AW 3 Speed Rebuild

Although not entirely indestructible, the Sturmey-Archer AW has remarkable staying power. Careless changes tend to round the corners off the clutch (the part in a cross shape) and the accompanying lugs, but rarely does this stop the hub from engaging third gear securely. The clutch engages with the tops of the axles holding the planets (brilliantly). If these get very worn they can simply be substituted with others. Sloppy changes into first have no detrimental effect, merely pressing on the rear of the pawls whilst they might be under load. The most delicate part is probably the axle key; the small part with a hole in the centre that the toggle chain screws into. This can be bent. It's very simple to replace and you can find brand new parts on ebaY, or from Old Bike Trader. New pawl springs can be bought on ebaY or made from old electric guitar strings. If you use the second string, you get a sharper tick as it is a little stronger than the original.

Summing up the damage that you might find in an AW: *worn clutch *worn high-gear pawls *worn or bent axle key *broken pawl springs *chipped planets (very rarely). If the mechanism has never been oiled, it may be rusty internally. Sometimes this will only result in the hub running slightly roughly.

Here is the rebuild sequence of the AW. Go slowly and carefully and you will have no trouble- I hope!