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Thread: Brifter dead?

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    Senior Member deepakvrao's Avatar
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    Brifter dead?

    Hi guys,

    This morning I found it not so easy to get the chain onto the big chainring, though the brifter was moving the FD. Thought it was an adjustment issue, but now at home I see that the left brifter is not 'clicking' at all [it was clicking during the ride though]. It moves the FD but when I release it, the FD just springs back to the original position.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    What brand and model?
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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    Senior Member deepakvrao's Avatar
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    Shimano 105. I think it's the 5600.

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    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    They're not made to be serviceable, though there is a link somewhere online with a guy who did it to his. At the shop I used to work at, the head mechanic showed me how he serviced STI's, and it worked fairly well, but took time; He'd flush everywhere around the lever mechanism internals he could get using WD-40. Then he'd let it sit for a while, come back, flush some more, and start working the lever, over and over. It could take him a few hours, but eventually, he'd get the gunk and springs to loosen up enough, and they'd start working again. I think if you're going to do this, the problem is that the WD-40 is mainly solvent, and after that all evaporates, the internals don't have much grease left inside. Probably good to follow a day later with a dollop or two of thicker oil, like Phil Wood's, that will leave a coat on the little pawls and gears inside the lever. That's assuming you eventually get the thing working again.


    PS Here's that link: Read through everything carefully before attempting the actual work. http://norvil.net/pedal/service/shimanosti/index.php

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    Try shooting the shifters full of WD 40. This has restored shifting performance to many shifters.

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    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
    They're not made to be serviceable, though there is a link somewhere online with a guy who did it to his.
    You mean this thread, or has someone posted a guide for these later ones?

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    Senior Member deepakvrao's Avatar
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    Disconnected the cable and the shifter clicks and does move the end of the cable into different positions inside the brifter [just like on wifey working brifter], but when the cable is connected, the shifter is not able to maintain the cable pull against the spring load of the FD.

    Doused with WD 40 but this does not seem to be a problem of something jammed but rather something NOT ratcheting strongly enough. Dunno if the explanation is clear enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
    Disconnected the cable and the shifter clicks and does move the end of the cable into different positions inside the brifter [just like on wifey working brifter], but when the cable is connected, the shifter is not able to maintain the cable pull against the spring load of the FD.

    Doused with WD 40 but this does not seem to be a problem of something jammed but rather something NOT ratcheting strongly enough. Dunno if the explanation is clear enough.
    Sounds like you are still gummed up. If you can source a Barnett's manual they have good instructions on how partially disassemble, clean and lube shimano brifters. A compressor helps immensely.

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    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    Sounds like you are still gummed up. If you can source a Barnett's manual they have good instructions on how partially disassemble, clean and lube shimano brifters. A compressor helps immensely.
    OP, did you see the link I posted at the end of my post? It's got images and a pretty detailed explanation of disassembly. Before going that route, though, I suggest you continue flushing and working the levers. When they go "bad," it really is a matter of getting the old gunk and grease out of there, all of which is interfering with the gears and ratcheting pawls, as you describe. It's not usually a problem of an internal part breaking or becoming compromised. And let things soak, as well, in between clicking and pressing repeatedly on the levers.

  10. #10
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    Any chance your outer limit screw is set too tight? If the cable is pulled too taught before the FD is in the correct position the lever won't be able to move far enough to reach it's indexing spot. The cable may of also shifted from it's original position somewhere along the line, and caused excess tension. Make sure everything is seated and routed properly.

    There's also a chance the cable adjustment is off for the FD, but that'd normally cause it to either click to the large ring spot, but remain in the lower/middle chainring, or fail to drop to the inner chainring.

    If this ends up being the issue, that WD-40 bit was a bad move, since it's kerosene, and has removed a lot of the lubrication from your brifters.
    Last edited by MilitantPotato; 11-16-10 at 08:46 AM.
    You've got a bike, so you gotta move.

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    Brake cleaner works very well to clean the internals, but take off the hoods which may get dissolved by the solvent.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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    Kimmo, I wish I'd found your thread when I serviced my 600's STIs! As it turns out our methods are very similar. Unfortunately I broke a pawl later on, which may've been my fault during reassembly.

    Brad

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    Senior Member deepakvrao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
    OP, did you see the link I posted at the end of my post? It's got images and a pretty detailed explanation of disassembly. Before going that route, though, I suggest you continue flushing and working the levers. When they go "bad," it really is a matter of getting the old gunk and grease out of there, all of which is interfering with the gears and ratcheting pawls, as you describe. It's not usually a problem of an internal part breaking or becoming compromised. And let things soak, as well, in between clicking and pressing repeatedly on the levers.

    Hey, missed that. Will try it but its less than 2 years. Had no idea that Shimano had 2 year warranty. Will try to contact Shimano first - Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by MilitantPotato View Post
    Any chance your outer limit screw is set too tight? If the cable is pulled too taught before the FD is in the correct position the lever won't be able to move far enough to reach it's indexing spot. The cable may of also shifted from it's original position somewhere along the line, and caused excess tension. Make sure everything is seated and routed properly.

    There's also a chance the cable adjustment is off for the FD, but that'd normally cause it to either click to the large ring spot, but remain in the lower/middle chainring, or fail to drop to the inner chainring.

    If this ends up being the issue, that WD-40 bit was a bad move, since it's kerosene, and has removed a lot of the lubrication from your brifters.
    Have loosened the cable and tried but will try again.

    Living in India, its really tough to source these things.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mr.smith.pdx's Avatar
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    Did you replace your cables and housings with new ones? My CX shifter was crapping out on me and I figured with all the mud and crashing I had simply worn it out. I replaced it with another shifter out of the parts drawer and put on new housings and cables. I cleaned up the removed shifter, everything clicked just fine. Now, a season later, and the other replacement shifter I put on is having trouble. (The downshift/brake lever moves with the smaller lever, I have to hold it with 2 fingers and upshift with my ring finger...sucks in a race...good thing I am already slow)

    Note: According to the WD-40 people, there is no Kerosene in WD-40.
    Don't be offended. This is just my opinion. It stinks, just like everybody else's opinion.

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    Bicycle Repairman kingsting's Avatar
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    I've had better luck using silicone spray instead of WD-40. It seems to free up sticky shifters a little quicker and they stay free longer. The ones I've blasted with WD got sticky again after a while.
    There's always room for one more bike!

  16. #16
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    If you're still under Shimano's warranty, you should definitely go through them first--hopefully, they'll just replace the unit at no cost (or for shipping only).

  17. #17
    Senior Member deepakvrao's Avatar
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    Ordered Ultegra shifters and spoke to Shimano. Have to send the shifter back to the US. Cost is likely half the cost of the shifter unless I send it by regular post. Shimano wants it wit a trackng number and that is not worth it at all. lemme see what I can do.

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