I have a 1986 Panasonic DX-3000 that I use to commute to work and for casual rides. The freewheel did not survive the winter and the bearing inside it is clearly shot and after changing the chain as part of early spring maintenance the chain started to skip on the smallest two cogs (the ones I use the most).
The bikes mounts a 14-28 6-speed freewheel: quite hard to find. However, because of other component breakdowns, I already have a modern derailleur and an eight speed shifter (it indexes the 6-speed freewheel just fine with the old alternate cable routing trick). It would not thus be hard to switch to an 8-speed freewheel or even to rebuild the wheel with a freehub and an 8-speed cassette. The 8-speed freewheel solution does not seem too difficult, but I am a bit lost when it comes to evaluating compatibility of the freewheel with the axle.
The goal would be to maintain the original "look" and "spirit" of the bike as much as possible but without necessarily sticking to vintage components.
What would you do?
There are a few new freewheels on the market and apparently they are mostly for E-bikes. Unfortunately the producers do not provide a lot in terms of specs, thus I do not really know what are the practical consequences. The SunRace MFM20 could be a drop-in replacement, if it were possible to find it in stock somewhere...
Does anyone feel like suggesting a solution?