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So, I degreased my freewheel. . .(9 posts)

So, I degreased my freewheel. . .MisJG
Aug 17, 2003 5:06 PM
Ok, so I got a little carried away when cleaning my freewheel and dropped it into the bucket-o-degreaser. What kind of oil should I pour into the space between the moving parts and the parts that stay still? My "Bicycling Magazine's guide to bicycle repair" says "bicycle oil" or "light motor oil" after flushing it with WD-40. That's helpful. Especially when I asked a wrench at the LBS and he looked at me like I had two heads. "We don't normally lube those", he said. Does anyone really think I should pour in the 10W-40? 5W-30? How about chain, bar and sprocket oil for a chain-saw?
re: So, I degreased my freewheel. . .flying
Aug 17, 2003 7:01 PM
You do mean a freewheel right? Not a cassette?
If so we use to grease the freewheel with an injector.
But the LBS was the place as none of us owned the injector.

If in fact you meant a modern do not want to grease that. It will cause the pawls to stick & you will have a problem.
been there, done that: try Triflow!BergMann
Aug 17, 2003 7:49 PM
Yes, I once made the mistake of injecting a Dura Ace 7-speed freewheel with phil-wood grease, which effectively prevented pawl movement (I have no idea how that godawful product stayed on the market -- all it ever did was gunk stuff up).

My "rescue" measure consisted of washing the thing out with solvent and then lubing it with oil. I started out with really viscous stuff, and eventually settled on Tri flow.

It won't keep things lubed as long or effectively as the original shimano grease (the best grease ever brought to market!), but re-lube it every few months and you should be fine.

PS -- if you do try and get your hands on a grease injector, the problem with this tool is by the time you've pushed enough grease in to have the old, solvent/grit laden grease exit the other side of the FW, you have overpacked the FW body with grease.
My advice is to just go with the oil.
Yes, freewheelMisJG
Aug 18, 2003 5:44 AM
My late '90s Cannondale has a cassette with a lockring, etc. This is my late '80s Schwinn with a freewheel.
Bad move...MrDan
Aug 18, 2003 5:12 AM
You just plunked it in the degreaser huh? It's probably alot of trouble, as I've only done this once, but you need to greease the bearings and very lightly grease the pawl mechanisms. It's likely that when you spin the freewheel, you'll feel grit and binding sometime soon. Did you find a 27&1/4 replacement wheel after breaking the spoke? If the thing is that old, just splurge for a new freewheel...
It slipped from my hand. . .MisJG
Aug 18, 2003 5:33 AM
I was holding it over the degreaser (I have a Finish Line parts washer thing and it slipped from my hand and submerged in the degreaser. Not exactly what I planned on, but I can't go back in time. To answer the other question, I replaced the spoke and all is fine. I was finally able to get the freewheel off after letting liquid wrench soak into the threads for a few days. A couple of good whacks and it came free! I was cleaning everything up for reassembly when I dropped the freewheel into the degreaser.

PS, I went with the 10W-40. I'll just re-apply every once in a while and I think it'll work just fine.
re: So, I degreased my freewheel. . .xxl
Aug 18, 2003 5:17 AM
As long as you're sure you've a freewheel, you can use just about any oil, because we are talking infinitesimal levels of resistance by the internal works when "freewheeling"; you shouldn't be coasting anyway ; ) I don't like the grease option, because I think it clogs ups the pawls. My preference is to go to the auto supply store, and get some hypoid gear oil. It's about 90 W, but still an oil, and seems to coexist fine with the occasional booster of Tri-Flow (stay away from the WD-40, BTW). Chain saw oil would work, but it's not thick enough to last as long, so you'd be reapplying more often.
I may go with this for future lubings. . .MisJG
Aug 18, 2003 5:40 AM
I settled on the 10W-40 last night, but I may pick up some of this gear oil for future use. So far (one ride, to work, 13.5 miles) all is well. I would think grease would clog everything up like you said. Unless grease is under constant pressure, it dries up, gets pastey and sticky. Under constant pressure (ie bearings in the hubs), it liquefies and lubricates efficiently. I'll stick with oils, thank you!
Marine oil = perfect freewheel lube. nmOldEdScott
Aug 18, 2003 6:00 AM