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What oil for the old sturmey archer 3speed hub

jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
edited January 2018 in The workshop
Hello. I got a 5wt and 15wt suspension oil gathering dust, can I use it for the hub or do I need something more thicker?

Posts

  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,798 Lives Here
    The 15 would probably be the better of the two, but I don't know why I believe that to be the case. Vague recollection that ATF was recommended somewhere. Take a look at the Sheldon Brown website, I'm sure it will say on there.
  • jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
    This is what I found on the website:

    Only thin good quality oil should be used for the lubrication of Sturmey-Archer hubs. (Phil Wood Tenacious Oil is my favorite for this application --SCB) (Automotive automatic transmission fluid also is good, and inexpensive -- John Allen). Thick oils or grease must not be used, but when a hub is dismantled a small amount of grease or vaseline may be put on the ball races only. (Note that this information contradicts other information from Sturmey-Archer, to put grease only on the labyrinth seals. The point of this advice is to keep grease away from the pawls -- John Allen)

    So the only ref I got is the mysterious "Phil Wood Tenacious Oil", or even more mysterious "Automotive automatic transmission fluid" which tells me nothing as I don't drive a car and have zero knowledge about maintaining it.

    So I'll go with my gut and use that 15wt oil...
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,798 Lives Here
    jsisidore wrote:
    ...even more mysterious "Automotive automatic transmission fluid" which tells me nothing as I don't drive a car and have zero knowledge about maintaining it.

    So I'll go with my gut and use that 15wt oil...
    Yes, that's ATF or automatic transmission fluid. Sorry I should have been clearer. I think the 5 will be too thin, that's almost like water. You could mix the 5 and the 15 to get something in the middle.
  • jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
    I used 15wt and I think I have flooded the hub since the coasting sound has disappeared completely, which is nice but not sure if it's supposed to be like that, oil is dripping out incessantly so it think it is a temp effect, so far I've done a couple of miles and it's great, smooth gear shifting and not a sound while coasting/pedaling.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    jsisidore wrote:
    I used 15wt and I think I have flooded the hub since the coasting sound has disappeared completely, which is nice but not sure if it's supposed to be like that, oil is dripping out incessantly so it think it is a temp effect, so far I've done a couple of miles and it's great, smooth gear shifting and not a sound while coasting/pedaling.

    Sounds like you've used something that is far, far too thin, and it'll probably clean out the rest of the oil in there. This is both a good thing (cleaning it) and a terrible thing ('cos you'll run it without lubrication if you carry on).

    I have used ATF on internally geared hubs (Shimano Alfine) with excellent results. You can get a bottle from any motor factors for very cheap (basically any ATF with any DEXRON rating at all seems to be completely fine). It's also often used as power steering fluid on many, many cars.
    If you're paying more than about 7 quid for a litre (which will last you for ever) you're paying too much.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
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