My Dana 3-speed project



Apr 26, 2014
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So I purchased a Dana from one of the RRB members (thanks again!!!)



Even though it looked pretty darn good right outta the box, I decided to dive right in...



Not too bad, but I did find the pawl spring had become unseated so while it was open I degreased everything, regreased and reassembled. This is the process that worked for me:

First, I inserted the planetary gear assembly into position...



Then I slid the three ring gears into position around the planetary assy...



Next, the triple gear. This took a bit of playing around with to get it to seat on all three sets of planetary gears, but I just spun it a bit each way until it dropped in.



Don't forget to place the selector assembly into place, I also filled the slot where the pawl spring goes with grease so it wouldn't pop out again.



Finally, I bolted it back together and slid the drive shaft into place.



ETA: If you need to replace the needle bearings, they are Torrington B-168. Mine were all good but I thought someone may need this at some point!


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Apr 26, 2014
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I wanted to change from a grip shift to some kind of "suicide or jockey" shift design. Turns out that the original lead cable ends on the Dana are VERY similar to standard modern shifter cables...



So I set them in place, screwed the cover on and they seemed nice and secure.



(Note: it may look as if the Dana is mounted "incorrectly." The down tube on this bike was too chubby to fit the standard way. It did fit nicely on the seat tube however, which also gave me a nice straight shot for cable mounting!)

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Apr 26, 2014
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Now came the hard part... After quite the brainstorming session I decided a shift lever on the top tube was in order. But what I did next STILL has me a bit shaky... Drill into the perfectly good frame for nut-inserts!

I found some down tube style cable adjusters to finish off the shift cable housings...



Then it was "find the shift lever" time. Although I contemplated using an old car window handle, I decided I wanted to cut one from aluminum flat stock. After the sticker shock wore off (my local HD wanted $34 for a 4 foot piece - and what would I do with the other 42" ‽) I found this...



Eureka! Perfect! And I think it was 4 bucks!!! One quick cut, a little grinding, and three holes later... We have a shift lever!



Next I used some cable stops I picked up at the auto parts store (Dorman Help! line) and I replaced the flat head bolts with hex head set screws!



I used a plastic bushing and a couple fender washers to mount it to a nut-insert in the frame (another hole in my frame!!!)



Finally, I attached the shifter cables! I got these as tight as I could by hand, but after shifting it back and forth a bit to work out any kinks I had to adjust the tension on the cables.



All I need is the "right" shift knob and I'll be in business!




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Apr 26, 2014
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Good job getting it back together. Did you use the pics TRM posted on his Raceliner build to help?
I DID, and was able to talk to the man himself too! He gave me a few pointers on what he would have done if he had it to do over again... I planned on thanking him later in the post but nows as good of a time as any!!! Thanks again to The Renaissance Man, KEMPRACING, Dbubbleguy and CeeBee for your advice and assistance on this project!


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Apr 26, 2014
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As smoothly as the project had gone to this point... From here on was nothing but trouble!

First, I put the crank arms on and realized the offset on the transmission to the drive side caused the crank arm on the non drive side to hit the chain stay!!! I happened to find some info on another post about adding a "dog -leg" to the crank arm...

A cut, heat, and bend here...



And a cut, heat, and bend there... This is our result...



I was able to get a nice bead of metal in the cuts with a stick welder a work, but I wasn't very judicious with my grinder afterwards (and don't mention the fact that I did NOT use proper eye protection and ended up with flash burns to my stinking retinas! Let me tell ya, THAT sucked at 2am!!!)

Nothing a little friction tape can't fix!!!



Voila!


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Apr 26, 2014
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Then I went to install my chain... UGH! That ALSO hit the chain stay (perhaps I should have done a test fit before drilling holes in the frame!!!) but what fun would THAT be‽

I went to the LBS to find some kind of chain tensioner. After looking at a few different ideas, I decided on the Singleator... Generally used when converting multi-speed bikes to single speed. GREAT, order it up!

Next day, picked it up, zoomed home, installed it with the help of an add on threaded dropout thingy... Awesome! Time for a test ride... Um... This thing is SPRING-loaded... The first time I tried to brake I almost hit a car. Duh!

So, back to the drawing board... But this thing is SO cool looking, right‽ After a bit of brainstorming, I removed the guts and bored out the inside of the Singleator so that it would fit over the lock washer on the rear axle. I had to get ALL of the excess axle through the hub and into the drive side in order to bolt it in place, but a little grease on the hands never hurt nobody!




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Apr 26, 2014
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What size chainrings are the gears on this comparable to? Like if you had a triple chainring instead.
Hey Josh... Unfortunately I have NO CLUE... What I can say it there's not THAT much difference between gears... Which works pretty well on the Illinois flatlands. Sorry I'm not more help!


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