I have to admit, I was nervous...
You've heard of the "black box." A container of technology or function that is akin to magic. Inputs lead to fantastic outputs and it's all due to the "black box." Don't try to understand it... for god's sake, don't go tinkering with it...
I guess I've considered the Sturmey Archer 3- Speed to be a black box in a way. A wire goes into it, you flip a little lever and all of the sudden, it gets easier to pedal! It's a silver "box."
Well, no longer. I've read a number of sites about the rehabilitation of SA hubs. THIS one in particular was very inspiring to help me gain confidence. After putting it off for a few days, I had no excuse this morning but to dive in.
Here is the hub innards splayed out on my bench. The only tools I needed are laying there as well.
It's one thing to tear something apart, but putting it back together again can be difficult. Not these. I even ended up pulling the pawls and pawl springs out and cleaning them. The pawl springs are as fine as hair!
Anyway, the whole thing went back together with some fresh grease on the bearings and 3:1 Electric Motor oil in the gear compartment. Once I got the wheel mounted back on the bike, I was AMAZED at how well it rolled and shifted.
Now I'm going to be working through the winter to do all the other bikes I have... by the time spring comes.. I'm going to be an expert at this.