sturmey archer chain indicator problem


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Notagamerguy

On Training Wheels
Aug 14, 2019
6
2
21
Pennsylvania
#1
Ive been working on and old 57 or 58 schwinn Corvette 3 speed bike with a 3 speed sturmey archer hub from 57. This is the first one i baught with no chain indicator and when i try to screw in one i already had, it doesn't catch anything. I cant tell if im using the wrong chain indicator or if i need to take apart the and replace the threads and advice would be appreciated

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20190922_131538.jpg
 

Notagamerguy

On Training Wheels
Aug 14, 2019
6
2
21
Pennsylvania
#3
You have a hub assembly problem, you should not be able to see the caged bearing when you look down on the gear side. It also looks like that bearing is broke.
Sadly thats not it. thats a superficial part not internal.i rigged a bendix gear and im using a old 1 in bearing ring as a spacer because im waiting on the corect sturmey archer parts. I wanted to set everything up to see if it works before because i was impatient yesterday

On a side not i did a little more digging and i think im using an AW chain indicator instead of a SW one. If anyone could confirm this that would be great because a new chain indicator is about 15$
 
Likes: SirMike1983

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,033
5,833
62
Utah - United States
#5
Uh-oh drive side spacer-bearing-thingy...what in the world is that? Try laying the bike on its left side then drop the indicater chain into the axle and spin it again with a bit o weight on it.
 

Notagamerguy

On Training Wheels
Aug 14, 2019
6
2
21
Pennsylvania
#6
Uh-oh drive side spacer-bearing-thingy...what in the world is that? Try laying the bike on its left side then drop the indicater chain into the axle and spin it again with a bit o weight on it.
Thats spacer is a work of art in my eyes. The gear is perfectly secure and the bike rides great other than it cant shift. No worries though ill be changing that shortly. And im positive now that the chain indicator is wrong im just waiting for the proper one to arrive, thank you for the tip though.
 
Likes: SKPC

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,095
2,786
United States
#12
The SW is correct original equipment for many 3-speed bikes of a very specific vintage in the mid to late 1950s (1956-58?). The hub shell of the SW is smaller than the AW. However, the difference is small enough that you play with the wheel a bit (interlacing, using rim/nipple washers, etc.) you can re-use spokes. The stock spokes going from SW to AW will be slightly too long, but if you're creative building the wheel a little bit, you can get it to match back up. If you've already bought the parts, might as well try to get the SW working properly. You'll probably need to tear down the hub and clean it out.

The SW relies on crescent-shaped, floating pawls to engage the transmission core to the hub shell (the AW uses finger-shaped pawls and tiny, wire springs). Any kind of grease, dirt, sticky crap, etc. will prevent the hub from working properly. Any substantial wear on the pawls will keep the hub from working properly as well. But now that you've bought the parts and they're on the way, I'd try to get it working. It's original to the bike, and at this point it's just some time and effort to see if you can get it to work well. Get the parts together, give the hub a thorough cleaning and oil with very light machine oil (no medium/heavy oil or grease on the pawls).

I have a very lightly used 1958 Raleigh Sports that was in great shape, mainly because the SW hub stopped working and the bike sat after that. I gave the SW a try and could not get the pawls to engage properly even with a proper cleaning and set up. I switched to an FW hub (same hub shell as the AW). But every so often someone shows up with a nice, working SW. They're really quiet and smooth-running when everything is good on them. But there's always that chance you get one that slips out of gear. It's murder if you go to really lean into the bike and those SW pawls slip on you...
 
Last edited:

Oilit

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 30, 2015
748
609
Concord NC
#13
I have a nice woman's Phillips and a Schwinn Tiger, both with the SW hub, and neither looks like it was ever ridden much. I'm guessing the owners had trouble with the hubs and couldn't get them straightened out. I've thought that the answer might be to adapt some kind of roller clutch, but it would be a lot of work that almost nobody would ever see or appreciate. In the end I'll probably do just what @SirMike1983 said, and swap them out.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,095
2,786
United States
#14
I have a nice woman's Phillips and a Schwinn Tiger, both with the SW hub, and neither looks like it was ever ridden much. I'm guessing the owners had trouble with the hubs and couldn't get them straightened out. I've thought that the answer might be to adapt some kind of roller clutch, but it would be a lot of work that almost nobody would ever see or appreciate. In the end I'll probably do just what @SirMike1983 said, and swap them out.
It happens. It's really frustrating when you get an SW and you keep having to clean and tweak and fiddle around with the hub. Just when you think you've figured it out, it cams out of gear when you go for your 5000th test ride. I have to give Sheldon Brown credit. He really, really tried to get these things running well - taking them apart, tinkering with them, modifying them, etc. And the funny thing is that I've come across a couple people who had working SWs and really liked them. They're very quiet when you coast and run the gears. They're sloppy shifters and love to make you chase the wheel with the cranks when you shift. But they're kind of a neat little device in that every so often, you find someone who has a good SW and loves it.

I didn't have the patience when I would come across one. I gave it a fair chance and if it kept camming out of gear, I'd just swap in an AW or FW. I'm sort of paranoid about stuff like that. Once it cams out on me a time or two, I don't feel as if I can trust it when I want to push the bike hard or climb a hill. There's always in the back of my mind the worry that I'll cam out and go over the bars or bust my leg joints because - my luck - it cammed the moment I put real pressure on it. I will say the last SW I had, you could actually feel it give for an instant before it cammed. It was just enough warning to let off and not get injured. But as I said, that bike has a nice FW hub now. Live and learn, as they say.
 
Likes: Oilit

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