Freewheel Problems

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
My Dec 2020 build of a Dillenger Off-Road rear hub drive kit went well. The only hiccup was that my bike couldn't run in 9th (highest, smallest) gear without constant skipping under pedal load. All 8 other gears were zero problem. So, I've ridden mostly in the 8th gear. The Dillenger rear drive kit requires a Freewheel. I bought one from Dillenger when I ordered my kit, because my donor bike used a 9-speed Cassette.

I consulted a couple of bike shops and various fixes were attempted - first, we adjusted the rear derailleur, no good. Then we alligned the derailleur hanger. Nope. Finally we replaced the 9-speed chain. Still no joy.

So, the other day I ordered a new SunRace 9-speed freewheel to replace the 9-speed SunRace that Dillenger provided. Today, I screwed it on no problem... but wait, when tightened on the hub the Freewheel binds and will not hardly spin at all. If I loosen the freewheel it spins normally. But as soon as it's tightened in place it will barely spin at all and only with a lot of effort.

To keep riding, I put the old Dillenger supplied SunRace 9-speed freewheel back on the bike and it rides great - as long as it's not put into 9th gear. Because it still skips constantly with every push on the cranks.

Any idea of why: 1)it would skip in 9th gear only after all the changes we made and 2) why the new freewheel binds when screwed down normally?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
1) Have you checked the alignment with the chainring? I suspect it the chain is running at too much of an angle. 2) There is a clearance problem somewhere. Something is getting bottomed out, or coming into contact when it gets tightened up. A shim or two should fix the problem.
 

JES2020

Active Member
My Dec 2020 build of a Dillenger Off-Road rear hub drive kit went well. The only hiccup was that my bike couldn't run in 9th (highest, smallest) gear without constant skipping under pedal load. All 8 other gears were zero problem. So, I've ridden mostly in the 8th gear. The Dillenger rear drive kit requires a Freewheel. I bought one from Dillenger when I ordered my kit, because my donor bike used a 9-speed Cassette.

I consulted a couple of bike shops and various fixes were attempted - first, we adjusted the rear derailleur, no good. Then we alligned the derailleur hanger. Nope. Finally we replaced the 9-speed chain. Still no joy.

So, the other day I ordered a new SunRace 9-speed freewheel to replace the 9-speed SunRace that Dillenger provided. Today, I screwed it on no problem... but wait, when tightened on the hub the Freewheel binds and will not hardly spin at all. If I loosen the freewheel it spins normally. But as soon as it's tightened in place it will barely spin at all and only with a lot of effort.

To keep riding, I put the old Dillenger supplied SunRace 9-speed freewheel back on the bike and it rides great - as long as it's not put into 9th gear. Because it still skips constantly with every push on the cranks.

Any idea of why: 1)it would skip in 9th gear only after all the changes we made and 2) why the new freewheel binds when screwed down normally?
Did the bike shops do the adjustments or just tell you how to do it?
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I haven't installed this particular kit but I don't see where it specifies a 9 speed freewheel on the web site or in the manual. I understand that the donor bike used a 9 speed cassette but how did you determine that a 9 speed freewheel would work after conversion?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
You probably needed a spacer under the new freewheel, You may also need a spacer between the freewheel and frame. Basically just shade tree mechanics for spinning. Something is not fitting right.

Not being able to get the chain to stay on the small gear is something else.

Is it a 9 speed DNP freewheel? DNP is the only guy that sells a freewheel with an 11T small gear. I bet it's the same one they use on their 7 speed freewheel which uses a 1/8" wide chain. Your 9 speed may have used a 3/32" wide chain. Your bike shop should know the difference, but maybe they don't know about your freewheel.







.
 

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
The Bike shop did the work as I waited and watched. But they did all the adjustment work with the derailleur, hanger and chain etc.

I did the original Freewheel install and the work today with the new Freewheel. Freewheels just screw on and off. There's no trick to it.

The Kit will work with any speed bike up to 9-spead. The donor bike was totally OEM 9-speed - 9-speed shifters, 9-speed chain and, originally, a 9-speed cassette. I could change to a 7-speed or 8-speed but I'd have to change the other components.

What puzzles me most is why the new freewheel body drags on the hub when it's tightened. When the other 9-speed that was ordered with the kit doesn't. It's as if a spacer or washer, etc is missing and so when the freewheel is tightened it's rubbing somewhere. I can't see where but that's got to be what's happening.
 

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
You probably needed a spacer under the new freewheel, You may also need a spacer between the freewheel and frame. Basically just shade tree mechanics for spinning. Something is not fitting right.

Not being able to get the chain to stay on the small gear is something else.

Is it a 9 speed DNP freewheel? DNP is the only guy that sells a freewheel with an 11T small gear. I bet it's the same one they use on their 7 speed freewheel which uses a 1/8" wide chain. Your 9 speed may have used a 3/32" wide chain. Your bike shop should know the difference, but maybe they don't know about your freewheel.
The Bike shop knew about the freewheel and knew it needed a 9-speed chain. That was part of our discussion.

It's a SunRace Freewheel. Actually, both the skipping "original" one and the new replacement from today. They both are 9-Speed SunRace Freewheels but they don't look identical. They look different at the front and at the back.

I guess it needs a spacer to not bottom out when it's tightened. I tried to see where it's rubbing and just can't see it. I just wish I could see where it's rubbing then I'd know more about what it needs to stand off the axle shaft.

I found a post here from 2015 about a guy with a similar problem. He said he found that he needed a spacer. But then he never posted the details of the spacer. It's been nearly 6 years, so I'm not going raise that thread from the dead. The guy in that thread hasn't posted since 2016.

 

harryS

Well-Known Member

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creativepart

Member
Region
USA
Find a washer that fits. About 13.4mm I.D. I've heard about freewheels hitting the hubmotor casing when screwed on tight. Never happened to me, but I have the tool to take it off it ever did,
Thank you!. I also just found a 2mm space for an eBike hubdrive freewheel on Grin Tech's website. I'm not sure which I need. I'll have to figure that out.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
You know what my mother-in-law, rest in peace, would do? Never finished high school, but her husband was clueless about mechanicals, so she had to do all the house repairs because they couldn't afford to hire workmen. .

She would try wrapping a copper wire under the freewheel til it worked.Then she would leave it alone. Us guys, we got to get washers.
 

JES2020

Active Member
The Bike shop did the work as I waited and watched. But they did all the adjustment work with the derailleur, hanger and chain etc.

I did the original Freewheel install and the work today with the new Freewheel. Freewheels just screw on and off. There's no trick to it.

The Kit will work with any speed bike up to 9-spead. The donor bike was totally OEM 9-speed - 9-speed shifters, 9-speed chain and, originally, a 9-speed cassette. I could change to a 7-speed or 8-speed but I'd have to change the other components.

What puzzles me most is why the new freewheel body drags on the hub when it's tightened. When the other 9-speed that was ordered with the kit doesn't. It's as if a spacer or washer, etc is missing and so when the freewheel is tightened it's rubbing somewhere. I can't see where but that's got to be what's happening.
Why not just take it back to the shop...they will have all the washers, spacers ETC, I can't imagine it would cost much for them to do it.
 

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
It’s occurred to me that, even though the first freewheel doesn’t bind when tightened that it too may need a spacer and that this is the reason that the high gear is skipping. Maybe?
 

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
On a trip to Home Depot with the freewheel in hand I found a flat washer that fits pretty well at 1.25" in diameter with a .75" hole in the center. The washer is a nearly perfect fit with just a tiny bit of loose play. I purchased 4 of them and they are about 1 mm thick.

Also, it occurred to me that I have the OEM wheel and cassette that came on this bike and I can measure the distance from the freehub face to the middle of the 9th gear on the cassette and use that as a target for setting up the spacers. My thinking is I may be able to set up the freewheel with multiple spacers to put the lowest and highest gears into the same relative position as the OEM cassette. In theory... that is.
 

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
Best laid plans. That didn't work out. One washer was too few and three were too many. Two seemed just right until the test ride really tightened the freewheel and it quit spinning.

With three washers in place not enough of the freewheel was screwing on. Just a couple of turns and it was done. I wasn't going to chance that. Plus, it looked wrong to boot.

This is me waving a white flag for now. I reinstalled the old freewheel - for the 5th time now - and it still skips in high gear. But at least it's only in that one gear.

One good thing has come out of this... should I get a rear flat I've gotten super quick at removing the rear hub drive wheel.
 

JES2020

Active Member
Best laid plans. That didn't work out. One washer was too few and three were too many. Two seemed just right until the test ride really tightened the freewheel and it quit spinning.

With three washers in place not enough of the freewheel was screwing on. Just a couple of turns and it was done. I wasn't going to chance that. Plus, it looked wrong to boot.

This is me waving a white flag for now. I reinstalled the old freewheel - for the 5th time now - and it still skips in high gear. But at least it's only in that one gear.

One good thing has come out of this... should I get a rear flat I've gotten super quick at removing the rear hub drive wheel.
I am repeating myself again but..... SEEK THEE HELP AT YEE OLE BIKE SHOP !
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
On a trip to Home Depot with the freewheel in hand I found a flat washer that fits pretty well at 1.25" in diameter with a .75" hole in the center. The washer is a nearly perfect fit with just a tiny bit of loose play. I purchased 4 of them and they are about 1 mm thick.
This sounds wrong. Whatever spacer you put over axle does not contact the inside of the freewheel. All of the freewheel must be able to rotate freely. There is a shelf on the axle a where the threads stop, upon which your spacer will rest. You're not looking for a washer with 3/4" inner hole. You're looking for one with a 12 mm inner hole to fit the axle, and it has to be narrow enough not to contact the any part of freewheel

PICT0137.JPG PICT0141.JPG
Here's two different freewheels. One has a 1.25 inch cavity and the other has none.It's a common problem when they don't give you the right spacers. For the one on the left, I had to file down a 12 mm washer until it would fit on the axle without hitting the freewheel. That was last summer, and I had the same problem, Tighten down the hex axle nuts and the washer was spread out and hit. I got it right finally.

PICT0145.JPG PICT0144.JPG

In conclusion, you may need a spacer under the freewheel so it can freewheel And you always need one on the top so the freewheel doesn't touch the frame..
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I think the bike shop is incompetent if they can't fix it. . I wouldn't throw any more money at them.
 

JES2020

Active Member
I think the bike shop is incompetent if they can't fix it. . I wouldn't throw any more money at them.
He said he didn't have the bike shop install the free wheel !!

To quote :
"The Bike shop did the work as I waited and watched. But they did all the adjustment work with the derailleur, hanger and chain etc.

I did the original Freewheel install and the work today with the new Freewheel. Freewheels just screw on and off"

So there's that .
 

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
I DIYed the kit, including installing the original freewheel. So, all this work with the new freewheel has also been a DIY project.

I did take the bike to a bike shop in Tucson to have it looked at. I didn't have an appointment but the shop owner was kind enough to work through some obvious attempts at fixing it while I waited and in my presence. First, he check the indexing of the derailleur. Then he attached a hanger checker and adjustment tool. He felt the hanger was slightly bent and he straightened and rechecked that. Finally, we both agreed a new chain might do the trick. I had discussed the problem with a different shop and they suggested that the original chain may not be playing nice with the new freewheel. So, the guy in Tucson replaced the chain.

When that didn't work he said I could leave the bike with him and he'd work on it, but couldn't dive deeper into the issue right then. I wanted keep enjoying the great bike path around Tucson and didn't want to leave the bike.

I figured when I returned to San Antonio I'd deal with it here and ordering a new freewheel was the first step.

I've not taken the bike to any other Bike Shop. There's a bike sales boom happening big time. Bike shops are backed up for weeks. If I can't fix this myself I'll probably just live with having 8-gears on my 9-speed freewheel available to use.