There are several online sources that provide diagrams of Sturmey-Archer (SA) internals and service instructions, I would recommend obtaining a copy for anyone attempting disassembly. Tony Hadland the author of "The Sturmey-Archer Story" has a lot of good on-line hub information, Sheldon Brown's sites also contain plenty of information on SA hubs.
Before starting disassembly the exterior of the hub usually requires a good cleaning and degreasing. Next record how the hub has been assembled on the axle, note the number and location of the cone locknuts, lock washers and spacers on both sides of the axle, a digital camera works great for this. If the hub has a dished sprocket (reversible) note the orientation of the dish inward or outward. This initial assemble is not necessarily correct or desirable. Most of these hubs have had different sized spacers, nuts, washers etc. added or removed during its history and could be adversely affecting the chain line, dropout spacing, and wheel dishing. (See previous post "Adjusting Chain Line on the Sturmey Archer AW Hub").
I'm not going to cover each disassembly step but will mention that one of the first steps, removal of the right hand Ball Ring can be one of the most difficult. Some hubs come apart without much effort but there are others were this step can be frustrating depending on the amount of corrosion; a history of being used to stomp up hills; mounted in a wheel or not; an early model hub with square notches and wrench flats on the left hand Ball Cup; or later model with half-moon notches, and a pressed-in left hand Ball Cup without wrench flats. Sometimes you get lucky, some not so much.
|These are the AW internals after being removed from the hub shell. The right hand Ball Ring can be seen with its square notches|
|A blurry picture of the Gear Ring and Planet Cage|
|Another blurry picture of the right hand cone, bearings and driver|
|Right hand Ball Ring, dust cover, and 24 loose 3/16" ball bearings|
|The Clutch in the bottom of Gear Ring and Gear Ring Pawls|
An inspection of the 1953 hub showed rust corrosion and chips on some of the Pinion and Sun Pinion teeth. Chipped faces on some of the pawls. All cones and bearing races were deeply pitted. The Ring Gear had severe rust corrosion on the faces of the inner teeth. One nice thing about the AW hub is its interchangeability with other SA hubs and years. In addition, most AW hub parts are still available on-line. I was able to use some parts from a 1961 AW to replace the questionable 1953 hub parts. Normally; I always replace the Clutch and Pawl springs.
This is the hub after rebuilding with new and replacement parts; re-lubrication; I use a special type grease instead of oil; buffing the hub shell and setting the proper chain line. It is now ready for lacing into a new rim.
Please share your thoughts and experiences.