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removing 6-speed freewheel, and do the cogs separate?(10 posts)

removing 6-speed freewheel, and do the cogs separate?Js Haiku Shop
Dec 7, 2001 12:26 PM
is this done with a specific tool?

and, do the cogs separate, or is the freewheel one big piece of metal?

re: removing 6-speed freewheel, and do the cogs separate?scottfree
Dec 7, 2001 12:32 PM
Yes, and just WHICH freewheel tool you use varies depending on which freewheel you have. Suntour, Shimano, Sachs -- each has its own specific remover. They're not expensive.

I've never had the nerve to take a freewheel apart. For all practical purposes, it's one big piece of metal.
Retro Wrenchinggrzy
Dec 7, 2001 12:32 PM
You need the right *freewheel* remover and don't try to cheat it or it will get AFU'ed. They typically use just two or four "dogs" and it is very easy to mess them up. Consider installing a skewer just to keep things in place.

The cogs don't typically seperate - it's all one big assembly that is rivited together.
the cogs DO separateretro knucklehead
Dec 7, 2001 12:38 PM
on Sachs-Maillard... gotta use 2 chainwhips
Dec 7, 2001 12:50 PM
Once upon a time shops had wall displays with cogs on them. You could have a freewheel built with any combination of cogs you wanted. 13-14-15-16-18-21 was a favorite. Played those numbers in the lottery for years but didn't win anything.
the cogs DO separate....Rusty McNasty
Dec 7, 2001 1:45 PM
usually between the second and third cogs.
same goes for most Shimano and Suntour (nm)gtx
Dec 7, 2001 3:50 PM
Grzy, you don't know $**t!!!Rusty McNasty
Dec 9, 2001 7:00 AM
He did say freeWHEEL, not freeHUB. Maybe you are too young to remember them, but they ARE different. Maybe the piece-of $**t 'Falcon' brand freewheels used on cheap bikes today aren't all seperable, but millions of older riders know that wasn't always the case.
FWIW, Shimano and Sachs/SRAM use the same splined freewheel remover, Atom used to use a special tool, SunTour used either a 2 or 4 pronged tool, and ALL of them had cogs which could be removed. Most of them had 3 different internal diameters, so the 18 tooth of a corn-cob freewheel (on the largest spline) was not the same as the 18 tooth on a touring freewheel, which was likely on the third position.
To open a freeWHEEL, you needed to use 2 whips, one on the second cog, one on the third cog. Twist. Then pull the cogs/spacers out.
Good luck finding them! has a decent selection of old cogs, but not a complete one. And, at $10/each, not a cheap one, either!
Yes, yes, yes. Here's howchar
Dec 8, 2001 7:35 PM
You will need the correct freewheel remover (Shimano splined, Suntour 2 prong, Suntour 4 prong, Regina, Campy [either shimano splined or suntour 4 prong for sachs, I can't remember]), a large crescent wrench and a cheater pipe that will slide over the crescent wrench, especially if it has not been removed in a long time. Remove the quick release, place the remover, then reinstall the the quick release to hold the remover - very important. Use the wrench with the cheater bar (i use a 5 foot pipe)to "crack" the freewheel off, then use the wrench while backing off the quick release. If you don't have a piece of pipe laying around you could use a mallet on the wrench, freewheels are on very tight. Leave the tire on when you do this.

If this is a Maillard Helicomatic freewheel (sold on Treks in the early 80s), you just have to unscrew the lockring with the special tool (it's also a beer bottle opener and spoke wrench), the freewheel just slips right off.

To get the cogs off, 2 chainwhips are needed, with one the smallest cog. I have to "scissor" them and smack one with mallet to get the cog to spin off. You will find that some cogs are splined, maybe another one maybe screwed on. Keep track of the spacers and the orientation of the cogs.

Good luck finding NOS cogs, you will probably have to buy a NOS freewheel or a slighty used one. All my wheels (except 1) are freewheels, I change the cogs for the terrain and also just to rotate them for wear purposes for compatibility.

Clean all threads and grease, reinstall. Be extremely careful when screwing on the freewheel (steel) to the hub (aluminum). Be absolutely sure you are not cross-threading while installing. Use a chainwhip to snug it down, then take the bike up a hill in low gear to finalize the installation.

I spent more time writing this then the operation takes, it is pretty straight forward once you get the hang of it.

thanks, all. nmJs Haiku Shop
Dec 10, 2001 6:12 AM