I managed to remove the freewheel the other day using a large pipe wrench and what was undoubtedly an awesome display of manly strength. Once the freewheel was off I was able to remove the ugly yellow spoke protector which was then unceremoniously tossed into the garbage. I decided to try something I've never done before, overhaul the rear hub. My bike mechanic skills are on the very low end of the spectrum but I don't mind giving things a try as long as I have enough money to have my LBS repair whatever I've screwed up. I get paid once a month, so depending on the date it can be a long wait until I'm riding again. After a couple of visits to BicycleTutor.com, I dove in.
Here's the hub after disassembly. I managed not to drop the bearings.
The 20+ year old grease had dried up and had plastered itself to the inner surface of the hub. It was much more difficult to remove than I expected. Liberal doses of degreaser and vigorous use of an old toothbrush eventually removed the old grease.
Here's what I ended up with.
Everything went back together with few problems. I was surprised at how much smoother the wheel rolled. I figure that the front hub and bottom bracket will also have to be overhauled. I'll get to the front wheel tomorrow. I'll probably have my LBS take care of the bottom bracket overhaul as I've messed up a crank arm in the past using a cheap crank extractor. I don't want to do that again.