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Too much grease in freewheel?

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gcb Offline
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Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #1
Too much grease in freewheel?
Before reading: I have no experience with bikes. this is my first one of the decade. and of course i started with a restoration project instead of a cheap one.

well, Is there such thing as too much grease in a freewheel? Should I have used oil? Or is the short spinning distance normal?

short: if I hold it up (sans-wheel) and give it a good spin, it turns 1/4~1/2 turn only. Is that normal?

long history: Got a 12yr old bike (Novara Ponderosa, just because it had a shimano biopace that i wanted to try). Apart from grime on ALL parts and a little rust on some cables the bike is like new.

So I proceeded to some restoration
- dismantled the whole bike
- cleaned everything with simply green, water, brushes (bike still has original chromed parts with no defects whatsoever)
- opened everything i could figure out how (this forum was a great help to fiddle with the rear deraileur)
- applied a generous amount of polylube 1000 on all internal parts.
- got new chains

It's looking so good that i will not even bother with the small rust on the cables for now.

all fine ... BUT:

the rear freewheel, only piece i couldn't open at first, was turning 1/4 of a turn when i spin the back wheel with it not touching the ground. It was so bad that when i stopped the bike, it pushed the chain forward after a while, right onto the frame, instead of... well... freewheeling.

So I took it to a shop to finally remove it from the wheel. Opened it up (all 70 bearings came loose, of course). cleaned with simply green, rubbed with alcohol, generous mount of polylube 1000, assembled.

now it's the same, or worse Sad

If i hold it up and give a good spin (without the rear wheel attached), I still see the 1/4~1/2 turn only. Is that normal?

I know I could just attach to the bike and ride to test... but if it is not normal i will have to take the wheel again to the bike shop as shimano wasn't clever enough to make it removable with regular tools...

Model is shimano mf-z012. And i did read http://www.sheldonbrown.com/freewheels.html#Servicing Freewheel Bodies Smile

Weird things encountered inside the freewheel not covered on sheldon's article,
- some washers/gaskets that appears to just prevent the top cover to compress the bearings too much (is that even possible?)
- and some long metal shavings... that are too long to be some metal shaved off bearing use, and too irregular to be damaged washers/gaskets. No clue where they came from
Jul 2, 2011 12:46 AM
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Joe_W Offline
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Posts: 1,176
Joined: Jul 2009
Post: #2
RE: Too much grease in freewheel?
Hmm. Freewheel overhauling is... difficult. I try to avoid it as freewheels are not that expensive (15 EUR, about 22 USD?) (and since I also upgraded all bikes that had one... different story). Oh, and there is about a gazillion different types of freewheel removal tools, some principles are good, some are really bad...

What to use depends (probably) on the brand. I did overhaul the ratchet mechanism in a freehub (Mavic) and they recommended light oil. As the general principle is the same I'd use a light oil, too. But that might be dead wrong.
Jul 2, 2011 02:32 AM
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gcb Offline
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Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #3
RE: Too much grease in freewheel?
Thanks. I did use heavy grease because it was full of bearings... thought about chain oil on the center ratchet stuff but decided against it, thought it may dilute the bearing grease as they are in the same chamber.... maybe that was dead wrong.

i think i will open it again and redo. may have did something wrong with the gaskets... may have grease between them. ... When i opened it up it was completely dry so no idea what to use Smile

But please, talk about why you upgraded the freewheels. is freehubs that much better? or are you riding fixed?
EDIT: ok, just saw that i must redo my wheel to change from one to another Sad
Jul 2, 2011 11:17 AM
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nfmisso Offline
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San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,055
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #4
RE: Too much grease in freewheel?
purchase a replacement freewheel.

Here are some options:
http://www.amazon.com/

Nigel
Jul 2, 2011 07:01 PM
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gcb Offline
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Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #5
RE: Too much grease in freewheel?
(Jul 2, 2011 07:01 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  purchase a replacement freewheel.

Here are some options:
http://www.amazon.com/

Are shimano freewheel all compatible? that bike has some years...

(that link is not opening anything, I just get the header from amazon and a blank page underneath it)
Jul 2, 2011 07:57 PM
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nfmisso Offline
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San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,055
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #6
RE: Too much grease in freewheel?
(Jul 2, 2011 07:57 PM)gcb Wrote:  Are shimano freewheel all compatible? that bike has some years...

(that link is not opening anything, I just get the header from amazon and a blank page underneath it)

Yes, if they are the same number of speeds. Shimano has also used the same removal tool for more than three decades - so definitely get one. The vast majority of freewheels threads are 1.375 inches by 24 thread per inch - fortunately. Sunrace and DNP use the same tools as Shimano. Suntour, Campy, Huret and others are unique - Sheldon discusses this too.

What kind of riding conditions are you going to see with your bike? For general riding a 13-28 or 14-28 works quite well. 14-34 are popular, but that jump from 1st (34 teeth) to 2nd (24 teeth) is too much for my knees. I recently put a 13-25 Sunrace freewheel on my commuter (flat except one over pass and one under pass).

You have not told us how many speeds your current freewheel has, nor what kind of shifter - that info would be a big help in directing to specific suggestions. Or if you want to change... Also, what is the OLD (Overall Length Dimension) which is the inside dimension between the frame drop outs.

I put one of these on the Hybrid that I just sold:
http://www.amazon.com/SunRace-Sunrace-7-Speed-13-28-Freewheel/dp/B003LHMJRQ/
In combination with 28-38-48 chainrings; it provide excellent hill climbing, good level and tailwind/down hill ratios without huge jumps between gears.

Nigel
Jul 2, 2011 09:31 PM
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gcb Offline
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Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #7
RE: Too much grease in freewheel?
(Jul 2, 2011 09:31 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  
(Jul 2, 2011 07:57 PM)gcb Wrote:  Are shimano freewheel all compatible? that bike has some years...

(that link is not opening anything, I just get the header from amazon and a blank page underneath it)

Yes, if they are the same number of speeds. Shimano has also used the same removal tool for more than three decades - so definitely get one. The vast majority of freewheels threads are 1.375 inches by 24 thread per inch - fortunately. Sunrace and DNP use the same tools as Shimano. Suntour, Campy, Huret and others are unique - Sheldon discusses this too.

What kind of riding conditions are you going to see with your bike? For general riding a 13-28 or 14-28 works quite well. 14-34 are popular, but that jump from 1st (34 teeth) to 2nd (24 teeth) is too much for my knees. I recently put a 13-25 Sunrace freewheel on my commuter (flat except one over pass and one under pass).

You have not told us how many speeds your current freewheel has, nor what kind of shifter - that info would be a big help in directing to specific suggestions. Or if you want to change... Also, what is the OLD (Overall Length Dimension) which is the inside dimension between the frame drop outs.

I put one of these on the Hybrid that I just sold:
http://www.amazon.com/SunRace-Sunrace-7-Speed-13-28-Freewheel/dp/B003LHMJRQ/
In combination with 28-38-48 chainrings; it provide excellent hill climbing, good level and tailwind/down hill ratios without huge jumps between gears.

Wow. that post mostly passed over my head. it will give me plenty to after and learn.

about the bike use, For now i'm just going to commute 5miles each way on flat pavement to get back in shape. but plan to do some hill climbing trails.

Bike currently has Deore MT60... http://velobase.com/ViewGroup.aspx?GroupID=7924f74b-1b46-4f3a-9650-79307fe29139 it has the full group described on this page. everything, even the brakes.The only subtle difference is that the pedals have "Deore XT" written in the black rim instead of just plain deore.

I managed to put everything in working order now (just reopened freewheel and put oil. it does not liked the grease), So i think i will get used to the bike as is for now... The only thing bothering me that i haven't touched are the shifters. I may restore them just because i think the friction plus index functionality is neat ...and i will learn how both systems work by opening just one set Smile

The main reason I got this old bike was because the biopace, i'm also concerned about my knees... will starting understanding the difference about gear teeths after I get used to the bike as is.

Thanks for the info!
Jul 4, 2011 07:30 PM
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