I think I messed up by packing my freewheel full of grease...

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by sparky, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I packed both my freewheels full of grease (old one for motor drive; new one for pedal drive), and the older [motor] one is giving me problems now, while the newer [pedal] one is doing just fine.

    There's a pretty bad clunk coming from the older freewheel, which I'm not exactly sure where to get replacements from. I've seen them referred to as "HD Hubs", but not much more than that.


    My question is -- Should I just spray the freewheels down with engine de-greaser and put some real oil inside instead of grease, to try to recover the older, hard-to-replace freewheel... or should i just ride it 'til the grease pushes out??

  2. sparky

    sparky Active Member

  3. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Did you lose a ball when you opened it up? I remember opening my threaded freewheel sprocket's flange and it wouldn't be hard to lose one, or get one where you don't want it behind the springs.

    I definitely wouldn't ride it out, I'd order a new one! But after you get a new one...

    Take an old junk hub and overtighten the race nuts to seize the axle. Thread on the motor freewheel and bolt it down to a table vice. Bite onto the axle with a drill, and see if you can simulate a few hundred miles. If it ever will work out, then it would then (if it's just a grease thing). Then you can just resell the new one or keep it for a spare.

    I actually JB Welded the internals of my flange to seize the freewheel.

    Let me know if you find a threaded sprocket by itself for sale anywhere, I'm taking it do my buddies shop and we're gonna go to town on finding a way to "turn the freewheel on and off".
  4. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I didn't actually take the freewheel apart.

    Applied marine grease all in the bottom bracket & hubs.... and then I figured that packing some of that grease within the outer seams of the freewheels would be a really great idea, too. It actually worked OK for the pedal freewheel, but the engine freewheel is definitely clanking every rotation.

    I guess my only real option is to use some de-greaser thru the outer edges and then use some oil. I read that some 85w oil or thicker would be good to heat up and then just let it soak. I can't get this engine freewheel off easily, I'd imagine, so I'll just have to "pack it" like I did with the grease -- except with OIL this time!!!
  5. Pablo

    Pablo Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Grease is not always the best choice for freewheels. In fact grease in cold weather can be terrible. Pawls will hang and such.

    Fairly viscous synthetic oil with some ability to cling is what you want. Cold weather will hardly slow even the heaviest synthetic oils.
  6. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Oil is the way to do it, but there's no doubt that stock is sparing to say the least with most bearing's factory oiling.

    Here's a random thought in addition to my earlier suggestion, have you tried heating up the freewheel? It might be enough to remove the clanking, and definitely would help when you degrease it.
  7. Rogwarf

    Rogwarf New Member

    I use a custom oil mix of lucas oil stabilizer as a tackifier agent mixed with motor oil to thin it right and apply it from a old 3 in one bottle spout that is slightly modified.
  8. Rogwarf

    Rogwarf New Member

    I will flush them out every once in a while random blue moon with brake clean and tediously apply my mix again.