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This freewheel has been giving me a lot of pain. I can't seem to move it at all with hammer & punch (clockwise). From the videos, it always seems so easy :P

So I'm going to buy a removal tool. Is the FR 1.3 compatible with this, in your opinion?

A few questions:

  • do I need to put the axle back in, and screw it to the removal tool?
  • do I need to separately remove the lockring?

What I'm doing this for is to change the ball bearings. They've already come out, so I need to clean inside, put grease and the new balls.

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The Park tool FR 1.3 is compatible with SunRace freewheels and others. The through hole of the tool is large enough to work around most axels used in a freewheel system so removal (or putting it back in) isn't required.

Typically it takes a great deal of force to break loose the threads of a freewheel, which tightens itself as you pedal the bike. This is why it's suggested to place the tool in a bench vise, place the wheel onto it and use the wheel to apply torque. Another option to turn the engaged freewheel removal tool is a 1 inch box wrench (that's just a typical wrench with one end open, the other a circle with the interior splined or with flats that mate with the wrench flats of the tool). Perhaps a more commonplace option would be using a crescent wrench (adjustable wrench). If the freewheel has been on awhile, it would be fruitless to attempt a wrench removal if the wrench is less than a foot long. The freewheel threads are standard, right-handed threading so counter- clockwise rotation will loosen/unthread the freewheel.

If you can't remove the freewheel, the bearing race (cup) on that side is still accessible for cleaning and greasing and bearing replacement by removing the axle assembly and using needle-nose pliers or something similar to reach the cup. You'll need (9) 1/4 inch bearing balls per side.

  • OK.. thanks for the detailed answer. Indeed the FR 1.3 seems very hard to get in Europe (or at least Germany). Spending 20 euros for that (high delivery costs), plus the money for a big 1" box wrench, is a bit much. Maybe you are right and needle nose pliers are my best bet. – Fabio Aug 23 at 12:04
  • Bought these, will try when they arrive: images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/… Thanks for your help.. hopefully I get all the ball bearings and grease inside, with little visibility. – Fabio Aug 23 at 12:29
  • @Fabio : If you live in a larger city, you might find a local cycle-commune who can help you out with the tool. or a local bike store (LBS) who will remove the freewheel for a small fee. And who might sell you the correct ball bearings for your axle. – Carel Aug 23 at 16:00
  • I was able to remove a freewheel at home with a 1-inch box-end wrench of 14 inches in length, a large rubber mallet hammering down near the end of the wrench, and a partner holding the wheel against the wall while I held the wrench in place and hammered. I'd previously tried turning the wheel with the removal tool in a bench vise, again with a partner, but all that did was move the bench across the floor. In the end it took three calendar days to get the thing off. – compton Aug 23 at 16:44
  • @Fabio Those forceps look to be perfect, especially with the little rubber ends to help grip the ball. I use hemostats (a type of locking pliers for the medical industry) which have a similar shaped business end. In my mind, that off-set tip is the key especially in a situation where you're placing the bearings through the freewheel opening. – Jeff Aug 23 at 23:54
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Yes the FR 1.3 should work. Note that you should be turning counterclockwise to remove the freewheel. You do not need to put the axle back in or remove the lock ring. One trick is to secure the tool in a vise pointing upward. Set the wheel onto the tool and use the rim of the wheel to turn the wheel off if the freewheel rather than turning the freewheel off the wheel.

  • Right so the lockring has to be turned clockwise, while with the remover I have to turn anti-clockwise. The lockring opening orientation was gathered from this video: youtu.be/WsVL1XqZve8?t=49 (although I utterly failed to move it one bit) – Fabio Aug 23 at 11:13
  • I'm finding it very hard to buy FR 1.3 where I live (Germany). Seems like only ParkTool provides it.. and it's expensive and with long delivery time. but maybe I simply don't know how to search. Would something like this work? amazon.de/… (although it says "cassette", not freewheel..) – Fabio Aug 23 at 11:19
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    The cassette tool has slightly different spline widths and, while it may go into freewheel with some effort, damage to the tool or splines of the freewheel will result. – Jeff Aug 23 at 11:50
  • @Fabio You can easily find compatible told on e-bay for a few euros. – Vladimir F Aug 26 at 14:34
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I think you're a little confused about the parts of a freewheel. The FR 1.3 tool is used to remove the freewheel from the hub so you can work on the freewheel on the bench. The FR 1.3 is not used to remove the bearing cup ring --the center ring labeled SunRace in your photo with the two small holes in it. Finally, the bearing cup ring isn't a lock-ring. A lock-ring is used to hold the cogs on some versions of freewheels. Your freewheel doesn't use a lock-ring. To remove the bearing cup ring, first thread the freewheel onto the hub (as it appears to be already), then secure the wheel/rim somehow so it won't move, then use hand-tool called a center punch (constructed of steel) held against one of the holes, oriented in a tangential direction (and clockwise), and whack the center-punch with a hammer. Substituting a screwdriver for the center-punch may or may not work, so best to use a steel center punch. You may need to soak the bearing cup ring threads in thread penetrant for a few days before it will break free. Heating the area a little with a hair dryer might help also. After you get the bearing cup ring rotating, leave it on, and the next step is to remove the freewheel from the hub using the FR 1.3 tool. Then you can finish the job of replacing the bearing cup ring's steel balls on the bench. Note that pro mechanics use a special pin tool to remove the bearing cup ring, a wrench with pins that fit in both holes. An example is the Park SPA-2.

  • I'm not sure you're talking about the same bearings, but there's lots of good details here regardless. Welcome to bicycles! – DavidW Oct 30 at 2:09
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Park Tool has a nice video that helps find the correct removal tool for various freewheels. The Park Tool FR 1.3 seems to be the correct tool.

The lockring is not holding the freewheel on the hub. The freewheel threads directly onto the hub. The tool engages with the splines in the freewheel and allows you to unthread it from the hub. The lockring is holding the two halves of the freewheel together.

If you cannot get an appropriate freehub remover tool, just take the wheel to a local bike repair shop. A good shop should have a array of remover tools and will remove the freehub in 5 minutes.

  • Unless it's the 20mm one that they don't have.. will have to measure :/ – Fabio Aug 23 at 12:26

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