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I’m dismantling my Shimano Alfine 8 hub to service the internals. I’m at the stage in the photograph but can’t turn the large black plastic dust cover, with <-tighten loosen-> on it.

The hub has been sat idle for a couple of years but is only three years old and from instructions I was expecting the dust cover to be removed by hand. Attempting to tap it round with a screwdriver only put the notch in the soft plastic visible at the six o’clock spot. (Won’t be repeating that).

If it won’t turn by hand, how can I remove this dust cover? Have I missed anything?

I see there’s a tool, the TL AF10 but it seems expensive for a one trick pony. Is there another way? With any more common tool, to try while I wait for the right one in the post of course.

  • It looks like it has peg holes in it, some sort of special tool required? – Andy P May 1 '19 at 10:05
  • @Andy the round holes are only dimples but I searched and found there is a tool to fit around the outside edge – Swifty May 1 '19 at 10:43
  • There doesn't seem to be anything particularly fancy about the tool. Just a way to grip and provide extra leverage. I guess with something to aid grip (elastic band?) and enough weetabix for breakfast it should open by hand. – Andy P May 1 '19 at 15:05
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For the same cost as having the correct tool delivered, I bought a selection of cheap tools to trial:

enter image description here

L-R: Strap wrenches, oil filter plier, oil filter loop wrench and waterpump pliers 12”. These are tools readers are more likely to already have in the home or garage, or available to borrow from a friend or neighbour. These ones came from a glamourised “dollar store” type of shop for cheapness but also available at DIY shops or automotive shops.

Firstly, the strap wrench and the waterpump plier are no good. The strap wrench slips off as the surface is too narrow, meanwhile even the large 12” pliers are not suited to the size of the dust cover and don’t grip sufficiently.

Both of the oil filter tools are about the right size to do the job and worth a try. The plier version works best.

The ring tool needs a little care to get a good grip and must be turned over the right way to tighten or loosen.

Like this to loosen clockwise:

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For completeness, this is the orientation for tightening (spot the difference), if deemed necessary to use a tool at all:

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Finally, the recommended tool is the oil filter pliers, seen here. They grip really well but you have fine control over the grip (cover is only plastic) and good leverage:

enter image description here

As I said, these are tools you might already have or can access easily for occasional jobs (proper tool is available from Shimano). Gentle force should be needed, maybe even by hand. In my case the cover was seized tightly and needed some extra help, now I have a couple of tools to do it and may find other uses for them, especially the pliers.

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