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Rattle from Freewheel Cassette
#1
Hey everyone,

Yesterday I removed my cassette, a Shimano Freewheel and then cleaned it using a degreaser followed by soap and water and plenty of scrubbing. I dried it as much as possible and left it to dry internally before applying a lubricant. When I shake it there is now a rattling sound like loose internal pieces. Any ideas what this could be?
[size=x-small]I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike[/size]
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#2
First; is it a freewheel or is it a cassette?

Sounds like it is a freewheel, and not a cassette from your question.

Your cleaning process was a very very bad idea. You are now in the market for a new freewheel.
Nigel
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#3
What kind of lubricant did you put in it and where did you put it?
If you can get some heavy oil inside the the freewheel, it may be fine. Drip something like motor oil at the gap between where the center stays still and where the outer gears spin. Spin the freewheel to help the oil work down inside. It should get a lot quieter once the oil gets to the pawls inside.

Flushing cleaner through anything like this with bearings inside isn't a good idea. But if you oil it occasionally, I don't think you will have damaged anything.
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#4
Thanks for the responses guys.

Nigel, it is a freewheel alright and I agree that my cleaning process was a bad idea. Lesson learned.

Dave, I used a dry teflon lube. Since lubing it it has quietened down a fair bit. I will try out your motor oil suggestion. I found a photo online of what I used to lube it.
[attachment=2557][attachment=2558]

The freewheel design is a bit crappy really if you cannot replace the bearings or regrease it. I am wondering if I could swap over to a freehub? Would I need a new wheel?

I simply wanted to replace my brake pads... and now I've taken the bike to pieces, bought loads of tools and even a repair stand. Even though I may have damaged the freewheel, my bike is lying in pieces and I'm light in the pocket I have to admit that bike repair is as much fun as cycling!
[size=x-small]I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike[/size]
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#5
Yeah, "dry" lube is designed for exterior surfaces like a chain where it is more important not to collect dirt. Anything thicker oil will work better in the freewheel and will last a lot longer.

Freewheels can be opened up and serviced, it's just a bit of a pain and most people just replace them when they where out for cost vs. time issues. There is a freewheel grease injector that works well if you have a grease gun also: http://www.jastein.com/Html/Tools_for_Wheels.htm
But I've had good luck just giving them an occasional oiling.

You would a new hub/wheel to switch to a freehub/cassette. They have advantages, but serviceability actually isn't one of them.
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