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  1. #1
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    How to disassemble Shimano road STI lever?

    Hey all,

    I've done some searching here but didn't turn up any thing useful.

    So-- I have a left-side 105 (5510, double) STI lever that's developed some additional play. I want to disassemble it and see if perhaps i can tighten something up.

    I see from Shimano's downloadable exploded-view diagram and repair parts list that i will be able to get the lever down to a useful level of disassembly.

    I'd like to know if any of you have disassembled road STI levers and what "gotchas" you encountered. Any other advice is welcome.

    Oh, and are the two "special tools" really necessary? If you have 'em, where did you get 'em?

    Thanks for your help.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej
    I'd like to know if any of you have disassembled road STI levers and what "gotchas" you encountered.
    Never tried it myself but I've read lots of posts from people who have disassembled STI levers. What I don't recall ever reading is a post from somebody who said they successfully reassembled one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ray Dockrey's Avatar
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    Shimano road STI's cannot be rebuilt. It is a well known fact that they are not serviceable Many people have tried and failed.

  4. #4
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    You can remove the lever assembly from the body and soak the whole thing in mineral spirits or similar to flush out crud and grime followed by drying and relubing but that is about all. That will sometimes restore functioning to a sticky or skipping shifter. As to detailed disassembly/reassembly, it's never been reported as successful.

    They either work or are replaced. You want to rebuild brifters, you have to go with Campy Ergos.

  5. #5
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    +1 It's not worth it.

  6. #6
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    are you a watchmaker?

  7. #7
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Forgot it. Save the time and headache and get a new brifter.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  8. #8
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    Keep using it till it completely fails or you can't stand it anymore.

    Then buy Campy cause you can rebuild it.

  9. #9
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpiuva
    are you a watchmaker?
    Ha ha. This is making me hate Shimano all over again.

    I DO NOT intend to fully disassemble the lever. Looking at the exploded diagram, the levers are meant-- indeed instructions are given in another tech doc-- to disassemble to a certain extent.

    By removing the "lever axle" the lever assembly can be removed from the hinge assembly (called "left hand adapter") which holds the brake cable "hook".

    As i rotate the lever outboard (the "wrong" way/opposite from shifting) i can see the lock-nut at the back of the hinge assembly also moves.

    It's my hope that i can simply tighten this nut (hopefully without the cursed "special tool") and all will be well again-- until the next time i gently knock the lever against the ground. At which point i will buy some Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers and bar-end shifters.

    Annnywayyyy... nobody here actually perform a similar disassembly? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  10. #10
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    I am going to be attempting the same disassembly this week.
    A report will follow...
    2003 Marin Muirwoods/Human Propulsion Laboratory custom track/2007 Trek 5000 (Ultegra and FSA)
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  11. #11
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    There was a thread within the past week where the guy claimed he got them "almost" all the way back together. Search on "watchmaker".

    Btw, are those "instructions ... given in another tech doc" online? Scanable?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  12. #12
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF
    Btw, are those "instructions ... given in another tech doc" online? Scanable?
    Go here for all available documents. The two i was referencing were the aftermarket repair parts list and the instruction/users guide. The users guide would come with the component if you purchased it separately. If you get a bike you have to resort to downloading the PDF from Shimano's tech info repository.

    http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/index.jsp
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  13. #13
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Do not atempt this unless you know what you are doing, which obviously you don't or you wouldn't have asked.
    Quote Originally Posted by SBFixed View Post
    You're a dick, if your bike gets stolen I hope that you don't get a thread.

  14. #14
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    +1 Don't do it!!

  15. #15
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej
    At which point i will buy some Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers and bar-end shifters.
    Start looking for a deal now.

  16. #16
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    I pulled a Sora STI "brifter" apart once. Big mistake! It took me hours to work out where the little spring went AND figure out a way to hold it in place to get things back together. Fortunately I was successful, but definitely a lesson learned. Never again..

    Ed
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  17. #17
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    I took apart one that had a broken cable frayed in it, with no other hope of removal, and managed to get it back together and working. It is ZERO fun. The couple of times I have pulled a broken one apart it worked just as good when I finished as when I started. If you have a broken one, take it apart and put it back together just so you can wonder how Shimano can do it and still make a profit.

    For the Shimano hater. I have a good sized team I fix bikes for. There are two guys with Campy and the rest of the team(maybe ten regulars) have Shimano. I spend way more time repairing Campy(replacing G springs and cracked retainers) than I do replacing Shimano blades. Not that Campy stuff is bad, but it seems to be more in need of maintenance for guys that crank lots of miles and shift a lot(to maintain cadence/heartrate)
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitropowered
    Keep using it till it completely fails or you can't stand it anymore.

    Then buy Campy cause you can rebuild it.
    Or he/she can buy SRAM, which is rebuildable like Campy and functions like Shimano.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    I haven't tried to disassemble an STI lever before, but if human hands can put it together, then human hands can take it apart and put it back together. I'm going to have to say though that it might not be worth the effort.

    I have tried to take apart and put back together a Campy brifter. Don't fool yourself. It ain't easy. Just because it's Campy doesn't mean that it is maintenance free. My experience is that while the Shimano STI levers almost never need rebuilding. I have already had to rebuild some Campy levers. Pain in the ass.
    Livestrong. The personal fundmaker of Lance Armstrong. The company who are in business to not donate to cancer research, but only to inform people that cancer is bad.

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  20. #20
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    I would like to point out that while Campy shifters are rebuildable, the expense/difficulty in doing so makes it nearly impractical, especially if you cannot do the work yourself.

    That being said, I've taken apart a lot more Shimano shifters than I've reassembled successfully. I can't say I've ever had one develop noticeable play, however. They generally just start missing shifts, at which point they get flushed with an acetone based cleaner, followed by some high pressure air, followed by some light lubricant (T9) followed by more compressed air, and then they typically work awhile longer.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  21. #21
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b
    Do not atempt this unless you know what you are doing, which obviously you don't or you wouldn't have asked.

    LOL. Well, then, how does anybody figure out how to do anything if not for someone just giving it a try and sharing with others?
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  22. #22
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej
    LOL. Well, then, how does anybody figure out how to do anything if not for someone just giving it a try and sharing with others?
    True. On the other hand a fool learns through experience. A wise man learns through other people's experience.

  23. #23
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej
    Hey, great find! I wondered where they'd moved all those older docs to...
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  24. #24
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman
    I haven't tried to disassemble an STI lever before, but if human hands can put it together, then human hands can take it apart and put it back together. I'm going to have to say though that it might not be worth the effort.
    Japan.. robots.. you're not a robot.

  25. #25
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    I would like to point out that while Campy shifters are rebuildable, the expense/difficulty in doing so makes it nearly impractical, especially if you cannot do the work yourself.
    That's the case with everything a consumer has to pay someone else to do. Campy brifters are easy to work on. You only need an 8mm allen wrench, actually two of them. The parts are about $15-$20 for G springs. Once you do it, the second time is a snap. Good luck

    Tim
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