Bicycle Mechanics - shift cable end seized on down tube shifter
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09-20-12, 10:16 AM
Any ideas how to get a cable end out of a down tube shifter? It is like it is seized. I am sure that it has to due with galvanic corrosion but how does on remove the seized end? I have tried drilling out the end without any success, I have also tried heating the aluminum shifter with no success. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
09-20-12, 11:53 AM
09-21-12, 04:36 PM
No ideas on how one might get the cable end un stuck from the down tube shift lever?
09-21-12, 05:30 PM
drill out the head of the cable, or toss it and buy another lever .
maybe the last guy just used the wrong cable and jammed it in anyhow.
09-21-12, 06:32 PM
Thank you fietsbob, I'm going to have to try some starter drill bits my regular bits just are not cutting it, pun intended:) I really want to save the shifter if at all possible it came off a 1986 Fuji 4550SE which has no signs of ever being used. I am pretty sure it is galvanic corrosion that has seized the cable end. I was hoping there was some magical solution I could soak it in.
You could try some PB blaster and a lot of patience. You didn't say if the cable was still intact. If it is, perhaps you can twist or push it from the backside. If the cable is gone and just the head remains, I would drill from the back side with a bit the size of the hole. Once you get through the head it may free up easily. If not, try a small easy-out. I believe these cable ends are made from a zinc alloy and so they should be pretty soft.
09-21-12, 07:25 PM
Is the end of the cable stop at all exposed? Maybe you can cut a small slot into it and then try turning it with a screw driver? Might help you get enough force on it to break whatever is holding it. Also you could try freezing it or heating it, sometimes a bit of thermal stress can break what's holding it together.
09-21-12, 09:35 PM
Wow, I finally got it, but it was not easy! In my first post I stated I tried heat, but just not enough, I was afraid I would melt the aluminum. These little cable ends are packed with the steel cable strands from the cable which makes it very hard to drill. After reading gmt13's post stating the ends were made of a soft zinc I began to wonder if I could melt the zinc without melting the aluminum. Using only a propane torch I was able to get the cable end to melt without causing the aluminum to melt..yeah. In the first picture I posted (a few post prior) you can see where I tried drilling the end without any success due to the steel cables inside the end. Here is a picture after I melted the end. There are a few little marks around the cable end opening I made while trying to drill out the end, but other than that the shifter is now good to go. Thanks for all the replies, I greatly appreciated it.
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