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Capricious youth...
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Checked the Shimano forum. Didn't find much.

I'm rebuilding my hub tonight. I know that I need 1/4" bearings (18 of them). I'm sure I can pull the freehub off pretty easily with some cone wrenches, but working on the freehub body freaks me out a little bit because of that whole Shimano-sucks-and-when-you-pull-the-dust-cap-off-it-destroys-said-dustcap business.

Anyone pulled the dustcap off without wrecking it, and been able to re-install it? :confused:
 

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Former Bike Wrench
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Prettym1k3 said:
Checked the Shimano forum. Didn't find much.

I'm rebuilding my hub tonight. I know that I need 1/4" bearings (18 of them). I'm sure I can pull the freehub off pretty easily with some cone wrenches, but working on the freehub body freaks me out a little bit because of that whole Shimano-sucks-and-when-you-pull-the-dust-cap-off-it-destroys-said-dustcap business.

Anyone pulled the dustcap off without wrecking it, and been able to re-install it? :confused:
You don't need to pull the dust cap off the hubs to repack them with new bearings and grease. If you want to remove the freehub body (not really neccessary unless you want to replace it or you have a freehub buddy and your going to regrease it) you need a 10mm Allen wrench. Otherwise, if its working fine...leave it alone.
 

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I've rebuild shimano hubs tons of times, and never broken a dustcap. Either way, pluck the non-drive side seal off, loosen the locknuts and unscrew them entirely. The axle should slide out, and all the ball bearings will be revealed.The dustcap is easy to just press back on when it's reassembled..
 

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A wheelist
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The dustcap is easily removable without damaging it. That being said Paul Morningstar makes the Freehub Buddy which is a great tool for purging and re-lubing the freehub unit and he makes a better seal that has an o-ring on its sealing edge and is a snap to remove and replace. It's a true re-usable seal.
 

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transmitter~receiver
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what mtnbiker72 said.
the drive-side dust cap need not come off. in fact, i have banged a few back into shape after people thought that they needed to remove them and mangled them with needle nosed pliers... pic below.
Mike- How do you get them off w/out damaging them? Why do you do it?
I don't think they were intended to come out. There is absolutely no need to remove them to completely service the hub and they are not an individual part-- they only come as part of the freewheel body (see exploded view with parts list here).
Here's a pic of my most recent straightened drive-side dust cap. The entire thing was tacoed and the inner rim was mangled by needle nosed pliers. You can see where the bearings were forced into the dust cap and bent it. This part works now as pictured. A couple of appropriately sized sockets used as dies and a hammer usually get them straight enough to work.
 

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meltingfeather said:
Mike- How do you get them off w/out damaging them? Why do you do it?
Easy - pry 'em out with a large, flat-bladed screwdriver. I've been removing them (not often) for years; decades. I've never bent one yet. Why? to clean the bearing cup area properly. I can't remember 100% (as it's a few months since I did two of them (Ultegra & DuraAce hubs) but maybe they have to be removed to use the wonderful Morningstar Freehub Buddy.
 

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transmitter~receiver
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Mike T. said:
Easy - pry 'em out with a large, flat-bladed screwdriver. I've been removing them (not often) for years; decades. I've never bent one yet. Why? to clean the bearing cup area properly. I can't remember 100% (as it's a few months since I did two of them (Ultegra & DuraAce hubs) but maybe they have to be removed to use the wonderful Morningstar Freehub Buddy.
werd. Sounds reasonable enough. I properly clean the cup w/out removing the dust cap, but there are 100 ways to skin a cat... or something.
 

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meltingfeather said:
werd. Sounds reasonable enough. I properly clean the cup w/out removing the dust cap, but there are 100 ways to skin a cat... or something.
As I said, maybe it's necessary to remove the dust seal to get the Freehub Buddy in there. I just don't remember. Maybe that's why Paul "invented" the removable seal.
 

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Mike T. said:
As I said, maybe it's necessary to remove the dust seal to get the Freehub Buddy in there. I just don't remember. Maybe that's why Paul "invented" the removable seal.
Yep:
" PLEASE NOTE that the use of this tool requires the removal of the dust cap from the freehub, and since Shimano dust caps tend to be fragile, we recommend having a REUSABLE replacement dust cap on hand."
Learn something new everyday... :thumbsup:
 

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A wheelist
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meltingfeather said:
Yep:
" PLEASE NOTE that the use of this tool requires the removal of the dust cap from the freehub, and since Shimano dust caps tend to be fragile, we recommend having a REUSABLE replacement dust cap on hand."
Learn something new everyday... :thumbsup:
I guess Paul doesn't have my mechanical finesse so his statement doesn't surprise me :D As we exchange e-mails most days I'll be sure to give him the gears over this. :p
 
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