket to catch ALL little bits as they may fly off!

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Old 07-26-13, 12:26 PM
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The America is basically a Shimano fw body. Pawls and the spring are the same. The top cog threads off counter clockwise. Maybe the second cog as well. Lock ring is reversed threads and treads off clockwise.
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Old 07-26-13, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58
Great thread! Thx to all who have contributed.

Now my question: Now that we have directions and inspiration about getting these things apart and back together, does anyone have suggestions about how to shim or otherwise rebuild a long freewheel as a single cog freewheel for an Single Speed conversion. Ideally one would be able to place the selected cog within a mm or two of where your chain-line is predicted to go.

I've see the SS enthusiasts people up "how to" pics and stuff on threads, but I remained confused. And, it seems that the pioneers in the efforts were having issues. I suppose one could grind down cogs on the grinder, but that seems like a LOT of risky grinding.
I've built several 2-speed freewheels from suntour winner 5-speeds. Easier to use a freewheel where all the cogs are threaded-on instead of splined cogs, so the outermost cog used self-retains without requiring another outermost threaded cog that you dont otherwise need in order to supply retention pressure for the splined cog. To re-space the cogs to fit the chainline, just get extra spacers from another similar freewheel or you can even custom make them from PVC plumbing pipe of appropriate diameter.

My purpose for 2-speed freewheel is to set them up as a double speed (dinglespeed) with a double crankset so that there are two chainlines with identical chain length that can be selected to produce two different singlespeed gear ratios by stopping to manually moving the chain (no derailleur).
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Old 07-27-13, 03:34 PM
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My purpose for 2-speed freewheel is to set them up as a double speed (dinglespeed) with a double crankset so that there are two chainlines with identical chain length that can be selected to produce two different singlespeed gear ratios by stopping to manually moving the chain (no derailleur).
Cool — and thanks for the reply. Very interesting idea. And to get the exact chain length for both? That must mean some arithmetic — or is their a chart?
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Old 07-28-13, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58
Cool — and thanks for the reply. Very interesting idea. And to get the exact chain length for both? That must mean some arithmetic — or is their a chart?
Assuming horizontal dropout, there's probabaly enough tolerance for 1 or 2 teeth difference. But if the total # of teeth of the crank & rear sprocket combined are kept the same, the difference in chain length is negligible.
I'm assuming that GrayJay loosens the rear axle to derail and re-rail the chain when making a change.
It may also be possible to accomplish changes by leaving enough slack in the chain for that; but I think it would look a little sloppy.
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Old 07-29-13, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool
Assuming horizontal dropout, there's probabaly enough tolerance for 1 or 2 teeth difference. But if the total # of teeth of the crank & rear sprocket combined are kept the same, the difference in chain length is negligible.
I'm assuming that GrayJay loosens the rear axle to derail and re-rail the chain when making a change.
It may also be possible to accomplish changes by leaving enough slack in the chain for that; but I think it would look a little sloppy.
You are correct that total teeth on rear cog and front chainring need to sum identically. (Like 38/42 chainrings paired with 20/16 freewheel cogs).

I have tried leaving slack but it is indeed too sloppy feeling and prone to skips. I have to loosen axle with each change for now, but better idea I am working on is to fabriacte a singlespeed chain tensioner with enought width to accomidate the two chainlines so that the gear change can be made even faster. Tensioner would also allow for setting up bikes with verticle dropouts that otherwise have no provision for adjusting chain length.
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Old 08-06-13, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocepedia

Anyway, rebuilding a vintage 80s frame and purchased a NOS Regina America 6-speed Freewheel. Taking it out of its can it is pristine and probably not (I doubt anyway) mounted and certainly not ridden. It has a wobble (don't they all?). Alas it sticks at a certain point both on and off the hub/wheel, though inconsistently. It sounds like there isn't much lubricant left in the body I suspect having dried out. A little (well, a lot ...) of medium oil hasn't helped.

Anyone having stripped down a Regina America freewheel who can advise what I might find when disassembling - comments much appreciated.

Problem fixed. For the record, 6-speed Regina America Freewheel has cogs 1, 2 and 4 standard thread, the rest are slotted. 2 shims. The bearings in the top race as shown - short of a couple in my opinion which might explain the binding intermittently. Added a couple but left one space on the race. Guide on the can said not to use grease as it would clog the pawls. Used an absolute bare minimum of white lithium grease enough to get the bearings to "stick" to the race. Thereafter re-assembled the freewheel still on the hub and added one or 2 drops of light oil. Now spins without binding. Still wobbles but that is another issue altogether.
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Old 08-06-13, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocepedia
...Guide on the can said not to use grease as it would clog the pawls. Used an absolute bare minimum of white lithium grease enough to get the bearings to "stick" to the race. Thereafter re-assembled the freewheel still on the hub and added one or 2 drops of light oil....
Nice to have confirmation on using grease in freewheels. Some argue to just add oil after flushing from the outside. Others like to use the grease injector tool which floods the entire inside with grease, even where it is not supposed to be, i.e. the pawls.

I like Super Lube's synthetic grease because it is not affected by temperature changes and is very water resistant. Ultimately we want to keep the moisture, grit and contamination out of our freewheels. Super Lube is a bit thick so not as "fast" for a performance oriented rider.

When requested I use fluorinated grease for a very slick and free spinning freewheel. But while I've not tested it myself, I doubt it will last as long as the Super Lube.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:20 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
Super Lube is a bit thick so not as "fast" for a performance oriented rider.
...what's a "performance oriented rider" doing coasting all the time?
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Old 08-07-13, 12:13 PM
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This thread is inspirational! I have a number of old FW in a box and just purchased a Regina CX/CX-S, or something like that, in really good condition with exception of the "gritty" feeling when rotated. It cleared up with a WD40 wash. It is even stamped 83 which I hope is the year as it will go on an 83 bike. Most info indicates this model as being a 6 speed though what I have is a 7. The largest cog is a 22 with the smallest a 13.

Deep in the thread is a comment about the bearings being the least stressed of all bearings on the bike. I would propose that the HS bearings are the least stressed from a rotational perspective. Lots of tiny balls going really fast a lot of the time, they need good lubrication. Load bearing is another matter.
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Old 08-07-13, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
Lots of tiny balls going really fast a lot of the time, they need good lubrication.
Which balls are going really fast?
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Old 01-09-14, 08:56 PM
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This thread is golden. I can't wait to try. I have a 6-speed Suntour 14-34 on the way which I may try to overhaul. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 01-31-14, 09:49 PM
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Capecodder, this thread keeps on giving.
I overhauled a Constrictor 3 speed 1/8" freewheel today. Dismantled, cleaned, replaced bearings, rebuilt and IT WORKS.

Your clear instructions and photos gave me the confidence to tackle the project.
In the 41C heat, and no swearing!
my thanks
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Old 05-13-14, 11:05 AM
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Capecodder OR PastorBobnlnh

I am having trouble getting the outer bearing race loose on my 1973 Schwinn/Normandy 5 speed Model J freewheel? What type of spanner did you use & what type of spanner should you use if the outer race is countersunk after you take off the dust cover??

Please reply back ASAP. Thank you??
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Old 05-13-14, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rsg
Capecodder OR PastorBobnlnh

I am having trouble getting the outer bearing race loose on my 1973 Schwinn/Normandy 5 speed Model J freewheel? What type of spanner did you use & what type of spanner should you use if the outer race is countersunk after you take off the dust cover??

Please reply back ASAP. Thank you??
They have a really deep inset to the retaining/bearing ring under the chain guard and dust cap. You probably can't get it loose with a spanner alone. If you don't have a freewheel vise tool, thread the freewheel back onto the hub. Using a punch which fits in the small holes, place the holes at the 3 & 9 o'clock position. At the 3 position punch down toward the floor to remove the ring. Be ready with a container which can fit over the freewheel to catch the ball bearings and pawls.
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Old 05-14-14, 05:42 AM
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Since I, now, won't get flamed for adding to an ancient thread, I'll add some bit's that have been helpful to me on FW overhauls. And given PastorBob's expertise here I hesitate but:

a) When I punch out a lock ring I alternate back and forth between the holes - not just wail on one. I envision this distributes the force and prevents any cocking of the ring. I do the same when I re-install. Tap, tap then tap, tap. Nice and even turning. Analogous to working wheel lug nuts or engine head bolts - back and forth to move it evenly.

b) I keep a couple of those plastic or aluminum shallow dishes that oriental takeout food come in. I work in one of those for all FW projects. Low enough, vs a bucket, to work effectively in and deep enough to capture bearings falling out or slipping away. I keep a second one right there to hold the big pieces set out in the order they came apart until I can photo it all.

c) Those tiddy bearings can be a PIA as they'll stick to anything with the slightest bit of magnetism. Use non magnetic tweezers to handle the bearings. Plastic would be good, I made a pair out of bamboo. A smudge of grease on the tips of the tweezers helps too. Work inside that shallow dish.

d) On many (all??) machines the larger bearing race on the outside of the bearing (balls or rollers) ring is the "outer race" regardless of where the thing is on the assembly. Some confusion in this thread about that. Ex: on FWs with a lock ring that the bearings ride on - even tough the ring is on the outside of the FW its is the inner race of that bearing. Given that, when setting bearings on a greased outer race I pay close attention to tucking the bearings out onto the track where they'll ride - which is part way up the curved track. Otherwise it may seem like there is no room for all the bearing balls - the ring of balls is too small diameter. I want to be sure that, upon assembly and tightening, when the inner races pushes the balls up into place, there are no gaps. Am I making sense here?
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Old 05-14-14, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
They have a really deep inset to the retaining/bearing ring under the chain guard and dust cap. You probably can't get it loose with a spanner alone. If you don't have a freewheel vise tool, thread the freewheel back onto the hub. Using a punch which fits in the small holes, place the holes at the 3 & 9 o'clock position. At the 3 position punch down toward the floor to remove the ring. Be ready with a container which can fit over the freewheel to catch the ball bearings and pawls.

Can't use a spanner to do this period as none of them are deep enough to get at the divets.

Looks like it's time for the hammer & punch to get the outer bearing loose.

I do have a freewheel tool - Bicycle Research CT-3. Is this the "vise" your talking about??
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Old 05-14-14, 01:48 PM
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Another good way to hold the FW in place while tapping off the retainer ring (and then back on) is the two-nails-in-the-workbench technique:





Originally Posted by RubberLegs
Biggest issue was getting the pawls to stay in place when reassembling. Finally picked up a tip. Dental floss wrapped around holding them down and in place, then, once together, just pull the end of the floss and it slips out.

The little ONE pin pawls...and tiny springs...take apart over a bucket to catch ALL little bits as they may fly off!
I did the same thing on 3-pawl TDC freewheel, only with scotch tape. The pawls have to be a little greasy for the tape to slide right off, but they're supposed to be anyway
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Old 05-14-14, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman
Another good way to hold the FW in place while tapping off the retainer ring (and then back on) is the two-nails-in-the-workbench technique:





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Old 05-14-14, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman
Another good way to hold the FW in place while tapping off the retainer ring (and then back on) is the two-nails-in-the-workbench technique:

This won't hold the freewheel body from---- wait for it---- wait--- freewheeling. Only works for removing cogs, not the retaining/bearing race ring. It will work to thread it back on.

The vise/tool I mention is a split and hinged aluminum shaft which fits into the body where the threads are located for threading unto a hub. When placed in the vise and closed the tool opens and grips the inside of the freewheel body. Other than on the hub, this is the only way I know to hold the freewheel for disassembly.
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Old 05-14-14, 05:46 PM
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Of course you're right: I guess I never forgot to hit the retaining ring prior to getting the freewheel off the bike. I was probably thinking about cassettes, too, as I've used the same jig to hold 'em down while I whip off the little cog.
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Old 05-16-14, 11:14 AM
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CapeCodder or PastorBob?

Need your advice:

In CapeCodder's tutorial, it mentions using 75w-90 oil for the pawls. Why use such a heavy oil for such a small area?

And

Is grease just applied to the bearing races ONLY or, can a film of grease be applied to the pawl gears or retaining spring around the Model J freewheel that holds in the pawls?

(Side note - I got my freewheel apart, & cleaned with some gasoline, there was nothing to it at all!)
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Old 05-16-14, 02:49 PM
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