Lubing A 3-Speed Hub

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Mar 28, 2010.

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  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Hi. I bought a 1976 Huffy bike with 3-speed hub for $35 on craigslist. The main reason I got it was for the Bike Bug engine mounted on it, but that's not my point.

    After finding absolutely no grease in the bottom bracket, I realize I also need to lube the steering tube AND 3-speed hub.

    How hard is it to service or lube the hub? I dropped the wheels off at the bike shop on Monday to change all spokes and service the hub. Since they're dragging tail, I'll just do it myself.

    I have no idea if the 3-speed hub works. I just paid the previous owner, threw the bike in the van and drove off before the other prospective buyers started a bidding war.

  2. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

  3. Dilly Bar Rob

    Dilly Bar Rob Member

    Quote from :

    Modern bikes use grease for lubrication. This is good, because grease lasts a long time, but it is bad because grease can usually only be renewed by dis-assembling the parts involved. Older 3-speeds were intended for oil lubrication. A bike meant for oil lubrication will have an oil hole in the front hub, covered by a spring clip around the middle of the hub barrel. The bottom bracket will also often have an oil cap. Bikes so equipped should be oiled regularly with a moderately heavy oil, such as Phil Wood, or automotive motor oil. Don't use too much, or you will make a mess, and don't use thin oils or sprays because they don't last long enough.

    3-speed hubs always need oil lubrication. The sound of the ticking pawls is a good indicator of the state of lubrication of the hub. If the pawls have a loud, bright tick, the hub may be dry or may have been oiled with too light an oil. A very dull, quiet tick may indicate a hub that has become gunked up with old, dried-up oil. In extreme cases, a hub that has sat unused for a long period of time may get its freewheel pawls stuck, so that it freewheels forward, particularly in low gear. This can often be corrected by lubricating with a fairly light oil and letting it work in.

    A drop or two of oil on the moving parts of the 3-speed trigger should also be part of regular maintenance.

    .....My 3 speed has no "oil cap", to lubricate it I simply take out the "shifting rod", lean the bike on its side and dump oil in the hole so that it runs into the hub, then I put the shifting rod back in. Works for me.
  4. Hawaii_Ed

    Hawaii_Ed Member

    Better way of saying what I was thinking! Good post! :cool::D
  5. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Thanks a lot for the tips, Esteban, Rob, Ed.
  6. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Another thing,, 3 speeds will get a little " gunked up " after sitting, & not shift correctly. Before doing anything drastic, like disassembling , squirt a good shot of WD-40 in the oil hole & ride it for awhile. Many times this will " free " things up, & it will shift fine. Then add oil. Make sure to have shifter cable adjusted correctly BEFORE standing up & pedalling. That top bar can be hard on the " codjewadjees !"

    Once you get that old motor running well & get used to it, you will like it !!
  7. rawly old

    rawly old Member

    This is good to know. I just bought a virtually unridden Huff for $15 from an
    old couple that got it for their grandchild to ride on visits. I just now greased
    the front bearings which were bone dry. ......Ha! Just pulled the shift rod. It
    was drippin' nearly clear oil. Not bad for a bike that's been sitting in a garage
    since 1988. I'm good to go and installing a fric-drive.

    thx Esteban
  8. rawly old

    rawly old Member

    By way of a post script, after waxing the chain a lubin' the
    headset & BB. I took that old huffer out for a spin before
    mounting the engine.(also ditched the fenders). It looks
    and rides like a brand new bike, not a scratch on the paint.
    There was touch of surface rust on the rims that came right
    of with a dry kitchen scrubby. The low gear is low enuff for
    almost anything but a long climb over a mtn. pass. and the
    high is way higher than that of my vintage MB. Pedalling
    is fun again, no more hassling my way thru 18 spds., just
    click, click, click!:grin5:
  9. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I like to ride the old 3 speeds, too. YES, without a motor.