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Campy Freehub Lube/Rebuild(2 posts)

Campy Freehub Lube/RebuildDustBowl
Jun 16, 2003 4:06 AM
My rear 99 Chorus hub is very loud and I would like to lube it to quiet it up. What is the best method to do this. I am also interested in the internals and would be willing to pull it apart for a rebuild if it was not impossible to do and I could find some good instructions. Does anyone have any advise on this?
Reprint of old post on how to do this:SnowBlind
Jun 16, 2003 9:36 AM
It is for record, but it would not be that different (no grease ports).
If you can find a replacement pawl spring, I would recommend getting one.

What you will need:
Set of metric allen keys.
Spanner or adjustable wrench.
BB/Cassette tool.
Chain whip.
Mini Grease gun and grease for bike. I used Pedro's and Phil Wood.
Cleaning supplies: rags, Q-tips, etc.
Degreaser, if needed.
Campy rear hub instruction sheet, available here:

Torque wrench.
Favorite general bike repair book.
Liquid refreshment.

The noise from the rear hub had been growing over the last 3 or so rides, and I kept telling myself "gotta clean that chain". So last night I got out the stuff and cleaned it. While there was some improvement in noise level, shifting sucked. So I figure, "Cable strech?" So I started shifting while taking a close look at the rear DR, and the entire cassette shifted! Taking the wheel out of the bike showed that the reverse threaded nut that retains the cassette had backed out several turns. Not good.

Removing the cassette was a bugger, the Wrench that worked on it last must have Popeye arms. So I figured, "What the heck, the rachet area has not been cleaned, ever, so I might as well do it." Got out the paper towels and the Q-tips, and cleaned out the lube in the pawls and the teeth and lubed with Phil Wood. At the same, I injected the hub grease port with both dust seals exposed. I put in just enough to get clean grease to come out and wiped off the excess. (at this point, the SO is giving me the evil eye, she is figuring I just bit off more that I can chew)

The other lube port on the rear hub is on the cassette body, under the cogs. Back out the hex screw, and this exposes the injection port. Injecting just enough grease to get the dirty stuff out, I wiped away the excess. Note: I did this with the cassette body off the axel, and inside the cassette body is a ~2" sleeve that separates the front and rear bearings. It is free floating, so it shifted when I injected the grease. I had to realign it before I could fit it back on the axel.

Unlike previous models, the pawls do not fling off into space when the cassette body is removed from the hub. They took just a gentle push to get them seated.

I reassembled the axel/cassette body, making sure it was tourqued to proper specs. Don't forget the drive side nut is reverse threaded. These are alloy threads, so lube and a gentle touch is recommended. Next I started reassembling the cluster. Note: There are 3 different sized spacers. The instruction sheet shows the proper order. Just in case, say, a cat scatters the nice neat stack you made to avoid this problem.

After the wheel was assembled, I reajusted the bearing tightness, just to be sure the bearings were dialed in. One thing to remember: You may need to tap the non drive side end of the axel to loosen the bearings after loosening the non drive side bearing lockring. It should be just tight enough to prevent play, and no tighter. Use very small movements of the lockring, about a 1/16 of a turn, to ensure you don't overtighten the bearing.

After reassembly, I gave the wheel a spin, just to make sure the bearings were right. The fricton seemed a little high, but not too bad. The biggest improvement was in noise from the pawls. Before, the pawls clacked loudly when freewheeled. Now, they gave off a light purr. Sweet. For the life of me, I can't understand why Campy uses a grease that makes so much noise.

I geared up for a short ride around the block to test my work. The bearings were smooth as silk and the pawls got even quieter as the wheel settled in.
Taking it back to the stand, I checked the bearings. They had settled in a bit, so I tightened them again. This time they stayed where they were.
The whole process took about an hour and a bit, so don't start this process just befo