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  1. #1
    Senior Member xfimpg's Avatar
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    Difference between "FC-6603" and "FC-6603-A"?

    Hi

    Would anyone know the difference between the Shimano Ultegra crankset "FC-6603" and "FC-6603-A"?

    Yes, I know it's the "A", but seriously... does anyone know what the "A" stands for or simply the difference between the two models?

    Thanks
    Mike
    Last edited by xfimpg; 02-08-09 at 08:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    Its just a minor manufacturing change. It probably doesn't have any noticeable difference.

  3. #3
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    On the Ultegra crankset there is a small plastic nut that is screwed into the left crank-arm to cover the hole where it connects to the axle. The instructions tell you that you need to torque it in place using a special Shimano tool. The tool serves this function only. It meshes with the oddball-shaped head of the plastic nut. This left me wondering how many people drop what they're doing and order this tool - and wait.

    I found a Park pin-spanner meshed fine and used that. I just installed this set on my Trek.

    What is the 'A' you ask? They probably changed the design of the head of the nut. You'll need a new tool...
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  4. #4
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    On the Ultegra crankset there is a small plastic nut that is screwed into the left crank-arm to cover the hole where it connects to the axle. The instructions tell you that you need to torque it in place using a special Shimano tool. The tool serves this function only. It meshes with the oddball-shaped head of the plastic nut. This left me wondering how many people drop what they're doing and order this tool - and wait.

    I found a Park pin-spanner meshed fine and used that. I just installed this set on my Trek.

    What is the 'A' you ask? They probably changed the design of the head of the nut. You'll need a new tool...
    It's not to cover the hole so to speak, it's to assist in positioning the crank for correct preload. The TL-FC16 tool used to come with the cranks until Shimano cheaped out. My roommate recently was going thru his stuff and came up with what is an identical piece of plastic, but wasn't Shimano and wasn't for a crank at all (forget what it was originally for, something he no longer used is all I can remember and he's not around to ask at the moment), but it fits perfectly...but I'd use a pin spanner if I had to, but I like to carry the tool in my pack so should I need to remove the crank on a moments notice I'm ready.

    ps Was curious what the A might mean, apparently not important enough to get a mention on techdocs.shimano.com...
    suum quique
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  5. #5
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I know what the cap is intended for - I didn't bother going into this for the sake of brevity.

    I'd rather not carry a pin-spanner either. But I'm ingenious enough to make do with a rock or a couple of sticks if push came to shove. I do carry a Topeak Alien II. Bet I'd find the tool on that - used with a stick...
    Last edited by Panthers007; 02-08-09 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Syntax
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  6. #6
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    I know what the cap is intended for - I didn't bother going into this for the sake of brevity.

    I'd rather not carry a pin-spanner either. But I'm ingenious enough to make do with a rock of couple of sticks if push came to shove. I do carry a Topeak Alien II. Bet I'd find the tool on that - used with a stick...
    Sorry to doubt you, didn't know if you knew. I think someone said they had a putty knife that worked great, too. For portability the TL-FC16 is hard to beat...
    suum quique
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  7. #7
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I'm sure the TL-FC16 works very nicely and is easy to carry about. HOWEVER my point is this: Why do you think Shimano made the cap require this tool? Was it because the cap's head had to have this weird shape to function? Would it work for it's assigned task if it had a cap that required a 5mm hex-wrench instead? Or a screwdriver?

    Or is Shimano just a bunch of nickel & diming swine that are sticking it to the customer? Be nice to see some after-market caps that sell for 25 cents.

    Shimano pulled worse stunts on mechanics back in the early 1980's. Each year Shimano released a new group of components. And these components required new and expensive tools to work on them. It was costing mechanics over $400 a year for the new, improved tool-set! This didn't stop until their was a trade-fair in Los Angeles. When it was Shimano's turn to go up on stage and explain it's latest, greatest - the mechanics booed them loudly and started throwing debris at the guy. The Shimano rep. asked why this was. And the mechanics told them they were going broke and were no longer going to work on, or sell, Shimano products. The TL-FC16 is a minor example of a long-standing tactic by Shimano.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member xfimpg's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your insights.

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