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  1. #1
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    Alfine 8 cracked open for first time since bike was built in 2008...

    Repost from Fat Bike Forum for those interested in Alfine 8 IGH...



    I built my Pugsley in 2008. In all that time of beach riding, Canadian winters, bikepacking and other foolishness I've never opened my Alfine 8 IGH up.

    Photos of what the Pugsley has been through including detail pics of internals.

    My hand was forced when I decided to swap in some new rims. I needed to check the hub before I bothered to reuse it.



    I was surprised to see how clean the IGH was. No rust. No dirt. No water. Basically it looked factory fresh.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  2. #2
    dru
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    I wouldn't just throw it back in there with fresh grease, Vik. You'd be amazed at all the metal that will come out with a vigorous dunk and spin. As well, you'd get rid of all that encrusted dirt that's bound to be crammed into the mech on the sprocket side. You've been a lot harder on yours than me, that's for sure!

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  3. #3
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    Ya that's the question - the works perfectly - zero problems. Do I try and clean it which may offer some benefits, but I'm also getting rid of the thicker factory lube that's worked so well to date - or do I leave good enough alone and just keep riding it?

    Now that I know everything is okay inside I'll go ahead with the rim swap. Opening the hub was easy so I can always clean it later.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  4. #4
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    From the tech docs on Shimano's site:
    * In order to maintain proper performance, it is recommended that you ask
    the place where you purchased the bicycle or your nearest Pro shop to
    carry out maintenance such as greasing the internal hub about once
    every two years starting from the first time of use (or once about every
    5,000 km if the bicycle is used very frequently). Furthermore, it is
    recommended that you use the Shimano internal hub grease or
    lubrication kit when carrying out maintenance
    . If the special grease or
    lubrication kit is not used, problems may occur such as the gear shifting
    not working correctly.
    * Parts are not guaranteed against natural wear or deterioration resulting
    from normal use.

    Tech doc can be found here:
    http://bike.shimano.com/media/techdo...9830638091.pdf

    There is no mention of cleaning in the tech doc.

    I wonder what "natural wear" would be. In the case of internal gears, this would make me think that after an extended period of time, you would wear out the internals and have to eventually replace it. You could decrease the speed with which this happens by doing a deep clean, however you'd have to avoid "cleaning" the bearings. I count at least 3 different sets of bearings on the internals of the hub though (not including what appear to be roller bearings), so I would recommend complete disassembly if you were planning to do this. That sounds like a lot of work...

    You should be able to just repack the hub with grease. Shimano's grease is product code Y-041 20800 (100g tube; I'm assuming you don't want the 2.5 kg can). I think repacking with grease and have the bike shop clean/service it every other time might be worthwhile; that's as frequent as we have the Olympics if your use to date is any indicator.

  5. #5
    dru
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    Vik, my opinion is the same as yours re not wanting to remove grease from critical parts. Clearly the shimano dip does not do this since there is no mention of spinning things about. However I suspect that the dip does dilute the grease once things are up and running.

    Personally, I don't like the idea of washing the hubout with some type of solvent unless a complete teardown is done. I also don't like the idea of using some kind of thin fluid like ATF.

    When I cleaned mine I used 90w gear oil (apparently somewhere near the viscosity of 10w-30) and then crammed lots of white grease on every set of gears I could see as well as the clutches.

    I would have liked to access the driveside cone and cup for greasing too, but chanced it instead. I hope that the gear oil couldn't really flush out the lube from there, and instead supplemented what was in place.

    Anyways, like you said it's easy to get to once fear is overcome, but you will be surprised at what comes out in the oil if you ever do a rinse and spin.

    drew
    occasional cyclist

  6. #6
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    From Sheldon Brown:

    Lubrication
    The Alfine 11-speed is oil-lubricated, but the other Nexus and Alfine hubs are packed with a special grease as sold. Mechanical problems can result from "preventive maintenance" including re-lubrication with incorrect grease. This is especially the case if a hub has a coaster brake, due to the heat this brake generates.

    The hub must be disassembled into its major components, solvent cleaned, dried and re-lubricated.

    Metal wear particles contaminate the grease, and so the hubs require periodic cleaning and replenishment of a special grease that does not make the pawls stick. Still, frequent failures of grease-lubricated hubs due to water contamination have been reported in wet climates --see photos here. Conversion to oil lubrication avoids this problem and also allows replenishment of the lubricant without dismantling the hub.

    More information about oil lubrication is in the main file about internal-gear hubs.

    Dismantling the Nexus and Alfine hubs is not as difficult as you might think, because of their modular construction.

    If you unscrew everything that is screwed onto the left end of the axle, the whole mechanism can be pulled out of the right side as a unit.

    These hubs have a rotary shifter rather than a shifter rod in a hollow axle, and so you can't add oil by squirting it into the end of the axle. To replenish oil between rebuilds, you must either unscrew the left bearing cone (which requires removing the wheel from the bicycle) or else add an oiling port, such as a Sturmey-Archer oil cap.

    A Shimano Rollerbrake is lubricated without any disassembly, using the special Nexus brake grease -- there's a small rubber access plug on the side of the brake unit, just pop off the plug, put the nozzle of the grease tube up against it, and squeeze.
    Here is the Shimano Dealer manual for the Alfine 8. Page 28 shows the oil bath cleaning/lube.
    Last edited by vikb; 02-09-2013 at 09:48 AM.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    Vik, my opinion is the same as yours re not wanting to remove grease from critical parts. Clearly the shimano dip does not do this since there is no mention of spinning things about. However I suspect that the dip does dilute the grease once things are up and running.

    Personally, I don't like the idea of washing the hubout with some type of solvent unless a complete teardown is done. I also don't like the idea of using some kind of thin fluid like ATF.

    When I cleaned mine I used 90w gear oil (apparently somewhere near the viscosity of 10w-30) and then crammed lots of white grease on every set of gears I could see as well as the clutches.

    I would have liked to access the driveside cone and cup for greasing too, but chanced it instead. I hope that the gear oil couldn't really flush out the lube from there, and instead supplemented what was in place.

    Anyways, like you said it's easy to get to once fear is overcome, but you will be surprised at what comes out in the oil if you ever do a rinse and spin.

    drew
    Good points. In a lot of ways I need to recalibrate my expectations for this IGH. It's my oldest Alfine and when I bought it the whole thing was an experiment to see if I could get by with an economy IGH vs. a Rohloff. I like my Rohloffs, but they cost to much to throw into every bike!

    I got a lot of feedback over the years that these were disposable IGHs - especially in a MTBing type application. Without opening the Alfine 8 I never really knew if it was about to die or was in great shape.

    Now I know. It's served me well and I want to keep it rolling a long time. Now the experiment is how long can I keep fat biking with this IGH?

    I think it makes sense to see what happens if I keep the IGH assembled and just maintain the whole thing as a unit. That would be easy to do away from home and I can buy a new one for $250 retail so spending a bunch of $$ getting it serviced at the LBS doesn't make sense if I can do a reasonable job at home without a lot of hassle.

    I'll consider the thicker oil bath idea you mentioned. I like the idea of keeping as much of the factory grease in place, but I also see the point of getting wear debris out and giving the deeper parts of the IGH some lube after 4yrs.

    I have a second Alfine 8 IGH in my GF's Pugsley. It hasn't seen as much use as mine, but it will give me another data point on how these IGHs handle challenging environmental conditions.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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