The hub opened up!
In my previous post on this subject, I feared that my old Sturmey Archer hub would never open up again, and I would focus my attention on the second-hand one I procured from Bikechain.
Well, I am happy to report that I was mistaken!
When sitting down to tinker with the new (to me) old hub, I decided to give one last try at opening my original one. Just a spur of the moment decision. And after a few whacks with a hammer and improvised punch, I thought I detected some movement! Several whacks later, and the stuck piece was free!
The inside is pretty remarkable. All that looks like shiny slippery grease is actually hard and dry. The consistency ranges from very sticky and viscous to rock solid. It’s like it’s lubricated with tar. No wonder the pawls couldn’t freely move and engage!
While it is possible this hardened consistency is a result of heating the hub with a blowtorch the other day, I suspect it was already like this. I had discovered similarly fossilized deposits of ancient grease on other parts of the hub prior to heating it up.
Aside from the daunting amount of old residue to clean off, the innards look to be in pretty good shape!
For comparison, the other hub has no hardened residue. However, it does have a little bit of rust around the planetary gears.
Still, they are both pretty good, and I hope to have them both up and running eventually. One will be returned to the Raleigh Sports, and the other might go into a future bike project that I’m still working out in my mind.