Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

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meandros
Posts: 33
Joined: 1 Jan 2018, 7:34pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby meandros » 14 Jan 2019, 12:28pm

Winfried, one should be able to remove the gates sprocket using a screwdriver to pry open each of the three individual claws that make the attachment to the hub. As for the cone, as Rofan writes, one requires the specific tools.

I am a bit confused, how did you establish the cause of the occasional noise seeing as you have not inspected the parts in question?
The reason I am asking is because I have been confronted with a similar issue last year, after servicing a customer's A11 that uses the same carbon belt drive as yours. He reported an occasional knik-knok-ing sound upon having received and installed the serviced wheel. With regular chain drive, I prefer to tension the lock nut just so that any play is gone, I stuff it with my own concoction and the hub is silent and happy ever after. However, this is not enough with a gates belt. The sprocket itself is much more tensioned on the hub itself and the gates puts an even more strain, as well being under higher tension than a chain+tensioner. This is all to say that any play in the ball bearings will thus be highly amplified on a belt drive. The solution to this issue is to tension the (non-driveside) lock nut a bit more and hear for any changes, if any, in the sound the hub makes. This is a bit of hit and miss, just be careful not to overtighten the lock nut, it might cause additional wear on the ball bearing races.

Thing is, wear on a 4 year old hub that has been used with shimano's mineral oil will surely make the hub more vocal in operation. If you have the chance, I recommend you send it to someone like Brucey, an IGH mecanic who knows what he's doing and who not only has to necessary tools to get to the small parts inside for a detailed inspection but can lube the hub properly so that it doesn't wear in on itself any further. These hubs are virtually indestructible provided a proper lube job, external maintenance and correct setting; even worn hubs can be revived if disassembled, cleaned and properly lubed. However, my suspicion is shimano did not properly design these for belt drives, I mean the whole nut and cone is antiquated; provided regular sealed bearings would have solved many issues with these hubs, alas shimano will not acknowledge the existence of sealed bearings.
Last edited by meandros on 14 Jan 2019, 12:36pm, edited 1 time in total.

Macadam
Posts: 7
Joined: 3 Sep 2018, 12:38pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability 7001-11 the better Alfine 11?

Postby Macadam » 14 Jan 2019, 12:30pm

rofan wrote:7001-11 the better Alfine 11?
Maybe, should be.
My impression: tolerances smaller , my findings: precision higher

There are 6 spare parts where the spare part number has been changed

Sun Gear 4 --> contact area lathed (instead of original surface from sintering(?))
Carrier 2 Unit --> inner sun gear: contact area lathed
Sun Gear 2 --> contact area lathed
Carrier 1 Unit --> contact area to clutch changed: shape and number of teeth 10->9
Clutch Unit --> number of teeth 20->18 - more room for engagement
Hub Axle Unit --> contact area of sun gear 1 lathed (not yet completely stripped)

Sealing stuff not changed


Hello Rofan,

Did you open this new hub or is it informations you get by someone ? Do you have photos about these parts ?
Other question : where can we find these parts in order to improve the old version ? I know that SJS Cycles in UK sell parts, but it's for the first version.
Thank you.

Macadam

Winfried
Posts: 88
Joined: 29 Sep 2014, 1:46pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Winfried » 14 Jan 2019, 12:53pm

meandros wrote:one should be able to remove the gates sprocket using a screwdriver to pry open each of the three individual claws that make the attachment to the hub. As for the cone, as Rofan writes, one requires the specific tools.


Provided it's actually needed to get to the ball bearing I need to replace… how should I proceed to release the three-notch ring with a screwdriver? It's very tight and looks like it needs a specific spanner to loosen.

meandros wrote:I am a bit confused, how did you establish the cause of the occasional noise seeing as you have not inspected the parts in question?


I simply had to disassemble it thusly to find the bearing cage broken, hence the metallic noise the hub made when pedalling:

Image

Here's the original I want to install:
Image
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/hub-spares/ ... -34r-9807/

Until some weeks ago, that bike had been perfectly silent and trouble-free, even though I used ATF for the few oil changes I did.

meandros
Posts: 33
Joined: 1 Jan 2018, 7:34pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby meandros » 14 Jan 2019, 1:04pm

Simply use the screwdriver to wedge each individual sprocket claw. Do it a bit at a time and it should come out. However, for the job at hand, it is not necessary to remove it, only if you want to clean the drive side further.

ATF is very good (infact, much better than the shimano mineral oil), just make sure to use Dexron III-H as it repels moisture and does not damage seals/plastic.

In the meanwhile, seeing as you already dismantled the drive-side (did not realize the picture was from your own hub) and extracted the damaged cage, you might try packing the loose balls with a thick lithium grease, something like marine grease or extreme pressure grease (one that is thick and stays thick even after dunking the hub core in ATF). That might alleviate the issue at hand.

Winfried
Posts: 88
Joined: 29 Sep 2014, 1:46pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Winfried » 14 Jan 2019, 1:17pm

Thanks. I'll get some Dexron III-H when I'm out of ATF.

In case no LBS has the tools handy, I did think about just leaving the balls in there roaming free — since their cage is now gone —, squirting some lithium grease, putting the hub back together… and just wait a couple of years when the transmission is worn out before getting a whole new Alfine 11 hub + [sprocket + chainring + belt drive] combo.

It's too bad Shimano requires such specific tools just to replace a cheap ball bearing.

Brucey
Posts: 35573
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2019, 1:19pm

Winfried wrote:Yes, I removed the snap ring (purple arrow) using two screwsdrivers, but there's still that three-eared ring (from Gates?) and the cone that stand in the way of the ball bearing.

Image


you don't need to remove the arrowed snap ring to get at the bearing; it is just a waste of time. There is no 'special spanner' for this job anyway; the SA one linked to is nothing to do with this at all. The ring just pries out of its groove with a small screwdriver if you need to take it off (which you don't).

The next thing is to remove the cone now; this is a push-fit on the axle. Often you can start it moving by tapping the axle downwards gently. However this will be both ineffective and could damage the internal if you overdo it and/or the cone isn't supported by the remaining ball bearings.

When the RH hub bearing claps out (which is not at all uncommon on all models of Nexus and Alfine hubs BTW) then it is not sufficient to simply replace the bearing; you need to be 100% sure that you have removed all the bits of shrapnel, too. If you fail to do this debris enters the shift control mechanism and soon stops it from working properly. BTW any time you remove the RH cone the shift control mechanism can start to dissassemle itself and this can turn a simple job into a nightmare.

It looks like you have retrieved most of the old ball clip but there may well be 'missing fingers'. It only takes one inside in the wrong place to cause the hub to stop working. If you are not certain that you have got all the bits out then you have to take a chance or you have to strip the hub down more completely.

FWIW when this bearing breaks up I think it is better to rebuild using loose balls, not clipped ones, but this makes reassembly more difficult.

FWIW ATF (and BTW Dexron III is a now-obsolete invalid specification for ATF) is an inferior lubricant vs any EP gear oil. It also causes some rubber parts to swell, which may include parts found in shimano alfine hubs.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Winfried
Posts: 88
Joined: 29 Sep 2014, 1:46pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Winfried » 14 Jan 2019, 1:39pm

Brucey wrote:BTW any time you remove the RH cone the shift control mechanism can start to dissassemle itself and this can turn a simple job into a nightmare.


Where's the shift control mechanism in the schematic?

Image

Brucey wrote:The next thing is to remove the cone now; this is a push-fit on the axle. Often you can start it moving by tapping the axle downwards gently. However this will be both ineffective and could damage the internal if you overdo it and/or the cone isn't supported by the remaining ball bearings.


So you recommend I go to an LBS that has the required tools instead instead of trying to remove the cone myself? This is also what Dan Burkhart says:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nsn8MP1X_qA

Since the balls are accessible, what about just putting a bit of lithium grease in there, and put the hub back together? Not as nice at getting a new ball bearing assembly, but hey.

Brucey wrote:It looks like you have retrieved most of the old ball clip but there may well be 'missing fingers'. It only takes one inside in the wrong place to cause the hub to stop working. If you are not certain that you have got all the bits out then you have to take a chance or you have to strip the hub down more completely.


I can't be certain, but I'll take the chance.

At worst, I'll get a new Alfine, although shelling out €250 + labor just to repair the damage caused by a €2 ball bearing is aggravating.

Brucey wrote:FWIW ATF (and BTW Dexron III is a now-obsolete invalid specification for ATF) is an inferior lubricant vs any EP gear oil. It also causes some rubber parts to swell, which may include parts found in shimano alfine hubs.


Good to know.

Brucey
Posts: 35573
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2019, 1:43pm

the shift control mechanism is part of the axle assy. Shimano sell tools for taking this apart for some models but they don't sell spare parts or actually recommend that you do take it apart. It is rather fiddly.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Winfried
Posts: 88
Joined: 29 Sep 2014, 1:46pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Winfried » 14 Jan 2019, 1:44pm

I'll pass :D

meandros
Posts: 33
Joined: 1 Jan 2018, 7:34pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby meandros » 14 Jan 2019, 1:51pm

Brucey wrote:FWIW ATF (and BTW Dexron III is a now-obsolete invalid specification for ATF) is an inferior lubricant vs any EP gear oil. It also causes some rubber parts to swell, which may include parts found in shimano alfine hubs.


Brucey, D3H does not damage seals and plastics. D2, on the other hand, does. One of the main advantage of ATF vs gear oil is that is mixes well with HP greases (doesn't liquify it) and acts as a cleaner of sorts, keeping dirt in suspension and not tucked in there so that it damages parts. I am not sure whether obsolescence has anything to do with it or whether validity applies to this scenario, seeing as D3/Mercon etc are mere recipes that meet specific requirements. It may well be the world of engines has moved past D3 and the like but a humble IGH is more than suitable for running on the stuff. I won't use gear oil etc because it is meant for a sealed enviroment and a shimano igh is not sealed, it needs hp grease to take care of the actual sealing. Gear oil will render that grease very fluid so ATF is more than recommended for IGH as it will maintain the grease consistency as well as lubricate the internals.

Brucey
Posts: 35573
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2019, 3:07pm

I will use ATF temporarily to clean some hubs (it has a high detergent value) but as a lubricant it is poor; its properties are largely set by the requirement for it to work in a particular way inside a torque converter; not a useful or relevant feature inside a hub gear. Dexron II contains viscosity modifiers that absorb water. The Dexron III spec is widely quoted but the standard (first issued in 1993) is no longer maintained, so you could be buying almost anything from some manufacturers. One of the poor aspects of ATF is its ability to handle moisture; in its normal service it routinely runs well over 100C so moisture is simply boiled off; this obviously doesn't happen in a hub gear.

Keeping crud in suspension is a necessary requirement in an autobox because the shift control mechanisms are riddled with fine drillings which clog too easily otherwise. However the debris in an autobox is a mixture of organic debris (from the friction plates) and steel debris (from the friction plates and any wear elsewhere). The bigger chunks of the former are filtered out in a full-flow filter and steel is trapped on big magnets inside the gearbox sump. The used oil therefore only contains chemicals that arise from oil degradation and harmlessly small particles of organic debris. However without the magnets and the filters the oil would soon turn into an abrasive sludge.

In a hub gear suspending crud in the oil is useful for cleaning purposes but otherwise you are probably better off with the crud getting centrifuged to the hubshell and staying there. Fitting a magnet to an IGH to trap wear debris is a good idea.

In point of fact I prefer a SFG for hub gears, preferably one that is also loaded up with solid lubricants. This allows you to have much more lubricant inside the hubshell than if you use oil alone, given that this quantity is normally limited by the leakage rate. This greater quantity simply dilutes any wear debris so that it is less harmful. The lubricant also works better under high load conditions, so the rate of wear debris generation is less. Finally any wear particles have a much reduced opportunity to create a further wear cascade because any particles that are smaller than the solid lubricant particles won't be so involved in any high pressure contacts; any that are will be inhibited from causing plucking wear by the EP additives.

How any given oil will react with a given grease (or rubber) is to do with a lot of things but few of them are strictly related to what specification the oil meets; you can make oils that meet various specifications using different base stocks, some of which won't play well with mixtures or certain rubber chemistries.

However;

1) many ATFs contain pretty nasty additives (alkyl thiazoles IIRC)
2) its performance as a gear lubricant is poor.

On the latter point if you are prepared to spend a small fortune you can buy a fully synthetic -based ATF that meets DexronIII specs and it is significantly better as a gear oil than standard ATF is. As a gear oil, this is about as good as the cheapest nastiest EP90 gear oil. Standard ATFs are quite a bit worse.

Rohloff use a synthetic gear oil and I think the shimano stuff for A11 isn't identical but it is of the same ilk; ATF is a lot better than no lube at all but it is nowhere near as good as most gear oils for lubricating gears.

Bicycle IGHs are characterised by very low speeds, low temperatures, extremely high loadings. When selecting a lubricant it make sense to choose one that is also used in similar circumstances: ATF is not designed to meet any of the three main conditions listed, so no surprise that there are better lubricants than that.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Winfried
Posts: 88
Joined: 29 Sep 2014, 1:46pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Winfried » 14 Jan 2019, 3:32pm

Do you confirm that tightening the "Serated Lock Nut (4.4 mm)" (part 25 in the schematic) requires a 17mm cone wrench to access the two flat parts on the side?

Image
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/hub-spares/ ... -37r-1100/

Image

Brucey
Posts: 35573
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2019, 3:34pm

yes that sounds about right. If you want to make life easier in the long run (and it doesn't cause other problems of course) best to grind the locknut so that you can work it with an ordinary 17mm spanner.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Winfried
Posts: 88
Joined: 29 Sep 2014, 1:46pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Winfried » 14 Jan 2019, 3:35pm

Thanks.

rofan
Posts: 140
Joined: 8 Jul 2012, 6:29pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability 7001-11 the better Alfine 11?

Postby rofan » 14 Jan 2019, 7:37pm

Macadam wrote:
open this new hub...


Sun Gear 2 --> contact area lathed
additionally shape and number of the inner "teeth" are changed


7001vs 700 Sungear2_txtklred.jpg
7001vs 700 Sungear2_txtklred.jpg (73.09 KiB) Viewed 763 times


where can we find these parts in order to improve the old version ?

I do not know the Shimano-distributor in UK, only in Germany