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Old 05-09-11, 01:10 PM   #1
robtown
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Removing stuck cable from DT shifters

I picked up a parts stash last week and have a problem removing the derailleur cables from a set of Simplex DT braze-on shifters. The cable end seems fused inside the shifters. I've seen this before but usually a good shove/twist on the cable while holding it with some blunt nose pliers work.

In this case the cables eventually frayed and broke off. I tried pushing from the backside with a needle but it snapped and bent.

Does anyone have any tips / hints / techniques?
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Old 05-09-11, 01:37 PM   #2
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Could you completely disassemble the shifter then reassemble? On my Sachs I am pretty sure I can dis and reassemble them.
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Old 05-09-11, 05:42 PM   #3
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Could you completely disassemble the shifter then reassemble? On my Sachs I am pretty sure I can dis and reassemble them.
There is nothing to disassemble. The shifters look like these. The cable ends stick (literally) in small holes are on the body. The cables thread through the shifter and the cable ends anchor it.

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Old 05-09-11, 05:57 PM   #4
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can you soak them in amonea?
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Old 05-09-11, 06:18 PM   #5
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can you soak them in amonea?
They seem to be alloy which would be tarnished by ammonia. I don't know what metal the cable ends are.
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Old 05-09-11, 06:34 PM   #6
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Simplex retrofriction shifters:
Disassemble
1. Unscrew the screw. There may be a plastic washer holding it in. Push up on the screw with a pencil or stick to create some friction while unscrewing and the screw should eventually come off.
2. Clean the lever as well as you can. I use an ultrasonic cleaner to get most of the solids out of the lever/ferrule/spring. This needs to be done, otherwise the caked grease/dirt glues the innards together to the lever.
3. Put the braze-on shaft on the braze-on post on the bike, put the lever on the shaft, then screw in the screw. Use only the screw, no washers.
4. Use a small round punch, screwdriver, etc. to push the end of the spring, which is coiled around the ferrule, in the opposite direction of the coil while gently turning and pulling the lever. Take care not to puncture yourself. Wear leather gloves.
5. It should slide off after a few attempts. There will be rust and gunk on the ferrule and spring.
6. Push/pry the spring out of the lever. Clean all parts with a toothbrush, wirebrush, etc.
7. Polish the ferrule, spring, and lever where they make contact.
8. Grease well with Molypaste or equivalent.
9. Remember to round over any sharp points on the spring to prevent catching or scoring.
10. Work step 4 backwards to assemble.
-Scott Y
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Old 05-09-11, 08:08 PM   #7
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This is a miniaturized version of the "stuck stem" problem.
A drop of ammonia right into interface between lever and cable head is probably not going to damage the rest of the shifter any, especially if you apply it to the back side, where the frayed ends of cable exit the shifter. You may have to drill the head out. Soak in a little penetrating oil and apply a propane torch to heat the aluminum carefully first -- don't burn the grease inside the drum part. Drill very carefully, start with a 1/16" bit as a bigger one will tend to walk off the cable head and gouge into the shifter. The last time I tried this, the torque from the drilling gratifyingly broke the cable head free from the lever before the bit went all the way through -- I had dripped some penetrating oil into it earlier in my efforts. In any case, be sure to stop drilling before you breach the bottom of the hole. If you drill all the way through the lever it will not be able to retain the new cable. (D'oh!!)

If the cable head sits a bit proud of the shifter lever, could you use a Dremel wheel to cut a slot in it that might allow a screwdriver to apply a good twist to it?

Or what about drilling a small hole in the cable head then driving in a self-tapping screw and applying torque with a screwdriver to that -- almost like using a screw extractor? Even if it doesn't break the head free it might chip it away bit by bit and make final removal possible.

This is a major pain in the butt though. Sometimes those cable heads get *really* stuck. Ever since then I've filed and emery papered new cable ends down so they are a slack fit in the hole. Anti-seize might be a good idea too.

Good luck. I will feel your pain if you are unable to get those nice Simplex retrofrictions working.
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Old 05-09-11, 08:12 PM   #8
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Drilling the head out is easy and quick.

Many people shove in modern shimano compatible derailleur cables through those simplex shifters. Wrong.
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