I get asked quite frequently about how to adjust the slack in free coaster hubs, and also generally how to take them apart. Here is just a little something that I put together just to answer how to adjust adjust or disassemble a free coaster. This is based around a LHD Federal V3 male hub. Tools Required: Hammer/mallet, 6mm allen key, 23mm spanner/adjustable spanner, socket to hit bearings back in.
Advised extras: If you’re servicing your hub you will need some multi purpose bearing grease, suitable cleaner to clean the grime/old grease from bearings and other components, suitable safety equipment, some old rag, a box to keep spare parts together.
Step 1: Use a 6mm allen key in the drive side of the hub axle, along with the 23mm spanner to remove the thin nut from the axle. Once removed, place this in the spare parts box. You’ll also take off a thin tapered washer, this only goes on one way so note which way it comes off.
Step 2: Unscrew the driver by pulling and rotating (clockwise for LHD, Anticlockwise for RHD) and place in spare parts box.
Step 3: Remove non-drive side thin nut by using 6mm allen key in the end of the axle and 23mm spanner on the nut. remove the nut, along with the metal spacer behind, which should just slide off. Put these in the spare bits box.
Step 4: Clamp the hub in a vice with some cardboard or rag around the shell to prevent damage and hammer the axle from the drive side to release the bearing from the shell. Make sure to catch the axle. Once done, put the hub shell in the spare parts box.
Step 5 (optional): If you are wanting to clean everything you can now get your cleaner and make sure that the hubs internals are free of dirt. I would recommend taking a photo of the order of components yourself as a note. Give all the components a good clean out with a suitable cleaner and re-grease the components where there is metal on metal contact.
Step 6: You can now add any slack washers or remove where you want. These are placed between the non-drive side bearing and the thrust bearing that comes into contact with the driver.
Step 7: With the axle assembly back together, put the hub shell in a vice (with rag or card around to prevent damage) and hammer the outer race of the bearing into the hub from the non-drive side using a socket. Make sure to work your way around the bearing and not to hit the bearing in at a strange angle.
Step 8: You can now get the spacer that you took off the axle and slide it back onto the hub, along with getting your thin nut and tightening that back on with the 23mm spanner and 6mm allen key. Nip the nut up tight but not overly tight.
Step 9: Get your driver and screw this into the drive side of the hub (anticlockwise for LHD, clockwise for RHD). Then, get the thin washer you took off and put this on so that the taper of the washer points inwards towards the hub. Screw the thin nut onto the axle using your 23mm spanner and allen key.
Step 10: Give the hub a wipe over and you’ve finished rebuilding your free coaster (based around Federal V3).
I hope this has given you a good idea of how you can do this yourself. Remember, before starting this, you should be confident that you can do this and that you have the correct tools and safety equipment. By following this guide you are admitting full responsibility to the outcome of the work that is done to your hub.