Brakes Kill that coaster brake!

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by Oddzball, May 18, 2011.

  1. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    SO how do i remove me coaster brake and turn my bike into a freewheel?

    i have caliper brakes so i dont see the need for a coaster brake TBH

  2. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    depends on what type

    I used to replace the four brake pads on a bendix coster with a spring and a washer. But I don't know if you can still do that trick today.

  3. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    if all fails.

    unfortunately, the only other option I can think of is replacing the rear wheel. If you've got a really good rim you might think of releasing the old rim to a new hub.

    Chances are that the price of a new wheel is less than the price then getting your old wheel released with a new hub.

  4. I believe you can just remove the torque arm that attaches to the left side of the rear fork to disable the coaster brake. Remove the wheel, then the nut on top of the torque arm and wiggle/pry it off, then replace the nut. Replace the wheel and try it.
  5. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    i just took out the brake pads, now it basically does nothing. I'm not sure of the long term effects, but dont see why it would cause a problem...
  6. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    There's been a big thread on this out at the other forum - remove the pads and the torpedo will unscrew into the spring. The best solution is to put washers on the axle inside to allow your cranks to pedal back and forth - while also allowing you to adjust how far you turn the cranks before the sprocket engages.
  7. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    that was the fix I was typing about.
  8. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    Here was my thought though.

    Everytime you back peddle it unscrews slightly.

    BUT every time you start peddling forward again (If you left the tensioner bar on) it screws itself tight again.

    So in theory unless you were doing a lot of back peddling it "shouldnt" come out correct?
  9. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    back pedaling

    If you instal a washer and a spring then it doesn't matter how much you back pedal. It will always reengage. You just need to find the right spring and washer. I used to use a spring from a three speed hub to do the job. Now they are not as common as before.

  10. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    i dont see how that keeps the "torpedo" from backing out and jamming up.

    Its a course thread basically, and like any "bolt" if you keep turning it it will build up pressure pushing against the threads and either rip through the threads to back itself out or jam up completely.

    Probably better to just let it disengage and re-engage, even if you have to do a full revolution to do so..
  11. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    Ok its flipping cold, but i went outside to test this.

    I back peddled 50 revolutions without the torpedo jamming up.
    once i pushed forward it only took 1/4 a turn to engage the torpedo.

    My opinion is it becomes disengaged BUT stays aligned and kinda rides the edge or the corkscrew, and the minute you start peddling forward the corkscrew engages and reconnects.
  12. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Right, and the washers allow you to not have to pedal a full 1/4 turn to engage it.

    I haven't done it myself, but this so far is the best solution.

    My torpedo is jamming up without them, and I'm waiting for the rain to stop out here so I can get some good testing on it.
  13. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    I would htink washers and a spring would put to much pressure against the threads when backpeddling to much. You will end up ripping/cross threading if you do that.
  14. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Looks like it'll be good weather this weekend, so I'll get to tinker with it then.

    But, that's the same worry I have - even with no washers.
  15. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    backing up

    the reason it won't back off and jam is because there is a there is lip in the "clutch" that holds the brake pads in place. If you leave the spring and washer out it will fail guaranteed.

    The washer must be small enough to fit inside the corresponding lip inside the clutch and strong enough to keep pressure on the threaded ends of the shaft that connects to the bearing and eventually the drive cog. The washer fits inside this space and gives the spring something to push against.

    these parts were designed when they overbuilt everything. I have never seen those parts fail because of a conversion.

    It really works and is very quiet way to "freewheel" I never heard any click click click when I was cruising on my old Tuff wheels.

    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  16. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    I guess my question would be has anyone ever actually seen it fail without the washers.

    In my personal opinion the washers are an un-needed step. I mean, if i can back peddle over 50 revoutions and not have any problems, then what is causing the hub to fail?

    I dont see why i see so many threads/posts on the net saying it cant be done.

    "No you cant disable the coaster brake, you need to buy a new hub."

    Hah! Well proved that wrong in about 10 minutes.

    Now the question isnt if it CAN be done, but the reliability of your hub after its been done.

    I mean, I went back outside and freewheel back pedaled my bike again for probably 5 minutes, or 100's of revolutions, and it pretty much immediately started peddling forward as soon as i reversed direction to forward peddling.

    So what gives honestly? Washers and spring un-needed? or possibly the cause of the "Hub will fail" rumor, because people are putting them in and building unnecessary pressure on the torpedo?

    I say unnecessary because if you back peddle without pressure on the torpedo, it will unscrew and ride along the threads of the corkscrew until you peddle forward again, re-engaging it.

    If you put in spring and washer, sure you dont have to peddle forward as much to re-engage it, but you arent allowing the torpedo to back up when back peddling, causing it to build up pressure and either crossthead of or tear out your threads.

    Think about it like this. Take a bolt. Imagine unscrewing the bolt without allowing it to back out, or better yet, imagine trying to screw a bolt into a hole thats the right thread, but to short to fit the entire bolt in.

    What happens when the bolt bottoms out in the hole and you keep torquing it? Crossthead/tear your threads out.

    IE my conclusion that the terpedo NEEDS to be allowed to back all the way out, and just ride on the axle.
  17. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

  18. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Big post, lost of copypasta from all over. I'm not referencing it due to the amount of places, and it's just forum talk from years ago across the interwebs.

    I remember converting mine and my friends' coaster brakes to "un-brakes" using 4 big washers and the spring out of a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. You would pull out the brake shoes and install the spring with 2 washers on each side of it. Most of us had coaster brake equipped Tuffs and MX-60's, a couple of guys had Motomags and a few had Femco heavy duty rims.
    The replacement of internal brake pads with a spring and two washers was done way before freestyle took hold. It was a cheap way of getting a "freewheel" for many a kid who could not afford a new wheel. Tom DeRosier (among many others) was doing way back in 75 or so.
    Most coaster brakes have a cone shaped wedge that rides on a treaded carrier attached to the sprocket. When you pedal forward the wedge moves to the right to engage the hub. When you pedal in reverse the wedge is driven to the left to engage the brake mechanism. If you remove the brake parts and replace them with a spacer to hold the wedge in place, it should work fine. Use a stack of washers or a piece of PVC pipe for a spacer. That's definitely easier than replacing the wheel.
    Technically, there once was a product called "Un-Brake" which replaced the brake shoe with a spacer. (the spacer needs to replicate the brake shoe dimansions and tabs so the retarder and clutch will still work)
    Here's a pictorial i once made about modifying a Suntour coaster hub (in Peregrine mags) to a free-coaster using the un-brake: *SEE LINK FOR PICS*

    So, this was a 20 minute Google search with the same coaster brake conversion search terms, but with "un-brake" added to them! I'm going to leave the first ones I found and finish with the last one - seems like we're missing a part when we're just pulling out the brake shoes!
  19. Oddzball

    Oddzball Member

    Well at least its been answered. Totally doable
  20. adrian101

    adrian101 Member

    Do what i did. Take the coaster brake off and the back wheel. Get a mountain bike wheel and take the cassette off. Buy a cheap freewheel fixie (or take one from a BMX). Place that on the MTB wheel and there you go.

    For brakes use the "V" style.

    Works perfecto!