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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not highend stuff but still - wife's suntour/sunrace freewheel on her Fugi Crosstown stripped out - guessing only about 300 miles on it. Bought a Shimano freewheel that threaded onto the hub just fine. But it wobbles when coasting, side to side motion. What would cause this and is it to be expected or normal for these low end parts?
 

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depends

gutpile said:
Not highend stuff but still - wife's suntour/sunrace freewheel on her Fugi Crosstown stripped out - guessing only about 300 miles on it. Bought a Shimano freewheel that threaded onto the hub just fine. But it wobbles when coasting, side to side motion. What would cause this and is it to be expected or normal for these low end parts?
There's some play in the bearings on any freewheel, which can produce a wobbling motion when freewheeling. On the other hand, you may have a bent axle, a more common occurrence with freewheel hubs than freehubs, because the right-side bearing is so far inboard. Doesn't seem likely with that low mileage, but could be.

What do you mean when you say the original freewheel "stripped out"? Did the pawls break?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the pawls gave out apparently. The thing just freewheeels in both directions, and my wife is not heavy nor did she hammer the bike off-road. It is a bit baffling to me - If the freewheel unit threads onto the wheel hub - good fit & all, seems that connection would determine the spin or play of the freewheel unit? Perhaps the new freewheel is defective somewhat?
 

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Normal.

Freewheel wobble when coasting or backpedaling is normal, even with high-end freewheels. The bearings are under very small loads (they don't turn at all when you pedal forward), so the manufacturers don't spec tight tolerances.

If the freewheel wobbles when you pedal forward, you've got a problem. But I bet it doesn't.

Re the Fuji freewheel: it's possible that the freewheel was manufactured some time ago and the factory grease hardened up over time, trapping the pawls. A mild solvent flush and light lubing would unstick the pawls if that was the problem.
 

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Yep! Almost all freewheels have a little wobble to them. Doesn't hurt anything. You said the bike freewheels in both directions? That can only happen if the pawls are all "withdrawn / folded in." I don't know what might cause this. Maybe rust? Each pawl - there's probably 2 or 3 of them - is pushed out by a very small coil spring. Some freewheels can be rebuilt. In the back of the freewheel, there's usually a lock ring with a notch, or split in it. If you take a screwdriver and gently tap it, it will unscrew & you can access the bearings, pawls, etc. I have to add here that I'm only familiar with Regina & Suntour freewheels, so this may not apply to your situation. If the pawls were bent, (very unlikely), the bike would act like it had a fixed gear, and wouldn't freewheel in either direction.
 

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Freehub/freewheel wobble

DieselDan said:
ALL freewheels, and freehubs, MUST have some wobble. If not, then it doesn't free spin.
I don't know why you say all freewheels/freehubs must have wobble. Hubs, bottom brackets and headsets can all spin freely without wobble, why not freewheels/freehubs?

The main reason freewheels/freehubs have wobble is that wobble in these bearings is better tolerated than in other moving parts, so they simply aren't designed to have the wobble easily adjusted out of them.

Most freewheel/freehub bearing pre-load is adjusted by using different thickness shims under a screwed on bearing race. If one really wanted to, one could replace the factory shim(s) with other thickness shims that eliminated wobble (but still allowed the bearing to spin smoothly). But why bother?
 
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