Replacing the bearings in a freewheel

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by M3rc3, 10 Oct 2018.

  1. M3rc3

    M3rc3 New Member

    Appologies in advance for the long winded post.

    So I made a bit of an error, a friend of mine asked me to take a look at his child's bike.

    It was a single speed bike for ages around 6 or so. After doing what I needed to do I gave the rear cog a spin and thought to myself "that seems a bit stiff, doesn't seem as free as it could be".

    This is where my error began, I should have left it, it would have been fine but wanting it to be just right I took the locking ring off and low and behold, all the bearings fell out from the wheel side of the freewheel.

    I can't for the life of me get it back together. The pawls keep knocking the bearing out when I try and put it on.

    My question is can this be done? Or do I bite the bullet and admit my error and offer to replace it
  2. iluvmybike

    iluvmybike Well-Known Member

    Save yourself a world of pain and just buy a replacement - they are only about £10
    raleighnut likes this.
  3. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    Should go back together easily enough. I used to strip and rebuild these when i was about 13-14 yrs old.
    gbb likes this.
  4. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Don't you wrap the pawls with a bit of cotton/fishing line until it's loosely assembled and then pull the thread out, TBH I've never done one just always fitted new (or more accurately got someone else to fit one when I bought it :whistle:)
    Milkfloat likes this.
  5. MichaelW2

    MichaelW2 Veteran

    New one.
    I service freewheels by flushing out with wd40 then drizzling in oil. Place the unit horizontally over a jam jar and rotate the gap to get stuff inside.
    M3rc3 likes this.
  6. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Ditto, i used to do them just because, i loved stripping stuff apart.
    If you can collect the balls, clean them, clean the internal ratchet surfaces, apply grease to the bearing surfaces, place balls in that grease (that holds them in place) , re-assemble, i used to use a small drift to make sure the lockring was tight.
    As said up post, its debatable whether its worth it. Depends on the person.
    I like Skol likes this.
  7. guitarpete247

    guitarpete247 Just about surviving

    raleighnut and M3rc3 like this.
  8. OP

    M3rc3 New Member

    Thank you for the great advice. I'll get a go at it this weekend, see if I can get it back together and let you know.

    Nice to know there is a way to service them without taking them apart. I'll try that next tine
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