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Freewheel restoration guide

#1 2011-01-29 1:11pm

oldschoolace
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Freewheel restoration guide

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5052/5399131188_5739a47fa4_z.jpg
First things first, you'll want to take the damn thing off! A tool such as the one pictured (top left) will come in handy.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5014/5399131312_7efee95afe_z.jpg
Using a center punch or similar, place the point inside one of the two holes in the bearing keeper and with sharp blows with something heavy, tap anti-clockwise (in most cases), you will also want to secure the bottom half of the freewheel in something solid, such as the above tool in a vice.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5057/5398528353_d87a154c23_z.jpg
Bearing keeper removed, this is where the fun begins.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5013/5398528511_d1f01fe3f4_z.jpg
If you need to move the freewheel at all, it's best to poke your digits in and lift it from the bottom section (central thread), do not pick it up by the teeth unless you want to be picking bearings up for the rest of your life.
Usually i place my fingers around the sides, holding the cog on to the lower section and tip the bearings from the top section in to their own individual cups (makes life easier).

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5178/5398528599_e8ef431d86_z.jpg
Should now look something like this. (make a note of which way the internal teeth on the cog are going, if you screw this up the freewheel will rotate freely in both directions).

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5296/5399131786_126dd1c41d_z.jpg
Here she is all separated, with the bearings in their own cups, once you have the bearings from the top section you can just lift off the cog above the second cup and catch them as they fall.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5220/5398528815_80f43e6801_z.jpg
In all of my time doing this I've only ever come across three types of spring for the pawls, these are :
Retainer loop : just a large metal ring with a gap at one end, most commonly found on Dicta's
Sprung shims : just a slip of metal folded in half that sits behind the pawls, keeping it pushing out, these are usually on really cheap freewheels, and if they're rotten (and most are) you're fluffed.
Slip springs : it's basically a length of wire with a hoop at one end, that slides in to a hole near to the pawls in the inner casing, I've seen these on both ACS and unbranded Raleigh freewheels.

In this pictures case, it's a retainer loop, just slip in a screwdriver and flick it out, this will release the pawls.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5256/5399132012_51d4c695fa_z.jpg
Retainer loop and pawls removed

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5055/5399132132_7bb88a75fa_z.jpg
Once you have cleaned the body of the freewheel, the pawls and the spring, you can put them back together again - don't worry if they're not shiny clean, just make sure the tracks the bearings run in are smooth.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5219/5398529209_e5b9f9530d_z.jpg
You'll want a thin coating of grease around the bearing tracks to hold the freshly cleaned bearings in place, you need to start with the bottom first (side opposite the bearing keeper), once you have all the bearings in place it's time to put the cog back on to the main body.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5257/5399132488_3a771a88d4_z.jpg
I find the easiest way to do this is you slip one side of the ring over one of the pawls, so that the pawl itself is resting against the inner teeth of the cog and not the bearings, then using a fine screwdriver, push the other pawl in and carefully lower the cog down on to the main body.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5252/5398529561_2af803b568_z.jpg
Apply a thin layer of grease and put the top bearings back in, making sure they are all in line, then it's just a case of screwing the bearing keeper back on.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5054/5398527977_56155e08eb_z.jpg
Ta-dah, the finished freewheel.

It may seem stiff at first, but that's just because the grease needs to settle, a good run on in on a bike will be enough.


Got a set of Knight bike co sith bars? Then shoot me a price please smile

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#2 2011-01-30 3:54am

oldschoolace
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Almost forgot, sometimes you can make a real mess of the two pin holes in the bearing keeper. if you are struggling Park tools do a very handy which should help:

http://www.parktool.com/product/pin-spanner-red

big_smilebig_smilebig_smile


Got a set of Knight bike co sith bars? Then shoot me a price please smile

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#3 2011-01-30 10:01am

butlerglc
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

wow nice job!!!


No more media blasting at this time.
I am always glad to give advice any time!!!

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#4 2011-01-30 10:44am

85mongoose
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Great info cool


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#5 2011-01-30 8:43pm

Quetzal
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Very cool!


Midschool's cool fool

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#6 2011-01-30 9:43pm

wired
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Thanks!  I've only ever soaked them in gasoline.  This goes one level deeper yet - very cool! cool

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#7 2011-01-31 12:45pm

oldschoolace
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Cheers for the comments guys big_smile


Got a set of Knight bike co sith bars? Then shoot me a price please smile

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#8 2011-01-31 12:59pm

zombie_jesus
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

supreme tutorial. thanks a lot mister.


#TeamGeiger

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#9 2011-01-31 5:40pm

RandolphCarter
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

So that's what they look like inside when you take them apart CAREFULLY.

Nice job!

Are both sets of bearings the same size? Do you know what size they are?


Labor creates all wealth.

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#10 2011-02-01 4:00am

oldschoolace
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

RandolphCarter wrote:

So that's what they look like inside when you take them apart CAREFULLY.

Nice job!

Are both sets of bearings the same size? Do you know what size they are?

Yeah both sets are the same size though i'm unsure of what size. For the moment lets just say very small lol


Got a set of Knight bike co sith bars? Then shoot me a price please smile

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#11 2011-02-01 4:15am

daripper
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Nice thread dude, well done for sharing...wink


Old School Racers Australia

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#12 2011-02-01 4:58am

unfit4society
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

thanks for posting this, I never really knew how a freewheel worked until now!

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#13 2011-02-01 11:52am

houndog
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

unfit4society wrote:

thanks for posting this, I never really knew how a freewheel worked until now!

+1

Nice thread dude! I learn something new on here everyday thanks to cool threads like this.

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#14 2011-02-01 12:08pm

King Tusk
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Great tutorial, thanks! Before this thread, I wouldn't ever have attempted to do this.

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#15 2011-02-20 11:53am

robinwille
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Great guide!

I learnt about freewheel innards about 15 mile from civilization when the stock freewheel on my gt I-drive died..... Long walk home!

Took it apprt after I got home, it had the retainer and 3 pawls, the retainer broke and the pieces from it broke one of the pawls, unfortunately on MTBs the freewheel is built into the hub.... So I had to buy a hope hub (always wanted an excuse to do it!).

I also remember taking a suntour freewheel BITD, but the outcome was negative! I will now take my freewheels apart to service them!

Thanks!

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#16 2012-06-25 12:21am

Pearce
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Great thread and guide, thanks a lot oldschoolace!

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#17 2012-06-25 7:07am

classic_rider
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Your thread save my neck,

trying to put an old Raleigh bmx together..cheap brand store type I believe...

Anywho the freewheel jamned and this thread helped me rebuild the freewheel and fix it

thanks again

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#18 2012-06-25 7:24am

2009noob
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

cool

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#19 2012-06-29 7:02am

motleypixel
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

this is what I needed...I have a dicta off a 2004 24" redline.  the bike was left outside so long they sold it to me for $80...the restore is coming along just fine smile  issue was that even with a week of soaking in pb blaster the freewheel just wouldn't budge (tool, in vise, with wheel as leverage too).  after hitting it with a torch it finally came off, but so did the bluing finish on the freewheel.  so now I can blue the outer parts before the rebuild.

thanks,
roy

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#20 2012-07-12 12:52am

southernflatland
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

I have to point out that for high mileage freewheels, you should keep track of which pawl came from where. This might sound stupid or OCD or something, but they aren't perfect and will most likely wear in differently. Swapping them around after they've worn in can cause them to jam up and possibly break.

I've never actually seen this happen yet, but I never gave mine a chance to either. I've always known one of mine had worn in off center and I always matched them up to avoid any trouble. I got 10 years of service out of it and just recently upgraded to a new one because of worn teeth.

Also, I found out the hard way that grease can also jam up the pawls too. My solution was to use motor oil on the pawls and the inside teeth, and grease only on the ball bearings. Works great and hardly clicks! I also suggest chainsaw oil for your chain.


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#21 2012-07-12 12:54am

XJguy
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Dude you da man I was thinking of posting how to maintain a freewheel, then decided it was a stupid question and here this is.  Thank you!


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WTB Peregrine Super Pros, not pitted.
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#22 2012-07-12 12:57am

XJguy
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Hmm chain saw oil and motor oil....I wonder if just soaking the thing in some carburetor cleaner for a while to dissolve everything and then once clean and dry, soaking it in oil would suffice rather than to disassemble.


WTB Bully stem.
WTB Peregrine Super Pros, not pitted.
WTB Kuwahara freestyle stem engraved.

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#23 2012-07-12 12:58am

southernflatland
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

Sure thing, will work just fine, if you like loud clickers... I can't stand them.


If you don't like my shoes, then don't roll in my feet!
When you get bored here, check out my tricks on YouTube.

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#24 2012-07-16 6:37am

rlowride
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

So, cleaning with carb cleaner..... then an oil bath would work ok too, without dis-assembly?

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#25 2012-07-16 6:52am

motleypixel
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Re: Freewheel restoration guide

rlowride wrote:

So, cleaning with carb cleaner..... then an oil bath would work ok too, without dis-assembly?

yea or soaking in gas...use chem gloves after a 1 hour soak in gas...then spin the fw under the gas...keep doing that for a few minutes...then if you have one (works great) use an air compressor with an air nozzle with the air compressor set at the highest pressure and blow air through the fw from one side...if you put a shop rag behind the fw you'll see lots of grit/grime expelled...then soak again and repeat this process until you don't see any more dirt...then if needed use a greenie to clean up any rust corrosion on the outside of the fw and then soak in motor oil.

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