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Shimano Freehub Lubrication?(8 posts)

Shimano Freehub Lubrication?Mike Prince
Jan 17, 2002 7:46 AM
Doing my winter overhauls as I'm unable to ride the last few weeks due to illness (pneumonia/collapsed lung). What lube is best for a Dura-Ace freehub? I've ordered a "Freehub Buddy" from Loose Screws, but am unsure what lube to use with it. I've heard everything from light grease to chain lube being used.

Any "real-world" advice would be appreciated.

re: Shimano Freehub Lubrication?gtx
Jan 17, 2002 11:28 AM
I've always used Phil Woods Tenacious, which is a heavy oil. People used to inject grease into their freewheels and they'd eat themselves.
re: Shimano Freehub Lubrication?jason in NH
Jan 17, 2002 5:01 PM
Alittle secret my shop's service manager told me, use chain saw bar oil, super sticky and slick stuff. Especially if you ride alot inthe rain. My cross wheel was squecking loudy, drop some behind the seal on the freehub and you got it going
Jan 17, 2002 5:06 PM
That bar oil is sticky stuff (some of it is water soluble and bio-degradeable) - don't see how this can be good in the long run for the pawls and their light springs. Once the pawls stop fully returning you'll start failing things.
None of the above.grzy
Jan 17, 2002 5:02 PM
The unit isn't designed to be user serviceable. That's not to say you can't do it, but you just don't need to. These things go for years and years without a thought. Some fail, but most don't. Put a thinner non-compatible oil and you'll dilute the heavier grease. Put to much heavy grease (assuming you can get it in) and the pawls may start missing. In any event it all spells premature failure.

I'd advise that you leave things well enough alone... it ain't "broke" is it?
I think...gtx
Jan 17, 2002 5:37 PM
you're probably right. I ignore my my XTR freehub body and have never had a problem. I have used the Phil Wood oil a few times on various freewheels--usually when they are starting to feel a bit rough or gritty--and haven't had problems (but I wasn't using a tool/injector and so I wasn't doing any hardcore purging). Then again I have heard lots of stories of freehubs or freewheels cr@pping out soon after "maintenance." Newer Shimano stuff is probably best just left alone.
Sounds good...Mike Prince
Jan 17, 2002 6:04 PM
Thanks grzy,

I will leave it alone. Didn't realize that I shouldn't be mucking about in there. No problems w/ unit anyway, just me being bored and a bit a/r about maintenance.

Freehub ServiceCalvin Jones-Park Tool
Jan 18, 2002 7:10 AM
The freehub can be serviced in a simple fashion. Remove freehub, clean by flushing, dry, re-lube, and re-install. The bearings in the freehub do not need grease as a lubricate. These bearings are not under any kind of heavy load. When you are pedaling, the pawls are locked and the entire thing rotates around the axle bearings. When coasting, the internal freehub bearings working, but there is no stress at that point.

Greasing the internals of the freehub may lead to problems, as the springs of the pawls are quite small and weak. Any light lubricant is fine.

Flush the unit in degrease, and then dry with compressed air if you can. It should be dry of solvent before oiling.

For freehub service see

Below are the internals of a (non-Shimano) freehub.