Schwinn Sprint freewheel removal

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Gordon

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
When removing one of these, especially if the part had been damaged, I used to hold the tool in place with an axle nut. Don't tighten it down on the tool, just screw it down far enough that it won't let the tool slip off. If the part was damaged I might even put the axle nut on finger tight so there was very little play in the tool, but you need a little play to make it work. Even VERY little play will work if the part is damaged, but tightening the axle nut makes the freewheel an unmoveable object.

With the tool and nut in place, clamp the tool in a vise and twist the wheel counter clockwise to break the freewheel lose. I don't think I've ever tried to hold the wheel and spin the tool with a wrench, holding the tool in the vice is standard procedure no matter what freewheel tool I was using.

Once the freewheel breaks loose from the hub, you have to loosen the nut to allow the freewheel to spin off. If you don't do that, all you're doing is tightening the freewheel onto the axle nut and your progress will quickly stop. You have to loosen the axle nut as soon as the freewheel breaks loose from the hub. Did I mention the axle nut is only on there to hold the tool in place while you crank on the wheel to break the freewheel loose from the hub? Once the freewheel has broken loose, you have to loosen/remove the axle nut. You will probably have to remove everything from the vise to do this, but you can probably screw it off by hand now anyway.

In my years as a mechanic this method removed a lot of freewheels that had been messed up by people trying to pound them off with screwdrivers or punches or nail sets or whatever else some kid could find in dad's toolbox. Or so Dad would claim when he brought it in...

PS - clean up the parts first. At the very least you should clean the interface between the tool and freewheel.
This is exactly as I used to do it, but with my advanced age and bad back, twisting that wheel just wasn't working anymore. So, I went to Harbor Freight and bought an electric impact wrench that has 1200 foot pounds of torque. With a 1 inch socket on the impact dropped onto the hub tool, I hit the reverse button and that freewheel comes off like it was finger tight. Best $75 I ever spent.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Enyone have a product number for the Park tools freewheel remover?

I don't think Park has one for those early Atoms. I've purchased a couple tools that said they were for the Atom but they didn't fit correctly. Prongs did not mate and too long etc., so I never used them. A local bike shop sometimes will get you taken care of for free or for a very small fee if they have the correct tool.
 

MN_Schwinn

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Per the old Schwinn Repair Manuals, you can also try using a #8 easy-out screw extractor. Search the CABE and it will come up in various threads. Also can goggle it to find pictured instruction in the Schwinn manual circa 1970-ish. The extractor works, and it will prevent the pealing of the soft metal prongs. Once the prongs are pealed, you have no other choice than to use the extractor.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Curious if you got that freewheel free @bikecrazy ? All my Corvette 5's and early 10 speeds have that type of freewheel and after messing around trying to get one off 12+ years ago I finally broke down and picked up a set of extractors after using the "correct" tool. The freewheels were never removed after they were installed by Schwinn and they were fused to the alloy hubs. A few years ago someone broke into my Pods when I was moving and stole my rolling tool chest and among a bunch of other things, so my easy outs were never replaced. I currently have two complete original 1963 Varsitys that I'm tearing down for parts so I picked up a set of 9 extractors for the same cost as just one #8.
 

Schwinny

I live for the CABE
A tip for using these two prong removers without any damage is to put the tool in place and screw that sides washer and nut down the axle and almost onto the tool. Leaving a few axle threads between the two. This way the tool can't rock and tear the edges off the tool teeth or freewheel recesses.
The easiest way is to clamp the tool, teeth up, in a vice and to lay the whole wheel, freewheel down onto it and then paying attention to not rocking the wheel, grabbing the wheel and turning left like a big bus steering wheel.
Some are very tight, but all come off that way.
The first way with the second for the toughest freewheels.
 

rickpaulos

Look Ma, No Hands!
Working on bikes requires specialty tools. And they never end. if you don't want to buy the proper tools, all your bike parts will wind up gouged and beat up from using the wrong tools. Or worse, destroyed and needing replacing. I've been working on bikes for over 50 years and I keep buying tools to fill in those I don't already have to work on bikes. A few hundred a year spent on tools each year. There are lots of "use a hammer" methods that cheapskates who don't care will suggest. Some tools are rather expensive so sometimes it is far cheaper to pay your local bike shop $10 to do the work. My local bike coop that I volunteer at is near a homeless camp and I see total carnage on bikes that are only repaired with vise grips and stones.

if you are going to keep this vintage bike and you want it looking good, it is worth buying the tools. Next time you need to repack a hub or replace a broken spoke or axle, you will be happy you have the tools. The 2 prong atom design is kinda rare. Atom changed over to the splines about the time the bike boom hit. Schwinn used the spline Atom and large spline Malliard on the vast majority of their Chicago built 10 speeds. The Asian built Schwinns mostly used Shimano splines (2 sizes) and the Suntour notched. 6 removers for working on Schwinns
 
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