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Clean Freewheel - add grease?
#1
I have observed that my chain falls off repeatedly when I don't pedal and I ride over bumps. Upon investigation I found that my freewheel is excessively dirty and tends to stick relative to the wheel instead of freely rotating as it should causing slack in the chain which then jumps off of the freewheel when I go over a bump. A guy at a local bike shop removed my freewheel for me and told me to soak it in WD-40. I imagine that this will dissolve all old oil and or grease buildup on both the exterior of the sprockets and the interior of the rotating mechanism. If I succeed in doing this, won't I need to add grease to the interior of the rotating mechanism?
ctc
Cannondale Bad Boy 2007
Raleigh Technium (RIP)
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#2
WD40 - will destroy it.

Spend $15- and get a new freewheel. You can rebuild the freewheel if you wish, but plan on spending a couple days on it, and if you have to replace any part at all, it will be more than the cost of a new freewheel.
Nigel
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#3
You're correct that WD will flush it out. That's exactly what it needs right now. Once it spins freely and feels clean (no gritty feel), I like to use a heavy oil such as White Lightenings 'Epic Ride'. You will have a difficult time getting any grease in there without a special tool.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#4
(07-20-2011, 10:16 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  WD40 - will destroy it.

Spend $15- and get a new freewheel. You can rebuild the freewheel if you wish, but plan on spending a couple days on it, and if you have to replace any part at all, it will be more than the cost of a new freewheel.
Thx. But I am unable to find a replacement 6 spd 14-17-20-24-28-32 freewheel for less than $53 including shipping. Any ideas?
ctc
Cannondale Bad Boy 2007
Raleigh Technium (RIP)
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#5
(07-20-2011, 10:21 PM)RobAR Wrote:  You're correct that WD will flush it out. That's exactly what it needs right now. Once it spins freely and feels clean (no gritty feel), I like to use a heavy oil such as White Lightenings 'Epic Ride'. You will have a difficult time getting any grease in there without a special tool.
Thx. Based upon the $53 cost (w/Shipping) of a new freewheel I'll give this a try. It's starting to spin a little freer now, I'll keep flushing it out til it spins better, wait a day or so to let it dry, and then add oil. I only have 3-in-one. Will that suffice?
ctc
Cannondale Bad Boy 2007
Raleigh Technium (RIP)
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#6
Wow. A 14-32 in 6? That's a rare bird, indeed!
You are aware that you don't have to replace it with the exact same tooth pattern, aren't you? Shimano makes a 14-28 (HG22) and a and 13-34 (HG36) on either side. These should be readily available at a LBS for less than $20 USD. Sorry... I don't shop online for odd stuff. That's where the 'net will cost you.

The 3-in-1 is better than nothing. It just won't last (maybe 12 miles or two days). You want the most tenacious (strong adhesion - sticky) stuff that you can get down in there. If you do decide to tear into it, be forewarned that if you brought it into my shop, I wouldn't want the job unless it was a primo-condition FW on a restoration of a classic bike. Then, I would still charge you $60 Labor, minimum, even though my tools are long-ago paid for. Not a pleasant job. Honestly,,, I would rather wash windows!

I think Nigel knows it, too! He has the T-shirt, too.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#7
Here I found in another thread that DaveM posted.... http://www.jastein.com/Html/Tools_for_Wheels.htm it is a freewheel grease injector. I have one of these and it works great, only trick hope the seal area is small enough. It did not work on all models of FW's. P.S. Rob probably has one of these Wink
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#8
(07-20-2011, 10:25 PM)ctc Wrote:  Thx. But I am unable to find a replacement 6 spd 14-17-20-24-28-32 freewheel for less than $53 including shipping. Any ideas?
http://www.amazon.com/Sunrace-Freewheel-14-28T-6-speed-Silver/dp/B000AY9AGQ/
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-6-Speed-Freewheel-14-28-Teeth/dp/B003EQ71QI/
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-MF-ZH36-speed-14-34-Freewheel/dp/B00288JF4Y/

unless you have severe grades, you'll find the closer spaced (narrower range) more enjoyable to ride.
Nigel
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#9
(07-20-2011, 11:20 PM)RobAR Wrote:  Wow. A 14-32 in 6? That's a rare bird, indeed!

The 3-in-1 is better than nothing. It just won't last (maybe 12 miles or two days). You want the most tenacious (strong adhesion - sticky) stuff that you can get down in there. If you do decide to tear into it, be forewarned that if you brought it into my shop, I wouldn't want the job unless it was a primo-condition FW on a restoration of a classic bike.

After spraying the freewheel with WD-40 repeatedly over several days it still did not spin good enough. So I submerged it in WD-40 for 2 days and it spins much better now, but after reassembling the bike and riding, the freewheel catches every revolution and yanks on the chain. If I go over a bump when this happens the chain will derail. I can't imagine that any of the grease is still in their after all of the soaking, so I assume that something mechanical has warn severely or broken. Any other ideas before I abandon the freewheel for a new one?
ctc
Cannondale Bad Boy 2007
Raleigh Technium (RIP)
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#10
(07-21-2011, 11:01 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  http://www.amazon.com/Sunrace-Freewheel-14-28T-6-speed-Silver/dp/B000AY9AGQ/
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-6-Speed-Freewheel-14-28-Teeth/dp/B003EQ71QI/
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-MF-ZH36-speed-14-34-Freewheel/dp/B00288JF4Y/

thanks. If I go with either of the first two do I have to change or modify my chain?
ctc
Cannondale Bad Boy 2007
Raleigh Technium (RIP)
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#11
you should always replace your chain when you replace the freewheel (or cassette).
Nigel
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