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Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I ride an old 10 speed, now a 12 speed with the change to a Suntour (Maeda Industries) Perfect 6-speed freewheel. Here is my problem:

The bearings on this freewheel are worn and there is some side-to-side wobble. It has the ratios I want 14 to 34 teeth, so I want to mate the gears to another Suntour Perfect freewheel with good bearings.

Does anyone out there have experience taking these apart?

Thanks,,,
Alan in Vermont
post #2 of 10

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Quote:
Originally Posted by halanvt
I ride an old 10 speed, now a 12 speed with the change to a Suntour (Maeda Industries) Perfect 6-speed freewheel. Here is my problem:

The bearings on this freewheel are worn and there is some side-to-side wobble. It has the ratios I want 14 to 34 teeth, so I want to mate the gears to another Suntour Perfect freewheel with good bearings.

Does anyone out there have experience taking these apart?
FWIW. The conventional wisdom is that you should NOT try to service a Freewheel ...

In other words, it would probably be 40x easier (i.e., if it takes you 1 hour to go to your bike shop & return home, allow at least 40 hours to try to service the Freewheel because you will probably spend a lot of time tryng to disassemble & reassemble it!) & less expensive ($20 for the Freewheel vs. a lot more for the tools) for you to get a new Freewheel from eBay OR even (!?!) your local bike shop.

FYI. SR bought out SunTour & subsequently renamed the combined product line SunRace ... but, the Freewheel removal tool is different for the SunRace Freewheels than for the SunTour Freewheels.

The current SunRace Freewheels are ramped & index compatible with 8-speed Shimano & Campagnolo shifters (if that ever becomes an issue). Use an 8-speed Shimano chain which is basically a copy of the Sedis Narrow chain.

The 7-speed SunRace Freewheel will fit a 126mm spaced rear wheel.

Presumably, you need a 130mm spaced wheel for the 8-speed SunRace Freewheel.

If, for some reason, you can't get another 14-34 Freewheel exactly like the one you have, you can (of course) with some effort & special tools remove the lockring + cogs & transplant the cogs to ANOTHER "SunTour Perfect" Freewheel body. I'm pretty sure the "SunTour Winner" body is slightly different, BTW, but maybe the difference was internal.
post #3 of 10

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Quote:
Originally Posted by halanvt
I ride an old 10 speed, now a 12 speed with the change to a Suntour (Maeda Industries) Perfect 6-speed freewheel. Here is my problem:

The bearings on this freewheel are worn and there is some side-to-side wobble. It has the ratios I want 14 to 34 teeth, so I want to mate the gears to another Suntour Perfect freewheel with good bearings.

Does anyone out there have experience taking these apart?

Thanks,,,
Alan in Vermont
Conventional wisdom be damned! This isn't hard at all, it is just experience that makes it easier. You will need a freewheel vise and a chain whip, or two chain whips. Clamp the largest cog in the freewheel vise and unscrew the smallest cog from the cluster. It will unscrew counter clockwise. (If you don't have a freewheel vise, install the freewheel on an old wheel and use two chain whips. Be very careful to only apply pressure in line with the cog or you may warp it.) Remove the cog and the spacer. I have seen freewheels that had up to five threaded cogs but I beleive that Suntour only threaded the first two. Anyway, make sure that you keep track of the order of all of the cogs and spacers because you MUST reassemble the cogs and spacers in the same orientation and order that they were in originally.

Clean the cogs and spacers and coat them with a film of light oil prior to reassembling them. Make sure that the threads on the cogs and hub are well cleaned and oiled too.

When you reassemble the freewheel, place all of the unthreaded cogs and spacers on first, in the right order and oriented correctly. Next, place the first threaded cog on start the threads with your hand to prevent cross threading. Get it hand tight and then snug it up with your chain whip. Repeat this until you have all of the cogs on the freewheel body. Mount the freewheel on the bike and ride. First ride in your lowest gear( big freewheel cog). Pedal a few feet and then shift to you next cog and pedal a few more feet. Keep repeating this sequence in order until all of your cogs have been seated.
post #4 of 10

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdelong
Conventional wisdom be damned!
Almost LOL!

Normally, I would agree with you on that.

Unfortunately, the OP wasn't talking about simply changing the cogs ... that was MY suggestion -- transplanting the cogs to another SunTour Perfect Freewheel body (if he can find one in good/new condition) if the cogs, themselves, on the new/replacement/substitute Freewheel weren't "right" ... as a last resort.

I believe halanvt's query was with regard to the feasibility of replacing the bearings and/or pawl(s) in the Freewheel's body ...

I suppose that part of my reservations is that 'I' was/am one of the few people who found it all-but-impossible to remove the cogs from a Freewheel body ... and, I know what the separate components of the inside of the Freewheel body look like ... plus, "conventional wisdom" ...
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Actually, you're both right- I would like to put the preferred cogs on a body with good bearings, and I do have several Suntour Perfect freewheels with good bearings. I think I will give it a try at; we have a local bike shop that specializes in refurbishing old bikes, and permits cyclists to work in their shop.

The worst I can do is ruin a couple of used bike parts, skin a few knuckes, let go a few choice words, and maybe learn something.

Thanks to both of you. Watch this space.

Alan
post #6 of 10

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
Almost LOL!

Normally, I would agree with you on that.

Unfortunately, the OP wasn't talking about simply changing the cogs ... that was MY suggestion -- transplanting the cogs to another SunTour Perfect Freewheel body (if he can find one in good/new condition) if the cogs, themselves, on the new/replacement/substitute Freewheel weren't "right" ... as a last resort.

I believe halanvt's query was with regard to the feasibility of replacing the bearings and/or pawl(s) in the Freewheel's body ...

I suppose that part of my reservations is that 'I' was/am one of the few people who found it all-but-impossible to remove the cogs from a Freewheel body ... and, I know what the separate components of the inside of the Freewheel body look like ... plus, "conventional wisdom" ...
I spent 15 minutes putting together instructions for taking apart a freewheel when I re-read the OP's first post and deduced that he wanted to remove the cogs from his old freewheel and put them on a less worn freewheel. As you no doubt recall, back in the day, the only way to customize your gearing was to switch some of the cogs on your freewheel. I took many apart and it did not seem too daunting of a task. Even disassembling the ratcheting hub did not seem all that difficult once you did it a couple of times, although it was rather tough keeping track of all 130 3mm bearings. After the first time, I just took them apart in an old wash pan. And the lock rings that were easier to remove with a flat tip screwdriver and a hammer. I never could find a pin spanner that would fit the lockring and not break off the pins the first time I tried to use it.

Anyway, my biggest concern for the OP is what is he going to do for gearing when his freewheel cogs are worn? I don't think that they make replacement cogs for the Suntour Perfect freewheel anymore. I am not certain but I don't think that Sun Race cogs will fit.
post #7 of 10

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdelong
I spent 15 minutes putting together instructions for taking apart a freewheel when I re-read the OP's first post and deduced that he wanted to remove the cogs from his old freewheel and put them on a less worn freewheel. As you no doubt recall, back in the day, the only way to customize your gearing was to switch some of the cogs on your freewheel. I took many apart and it did not seem too daunting of a task. Even disassembling the ratcheting hub did not seem all that difficult once you did it a couple of times, although it was rather tough keeping track of all 130 3mm bearings. After the first time, I just took them apart in an old wash pan. And the lock rings that were easier to remove with a flat tip screwdriver and a hammer. I never could find a pin spanner that would fit the lockring and not break off the pins the first time I tried to use it.

Anyway, my biggest concern for the OP is what is he going to do for gearing when his freewheel cogs are worn? I don't think that they make replacement cogs for the Suntour Perfect freewheel anymore. I am not certain but I don't think that Sun Race cogs will fit.
Okay. You definitely had more confidence that any SunTour Perfect parts were still available ... I was only making a theoretical suggestion with regard to transplanting cogs onto a "new" Freewheel body!

Of course, the cogs can be re-installed backside-out (for want of a better phrasing ... i.e., current non-driveside facing the driveside) to further increase their useful life ... another 30 years of use!?!

BTW. I guess, lazy me for not trying harder to disassemble a Freewheel, but after my token efforts way-back-when, I realized I just didn't have the actual need for a different stack, so the desire was limited. The off-the-shelf stacks were good-enough for me ... the last 5-speed Freewheel I bought was a 13-19 (!) New Winner shortly after SunTour introduced that "improvement" to the design ...

When I eventually got a 13-28 SunRace 7-speed Freewheel (126mm hub spacing) at the turn-of-the-Century, I was pretty happy when I found out it was spaced for Shimano indexing AND ramped (mail-order, sight unseen) ... a person could do worse.

Since I'm not a purist, re-cobbling a Shimano FREEHUB a few years ago to fit a 120mm dropout doesn't/didn't seem like a sacrilege ... I love Shimano hubs!
post #8 of 10

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
Of course, the cogs can be re-installed backside-out (for want of a better phrasing ... i.e., current non-driveside facing the driveside) to further increase their useful life ... another 30 years of use!?!
If he has indexing shifting, reversing the cogs won't work at all. It will even shift badly if he has friction shifting.

While I did customize some of my gearing, most of my forays into freewheel maintenance was just because I was trying to survive on an enlisted man's military paycheck! When I wore out a couple of cogs, New Freewheel: $24.00, two new cogs: $10.00 plus a little work. I just saved $14.00 and didn't watch TV for an hour!
post #9 of 10

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdelong
If he has indexing shifting, reversing the cogs won't work at all. It will even shift badly if he has friction shifting.
I can't imagine a vintage SunTour PERFECT Freewheel with ramped teeth ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdelong
While I did customize some of my gearing, most of my forays into freewheel maintenance was just because I was trying to survive on an enlisted man's military paycheck! When I wore out a couple of cogs, New Freewheel: $24.00, two new cogs: $10.00 plus a little work. I just saved $14.00 and didn't watch TV for an hour!
But, what about the cost for the tools?!?
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Re: Dismantling Suntour Perfect freehweel

You would be surprised at how many of these I have come across on bikes that have been sitting in someone's garage or basement for 25 years or so, with practically no wear at all. They mostly belonged to people who rode for a short time, or left them at their parents house when they got out of college, then got busy with family, motorized transportation, etc. Most of the spare parts I have are from bikes that I got for little or nothing, because the owners thought they were out of date and had no value. The tires were dried out and flat, the chains had a little rust and all the cables are frozen, but to me they were gems. I have given away a few perfectly good 10 speeds, and the new owners have been delighted with them.

Alan

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng
I can't imagine a vintage SunTour PERFECT Freewheel with ramped teeth ...
But, what about the cost for the tools?!?
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