From what I've read the AB is mechanically identical to the AW, there are a couple of clips on youtube that make it look (note I said make it look
) fairly simple to break down and rebuild so I'm willing to have a go
, I've got at least 6 of them and some complete internals too along with various axle nuts. I happened to be in the right place at the right time when they were going to be scrapped, nothing wrong with them apart except that apart from two 26inch wheels their all built into 650b westwood rimmed wheels of varying degrees of rustiness and trueness.
I found this on Sheldon Browns site;
"An axle generally needs to be 1 1/4 inches (31 mm) longer than the bicycle's overlocknut spacing, for full thread engagement with the axle nuts. Another 6 to 10 mm is OK, and may be needed if the bicycle has thick dropouts. Too much axle length on the right side may prevent a flared right-side axle nut from being tightened down all the way, and may interfere with operation of the pullchain. When in doubt, test or measure."
"Older hubs had a rather limited selection of axles, as the standard overlocknut spacing was only 114 mm or 120 mm when these hubs were made. Common axle lengths for the classic AW hub were 5 3/4 inches (146 mm) and 6 1/4 inches (159 mm). A 6 7/16 inch (164 mm) axle suitable for 126 mm dropouts was also made for this hub and its near-relatives. The length difference is at the left end of the axle. The right end is the same for all of these axles."
(If posting excerpts from other websites isn't allowed I'll remove this)
I dunno if I'm reading that right but seems the axles for the AW /AB may not be long enough.