Freewheel removal ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Arrrr.
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    Freewheel removal ?

    I bought a new ACS freewheel, and the Park tool to take off the old one. I can't budge the old FW to get it off, it is a ccw removal, right? Does it normally take a ton of torque to break it loose?
    You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

  2. #2
    an eagle in your mind
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    yeah... its hard as ****... the best way i found was to put the tool on a benchvice and put the wheel on it... so you grab on the tires and turn it like a greyhound steering wheel.... get that torque multiplication!
    living on earth is expensive, but it includes a free trip around the sun -bill woods

  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    And be sure to use plenty of anitseize on the threads of the new FW.
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  4. #4
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    I used the vise trick and broke it loose finally. I don't have any anti-sieze here at work so I cleaned the threads off as best I could and I'll coat the threads later.
    You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Did you at least grease the threads?
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    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Did you at least grease the threads?
    I'm at work, the only thing we had here was WD-40, I shot some on the threads, I have anti-sieze at home.

    Thanks for the advice, that freewheel removal tool leaves a lot to be desired.
    You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

  7. #7
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    clamp the tool in the vise like stated above, and put the axle nut on about a thread and a half loose below the tool, that reduces the odds of stripping the tool and/or the freewheel, and back off the nut as needed.

  8. #8
    i like to bicycle
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    big crecent

    i use a 15inch crescent wrench at home because i lack the bench vise. it works everytime and its a bit more portable if your at a race or distant riding destination. what i do is brace the wheel (with tire mounted and inflated) against a wall and the floor and push down on the wrench. 12inch crescent won't quite do it for me. and...be sure to bolt to the fw tool to the hub.

  9. #9
    17.5" pistons of love
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    Idea! freewheel removal made easy...

    I realise not all of us have an air compressor, but twisting the wheel while clamping the freewheel tool in a vise and using long wrenches and cheater bars is horrible on your wheels. Buy a $20-$30impact wrench from sears or where ever and a 1" socket to fit the imact drive ( usually 1/2") and go this route, you'll never go back. The impact "hammers" the freewheel loose instead of "twisting" it. You put 6 months worth of wear on a wheel when you apply those twisting forces to your wheel (I actually ruined a vise). Like one of the previous replies said, put the park tool on your freewheel, then thread the axle bolt or nut on loosely. The 1" socket fits the park tool. Then go your LBS and I bet if you beg they will let you plug your new impact into thier air line and in seconds spin that freewheel off. You'll probably convince the shop to buy one if they don't already have one.

    The one thing to be careful of is to thread your axle nut or bolt on LOOOOSELY and as soon as the freewheel begins to break free STOP! At this point remove the axle nut or bolt and finish with a wrench. The impact will pull the axle out if you go too far. The best way to avoid this is to get good enough that you can hold the park tool in place by hand and forget holding it in place with your axle nut or bolt. Then you can spin the freewheel all the way off. Once you try it you'll never go back. It only takes is one person to have one, just let the people you like use it.

    The Domesticated SSer (with a 60 gallon air compressor)

  10. #10
    i like to bicycle
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    force is force

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Bulging Calves
    I realise not all of us have an air compressor, but twisting the wheel while clamping the freewheel tool in a vise and using long wrenches and cheater bars is horrible on your wheels.
    this is a nice idea, but isn't force, force? it takes a certain amount of force to remove a freewheel. you can do it nicely or crudely. i understand that an impact wrench will do it more nicely and consistantly everytime, but i don't think that mean that all other methods are worse. you can be gentle with a 15" crescent or a vice. pushing with increasing force as opposed to hammering on it all at once can't be any worse for the wheel then an impact wrench.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Torque vs. Force

    Quote Originally Posted by mwills
    this is a nice idea, but isn't force, force? it takes a certain amount of force to remove a freewheel. you can do it nicely or crudely. i understand that an impact wrench will do it more nicely and consistantly everytime, but i don't think that mean that all other methods are worse. you can be gentle with a 15" crescent or a vice. pushing with increasing force as opposed to hammering on it all at once can't be any worse for the wheel then an impact wrench.
    The impact wrench applies the torque evenly around the tool and some of the resistance to the torque is the inertia of the hub. When you use a wrench your pushing in one direction (with a lever) is changed to a torque by some spokes compressing and other stretching, not to mention the teeth on the tool/freewheel.

  12. #12
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    no, no, no

    Torque is torque. You are not compressing or tensioning "one side" of the spokes on a wheel by using a wrench. You are applying a moment through a lever. Torque, by definition, is consistant at any point around the diameter.

    Impact tools have their place and it's not in the bike industry. They are good for very high torque applications where ergonomics are a factor. Think about how much force you must impart on a lug nut to break it loose from a wheel stud. Impacts impart many small busts of torque to loosen fasteners. This really isn't the best way to remove a fastener.

    Smooth hand applied, at least in the bike industry, torques are the best way to tighten/loosen fasteners. Impacts or jerky hand tightening tend to break fasteners moreso than a smooth motion would.

    Think about how many times an impact wrench would place tension and release on the spokes. Not the best way. Put the tool in a vise and drive it like a bus. It's never failed me.
    It's only weird because it's not normal.

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  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    yes, yes, yes

    Quote Originally Posted by mckeand13
    Torque is torque. You are not compressing or tensioning "one side" of the spokes on a wheel by using a wrench. You are applying a moment through a lever. Torque, by definition, is consistant at any point around the diameter.
    Sure, torque is defined. Achieving that ideal in real life is the problem.

    Every lever has a fulcrum. Find the fulcrum in the system and you'll see force on it. If I push down on a wrench attached to the hub do you doubt the tires will compress? That implies a directional force separate from torque.

    Turning the wheel with torque from your hands is different from pushing on a wrench. But it depends on the operator on applying torque perfectly otherwise there are side forces. If we were perfect we wouldn't need a quick release to hold the tool down.

  14. #14
    17.5" pistons of love
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    Been there done that....

    Quote Originally Posted by mwills
    i use a 15inch crescent wrench at home because i lack the bench vise. it works everytime and its a bit more portable if your at a race or distant riding destination. what i do is brace the wheel (with tire mounted and inflated) against a wall and the floor and push down on the wrench. 12inch crescent won't quite do it for me. and...be sure to bolt to the fw tool to the hub.
    While twisting the wheel with the tool clamped in a vise or cranking on it with a wrench, anyone ever listen to the windup you get from the spokes tensioning and detensioning from a really tight freewheelremoval? I have removed freewheels that people brought to me after standing on a cheater bar trying to remove it, simply by holding the top of the wheel with two fingers and again letting it "hammer" the freewheel loose. To test it one time I put one finger on the top of the wheel and removed a not so tight freewheel, no "bracing" the wheel or long wrenches needed.

    I'm not trying to force anyone to try it, but if you have an issue removing freewheels as I did, then I provided an option that I know works. I'm not a wheel/physics expert I just know what a bunch of shop experience and a fair amount of trial and error with other methods.

    The biggest issue is tightening up the new freewheel you install, that's the best part. My suggestion is to prep the threads, spin it on with a whip OR by pedaling your ss relentlessly through some kick @$$ single track!
    The Domesticated SSer

  15. #15
    Penis Goat!
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    I've had good luck fitting a 4' long piece of metal pipe over my 12" adjustable wrench. Sum***** just comes right off.

  16. #16
    The man who fell to earth
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    I agree completely, I always remove my freewheel using a pneumatic impact driver. I've never had any problems with wheel damage, nor do I see any reason why I would especially when compared to the steering wheel, or breaker bar, or whatever hold it in the door while mom jumps up and down on the ACS tool technique. The impact driver imparts a series of high frequency, high impact, very low duration torque pulses which serve to break the static coefficient of friction holding the FW on more easily and rapidly making the FW turn and loosen in several small increments instead of trying to get it done in one fell swoop via the various space chimp methods. In fact, I've actually sheared/twisted off overtightened lug nut studs on cars using a T handle lug hand wrench. When an impact gun is used on those same overtightened nuts, it usually breaks the nut loose without shearing the lug stud off (as long as the power is set properly on the gun).

    Of course there's one other solution, just start using a converted XT hub: problem solved, along with a bunch of others endemic to the FW too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Bulging Calves
    While twisting the wheel with the tool clamped in a vise or cranking on it with a wrench, anyone ever listen to the windup you get from the spokes tensioning and detensioning from a really tight freewheelremoval? I have removed freewheels that people brought to me after standing on a cheater bar trying to remove it, simply by holding the top of the wheel with two fingers and again letting it "hammer" the freewheel loose. To test it one time I put one finger on the top of the wheel and removed a not so tight freewheel, no "bracing" the wheel or long wrenches needed.

    I'm not trying to force anyone to try it, but if you have an issue removing freewheels as I did, then I provided an option that I know works. I'm not a wheel/physics expert I just know what a bunch of shop experience and a fair amount of trial and error with other methods.

    The biggest issue is tightening up the new freewheel you install, that's the best part. My suggestion is to prep the threads, spin it on with a whip OR by pedaling your ss relentlessly through some kick @$$ single track!

  17. #17
    17.5" pistons of love
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    "The impact driver imparts a series of high frequency, high impact, very low duration torque pulses which serve to break the static coefficient of friction holding the FW on more easily and rapidly making the FW turn and loosen in several small increments instead of trying to get it done in one fell swoop via the various space chimp methods. In fact, I've actually sheared/twisted off overtightened lug nut studs on cars using a T handle lug hand wrench. When an impact gun is used on those same overtightened nuts, it usually breaks the nut loose without shearing the lug stud off (as long as the power is set properly on the gun)."

    Im glad u gots the bwains to xplane it betr than I cud.

    That's something I forgot to bring up. We use small battery operated imacts in my line of work to remove 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" (relatively small) bolts that when guys try to take them out by hand about half the time they shear off. It's not about the force or torque, it's the "hammer" that is applied wilst the twist is applied.

    Another thing to think about is that I KNOW how much force I'm applying each time I remove a freewheel. Can anyone tell me how much force they are applying when they twist on the wheel in a vise or push down on the 4' cheater bar, either way you're ultimately using the wheel as the leverage point.

    Think about the force applied to tighten the freewheel on. A 7" (not 4') crankarm at generally a 2:1 (not 1:1) ratio with the rear wheel that never has 100% absolute traction and a lack of forward motion at the same time. Granted it gets tightened about a hundred thousand times but with alot less force than a 4' cheater bar (sounds like an impact). Don't put your freewheel on with an impact (that would suck!), do it the old fashioned way.

    Bottom line - it's a dead horse, not really worth talking about, it's just a freewheel. I seriously doubt twrecks is going to run out and buy an impact wrench. Not picking on the 4' guy, I just think 4' cheater bar sounds cool! That's how I used to do it.

    BTW, I have a ss cassette hub!
    Last edited by Chief Bulging Calves; 06-20-2005 at 08:18 PM.
    The Domesticated SSer

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