Maintenance Thread

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SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,306
62
Utah - United States
A maintenance-thread for all things Bicycle related seems to be missing here on The Cabe, so I decided to create one.:mask: I see scattered posts, but think a good maintenance thread is in order. Post your needed Maintenance work, discoveries, disappointments, joys, and in-general findings with pictures please. Has it ever been done before? How long has it been? Are parts damaged and/or available? How did you do it? Why did you do it? How long did it take you? Tips and tricks? What have you?

I pulled apart the Elgin Tanker to clean and inspect the crankcase. It had about 500 miles on it, and I was interested in how the bearings and cones were holding up to my pounding them into submission. As you can see, they looked polished with zero wear. Schwinn crank, cones, and bearings from when they used good metal. The sprocket is an -Emblem rigged to work with the 34 Schwinn crank. I also cleaned and brass-brushed the skip tooth chain in mineral spirits. It has 800 miles from new on it and just slightly stretched over 12". I also measured and re-aligned the rear stays as they were not centered on the BB shell and made sure the dropout axle slots were square and even on both sides. I was able to also clean the front hub and rear hub since they were off the bike. Good to go and very pleased with the condition of the BB setup.
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Mr. Monkeyarms

I live for the CABE
Oct 30, 2018
1,045
Colorado
I finally got around to rebuilding the Shimano Nexus 3 speed hub on my '39 Flying Ace. It was easier than most hubs I'm familiar with and works beautifully!
IMG_20190929_162133194.jpg


IMG_20190929_164334067.jpg


IMG_20190930_192543993.jpg


Also rebuilt the pedals, removed the silver house paint and cleaned them up since I never did them or the hub since building the bike.
IMG_20190930_192624391.jpg


IMG_20190929_135225723.jpg

Unfortunately, these aren't the adjustable type so cleaned and crammed as much grease in the bearings as possible. A bit of a pain but not bad.

The bike rides smooooooooth and silent. As they should. ;)
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,306
62
Utah - United States
Following up on Erics' 3-spd. 1978 Sturmey Archer S3C 3-spd coaster. I have always had some trouble with Sturmey Archer coaster-3's and this particular one is problematic. I have gone down hard on a number of occasions with this evil piece of steel. I was once standing up over the bars in 3rd fully powered up and it let go. I had a concusion and multiple nasty injuries. That was one time. There have been others.
This hub slips out of 3rd when casually pedaling along. Happens about every 25 pedal strokes. I suspected spring tension on the pawls, the ratchet notches being worn or debris-laden, or the main drive clutch "creeping" off of the planetary drive pins when in 3rd.(return spring tension?) So here we go again. I hate starting this process but delved into it today..ugh..
1094463

After removing the wheel, I pulled all the fixing nuts and hardware off both sides of the axle and then removed the brake assembly unscrewing the main notched play adjustment nut. It all should slide right out with little help.
1094464

Then the drive side main axle cone is removed and the sprocket carrier can slide off the axle.
1094465

Remove the rest of the drive guts by unscrewing the threaded ball carrier with a punch and hammer. Lefty loose. I have had this stupid hub apart alot so this went pretty easy. Do not tighten this too much or you will never get it back off....proper tool would be best to unscrew it...
1094466
\
Now you can pull out the rest of the internals out. Clean everything with solvent and a soft brush and set it aside. Everything...
1094471

Now is always a good time to clean the hub shell with an old toothbrush and mineral spirits. I like to clean the spoke/hub flange areas and the rest of the empty shell and set that aside for the rebuild. Really hard to do so otherwise sitting in the frame...
1094469

This hub is beginning to see some pitting on the hubs' drive side race...
1094476

After cleaning and inspecting everything, I find nothing suspect...see the sprung pawls and the 4 planetary drive pins below. Looks ok, right?
1094474


1094475

After cleaning and inspecting it all, time to re-assemble! Make sure when cleaning with a brush, to not dislodge & lose the weak and poorly-designed pawl springs which can and do easily break. Notice I bent them a bit to put more tension on the pawls, which I had suspected could be allowing the pawls to slip out of the hub shell notches. I don't think this is the problem with the slipping 3rd gear//
1094473

You then basically re-assemble the guts in the reverse order drive-side1st. Assemble the axle with the planetary carrier and all the drive side guts together and thread the whole assembly into the hub shell. The outside cone that you see now screwed onto the axle before screwing it into the shell temporarily helps hold the drive clutch in place as it always wants to slip off the axle and fall on the floor during the next steps. It is always better to assemble the entire package completely including the sprocket carrier with the drive side axle cone buried to the thread stops, and then screw it all assembled and seated together into the shell..this always seems to work the best as all the parts seem to assemble and seat better outside of the shell....If you try to put the sprocket carrier in after the assembly is screwed into the hub shell, it can be a nightmare to do it but it still can be done. Just more potential for all the parts to not seat properly and make your life miserable... :(
1094479

If you lose the indicator chains' sliding gear adjuster shown below, you can not and will not recover.!!! This dimunitive and easy-to-lose piece that slides in the axle that the indicator chain screws into allows you to shift, and without it good luck...it becomes a fixed gear hub....

1094552

Here is a look at the planetary axle/drive pin ends with the 4-arm drive clutch in the 3rd gear position resting against them. This is before I assembled it all and screwed it into the shell. I believe this is where the weakest point in the s3c hub is...the square armed drive clutch slowly creeps off of the ends of the pins when loaded, even with spring tension pushing the clutch down in place as you see it...
1094478

1094477

At this point, the trickery begins. If you 1st seat the driver as shown and then screw the cone on, the spring cap under the cone that you can see binds on the bearings and delicate pawls inside not allowing anything to seat or slide properly internally. No Bueno. Not all sturmeys are like this. Seat the main axle cone into the driver 1st, then carefully screw them onto the axle while holding them together seated, keeping the return spring with its' cap UNDER the bearings and sprocket carrier while doing so...very tricky. This drive side cone MUST be tightened to the end of it's threads. After you think you have done this, spin the wheel back and forth and continue to attempt to screw the cone in further. Very difficult to seat the internals during this process. I like to screw in the indicator chain and pull it in and out while spinning the wheel, occasionally checking if the cone screws further in...it always seems to have further to go. If this drive side cone is not buried as tight as it will go until it stops on the axle threads you are doomed.
1094593

So once the drive side cone is to the end of the axle threads screwed all the way in and stopped, go to the brake side of the hub. See below the ends of the planetary drive pins sticking out with flats on them...if the flats are not all cleaning pointing to the outside of the shell, you cannot assemble it correctly...make sure of this.
1094601

The rest of the brake side internals are relatively simple to install. Make sure everything seats well as you go along..Note below the location of the spring. If not in this position, the rest will not go together properly..
1094603

Install the anti-rotation washer then the notched bearing adjustment nut. This nut is the ONLY nut to use to adjust the hubs bearing play. When assembled and tightened in the drops, there should be zero play at the rim and a small amount at the sprocket....it should spin freely and not bind anywhere, or in any way and should not ghost-drive the cranks when free-spinning the wheel. If anything binds, you are screwed and have to start over...
1094604

When you are sure the drive-side cone is fully screwed in to the furthest extent possible, back it out 1.25 turns and put the lock tabs in place on its' flats. Then tighten the non-drive side threaded & notched adjustment nut until the whole mess has no play...spin the wheel in your hands working everything back and forth, the sprocket carrier and the brake action, watching for any play or looseness. If so, not good. Assuming there is no play and things look like they are working, insert the indictor chain all the way in (threaded-end shifter chain inside the axle) then back it out one turn... I also like to run these extra lock tabs pointing outboard on my 3-spd hubs as they really help keep the axle from shifting in the frames' dropouts under power. Anti-rotation axle security as well.
1094606

Some highlight pics below.....
1094610


1094611

Taking the play out at the rim using the notched adjustment nut on the brake side(below)while mounted in the frame, drive side nut tight. Tighten the left side axle nut down again after adjusting and check for any play at the rim...there should be none... The wheel should also spin freely with no binding or noise, and the crank should not move while the wheel spins. This is what you are looking for, smooth spin and nothing binding. Attach the shift cable, adjust correctly and go ride it...:flushed:
1094612

So after all of this long-winded, lengthly and detailed rebuild, do you think I solved the slipping out of 3rd gear problem?
NO!...it still slips out of 3rd while lightly pedaling at around 20 turns. I hate sturmey hubs and may never lace one up again....:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
 
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fattyre

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 22, 2014
959
Chicagoland
@SKPC

Vintage is cool and all, but at a certain point...

I'll never hammer on one of those hubs again either. From several close calls to a stem to the knee needing 4 stitches and a nasty scar to prove it.


"or the main drive clutch "creeping" off of the planetary drive pins when in 3rd."

"the square armed drive clutch slowly creeps off of the ends of the pins when loaded, even with spring tension pushing the clutch down in place as you see it..."

This!- I've found they especially slip when you shock the driveline. Like right before you throw down at the bottom of a climb...

I don't think it has anything todo with the pawls. I'd be miraculous if both simultaneously let go over and over again. I've always thought (but never enough todo anything about it) if you replaced the return spring with a higher tension one that that might help. Added a few pics of a new & a super worn AW clutch. You might wanna carefully inspect yours. I’d bet is shows some wear.

94DCFC58-552D-43CC-B52F-1A3730C66BBD.jpeg



[
ECA06C2F-94E0-4D13-98BB-C09CF4206C88.jpeg
 
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SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,306
62
Utah - United States
Yea, shoulda seen my face and knee and arm after my concussion. I have (as you mention) stretched the driver clutch return spring to achieve the higher spring tension that would seem to keep the driver seated on the pins more securely, and also added a longer one from another hub that had more tension....but this did not work either...hate em.
 
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vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
13,277
crown point<indiana
TIP.... I rebuilt a 2 speed kickback hub.I got it to work perfectly on the test.I decided to grease it up and put it on bike.After all the work I put it on the bike and it would not shift. Took it all apart and wiped all the partss down and it worked fine.I regreased it and the same thing.Would not shift ! Took apart again and cleaned each piece BUT this time no grease Just light oil Worked perfectly and is still on the bike.OIL NOT GREASE ! lol
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,306
62
Utah - United States
100% accurate @vincev …..Grease ONLY on the bearing races/cages/brake surfaces inside the hub. Light oil on everything else inside.
 
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vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
13,277
crown point<indiana
100% accurate @vincev …..Grease ONLY on the bearing races/cages/brake surfaces inside the hub. Light oil on everything else.
.Yup,us old guys still live and learn I guess.lol
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,306
62
Utah - United States
Not much if any wear on my clutch driver...here it is below after cleaning it. I remember replacing it already once. The link @bikemonkey provides above I did read once or twice on a number of occations and this is why I suspected the clutch and pinion/drive pins. What is strange is I have ridden two other S3C hubs and they do not seem to slip out of 3rd under load. With this bike, I simply pause my pedaling forces for a fraction of a second around 20-25 revolutions of the cranks, and the driver drops back into place, giving me another 25 good pedal strokes with no slippage. This pausing for a split second has become second nature with this bike and I rarely if ever stand up in 3rd any longer, that's for sure!:worried: I take that chance only right after pausing to let the driver re-seat.:cool:
1095078


1095079
 
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bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Jun 25, 2016
1,331
67
North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
If you read deeper into Brandt's second link I posted above, you can see where he states the slippage builds up from the canting of the pinion pins and axle deformation. That is probably why yours slips intermittently as the slippage continually increases under torque for x number of revolutions.

It is an inherently poor design that SA refused to address whilst blaming all the injured riders for improper cable adjustment.

...Two features that cause disengagement occur only under continuous hard
torque. The four pinion pins, that fit loosely in the planet cage,
cant slightly under pressure from the clutch (driver cross),
to an

off-perpendicular angle so that the bearing surface with the clutch
slopes toward disengagement.

Meanwhile, chain loads on the hub cause

the axle to bend slightly so that the active parts (planet cage and
clutch) displaced along the axle, rotate about separate skewed axes to

each other. During rotation, the four bearing faces of the clutch
each experience reciprocating motion of the planet pins that, through
their slant, generate disengaging creep. The engagement spring is no
match for these forces.


In addition to the disengagement forces, caused by pin skew and axle
flex, the clutch faces develop indentations from the slanted pins that
enhance disengagement. This is clearly visible on any used clutch.

This problem could have been resolved by putting a slight inward taper
to the ends of the planet pins and a similar matching slant on the
bearing faces of the clutch, giving their engagement a preferential
retaining force instead of the opposite. Most motorcycle gear boxes
use such features, especially in older non-synchronized sliding gear

boxes... the classic clunk of BMW boxes for instance.
 
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SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,306
62
Utah - United States
Correct. Yes I did read all of it...the slight bevel, or canting on the driver arms matching a bevel on the end of the pinion pins would solve the problem as mentioned by the tranny experts, but the metal used here is heat hardened and would need special and precise machining of the pins and driver to match perfectly....a Dremel was suggested but not accurate enough. As mentioned, just a poor design not for hammering on...can you say Sachs Dreigang?
 
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bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Jun 25, 2016
1,331
67
North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
This is what I find personally curious about this 3rd gear slippage. As a longtime bike guy, and having worked at 4 different Raleigh dealerships (2 small and 2 big), I never recall these issues...either with my Tourist or LTD, or any customer's bicycles. To my knowledge, no one was a member of the "Over Bars Club" from gear slippage (hereafter referred to as the OBC). Of course, there were any number of other SA gear issues from improper cable adjustment to ruined hubs from improper maintenance and salt.

All of these shops were in flatland so folks weren't doing much hill climbing to speak of, so topography could be a contributing factor. But people still occasionally honked on them in 3rd gear, especially starting out. Maybe its my memory, nah...it's perfect. :cool:
 

Mr. Monkeyarms

I live for the CABE
Oct 30, 2018
1,045
Colorado
Out with the old, in with the new!
1101382


New radiator for my '06 Chrysler 300c work car this weekend. :) Also some new winter wiper blades and washer nozzles. Sorry. No pics. :p:p
 
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