Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
niggle
Posts: 3423
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby niggle » 2 Jun 2013, 8:19am

How many people with problems on this thread are using drop bars with the Versa brifter, and how many using straight bars and the Shimano shifter?

TonyR
Posts: 5390
Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 12:51pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby TonyR » 2 Jun 2013, 9:19am

niggle wrote:How many people with problems on this thread are using drop bars with the Versa brifter, and how many using straight bars and the Shimano shifter?


Drop bars with brifters and problems.

bobc
Posts: 495
Joined: 5 Apr 2012, 11:59am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby bobc » 13 Jun 2013, 7:54pm

Just a progress report re: running the 11 with "rock oil" "light gear oil". Glad to say, nothing whatsoever to report, no slips no leaks & continued free-er running. That's over about 400 miles I guess.
Bob
PS drop bars & versa "sti" shifter.

frankz
Posts: 5
Joined: 21 Jan 2014, 12:45pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby frankz » 21 Jan 2014, 12:54pm

Hi

I wonder if anyone has had my problem with the Alfine 11. I bought it a couple of years ago and after a while it gave the usual shifting problems. I carefully set up the cable and shifter and it improved. Then I realised it was a bit noisy and that an oil change was due. I followed instruction precisely and the changes became slick and quiet. Then after a few days it would not shift sequentially but 1/3/2/4 etc. The shifts were perfect but not what I wanted. It has now got worse and I can only get three or four different ratios. Any thoughts. Is there a step by step stripdown or can someone advise.

Cheers

Brucey
Posts: 39481
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 21 Jan 2014, 5:04pm

what oil did you use in your hub?

What did the stuff that came out look like?

How long had it been in there/ how far had you gone with it?

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

frankz
Posts: 5
Joined: 21 Jan 2014, 12:45pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby frankz » 21 Jan 2014, 5:26pm

Hi
I firstly used the Shimano oil - the stuff that came out was pretty thick and black. I did the whole flushing out business. When the gears went non-sequencial I did another oil change with hydraulic oil. I didn't initially make any difference but it may have led to the deterioration since.

Brucey
Posts: 39481
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 21 Jan 2014, 7:49pm

it is difficult to say for sure what might be wrong with the hub given the symptoms.

What noises did you hear before you did the oil change?

Were there any fragments in the old/flushing oil?

If there is a fault with gear 2 and gear 3 then the same fault should manifest itself (IIRC) in the gear 7 and gear 8 shift sequence also.

BTW this hub should carry a two year warranty; if it is still inside the warranty period then I'd suggest that returning it to them would be the thing to do.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

frankz
Posts: 5
Joined: 21 Jan 2014, 12:45pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby frankz » 21 Jan 2014, 8:29pm

Hi Brucey

Apart from the odd crack when a bad change was made there was not a distinct noise. It is more that I was conscious of it being quieter after the oil change. The oil was black and thick but no identifiable bits have come out. I will check when I bought it. I was an 'early adopter'. Thanks anyway.

Brucey
Posts: 39481
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 21 Jan 2014, 8:50pm

I don't think hydraulic oil would be a good lubricant for a hub gear; typical stuff (ISO 32 etc) is pretty thin and has the wrong kind of additives in it. I don't see that it would cause a major fault in a short while, but it mightn't cure one either.

Some folk have used ATF in the 8s hubs. I think there are better lubes than that, but ATF does have one useful feature which is that it is full of additives that promote cleaning. It might be worth running the hub in ATF for a while and seeing if that makes a difference or not.

Very many faults with these hubs (and 8s ones too) are because the shifter and/or the cable and/or the cassette joint is faulty in some way. The cassette joint is especially prone to becoming clogged up and reluctant to move properly. The cassette joint moves such a small amount between shifts (in terms of angle) that this can cause all kinds of weird things to occur. I'd check and double-check all the external parts before delving inside the hub.

If you start to dismantle the hub you may discover a fault inside it but unless you can get a good used part to replace a failed one, (or make/modify one) it is arguably of academic interest only; shimano don't sell many individual small parts, mainly just whole centre assys.

'jb' may have some more useful suggestions so don't give up just yet.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

frankz
Posts: 5
Joined: 21 Jan 2014, 12:45pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby frankz » 21 Jan 2014, 11:22pm

Cheers

I have checked all the external issues. The gears are so off now it is not like a cable or cassette joint problem. It would certainly be good to hear from JB who seems to have his in bits regularly!

jb
Posts: 943
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 22 Jan 2014, 11:26am

How many miles has it done?
It sounds as if one of the tiny hair springs may have gone or is crudded up so one of the pawls does not always come out when it ought. This might cause it to change one part of the sequence but not the other thus giving a different gear but to still work okay.

Having a bit of an inside inspection before sending it back might be useful given the service quality history - if your comfortable with taking it apart (you need access to a bench vice, cone spanners, small/medium screwdrivers and long nose pliers). Providing the planet gear baskets & clutch assemblies are left alone it is not particularly difficult. The trickiest bit would be undoing the large plastic end cap (left hand thread) without the proper tool especially if you don't want it to look like you've been in it.

Once you have determined that one or more pawl is not springing out and cleaning it does not fix it then it will have to go back, or you might get a new axle assembly complete - through a dealer.

There are some anti- spin springs under the first washer after the circlip holding it all together is removed - if these are damaged they might cause your problems and they are available as separate items (item 5 & 6 page two on the diagram brucey posted)

If you take it apart take lots of photographs and keep an eye on where item 9 fits in. Once the main gubbins are removed from the shell check inside for metal filings these wont easily come out with the oil flush.

If you want a strip down sequence I could post one later.
Cheers
J Bro

rfryer
Posts: 740
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 3:58pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby rfryer » 22 Jan 2014, 9:40pm

jb wrote:If you want a strip down sequence I could post one later.

Yes please!!! I'd really appreciate seeing a strip-down with photos.

jb
Posts: 943
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 23 Jan 2014, 9:07pm

I will put one together but it will take a while with photo's
Cheers

J Bro

TonyR
Posts: 5390
Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 12:51pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby TonyR » 24 Jan 2014, 6:52am

It would be a very valuable resource for all us Alfine owners if you made it a web page/site

jb
Posts: 943
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 25 Jan 2014, 12:49am

Part 1
To strip down the Alfine 11 IHG in order to check out the gear selector mechanism is working properly
To be read in conjunction with the parts list .
shimanoalfineSG-S700.jpg
Shimano parts list (see Shimano web site for a full PDF file with part Numbers & descriptions on)

1. Remove wheel from bike :D
2. With all wheel nuts, non-turn washers and disc (if fitted) removed - clamp in vice by the flats on the axle on the opposite side to the sprocket.
3. Remove the cassette joint assembly – check it for free movement and clear out the cable groove.
4. Remove the sprocket circlip cover (item 41), circlip (item 39)(removed with two small electricians screwdrivers, sliding them down the sprocket drive grooves & flipping the circlip out), the sprocket & the thin steel dust cover(item 28).
5. Now the large plastic end cap needs to be loosened (Item 26). This is done with the special tool (item 50) which has shallow lugs that engage with recesses in the plastic cap. Without engaging all lugs at once it is hard to get enough drive torque without damage to the cap. I thought about making a ring from plywood and screwing some steel plates on as a quick home-made tool but in the end I got one wire cut at a local firm (I will add a dimensioned drawing when I find it). The important thing is not to damage the face that presses onto the aluminium hub as this will cause it to leak. IT UNSCREWS CLOCKWISE. Leave it on but loose
6. Now turn the wheel over & clamp on the opposite side, with the cone spanners hold the lower cone and undo the lock nut (item 25) - remove this. Unscrew the cone (item 34) which will initially be stiff as it has an ‘o’ring seal under it (item 2), it will come off with a tin pressed dust cover attached.
P1070118.jpg
Remove lock nut and bearing cone

7. A clean drip tray needs to be at the ready.
Hold the top axle, undo the vice, lift out the wheel, invert it & with it over the tray unscrew the plastic cap (don’t damage the large sprocket oil seal) & remove it, the whole internals can now be lifted out (turning anti-clockwise to free of the roller clutches). Place quickly onto the tray to drain awhile, also tip any oil out the hub body onto the tray.
P1070120.jpg
Internals removed from hub & left to drain

8. Inspect the oil for ‘glitter’ using a torch & also inside the hub. The oil may be dark but should not be in the least bit sludgy if the oil has been changed at the recommended intervals. The ball race cannot be removed without removing and possibly damaging the seal. If the cone looks fine the balls and outer race will probably be ok too.
9. When most of the oil has drained off replace in the vice & clamp on the sprocket side axle.
10. Everything that needs to come off is now held in place with the circlip (item 3) that can be seen on top of the whole stack. Remove this with a screwdriver (don’t damage the ‘o’ring (item 2) on the axle nearby)
P1070156.jpg
circlip shown that hold the whole caboodle together, also the end plate with the two anti-spin springs showing through the hole

11. Remove the carrier hold plate (item 4) this takes any side thrust generated by the torque but also holds two anti- spin springs (Items 5 & 6). Check the springs are okay & free to slide around in their respective grooves (they should slide in one direction more easily than the other) if they have thinned at any point best to replace them. LEAVE THEM IN PLACE AS THEY STOP THE SUN GEAR FROM COMING OUT AND MESSING UP THE GEAR TIMING.

12. The first basket of gears can now be pulled off the axle (item 7 & 8 should be held together BY THE SPRINGS 5 & 6), twist anti clockwise so as to flatten the pawl and allow the assembly to slide over it. Spin the sun gear & check all the planets and ring gear rotate freely. DO NOT DIS-ASSEMBLE THIS ITEM ANY FURTHER unless you really want to - getting the small planet gears timed up correctly is a right faff.
P1070122.jpg
final drive gears. sun gear held in place by the anti- spin spring shown
Last edited by jb on 25 Jan 2014, 1:17am, edited 3 times in total.
Cheers

J Bro